Humid and Hot

This hot humid weather is driving Ziggy up the wall.

I brush him in the hope that might help, but it doesn’t seem to make any difference.   It’s too hot for anyone to feel like doing much.

“My cat is climbing up the wall
but he does not get far at all.”


This profoundly poignant book is the story of the 1953 Tangiwai disaster when a torrent of water gushed from Mount Ruapehu and fatally weakened a railway bridge just before the Wellington-Auckland express was due to cross.  For me it held echoes of Erebus and the Christchurch earthquakes.  A modern love story is wound around authentic tales from Tangiwai, sometimes making it hard to know what is truth and what is fiction.  In many ways it reads like a documentary.  There’s exploration of the conflict between commercial interests and environmentalists, overlaid with varying respect for Maori tikanga.  I found the book an interesting glimpse of a tragic episode in New Zealand history.

“So many passengers were killed.
Was this an old belief fulfilled?”

Writers’ Walk

Plaques outside the Arts Centre reminded me of the Christchurch Writers’ Trail.  From 1997 a number of plaques complete with quotes were laid in the city to commemorate local literary figures.  I fondly remember the one outside the old Central Library that honoured Elsie Locke, and hope that may be replaced within our new library.

Plaques by the Arts Centre honour writers associated with those buildings, including Edith Grossman and Ngaio Marsh.

Edith Grossman plaque

Ngaio Marsh plaque

I wonder how many of these plaques remain post-earthquake, and whether there are plans to re-issue a pamphlet about them.  Perhaps this is a project WORD could undertake?

“These writers, most of past vintage,
are all part of our heritage.”





I gave up on this book after 25 pages.  It is a “found novel” which means the author has recorded language from every aspect of her life over the course of a year.  She’s then edited it into a book which is promoted as being “bravely experimental and immersive”.   Each chapter is a month, divided into days.  It’s definitely too experimental for me.  I found it messy and prefer a more straightforward narrative.  This book requires more effort than I’m prepared to put in.  I’d be interested to hear if anyone else has tried to read it.

“Time is a pendulum with beat
and this a book I won’t complete.”


Cat Car

I loved seeing this car, labelled ‘Crazy Cat Lady’.

On the back window was a drawing of a cat, with its tail along the windscreen wiper.  When the wiper is switched on it would look as though the cat is licking and wagging its tail.  Then I saw the fuel tank cover!

“I simply love this cute wee car
it’s just the darlingest by far.”

Floral Friday

This magnificent rata tree was in full bloom on Beach Road in Akaroa.  This southern rata is native to New Zealand and can grow up to 15 metres tall.  Like the pohutukawa it is sometimes called New Zealand’s Christmas tree because it flowers in December.  Maori legend tells of the young warrior Tawhaki and his attempt to find help in heaven to avenge his father’s death.  He subsequently fell to earth and the crimson flowers are said to represent his blood.

“This is a spectacular tree
one simply has to stop and see.”

Relishing Rauora

I had the pleasure of walking through the new Rauora Park in the East Frame, and it was a pleasure!  There is a wide path, well away from road, with attractive planting and seats.  So much nicer to walk along than a roadside footpath.

Rauora Park

Where it crosses streets, some of these have been narrowed.  For those that are wider, there is a pedestrian oasis in the centre and signs clearly stating that the road is to be shared.

Shared zone sign

I walked from Lichfield Street all the way to the Margaret Mahy Playground, and it felt good.  All I need now is a similar path from east to west, north of Cathedral Square.  We have the Greenway in the south, but nothing this end.  Maybe when Victoria Square is finished . . . .

“This park’s a pleasant place to be
it’s definitely approved by me.”