Passing Penguins

Melting Penguins

Melting Penguins

This mural on the corner of Oxford Terrace and Worcester Boulevard makes a statement about climate change.  By street artists, BMD, it shows penguins marching towards the edge of the ice, and melting as they go.  It was commissioned as part of the recent Ice Fest, which focussed on Antarctica.

“We need to combat climate change,
else all our world will re-arrange.”


The Green Room

The Green Room

The chair (Flora) and ottoman (Otto) were created from china donated by hundreds of people after the Christchurch earthquakes.  They have been lovingly mosaicked by a team of volunteers called Crack’d for Christchurch.  This Green Room garden at 599 Colombo Street was created by Greening the Rubble from plants salvaged from the residential red zone.  The Green Room project is a wonderful celebration of local history showing that what is broken can be rebuilt.

“We all had china break and crack
and here we get some pieces back.”


Heritage Hotel

To mark Heritage Week there was a display of vintage cars outside the grand old Heritage Hotel.

Vintage cars outside the Heritgae Hotel

Vintage cars outside the Heritgae Hotel

The Hotel, built in 1909 as a Government Departmental Building, is one of the few Category One listed buildings left in the central city.  Because it had been strengthened in the 1990’s it withstood the earthquakes well.  We were given a tour of the inside including this magnificent staircase.

Inside the Heritage Hotel

Inside the Heritage Hotel

The basement of the Hotel houses a gym and swimming pool.  Pre-earthquake I walked past on my way to work each morning, and could smell the chlorine from the pool.

After the hotel tour I walked home through New Regent Street and enjoyed the retro fun and music.

Musicians in New Regent Street

Musicians in New Regent Street

“It is a Christchurch privilege
to have a week of heritage.”

Payout Protest?

This installation caught my eye yesterday on Waimairi Beach.  Do you think it’s a message to a certain insurance company?

AMI sculpture

AMI sculpture

It’s made from driftwood tied together with seaweed.

“I couldn’t help but wonder why
they’d sculpted this clear A.M.I.”

Sharing the Shower

Yesterday in the shower I noticed a small black something in the corner.  I couldn’t see it clearly because I didn’t have my glasses on and there was water everywhere, but I suspected it was a spider.  By the time I’d finished showering it had gone down the drain.

This morning when I went into the shower I could clearly see a spider with long legs hovering high up in the corner.  I wondered whether she was looking for her lost mate.  I showered quickly, and she was still there when I’d finished, but by this afternoon she’d disappeared.

What will await me in tomorrow’s shower?

To quote an American Quaker:

“If you want to live and thrive
let a spider run alive.”

My Myth

Our Story Circle this week focussed on ‘Place’ which reminded me of a myth I wrote years ago for a farewell ritual:

The Journey

Once upon a time there was a woman called Elaine who lived in the city of the north. She had many good friends, and she lived in a house with her family, and her birds and animals. Every day she would go out in the garden and look at the flowers; the roses, and the pansies, and the poppies, and she would be aware of the presence of the Goddess, and feel very safe and secure in her domain.

But one day she started to feel a call within her, and something told her that it was time to leave her family and friends, and go on a long journey to the city of the south, the place from which her foremothers had come.

“No,” she thought. “I can’t leave here. I have all my friends and familiar things around me. How can I leave all this, and go somewhere where no-one knows me – leave my dear flowers and my beloved animals? The journey is too dangerous, and I may lose my way.

But the call became more insistent until she found it difficult to think of anything else, and she knew she had to go.

So she made plans to leave. She gave away many of her special things. She even dug up some of the flowers in her garden and gave them to her friends, who planted them in their gardens, so that parts of her home were scattered throughout the north city, with people she loved.

There were a few things she couldn’t bear to part with, so she wrapped them very carefully, and put them in her backpack ready for the journey.

Then she held a ceremony to say goodbye to her friends. This was a sad time, but her friends gave her a special card, with gifts from each of them, which she placed carefully in her backpack, and off she set.

She travelled a long way, sometimes on roads she vaguely remembered, sometimes through places that were quite strange. She crossed the sea and came to the mountains. As she gazed at their magnificent snow-capped peaks she felt strongly the presence of the Earth Mother and knew that she was nearly home.

Finally she came to the plains, and there before her was the city of the south, the place she could just barely remember from her childhood. She hastened her steps, and came to the house that she knew was to be hers. She unpacked her things and spread them around her, remembering her dear friends in the north, and wondering how she would manage without them.

Then she felt something say: “Look outside”, and she went into the garden. There were her familiar roses, and pansies, and poppies. But there was something else as well. A beautiful clump of snowdrops hung their white bells beside the path – a flower she had never seen in the north. And, as she gazed at them she knew the Goddess was with her still, and she would be happy in the south.

“This myth has deep meaning for me
Christchurch is where I’m meant to be.”

Privileged Parking

The new Forte Health Hospital has special parking places in Peterborough Street for cars which are fuel efficient or used for carpooling.

Special car parks

Special car parks

This is a great idea – maybe others will follow suit.  I wonder whether these are for Forte staff or do patients carpool?  I didn’t notice any bike racks.  Perhaps they’re in another part of the grounds?

“If you’ve a fuel efficient car
these parking spots are where you are.”


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