When, in the 1880s, my great-grandparents built themselves a house in the wilds of the Northern Wairoa, in a way it was easy. Having served the Crown in the New Zealand Land Wars , my great grandfather and his brother were allocated a plot of land each on which to make a home. The timber was there (as part of the Kauri timber milling industry the new arrivals were busy decimating the native forest) and I imagine they just got on with it.
The youngest of their ten children, my Great Aunty Ed, would later follow the family pattern and build herself a house in the bush on Auckland’s North Shore.
So I can’t imagine G-Man Gordon’s chagrin at having to wait around for instructions to proceed with tasks that have to be individually costed (three different quotes, of course), discussed at length in various committees, agreed and minuted before being passed on to him as the man in charge who just wants to get on with it. I don’t think either charm school or Dave’s finishing school could prepare one for that sort of frustration.
So my admiration of the job – and, incidentally, neighbours’ appreciation of a site that is quiet, orderly and clearly well managed – probably counts for not a lot.
But tomorrow is Day 100 and although our G-Man had hoped to be further advanced than this, I think he and his team deserve a round of applause while they dig in and prepare to resume battle.
As the greatest generals always have known, an army marches on its stomach, and as we at DCCA know, everything goes better with cake. So maybe a chocolate cake would be in order. And a friendly wave and message of congratulation if you happen to be passing – with or without the cake.