This is a very different book.  Set in 1893 it deals with the clashes between science, religion, and superstition, with exquisitely drawn characters and locations.

The novel starts with a lyrical description of time which matches the attractive end papers and dustcover.  What a pleasure to hold a book of such practical and literary quality.  The reader is constantly pulled between logic and belief within a gothic setting, as the villagers wrestle with the idea of a terrifying creature lurking in the marsh.  There’s love of various kinds, as well as political action.  Surely something here to please every reader.

“The writing has such quality
you’re soon immersed in history.”

Feline Foto Frustration

I want a good photo of Ziggy for a project, but he’s not an ideal model.  Just when I think I’ve got it right, he turns his head.  I particularly want to get him face on, but it’s not easy.



I thought I had the perfect photo (below), but when I download it and blow it up, he’s out of focus!

ziggy-7-smallGrrr!  I’ll try again later.

“He did not want the modelling gig
our dear elusive furry Zig.’


Rising Tide


This mural at the corner of Gloucester and Manchester Streets promotes “Rising Tide” a book which aims to help children 8-12 years deal with anxiety.  The artist is Richard ‘Pops’ Baker.

“This book will help to guide folks through
post-quake concerns that worry you.”

Digital Directions

Suddenly every car I’m driven in seems to have some form of GPS direction finder.  In some cases you key the address you want into the TomTom.



In others you simply speak it out loud.  In both cases a female voice tells you in detail where you need to turn, which lane to be in, and which exit to take from the roundabout.  If an unexpected  road closure obliges you to disobey, they quickly compensate and issue new instructions.  I’ve also driven with someone using an app on their phone to get directions.  ‘They” tell me TomTom is cheap, easily updated, and will get you there faster.

I can see the attraction if you were in a strange area, but I always allow plenty of travel time, and plan to stick to my trusty map book for the forseeable future.  Do you have a digital driving assistant?

“Although it may be somewhat slow
my map book tells me where to go.”


Tap N Grind

Breakfast was at Tap N Grind on the corner of Manchester and St Asaph Streets.  They have seats ouside, but with all the traffic, inside was more inviting.


I had the Creamy Brioche, which was a poached egg on lovely soft bread topped with creamy mushrooms, and very much to my taste.  Stephen was happy with poached eggs on toast with bacon.  Service was quick and efficient.

I note that The Drawing Room on the opposite corner has now moved to Colombo Street just south of Moorhouse Avenue, and presume that block will soon be demolished to allow for the widening of Manchester Street.  It will be wonderful to have roads in this area finally completed.

“A good breakfast at Tap N Grind
where roads are being redesigned.”


Dog will have his bay

The temperature was 25 degrees at 9am, and 29 was forecast, so it was the perfect morning for an early swim.  Corsair Bay, just 14km from home, was the chosen spot.

Corsair Bay

Corsair Bay

As I approached the beach I met a couple coming out and asked them whether the approaching low tide (only two hours away) made it harder to swim.  They said it was fine, but a bit windy out past the boats.  I assured them I had no intention of going that far!  By the time I’d gone in a few metres the water was over my waist, so low tide was definitely not a problem.

I’m not much of a swimmer, and prefer to just float on my back, enjoying the view of trees, and being in the element of water.  A dog wearing a life jacket was sitting patiently on the beach.  Two paddle boarders approached the shore, the dog climbed on board with one of them and they all headed out.  I was sorry not to have my camera with me.

“At Corsair Bay, a dog at sea
was sailing along happily.”

Genuine Geocache

My nephew had a mission to leave an item in a geocache in Christchurch, and I accompanied him on his search for a cache.  His GPS device led us to a local park.  We were in the right place, but despite careful scrutiny we could not locate the cache within the foliage.

Unsuccessful search

Unsuccessful search

We moved on to another park, and here we were successful.

Found it!

Found it!

However, this cache was a micro one, so no space to leave an item.  The cache container was a small pill bottle, wrapped in camouflage tape, and secreted in a tree.  After my nephew had entered the date and his caching identity in the log book he carefully returned the cache to its hiding place.  Later he would go to the website and log his find.

This activity reminded me of Book Crossing, and I could see its attraction, but I don’t think I’ll be joining the geocache community any time soon.

“I think I’d rather leave a book
than hide things in a secret nook.”