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The COVID-19 diaries: rain


The gun emplacements around Wellington are a curiosity – built in World War 2 on the tops of hills to defend from possible invasions. They seem almost a folly – who would bother to come so far to invade New Zealand? Also they seem eminently sensible – Wright’s Hill has such a good vantage point. They are now ruins to be opened to the public on ANZAC day, when you can wander through the tunnels.

I guess I have been thinking a lot about the war lately because my lifetime has been characterised by a constant background anxiety – the threat of the nuclear war, the threat of war in the Middle East, the threat of imminent climate collapse, the threat of earthquakes and tsunamis – but so far I haven’t had to radically change my lifestyle because of any of these threats. I try to do my bit to stem climate collapse and I compost, recycle and ride my bicycle, but because the rainforests continue to be clear-felled and big industry gets huge tax breaks and we keep consuming like crazy, it feels kind of tokenistic.

But now, here, we are doing something real, because the numbers of infected keep jumping everyday, and it feels strange and strangely normal, and the threat is still as out of sight as it was from the top of Wright’s Hill in the 1940s, but I know there are patients in Wellington Hospital only a few hills away and we are safe in the tunnels of our houses.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Colin permalink
    30/03/2020 10:28 am

    Hi, your work is a timely and salient reminder of the challenges we’re now all facing together. I came to your site from the Aro Video e-mail. What a GREAT find. Yes, it was a very wet weekend. But the plants were all desperate for the rain. Thanks for the fresh and personal perspective that’s different to all the standard news. Have already recommended your page to some friends. Cheers.

  2. 30/03/2020 10:35 am

    A least the rain won’t spoil walking today, great to see you out not being daunted by the weather. But the world does look bleak when it is hosing down. Hard to put a good spin on a day of rain even though we’ve been wanting rain for ages.


  3. Jennifer Phillipps permalink
    30/03/2020 10:57 am

    Thanks for your lovely images and stories…used to live in Chartwell and walk up the hill to look down on Makara so I know what it sort of looks like from your vantage point….a great place to view the city even in inclement weather! Jennifer

  4. Brent Putze permalink
    31/03/2020 9:33 am

    Me’s thinks it’s safer to go for a walk in the rain. Less people. What a wonderful stroll you have taken us on. Living in Palmy I learnt a little more about Wellington too.

    • Sarah Laing permalink*
      31/03/2020 10:01 am

      You may be right! It was diabolical on Sunday when the sun came out!

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