July 26, 2014

Stop Factory Farming Protest 2014 - marching through Christchurch City Centre

We had a brilliant day - sunny and an impressive turnout of people marching to get their message across, all over New Zealand.

The SAFE page has more details....

Some of my students and my daughter in law Jess far left, with Poppy 
Realistically the need to farm meat is not going to go away, but a loophole in the Animal Welfare Act means that some of the systems need improving fast and the Ministry of Primary Industries is not doing enough to control the methods in use. Inadequate space for battery hens and the use of sow crates on a permanent basis  being two that need changing and quickly.

As well as marching for such a good cause, it was also interesting to walk slowly round the city centre, juggling camera, large sign blowing in the wind and Poppy greeting every dog walking with us!
It was a totally disorientating experience.  Many times my daughter in law Jess and I had to stop and work out where we were - the main landmarks have gone and we struggled to reconcile the old and the new. Empty spaces and new constructions are everywhere - and it is a while since I took the time to look. Usually I drive through.

We started in Latimer Square near the Transitional Cardboard Cathedral.  That is now on the original site of St Johns Church where Jess and James got married in 2006....

Pig Onesies were everywhere....

Poppy and Jess approaching the Town Hall in Victoria Square

Time for a spot of slogan chanting...... 

I should have got a balloon for Poppy... and check out those leggings on the little girl!!
We gathered in Cathedral Square for a bit more slogan and noise... which gave me some time to study the Cathedral more closely...

Nice new layout in the Square...

Jess nearing the old Strip in Oxford Terrace - Best way to carry our signs in the gusty winds....

Repairs to Bridge of Rememberance

A stroll through the container mall while market day was on

Looking to the hills and across towards the polytech - demolition and rebuild on the go
Poppy enjoyed it!

It made a nice end to the first week of term.  Relieved that is over too - was a bit hectic with two new classes starting.

In other news - Liam decided to do the Ice Challenge for Cancer fundraising. On a freezing night he managed all three buckets of ice water. I filmed it for him and got a hot shower going!
Well done Liam....

I'll leave you with Jess - in one of her many "beds".

July 16, 2014

Cover girls

So my recent visit to the Veterinary / Veterinary Conference in Hamilton has been immortalised in a sneaky photo appearing in this weeks NZVNA Newsletter... 
The arresting officer, Karen, is a fellow vet and a tutor at Bay of Plenty Polytechnic....

We had a great time!

July 13, 2014

Relaxation and Regeneration

Holidays -a hard earned mid semester break to replenish some energy for the rest of the winter.  Two new classes starting, three current classes on the go and heavy planning for the many changes ahead in the next 2-3 years.  Some of the plans are really exciting, some are just necessary evils that we know will create stress, but relocating and retrofitting buildings for earthquake codes is a city wide fact of life we all have to get on with! Like potholes, roadworks, delays, EQC, insurance problems..... despite all this some lovely buildings are rising from the rubble and the plans for the parks, waterways, lakes and rivers do offer long term hope for the city.

Some highlights from the past two weeks have been the end of term concert with choir - and a good audience despite some heavy rain... two lunches in the sun at Winnie Bagoes with some of the students to celebrate the holidays, lunch with my workmates at Baretta Bar to end the term - bliss.  This week an amazing farewell to friends at Pegasus Arms on Tuesday, big family dinner at home Wednesday just because... decadent afternoon tea at The Tea House in Lincoln with my parents on Friday and a wonderful 10 year reunion dinner with the class of 2004 last night at Trevino's.  Great bunch they are too....
Looking forward to seeing Jaz and Mark and the girls tonight :)

To offset all that excess I have made the most of the sun and taken the dogs out each day - although yesterday was grey and windy. I took them along the river to an area in the red zone - to a place I loved pre earthquake and was sad to see so desolate now. Locksley Ave looking across to the Kerrs Reach rowing boat sheds. Most of the houses have gone... a few stragglers remain, boarded and empty. It was good to at least see swans, ducks, geese and even shags in the area.

Poppy and Jess love all the extra attention... even when we are just watching TV they appreciate the company.  Jess is doing well for 15 and still loves her walks. 

Have a great week :)


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