North Shore Times : December 23rd 2010
6 NORTH SHORE TIMES, DECEMBER 23, 2010 OPINION 3376185BS FENCE-RITE SOLUTIONS Specialising in • Retaining Walls • Fences & Gates • Decks 97C Luckens Rd Massey Ph 416 5984 Mob: 021 127 5590 www.fence-ritesolutions.com If you find the same item at the same price, we will beat it by 10% 09 480 6629 firstname.lastname@example.org 114 Lake Road, Northcote www.114dental.co.nz Following retirement of David Corkill, the Practice continues with Marion as Practice Manager. Introducing respected Dentist Mac and very competent and experienced Craig who has a special interest in endodontics. We are fortunate to have Annetjie as our Hygienist with 20 years experience. Our aim is to provide quality Dental care utilising the latest techniques & technology. Please phone 480 6629 for an appointment 114 DENTALSTUDIO 3223453AE I hope I've made a real difference Last week I announced that I will not be stand- ing for Parliament at the 2011 election. It has been a privilege to represent the people of North Shore in Parlia- ment for five terms. I am proud of my elec- torate, and proud that I have been able to con- tribute to its achieve- ments since 1996. Making a difference is often given as a motiv- ation for taking up poli- tics. I hope and believe that I have made a dif- ference on the Shore. A standout achieve- ment has been the trans- formation of our schools. They were character- ised by a large number of shabby prefabs. These are now a thing of the past in almost every school. We have new and refurbished school build- ings throughout the elec- torate. The education and development of our young people is a foun- dation responsibility for communities. It is being well met in the North Shore with attractive schools, staffed by some of the nation s best teachers. Shortly our pupils will be receiving their NCEA results. I am sure that once again the results will be excellent. Other achievements include a large increase in police in North Shore, the vastly enhanced and improved services our hospital provides, and making the case for a second harbour crossing. Many of our communi- ties have shown out- standing growth and development in recent years. They are making and taking opportunities to provide a better life- style for their citizens. This will continue under the Auckland Council, helping Auckland realise its potential as a leading Australasian city. There will now be an opportunity for someone else to represent us in Wellington. I know the role will be as satisfying for that person as it has been for me. Christmas greetings Inafewdayswewillbe enjoying Christmas. It is a time for family and friends to celebrate. I wish you all a very happy and safe holiday season, and a good start to the New Year. It's true -- I mean would I lie? He was sitting gloomily in his vehicle in the crowded carpark, dressed pretty strangely for the weather and looking as if he wanted to talk. He looked so familiar I thought I knew him from way back. He gave every impression of recognising me. My heart sank when he spoke. Gotta bit of a problem. Not another plea for help. I knew then I d made a mis- take with my cheery Merry Christmas . But there was no way out. He snorted and went on. How was I to know what the funny lettering meant so I parked here because I had a gig inside. It s one of my regulars for this time of the year. Another snort, louder and more emphatic than the last. Knew when I got up this morning that it wasn t going to be one of my good days. The wife started straight away about being left with all the little ones. Same as last year she said. And all the ones before. It s all very well for you, she said. And she raved on about how the lawn always looked shaggy at this time of the year because I was never around and how I seemed to thrive on all the attention and how she had to stay home and take all the calls and sort through the mail. I said it went with the job. And that just started her off again, how thoughtless I d become and how I just didn t seem to understand or take into account all the extra things she had to do. Then it got really rough. She said I was so unthinking that the box of chocolates I d brought back on my last run had a best before December 2008 on it and was that all I thought of her? I couldn t even remember her at this time of the year she said and she d noticed that an old box left over from some time or other had disappeared from the back of the cupboard. And didn t I realise she noticed little things like that. And while she was at it, hadn t I noticed how absolutely filthy the hand basin was after me trimming my beard. All because I d forgotten to make an appointment at the barber and that I seemed to think I was someone who could just walk in like some A-lister -- whatever that is -- and crash the queue. She said it was ironic that of all people I didn t realise Christmas was a special time and busy with it. And then there was the mess I d left in the shed when I mended the vehicle last night and seemed to have wiped my dirty hands on the special table- cloth she d got out for Christmas dinner. He snorted yet again and paused -- but not for long. Christmas dinner! she said. I suppose it s going to be like last year when you fell asleep over the lovely meal I d cooked. And that reminded her -- as if she d ever forgotten -- about my promise to get her a decent stove before the next time. And this was the next time and where was it? Said I had this reputation of being so good at getting things for other people just because they asked for it. What about her? That was the stage I offered to take some of the little people with me for the day and give her a break. She came over all sweet at that and kissed me, wished me a real happy Christmas and I promised I d get them back early. Then what? When I finished my shift, the little ones are all in the two dollar shop buying me things I ll never use and don t want. I came out here and look what I found. He pointed with a podgy hand at something below him. It was a sort of locked thingee, like the wheel clamp you ve got when you haven t got a wheel. The parking people said they d been waiting for me since the last time and won t unlock it until I pay 100 or something in cash. Really big snort this time, like an explosion that would have gone down well on Guy Fawkes Day. Cash? How much cash would I be carrying the way she s been spending these last weeks? I was bending over the device, rattling the chain, when a sweet voice came over my shoulder Merry Christmas, can I help? She was a sweetie who must have been going to or coming from a party wearing lots of sparkling bling and even had a wand thing with a star on it. As I stepped back she tapped the device with her wand and, Christmas miracle, it fell off. That was great, I said. You should be a Christmas Fairy. That soft voice again from over my shoulder. But I am -- hadn t you realised? When I straightened up, she d gone. I walked down past afewcarstoseeifIcouldsee her but she d disappeared. When I looked back so had the bearded old guy in the strange red gear and the weird vehicle. And the two dollar shop was empty. All that was left was a strange-looking open clamp, a screwed-up parking ticket and what I assume were reindeer droppings. I mean, I wouldn t have dreamed it, would I? YOUR VIEWS: To contact Pat Booth email email@example.com or write care of this newspaper. All replies are open for publication unless marked Not For Publication.
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