Southerly by David Haywood

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Southerly: Happy to Help (If I Can)

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  • David Haywood,

    Just in case anyone is worried: another short story in the same series reveals that no-one was hurt in Kylinda and Timothy’s house fire (not even emotionally, it would seem)...

    “They were only things,” said Kylinda. “But we did lose pretty much all of them. I was left with my nightgown; Tim only had his pyjama trousers. In some ways it’s lucky that Rupert was staying because Tim usually sleeps naked, so it could have been worse.”

    Marjorie frowned slightly. She never enjoyed hearing about Kylinda and Timothy’s living arrangements. “Although if Rupert hadn’t been staying then he wouldn’t have set fire to your house in the first place,” she couldn’t help pointing out.

    “It’s amazing that you can be so philosophical about it, Kylinda,” said Emma. They were having lunch in the Ballantyne’s Tearooms. Emma didn’t particularly care for tearoom food, but it seemed almost inconceivable to shop at Ballantyne’s and have lunch anywhere else.

    “Tim reckoned we should just enjoy the spectacle,” continued Kylinda. “ The neighbours gave us blankets and we stood in the firelight and watched everything burn. The best bit was when the Hillman Hunter’s petrol tank exploded—it blew the boot-lid right across the street. Tim said it was the fastest any part of the car had ever gone. It was a quite a shame when the fire brigade arrived and put it out.”

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    In case you were wondering, it was the phrase "the Spirit of Street Alignment" where I actually started crying with laughter.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Bless you, Emma!

    I’m ashamed to admit that until recently I’d no idea of the history of the unification of Timaru. The first thought that occurred to me on my enlightenment was that modern dance would be the ideal medium to make the story more widely known – particularly the all-important role of the drainage boards, and, of course, the issues with street alignment in the two halves.

    So very glad that it amused…

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood,

    This story was written quite some time ago. Upon re-reading, the weird thing (to me) is how much of it is taken from real life.

    For example, in 1989 I met an Australian from Wee Waa who genuinely claimed that all Australians keep matches in their lavatories, and that it would be unusual for any Australian to pay a visit and not light a match afterwards. I don't think he'd travelled much out of Wee Waa, but I've always cherished his cultural beliefs, and am delighted to be able to share them more widely here (albeit as part of a fictional work).

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    I would like to read one of your reworkings of your Granddads sailing adventures. Did he ever confess to people smuggling?

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4316 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood, in reply to steven crawford,

    Did he ever confess to people smuggling?

    Ah, that sounds more like a long series of stories that I told to my children "Emily of the High Seas". She once had a duel with the ship's accountant on a pirate vessel and ended up dramatically throwing her sword through his head. Admittedly this is not exactly like people smuggling, but it's not wholly dissimilar.

    Your kind suggestion has made me think of my times sailing with my grandfather -- I could certainly write something about that.

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to David Haywood,

    The first thought that occurred to me on my enlightenment was that modern dance would be the ideal medium to make the story more widely known – particularly the all-important role of the drainage boards, and, of course, the issues with street alignment in the two halves.

    What it lead me to contemplate is a musical version of the sinking of the Ben Venue, about which, as it turns out, Thomas Bracken wrote a poem.

    I can all too vividly picture this production.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    roflnui

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • LeighKennaway,

    ..... just in case anyone was wondering why the Haywood children are trained to do great things with powertools rather than engage in interprative dance or any other stagecraft.....

    Lower Hutt • Since Feb 2016 • 9 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood,

    Emma Hart wrote:

    What it lead me to contemplate is a musical version of the sinking of the Ben Venue, about which, as it turns out, Thomas Bracken wrote a poem.

    I’m sure that one of Kylinda’s half-dozen earlier productions must surely have been on this subject. I suspect that a dance version of the Unification of Timaru is something that you have to work up to via a shipwreck. {EDIT: Thank you for inspiration, Emma, I’ve just changed one of the other short stories in this series to mention this: “That’s the memorial to the sinking of the Benvenue,” said Kylinda. “I once did a dance version of that shipwreck. The hall burnt down during the performance, which was kind of ironic when all the dancers on stage were pretending to drown.”]

    Sacha wrote:

    roflnui

    Splendid! My only aim this week is to cheer people up. I’m giving myself a holiday from any intellectual writing – in fact I haven’t written anything intellectual for weeks (2,183 weeks to be exact, which is nearly 42 years).

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • bob daktari,

    No one mentioned the history of the unification of Timaru when I lived there... I guess some things are just too painful to teach

    I've not danced since I left the place

    fantastic story thank you David

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 537 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Dance all around the world - he blurted...

    it was the phrase "the Spirit of Street Alignment" where I actually started crying with laughter.

    I managed to hold out until :

    Rupert was dressed and ready in the wings as the children representing the Unified Timaru Drainage Board danced off stage. Kylinda gave him a quick hug. “Now remember, Rupert, you’re the ghost of George Rhodes. I have so much faith in you. Your dancing is going to be wonderful!”

