Sunday, April 22, 2012

Daily Pics

Every day as I ride around the city on my bike, to and from work and to meetings I see people taking lots of photos of our damaged buildings as they stand and as they fall.  I have not really done much photo taking and I wondered, with the rapid rate of change, whether I should take a few snaps just to remember because once they are gone you just can't remember what was there.  So, on my way to work the other morning I snapped a few shots from my bike.  

Starting on the corner of Cambridge Tce and Barbados Street....
Beauty still exists.  Note how scruffy the waters edge is in the foreground.  Small things have changed.

Just up the block, an empty section and a sad house.
Across the road, a really good example of the wonky storybook look we are demonstrating in Christchurch east this year.
From Peterborough St looking at the back of the Med Lab South building on Kilmore. 

Colombo looking South from Peterborough...No Metro or Johnson's, Lime Bar or antique shops
The Town Hall through the ruble of the Convention Centre from Peterborough
What is left of the Crown Plaza(Park Royal) where Jonty and I spent the first night of marriage.  Our room is still there. Corner Durham, Victoria and Kilmore.

Cranmer Court, corner of Kilmore and Canmer Square. Love the photo in the window.  A wistful image of what might have come before.
The lovely Environment COurt building on Durham St corner of Armagh.  Not much gets to me in the destruction of the city, I have a very pragmatic view, however, this breaks my heart.  I love this building
Another view of it

Provincial Council building...being lovingly looked after since February 2011
Don't know what this building was but this is a view of Hereford St building from the Stirp, in front of where the Banaglor Polo Club used to be.
Very attractive alley I bike down to get from Cashel to Lichfield which, by the end of the day was cordoned.  One year down the track and this building on the right is obviously coming down or too dangerous to be near.  I always thought it was a place to move through at speed. 
Finally, the very attractive entrance to the warehouse in which I and many of my colleagues have and do work. 

Monday, April 09, 2012


Often talked of but I have never been to Whitecliffs before and what a treasured place it is.  With no sea breeze providing the limiting chill, this place was just stunning yesterday.
Camp with the caravan and the massive mobile home. As day trippers, we just had a car and a few deck chairs.

In the caravan drawing pictures and eating chocolate

Cockabully tales

Nic swinging on the rope, not togs so it was an undies undies undies day.

Ben loving the swing, I wonder if his arms are working today as he spent a very long time doing this

Navigating the rapids

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Easter '12

My love of Saturdays just never ends, no matter where in the world Saturday is just the best ever day.  Yesterday Saturday did not disappoint with the discovery of new things that just confirm Saturday as the BEST day of the week.   Three things we and Marie-Anne on a moochy afternoon around Christchurch.  After an expected delicious lunch at UTRV (a survivor of the EQ world we live in..)
we then mooched down Colombo Street to The Colombo which is slowly being turned upmarket and interesting.  A mall without being a mall.  Nice work.  Anyway, two new foody additions to the space included Cooper & Co, looked deli delicious to us


 where we also discovered our lovely neighbours about to indulge in macaron loveliness.

 From there we headed towards the famous Christchurch Red ZOne to indulge in a much missed Alice and Videoland adventure.  It was truely lovely to be back in the familiar building, a testament to the over engineering of Post Office buildings.  Thank you for the NZPO.  At least there will be two or three buildings left in the CBD.  I picked up a lovely light French film to spend my solo evening with. 
Tiny Alice sign with soon to be demolished McKenzie and Willis building on Tuam Street.  The 'lanes' are gone....damn it.

 And then the best treasure of the day came in the form of the Dance-o-Mat, another great Gap Filler project in the city.  I am sooo going back there at night to see the glitter ball and get my boys dancing on a demo site in front of the passers by.  How liberating it is to dance like you just don't care who sees you.  It was such fun and so windy.

We found this fantastic family dancing away and so just joined in.
Definitely worth a visit when groups of dancers are booked in.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Quince Cake

This stunning cake is cooling on a rack on the kitchen bench with two small warm slices missing.  It is so delicious I had to share it immediately

Although it is an Apple and Blueberry cake, I used cooked quinces for my topping.  Stunning.  It is another Donna Hay recipe from her latest book 'fast, fresh, simple'
1 and 1/2 cups of sifted self-raising flour;
3/4 cup of caster sugar;
125 grams of butter, softened;
1 teaspoon vanilla extract;
2 eggs;
1/2 cup of milk;
1 apple, cored and thinly sliced;
3/4 cup of frozen or fresh blueberries (I used frozen as fresh are so expensive at the moment); and
2 tablespoons of demerara sugar.
To start, preheat the oven to 160 degrees C. Place flour, sugar, butter, vanilla, eggs and milk in a bowl and beat with an electric mixed until just combined. Spoon the mixture into a greased 22cm springform tin lined with non-stick baking paper.
Top the mixture with the thinly sliced apples and blueberries and sprinkle with the demerara sugar (I didn't have any so used ordinary sugar).
Bake for 45 minutes or until the cake is cooked when tested with a skewer. Let the cake sit in the tin for 5-10 minutes before turning it out to cool further on a wire rack. The apple slices and blueberries will have sunk slightly into the cake mixture. Serve the cake with ice cream or dollop cream.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Just finished reading (3 books) #50, #51, #52

