Autumn: 100 Days Project: Day 10

Photo taken 30 May 2017

There are beautiful sunrises and sunsets in the season of mists. And plenty of the mellow fruitfulness.

Bold gold and yellows and oranges are not just in the leaves, they are in the autumn sunlight.

And at night, when the sky gets all inky, the streetlights play with the dusk and the imminent night and the colour of the trees.


New Regent Street: 100 Days Project: Day 9

New Regent Street is quite a fetching spot these days. I’m a fan of the knitted blankets outside The Last Word and the spectacle-ular window displays of Groovy Glasses. And bikes with baskets and 1970s patterned sun umbrellas perched outside Rollickin Gelato tell the story of the kind of city centre I want to hang out in.

Rollickin Gelato has opened its upstairs space now – there’s comfy seating, lava lamps, and some books to read. Their chocolate fountain is made of melty Whittakers goodness, and you can have that as a choc top on your gelato, or warm your mitts on a hot chocolate made from it.  We’re keen on the Smores too.

I’m not much of a night owl, but at last year’s WORD Christchurch Festival I went to the launch of Aotearotica and a whole bunch of interesting literary things were going on in New Regent Street – lady poets and performances. Typewriters perched outside each venue, so you knew who was taking part.

Around the corner, the new Central Library is taking shape.
At the other end, another demolition is opening up a view down to the river.

Princess Princess: 100 Days Project: Day 7

Photo taken 15 April 2017.

On a damp Saturday afternoon, we  watched the newish Cinderella movie, with wasp waisted Lily James as the blonde Cinderella. Oh, that blue ballgown – and Helena Bonham Carter — donning a set of choppers to match Lily’s slightly buck teeth —an equally impressively frocked Fairy Godmother. Not to mention Cate Blanchett as Couture Stepmother putting the haute into haughty.

The princesses in this photo are more local. They did an Easter Egg hunt at Abberley Park. Christchurch Princesses do birthday parties too, if your kid wants a princessy type of birthday.

And this week in princess adjacent news , Pippa Middy married James Matthews (brother of Spencer Matthews from Made in Chelsea – my reality show of choice).

Also on the princess kick, we recently read Princess Princess ever after by Katie O’Neill, a Christchurch artist and writer. Princesses that quest together, and get married. What a joy.

Lemon Tree Cafe: 100 Days Project: Day 6

Photos taken 16 May 2017

Photos taken 16 May 2017

On a Friday I work in the CBD, and often pop into the Lemon Tree Cafe first thing to get a green tea latte. It is yummy, but looks like pond sludge. The staff are lovely and friendly, and the place has a kind of country provincial style that’s the opposite of Christchurch’s prevailing industrial look cafes.  A pretty oasis.

Yesterday I got my green tea latte in the afternoon,  and when I popped in there was a notice on the door:

It is so sad that we are closing from 5th of June …The building will go under construction to repair earthquake damages and also strengthen the building …we are not sure how long it will take but we are hoping to open again on the 26th June … We will miss you a lot and we hope to see you again soon. Stay warm everyone! Winter has come.

I hope it all goes well for them. It is a special spot.

Armageddon it: 100 Days Project: Day 5

Photo taken 11 March 2017.

We got to Armageddon Pop Culture Expo most years. Never mind the stalls and the stuff for sale, mostly we can hardly move for the crowds – the best thing is the utterly fab cosplay.

We are always unorganised costume-wise, but somehow my bloke and kid manage to whip something together. This year he was Negan from The Walking Dead (there were 5 other Negans that we saw), Kiddo was a Soda Warrior, and I wore my Sapphire and Steel t-shirt.

We loved meeting Judy from Zootopia, Steven Universe Crystal Gems, Coraline’s Mum, Wolverine, Raven, and a big Chewbacca.

Notes on music: 100 Days Project: Day 4

Our LPs, 25 May 2017.

I was raised on LPs and singles, 33s and 45s. The Beatles, Dusty Springfield, Sandy Posey, Tom Paxton, Abba. That scritchy sound when a needle drops and a record starts. Reading the lyrics of an album cover.

