Lockdown’s first couple of days with cold rain and drizzle were a bit miserable, but then on Saturday we had possibly the most perfect weather I’ve ever seen in Wellington. There’s low-wind days, and then there is no-wind day. But the glassy mirror of the harbour at lunch time was just too perfect to resist any longer: it was a zero-wind day. As my local area is indeed Wellington’s local area, and the Fish of course relates to the waterfront, then I took the chance to get fully masked up and ventured forth. Saw a pied shag catch a flounder. Saw a fish nibble on a piece of seaweed 3 feet down. Saw a few people out and about, but all of them heavily masked.
Everything looks better with double vision. Crass rich man’s boat looks beautiful for once.
Even Te Papa looks beautiful, if you squint hard enough. What do you think of Te Papa? I’ve yet to hear from a single architect who likes it, apart (of course) from Pete Bossley (one of the original architects). I mean, I guess we can be thankful that it has a varied roofline and does not just look like the giant box that it really is.
It’s even possible that the awkward and slightly ungainly Site 10 building for PWC looks beautiful when doubled-up.
Oriental Bay looked gorgeous, of course, as usual. We are truly blessed to have such a feature in our city – the people who live there are doubly blessed! Rich people – don’t you just love them?
Here’s another boat looking gorgeous when seen through double vision
Once this town was full of these cranes. Now it is taking a knee, bowing down in the face of old age. Rust never sleeps. It reminds me of one of those giant walking machines from out of the Star Wars galaxy, far, far away.
I’ll leave you for today with a lovely pic of my favourite building, on my favourite waterfront. The quality of the water here is so good that the kina can grow to magnificent proportions. Yummy.
One thing that I reflect upon in lock-down is that how lucky we are to be having this lock-down at this time in history. Yes, it is boring and horrible and a dreadful nuisance, and for some people it is an absolute nightmare. But at the same time if you think of this event happening 20 years ago – even 10 years ago – maybe even 5 years ago, it would have been more of an economic disaster. Our firm has swiftly devolved back to the “working from home” mode that it had a year ago in lockdown number 1, without any issues at all it seems. No one needs to print out their work – we don’t need a suite of printers or plotters at home these days, nor in the office. We craft digitally and send out PDFs to clients and contractors alike. So does everyone else, in nearly all their industries, as long as you exist in a middle-class world. Not so lucky if your job exists as actual physical manual labour – nurse, carer, driver, rubbish collector, mechanic, plumber, builder, bartender, waiter, cook, chef, burger flipper. Some of those are deemed to be essential services and so they can continue – not all, but some, still have jobs to go to every day. Are they the lucky ones, who still have to go to work – or are we the lucky ones who do not?
But imagine if this was happening 20 years ago – how would we have coped with an absence of drawing boards and diazo printers and things having to go by mail, or in person. This is a quarantine (40 days, remember, a full forty days is what that means – and we had forty days last time, or more) and yet we can lock down without too much harm being caused. It is truly a pandemic cleverly crafted for the modern age, by god, or gaia, or by an innocent bat greeting a pangolin in a wet house in southern China. We would have been well up Shitt’s Creek if this happened in the 90s, when I used to have to undertake architecture by fax – the office had just the one fax machine, and incoming messages were printed in black and white on pure thermally responsive ink. Imagine trying to run a pandemic with everyone having to go into the office to use that fax. There was no internet, no home delivery, no one-day genomic sequencing, no knowledge of what was really going on. Donal t Rump was still just a bad joke and a bit part player in bad movies, with various Bushes in charge of the White House, and Taliban so recent on the scene that they were still thought to be a radical student organisation, not the demonic Islamists they have now become. But our economy would have collapsed in record time if we had had to lock down back then.
By comparison with earlier times, we have it lucky too – this really is a very mild pandemic. I know, I know, it may not seem like that – but remember that the 1918 influenza killed more people than the entire World War One, while the Black Plague took the lives of around a third – ONE THIRD !!! – of all the people living in Europe. We live in lucky times indeed, and a little lock-down never really hurt anybody.
The IRD computer system upgrade was apparently the main reason that the bailout money handout went so well last time – compare and contrast with the organisational ineptitude of the US
Yet still no at-home test kits, no monoclonal antibodies option which would suit more people with compromised systems
Also some weird aversion to the spit test
It could be worse, true – but it also could be better