Bathroom Buddy

Ziggy loves running water.  If he’s left outside when we shut the bathroom door he will cry to be let in.  He runs straight to the shower, and laps at any water there.  He’s also rather fond of the bathroom basin.

However he shows no interest in going outside in the rain, especially today, when it’s pouring persistently.

“His love of water has its bounds
and he eschews the flooded grounds.”

From the start of this memoir I was struck by the questions about identity and the effect of childhood trauma on memory.  These are areas I have personal experience of, so I was quickly enthralled by Sandy’s story.  I was not previously aware of Freud’s theory that our unpleasant experiences are forced out of the conscious mind deep into the subconscious, where they remain out of the reach of memory.  Once, when I felt I was strong enough to want to recover buried memories of my father’s death, I consulted a hypnotherapist who told me that if a memory was buried that deep it would be healthier for it to stay buried.   I was envious that some of Sandy’s childhood memories eventually resurfaced.

The book documents how Sandy spent decades trying to understand and recover his buried memories.  At the beginning he quotes Isaac Bashevis Singer who said: “When I was a little boy they called me a liar, but now that I’m grown up they call me a writer.”  Sandy’s adoptive parents lied to him, which caused all kinds of mental and emotional difficulties.  His early years were spent in Christchurch, and his evocation of this area in the 1950’s and 60’s offers interesting social history.  The reader follows his quest for family after being adopted as an infant, and shares the joy of finally meeting blood relations.

The book is clearly written, and would be enjoyed by anyone with an interest in identity and/or adoption.

“It’s vital we know who we are
the stories may be quite bizarre.”

Persistent Puss

Ziggy thinks the washing basket is intended as a daybed for him.   He doesn’t appreciate it being full of wet washing, and waits impatiently for us to hang the clothes on the line.  Just as well yesterday was sunny and things got dry.

“My cat loves the washing basket,
sees it as his special casket.’


Central City Circuit

We went to see what’s on offer in the central city during the school holidays.  As always there were families enjoying the Margaret Mahy Playground.  In Cathedral Square the re-purposed parking meter was unfortunately out of order, or “gone rogue”.

The fence around the cathedral has some new murals.

It was good to see people ice skating.  I loved the Seal Skating Aids – wish these had been around on my one and only ice skating attempt many years past.  Admission with skate hire is $20 for adults, and $15 for children and students.  It costs another $10 to hire an orange seal to help keep your balance.

I’m not so sure about the snow globe.

What looks like snow is actually tiny pieces of plastic that appear to be shredded plastic bags.  The woman in charge assured me children (who pay $7.50) are told to keep their mouth closed inside the globe, but in the excitment this wasn’t always happening.  I’m sure they will have had to pass a health and safety check, but I wouldn’t be keen to put my child in there.

On the corner of the Triangle Cadbury’s had a chocolate wheel where they were giving away bars of chocolate to anyone who queued for it.  A sign said those under 14 must be accompanied by an adult, and the chocolate would be given to the adult.  In my cynicism I wondered if this generosity is supposed to be some small recompense for removing the Dunedin factory.

We checked out what remains of the Container Mall.  There’s excavations going on in that corner of Oxford Terrace, and I was pleased to see a tree was fenced off within a ‘Tree Protection Zone’.

“There’s quite a lot to do and see
within our city’s CBD.”



Black Blot

This new black building at Waimairi Beach looks unattractive and incongruous, especially as it’s near to a lovely Cape Cod house (on the left).

We’ve watched it being built and hoped it was going to improve, but sadly it hasn’t.

“It does not fit in with the rest.
I am completely unimpressed.”

Sensible Seal

A sign hanging below the Barbadoes Street Bridge reads “Attention.  River closed. Do not enter.”

River closed sign

Maybe this is why the baby seal has stayed upstream, and not headed out to sea again.

“I never knew a seal could read
but this one knows not to proceed.”

Seal Seen

This baby seal is resting on a rock near to our cottage.

This is the first time I’ve seen a seal within the Avon Loop.  Perhaps the cold weather and rough seas have driven it inland?   Where are its parents, I wonder?  I understand it’s been in the area for a week now, and I hope it can find its way back out to sea.

“Today this is a city seal,
but should be by seashore, I feel.”