Later we got into cassettes. Rock Follies, The Abba Movie soundtrack. Trying to fix up cassette tangles, snipping them with nail scissors and splicing them back together will sellotape. A walkman.  Mixtapes, with voice breaks of us going ads read from Seventeen magazine, or singing Barry Manilow’s Mandy.

My record collection proper begins in 1979 when I won 10 LPs in a competition from The Truth newspaper.

  • Blondie – Parallel Lines
  • The Cars – Candy-O
  • Bad Girls – Donna Summer
  • The Little River Band – It’s a long way there – Greatest Hits
  • Wings – Greatest
  • Cheap Trick – Dream Police
  • Racey – Smash and Grab
  • Communique – Dire Straits
  • The soundtrack of Grease
  • Breakfast in America – Supertramp

I used to ring up Radio Hokonui, and won records off them too – Avalon – Roxy Music.

The first record I buy myself is The Lexicon of Love – ABC. Spangled pop at its finest.

My first big concert was The The in the Christchurch Town Hall

University – an A0 poster of The The Beaten Generation on my wall, playing the tapes of Tango in the Night by Fleetwood Mac and Violent Femmes. Buying the Carmen movie soundtrack on LP.

Then in the 90s – a move to CDs, the first one I got was a compilation of Irish music, and the Triple J compilation with Denis Leary’s Asshole on it.

I occasionally use the dread CD walkman, but it’s probably the most useless bit of music kit ever.

My biggest music passions kicked off in the 90s, coinciding with Britpop – CDs and CD singles of Oasis, Blur, Manic Street Preachers, Suede.  I buy NME, Select, and Q mags.

In the 2000s, I merge LPs with my lover, we both have:

  • Parallel Lines – Blondie
  • Candy O – The Cars
  • Avalon – Roxy Music
  • Tracman

Concerts – the magic few days in 2010 when we see Leonard Cohen and Rufus Wainwright in concert.  In the front row dancing, at  Peter Hook and the Light.

These days I walk and commute with headphones and a 4GB MP3 player and choons.
Spotify, love the Spotify. Listen to the new Leonard Cohen, David Bowie, Aldous Harding, on the day it comes out.

Occasional new vinyl. Always out there at Galaxy and Penny Lane for Record Store Day. Set up record player in the bedroom. Print out for lyrics for my 8 year old. Her current favourite songs are Ridin’ dirty by Chamillionaire and History by One Direction.

Now, making mixes for the radio with my friend.

Favourite songs:
If you asked me at uni, I would have said I am the Walrus – The Beatles.
After that, for a very long time, it has been Brompton Oratory by Nick Cave, off the sublime The Boatman’s Call album.
Now I’d say Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen.

Ghost sign on High Street – 24 May 2017: 100 Days Project: Day 3

High Street is being repaired, deconstructed, etcetera. At the far end, there’s a new restaurant going in (called TMR I think). Closer to St Asaph Street, it is more fenced off and in progress. I walk past reasonably often, it’s one of the ways I can get to work.

One of the interesting things exposed and unmasked by this kind of work are ghost signs. They are a little look into the past, history pressing into the now. Today’s the first time I’ve seen that “fruiterer” sign. I’m glad to have spotted it, and it probably won’t be here for long as all those little street overhangs have gone from the other buildings.

Nick Cave – 23 May 2017: 100 Days Project: Day 2

The sunrise this morning in Christchurch was beautiful. I grabbed a couple of photos, and thought “There’s my 100 days project photo – I’ll just write some words on how I used to work in Linwood and ride into the sunrise in the mornings, and into the sunset at night”.

Then I arrived at New Brighton for work today, and spotted this on my way. Nick Cave street art in the New Brighton Mall. I actually felt my heart lurch in my chest. It felt like a piece of magic laid on just for me. Even now I am quivering a bit.

SOL Square – 3 May 2017: 100 Days Project: Day 1

SOL Square, 3 May 2017

A fence went down in Christchurch this month, so you can look a bit further into SOL Square.

Back in the day, I went with friends to see Goldie at Ministry. Me and Mr T went right to the front, close enough for Mr T to get right up in Goldie’s grill. We stood there by the turntable, and Mr T laid down some challenges to Goldie.

Probably the most gangster behaviour I’ve been an accessory to.