Sunday, 25 December 2011

Quakes and Rage

Hamilton Gardens
I don't know what it is in the human psyche that prompts spur of the moment decisions but what ever it is sees us spending three  nights in Hamilton over the Xmas period.

The city does not endear itself to me, as a 1996 Council decision saw my museum directorship made redundant as with that of the Chief Librarian, the Head of the City Zoo, amongst others.

It was of course a cost cutting exercise that was doomed to fail, as was proved a decade later when the  Museum and Library once again came under the stewardship of their own directors.  But that as they say, is another story.

What is of interest is that the CEO at the time, he who devised the 'brilliant' Hamilton City restructuring plan, is now the CEO of Christchurch City Council; a city still experiencing devastating earthquakes (three more significant quakes over the last 24 hours).

This gentleman has just been given a $70,000 pay increase which naturally is drawing howls of outrage from the ratepayers who are faced with a ravaged city and personal prospects that are not much better.

Has he publicly declined to accept this raise - me thinks not!

But back in Hamilton as I write the weather is as humid as Singapore's with rain threatening.  For the first time since our return from the Republic we are using the air-conditioning to beat the humidity.

The afternoon was spent visiting supermarkets, fighting for parking spaces and shopping trolleys and looking at prices of items that have been raised in the past week.  Why one want to scramble for mince pies and Xmas hams defies belief.  The same items will be discounted the following week.


Today is Christmas Day and there is a deathly hush over the city - most of Hamilton seems to have either deserted the ship or slept in, or both.

Our motel proprietor wished us a merry Xmas as he handed me a replacement rubbish bag and coffee sachets. Ours will be a quiet one as we don't celebrate the festival; perhaps a trip to the renowned Hamilton Gardens if the weather holds and they are open.

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