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Holiday feeling fades as most back to work

Opinion Piece

The real working year begins in earnest for most of us today.

While the Christmas/New Year holiday period officially ended on Wednesday morning, many took the remaining three days of last week off to extend the break. That’s not to mention those who are still taking their annual holidays, with campers spread all through the district . . . while the New Zealand Surfing Championships this week are a distraction to be savoured.

It was a holiday period with all the usual highs and lows.

The main black spot was the roads with the national toll of 12, while seven less than a year ago, taking the road toll for 2017 to a worrying total of 345, the highest for a decade. The extra $22.5 million the Government has earmarked for highway safety is much needed.

As always, the weather played its part. While it was not perfect here it was better than many areas, and a lot better than other parts of the country swept by a major storm.

It was disappointing to see the ASB women’s tennis classic, for which director Karl Budge had assembled a world-class field, wiped out for two days but at last a final was reached. A fascinating men’s event looms.

Gisborne’s major festival Rhythm and Vines was a success again, despite international media coverage of a woman who had been groped responding to her attacker.

There were other successes like a fishing contest for kids that saw the river walkway lined.

It was not such a happy holiday for US President Donald Trump with the release of Michael Wolff’s book Fire and Fury, which he tried to have banned. Claims he expected to lose the election while his wife wept, and that all those around him question his mental stability and fitness for office, were not welcomed.

Never mind, at least some of us will be facing the new year in greater comfort with Gisborne District Council staff progressively moving into their brand new administration building.

For many of the rest it is just a case of hanging on for a three-day break on Auckland Anniversary Weekend. Cheer up, it’s only three weeks to wait.