Holly Walker - Title stealer, Dunedin

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Done Eden

I live in Dunedin. Today, lunching like the lady of leisure that I am now that my Critic gig is over, I got sunburnt. Nothing serious, mind, but enough to signify that the seasons have changed. Yes, Dunedinites are currently enjoying the customary two weeks of glorious weather that the city turns on every year without fail during the University exam period.

It's pretty clever, really. During the first two weeks of the first semester, and the last two weeks of the second, Dunedin is sunny and idyllic, full of scantily-clad first year students frolicking happily. It's cruel for those trying to study, but it serves an important purpose: it ensures that generations of Otago graduates will remember Dunedin as being, sure a little chilly at times, but pretty darn great, because, as we all know, it's the first and last impressions that count. Nevermind that it's cold as all shit all year - give us some sun and we'll forgive all, break out the mini-skirts, jandals, crates in the front yard, and make happy memories of Dunedin to take forth into the world and impart to our friends and family.

It's marketing not even the University could buy - although with all the money they do have, I can't believe they still haven't ditched the ridiculous "Get over it" campaign. It was new when I was a fresher (and, I might add, was almost enough to convince me not to move here) five years ago. When your initial target audience has graduated, it's time to invest in a new campaign. Just don't hire the same marketing guys as the DCC. If I'm over "Get over it", I'm frankly apalled at whatever that "Move to Dunedin" ad set at the airport is supposed to be about. If anyone has any idea what they were getting at, please do let me know. Interestingly, a little bird told me that the DCC actually realised their folly and tried to have the ad pulled, but it was too late. I don't know if this is true, but it certainly wouldn't surprise me. I just want to know how it ever got as far as it did.

My point? Well, I've been musing on this fair city and its attributes of late, since at the end of the year I am to depart its green pastures (in the footsteps all three other FT bloggers. Coincidence? I think not) for the windy charms of Wellington. And, in weather like this, I know I really will miss it, and will happily perpetrate the idyllic myth to all and sundry. Plus, I saw that I had already been welcomed (in superlative style) by Hamish, and I couldn't think of anything else to blog about.