Back by maternal demand

OK, I get the hint Mum – time I posted something.  My only excuse is my usual one: Honours is hard and I have no life.  Yeah, I’ve been saying that a lot lately, but study is definitely taking up a huge proportion of my time, and not leaving a lot left for anything else.

Anyway, the end (for this year anyway) is in sight – I’ve written an almost just about semi final draft of my paper, and if I can catch up with my lecturer on Tuesday to clarify a few last points I should be able to get it finished in the next week or so… and then I can relax a bit and enjoy the summer.

Talking of summer (or at least late spring), a couple of nice summery photos I took in the Botanic Gardens a few weeks ago:

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We were sitting in the gardens waiting for the doors to open for a talk we were going to at the museum when this blackbird flew down and landed on the bench we were sitting on. He let me take a few photos before he decided we obviously didn’t have any food to give him, and flew off again.

Ok, so I have had a bit of a life – last month was UC’s Platform Arts Festival, and we managed to get to a few of the events – a couple of talks, a poetry reading, and a couple of film screenings.  Highlight was probably the screening of Buster Keaton’s silent movie The General accompanied by a pianist from the School of Music who’s made a study of the art of silent film accompaniment. He gave a talk beforehand on the technique, then we watched the film, while he played the piano (completely improvised – he didn’t have any music, and said he prefers to just watch the film and play what comes to mind).  It was totally amazing, and added so much to the film, so that you almost forgot it was a silent movie (and not only that, but a silent movie made nearly 90 years ago!).

Lytteltonwitch is back in NZ briefly, so last weekend she, Otakuu and I went out to Hororata for the day.  We’d intended a bookcrossing expedition, but it was raining so heavily we ended up just spending several hours sitting in the cafe (which is under new management so no longer has an OBCZ shelf :-( ) and talking.  So not many books got released, but it was a fun day, and good to catch up with them both (even though Otakuu is living in Christchurch now, she works nights so we don’t get to see a lot of her).

I have managed to make a little progress on my latest cross-stitch (actually, I’ve just looked back, and it’s been about 4 months since I last posted a progress report, so in that time I’ve actually made quite a bit of progress):

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Last night we went into town for the Luxcity event, which opened up part of the Red Zone for temporary art installations based around the idea of light.  Most of the art was pretty uninspired (though we left before it was properly dark, so maybe they got more impressive later on in the night), but it was great to be able to get back into the city for a night, and there were a lot of people taking advantage of the opportunity, and a great atmosphere.

The CBD is such an alien landscape these days, with so much empty land where buildings once stood, and weird little islands of buildings left behind:

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Opposite Alice’s there’s only one shop left standing. The picture framers I used to use for getting my embroidery framed used to stand next door to this shop. Don’t think I’ll be getting any work done there for a while.

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The Farmers car park next to the library is strangely beautiful in its half-deconstructed state.

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A different view of the cathedral (I took this through the security fencing from Gloucester Street, still the closest you can get to the Square).

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When we arrived, some of the artworks were still being installed. This one was being put up on the site where the Press building once stood.

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A lot of the art seemed to involve suspending things from cranes – nice to see them being put to a use other than knocking down buildings, even if the artwork itself isn’t particularly exciting.

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Weeds growing on the library building…

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… and on the footpath in front. It’s still very much an abandoned city.

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The sunset completely outdid anything the artists could create with light :-)

There were food stalls and performance spaces among the artworks, with musicians and acrobats.  In one of the spaces, someone had covered the fences with “provocative” messages (actually, most of them were pretty bland stuff about reclaiming the city), and provided pens and cardboard for people to add their own (I love whoever wrote “Potato!” as their mesage :-))

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One of the signs had a starter of “I love…” and someone had written underneath “Minecraft”, so MrPloppy added a little picture of a creeper.  When we came past the spot again later in the night, the creeper theme had spread, and there were pictures of creepers and comments about Minecraft all over the signs…

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Talking about Minecraft, MrPloppy managed to get it running over our network so we can play multiplayer worlds.  We had to abandon the first world we created though, because a weird glitch in the world kept spawning cows, to the point there were so many of them that whenever you went near the area the game would crash because the graphics engine couldn’t keep up.  It looked really funny though – thousands of cows surrounding a hole in the ground, with more being produced all the time (sometimes flying into the air as they were ejected from the glitchy block).

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So that’s a rough update on what I’ve been up to when I’m not studying or working.  Promise I’ll be better at posting over the summer… possibly….