Black Bull

This large bronze bull, “Chapman’s Homer” by Michael Parekowhai, has moved into New Regent Street.  It was popular when first exhibited in Madras Street, and since then money has been raised to buy it for the Art Gallery’s collection.  It will eventually stand in the Gallery’s forecourt.

Chapman's Homer

Chapman’s Homer

It’s a wonderfully solid looking piece – just what we need to make our city feel more stable.

“Now planted in New Regent Street
This bull’s a sight that’s hard to beat.”

Green Gardens

CERA’s Garden

Red-zoned houses now all green
their families displaced.
Memories grassed over,
one lone bloom defies its fate

Bulky Bunny

This giant inflatable rabbit currently inhabits a shop front at 31 New Regent Street.

Giant rabbit

Giant rabbit

Called ‘Cosmo’, it’s the work of Michael Parekowhai.  The sign on the door beside asks: “Is he a cute bunny or a noxious pest? A kindly character or a symbol of colonial expansion?”  I think it’s all just a bit of fun.  What do you think?

“There’s shadow ’cause the day was sunny
when I photographed this bunny.”


Wizard’s Wagon

The Wizard’s chosen method of transport is a 1965 customised VW with two front ends.  He has a special dispensation to park it in Armagh Street by New Regent Street from 11.30am to 2.30pm every day.

Wizard's car

Wizard’s car

On this particular day it was still there at 2.50pm, and the Wizard was enjoying a cuppa in Cathedral Square.  I wonder if he got a ticket?

“This bright red beetle’s often seen.
It’s truly a Wizard machine.”

Boosting Beckenham

Beckenham is a Christchurch suburb just three kilometres south of the city centre.  It was first settled by the Fisher brothers who arrived in 1850 on the “Charlotte Jane”, and later developed as a “Tramway suburb”.  Once trams were introduced people were able to live further out from the central city and still travel in and out easily.  The trams came down Colombo Road (later Colombo Street) to Devon Street in 1880.  In 1898, the line was extended to the foot of the hills.  By 1906, over 200 people lived in Beckenham, many of them working in the city and using the trams as transport.  The South Library at Beckenham has meeting rooms and a cafe, which make it very popular.

Beckenham History Mural

Beckenham History Mural

This mural shows some of Beckenham’s history.  The area below it is a flourishing community garden.

“The library is a friendly place
providing lots of meeting space.”

Seeds and Seasons

Within my garden now for years
Most flowers there are volunteers.
Seeds flourish where’er they do fall
With little help from me at all.

In summer roses bloom profuse
Their sweet scent certain to seduce
The jasmine climbs along the wall
And foxgloves nod with flowers tall.

But now that winter’s coming near
There’s little colour showing here
An Amaryllis where it’s shady
(You might know her as Naked Lady).

And on a damp and dull May day
When all the sky was clouds of grey
Among leaf litter, brown and old
A sight, uplifting to behold!
A welcome harbinger of spring
What joy the first snowdrop can bring!

Persian Pleasure

We relished our dinner at the Persian Kitchen in Stanmore Road.  If it wasn’t for a friend’s recommendation we may never have known about this restaurant, and it seems to me they deserve more publicity.

Persian Kitchen

Persian Kitchen

The ambience is interesting.  Note the racks of cups and teapots hanging from the ceiling on the right hand side of this photo.  Our entree and dessert plates were old floral china, while mains were served on plain white dishes.  We started with an assortment of delicious dips served with warm pita bread.  As our main we chose to share the Combination platter which included rice, salads, and beautifully grilled meats, with sauces.  Because the food was not heavy we still had room for desserts.  Stephen chose Baklava, while I had the Lokum (Turkish Delight).  The latter was a little heavy for me, but Stephen enjoyed his rich baklava.  The bill for all this, including two glasses of wine and a cider came to $87.50 – good value for an excellent meal.

“The Persian Kitchen’s one we’d missed
but now it’s on our Favourites list.”


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