Archive for the ‘Christchurch – Central’ Category

Turanga just gets better all the time.

Jigsaw, colouring in, and chess

As well as jigsaws and chess sets inside, there are games to play on the forecourt.

Draughts and blocks

Noughts and crosses

I can’t remember what this one’s called. Can you?

All this, and books too!  Lots to attract families into the central city.  Have you visited Turanga yet?

There’s many ways to pass the day
when you are round Turanga way


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How often do you see a memorial to a woman?  In Christchurch we have two prominent ones.  At the top of the Bridle Path is the Pioneer Women’s Memorial, opened in 1940.  Beside the Avon/Otakaro is the Kate Sheppard Memorial which honours the women who worked so hard for women’s suffrage.

Kate Sheppard Memorial

Mind you, they waited a hundred years for this recognition!

In Victoria Square there’s a tulip tree planted to honour my cousin Ettie Rout.

Ettie’s tree

When I went to the Ashburton Domain in the early 1990s I was pleased to discover a tree planted in 1910 to honour Florence Nightingale.

In Lincoln, next to the library is Miss Bartle’s Green.  Miriam Annie Bartle lived in a cottage on this site from 1949 to 1990.  She was the Matron’s Assistant at Lincoln College from 1952 to 1961, and her cottage was overlooked by a magnificent oak tree.  This tree has been preserved thanks to the efforts of local residents, including Diana Morton who is remembered on a plaque beside the wooden seat.

Miss Bartle’s Green

Lincoln College is where my brother did his teaching country service in the late 1950s.  I wonder if he ever met Miss Bartle.

What other memorials to women are you aware of?

An area arboreal
is Miss Bartle’s Memorial

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A new cafe in the Oxford Terrace Baptist Church has been open for a few weeks now, but not completely.  Their name Pillars Cafe is written on the front window.  Pillars is appropriate as the pillars from the porch of the old church are displayed there, but for me the name immediately evokes an organisation that supports the families of prisoners.

We stopped by for morning tea and were the only customers at 10.30am on Wednesday morning.  The only food options were a herb scone and two kinds of slices.  The friendly young manager told us they are only ‘softly’ open and are awaiting delivery of their food cabinet.  Once this arrives they will have a wider selection of food, and may eventually offer light meals.

The outside tables were welcoming on such a warm day, and there was a good deal of passing foot traffic.  Presumably they will do more promotion once they are fully open.

‘Another cafe in the ‘hood
will have to work hard to make good.’

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It’s a long time since I’ve won anything.  That may be because I rarely enter a competition.  I’m especially wary of online ones, and the prizes often don’t interest me.  Last week I succumbed to the temptation to enter a competition on Facebook.  The prize was two free tickets to a variety show at the Isaac Theatre Royal, and all I had to do was put the name of the person I’d take with me in a comment.

To my surprise I won, and I duly took Stephen to The First Bite, a Festival Gala that introduced many of the acts featured in Bread and Circus, this year’s World Buskers’ Festival, which is a kind of fringe theatre.  The comperes were the Daredevil Chicken Club who were good, although the stunts with bananas were not to my taste.  I’ve never liked the taste of bananas!

There were two contortionists, Sara Twister from Germany, and Penelope from Limbo.  Both were literally breathtaking, especially Sara’s act with a bow and arrow.  Pedro from Portugal juggled cleverly with a broom, as did a group with olives and a martini (I think they must have been Biggest Little Circus).  I liked Bayley Graham the local tap dancer.  Why do we see so little of this form of dance?  We both thoroughly enjoyed Cocoloco from the U.K. with their clever Alice act.  Other acts were The Raymond and Mr Timpkins Revue (U.K.), Hero-San (Japan), Piff the Magic Dragon (USA), and Le Gateau Chocolat (U.K.).

The show gave some excellent tastes of what can be seen throughout the festival.  It’s a shame that heavy rain today means outside events have been cancelled, but those in covered venues will continue, and the forecast is better for tomorrow.

‘This was an appetising spread
of circus interlaced with bread.

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Turanga staircase

Fiction books are on the fourth floor of Turanga, our new Central Library.  Until today I’ve taken the lift up and walked down, but today I chose to walk up the stairs as well as down.  I stayed close to the handrail as some younger people bounded by, and was pleased to slowly climb the four flights without panting.  Not sure if it would be the same if I’d already done a long walk.

My personal rule has always been to use stairs unless I need to go up more than three flights, but since the earthquakes few of our buildings have more than one storey, and those that do often hide the entrance to the stairs, discouraging anyone from using them.  The exception is Christchurch Hospital where signs invite you to use the stairs if you are able.  Before I first went to England I trained myself with a daily walk up and down the five flights of stairs at Christchurch Community House.  Sadly these were another casualty of the earthquakes.

Turanga is now the multi-storey building I visit most frequently, and I plan to eschew its lifts from now on.  This will surely be good for my health and fitness.  Do you have a staircase you use regularly?

‘These stairs will help to keep me fit
my breathing faltered not a bit.’

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A new garden has appeared in Cathedral Square, north of the tram line.  There are five beds, with one in the centre.  The outside ones are labelled for the four directions, something to delight the heart of a ritual-maker (or a bridge player).

The central bed, with a pohutakawa tree  looks almost as though it could be a sundial, especially as it is planted with thyme!  It has the numbers 1-12 in Roman numerals, and a plaque above each gives the number in te reo Maori.

The garden, called Time to Heal, was designed by Avonhead School with support from Katherine Brooker and the idea is that you take time out of your busy day to rest and heal in the garden.  Katherine Booker says it’s a garden for reflection. “It’s about the past and the present and moving forward. It’s for individuals to take a break in but it’s also about the wider community and the city needing time to heal.”  It contains healing plants used in rongoa Maori and other traditional medicines.

‘New beds have popped up in the Square
you could take time out and pause there.’

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Glimpses of Green

I first saw this car over a year ago, and it made me smile then, because it reminded my of my first car which was similarly covered in floral stickers.  Today it was parked near South City.

Another car with more greenery and less chance of moving can be seen in the Good Spot parking area on Cashel Street.  It belongs to Greening The Rubble, and does just that.

‘It’s always really good to see
a car with creativity.’

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