Posts Tagged ‘postaday2011’

Now I’m holiday I want to have a walk each morning before breakfast.  My preference is to walk beside the river, but that’s difficult these days.  This morning I headed out along the route I used to take to work. 

Piko Garden 18 December

 The Greening the Rubble people are making good progress on the Piko site.  They’ve imported kowhai trees and are filling gabion baskets with bricks.

Oxford Terrace Baptist Church Sunflowers

On the Baptist Church site the sunflowers the children planted are now in full bloom. 

I’d hoped that now the cordon’s been reduced around Latimer Square there might be a chance that Madras Street would be re-opened, but no.

Madras Street building awaits demolition

This building, between Community Law and the site of the Poplars, needs to go before the street can be re-opened. 
There are pools of water in many areas, a sign that the underground drains still need repair.

Poplar Crescent

Poplar Crescent is as beautiful as ever, but the south side is still out of bounds.

Site of Repertory Theatre

Where the Repertory used to be you can now see right through to the Band Rotunda,
and the new Marque Hotel which will be the first of the inner city hotels to re-open.


St Luke's site

There are dozens of wooden crosses on the site of St Luke’s.  I think these may be relics of the deconsecration ritual which we saw in the film “When a City Falls”.  
The old vicarage still stand on the right.  Will it survive?


The fence around this vacant section has been taken over by convolvulus.
This was not the pleasant meditative walk I’d hoped for.  I’ll try a different direction tomorrow. 
While I was writing this post there was a small quake – the first for I’ve felt for several weeks.
“Where’er I walk there seems to be
a change in all around I see.”

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It took me a while to get into this book, but I persevered because I’ve found the author’s previous novels so good.  Linda has an uncanny ability to engage the reader, and this story simply aches with emotion.   I felt it didn’t have quite the intensity of her earlier novels, but it’s well written with unusual subject matter.

The author’s acknowledgements at the end are dated October 2011, and I got the book from the library on 18 November – surely this must be the quickest publication process ever?

“A love story of different kind
revealing all the ties that bind.”

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Mother’s Milestone

My mother was born on 16 December 1911, and today would have been her 100th birthday.  She died 16 years ago, a peaceful and natural death, and is fondly remembered.  This year I’ve sometimes wondered what she would have made of all the destruction in her birthplace.  I listen to friends talking about how the earthquakes have affected, and often displaced, aged parents, and I’m happy not to have that concern.  Mother would have grieved for the Anglican Cathedral, but her favourite place was the Poplar Crescent which still remains, although some surrounding buildings have gone, and others are unlikely to survive.

16 December is Canterbury’s true Anniversary Day.  When I was a small child it was a public holiday, but somewhere along the years that got moved to Show Week in November.   Today, I’m honouring my mother’s own special Anniversary Day. 

My Mother had a strong belief in reincarnation, which she passed on to me.  I know that somewhere in the Universe her spirit lives on.

“If Mother were alive today
Happy One Hundredth, we would say.”

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Tea Time?

Yesterday’s “Press” carried an article with a heading that suggested it would impart knowledge about tea etiquette.  As an avid imbiber of Earl Grey tea I naturally read on.  The reporter interviewed Stephen Twining of Twining’s Tea fame, and related how particular he is about measuring the length of time the tea bags are left in the water to infuse. 

I could hardly believe what I was reading.  Mr Twining of Twining Teas advocates the use of tea bags!  Surely the original Mr Twining (Richard) who was the tea merchant for the original Earl Grey must be turning over in his grave.  Presumably tea bags make more profit for Twinings and therefore have to be promoted.  I just hope this doesn’t mean that it will become harder to find the loose Earl Grey tea I favour.  In my opinion tea bags provide a far inferior cuppa.

“Loose leaf tea is the way to go
to make a cup that’s comme il faut.”

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We enjoyed a great concert on Sunday evening.  Janice Gray sang, accompanied by Bob Heinz on guitar, and Tom Rainey on upright bass.

Bob Heinz, Janice Gray, and Tom Rainey

The two men are both tutors at CPIT Jazz School.  This trio has played togther for years and they are just so comfortably professional.  We often used to hear them at Tusker’s Restaurant before that changed hands and the new owners sadly dispensed with their services.

