Thursday, 24 July 2014

80 odd years of happy

How is the older generation in Christchurch doing? uhh The pensioners of the Diana of the Isaac Retirement Village in Christchurch have been busy being in a flashmob in April and recently 60 pensioners and staff have been dancing and they are 80-odd years of happy They are now official the coolest ones out here   :)

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Maori language week: arohanui

It is Maori language week. Maori is a Polynesian language and close to the language of the Cook islands and Tahitian. it is an official language spoken in New Zealand and 4 to 9 % of the people speak it fluently.
My contribution to Maori language week is the word Arohanui and aroha.

Aroha means love and Arohanui literally means big love or much love. It has however several deeper meanings like: 
enfolding love
love that binds a community together
love which creates a bond of mutual trust and loyalty
love which builds and carries forwards culture and civilisation

and a beautiful Maori song about love: Tai Aroha

Ko te aroha anō he wai
E pupū ake ana
He awa e māpuna mai ana
I roto i te whatū-manawa (x2)

Ko tona matapuna he hōhonu
Ā ina ia ka rere anō (x2)

He tai timu
He tai pari
He tai ope
He tai rora
He tai nui

Love is like water
continually bubbling up
a river that will keep flowing
from within the very seat of the emotions.

From a very deep source
it will keep on rising

an ebb tide
an incoming tide
a forceful tide
a living tide
a full tide.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

An important visit

Things are good because I had my daughter home

We watched however full of horror how an airplane was shot down in the Ukraine and so may people lost their lives. Among them 192 Dutch people. One couple was visiting their daughter in New Zealand but never reached her and their grand children. My heart goes out to all the families.

We were busy this weekend as our daughter visited us from Wellington
We went to the botanic gardens to do some tree study with her for an art project.

Even though we are in the middle of winter there were some
beautiful ones like this one with branches curling and swirling

We also looked together to the mini series, TV docudrama Hope and Wire about the Christchurch earthquake. Many people thought it was too early for that and that it was not realistic enough and the characters were too stereotypical. Maybe true but I liked the series anyway. The first time was a bit of a shock as it hit home while I expected I would be cool about it. I do think that a lot of things did came through in the drama somehow although it missed some things as well as the great strength and brotherhood in Christchurch during that time. But overall good storyline.

A real surprise was to see Simo as an actor in Hope and Wire. I used to work nearly next door to Mosaic, his Morocan restaurant. He and his wife are very nice helpful people and the food is absolutely delicious. He lost his restaurant a few times in the earthquakes and is a great example of resilience.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

A sunny winter afternoon

We have been lucky so far. The winter is better than autumn, as the latter had a lot of dark rainy days. Now it is freezing at night but that gives clear sunny day skies. Great for a walk on the beach. 
Walking AND flying on the beach

A human butterfly

I love the winter light.

A view on shag pile, the new name for shag rock since the earth quake. It is actually a volcanic outcrop. On the left you see South Brighton beach. As it is low tide you can nearly walk from Sumner beach to Brighton beach

Bathing in sun light

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Under the plum tree

For sunday Scribblings 2. The prompt " plum"

Painting Armand Guilaumin

 Under the plum tree

In the shadow of a plum tree
she sat down leaving, where light begun
entering a dream world
of velvety clouds kissed by the sun

Cradling in this sacred space
escaping from her daily wars
descending into peace full thoughts
rooted in a thousand stars

 while the pink plum tree blossom
towered like a crown
above her satiny hair, meandering
over her simple gown

a man passed by, dazzled by her being
his heart erupted, love flowing free
reflected in the eyes
of the girl under the plum tree

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Hara Matariki

Matariki is the Maori New Year which is a time of celebration and the remembrance of ancestors.
It is based on the rising of the Pleiades. In astronomy the Pleiades are the seven sisters, a star cluster in the constellation of Taurus, appearing in mid winter. It is the nearest cluster to earth and you can see it with your naked eyes.

In the Pacific it was very important for navigation and it was also used as weather forecast.

The story goes that Matariki, the mother was surrounded by her six daugthers.  They are there to assist the sun "Te Ra" who has become weakened by the winter jouney.
Matariki means the Eyes of Rā (Mata a Ariki), Rā being the Sun God. Another translation is ‘little eyes’ (mata riki).

Another legend goes that Ranginui the sky father and Papatuanuku the earth mother were separated from their children.  Tawhirimatea, the god of the winds, was so angry that he tore out his eyes in rage and flung them into the heavens, where they now exist as Matariki, from Mata Ariki, the eyes of god.

Ngai Tahu is the main iwi (tribe) in the South of New Zealand. My friend at work, Reita is from the Ngai Tahu and I wish her and everyone else Hara matariki, Happy maori New year

Monday, 23 June 2014

A walk through the city center

In the beginning of June the containers had to move as they had to make space for permanent buildings. They live now further down the road in an even more spacy setting and look if they always have been there. The restart mall was initially opened in October 2011 to keep business going in the city after the earth quake

We saw for the first time the new visitor centre in Hagley park with a new coffee shop. It looks good!

The biggest part of the new building is in use as a nursery. In summer you won't see the beautiful plants as they get shielded from the sun by a screen.

Colourful flags cheered up the square in front of the few buildings still standing.