I've Been (positively) Thinking...
Thinking about... Marriage, Beach Grooming & Mum!
I've been thinking about marriage... You see as you are reading this I will most likely be frolicking in the sun in Cancun, Mexico, attending the wedding of one of our young folk at Benefitz who has chosen this exotic location for his nuptuals.
I was honoured to be asked to perform the MC duties at Blake and Kellie's Mexican wedding, so I have spent a great deal of the month thinking about the wedding and marriage in general. I think it's a fantastic institution.
Having been happily married for almost three decades myself has probably led me to look at it through rose-tinted glasses.
But you earn respect from marriage. It certainly doesn't come easy. I have learnt that you have to work hard at it to overcome the many many ups and downs it throws at you along the way. But like many things in life, you get back what you put in.
What is neat about the wedding we are going to celebrate in Mexico is that these two who are getting married really "get it" and this is a general trend I am detecting among young people. There was a period when marriage wasn't in vogue. But I reckon it is really making a comeback.
Marriage can indeed be a commitment between two people, irrespective of their sexuality. It is the commitment that is important. I was in Australia shortly after gay marriage was legalised in New Zealand and was proud to hear the majority of people praising the forward thinking in our country.
Looking forward to the celebration in Mexico! – or Mirando adelante a la celebración en México!
I've been thinking about beach grooming.. During the past month I have also had another change of heart I must tell you about.
When I stood unsuccessfully for a seat on the local board with Dave Donaldson, one thing I didn't necessarily agree with him on was the need for beach grooming on Takapuna Beach. It was a 'hobby-horse' of his. But after the mess the beach has been in over recent weeks I'm all for it.
Dave's concept is for beach grooming machinery to be shared between all the beaches on the Shore. And I must say it is a goodie. The combination of the damage and rubbish that nature throws up with the damage and rubbish that the public inflicts, means that New Zealand's best urban beach does indeed need some TLC. Nature is simply not going to take care of it.
We could do without the rubbish and smelly seaweed and this is one way of valuing our fabulous beach.
I firmly believe that Dave's beach grooming concept would be an investment in its future. He would have been great on the local board!
I've also been thinking about my Mum... We'll certainly be spoiling her on May 11th! In previous issues I have written about how proud I am of her decision to move into a retirement village. We have been helping her make the move over the past few months. Well I can report that she is now loving life at The Poynton. She moved in a month ago to her brand new apartment and has been warmly welcomed by other residents and staff who have encouraged her to play golf croquet, take part in Aquarobics and generally get involved. If you're thinking about making the move – just do it!
I've been thinking about Feedback... I appreciate this from Denys Oldham as a result of my column last month about fixing Hurstmere Road...
Aidan, I totally agree that the new Hurstmere Green is a huge improvement, and congratulations to Sills Van Boheman the designers. But the Path to Rangitoto stops well short of the beach and must now continue right down to the sand so that a mum with kids and a push chair can, after a bit of shopping, enjoy the famous Takapuna Beach; and preferably call in at a café on the beach!
You extol the charm of the Russell waterfront. We could and should have the same in Takapuna.
The Takapuna Strategic Framework of October 2010 called for "A World Class Promenade" along the beach (refer pages 30 and 31). But the authors of the Takapuna Beach Management plan of 2012 forgot to include this, even though they said they had referred to the Framework .
Both the last two major planning studies – The Strategic Framework and Takapuna Vision of 2000 – are emphatic that access to the beach is vital to the survival of the Takapuna shops. Of course, for some peculiar reason, neither manage to say what form that should take. Put differently that bit of ground between The Strand and the beach is at present an obstacle to be overcome when it should be an inner city park and an attraction in itself. It needs terracing, grassing and planting with deciduous shade trees (preferably flowering – only the Norfolk pines are worth keeping) with good paths down to the beach, a children's playground, and the 'World Class Promenade" with plenty of places to sit and plenty of cafes. i.e. please could we have an Urban Waterfront, like Russell, and not a boring piece of wasteland pretending to be country?
Is that the Feedback you want? Good luck – Denys Oldham, Devonport.
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