Some of our best childhood memories are made with friends in playgrounds around our homes.
I grew up just around the corner from my school (Lynmore Primary) so spent many after-school hours back at the school playground.
And just like today, two of the best playgrounds in Rotorua were at Kuirau Park and the Lakefront.
A newspaper story this week about the reformed traction engine that used to be part of the play equipment at Kuirau Park brought many of those playtime childhood memories flooding back.
I do remember playing on that engine as a boy, and in fact I'm pretty sure I do have some video footage of it as well.
It would have been filmed on the good old 8mm camera by my dad back in the day; it was so much more difficult back then.
Funny how stories like this can spark memories.
I all of a sudden remembered the bucking horse that used to seat about four or five kids (also at Kuirau Park) and the massive wooden pirate ship that was at the lakefront ... that was so much fun, until you were inside it and realised that someone had been sleeping in it overnight, and also using it as a toilet.
Oh the memories.
There was plenty of uproar when that was removed, with many people moaning about the terrible volcanic playground idea. Sound familiar?
On a related note, last weekend my wife Katie and I went for a wander down at the Lakefront to see how things were progressing. And I must say I was impressed.
It is really starting to take shape now, ou can see the vision coming together and why we should be so excited and proud of what we will have as a showpiece of the city.
I can't wait for it to be done, so we can all enjoy it. And the playground too!
While the last year has been pretty crazy, I feel that this week for me has had many elements that show we are getting back to a sense of normal in Rotorua.
I love my radio job, and a big part of that is involvement with the community and events, which for obvious reasons eased a bit in 2020.
But this week I have been at the first get-together for this year's locals in Harcourt's Dancing For Hospice, hosted the launch of the Tompkins Wake Rotorua Business Awards, been in a meeting to discuss the next Ronald McDonald Family Retreat Supper Club, and then this weekend will be on the mic at the Rotorua Marathon.
Four iconic Rotorua events syncing for me in the space of six days. I love it.
Imagine winning a brand new car ... imagine winning a whole lot of cash ... imagine winning both!
This week on The Hits we have launched 'Cash n Car' and we're giving you the chance to win a brand new MG ZS Essence (valued at $27,490+ORC).
Todd (the boss at The Hits) has also thrown a heap of money in the back of the car.
The first person to guess exactly how much down to the last cent and it is all yours; the cash and the car!
There are four chances each weekday, just listen for the clues and then the cue-to-call at 8.30am, 11.30am, 3.30pm, and 5.30pm.
* Paul Hickey is the host of the local Rotorua show on The Hits Rotorua weekdays between 9am and 3pm. Listen on 97.5FM or download the iHeartRadio app. Follow The Hits Rotorua and Paul on Facebook and Instagram.