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August 24, 2011

Random Reminder

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, Saturday 11 June 1966

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.


The Sagittarian said...

Don't you just fall in love with Canterbury all over again on days like that? Another cracker today I see, and that coffee looks fabulous. I went to Jo's shop once and bought a tea bell with a pretty blue and white china holder - sadly smashed during the June earthquakes but maybe I will venture out again and see if she has anymore! :-)

Jeneane said...

There are a lot of touching, sad and humorous tales around the city's lost china aren't there. I enjoyed some china in Seagars Kitchen Shop yesterday that looked like old enamel plates complete with chipped edges! But I bought a kiwi-shaped cookie cutter.
And for you especially, on this stunning Canterbury day, news from Victoria Park of a monarch butterfly chasing away a bird!