Monday, July 21, 2014

Our next big holiday.

Only one week to go before we leave on our cruises of Vietnam and Cambodia. Can't wait! 

One of the ships we will be cruising upon.

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Avonside Drive in Christchurch.

This is part of the area we drove around in Christchurch, Avonside Drive, so many homes have just vanished leaving vast empty spaces. This just one of the many areas that have been ruined by the earthquake, some never to be built on again ever as the land is too unstable now.
Thanks to the Press Newspaper for the photo.

Sunday, June 01, 2014

New Brighton Christchurch

We drove around  the suburbs looking at the ruined homes of people who have already left the district , where there are just empty paddock in which whole communities lived and loved in homes that just don't exist any more or if they are still standing they have been vandalized and sit vacant and abandoned and/or flooded; a sorry sight.
 So on to a slightly run-down New Brighton and the lovely beach with its nice new Pier, rebuilt since the quake which brought it down. We did some shopping and talked to locals who wish the town could become the 'place to be' again that it was several years ago  when it was the only town in the district that was open for business on the weekends. Maybe it could too, now is the time for change.

New Regent Street Christchurch

 New Regent Street with its old fashioned, very English, tiny crammed together small shops, is seemingly little changed from the past, but it was damaged and quickly repaired and back in business. We stopped here for coffee, I lounged around on the huge oversize lounge suite just for fun so I could chat to passers by. And we ran into the Wizard holding  Court now in this street instead of the Square, he gave us a wave as we past by and no he didn't ankle tap us or trip us with his long staff.


Saturday, May 31, 2014

Before and after shots around the Square in Christchurch.

Just before the big Earthquake that destroyed Christchurch we visited and I took many photos of monuments and buildings, now I have something to compare the after view.
The Challis Statue and the vibrant building behind it. both still partly standing, but the building is wrecked and abandoned just awaiting specialist demolishers because there is a lot of asbestos within it. The Challis is just fine.
Note the lack of people in all the after photos; there were almost none. But plenty of beautifications bright and colourful to lighten the sad depressing feel of the area,






The old Post Office Building before and after - still standing for now, but not in use.







Christchurch Cathedral before and after just before the Spire fell, and now 4 years later. How sad is this.








The Old ANZ Bank Building Before and after. A gracious old building  gone.







Before and after shots. Warners Hotel a historical building, now gone! In its place and for most other buildings, there is a car park!
The RSA memorial is still standing but the big top Angel is heavily staped into position.
Many more old buildings and beautiful Churches have come down or had to be demolished because of structural damage. Heartbreaking to see it all.




Friday, May 30, 2014

Cardboard Cathedral

While in Christchurch we visited the Cardboard Cathedral, built to replace the damaged Cathedral, while it was being repaired. This building really is all made of cardboard, big round rolls of it rather like the inside of a toilet roll but very much bigger and stranger, I thought it was very well done and had a nice feel to it, probably because of the singing and the crowd around the building.
 I was not allowed inside because TV was recording a group singing songs for the program Praise Be. So have only a quick picture through the glass door.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Christchurch 4 years after the Earthquake.

Our trip to Christchurch, firstly we visited the Cathedral Square,once the hub of Christchurch City..... not any more. The Square is like a ghost town most buildings have been demolished or will be very soon. the is a depressing feel about the place, it is nearly deserted only people we spoke to were people from out of town there like we were for a first look at the mess left by the devastating earthquake.



 Much has been done to create a cheery colourful atmosphere; the pretty flower planted Maori Whare (house) used as an entry to the completely broken ruined Cathedral.














Our beautiful Cathedral is no more.



 Fences are painted very jauntily and colourful fags hang all around, but still the square is empty and sad.
As we walked around I suddenly became completely overwhelmed by the devastation and felt compelled to stop with Erle and Pray for the restoration of Christchurch; not to its former glory, but to a new more wonderful glory, the way Christ wants His city to be. Amen.

 The RSA memorial still stands but requires heavy straps to hold up the big Angel. From this angle the Cathedral looks ok but don't be fooled the walls are crumbling away almost all window have fallen out.