USED TO LIVE IN WELLINGTON”
But that Wellington has long gone. The
Victorian and Edwardian buildings which comprised the cityscape of
my childhood have mostly been replaced — to meet the demands of
earthquake regulations and urban New Zealand’s obsession with
Against the concrete and asphalt backdrop of James K. Baxter’s
“sterile whore of bureaucrats”, the young of post-war Wellington
played out their childhoods. The late forties and early fifties,
reeling from the effects a terrible war and the depression that was
its genesis, are usually painted as colourless and dull.
That isn’t how I see it.
Looking back, life for the young then was less standardised,
codified and certainly less cosseted. As one who has always been
discomforted by proscription, that suited me fine.
Playing Against the Wind doesn't pretend to be a window on
the history of those times, but rather a selective glimpse — through
a fence long ago replaced — at a ramshackle past.
"Beautifully written and very, very funny."
(Jim Sullivan, Sounds Historical, Radio NZ)
"All journalists are sure they have a book inside them but few ever
get it out, for which I’m sure we should mostly be thankful. But
let’s be grateful that Neville Martin managed it because his little
memoir of Wellington in the late 1940s and early 1950s is a gem. It
is worth reading every well-placed word. And I know how true it is
because I was there at precisely that time." (Gordon McLauchlan in
Beattie's Book Blog. Full text
• paperback • 77 pages • 25 illustrations
Click to read sample chapter