March turned out to be a bit of read fest for me.  I was the star of the boogroup this month having completed 3 whole books, an amazing feat in our post EQ year.  I had such a rich month.  In order

The Book Thief   Markus Zusak

I think I might be the last person in bookland to read this book.  I managed to avoid it for years in bookgroup.  I was put off by the 'narrator is death' thing and the ugly cover.  However, I LOVED this book, just like everyone else I guess.  So much did I love it that I raved about it to Jonty who also read it.  That in itself is a minor miracle. He LOVED it...'the best book I have read in years'.  He seldom reads fiction and I witnessed tears from my husband.  We loved it so much we bought for Jasmine for her birthday.  She is yet to read it, I hope she loves it too.

You can look this book up on a zillion blogs and get a great review.  My reviews are seldom great, more like a reaction statement.  Death as narrator is great as he (?) sees all and is just lovely...just a guy doing a job.  The characters in this book are gorgeous.  Liesel our hero child is stunning and her love for language and stories is heartwarming.  Set in Germany in WW2 it is the story of ordinary people living through an extraordinary time.  Their reaction to war, Nazism, hunger and death are endearing.  The humour is great.  I am not going to tell you anything else about the story.  Give it a go, you wont be disappointed.  It is much better than you can imagine and anyone can describe.  If you want to read a really good review of this book, check out Reading Matters link in my blog roll just of there to the right.

After the Fall - Kylie Ladd

Two couples of young professional people set in Aussie, cant remember if it is SYD or MEL.  Anyway, written from all four of their perspectives we navigate an attraction to an obsession and beyond through the eyes of the four people involved and a couple of friends.  I liked it as a fish eye view of what life in an affair was all about.  Not a place I ever want to be but with no judgement at all because this can happen to anyone.  I really enjoyed it for lots of reasons - the situation, the location, the characters.  Good writing and something quite different from my previous read.

The devotion of suspect X - Keigo Higashino

Another excellent read.  I loved it.  How some people are so bloody clever is beyond me.  We know who is murdered, we know who did it and then we are taken on the tightly written, masterly thought out crime thriller ride as the police try to solve the crime.  Paced just right and with no excessive crap 50 pages that so many other writers just have to add to their stories...a common complaint from me. An ex night club hostess and her daughter, a maths professor genius neighbour, his physics mate and a couple of detectives, one wily and the other a newby are our characters and their story is a triumph of clever story writing.  Just great.  I think it has been made into a film.  A must see.   Loved the setting and couldn't wait to go there every day.  I also wanted to eat Bento every day too.  I will not give anything away as the story line is the key to whole thing.  It is not scary but just very very clever and unexpected.  Thanks Lisa, our Japan-ophile and book wholesaler who buys great books.

Monday, April 02, 2012

One year, one month and 10 days

Although I have been into the Central library many times since the earthquake and helped remove stuff and grab a few of my own work essentials, today I got to go in and actually start clearing out my very messy office.  The highlights of my morning were
  • finding my Roxy jandles that I have spent all summer looking for
  • getting out my own (empty) filing cabinet
  • my pen holder (the paper cup has just not been doing it for me)
  • and my in-tray
  • lovely little notes and drawings I had around my office from Nic
  • my scale rule
  • my apothecary sniff box
Small but significant treasures
I also took some photos

bit of a mess from the door

Lots of mouldy stuff on the floor...thanks to the only leak int he building

Chsritchurch Cathedral in the back there

Looking down Gloucester

Through to the Square, Anthony Harper and Clarendon Towers

Victoria Square

Looking south down Colombo

Sunday, April 01, 2012

The places you will go

One of the great things about children (your own generally) is the places they take you.  As a child I would never had the opportunity to participate in a Tryathlon.  I am astounded at how cool kids are who just get out there and have a really good go at things they wont win but will get the wonderful experience of participating and finishing, knowing they have done their best and gone hard out.  Yay to all those great kids.

Pre event breakfast loading
Three hours waiting patiently and ready to go

Excellent finish

Sunday Sunday 1 April

Nothing beats a warm autumnal day on the first day of daylight saving fall back.  It means a very cruisy day with a sleep in.  This was made possible by Ben Davis who stayed the night and kept Nic away for some hours first thing this morning.  Good to have a coffee at Blax afterwards.  Got to keep our local businesses going by turning up and spending money. 
Ben and Nic Hagley Park

Peacock Fountain...gorgeous


Hang in there  Blax