Choked with Change

‘Plus ça change’ – I could do with some of the ‘même chose’.  This week my life is full of change, and it’s wearying!

Increased gridlock on central city streets, because of more than 40 roadwork crews in the area.  When walking to work, with all the extra traffic, and motorists blocking intersections I have to cross on pedestrian crossings rather than my usual jaywalking.  On Tuesday I needed to take the car to work.  Getting to a Council Car Park was too difficult with new road closures, so I parked in South City Mall and moved after two hours.

In addition to traffic woes I had my home computer updated from Windows XP.  The work ones had already been done, and it’s useful to be using the same system as at work, except there are little differences, and I use other programmes at home.  Thank Goddess for my patient IT support man who spent more than two hours transferring my data to the new hard drive and ensuring things worked.

After he’d gone I turned to a relaxing game of Wordscraper, and found it wouldn’t ‘populate’ on Firefox.  Luckily it did work on Internet Explorer, and last night with advice from aforementioned IT support I downloaded Adobe Shockwave Player which has enabled Wordscraper on Firefox.  (I wonder if that would also work on my tablet?   Hmmm….)  My other relaxation is Freecell, and, shock, horror, it wasn’t there on Windows 7.  Dr Google told me how I could find it by typing the name into the startup bar, but it’s a different version that’s very hard on the eyes.  While it’s good for me to be limited to only one game at a time, I prefer to set my own limits, and am wary of following any of Dr Google’s suggestions for restoring the XP version.

At work today I needed to make a grant application online through the Department of Internal Affairs.  This entailed phoning their help desk twice.  The first time they explained their system doesn’t work on Firefox and I needed to use Internet Explorer.  The second time they explained that it doesn’t work on IE 10 and I needed to downgrade to IE9.  I would have thought that  a government department would be able to cope with several browsers!  With so many people upgrading computer systems at present I won’t be the only one feeling frustrated about this.

Earlier in the week I was at a Facebook workshop where we were introduced to a number of exciting internet tools, but I don’t have the time or energy to explore them.  Maybe at the weekend . . . . .

I hope, dear reader, you are managing to cope with any changes in yor life today.

“Sometimes it all seems rearranged
as though the whole of life has changed.”




Climbing cone

Road cones sometimes appear in peculiar places.

Tree cone

Tree cone

I wonder how this one got up so high?  Surely someone must have had a mechanical device to lift it to the top of this slender tree?  I took the photo on Friday, and when I came past today the cone was gone.  Luckily the sapling didn’t appear to have suffered at all.

“A cone so high, it seemed to me,
might cause some damage to the tree.”



Golden Glow

Our bedroom window looks out to this riverside tree with its wonderful autumn colour.

Autumn tree

Autumn tree

I agree with moves to plant more native trees and encourage native birds to return to the city, and I also love all the exotic flora which marks the change of seasons.  I hope we can continue to have both.

“A tree like this with golden glow
reminds us how the seasons go,”


Floribundant Fuchsia

This fuchsia by our back gate seems to have more flowers this year than ever before.



Fuchsias were discovered on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola about 1696 by the French.   My fuchsia is a hybrid called “Preston Guild”, and I planted it in 1998.  I remember buying it at The Warehouse as a tiny plant which cost me two dollars.   It’s somewhat constrained because it’s growing in a hollow in a brick wall, but this year it’s doing well.

Traditionally the fuchsia is the symbol of ‘confiding love’.  The fact that the flowers are often bright red or purple apparently makes them attractive to hummingbirds.  Sadly there are no humming birds in my garden.

“It is a most attractive flower
designed to grace a sylvan bower.”

Flag Facade

Sara Hughes is the artist who created this Wall of Flags in Cathedral Square.

Wall of Flags

Wall of Flags

It reminds me of Tibetan prayer flags, and certainly provides a lift in this corner of the Square.

“This coloured corner of the Square
- the site for a Tibetan prayer?”




Over the past few months we’ve completed a number of cottage maintenance projects.  These had been on hold while we waited for an EQC re-assessment that never happened.

Most projects were not earthquake related and things like getting a new fence make me feel that we are looking positively forward.

Our tired broken old fence

Our tired broken old fence


Bright new pickets

Bright new pickets

Since I blogged about the stress of Christchurch life a couple of friends have told me they are unsure how much longer they can bear to live here.  We have no intention of leaving, but would dearly love to have an inner city in which to dwell.

“Now we have a firm new fence
The future looks more bright than dense.”

Katherine, Anya Seton 2006 edition novel.jpg

I sought this book, which was written in 1954, because I’d heard a radio interview with Anne O’Brien who’s just published a new book about Katherine Swynford called “The Scandalous Duchess”.  Anne mentioned that Anya Seton’s novel was a source for her research.  It’s many years since I’ve read anything by Anya Seton, who’s a doyenne of the historical romance, although she preferred them to be called biographical novels.  “Katherine” kept me entranced for several evenings.

Katherine Swynford is a fascinating figure.  In the 14th century she was the mistress of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, and after he’d outlived two wives, they eventually married.  Their children were “legitimated” and were ancestors of the current British royal family.  Katherine’s sister was married to Geoffrey Chaucer, author of The Canterbury Tales.

I was intrigued by the suggestion that Katherine took comfort and and inspiration from meeting with Julian of Norwich.  I’m not sure whether this is historical fact and will await Anne O’Brien’s novel with great interest.  The library has it on order.

“The author skilfully uncovers
this tale of mediaeval lovers.”



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