June 6, 2011
In a tranquil setting...
on a long weekend, a local family invites neighbours
to join in a village garage sale...
with pony rides, and coffee and cake:
and the occasional lull in trade.
A day profitable in different ways, and Christchurch visitors noticeably replenishing their china cupboards. It was touching to see one old man find a whole set of soup mugs identical to his broken ones.
The quakes don't let up - a 5.5 magnitude aftershock shook Canterbury again this morning.
But to return to china - and a remarkable set I was shown this afternoon.
The war-time austerity of un-patterned Dainty Shelley-ware
takes on new significance when it sits in the collection of a couple whose home was destroyed by fire, shortly after the September Earthquake. Dick retrieved from the ashes, and lovingly cleaned the complete bone china tea set; now, in all its defiant fragility, it brings continuity to Dick and Pam's new house.
Because Dick and Pam have re-built on the old site, their modest new house sits in its established garden, with fruit trees and vegetable garden and flower beds full of promise.
Some of the plants still bare the scars of the fiery blast. The lemon tree beside a charred fence is recovering lush growth and will surely bear fruit again.