Watching in amazement at the North Koreans with their state sanctioned out-pouring of grief, more artificial but no less weird than the Brits did when Lady Diana died, it seems an appropriate point on which to bid farewell to this quite frankly disaster-filled year, to wish you all a Happy holiday break, and to get my togs on and go fishing myself. The proper time for Santas, reindeers, snowflakes and Yuletide greetings is of course in the midst of winter, as we’ve said before, whereas this is more of a time for sitting back with a few tinnies or a nice bottle of bubbly on the deck of the bach…

…or the doorstep of your local cafe, or if you are in Nelson, on 5m of mud enclosing your land. Personally I wouldn’t have thought that an extra 5m of someone else’s best top-soil would be something that you would want to get rid of – just sprinkle it with some new grass seed, and you’ve got years of fresh organic fill to play with. But what do I know – I’ve just a rather fishy character. Images, by the way, are courtesy of someone very keen on fishing – an anonymous recreational fisher – many thanks. At top, and at the end of this post, are my best p’shop images yet – perhaps not good enough for 60’s taste, but I’m fairly chuffed! Keep on drinking the Fish oil!

Holidays huh? While this (above) is what I think we all want to be doing, the reality is that for quite a bit of the world, and certainly some people in Wellington, we’re instead going to be doing a bit more of this one (below) – an image of which I dedicate to the hard-working people of NZTA as they go about their Christmas demolitions, in which to bring us more roads. If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a million times: “traffic expands to fit the space available”. Does this image from China California not show you that it is a futile exercise to build more roads? :

So: a pause for thought then, and a pause for fresh breathe. Despite our impassioned plea for new writers to join the team, no offers have been forthcoming so far. Should the Fish go on? Should Maximus go on? Should I / we / they / the Eye of the Fish continue to write, occasionally, on matters urban, urbane, and sometimes mundane? Should my peculiar predilection for particularly pungent puns and aching allotments of anachronistic alphabetical alliteration continue on, or should I just pack it up and call it a day? It’s not an onerous task, nor an odourous one, and in most cases we have little or no idea who the other writers are – on occasion’s we bump into other Fish on street corners, and exchange knowing glances across crowded rooms or on sunny waterfronts. Perhaps that is our undoing, as the happy folk at the Wellingtonista appear able to continue, semi-sporadically, but at least their band of merry (literally – the Ista’s that drink together, write together) munching, musical muggles have kept it up, so to speak, for an impressive 5 years or more.

Anonymity too has been both a joy and a strain to the writers of the Fish, but one which I personally have enjoyed – tellingly, most of my friends neither think it is me, nor think that my talents are capable of such (im)perfection in written form. Still others have remarked that the column is not so much a piece of Fish as it is just vicious scuttlebutt, not worthy of reading. Ouch, that hurts – but perhaps they are right, and I should not write. I’m not your average 14 year old skinny school girl writing plaintively of lost loves and whimpering boyfriends, but a more mature buxom fish, capable of great things and great writings – a scuttlefish perhaps, rather than scuttlebutt, or clusterfuck, a Charles Dickens of our times perchance, but born in an era where there perchance there are too many written words winging worldwide to be worth another winter writing…

If no offers are forthcoming, then perhaps it will be a case of auf wiedershen, pet – or perhaps over the summer break my silvery skin will once again ripple with scaley joy and with a fresh wet flipper, the Fish will write again. Wishing you a very happy relaxing holiday, love: the Fish.

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