Patching the Power

Yesterday evening we heard noises on the road outside and thought there might be more roadworks.  Then a workman knocked on our door and explained there’d been a problem with the electricity supply.  We’d noticed that several electric clocks had been flashing and knew there must have been a disruption some time during the day.  Apparently some important electricl cable goes right past our place.  He told us there would be noise and lights during the night, and there were!  When we got up this morning we found part of our footpath had been excavated, right up to the kerb, and a deep hole dug.  This was all fenced off with a ‘Danger, high voltage’ sign.

Soon other workmen arrived and started on the repairs.  They tied the lamppost to the cherry tree with blue tape, presumably to stop the post falling over.  The hollyhock which has been growing through the footpath for more than a year has sadly been removed.   The hole is deep and they’ve been working there all day.

I wonder how long it will take for the footpath to be re-sealed – again.

“Our path has been dug up again
by electricity workmen.”

Julia Caesar

The National Academy of Singing and Dramatic Art’s production of Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” was different!  Apparently the casting was gender neutral, which meant all students could audition for all roles.  Many of the main roles (Caesar, Brutus, Cassius) were played by women.  Calpurnia and Portia were played by men, as was Mark Anthony.  All this meant that familiar words needed to be changed – she for he, woman for man, etc, and at first I found this confusing.

The students did very well, but some of the voices were not clear, and this was sometimes exacerbated by speaking too quickly and/or having a drum beat in the background.  The clearest speaker was the woman who played Cassius, so congratulations to her.  Mark Anthony was fine, but he missed one line of the funeral speech (‘The good is oft interred with their bones”) – a pity as this is surely one speech most people know.  The crowd scenes were very well done, and gave scope for many students to be involved.

Julius Caesar curtain call

The play was at the YMCA’s Papa Hou Theatre, which was previously the site for the Spectrum Street Art Festival.  Vestiges of the festival were still obvious, and I suspect mobility access might be a problem.  There’s a lift at the other end of the building, but a YMCA escort would be needed to get people from there to the theatre.

We had drinks beforehand at DUO which is also part of the YMCA complex.

DUO bar

I enjoy any Shakespeare production, and was glad to support these students.  The show continues until Friday.

“Shakespeare writes great rhyming verse
and mine is surely not much worse.”

Crossword Cat

How will I ever teach Ziggy socially acceptable behaviour when Stephen allows him to sit on the table when he’s doing the crossword?

“It’s really hard to train the cat
when I am undermined like that.”

Fairfax Flaw

How many of you shuddered when you saw this glaring error in yesterday’s “Press” headline?

I know that proofreaders have been made redundant, and I’m used to the many minor mistakes I see daily, but you’d think someone would have noticed this before it was printed!

“I often notice a mistake
but this one really takes the cake.”

I hadn’t heard of David Suzuki, before I read this book which provides insights into what it means to grow up in a culture that is not the country’s mainstream.  David was born in Canada of Japanese parents who were also Canadian-born, and his internment during World War II had a lasting effect.  Having trained as a scientist he went on to host radio and television programmes dealing with the environment, more recently global warming, and works passionately to protect the planet.

He compares the short-term perspective of employees and investors with the long-term perspective of environmentalists and First Nations people.  Much of what he writes about Canada and Australia mirrors the New Zealand experience.  Early settlers often survived only because of the knowledge and generosity of the indigenous people, and the latter have had to fight to retain control over a small part of the land, which is so integral to their culture.  He points out that indigenous knowledge built up over thousands of years of careful observation, experimentation, and insight is being lost all over the planet in just a few generations and can never be recovered.

I found it interesting to read how he set up a charity and fundraised for it (pre social media), but by page 250 I was beginning to feel as though I’d read it all before in reports of Values/Green issues and protests, and I skipped the next hundred pages.  The penultimate chapter about the culture of celebrity was interesting, as were his thoughts as he grows old.  He quotes his dying father, and says he has similar sentiments:  “I will return to nature where I came from.  I’ll be part of the fish, the trees, the birds – that’s my reincarnation.  I have had a rich and full life and have no regrets.  I will live on in your memories of me and through my grandchildren.”

“We must help nature live and thrive
if life on earth is to survive.”


Beginning Blossom

Lovely to see this blossom down Colombo Street this morning.

It’s cold and the solstice is still five days away, but the message is that spring is coming.

“To see the blossom flowering there
makes me think spring is in the air.”


Weapons Wanted

The worker on the right has a t-shirt with a good slogan.  It reads “Weapons of Mass Construction”.

“To use these weapons to rebuild
we need tradespeople who are skilled.”