BarbKathMyra by kebabette
BarbKathMyra, a photo by kebabette on Flickr.

Barbara, Kath and Myra.


Kia ora

I’ve moved to a new blog home Episodic Table.
Come and visit me there for Christchurch photos and more stuff.


Back on 7 April I tweeted:

In Christchurch, when the doors are open it doesn’t mean anyone is home & it probably means the home soon won’t be here.

I linked to this photo:

And today (16 April) it was true for 849 Colombo Street and its neighbours, only the pretty fuschias and the fence still on show.

Miles WarrenAs the Dorset Towers are now rubble, and the Crowne Plaza skeletal, The Press has looked at Warren and Mahoney’s work in the article Quake destroys architects’ legacy.

I lived very much in the belly of the Brutalist beast – living around the corner from Sir Miles’  first significant work –  the Dorset Street flats – and working at the Central Library.

Once before the earthquakes, I contemplated tracking the Warren and Mahoney universe I saw each day – Dorset Street Flats, Dorset Towers, their office on Victoria Street, the Crowne Plaza, the Town Hall, the Central Library.

I can’t say that I loved the style – but the monumentality of it makes that redundant. These are strong, grounded buildings, claiming the space with purpose. The Town Hall I think is the apotheosis of their style  – the luxurious interior and soaring spaces work with  brutalist elements to make a successful marriage.


Crowne Plaza


Dorset Towers

In no particular order, I give you my top 10:

  1. “knee highs” wodka whisky lyrics
  2. biggi bardot in black stockings
  3. “mark e. smith” + “tights” + elena
  4. smockmybitch,com
  5. “peter plumley-walker” & “murray mexted”
  6. dirk bogarde in leather pants
  7. adam ant hussars jackets for sale
  8. aotearoa uber alles
  9. morbid furniture
  10. sexy finding nemo
2nd birthday party

Birthday party

On Saturday it was my daughter’s 2nd birthday, we had a quiet day and my Mum and Dad came round to visit and gave her a baby doll.

Sunday we had a party out the back in the sun with friends and family and her wee playmate and cousins. And a rainbow cake made by my genius colleague Katie.

Monday – back to work. The exciting news late of a new nephew: my brother and his wife had a baby on Monday night, he delivered the baby in the carpark of the hospital.

On Tuesday, I got up and showered and dressed for work. Realised I was feeling a nasty cold or flu ache, so decided to stay home. The whanau piled into a car and went to go shopping and have a drive to Sumner or Lyttelton. I changed out of work clothes into velour trackies and crappy old maternity bra and put my glasses on.

Started to cook some spuds for lunch when the earthquake came. The noise was inutterably loud and forceful. Stuff flew at me from the cupboards, and the walls. I stood in the kitchen doorframe.  I said my prayers aloud – this it it – the Our Father, the Hail Mary, the Glory be – all compressed into a superfast urgent plea.

The fridge came down beside me. I had to get out of the house, all around me it was divesting itself of substance, breaking into constituent parts that didn’t rain down on me, but came at me on a 90 degree angle. I had tunnel vision – myself, the door, the fastest way to it.

Then I stood in the doorway, horrified, calling out to my neighbour in the front flat beside ours. She was home, and had an air of calm and decision, even though she couldn’t get out as her door was stuck closed. She smashed a window, and got out with her laptop.

Where was everybody? How was everybody? And especially my baby, is my baby ok, every atom of me begged to know if she was ok. The most awful sinking hole of pain. My neighbour calmed me down and tried to get a call through.

Our other neighbour came home, she was wonderful and by the two using their phones I found out my baby and my man were ok. All of the neighbours on the street came out and we talked, noted each other’s damage and we saw people coming down our street from the CBD, trying to make their way out of town and the tragedy.

The washing line

The washing line

Somewhere in here was a wonderful moment when I saw Mum and Dad come down the street.  We grabbed a few clothes off the washing line, luckily the birthday girl had got some new clothes that I had washed. Undies for him. Floral leggings for me. There were a pair of old sneakers on the doorstep I grabbed, so had some footwear at least. Helpful with all the broken glass.

My guy rescued a few things from the house –  baby stuff, a laptop and a phone.

We went to the burbs to stay with family, all sleeping in one bed, staying close and tight.

‘My feet are freezing’, she said. ‘We’ve both got jackets on. If I spread my nice woolly duffel over our feet, you could put our limousine driver’s jacket over our tops. Note that this is a major concession on my part,’ she said before he could move. ‘Because my duffel is very, very warm, and your leather jacket won’t be nearly as warm, not to mention that it’s really been lent to both of us. So I could be within my rights to keep my duffel just for me, but insist that your leather jacket goes over my feet. But I’m magnanimous, ‘ she said in a truly magnanimous voice.

He chuckled.

They spent a convivial couple of minutes arranging their bed. Two blankets. The duffel spread-eagled over the bottom half. The leather jacket over the top …

An excerpt from A royal marriage of convenience by Marion Lennox.

The wonderful Robin Ince’s Bad Book Club gave me the idea of looking at Mills and Boon.

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