    Of course the bastardised version of the Rhodes Collar still 'turns up' in Canterbury these days - and interesting to note that it was the rustling of sheep by one James Mackenzie that drove Rhodes to sell off 'the Levels' so Timaru could be built.
    (well thats my short version - there's more here )

    There seems to be a vogue for 'Timaru noir' these days what with the release of Amanda Newall's new film The Hoover Diaries
    The film includes things like

    Andrew Fagan and his band, The People, dressed in fish costumes and recreated an all-ages Mockers gig in Timaru in 1985 for the movie The Hoover Diaries. The film aims to highlight how changes to the fishing management quota in the mid 1980s has affected the industry.
    ...
    Her 45-minute film connects three seemingly disparate events that occurred during her teenage years in 1980s Timaru.

    more here

    I'm thinking that South Canterbury is the South Island's Taranaki, Timaru its Inglewood or Hawera, perhaps Dr Haywood could be its Ronald Hugh Morrieson?
    :- )

    here's a few local heroes:
    http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/media/video/timarus-heroes-roadside-stories

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7889 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood,

    LeighKennaway wrote:

    ….. just in case anyone was wondering why the Haywood children are trained to do great things with powertools rather than engage in interprative dance or any other stagecraft…..

    My children on stage doesn't bear thinking about. You'd certainly need one of those shepherd's crook things (possibly electrified).

    bob daktari wrote:

    No one mentioned the history of the unification of Timaru when I lived there… I guess some things are just too painful to teach

    Thank you for giving me a pleasant chuckle with your comment, Bob -- much appreciated! Very glad you enjoyed the story...

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • Sam M,

    Brilliant! Thanks David

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 72 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood,

    Ian Dalziel wrote:

    I’m thinking that South Canterbury is the South Island’s Taranaki, Timaru its Inglewood or Hawera, perhaps Dr Haywood could be its Ronald Hugh Morrieson?

    Oh, I’d kill to be in the same league as Ronald Hugh Morrieson. On the 30th anniversary of his death I cycled from Christchurch to Hawera (had to start before the actual anniversary, of course) and commemorated his genius by having a pint in every pub in town. On the Sunday, I went to an evangelical Christian church located in the former cinema that RHM used to visit as a child. I discovered that church and too much beer are a bad combination; evangelical Christians are awfully loud.

    After lunch, a vodka-swigging Ulsterwoman invited me to see the re-issue of ET in the new cinema, as I recall. I wrote a piece about it for the Listener in early 2003. They’ve yet to get back to me about the publication date (it was pending a decision by the editor last I heard) and I’m starting to wonder if they ever will.

    Sam M wrote:

    Thanks David

    A pleasure Sam – so pleased that you enjoyed it!

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    There seems to be a vogue for ‘Timaru noir’ these days what with the release of Amanda Newall’s new film The Hoover Diaries

    Thanks, Ian, I hadn't heard of that, and now I MUST see it. I went to school with Steven Hartley. This was a few years where people in Timaru got murdered for stupid reasons - some pork, a dog, the boy next door to us was literally stoned to death because he was disabled...

    Um. Anyway. Best not bum anybody out.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Um. Anyway. Best not bum anybody out.

    It was kinda dark, but I think we can all move on.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to David Haywood,

    Oh, I’d kill to be in the same league as Ronald Hugh Morrieson. On the 30th anniversary of his death I cycled from Christchurch to Hawera (had to start before the actual anniversary, of course) and commemorated his genius by having a pint in every pub in town.

    "We're taking this bloody bicycle to Hawera! Well, I am anyway ... "

    I wrote a piece about it for the Listener in early 2003. They’ve yet to get back to me about the publication date (it was pending a decision by the editor last I heard) and I’m starting to wonder if they ever will.

    On the off-chance they do get back, you can insist on the 2003 word-rate. Not a lot of people know that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood, in reply to David Haywood,

    until recently I’d no idea of the history of the unification of Timaru... the issues with street alignment in the two halves

    So you're a roads scholar?

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1443 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Brown, in reply to David Haywood,

    I enjoyed that David.
    I worked in a cotton gin in Wee Waa in 69. I cant remember if they had matches in the toilet. It was a very stratafied society. Living in the gin camp, we didnt even get to see the farmers and families let alone meet them. There was quite a sizable local aboriginal population but only one employed in a workforce of 150.
    There was no local libarary so I used to go to the local store, steal a book, read it, take it back and exchange it for another one.
    I have no desire to return to find out if they have matches in the toilet or pay for the books!

    Piha • Since Nov 2006 • 19 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Emma Hart,

    the boy next door to us was literally stoned to death because he was disabled

    practical eugenics
    #blesstheprovinces

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to David Hood,

    roads scholar

    boom!

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    the 2003 word-rate

    you mean it has gone down since ?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Sacha,

    you mean it has gone down since ?

    In many cases, yes. It's a fucking bloodbath out there.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    gee, wonder why the industry has trouble.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

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