Sunday, October 30, 2011


 Cashel Mall in the centre of the city opened up yesterday for the first time since the earthquake. Today we went and had a look. Most of the shops are in shipping containers painted bright colours.

 Outside of Balentynes there is a beautiful wall of hanging baskets to cover up the exposed wall and scaffolding.

 There are some new stores (or ones I never found) like this grocer selling gourmet type food and a lot of the old goodies from around town.

There were even some iconic Christchurchian people, like the town cryer, he usually hangs out by the cathedral. All of this is just down the road from us! I am impressed at what an amazing job they have done, I wouldn't mind if they kept the colourful shipping containers long term.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Tho' you're older now its just the same, You can play the dandelion game, When you're finished with your childlike prayers

A German artist, Regine Ramseier, created this work, titled (in a rather self explanatory manner); 2,000 Suspended Dandelions.

I really appreciate the use of beautiful natural objects to make something almost ritualistic and magical in quality. It recalls the way herbs are hung to dry for cooking and yet the mythology relating to dandelions makes it almost as though these charmed childhood clocks and wish devices are being preserved for later, perhaps unseasonal use. To see more of Regine's work, such as an installation of bras made into beetles check out her website.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

My Family and Other Animals

Today I thought I would tell you a bit about my family.

This is my Dad as a teenager in his school uniform, if you can believe it. He has one sister who is a year younger, they lived in Auckland, Singapore briefly and then Palmerston North. When he was growing up bicycles were the coolest things to have, but he had a scooter. He and his sister picked up pine cones for pocket money among other labour type jobs. There was a girlfriend at sixteen and she convinced him to upgrade his motorbike. After school he went to Massey University to study mathematics.

This is Mum at a similar age. She grew up on a large farm in central Hawkes Bay with four siblings; three sisters and one brother. All of them were significantly older so as a young child she was perhaps a bit lonely. She attended a boarding school in Napier as a teenager where she made a best friend on her first day there. She then spent her weekends at her friends place and she in return came to the farm on holidays where they rode horses and read The Exorsist. Mum went to Massey University in Palmerston North after school but decided it wasn't for her and started work as a secretary.

They met when Mum placed an ad in a newspaper for a flatmate and Dad turned up. When they were flatting they ate horrible meals like stuffed sheep hearts, listened to their flatmate fart echoingly in the bathtub and combined record collections; which I know because when they gave me the collection there were two of the same Fleetwood Mac records. They got married when they were twenty two.

When they were twenty-six they had Thomas, my brother. There was also a cat called Egbert and a beard which may or may not have been named.

Five years later I came along.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Lyttelton's a Place

 Chris, Keegan and I went on a day trip to Lyttelton today.

 Which is Christchurch's tiny port. We had some chips from one of the fish and chip stores, scanned the bookstore and once we had done all the things we went on a ferry ride across to Diamond Harbour.

 The scenery from the boat was spectacular, wind blown hills in a greyish green covered in sharp patches of rocks. It is a lonely landscape.


The wharf at Diamond Harbour. The whole place had those flowers that grow in salty seaside places.

 We took a guess at the direction of the main street and went for a scenic walk up hill.

 The main street consisted of the post shop, the store (with a cafe inside) and the real estate agent.

 The boys got ice creams, this was the medium size!

 "Don't touch it!"

When we came home I made breakfast for dinner; buckwheat pancakes, bacon, fruit and cinnamon cream.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Happy 23rd Birthday!

 Chris' birthday yesterday. He started the morning with the traditional treasure hunt, here he is eating his first prize (treasure hunter's breakfast) and glaring at me over the clue.

 Breakfast beer and a puzzling code.

This time the clue was wrapped around the arm of the glasses which was on a sculpture in the botanic gardens.

 Chris had to climb in and get it with several tourist families watching, it was very funny, they looked extremely confused.

 Old lady glasses! Our old flatmate Keegan is staying with us for a few days to help us celebrate.

 Chris had to try and remember how to read music (it is the music for London Bridge is Falling Down and leads to the nearest bridge).

 On the way there was this dog which Chris wanted to steal.

 The clue at the boat house (my election enrollment letter which needed posting leading to the post boxes).

After the treasure hunt it was present time, I gave Chris a record player, a book about beer brewing and several records.

 For lunch we had a picnic in the gardens. The weather turned lovely and sunny.

 Finn joined us.


 I put together a desert of yogurt, fruit, walnut ginger honey and chocolate.

 Birthday Boy!

Silly faces.

 Then it was nap time.

 Naps were to be had by all.

Keith, Gina and Hannah joined us for dinner on the balcony; jambalaya, salad and bread followed by chocolate mouse and fruit salad.

 The girl side of the table.

As it got dark we had warm drinks and played board games in the dim glow of fairy lights.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Portents of Doom and Other Things That Come in the Post

 Hi! My mum sent Chris and I a package yesterday, inside was this dress which she picked up somewhere for five dollars. Nice find huh?

It has a cute low back, good sleeves and a nice length.

 She got Chris a copy of Smith Journal (the magazine for the discerning gentleman) for his birthday.

 There were articles about things like distilleries, buildings made of upside down boats, famous typewriters and collections of gentlemanly things.

 There were also motorbikes, designer axes and fashion spreads for men, the last of which made Chris giggle.

P.S. Do you like our new chair? It sure will save us from sitting on the floor.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Busy Bee

One last assignment for this semester, so I better make myself into a specimen of a bee. This guy was flying around our house this morning, I used the title page of a book to help him outside.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Though you might hear laughin', spinnin' swingin' madly across the sun

 There is a little fair at the event tents down the road.

 Chris, Finn and I went for a walk to have a look around.

 It is a beautiful sunny day today! Everyone there was relaxed, there was live music and beer tasting and candy floss.

 We got icecream, the real fruit kind. nom nom.

The fair rides were so cute, zebras!