Wednesday, April 22, 2015


I think this image speaks for itself. Really??

What remains of the old McKenzie & Willis building - what exactly are they leasing??

Meet Me In The Square

The Christchurch Art Gallery, despite its main gallery remaining closed for earthquake repairs, has been active in finding temporary premises to exhibit around the city. One such exhibition that is currently on is 'Meet me in the Square' - a collection of photographs taken of townsfolk as they go about their business in and around the Square in the 1970s and 1980s.
Years ago, the Square was the hub of the city. You could drive around the Square and the Cathedral, all the buses departed from the Square, and most of the movie theatres were situated around the Square. It was the place to be - especially Friday nights when the shops remained open until 9pm.
Sadly, the suburban malls have taken people away from the city, there are no theatres in Square, few buses go via the Square, and no shops are open on a Friday evening.
So all we are left with now are memories................

'Meet me in the Square' exhibition - The Physics Room, Tuam St.
Way back in 1971, Chris and I went to live in Syracuse, Upstate New York. The centre of that city, approximately the same size as Christchurch - maybe a little larger, was completely dead. It had been taken over by large suburban malls. The town centre was in decline. The buildings were abandoned, nobody went there. It felt unsafe. That has happened throughout the USA - and is happening here to a lesser degree.

Spectrum - Street Art #2

In addition to the indoors street art currently being exhibited, the city arranged for leading street artists from Australia and New Zealand to exhibit on some of the many blank walls around the city.
I am still working my way around these, but here are a few that I've photographed over the past two months with Arna. I will endeavour to view the remainder before they get swallowed up by the rebuild.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Spectrum - Street Art #1

In previous blogs I have shared my interest in street art. That interest hasn't changed. Tagging is  moronic but street art is clever.
This year here in Christchurch is the Spectrum exhibition, spanning a period of 3-4 months.
Some are outside on the walls of buildings - and are huge.
Some are in T shirt form.
Some is encompassed in a large multi room display at the YMCA.
Yesterday Chris and I visited this last display at the YMCA - we were not disappointed.

I will share some of the outdoor street art later.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Escaping The City

Easter is over and the school holidays commenced.
Chris is still teaching and she hadn't been back over to the West Coast since she sold the family house over three years ago.
So a week over the hill was in order.
The weather gods were not fully compliant, but we did manage to walk each day - and read - and rest - and sleep - and eat and drink!

Waimakariri River in flood
The skies were moody, thus lending themselves for photographic opportunities.

Hawdon Valley
Anger above the Dome
Red Beech Stream
Punakaiki is always a magnet for us.............

Coal Creek Falls has been on the list for years, so finally got to see them...............

Coal Creek Falls

Friday, April 10, 2015

Annual Tramp - 2015

The 35th annual tramp - started in 1981. Two members have managed to participate in all 35 journeys. There have been some epic trips over the years. Nowadays, the emphasis is leaning towards  the camaraderie rather than the journey itself.
Nevertheless, we still manage to extend ourselves - a new route, blood sweat and tears, sore knees, back and feet!
This year the area immediately south of Mesopotamia in the Rangitata Valley and 4-5 day journey was chosen with three of us in attendance - four for the first day/night.

Negotiating Bush Stream
Crooked Spur Hut
Four dodgy characters!!
Graeme - survivor of all 35 to date
Quintessential High Country Canterbury
Look closely - a mob of 34 Tahr
Approaching another saddle - Day 2
Late afternoon near Stone Hut
Heading down to Felt Hut in Forest Creek
On the third day, I couldn't resist the opportunity to drop my pack and embark on a brief side trip for a few hours to revisit Royal Hut. I was last there in March 1970 when I was leading a Search and Rescue team shadowing Prince Charles and Princess Anne throughout the South Island.

Royal Hut (formerly New Hut)
And now the project for this winter is to commence assembling a book covering all 35 journeys. Graeme has written them all up and I've photographed the majority.

Enroute to Bullock Bow Saddle from Royal Hut

Thursday, April 9, 2015

A Guiding Moment

I used to guide for Tuatara Tours - almost exclusively on the Christchurch to Akaroa walk. This stopped ~2006 as I became busier with my framing activities and overseas trips.
Out of the blue, in early March this year, I received a call from Tuatara and asked if I was available to guide a small group on the Queen Charlotte Track in the Marlborough Sounds. It didn't take long to rearrange a few meetings and agree to guide the walk.
I hadn't walked the entire track in its entirety before - I'd done various sections over the years, but not all at once.
I only had two lovely women - both very fast walkers!
The highlight, apart from guiding these two lovely people, was right at the start - Motuara Island.
This is a protected island with no predators. The birdlife is beautiful - saddlebacks, bellbirds, parakeets, robins, fantails, tomtits - all literally in the same place at one point. The chorus deafening. Plus several Little Blue penguins still in their burrows.
A memorable five days on a great iconic track with two fast women. And at the end of the walk, I managed to catch up with my lovely sister at Waikawa for a few hours before driving down to spend the night in the Company vehicle at Kaikoura for a dawn photographic shoot.

East from Motuara Island
South from Motuara Island
Southern Rata flower
Queen Charlotte Sound
Kaikoura Dawn