Spectrum of Street Art

Spectrum at the YMCA was my goal for a day off from work.  This exhibition is enthralling and overwhelming, with delicious plays on words and subversive messages.  I was lucky to be there on a weekday when there were few other visitors.  At the entrance your appetite is whetted with the Can o’ Peas.

Can o' Peas

Can o’ Peas

or perhaps they're canapes

or perhaps they’re canapes

The show explores many different facts of street art, and it’s free.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Because there was so much to enjoy I expect I’ll go back before the show closes on May 10th.

“There’s just so much to see and read
fun and delight are guaranteed.”

Climbing Cones

Road cones appeared on top of traffic light poles at this intersection this morning.

Cones aloft

Cones aloft

Someone’s been busy overnight.

“How did those cones get way up there?
They surely made me stop and stare.”



Lark or Layabed?

I’m definitely a morning person.  On weekdays I’m usually awake and up between 5 and 6am.  I never use an alarm clock unless I have a really early appointment, or a plane to catch.  On weekends I wake at the same time, but often listen to a podcast then doze for another hour or so.  All this early rising means that I try to be in bed no later than 10pm.  When I go to an evening meeting I’m often the first to leave and rarely stay for supper.  Ideally I’d like an afternoon siesta before any evening meeting.  On weekends it’s not unusual for me to have an afternoon nap, especially if I’m planning a late evening out.  I remember my mother used to do this too.  (Maybe I’m turning into my mother.)

Are you a morning or an evening person?

“The morning is the time for me
when I have heightened energy.”

Remembrance at the River

Today is the fourth anniversary of the most destructive of the Christchurch earthquakes, and I was part of a group which hosted a site for the River of Flowers commemoration at Tautahi Pa/The Bricks, just across the road from my home.

Yesterday I collected the resources for this from Healthy Christchurch, including about 200 flowers which had been generously donated by Moffat’s Flower Company Ltd.  I put the flowers into buckets of water, which sat overnight in my bath.  The bathroom was filled with the divine scent of roses.

Roses in the bathtub

Roses in the bathtub

Before 9am I set up a table on the riverbank with cards (for writing messages of hope) and pens carefully secured inside a plastic bag as it was drizzling.  I realised I needed to also have a sheet of instructions, and went home to organise this.  Looking out the window I saw a man with a bicycle making off with my bag of cards and pens!  I ran out and hailed him, and he returned, explaining that he’d thought someone had left rubbish and he was clearing it away.  I was glad he hadn’t tried to take the table as well.

Before noon I took my five buckets of flowers across and settled down to greet people.  Workers on the river restoration had put a barrier across the water just west of the bridge, and I intended to encourage everyone to go nearer to the bridge to ensure their flowers would float downstream.

River barrier

River barrier

A woman drove up, got out with a bunch of roses, and headed towards the bank above the barrier.  I was ready to make contact if she looked my way, but thought it best not to interrupt her personal commemoration.  After she’d left her roses slowly floated down, accompanied by a posse of ducks.  To my relief they (the roses, not the ducks) found the gap in the barrier and continued on their way under the bridge.

By the time our ceremony started at least 70 people had gathered.  Richard Tankersley, representing Te Runaka ki Otautahi o Kai Tahu, offered a mihi and karakia, speaking about the significance of the area and the date.  At 12.51pm I sounded a gong for two minutes’ silence, after which a piper played a lament.  People then tossed flowers into the river and we watched them float away.


Flowers heading downstream

Flowers heading downstream

Afternoon tea at our Community Cottage completed the afternoon’s event, with flowers and cards left by the river until early evening in case others wanted to make a personal commemoration. When I looked at the messages later I found that many had written about remembrance rather than hope.  One person had attached a piece of rosemary “for remembrance”.

Tree of Hope

Tree of Hope

I returned home to find a message from Juliet Batten in Auckland.  She’d been thinking of Christchurch and had created a shrine with roses for this fourth anniversary.

“The local folk were pleased to share
a time where we could show we care.”



Masterful Macbeth

“Macbeth” is a favourite play of mine, partly because there are so many well-known lines.  The annual outdoor Summer Shakespeare is a “must see”, but the last couple of weeks have been busy, and the only time we could go was last night’s final performance.  We arrived early, secured a prime spot and enjoyed a picnic tea amidst Mona Vale’s beautiful lawns and trees.  This was the first time I’ve actually seen an usher at this venue, and he was needed as we were urged to move closer and make room for the large audience.

An early scene

An early scene

The performance by Top Dog Theatre was very good.  To me Shakespeare always seems best in an unsophisticated setting like this.  There were no programmes available (they’d been sold out at previous performances), but I understand a number of the cast were from Riccarton High School’s Drama Department.

Macbeth with the witches

Macbeth with the witches

I loved the way the witches sang their incantations, and shielded departing corpses with their cloaks.  Macbeth and Lady Macbeth were excellent, but it was MacDuff’s (Dan Crossen’s) later scenes that seemed to me to be the very best.   If you’ve missed this great show make a note to keep an eye out for Top Dog’s Summer Shakespeare in 2016.

“Shakespeare is just the best bees knees
at Mona Vale amongst the trees.”

Black (and red) Birds

I like these black and red birds on a wall in Fitzgerald Avenue.

Red and black birds

Red and black birds

No’o Fakataha translates loosely as ‘the concept of tying to a post on a wharf’. A Facebook page with this name is a hub to connect Tongan artists and supporters throughout the globe.

“A Tongan artist makes a call
with red and black birds on a wall.”

Morris Malefactor

This 1947 Morris 10, complete with fluffy dice, was blatantly parked on the footpath outside Subway today.

Bad car!

Bad car!

Maybe its owner thinks because it’s a vintage car it doesn’t need to obey the road rules.  What if someone with a pram or a mobility scooter wants to get by?

At first I thought there was no registration sticker, then I saw it was stuck to the rear side window.  I thought these were supposed to go on the windscreen?

“”Upon the path it should not be
a bad, bad car, you must agree.”


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 500 other followers