Wairarapa News : February 1st 2012
10 WAIRARAPA NEWS, FEBRUARY 1, 2012 OPINION CANSPEAK - a bite of brain food from Cancer Society manager ANNA CARDNO 140 Dixon Street, Masterton, Ph 06 378 8039 2142976ET Cancer Society Wairarapa - Minimising the impact of cancer on our community through information, research, health promotion and support services. Cancer Society Wairarapa has re-opened after the holiday break, and is ready to assist you with resources, advice and support services to ease your cancer burden. Come in and see us or call today. We look forward to making sense of your cancer journey. Te Kahui Matepukupuku o Aotearoa We operate the following Outreach Clinics: PAHIATUA: 1st Tuesday of each month 10am -- Noon (Heartlands Office) EKETAHUNA: 1-3pm (Public Library) CARTERTON: 1st Friday of each month 11am -- 3pm Carterton Information Centre. FEATHERSTON: 2nd Tuesday of each month 11am -- 3pm Featherston Community Centre. PAHIATUA: 3rd Tuesday of each month 11am -- 3pm (Heartlands Office) MARTINBOROUGH: 4th Tuesday of each month 10am -- Noon (Public Library) GREYTOWN: 1 -- 3pm (Public Library) 4231902AA New Masterton Office: 1st floor, Sports Wairarapa Building Cnr Chapel and Jackson Streets, Masterton •Ph:063774134•0800924252•Fax:3774601 MASTERTON OFFICE OPEN DAILY 9am to 4pm We provide free legal information, assistance and law related education. WAIRARAPA COMMUNTY LAW CENTRE INC. John Hayes www.national.org.nz ELECTORATE OFFICE 82 Queen St, PO Box 904, Masterton 5840 Open 10am - 4pm Mon - Fri P: 0800 2 HAYES P: 06 370 1213 E: firstname.lastname@example.org ww w.johnhayes.co.nz MP FOR WAIRARAPA 4203261AB A curmudgeon goes on holiday THE LONG VIEW RICK LONG No man needs a vacation so much as the person who has just had one.'' -- Elbert Hubbard WhenIwasakidmy father was pretty fussy about annual holidays. Those days of course an annual holiday was a fortnight long and dad would always take mum and my sister and me away to stay in a nice hotel for two weeks. It was probably an expensive exercise and no doubt my father had saved prudently for the excursions. Back then hotels were grand establishments, often actually called The Grand and dad even took us to Fiji on one occasion where we stayed at the Hotel Grand Pacific in Suva. But at Napier we stayed at the Masonic, in Rotorua it was Brent's, in Auckland the Star, in Christchurch the Gresham and in Nelson it was the Hotel Nelson. You sat down to three meals a day at white table-clothed tables and learnt how to cope with the silver cutlery, working your way in from the outside, starting with the soup spoon and marvelled over the fish knives and butter knives, not generally seen on your home table. I've become a bit skeptical about holidays these days; some- how for me hotels have lost their glamour. My wife and I spent a few days in Rotorua before Christmas and then a few days in Auckland after Christmas. Naturally, you book your accommodation on the internet and I've come to the conclusion that the photos of the chosen hos- telry that has caught your eye on screen were executed by the same person who airbrushed Helen Clark. The Rotorua hotel was a reason- ably new multi-storey edifice that claimed to have panoramic views of the lake. It may have had for some guests, but the panorama from our room was the wall of another multi-storey hotel next door. It might have been possible to swing a cat in the room, but the poor moggie will have had an unfortunate demise after instantly hitting all four walls on the way around. The food left a lot to be desired and the service was atrocious. They don't have to worry about this however; tour buses filled with what I assume were well- heeled Chinese pulled up at the front door with monotonous regularity and inevitably the occupants arrived seemingly full of optimism, but left looking as morose as I felt. I doubt their New Zealand experience will have been any- thing like the exaggerated brochures that will have got them here in the first place. On one occasion ten of us decided to have dinner together in the hotel dining room. We had to book the table at the bar, but the barman was on the phone. We waited patiently for him to finish his conversation, but after he had done this, incredibly he picked up the phone and engaged in another dialogue. In an inevitable fit of pique we went down the road and ate at one of the plethora of restaurants that exist in this iconic tourist town. On our Auckland sojourn we stayed at a motor inn in Takapuna. Once we had navigated the heart-stopping traffic we found the hotel bore little resemblance to the artist's impression promi- nently displayed on the website. One thing I really look forward to when staying at a hotel is a cooked breakfast; something you seldom have at home. Certainly the internet site had indicated that this was an option and so to did the compendium in our room. However when we sat down in the dismal dining room we were told only a continental breakfast was available. Now this may be good for my shrinking bank balance and for my increasingly portly figure, but I reminded the manager that this was not what his website or his room compendium had expounded. He said that he would alter the compendium that day -- he never did -- and my weight has remained stable. It was obvious that the meagre continental breakfast was set up the night before as the bread for toasting was curled up on the edges. This is another thing that gets on my goat. You now have to make your own toast on an assembly- line-type toaster that under-does it on the first pass, but then overcooks on the second. Why don't they just cook it perfectly in the kitchen like they used to? The manager, who was also the receptionist, made the mistake of asking me when I went to pay the bill how I had enjoyed my stay? I reiterated my concern about the breakfast and the curled-edged bread, I told him the room had not been cleaned properly, that the bathroom was full of ants that crawled out of the cracks in the tiles in the walls, that the gardens were full of weeds, the lawns looked as though they hadn't been mown for weeks and the hallways were brimming with leaves blown in from the unkempt grounds and no effort had been made to remove them over the three days we had stayed. I also pointed out that the architect's impression of the hotel on the wall above his desk in no way resembled the finished prod- uct. His surprising response was that he was just the manager and had to do as he was told. When we go away we have to put our two little dogs into board- ing kennels. When we drop them off their excitement is almost uncontain- able. They hear and smell other dogs and can't wait to join them. When we go to pick them up its obvious they can't wait to get home. I know just how they feel. TALKING POLITICS GORDON CAMPBELL Larger-than-life: National MP, Mike Sabin CONTINUED Page 11 Sabin's career of service Routinely, the Far North produces larger-than-life political personalities, and Northland's new National MP, Mike Sabin, seems no exception. At 43, he's already enjoyed careers in the armed services, police and with his own methamphetamine abuse prevention firm, Methcon. That experience however, has all been within strongly hierarchical organis- ations. Does Sabin think his past careers have prepared him for the horse-trading and compromise that's basic to MMP politics? Fair comment, Sabin replies. The way he sees it though, his driving passion has been all about service. That's what being in the military and in the police, and even Methcon, was all about. Those can be considered uncom- promising environments.
January 25th 2012
February 8th 2012