Archive for the ‘Films & shows’ Category

Shared Snood is a performative artwork created by Audrey Baldwin.  More details can be found on Facebook.  Over a period of six weeks, a group has come together to do macrame and share feminist ideas.  Each week there are speakers and discussion.  Yesterday’s session was on ‘Witches, Bitches, and Nasty Women’, and I was the third of three speakers.  The first woman talked about being a Witch, and the second discussed The Monstrous Feminine.  My presentation was about my involvement in Women’s Spirituality.  For the first part I drew on an interview that was published in Celine Kearney’s “Faces of the Goddess” twenty years ago.  I acknowledged the privilege I had of learning about Goddesses and rituals from Lea Holford and Juliet Batten.

I spoke of how, when I was the only heterosexual within a women’s circle, another woman made me feel included when she said: “Every woman’s a Lesbian except those who don’t yet know they are”.  This raised a laugh from the audience of mixed and fluid genders.

I discussed ritual groups in Christchurch, the eight pagan festivals, and the structure of a ritual.  Afterwards a woman told me that when I pronounced the traditional words for closing a circle,  she had a visceral reaction with goosebumps.

It’s not easy to speak about a subject that is so experiential.  I had considered using a form of ritual for my talk, but decided it was impractical in a crowded space with a varied audience, and I was pleased with the reactions, questions, and discussion afterwards.  My thanks to Audrey and Otautahi Korerotia for this opportunity to share my spirituality with an open interested group.

“Spirituality is key
for many women as for me.”



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Sunday evening was perfect for watching outdoor Shakespeare.  At 8pm it was still 23 degrees, with hardly any wind.  We went early and enjoyed a picnic tea beforehand.

I’d never seen, or even read, this play, but a synopsis from the Internet made it easy for me to follow.   The speech was clear and understandable even though there were no familiar lines.  The bear was great!

This is a performance well worth seeing, and it continues until 24 February.

“An exit pursued by a bear.
– you really just had to be there.”

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What a wonderful experience to sit on the Archery Lawn this afternoon and enjoy some excellent music.  On a thirty degree day there was plenty of shade, a gentle breeze, and room for the thousands of people.  The first half was Izzy Miller Bell, with James Wilkinson and Jon Hooker.  They were followed by Graham Wardrop and Liz Braggins.  The sound technicians did a superb job, and the music was great.  I especially enjoyed hearing Liz and Graham sing the Everly Brothers’ “Devoted to You”.

Graham Wardrop & Liz Braggins on stage

This was all free as part of the Ingham’s lazy Sundays which are on every week until the 25th of February.  I’m looking forward to Fiona Pears on 11 February and the All Girl Big Band on 25 February.

“This concert was a special treat
and I enjoyed every beat.”

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The circus has come to town.  This huge tent is a wonderful sight on the corner of Gloucester and Madras Streets, where Securities House used to be.  There will be performances until 14th January, and it’s already proving popular.  Great to have this happening in the central city.

“I love to see the circus tent
it signifies a fun event.”

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The Natural Magic Pirates were the entertainment at today’s Holy Trinity Parish Fair in Avonside.  They are an inspired choice for an event like this, always entertaining with songs to suit everyone.  I’ve engaged them in the past for Volunteer Picnics, and would heartily recommend them.

Please note the creative percussion instrument played by the pirate on the left.

We bought a couple of DVDs (Stephen) and a couple of jigsaws (me), and met our newly elected M.P. for Christchurch Central.  It was good to be able to congratulate him on now being part of the Government.

Afterwards I intended to visit the Eastside Gallery‘s latest exhibition, but found they weren’t open until 12 noon (sorry, Robyn).

“The Pirates are a top notch band
with entertainment that is grand.”

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This is a photo of me at Scott Base – well almost.  It was taken at Canterbury Museum at a viewing of Guy Frederick’s exhibition ‘Postcards to Antarctica‘, where visitors are invited to have their photo taken against an Antarctic background, and then share their ‘icy postcard’.   The exhibition includes photos and videos that Guy took during his week on the ice, as well as postcards written by people who were working there.  It’s situated on Level 3, right outside the permanent Antarctic display.  It’s years since I’ve looked at this, and I was amazed to rediscover the wealth of artifacts there, covering over a hundred years of polar exploration.

“Explorers sailed on the high sea
to find a continent that’s icy.”


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Yesterday I participated in a Seder (Passover) meal with a difference.  This was “Yom Tov”, staged by the Positive Deviance Theatre Company from Auckland.  Judged the Best Newcomer at the 2017 Auckland Fringe Festival they offer theatre that is particpatory and immersive.  Entry to this performance was by edible koha, i.e. it was a pot luck kosher meal.    Our hands were ritually washed before we entered the dining room where the table was set with candles and flowers, and a half orange at each place.

We learned the reason for the oranges was because at a feminist Judaism Conference a woman gave a speech asking why women were not allowed to practice as Rabbis.  A man heckled from the audience saying: “Women belong as Rabbis as much as an orange belongs on the Seder plate”.  Thus began the tradition of putting an orange on the Seder plate to acknowledge the inclusion of all genders and sexualities at the Seder table.

The meal began with the breaking of matzah bread.  The three matzah represent the three patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  During the course of the meal we were served four cups of wine (actually grape juice) which represent the matriarchs Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah.  The traditional story of the Jews leaving Egypt was told, with graphic depictions of the plagues.  The young cast members sang, improvised, and made the whole experience great fun.  This was theatre with a difference, modern and edgy.

“A very different kind of meal
served with theatrical appeal.”



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