April 13th, 2012


"When I was a lad, we used to sleep in cardboard box on the M1"

Funny, my subjective experience of this year's summer seems to be different from almost everyone else's. I keep hearing all over the place about how we didn't really get one, how the weather was cold and wet, how it never really got going. Yet for me, it's one of the best summers I've experienced in years. I've been thinking about factors that may have influenced my opinion.

1. Good shearing run - after a 3-week holdup of rain in late October, I had a straight run through in which I didn't get rained off again until after Christmas. This is unusually good.
2. The house is warm - it's only in the last week or so that I've started wearing anything more than a singlet in the house. Compared with every other house I've lived in, feeling warm all the time is really noticeable. This probably improved my view of all temperatures because the percentage of time I've spent feeling cold is relatively small.
3. Spending New Year in Sydney. I'm told the New Year period was foul in New Zealand, almost all the festivals got cancelled as a southerly storm wiped out summer for a few days. In Sydney it was 22+ every day, sunny with a light breeze. What can I say? TIMING.
4. Dr Wheel's return. Made everything seem sunnier.

So yeah, the rest of the country is probably right and the summer was probably crap, but for me it was still one of the summeriest summers I recall since moving here. I can't wait for a really nice one!

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So yeah. I'm not sure that blaming the landlords is really helpful in this situation. I'm sure there are some people who are taking advantage of the situation for their own gain, but I'm equally sure that the majority of them are people who don't even live in New Zealand, you know? The things that are influencing this are not happening at an individual level, and Mr Brownlee, we are not acting with perfect information and I don't think you can really call us rational actors, not when one person's benefit is another million in their pocket against the other person who just doesn't want to freeze to death - especially when the constraints on the latter reduce their choices to zero.

And I can't help but wonder why the government could afford $1.775 billion to bail out South Canterbury Finance and $500million for the Rugby World Cup, but doesn't seem to be able to stump up some cash to subsidise rent/insurance/training/materials costs until the building industry gets enough momentum to sustain the growth it needs to fix this.

Gosh. When did I get passionate about building?