Love the Limericks

The local Society of Authors offered a great programme of workshops today.  There was nothing specifically about blogging, and I chose sessions that looked interesting and were promoted as being interactive.

The first was “Writing Historical Novels” with Maxine Alterio.  I didn’t remember her name at all, but once she started talking I rembemred that I had read and enjoyed her “Lives we Leave Behind” a couple of years ago.  She told how she got published originally and spoke about her writing process.  It was very well done, plus she gave us some exercises to stir our creativity.

I then went to a session on poetry with Joanna Preston which was also stimulating. She asked us to write limericks to introduce ourselves to the group.  I had time to write three, and here they are:

I’m Ruth and I’m glad to be here
But speaking out loud can bring fearI don’t want to say
Much about me today
If asked, I would not volunteer.

A limerick about me, forsooth
Must I really divulge all the truth?
There’s details, you see
You don’t know about me
So I’ll just say that my name is Ruth.

A doggerel writer, that’s me
I don’t create best poetry
But spend lots of time
Counting rhythm and rhyme
And finish like this, as you see.


Big Brown Box

There’s a big brown box on Peterborough Street opposite the library.  It houses a FESTA project called Dematerialization, “an immersive experience  that links physical space and virtual reality.  Step inside a virtual performance that explores the relationship between technology and the human body.”  When you go in you are given a pair of goggles to cover one eye, and you watch a performance in 3D.  It’s amazing how a two dimensional screen becomes three dimensional.

Dematerialization's brown box.

Dematerialization’s brown box.

The experience takes just a few minutes, and it’s available (free) until 5pm today.  Why not check it out?

“On Peterborough you can see
a dancing trio in 3 -D”

Scintillating CityUps

CityUps was a wonderful display of glowing installations created by tertiary students to show their vision of a future Christchurch.  It was fun and free, and it was great to see families enjoying it all.  Here are some images:


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“Designs aglow were great to see
and fun for all the family.”

Tale of Two Cities

Mary Richardson, former CEO of the Methodist Mission, gave an address to the Social Justice in Communities Conference yesterday morning that was moving and inspiring.   She spoke of what has happened in Christchurch over the past four years and how there are now two cities.  One where there is economic growth and vast wealth, and another where people are sleeping in garages, and dying eight years earlier than they would have done prior to the earthquakes.

She quoted Harry Smith’s impassioned plea for social welfare and pointed out that wealth is not wisdom.

There is a way to eradicate poverty, and it’s persuasively put forward in this Ted Talk by Rutger Bregman.   The idea of a universal basic income was popular in the Values Party in 1970s and 80s.  Maybe its time has now come?  What do you think?

“When they gave cash to homeless folk
it proved to be a masterstroke.”



Remodelled Route

This morning I walked down High Street from Hereford to Tuam.  Everything has changed so much.  There’s a new grove of tree ferns on the corner of Cashel Street outside where the Holiday Inn used to be.

Tree ferns

Tree ferns

The Inn itself is now a large pool of water.

Lake Holiday Inn

Lake Holiday Inn

On the High/Manchester/Lichfield corner it’s good to see some trees have remained, and there’s a lovely bed of tulips and pansies.  They’ve gained a striped sheep, and across the road they’re busy erecting scaffolding ready for FESTA’s glowing installations.

Outside where Java Jive used to be

Outside where Java Jive used to be

“When walking down that street named High
there’s lots that’s new to catch the eye.”

Roses Relished

First rose

First rose

This Dublin Bay rose was the first to flower this summer in our cottage garden.  There’ll soon be many more, provided the aphids don’t get them.  I know you’re supposed to squash aphids with your fingers, but I’m not keen on doing this.  Another method is to hose them off, but our hose doesn’t quite reach to the front garden.  Maybe the birds will eat them all?

“The first rose is a welcome sight
which whets the aphids’ appetite.”


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.”



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