Sunday, October 26, 2014

Festa on Saturday Night

Festa is the Festival of Transitional Architecture, which is a yearly event in Christchurch since the earthquakes. This year's big drawcard was Cityups, in which architecture students transformed two blocks of the city with lit up structures, there was dancing, night markets, street volleyball, illuminated carts to race and various other entertainments. It probably couldn't happen anywhere else - where would you find so much empty space in the middle of a city?

When I saw that Carmi's Thematic Photographic theme for the week was night, I knew I wanted to wait for this event before posting my contribution.

The structures were built with all sorts of novel materials - this one is blue water-filled balloons, which kept moving. I have better focussed shots, but I quite liked the effect of this one.

The structure on the left is constructed of plastic bottles, and the one on the right of road cones.

A busker dancing with lit torches. (Long exposure, so she has disappeared!)

The Strange's building is one of the earliest new buildings built since the earthquakes, and has won several major architecture awards.

Even the half demolished buildings look better at night..

The posters are part of a mental health campaign that has been running here for the last couple of years : "All Right". They encourage us to focus on the simple things, such as "when was your last moment of wonder?"

Flowers on Cashmere

I always enjoy passing this florist shop, both the building and the buckets of flowers outside are a bright spot in the landscape, but what is it with the tattered flag?

It's Christchurch, so there are going to be road cones somewhere. There are road works all over the city, fixing sewer lines, water pipes, and other damaged infrastructure from the earthquakes of 2010 - 2012.

(Saturday's photos, posted on Sunday)

Friday, October 24, 2014


Spotted in Sydenham today.


A quick walk by the Heathcote River at lunchtime yesterday.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Old Stone House, Cashmere

It's good to remind myself that quite a few historic stone buildings have survived the Canterbury earthquakes. The Old Stone House in Cracroft, Cashmere is one of them. It is, however, damaged and closed for the meantime. In general, timber buildings survived a lot better than stone buildings as they flex better.

The gardens at the Old Stone House are looking great at the moment, when I have more time I will get back and have a proper look round.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Call of the Hills

I just had time after work to go to the start of the Bowenvale track (above) and grab a few photos. Just reminding myself that last summer I used to go for hour long walks up here in the evening. Now, if I can just find a free evening or two, I will be able to do it again.

The track fades out into a sort of spaghetti tangle further up. Supposedly one can walk right up to the Summit Road from here, but I haven't found the route yet. Time to try again soon.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Boat Landing on the Heathcote River

This is a canoe landing spot by the Heathcote River. I believe the posts were painted by local schoolchildren, though tried to check this online and couldn't confirm it.

I couldn't decide between a wide view and a detail, so I have posted both.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Classic Cars Outside the Heritage Hotel

It's the start of Heritage Week here in Christchurch and these classic cars (and others) were on display outside the Heritage Hotel in Cathedral Square. The Heritage Hotel was formerly the Old Government Buildings and was converted to a hotel in the 1990s, when considerable earthquake strengthening work was undertaken. This made it one of a select number of heritage buildings to survive the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 and after repairs, it reopened in 2013. The new wing of the hotel, however, is still boarded up and unoccupied. I'm not sure whether or not it is to be demolished.

Saturday: Tree Fern

Tree fern in our garden. I climbed up a ladder to get a photo from above.

Friday, October 17, 2014


Here are a few more photos from the last few days, for Carmi's Thematic Photographic theme - patterns.

This is a workroom at the Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology. The windows look directly onto the pavement on High Street, and for some reason the lights stay on when the students go home. I have always found the view into the workroom, with its row of garment patterns hanging from a rack on the wall, quite fascinating. These may not be quite the sort of patterns Carmi had in mind...

so here are a couple of photos of patterns from nature, from my walk at Travis Wetland (see yesterday's post)

dead leaves hanging on the trunks of cabbage palms

and the twisty, almost hexagonal branches of a species of kowhai.

The Gift of Water

When the second big earthquake struck Canterbury in February 2011, many areas were without running water supplies. Farmers drove tankers into town and stopped at schools and parks, where residents queued to fill buckets and containers. In some areas, old capped wells and springs burst open - inconveniently in the middle of living rooms, or more conveniently in front gardens, where some benevolent home owners rigged up pipes and taps so that passers by could fill up on clean fresh artesian water.

Eventually we had water running in our pipes again (I can still remember the utter joy of turning on a tap to find water flowing freely out of it). After even more weeks, we were told it was safe to drink without boiling first. And after another few months, the City Council were able to stop adding chlorine to the water supply in order to make it bug free.

Still, quite a few people seem to have developed a taste for the artesian water that flows from the springs. This one in the photo above is still flowing in Ernle Terrace, near the reserve where I went for a walk today. I never pass by without seeing a stream of people arriving to fill bottles transported there in car boots. Walkers fill their smaller water bottles, and those walking dogs will sometimes set down the dog's dish so that their canine companion can refresh himself.

It was a hot day, I hadn't taken a water bottle but I did stop on the way into the reserve and again on the way out to scoop water into my hands and quench my thirst.