The Kate Sheppard Memorial has been a traditional gathering place for Christchurch feminists since 1993. Sadly it was fenced off after February 2011, and I was pleased to learn a few weeks ago that there were plans for Mayor Lianne Dalziel to liberate the memorial on International Women’s Day, Saturday 8 March. An e-mail notice announced that this would happen at 10am, that we should bring a white flower to toss in the river, and that Lianne would be putting out a press statement about it.
I saw no sign of a press statement, but I duly turned up at 10am clutching a bag of white alyssums, the only white flowers in my garden at present. It was wonderful to see the Kate Sheppard Memorial released at last.
Kate Sheppard Memorial
There was one other woman there, who’d had the notice from the UN Feminists, but no sign of any liberation ceremony. We did think the Memorial looked as though it was tilted slightly towards the river and weren’t sure whether it was like that in the olden days. After waiting a few minutes we decided the floods must have caused cancellation (as has happened with other events, e.g. Culture Galore), and we tossed our flowers in the river anyway.
Tossing flowers in the river
“It still was really good to see
Kate Sheppard and her friends now free.”
Posted in Central Christchurch, Rituals & Spirituality, Seasons & Cycles | Tagged celebration, Christchurch, International Women's Day, Kate Sheppard, Kate Sheppard Memorial, Lianne Dalziel | 11 Comments »
In Cathedral Junction there’s now an “Inconvenience Store”. This week they’re selling items that money can’t buy.
Advertising sign at the Inconvenience Store
If you want to buy something you have to create something to leave in its place. Here are some of the goods available:
Goods for sale
“It is the latest way to trade.
you must leave something that you’ve made.”
Posted in Central Christchurch | Tagged Christchurch, Inconvenience Store, shopping | 2 Comments »
Some might not call our recent storm an atrocity, but the weather was definitely atrocious. This morning I felt so grateful for dry paths, sunshine, and a breeze that was gentle. For those coping with sodden homes the fine day must have seemed surreal.
I hesitated to take my usual path through Latimer Square because I suspected it would still be muddy, and found it was blocked anyway. Part of the path was barricaded because a large branch had come down from a tree.
When I passed again in the afternoon a team from Treetech was busy munching up all the debris. I wish everyone’s mess from the storm could be as easily disposed of.
“If it was just one fallen tree
how easy cleaning up would be.”
Posted in Central Christchurch | Tagged Christchurch, Latimer Square, trees, weather | 6 Comments »
Yesterday morning there was strong wind. Later the rain came, and stayed! It rained continuously for 36 hours, and the city’s damaged infrastructure simply couldn’t cope. The Avon and Heathcote Rivers both overflowed and many streets and houses have been flooded.
For various reasons Stephen dropped me in Cambridge Terrace near the Worcester Street Bridge this morning. I thought I’d be fine to walk the few blocks from there to work, but it wasn’t quite that easy.
Avon River between Worcester and Gloucester Streets.
Cambridge Terrace and the riverbank were flooded, so I crossed the Worcester Street Bridge, only to find that the other end of that was flooded too. My only option was to climb along the brick fence, but then I was faced with a deep pool that I had to wade across. Some people were taking off shoes and socks, but I had ankle boots and an umbrella to manage, so I simply rolled up my trousers and waded through to where I could climb onto a low brick wall and walk along it.
This lake is actually the grassy area beside the Scott statue.
The rest of the way to work was wet, but manageable. I put a heater on to dry my boots and socks, and the internet and phones went off. Apparently three bars of the heater was too much for the power board. Luckily it was easily reset, I confined myself to one bar of the heater, and padded around in bare feet for a few hours until my footwear dried out.
By home time the rain had stopped and much of the flooding had subsided. We are lucky that our cottage is on higher ground. Some neighbouring streets had been impassable because of water. In other areas hundreds of houses have been flooded. Many of these are the homes of people still awaiting earthquake repairs and fighting with insurance companies. Having to make yet another claim will surely be too much for some. This week’s flooding is apparently a one in a hundred years event, and I wonder how long it will be till next time.
“The rain came down, and down, and down
and water surged all over town.”
Posted in Central Christchurch, Seasons & Cycles | Tagged Christchurch, Heathcote Rivers, rain, weather, Worcester Street Bridge | 17 Comments »
I wrote the first post on this blog on 5 March 2006, eight years ago. The infinity symbol ‘∞’ is like an ’8′ on its side. Does this mean I’ll go on blogging into infinity? Or maybe that I need a lie down (and a cup of tea)?
I had hoped my blog stat’s might read 150,000 by this anniversary. I’m 1,790 short, and should make the milestone by the end of this month. Today it’s pouring with rain for the third day in a row – not much inspiration for blogging there.
“Eight years is a good length of time
especially when my posts have rhyme.”
Posted in Blogging & Techno thingies | Tagged anniversary, blogging | 3 Comments »
I’ve joined a book discussion group for the first time. I love to read, but have never previously had the opportunity to regularly discuss a book with others.
Our first book choice was “Still Alice” by Lisa Genova. We’ve got a list of Discussion Questions, but I decided I’d read the book right through first, without considering the questions.
This novel is the story of a woman, a respected Harvard Professor, who discovers at 50 years she has early-onset Alzheimers disease. The story is endorsed by the Alzheimers Association and gives a vivid portrayal of what it’s like to lose your memory and your identity. It’s poignant and absorbing, yet not depressing.
Having read and enjoyed it, I’ll now have to re-read at least part so I can answer the questions. Or maybe I’ll just hope I can remember enough to join in the discussion. I’ve heard these book groups can sometimes be more social than literary. I read for pleasure and relaxation, and I’m not sure I want to carefully dissect the book afterwards. I’d be interested to know how other book group members have approached their discussions.
“Should I have kept the questions near
and noted when an answer’s clear?”
Posted in Books I've read | Tagged Alzheimers disease, Books | 9 Comments »
I’m one of the 5% of people in Canterbury who walk to work, according to the latest census. A recent Guardian article pointed out: “There is, in the connection with the physical world of setting one foot down in front of the other, for miles at a time, a particular way of releasing mental energy that can amount almost to euphoria……. Walking reconnects with real space and time.” I’ve nearly always walked to work. Out of seven permanent jobs, there were only two where I needed to use a car to get to work. At one of those two I was told when I started that they’d be moving into the central city, and when that didn’t eventuate I left for another job that was within walking distance of home.
My current workplace is just two kilometres from home. It takes me about 25 minutes to walk there, and I enjoy the exercise and air. How do you get to work?
“To get to work I like to walk
and sometimes those I meet will talk.”
Posted in Central Christchurch | Tagged Christchurch, walking | 5 Comments »