Floral Friday

My new hyacinths are starting to flower, and smell divine.  Their name is “Blue Eyes”.  I planted these back in April, after having chilled them in the fridge for a couple of weeks.  Three bulbs were planted in this pot, but sadly only two have appeared.

“My hyacinths are just two-thirds
I cannot blame this loss on birds.”


Kadett Cafe

I’d often heard of events being staged at the Space Academy in St Asaph Street, but never been there.  This week I went, but during the daytime when the Academy becomes Kadett Cafe (Tuesday-Saturday, 8am-4pm).  After 4pm the room becomes a bar and entertainment venue.

Kadett Cafe at Space Academy

They have a small but interesting menu.  My cheese scone was served with butter and relish, and together with a hot chocolate cost just $8.  The teas come in Japanese-style pottery cups.  The room is spacious and quiet, so excellent for a lunchtime meeting.  If you’re down that end of town (between Barbadoes Street and Fitzgerald Avenue) it’s definitely worth a visit.

“I recommend Cafe Kadett
go, if you haven’t tried it yet.”

Trees and Stars

Someone with a poetic bent has painted a couple of murals on the building on the north west corner of Gloucester Street and Fitzgerald Avenue.

“The Trees” by Philip Larkin


Starry Starry Night

I enjoy seeing new adornments when I’m out walking.  I like to think about what may have inspired these artistic creations.

“Trees and stars are signs of hope
which comfort those inclined to mope.”

Fin DAC’s Figure

The wall of the YMCA is graced by this mural by London-based artist Fin DAC who specialises in making large murals of beautiful women.


The title is Kaitiaki and the picture combines elements of Maori culture and mythology to offer protection to the city.  An owl and a kingfisher sit in her hands.

“This female image meant to be
protection for both you and me.”

Conduct Cumulus

On the Arts Centre’s north quad there is a community of bubbles.

Conduct Cumulus by Seung Yul Oh is intended to honour the extraordinary actions and energies of Christchurch citizens, working individually and collectively through self-determined groups and communities of interest to rebuild their city post-quakes.  When one bubble meets another the resulting union is always one of total sharing and compromise.

“Each bubble wants to be a sphere
as to another they adhere.”

In this book the author explores marriage and what it has meant for four women in different times and societies.

First is Mary Livingstone, who married the famous African explorer in 1845.  She was the ideal missionary’s wife, but was out of place in Victorian English society.  Mary saw no option but to do whatever her husband wanted, and relied totally on his support.  There is no doubt that he loved her, and was inconsolable when she died, but he often abandoned her for long periods of time, and she found it impossible to function without him.

Robert Louis Stevenson was Fanny’s second husband (they married in 1880).  She’d been through many trials before she met him and theirs was a passionate relationship.  Louis’ health was often poor and she nursed him diligently.  Much as Fanny loved Louis she was an independent woman who also wanted to write, although she recognised that he was far more talented.  Fanny often took breaks on her own which gave her a chance for rest and restoration.

Jennie Lee, born in 1904 and brought up in a socialist household, planned to have a career and lovers and not to marry.  She was elected as  a British Labour MP in 1928, and in 1934 she married another socialist MP Aneurin (Nye) Bevin.  The main reason to marry was because it meant they could live together without causing scandal that might affect their careers.  Jennie kept her own name, and as Nye rose higher in the Labour Party she supported him to the detriment of her own career, because she saw that he had more chance of bringing about the socialist policies they were both committed to.  Nye was responsible for the creation of the National Health Service, currently celebrating 70 years of existence.

I enjoyed Margaret Forster’s analysis of her own marriage.  Like me, she married young.  She points out that such a marriage can become almost a barrier to outside friendships, women are more inclined  to make other close friendships than men, and she laments the fact that Fanny Stevenson didn’t have an intimate woman friend.  Margaret suggests all wives are linked by their need to establish a relationship with their in-laws, something that’s not so essential for a husband.

This is an absorbing book, and a thought-provoking analysis of how our ideas of matrimony changed up to 2001.   Since then there have been even more changes.  Reading this would cause any woman to think carefully before committing herself to marriage.

What does it mean to be a wife
and to commit for all of life?”


The outside of our new central library Turanga is almost complete and looking good.

New library building

The triangular panels reflect the light effectively.  No definite opening date yet, but surely it can’t be many more months.

In the opposite block in Armagh Street there’s a site which still looks like the flooded war zone.

Armagh Street site

How long will it be before something is done about this area?

“We’ll welcome our new library
when we can get inside and see.”