Whanganui Midweek - 2021-11-24


Concert good for the soul


At a time when half the world is angry with the other half, and laughter is too often either cruel or uncalled for; when people deliberately hurt others because they can’t think of a gentler response; when generations call each other names and blame each other for all the ills of the world . . . it was so nice to enjoy an afternoon of music. In the Concert Chamber of the Whanganui War Memorial Centre on Sunday afternoon, 18 young people and their teacher, Marie Brooks, delighted an audience of friends and family with a concert of piano and song. From beginners to seasoned performers, the standard was high and audience appreciation obvious. There were people there with knowledge of the performing arts and music in general, and they all loved the show and the quality of the performances. There were others who came to see how well their offspring were doing and to see others older and more experienced, be their inspiration. To relax — in a socially distanced way — and see all these young people give their nervous all for the audience’s benefit says a lot about everyone. The audience, for taking the time to come and support their family member or friend, and to find that they actually had a good time as well. The performers, for facing their fear and sharing their talent in recital or song, and receiving the prize, our applause, for their efforts. And to Marie, for a year’s hard work culminating in a big afternoon of encouragement, accompaniment and some tears. Just for a while, the world and all its horrors was far away, and we were enclosed in the warm embrace of music. There was no better place to be, and I am grateful for the privilege of being able to write about it here. To all of Marie’s students: thank you for your wonderful performances and please, wherever you go and whatever you do in the years ahead, take the music with you. I have a feeling you’re going to need it. Delivery people wanted Midweek is looking for reliable delivery people to get Midweek to Whanganui letterboxes. Consider it a lovely walk in the fresh air . . . with pay. If this is something you think you’d like, give Ron a call on 022 303 5898. If there’s no answer, leave a message with your name and phone number. Feel like protesting? Feel like protesting? Now seems the time and there are plenty of marches, meetings and demonstrations to hitch a ride with. In Europe, hordes of unvaccinated are facing the wrath of governments, who, in return, are facing the wrath of the unvaccinated. As vehicles burn, shops get looted and police exchange fire with protesters, those who fear for the planet and climate change must be wringing their hands at the destruction and black smoke pollution produced by the riots. While the protest calendar is taken up with those angry with governmental mandates and vaccinations, when and where do climate change protests take place? In America, a man driving an SUV killed five people and injured dozens when he drove into a Wisconsin parade. This is how stupid things are getting. Across the globe police are taking measures normally reserved for insurrection, as they use tear gas, rubber bullets and high pressure hoses to quell disturbances, leaving injuries and more anger in their wake. Looking for good news — and I don’t mean trite entertainment gossip — around the media sites is a mission and often fruitless. No wonder it seems like the “end times” to many, as dystopia becomes the norm and happiness, or even peace of mind, is denied to many. If ever there was a time to use the phrase, ‘everything in moderation’, it is now, but I fear no one is listening, just waiting their turn to march, shout, wave banners and break something, whatever their reason for protest, and whatever “side” they are on. And don’t think it can’t happen here. It can and will. Petrol prices While the world is restless, we are taking our eye off the things that used to matter. Remember when we’d get upset about rising petrol prices and we’d demand answers from fuel companies? Well, check out current prices. The trouble is, we’re too busy trying to make our complaints about other things be heard, that fuel prices have been put in the “save it for later or not at all” box. We’d better get to it soon, before we can’t afford to drive to the petrol station. Grass is getting long Has anyone noticed how long the public lawns are getting before a mower comes along and leaves the place looking like a baler needs to follow? Edges are getting ignored and long grass by the river is creeping towards the path. Come on guys, small dogs are getting lost in the long grass and Whanganui is not looking much like the beautiful city it purports to be.


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