Archive for the ‘Christchurch – Central’ Category

I was pleased to find that Christchurch Public Hospital these days is surrounded by racks crammed with bicycles.

These ones in a fenced off area belong to staff.  Lots more out in the open are presumably used by visitors and able-bodied patients.  There are continual complaints about the shortage of parking near the hospital, and current roadworks make it difficult to drop someone off nearby.  A bicycle is ideal and healthy transport for those with a clear route from home.   I haven’t used my bike lately, because my usual routes are clogged with roadworks.  Stephen dropped me off for my hospital appointment, and I walked home.   I know of others who have declined to visit family in hospital simply because it’s too difficult to get there.

“For some of those who’d dearly like
it’s just not on to ride a bike.”



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Victoria Square will be closed for the next year, while it’s being upgraded.  A public outcry persuaded the powers-that-be to revise their earlier plans, but the work will still take a long time.  The whole area is now fenced, with blue mesh that precludes taking photos.  I used to walk through the Square weekly, but that’s not now possible.

Signs suggest people take an alternate path on the other side of the river, which I did.  From here you can see the work in progress, overlooked by Captain Cook.

Visitors are instructed to head to The Commons if they want food and drink, and at midday on Thursday there were just two food trucks operating, and the only customers seemed to be those working on the Town Hall rebuild.

With Cathedral Square still in such a sad state it’s a pity Victoria Square will be out of bounds until 2018.  If you’re looking for a pleasant green space in the central city right now, the Margaret Mahy Family Playground is the place to go.

“I miss our green Victoria Square
and pleasant weekly walks through there.”




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A sign saying ‘footpath closed’ was in my way as I walked to the Book Fridge yesterday.  I’d already jaywalked across the road, and along this ‘closed’ footpath before I got to the sign, so I ignored it, as I do many others of the same ilk.

On my second trip to the fridge (I’m decluttering), as I went to cross the road a man in a high vis vest came running towards me, waving his arms to deter me.  He assured me that it was illegal for me to cross near my house and there was dangerous work going on that meant I could be killed.  The work was concrete cutters on the opposite footpath, and a noisy suction truck.

I queried how it could be more dangerous for me to cross and walk along a footpath where I would be further from the work than I was standing at my front gate, and he said “it just is”.  When I persisted he told me I would be acting illegally to cross there (which I do several times a week).  He said I might die, and it was his job to stop me crossing, otherwise he would be responsible for any consquences.  I then queried the fact that a car was parked beside that very same ‘closed’ footpath, and he replied that it had been there all day – presumably that meant it wasn’t in danger!  While we spoke a woman drove up and parked her car beside the path outside Piko (on yellow lines).  He said this was illegal, but didn’t make any attempt to stop her.

I dutifully walked up to the corner and crossed on the pedestrian crossing, and later observed others using the ‘closed’ path without being accosted.

It is this kind of officiousness that has been annoying so many people during the central city rebuild.   I appreciate this man had health and safety obligations, but he needs to have a logical explanation rather than saying “it just is”.  During the night there were continual noises, and this morning the footpath is clear once more.

“I’m sick and tired of road restrictions
and these unneeded path evictions.”

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“Good morning and I hope it stops raining” said in a croaky voice, is the one non-musical quote I remember from ‘Woodstock’.

This is the third morning we’ve woken to persistent rain.  I’m grateful we haven’t had the heavy floods that have struck Auckland.  I regularly check to see out gutter’s flowing freely.  It often gets clogged, and I remove the debris, but it’s been fine this week.

In Canterbury the rain is very welcome for gardens and farms, and will surely have put an end to any Port Hills hotspots.  It’s all linked to global warming and our new normal.

The other quote I always think of when it’s raining is a poem I learned in French class:

Il pleure dans mon coeur
Comme il pleut sur la ville.
Quelle est cette langueur
Qui penetre mon coeur?”

I wonder how many former EGGS students are reminded of this when it rains.

Strangely fine weather doesn’t bring any quotations to the surface.

“”Rain always brings this poem to mind
where sunshine just brings joy, I find.”

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This decorative wall is outside the new Justice and Emergency precinct, and very close to where I worked in a temporary office post-earthquake.


It represents a Kakahu (feather cloak) and was made by Auckland artist Lonnie Hutchinson.  More than 1,400 anodised aluminium panels change with the light, and it’s a welcome addition to our central city.

Opening of the Justice and Emergency Precinct has now been delayed until late 2017.

“This lovely wall, made to evoke
the feathers on an ancient cloak.”


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Three women parked their campervan on the Star and Garter site across the road.  Unfortunately when they tried to back out their two left wheels became lodged in the gutter, between two crossings.  The vehicle could not be moved.  They called for a tow truck, and the driver scratched his head, uncertain what to do.

He phoned for advice, eventually managed to extricate them, and the relieved trio drove away.

“You must be careful where you stop
in case your vehicle goes plop.”


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The national earthquake memorial is huge.  The marble wall looks bland from across the river.

But close up there’s lots to see and contemplate.

I did wonder about the blank parts of the wall.  It’s almost as though they’re waiting for more disasters to be inscribed.  The Mauri with its constantly running water is a great idea.

No memorial will suit everyone, and this will meet many needs.  I still find the 185 chairs more moving.

“For me, the chairs just say it all
and I prefer them to the wall.”

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