On the way to the northern suburbs of Wellington, on route to the southern suburbs of Porirua, sits the bustling suburbopolis of Tawa. Famous for its great Tawa trees (sadly, I think, all chopped down), as well as for it’s Dressmart shopping outlet (designer brands at great discount prices), Tawa is also home to a prison (though it doesn’t like to talk so much about that one). I think it is a women’s prison – it looks, if you squint your eyes enough, as if it is a budget form of country chateau, albeit with more barbed wire. Recently though, the prison appears to have made an escape, a bid for freedom, breaking out from its hillside enclave and leaping across to sit at the edge of the motorway.
It is a little hard to see when you’re whizzing by at 99.95kmh, but the tall concrete precast wall panels are criss-crossed with strap marks, as if it has been beaten badly with a whip, like that old bad Aussie women’s prison drama with the tough old sheilas in the lockup (what was it called again? H ? H-block? the L-word? I can’t remember).
Getting closer to it, however, on a return journey, we can see the giant slashing across the panels looking even more like a corner of the Telecom logo that besplatters our public telephone boxes. Luckily they seem to be building a sentry tower right in the corner, looking balefully out over the corner, ready to hunt down those escaped crims, should they escape their life of punishment, and chose to go shopping instead.
Oh, the irony of it all. Just for kicks, the Corrections Department have decided to make it look just a little bit like a supermarket, so that the lags can pick up a cart and pretend to go on a big weekly spendup. Ho ho ho, so droll….
That would be “Prisoner” or “Prisoner in Cell Block H” in those territories exposed to Patrick McGoohan’s Prisoner of Portmeirion.
Funnily enough the Coundown Colditz under construction in Newtown has similar crosshatching in its tilt slabs. What can this mean?
Correct. This is the new Countdown supermarket. An unusual development in an area that nobody goes. New World bought the old Woolworths site, and are redeveloping the supermarket there.
Sometimes I really enjoy the opportunity to write a post that brings out the best in you all….
In other Wellington news… A steel frame has been attached to the facade of Il Casino in the last day or so, and the inside of the building has been pretty much demolished. Redevelopment of the site has been pending for years. I assume they’re actually going to start work on something now.
And revisiting an earlier post, here is an enlightening interview of an Apple fan camped outside an Apple store: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BMsLArefSOw
Anyone else wishing that Ikea could have put a big bulky blue behemoth there, instead of Progressive’s cold cumbersome concrete Countdown?
Not just you – me too ! It’s about time that Welly caught the Ikea fever….
I am a long-standing Ikea aficionado. But, bearing in mind that Auckland never seems to quite reach the population threshold for Ikea, I don’t imagine we’ll see one around here.
On the other hand, there is a cost-effective middleman service operating through Auckland which will buy (presumably at retail), ship and on-sell Ikea items at a price which still beats the likes of Freedom and Nood (at least when they are not on semi-permanent sale). You simply use the on-line Ikea Australia catalogue to source what you fancy.
Thanks Starkive – I’m going to order me some of that flat pack stuff for my deep underground lair…
As an update on the walls of the Prison / Countdown supermarket, the walls are now being painted – first white (presumably undercoat), and now black (charcoal, no doubt), with bright red slash marks from the last whipping…. its turning out to be quite masochismic for a building…