I know I’ve been quiet again, but I’ve got the usual excuse of being too busy with work and study to feel like sitting down in front of a computer when I get home. But I need a break from the long and tedious task I’ve been doing all day, so rather than mindlessly browsing the web I’ll spend a few minutes catching up here.
The last couple of weeks have been pretty socially busy as well. The weekend before last Mum came up for a couple of days for the flower show. It was great to see her (of course, I have to say that, seeing as I know she’s reading this ), and we managed to fit in a bit of fun as well as long talks about the latest annoyances caused by some of our least favourite branches of the extended post-nuclear family. We even managed a shopping trip! (Well, sort of – we went to Riccarton in search of clothes but gave up and went to Browsers for morning tea instead).
Mum’s visit coincided with a wee party Jenny and I co-hosted – she was the original host, having planned to have a party at her place, but nowadays Sumner is such a slog to get to over the bad roads that nobody was particularly keen. So I offered to have it at our house instead. Christian and Douglas took over the kitchen and cooked pizzas, so all I had to do was sit back and enjoy the evening. It was all work people, so of course the conversation was lively, but we also managed to fit in a game of ‘Apples to Apples’, which was the source of much hilarity. A great night, and nice to be able to introduce Mum to some of my friends and colleagues.
On Monday night I finally caught up with my ESOL student for a lesson, after a long hiatus while she had visitors and other disruptions to our schedule. Her daughter now has her drivers license, so they both come round to my place now rather than me having to battle the buses out to Bishopdale. Having her daughter there as well means our lessons generally end up more about just having a chat over a cup of tea than formal lessons, but it’s all good language practice We’ve got another lesson tonight, so at least I’ll be able to give her some reading to do while I’m away.
Wednesday was our Bookcrossing meetup (yes, after 9 years of Tuesday nights we’ve changed the day), which was reasonably well attended. After an initial mixup with the table it was an enjoyable evening, with the usual piles of books being passed around, and trying new and exciting dishes.
Saturday I spent out at Little River at Helen 3′s St Patrick’s Day/wedding anniversary party. I got a lift out with La Presidenta and family, and it was an enjoyable afternoon sitting in the sun, even if I did spend the odd moment feeling guilty about the reading I should be doing for this weeks’ lecture. Got to catch up with a few old union contacts, and also to feel reassured that I made the right decision in dropping the union work for this year – it was nice to hear about all the problems and chaos without feeling obliged to do anything about them.
Then yesterday I met Otakuu in town so we could take advantage of the last chance to walk into the Square and see the cathedral, which is to be demolished. The wizard was there collecting signatures for his save the cathedral petition, but I didn’t sign it. Much as I regret the loss of the cathedral, the damage has got so bad that it’s pretty obvious even to the untrained eye that it could collapse completely any day now, so I really don’t think there’s any choice but to demolish it. It doesn’t look that bad at first glance, but then you look more closely and see how many of the walls and buttresses are leaning over, and how the stones have shifted, and it’s amazing it’s still standing at all. (I’ll add photos later).
And I think that’s the prevailing view across Christchurch, really – I certainly couldn’t see much sign of the outpouring of grief over the cathedral that the Press had been talking about. There was a crowd, but the atmosphere was pretty cheerful – I got the feeling most people were (like me) just there to have one last look rather than to mourn. It was quite a contrast to the last time they opened up the walkway, when the mood was so much more sombre and respectful. Maybe it’s just that we’ve lost so much of the city now that it’s hard to get too emotional about losing yet another building, even if it is one that’s so iconic.
It’s about time for a catch report:
- Gods of Management by Charles B. Handy – caught by a long-time bookcrosser who’d been inactive for quite a while (and a few days later s/he also caught The Mind of an Assassin by Isaac don Levine, All I Could Never Be by Beverley Nichols, The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke by C. J. Dennis, and Quo Vadimus or the Case for the Bicycle by E.B. White)
- Rigby’s Atlas of Earth Resources edited by Pat Gilliland – caught (by the sounds of it, exactly where I released it!) after more than three years in the wild
- Faithful Gardener by Clarissa Pinkola Estes – another one that’s been out in the wild for years
- And one from yesterday, caught before I made release notes: Lanterns and Lances by James Thurber
And in other news, five more sleeps!!!