TOPICS: Activities aplenty  in November rain

HERE’S the scenario.
Nanjing Night Net

You have friends staying from overseas, or interstate, or Sydney. You’ve looked forward to showing off the Hunter, your home, with its beaches and vineyards and urban cool, and did you tell them about the coffee? You did? Just checking.

But it’s raining, like it did yesterday and it’s meant to today. That’s speared your plans. As Guns N’ Roses once observed, kind of, it’s hard to see the Hunter in the cold November rain.

So what to do in a wet week, without resorting to laser tag at Charlestown Square?

Learn stuff at Newcastle Museum

The real fun lurks in the science wing. Hoist a car off the ground with a rope, or put your nephew in his place in the speed gun-timed tennis ball throw. Handy hint: limber up.

Lace up at Hunter Ice Skating Stadium

So your guests won’t find the romance of the rink at New York’s Rockefeller Center. Who cares? With fewer people on the ice, promotions like Friday Sk8 Night and the chance to catch a North Stars hockey game, you’ll feel like you’re in a winter wonderland designed by Torvill and Dean.

Dip-netting in the Hunter Wetlands

Just you, the birds and whatever ends up squirming in your net. Bring a raincoat.

A spot of culture at the Lock-Up

The current artists in residence are Paul Howard and David Matthews. One’s curated projects for the Tate Modern, the other’s written for Esquire and The Guardian.

Laser tag at Strike Bowling, Charlestown Square

Oh, all right. To quote Saul in Breaking Bad, drum roll, please… it’s laser tag! Rollicking fun in the Hunter’s retail hub.

There you are – a list guaranteed to speed up a wet week. Got a wet-weather tip? Let us know.

It makes horse sense

IF New York gets rid of the horse-drawn carriages that clip-clop through Central Park, can Newcastle have them?

Hear us out. New York’s new mayor Bill de Blasio, who sounds like a bit of a killjoy, has vowed to end the tradition ‘‘within the first week on the job’’. Meanwhile, our city’s rethinking its transport.

So alongside the blimp network devised by eight-year-old Oscar Wood (Topics, November 6), we propose a horse interchange at Wickham, Broadmeadow or wherever the rail line ends.

Imagine a twilight trot through Civic Park, past Bar Beach, or even down Hunter Street. Kids could arrive at their school formals in them, instead of Hummers. The council would find the streets brimming with free compost.

Hemp conspiracy

WE asked for conspiracy theories (Topics, November 11). Were you followed? Then come in, sit down, have a tin-foil hat.

Brian Casey, of Lemon Tree Passage, opened our eyes to the ‘‘hemp conspiracy’’. It goes like this, according to a website called Higher Perspective.

‘‘Marijuana is not dangerous. Pot is not harmful to the human body or mind … However, marijuana is very much a danger to the oil companies, alcohol, tobacco industries, and a large number of chemical corporations.’’

Lots of goods used to be made from hemp, you see, until big business with an interest in replacing it with their own products bankrolled a smear campaign against poor Mary Jane*.

‘‘It’s fair-dinkum, I think,’’ says Brian.

This all began with Topics’ bafflement at the opposition to fluoridated water in the Byron Shire, on the grounds that it’s mass medication.

Kevin Butters, of Lambton, thinks the good folk of Byron are indulging in mass daftness.

‘‘Isn’t that where the locals won’t immunise their kids?’’ says Kevin.

‘‘To the best of my knowledge most toothpaste contains fluoride, so what do they brush their teeth with?’’

* slang for marijuana

DON’T FRET: There are plenty of things to do in Newcastle when the heavens unleash.

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