December is filled with end-of-year functions.   There are meals at restaurants, BYO picnics, shared lunches & desserts, and simply getting together with friends.  Baking happens more often than at any other time of the year.  This morning I made cheese puffs for the WEA Xmas lunch.


This is the third batch I’ve made in a week.  Not to mention spicy rhubarb cake, chocolate brownies, etc.

The WEA event had a great community atmosphere with several groups presenting items.  Our play-reading group read ‘A Politically Correct Christmas Poem’.

Singing for Pleasure group

Singing for Pleasure group

“This month there’s lots of times for taking
a contribution from your baking.”


Sprouting Sails

Yesterday I noticed a new shade structure at the Margaret Mahy Family Playground.


Today there were two!

2-x-shade-smallThere are also new items of play equipment which look like fun.  Great to have all this installed before the school holidays.

“New options for the kids to play
during the long school holiday.”

BNZ, old and new

The BNZ building in Cathedral Square is finally being removed.


An inner space has opened in the new BNZ building between Hereford and Cashel Streets.


I prefer the wall on the right, which is Scorpio’s entrance.  The walls on the left are not attractive to me.  No sign yet of any greenery in this space, but I understand a lone tree will be planted by tomorrow.  The new pharmacy includes a post shop, and will be open from 8am to 6pm.  Great to have this facility.

“A post shop open all the day
will be just wonderful, I say.”

Roses for Remembrance

Barbadoes Street Cemetery has many mature trees, but few flowers these days.  An exception is the splendid rose bush that covers the grave of Frederick Thompson.


Luckily there’s an inscription on the edge of the grave to identify him.  He died on 9th April 1881, aged 76.

Frederick Thompson was the mathematics and commerce teacher at Christ’s College who became the first ‘honorary and unpaid’ librarian of the Mechanics Institute.  Richard Greenaway’s history of the cemetery mentions Frederick and Mary Ann Thompson who were “of good family but without financial resources”.  Their daughter Helen, aged 18, married John Bealey in 1856.  Another daughter, Emily Rose, married Henry Jacobs, first Dean of Christchurch, in 1871.

“Our first librarian reposes
beneath a splendid bush of roses.”

Picnic in the Park

To celebrate International Volunteer Day, volunteers were invited to join Volunteering Canterbury for a picnic in Woodham Park.  There were plenty of mature trees to shade us from the sun, and Random Acts of Music provided interactive entertainment.

Random Acts of Music

Random Acts of Music

“This was a truly lovely way
to celebrate a special day.”

Swarming with Surfers

There were hundreds of people on Waimairi Beach this morning, and the car parks were full.


It was the Junior Life Saving Carnival.  Juniors, aged 7-14, are taught the basic skills they need to feel safe in the surf.  Over 14 they can become eligible to join the beach patrol which is on duty Saturday afternoons and all day Sunday during the summer.  The Waimairi Surf Life Saving Club was established in 1949 and is run entirley by volunteers.

“At this surf club they aim to teach
skills that keep folk safe on the beach.”



This book centres around a secret which makes uncomfortable reading.   The story is set in Victorian London during a cholera epidemic, and in early Pakeha settlement in New Zealand.  The author gives an authentic portrait of the times and social mores.  The English class system, and the constraints placed on women are clearly defined, with interesting contrasts in the new colony.  Characters are well drawn, although the ending is perhaps a little glib.  Some of the feminist aspects seemed overly modern, but were welcomed nonetheless by this reader.

“The Trespass is a hidden act
which has an ongoing impact.”