August 24, 2011
What could be better on a sunny, snow-capped day than
the drive from Rangiora to Oxford - half an hour and then a little bit further, further even than Woodstock Road. Out along shingle roads into flat pasture lands hedged with trim shelter belts or shaggy broom and gorse. Cattle graze, and occasionally we pass a farmhouse or a barn. Appearances can be deceiving. Such a fine big barn, that one in the paddock over there behind the pine hedge... In reality, it's a warehouse, a national book distributor's premises this barn, brimming with books, with an office for my sister to sit and discuss her partner's book: ISBN number, spine details, print runs, page numbers and is it in time for Christmas? Utterly enthralling for me, who hasn't moved beyond entering writing competitions.
Darling Your Nose is Burning
A selection of cartoons from Doug's collection of his father's drawings: Charles Milne's work was a memorable aspect of The Christchurch Press during my growing years, possibly because it is the cartoons that children are drawn to, whether they understand the humour or not. The astute social commentary on a past era, is a revelation to me, reading the cartoons now.
From The Christchurch Press, Monday 3 February 1964
Gender roles and realities, sport and world events were all grist to Milne's satire mill. The Tally Ho Random Reminder above, is based on reports of sabotage of an English Hunt meeting. And where else would I find the original publication of Milne cartoons but in a tantalising pile of newspapers dating back to my family's earliest years in New Zealand!
After hard work at the Book Distributors,
Ingrid and I naturally stopped for refreshments. At Seagars at Oxford the cappucinos come with a reminder of the district's farming charachter - a wheatsheaf.
A not-so-random-reminder: Don't forget to enter my competition for the best mondegreen, posted on 17 August.