Archive for the ‘Christchurch – wider’ Category

Christine and I decided to do the Island River Walk at the Groynes.  At the start there were two signposts, one read Kimihia, and one read Kimahia.  I understand that the first means search, look for, and can find no meaning for the second.  I’ve emailed the City Council to ask that they make the signs consistent.

The first part of the walk was in open countryside, with what looked like archery butts in the background.  Soon we were beside the river amongst lovely greenery, with occasional bright toadstools.  It was obvious that many large trees had been recently felled, and native trees were being planted.  The track was not well marked, and we eventually turned round and retraced our steps, without being sure whether we’d found the island.

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We walked the Island River track
then turned around and walked right back.


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Yesterday I wore the hijab all day.  This was to show my solidarity with Muslim women, especially those in Aotearoa who have been so severely impacted by the terror attack last Friday.  The action Hijab for Harmony has also been called Scarves in Solidarity.

Ruth in hijab

I realised that for those who wear the hijab, earrings and necklaces become redundant, at least outside the home.   Bad hair days would not feature.  I don’t think Muslim women necessarily wear the hijab in their home, unless there are males from outside their immediate family present.  It’s unlikely they wear it when brushing their teeth!  However I decided to wear it all day to have the full experience.  The idea of wearing the hijab for the day was promulgated through Facebook, with a brief mention in the ‘Press’ and I’m not sure how far the message went.  When we went to South City I saw three other women in hijab, two of whom looked as though they would be everyday wearers.  Driving down Colombo Street I saw two more and there would have been many at the afternoon’s vigil in Hagley Park.  Later a woman in a shop asked me if I was a Muslim.  When I explained, she said ‘Good on you’.  Wearing the scarf seemed to me a good way to show sympathy and to make a political statement.  Ritual actions like this are important in coming to terms with an event such as we have experienced.

Another action was to black out Facebook for 50 hours from 1.40pm on Friday, to show disgust for their failure to remove objectionable videos.  I enjoy the contacts I have through Facebook, and the information I gain there, and I’ve not yet contemplated deleting my account as some are doing.   I’m addicted to playing Wordscraper on Facebook, a form of online scrabble, although I’m told if I move to Lexulous there’s no need to go through Facebook.  At the moment it’s enough for me to log out for 50 hours – I wonder if Facebook will notice?  It was through Facebook, before I logged off, that I saw the post from Clarke Gayford, telling us that on Neve’s nine month birthday she had given Jacinda and Clarke the gift of crawling while her mother had given her the gift of a safe country to grow up in (thanks to gun law changes).





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This little girl playing on the beach was well protected with sunglasses, a pink hat, and a pink deck chair with canopy.  I couldn’t resist taking a photo.  It seemed a little intrusive to do so, but she was in a public place, and is unlikely to be identified.  There were many people and dogs on the beach this morning and we rejoiced in wading along in the shallows with a light cooling breeze.

Warm summer day, the place to be
is definitely beside the sea.

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To celebrate Stephen’s birthday we dined at Tutto Bene in Merivale, somewhere we hadn’t been before.  Our usual Italian restaurant of choice is Venuti, but we thought we’d try somewhere different, and Tutto Bene definitely has that genuine Italian flavour.  They have some parking available behind the restaurant, but that was full, and we were pleased to find a spot on Mansfield Avenue.

Stephen enjoying Veal Parmigiana

We sat outside in their leafy courtyard, at a good-sized table.  So often a table for two is small and cramped, but not here.  We shared a dish of olives, then Stephen had Veal Parmigiana and I had fresh groper served on a cauliflower puree.  Both meals were delicious.  By coincidence a group of us had been discussing the fate of bobby calves the previous evening, and remarked that you don’t see veal for sale these days.  Perhaps it all goes to restaurants?  Stephen couldn’t quite finish his generous portion, but still managed to share some of my decadent chocolate cake dessert.  I had a bottle of limonata, which I’d last enjoyed in Rome.  The staff were pleasant and friendly and we appreciated the fact that there were several small children dining with their families.  A group at a table near us  were also celebrating a birthday, and as their cake was delivered the staff joined with them to sing “Happy Birthday” – a extra bonus for Stephen.

After we’d finished we left through the back entrance which borders onto the St Albans Stream, and found the restaurant manager feeding the local ducks.  There were also healthy eels in the stream and a friendly cat on the bridge.  All in all, a most enjoyable evening.  Many thanks to the distant daughter who shouted this birthday treat.

Stream behind Tutto Bene

We recommend this restaurant
when it’s a special meal you want.



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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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The chestnut trees are in full flower along the City Promenade.  I love their pretty candles:

By the Bridge of Remembrance there are more conventional Christmas decorations:

The entrance to the Arts Centre Clock Tower is festooned with recycled ornaments:

At the beach the green and red seaweed looked Christmassy:

My personal favourite is the feijoa flowers which enhance my garden at this time of year:

‘The festive season’s marked with these
alternatives to Christmas trees.’

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Car parks were elusive at the beach this morning, and the sand was crowded with hundreds of people.  Apparently it was the Junior Life Saving Competitions with teams of 7-14 year olds from all over Canterbury.

Hordes of lifesavers

Further north the beach was quieter with only footprints.  This foot appeared to belong to a kelp creature.

Kelp foot

A turnstile appeared, or maybe it’s a direction finder.


‘A lot to see at beach today
in competition or in play.’

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