My Favourite Window

June 28, 2012

Down Town Up

Rangiora has developed a forlorn feeling over the past six months. This rabbit left in the toy shop window, symbolised the sense of stoicism that the High Street retailers have had to muster to weather the rolling closure of their shops and the disruption of through traffic due to post-earthquake safety concerns.

The Town Hall 
was closed in December, and 
although stage productions have
found other venues, we have no local cinema for the time being.
A Council decision to 
strengthen and refurbish the
building has been contentious,
but I am certainly pleased that the grand old lady is going to continue to be part of our cultural fabric, not to mention retaining her landmark position in the High Street. I know that after 50 years of belonging here, the loss of the Town Hall would have finally loosened bonds that bereavement and the Earthquakes
had begun to unravel.

Stoicism has been tempered with humour, generosity and co-operation.

As other closures followed the Town Hall, 

businesses reached out to one another, helping to remove stock and equipment, and offering space in undamaged offices and shops.

Paradoxically, I enjoy the narrow walkway, which has been established between the road and the defensive container wall: there is always courtesy and a smile from whoever I squeeze past beside that great steel blockade.

I also enjoy walking past the old library building. It is a positive
work in progress; the strengthening of an early brick building, which is another part of Rangiora's cultural fabric. The bricks have been removed and will be replaced over a concrete inner wall.

Another positive initiative has been the construction of a pop-up shopping precinct by the Waimakariri District Council in front of the
Council Chambers.

Today in bright sunshine, warm enough to bask in,

It was time to open the new precinct
(whatever the state of the old one).

The Mayor explained that there was no catchy name for the new shops; tenancies are likely to come and go, but the main thing is to keep the retail heart beating in the town centre.

The Prime Minister, John Key, formally opened the precinct,

And it was back to business.

I checked on the rabbit and am pleased to see that she has been reunited with her friends in the toyshop's new premises.

For the Mayor's more detailed journal of Rangiora happenings - including the stocking of the toyshop - visit David Ayers' Weblog

June 16, 2012

Red Velvet Comfort

This is the time of Matariki in New Zealand. It equates to the Halcyon Days of ancient Greece, when settled weather can be relied on for gathering in the late harvest and sea food before Winter storms in. But this year, the re-appearance of the constellation Matariki - or the Pleiades - in the sky, has ushered in rain, snow and freezing temperatures.  And I am feeling the cold.  Satisfying then to have comforts, like the log burner, the contentment of cats, lush gardening books and home baking...

Kitty, I am realising is a natural baker.  What is it in the genes that can incline one to understanding the business of flour and fat and sugar? Is it the same gene that inclined her father to chemistry? And did he inherit that from his mother, Kitty's grandmother, who was an excellent baker? According to her daughter Lizzie, Dimpy understood and made all types of pastry with skill. And every Christmas, Elwin remembered the ecstasy and the agony of his mother's mince pies: the melt-in-the mouth pastry and the indigestion that followed. Well, now we know that he was also setting himself up for arteriosclerosis. But let's not get distracted from comfort: it's wintertime, it's cold, and home-baked Red Velvet Cake right now, feels good.

June 7, 2012

First Snowfall

It snowed yesterday...

blanketing the Secret Garden

and imbuing it with an aura of mystery.

This morning dawned, bright and clear.

From Auckland Street, 

where the Skudder House basks in the Sunrise

and poses for my camera

(because who can tell whether it will see another winter)

to the iced roses by my front steps;

Snow makes me see things differently.

June 2, 2012


The scent of new mown grass is one of the rewards of mowing;

but I think that Aelfy is interested in other things that have gone through the blades...

Some of them don't bear thinking about.

Tantalising maybe, but intangible.

Curiosity satisfied Aelfy loses interest.