October 30, 2012


Pet Shelter in use - preparing for Hurricane Sandy


Bill Ryan, of Inwood, New York, comforts his cat Amy before leaving her at a pet shelter at Mitchell Park's Field House, run by the Nassau County Office of Emergency Management and Pet Safe Coalition in Uniondale, New York, on October, 28, 2012. Pet owners could leave their pets at the shelter and afterwards seek shelter for themselves. before the arrival of Hurricane Sandy. (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)

See more photos at http://www.theatlantic.com/infocus/2012/10/hurricane-sandy-in-photos/100395/#

Posted via email from Four Paws and Whiskers

October 26, 2012

Beware the Gollum

The latest Weta Workshop display at Wellington Airport - the start of Hobbit Mania...
I get to fly up there in the next two weeks - quite looking forward to seeing Gollum for myself!

October 25, 2012

100 Reasons To Love Christchurch | Stuff.co.nz

1. Roaming the Port Hills, be it on foot, by bike or by car. They are the landmark hills of Christchurch and we love them.
2. Spending an afternoon at the City Mall. The open spaces and colourful containers at Re:Start have given the city centre new life in a very fresh way, with several caf├ęs for pit stops.
3. From an iconic architectural statement to a civil defence base, the Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna O Waiwhetu is even more than an outstanding centre of fine art.
4. A gloriously decadent lunch at Pegasus Bay Winery. The award-winning restaurant focuses on using quality local ingredients matched with their superb wines.
5. Enjoying all the Botanic Gardens offer. From the colourful splashes of the rose garden to the towering trees of the central lawns and family areas, our city gardens show nature at its best.
6. Strolling by the Avon River's sun-dappled waters or relaxing on its green banks. As the lineal heart of the blueprint for the new Christchurch, it's another significant part of our city.
7. Gap Filler. From community chess to dance-o-mats and gap golf, the team at Gap Filler has been working away to fill those vacant city spaces with a little life, light and happiness.
8. New Regent St. Completed in 1931, this picturesque street of Spanish mission-style buildings was one of the biggest South Island construction projects during the Depression. We can't wait to see it open again.
9. The 142-year-old Canterbury Museum continues to impress with travelling displays such as the World of WearableArt Up Close, and permanent exhibits such as the reincarnated Bluff paua shell house.
10. The picturesque setting at Mona Vale. The historic homestead has had better days, but its surrounds are still a welcome respite from the city's hustle and bustle.

A great reminder of why I like living here, despite the quakes...
Looking forward to exploring more of these :)
What do you like about where you live?

October 6, 2012

Horseshoe Lake - Red Zone

This is an aerial view of Horseshoe Lake, where we live - along the outer loop of the river on the lower right section of the photo.
All the houses on the other side, inside the horseshoe, are red zoned and will be demolished. The whole area has sunk and liquified.... most people have moved out and left. This is one area where the army were practicing urban warfare last week - we were woken to the sound of rapid gun fire across the river - quite a surreal feeling. Are we still in a small suburb of Christchurch???

Meanwhile, a whole community of people will have to start again, somewhere else. A scene repeated in many areas, city wide, particularly to the eastern side, and on the hills.
There are more pictures at http://www.rebuildchristchurch.co.nz/residential/suburbs/horseshoe-lake

I saw a display of pictures at a local mall, The Colombo, taken by amateur photographers at Canterbury University. They showed scenes from the last two years - of people, places, help, progress.. the works. Not of death or destruction, but communities, people working together, living in the altered landscapes. One of the comments in the information sheet pointed out that the earthquakes were not a single event - but an ongoing series of changes impacting on the entire community.
SO true...

Posted via email from Four Paws and Whiskers

Nature reclaiming the red zone suburbs of Christchurch

There is a lot of news coverage of the destruction of the central business area of the city, but every now and then I get to venture into the red zoned suburbs. It feels intrusive, and I don't do it much, feeling it is intrusive to the lives of the few remaining residents who have yet to finalise the payouts from the government for their homes.   I did land up in the area shown in this movie recently, when the road suddenly ran out after I missed one of the ever changing detour signs on my way home. The side road I was forced to take took me along the Avon river and I cried; for the people, their homes, their way of life, and the desolate feeling of abandonment everywhere.
Harry has put some footage to music ( that he played) and I felt it captured the sights... will give you some idea of life there, even though photos and videos just can;t capture the "feel" of it all.

Yes it will become a beautiful park. but as a riverside dweller myself, I know that it could so, so easily have been us too.

The river beside us....

My friend has recently taken a job with CERA ( Christchurch Earthquake Recovery Authority ) and it requires her to patrol the red zones, checking the properties that are now government owned ... properties with green slime in the floors, rat and mice droppings and urine, smashed glas, graffiti, sloping floors and collapsed ceilings.  Hot work in the sun, and today in blustery cold weather, miserable and dusty. I caught up with her in Bexley yesterday. It was unbelievable. There are still people living around there...

Kitchen/back door

Green floor in the house

Peaceful sub division waiting for demolition - stickers on the houses, and the rubbish bin piles which always indicate their fate....

I took Poppy out to have lunch in Sumner at the beach yesterday - did some shopping and enjoyed an escape. 

On the way we checked the progress of Redcliffs School - closed, for reasons which should be apparent if you look closely above the buildings....

We were trapped by the rapidly incoming tide and I got wet feet, but it was a lovely hot day.

Poppy was tired...

October 3, 2012

I'm all about the cupcakes.....

The cakes were a big hit..... Pheobe was even wearing exactly the right T-Shirt for the occasion already, and the colours were a perfect match. Molly loved the piggie one... and Caitlin can enjoy hers if no one else eats it while she is away overnight!

Can't believe it but Phoebe is 4 next week!  Which means I have also been blogging for four years....

Had a quick look back into the archives and found some pictures taken when she was brand new in 2008.  Quite nostalgic - still the same  gorgeous family,  but a glimpse of a simpler time before earthquakes, and tumours....  





School holiday treat for the girls

Beatrice....Waiting for some love


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