Thursday, 28 April 2011

farewell harbour light.

For two months not much happens and now, we must have most of the available diggers on the South Island.
The Empire, The Royal and The Albion have all come down.
The Harbour Light is still in progress.
The work they have been doing has been sensitive and thoughtful.
They brought the rotundas down so carefully that I expect they will be kept.
Someone mentioned that they looked like the bare tops of a bald man's head.
The progress on The Harbour Light keeps us all interested as we get up in the morning and peer out the window to see how much less of her is there.
From our deck, I can see 5 diggers, 2 cranes and a fire truck all working - all working to make our town a little safer and pave the way for the future.

written by Sarah van der Burch.

every saturday

Every Saturday morning I have a stall at the Arts and Craft market above the Farmers' Market.
Like everything in Canterbury, the market has been affected by the earthquake.
Both markets were closed for 5 weeks after the earthquake but have since started up again.

To a new visitor the market looks the same; small but vibrant, but as a stallholder I notice many differences. Often the most far reaching changes are those that are not obvious to the naked eye. Changes running like undercurrents, invisible but deep.

I love making and selling photoblocks, mainly of Lyttelton.
It gives me a thrill to produce something from scratch and see the joy people get out of them.
Before the earthquake some of my best-selling blocks sported stencils by
an anonymous Lyttelton artist. People liked the cryptic quotations - "I am part of all that I have never met" - and fun portraits of Max Groucho and Sir Edmund Hillary.
Every week I ran out of stock, but since the earthquake I have not sold a single one of those.
When people come to the stall now they look at the photos to find safe and
unbroken images.
Photos that remind them of 'before.'
Photos that will start stories:
  • of old Lyttelton stone churches where they worshipped and got married.
  • of restaurants and bars like the Loons and Volcano where they shared meals with friends and celebrated.
  • of historical places like the Timeball and the Harbour Light which connect them to their heritage.
Post-quake bestsellers are also photos of the hearts and banners that our Lyttelton Stitching group  produced and gave away to strangers and friends, and with which we decorated the security fences surrounding the condemned buildings.
Buyers comment that those hearts represented the mood in Lyttelton in the weeks
after the quake - sitting with friends, laughing, crying, talking, looking after
each other, sharing food, coffees and hearts.
I especially remember one group coming to my stall - a Christchurch St John Ambulance officer
with two Australian collegues, who were returning to Australia the next day.
The Christchurch man offered to buy a photoblock for each of his Aussie friends as a momento and after
looking at photos of the Christchurch Cathedral, the harbour views and heritage buildings
all three choose heart photos.

What will my bestselling photos be in one year's time? I hope they will be
photos of new houses; houses to fill the gaps the gracious old buildings have
left. I hope those houses will be 'green' buildings, funky, safe and as
photogenic as the old buildings that have buckled under the earthquakes and
been finished by the diggers.
I will be back at my stall in the weeks to come to enjoy the easy
cameraderie with the other stall holders, the musical ambience provided by
Volcano Radio and the many talks with my customers.
But I will also always remember a young woman who sold beautiful handmade children's smocks and
She was in the CBD when the earthquake hit and died there.
Four days before the earthquake her stall was next to mine.
Now there is an empty square of grass.
May she rest in peace.

written by Bettina Evans.

Monday, 18 April 2011

farewell no.6

When I headed down to London Street today in the rain and wind the wrecking ball was poised,waiting for No. 6.

As I watched I was amazed to see the 'life' still in No 6 - the wires dangling, the light 
fixtures still up and intact, and the door banging in the wind. 
The digger driver seemed to want to be so careful as he plied his wares - or so it 
seemed to me. 
I felt sorry for him and the job he was there to do today.

I will miss that building, especially the café of which it bears the name. 
It was in the Café in 2004 that I realized that Lyttelton was the place for my family. 
I had looked around Christchurch for several years and never felt like I found the place
I wanted to call home. 
And then some mid-morning on some mid-week day, I was sitting in No. 6 and saw a 
friend crossing the street. She saw me so she came in and ordered a coffee. A few 
minutes later we saw her husband and another friend both walking down the footpath 
and we waved to them and they too came in and ordered coffee. Then my husband 
(knowing I would be in there having a coffee) also came in.
I looked around the cafe and almost everyone I knew from Lyttelton was in the café 
having coffee together in the middle of the day in the middle of the 'work week'. 
I realized at that moment that the 'home' I was looking for was right in front of me.


We all have such different ways of processing what is happening in our community. 
I feel as though I really want to mark and honour this as a rite of passage.
I want to see at least a portion of the buildings coming down so I can witness this 
moment in the history of our town.

by Sarah van der Burch

Saturday, 16 April 2011

beekeeping workshop

Check out this great looking workshop being held here at the community gardens early in May.
The workshop had been planned early in March at the Convent. It was obviously postponed but we are glad to have Marcia coming back here just a couple of months later.
You can check Marcia's blog out here.
Imagine community beehives supporting our food production here in Lyttelton.

Come and learn how to keep honey bees in a topbar hive 
- a natural and gentle way to care for those important insects.

WHERE: Lyttelton Community Garden
                 54a Oxford St Lyttelton
WHEN:    7th May 2011
TIME:      10.00am till 4.00pm
TUTOR: Marcia Meehan.

For more information contact Marcia at for details and bookings.

farewell sweet volcano

How do we respond when our main street begins to be demolished?

Some of us watch; some of us turn away.
Some of us talk with others; others stand in silence.
Some of us bring candles, acknowledging the pain of not being able to repair our treasured buildings.
Of course, some of us stitched.

How did you respond?

Farewell sweet Volcano.
Thank you to Lois, Peter and all the people who worked to make this a special place.
A place that we carry with us beyond the earthquakes, the bulldozers and the fences. 

Written by Jacinda, also at