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.

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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.

Slow mo

Wednesday 25 November. Bus to town and get off across the road from the Manchester Street carpark, not that it is there except for rubble. I walk down Gloucester Street, and down New Regent Street.

Probably stop to admire this.

Buy some white chocolate and macadamia cookies at Mrs Higgins. Walk down Armagh, then onto Colombo by the Town Hall. Then, as usual, scoot down Colombo to the corner of Bealey and Colombo Street.

I like to keep left and cross from Pepperberry to the 24 hour surgery on the corner. It feels slightly less exposed, though I usually look over my right shoulder as the traffic behind me has a green light when I go across Bealey Avenue.

I have my headphones on, and cross alongside another pedestrian. We are about halfway across when there is a ruckus. I turn right and see a large vehicle, maybe a 4WD rocketing through the air, dragging a large piece of metal with it, and wires behind.  I feel it whistle past. Smashing sounds, and people screaming. The air is full of dirt as the vehicle has ripped up part of the verge, and it seems the metal is part of a traffic light. The car hits into the eastbound traffic stopped at the lights.

The other pedestrian and I duck down and grab each other, then scuttle off the road together, back to the corner of Bealey and Colombo outside Pepperberry. We are stunned, occasionally hugging each other, aware of people coming from all directions, and a phalanx forming on someone on the other side of the road from us. We don’t know if it is someone from the vehicle, or a pedestrian who took the parallel route to us.

People are quasi-traffic controllers, standing on each roadway into the accident.  From the 24 hour surgery, medical staff come running out with a gurney.  I ring my partner. My legs shake shake shake.

A journalist asks questions, on his way to an appointment.

I exchange name and numbers with my pedestrian comrade.

Lyn G bikes past and walks me home. I talk to the police on my way past. I think I am holding something of his, sunglasses? but he just wants his official police pen back.

I am home, hugs, more hugs, tweets, thoughtfulnesses from others, a rosé  with a kind friend. Worry worry for the person in the road, and anyone else in that mad place. What even happened?

Threads

If you remember the 1980s, you’ll remember how the threat of nuclear war was as scary as hell.

There was an educational segment in the local newspaper on what would happen if Invercargill was nuked (its risk was as a food production area) and I did a bunch of computer calculations on the half life of various radioactive materials for school.

I read about Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Was fascinated by radiation. Watched The Day After, the American blockbuster (I remember seeing a horse’s skeleton lit up at the moment of the blast). I read The Greenpeace Book of the Nuclear Age. Don’t forget the plutonium fuelled Edge of Darkness with Bob Peck.

When the wind blows by Raymond Briggs broke my heart as an old couple endured nuclear war.

Threads came out in 1984. It was a BBC programme that showed nuclear war, and the leadup to and its effect on Sheffield, England.

1980s – I remember the sheer horror of it.
1990s – at Otago University they had an AV room, and I rewatched I Claudius. And Threads.
2000s – after meeting my bloke, we went on a dystopian movie bender. Day of the Triffids. The Stand. Survivors. And Threads – Alice in Videoland has it.
2010s – S. was watching it a couple of nights ago. I sat and watched. Had forgotten how skilfully it blended the banal everyday, with the menace of imminent war in the background – on the news on tv, on the radio, in the newspapers. Then the speed at which everything unravels, and war comes, B52s fly off, and the government and authorities go to the bunkers. I watched the bomb go off, the dad is on the loo with his pants around his ankles. Nana is being escorted down the stairs into the cellar. A woman on the street turns this way and that, puts her hand to her head. Another woman in the street stands there and the camera pans down to her feet and a pool of urine floods out across the concrete.

I stop there.

Dead sheep

When Dad sheared sheep, he left them with sideburns so they looked like late era Elvis.

Once when we were visiting the home farm on the Coast, we tried to move a dead sheep and both ended up retching. My stoic little sister held the contents of her stomach intact. That ghastly sound of expellent air as we tried to move it. The smell, the smell.

At high school in Gore, the worst insult the boys could hurl at a girl was “Dead sheep”.

Sherriff, George, 1846-1930. Sherriff, George, 1846-1930 :[A victim of the keas. ca 1885]. Ref: 1/2-002753-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22306211

Sherriff, George, 1846-1930. Sherriff, George, 1846-1930 :[A victim of the keas. ca 1885]. Ref: 1/2-002753-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22306211

The year of many albums: 1979

CarsArcadiaIn 1979 – at a very tender age – I won 10 LPs in a competition run by The Truth newspaper. This has left me with a capsule of 1979-iana  and fostered my life-long love of music (and vinyl).

It included the following:

Blondie – Parallel Lines
This is an all-time stone-cold classic, from the iconic black and white cover to the musical gems like Heart of Glass and Picture this. And 11.59: “Leaning in your corner like a candidate for wax. Sidewalk social scientist don’t get no satisfaction from your cigarette.” Perfection.

The Cars – Candy-O
I have special love for the segue from Shoo-be-doo to Candy O.

The Little River Band – It’s a long way there – Greatest Hits
This album probably got the least lovin’ – sorry Aussie dudes.

Wings – Greatest
Pretty tasty stuff.

Cheap Trick – Dream Police
I think I just listened to the title track. The rest of it is a mystery to me.

IMG_2816Bad Girls – Donna Summer
Toot toot yeah beep beep.

Racey – Smash and Grab
The song “Kitty” is exactly the same as 80s Toni Basil classic “Mickey”.

Communique – Dire Straits
“Lady writer on the tv talking about the Virgin Mary”.

The soundtrack of Grease
Hammered this one. Of course I wanted to be Rizzo not Sandy.

Breakfast in America – Supertramp
“When I was young I thought that life was so wonderful”.

I also won a copy of Roxy Music’s Avalon off Radio Hokonui.

Like most music-lovin’ people in Christchurch, my music collection is a bit scattered and scrambled. When our place was demolished, we spotted this in the garage. Bye bye Belle and Sebastian.

IMG_0773