Janice has an amazing voice, with a range that includes baritone, and she can sing almost anything.  She also has a great patter, often on the risque side, and is a wonderful example of growing old disgracefully.   For example she told us that she’s 69 years old, and 69 is now “a number, rather than an activity”.  The programme included many favourites, ranging from “Blue Smoke” and “Tennessee Waltz” to “Fever” and “Ghost Riders in the Sky”.
This was a free concert, although you had to book.  Janice explained that she was moved to provide a free evening for the “oldies” because the younger people have had Dave Dobbyn and The Feelers, but there’s been nothing free for the older age group.  That’s typical of Janice who has on several occasions agreed to volunteer for VolCan as a debater or a guest speaker.  May she long continue to provide us with wonderful entertainment.
This was the first time I’ve been to the Hagley Park Events Village at night.  The trees and the archways over the paths are all lit up which makes it quite magical.
“We’re lucky to have Janice Gray
who sings, and brings her friends to play.”

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At the Rangiora Farmers’ Market we met a man carrying three small fluffy dogs in a bag.

Pretty Pooches

They were very sweet, but I suspect they’d rather have been out on their own four legs.  I’ve heard of celebrities carrying dogs in their handbags, but this was a little different.  Maybe they’d already had a long walk and needed a rest.

The market had lots of tasty local produce, and I did some Xmas shopping there.  We also bought cherries which had been freshly picked that morning.  These are the first we’ve had this season and are beautifully juicy.

“I don’t know if their tails would wag
when all cooped up inside the bag.”

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Yesterday I went to Sumner for the first time since the February earthquake.  Driving along the causeway was like being on a gentle roller coaster. 

I was delighted to see a road cone dressed as Santa:

Santa Cone

 A local furniture shop has set up creatively in a couple of containers – complete with lawn.

Out of the box - literally

 The local garden supplies shop has a lovely mural of Peter Rabbit.

Peter Rabbit sneaking through the fence

 On the way back we saw a sign that said something like:  “Don’t worry if you have no chimney.  Santa knows how to use the door.”

Sumner had massive earthquake damage and the fate of many homes is still uncertain.  It’s good to find the people there are so resilient.

“There’s heaps of positivity
in Sumner town, beside the sea.”

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Thank goodness Gerard Smyth has documented what we’ve been through over the last year, and has done it so very well.  Everyone elsewhere in New Zealand should see this film so that they can have some idea of what happened in and to our beloved city.  Despite the subject matter this is not a heavy film.  There are moments that are incredibly moving, there is also humour, and many beautiful shots.

Because Gerard is a neighbour there is considerable coverage of “our ” corner, and nearby buildings.  In one shot you can even see our purple cottage.  Above all it’s a film about the people, including quite a few I know personally.  There was footage of volunteers from the Open Wananga, who’d come down from Raglan.  I’d spoken a number of times with the woman who supervised them, and directed them to liquefaction that needed clearing, but this was the first time I’d actually seen her. 

I understand the film is to be shown in London on 22 February next year, and I hope the U.K. family will be able to see it too.  The story is now a vital part of N.Z. history and I’m just so glad that this exceptional film has been made.

“This film shows Christchurch through last year
and makes what happened to us clear.”

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Perpetual poppies

Red poppies flower every year in the Cottage garden.

Soldier poppies in the Cottage garden

They are bright red with a black cross at the centre.  It was Homer, in the 9th century B.C.,  who first linked the hanging poppy bud with a dying soldier.  During World War One, in Flanders fields,  in western Europe, thousands of red poppies sprang up.  The seeds had lain dormant in the soil and, after being aerated with the churning of the soil from the soldiers’ boots and fertilised with their blood, the poppies grew abundantly, springing forth new life from death.  

Poppies are also associated with the myth of Demeter and Persephone.  When Persephone was in the underworld Demeter withheld her power from the crops, and nothing grew.  When Persephone returned in spring, crocus and poppies grew again.

Poppies flourish on the abandoned Bridge Club car park

Many of the sections where buildings have been demolished are now being populated by red poppies and other wildflowers.  It’s great to see colour returning to these areas.

“”I hope more flowers soon will copy
the wild ubiquitous red poppy.”

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The road cones at the corner of Barbadoes and Salisbury Streets now have seasonal decorations.

Some have a flower:

Cone with flower

Others have tinsel, and some have a star as well. 


Cones with tinsel and stars

Several people tooted while I was tying on the decorations.  I wonder how long they’ll last? 

Doing this reminded me that I have a packet of stick-on eyes in the cupboard.  Perhaps my next project will be cones that look at you.

“The cones looked boring where they sat
Tinsel and stars have changed all that.”

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