Mobile Memorial

By the intersection of the Kilmore and Madras Street bridges a sculpture was erected to honour the firemen killed in the Twin Towers on 11 September 2001.

Fire Fighters' Memorial

Fire Fighters’ Memorial

It’s made from twisted steel from the Towers, and this month it was ‘de-blessed’ and removed so repairs to the Kilmore Street bridge can be carried out.

Empty memorial site

Empty memorial site

The memorial has been placed on the site of the Oxford Terrace Baptist Church, surrounded by a fence topped with barbed wire.

Memorial behind fence

Memorial behind fence

The repairs are expected to take two months, then the memorial will be returned, and re-blessed.

“It’s been removed from bridge-side base
and taken to another place.”

Stripey Sheep

Striped sheep

Striped sheep

Colourful sheep have moved into various sites in the central city.  These ones are on the corner of Hereford and Colombo Streets.  They were created by Christophe Machet, are made of heavy reflective plastic, and manufactured in Ashburton.  They are intended to act as safety baa-rriers and provide seating.  What fun!

“Could this one be a ewe or ram?
Or maybe it’s a stripey lamb?”


Leaf-ing Latimer

As I worked to work yesterday I was aware that this was the last time I’d be doing so through Latimer Square.  From next week our office will be in a different situation and I’ll be walking a different route.  The Latimer Square trees are coming in to their spring leaves which are a magnificent shade of green.

Last walk through Latimer Square

Last walk through Latimer Square

I met a friend who offered to take my photo (haven’t quite got into ‘selfies’ yet).  Further along the way I noticed these blossom trees in an otherwise dull part of St Asaph Street.

St Asaph Street blossoms

St Asaph Street blossoms

I enjoy the signs of nature’s rebuild.

“No matter what may come or go
there’s always nature’s great spring show.”



Ruth’s Rant

The piece I posted yesterday was first conceived as a blog post.  It then occurred to me that writing letters might be a suitable topic for The Rant column in our daily newspaper.  So, instead of posting it on my blog, I submitted it to the “Press”.  I was pleasantly surprised to find it published a week later.  The Rant requests ‘up to 370 words’, my  piece was just 288, and I had wondered whether that would be enough.  In fact my paucity of words meant that there was room for a large heading and an illustration, things most weekly Rants don’t get.

I enjoy writing my blog and I love the fact that people follow me and some even comment (thank you!).  However there’s an extra thrill in having my words printed on real paper.  It makes me feel I’m a real writer.

“When I am published in the “Press”
it feels like liter’ry success.”

Leisurely Luxurious Letters

When did you last handwrite a letter?

My first computer, an Amstrad, came with us when we moved to Christchurch in 1986. I used the word processor to keep an ongoing diary, and I would cut and paste this into letters, which I printed out and posted to friends and relatives left behind. Their reciprocal letters were precious and I have some still, stored in a shoebox in a high cupboard.

I loved being able to write something, then edit it, and thought I’d never want to write longhand again.

By the time a daughter moved overseas in 1998, we had e-mail – so much better than waiting for snail mail. I printed out the messages e-mailed from Singapore, India, and eventually London, and filed them – until the file was full.

Last month a real letter arrived for me.   The daughter knew I’d been offline for a week, and she decided to write me a ‘proper’ letter. She’d been thinking about the ephemerality of online messages, lamenting the fact that there’d be no shoeboxes in attics filled with treasured papers for a new generation to discover. Of course I sent a handwritten reply. Oh, the pleasure of putting pen to paper, of carefully forming the cursive script.

Handwritten letters take longer to compose. They show love and caring – time spent thinking of the recipient. The difference between an e-mail and a handwritten letter is like that between reading an e-book and holding the pages in your hand.

Sending letters means paying for postage, a cost that increases regularly. Perhaps I could think of that as a charitable donation, helping to keep post people in employment. Life seems to have gone full circle, and I’m off to write another letter.

“My pen and paper are the best
for sending missives, I suggest.”

Contented Cat

We stopped for coffee and hot chocolate at the Boatshed Cafe.  The surrounding bridge and road repairs were off-putting, but we persevered.  Inside we found a very contented cat.

Maxine, the Boatshed cat

Maxine, the Boatshed cat

The sign beside her said: “Hi, my name is Maxine but my friends call me Max.  I live here at the Boatsheds.  I like to be patted, but if I’m curled up on my stool please let me sleep!”

“This residential cafe cat
when sleeping does not want a pat.”

Spring Stroll

In Christchurch in September it’s traditional to take a walk along Harper Avenue and relish the beautiful display of cherry bloosom.

Cherry blossom

Cherry blossom

The blossom was absolutely breath-taking even in light rain.

More blossom

More blossom

Around the other side of Hagley Park there’s an amazing display of daffodils and bluebells.

Daffodils and bluebells

Daffodils and bluebells

“Spring now is surely sprung entire
with all the blooms one can require.”


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