Tag Archives: landscape

In the lay of the land

Serious questions ~

Who was the bright spark in ancient geekdom who decided that family history should be defined by lines and begats?

Who were the brighter sparks who devised the rigid wheels and stylised trees to chart and constrain the abundant, multi-dimensional landscape of ancestry?

For a landscape it is, our ancestry; a landscape of wide open spaces,

Wide open spaces

Wide open spaces

crisscrossed with highways and byways, one way roads and slender bridges, little lanes, and streets that go nowhere, signposted for all directions.

A landscape of well-defined boundaries, as well as soft, slippery edges, fluidity and possibility.

A landscape that reveals both the neat and the orderly, the tidy rows of heritage,

Orderly family trees

Orderly family trees

and the more common, impenetrable thickets of entwined limbs and leaves.

Impenetrable thickets

Impenetrable thickets

 

A landscape replete with the swathes and layerings of old growth and new.

Old and New in Kaiapoi Domain

Old and New in Kaiapoi Domain

And let’s not forget the twists and turns which lead to small surprises and unexpected delights.

 

Yes, family history is embedded in the lay of the land,

The landscape of ancestry

The landscape of ancestry

entrenched, without doubt, in terra firma;

or so it seems, until the land falls away, alters and shifts and, suddenly, one is all at sea.

Amelia Sims, the scow built and named for my great great grandmother, formerly of the Isle of Wight

Amelia Sims, the scow built and named for my great great grandmother, Amelia Sims, housekeeper Kaiapoi, formerly of the Isle of Wight

Topsail schooner, “Amelia Sims,” (120 ft., 98 tons) at old wharf, Motueka, about 1903. Built in Australia it reached the home port—Kaiapoi—in 1901 and though having an auxiliary screw for berthing purposes sail was its chief means of propulsion. In moderate weather “Amelia Sims” would carry ten or twelve sails and be a worthy sight in deep water.
—Photo by courtesy of Miss Nina Moffatt, Motueka.http://nzetc.victoria.ac.nz/tm/scholarly/tei-NHSJ02_06-t1-body1-d4.html

Gallivanting Note

This post came about following a little jaunt in the countryside at the weekend. I traced some family history, found more questions than answers, and discovered, to my great surprise, that my great great grandmother’s second husband built her a ship, the Amelia Sims which was one of the fleet of sturdy  scows which played an important role in New Zealand’s early transport industry.

© silkannthreades

No Bull ….in my city, yet!

It’s the truth; there’s no Bull in my city.  Not at the moment. There was one. In fact, we had two Bulls.  That was a little over a year ago.

This was one of the Bulls, called A Peak in Darien.

One Bull

One Bull

Here’s the other Bull,  known as Chapman’s Homer.

Another Bull

Another Bull

These Bulls, by Michael Parekowhai (http://www.thearts.co.nz/artist_page.php&aid=70&type=bio ) had been to Venice http://www.thearts.co.nz/artist_page.php&aid=70&type=video&video_id=92 and Paris and then, as promised they came to us, last June, for one month. When they were first promised to us we hadn’t had any earthquakes but, despite the mess our city was in by 2012,  everyone was brave and decided the Bulls should come anyway. And we loved them.  They looked magnificent, indomitable, indestructible in the midst of the messy, broken landscape.

And now we want to have one of them back, as a forever friend.  We want Chapman’s Homer. (Well, we can’t have A Peak in Darien because he’s already been taken. ) The public is being asked to pledge donations to the Christchurch Art Gallery Trust. The target is $NZ 200,000. Many people think that purchasing Chapman’s Homer is a waste of money, but, for me, this Bull, this mighty sculpture is welcome in my city. I don’t  truly understand what he has to do with Homer, Chapman or Keats but he will be a wonderful addition to our cityscape. Much better to have an expensive, bullish  sculpture that thousands will see and visit and admire every year, free of charge. Rather this, than a new multi million dollar stadium that will be used occasionally, and only by those who have the money to buy the tickets.

So, now I am off to contribute to the Bull. Our country prospers on agriculture, so why not have a Bull in the city!

On First Looking in to Chapman's Homer

On First Looking in to Chapman’s Homer

https://www.pledgeme.co.nz/1276  Back the Bull Pledge (The Bull  is currently on loan and on display at the Arts Centre.)

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/173746  Keats  “On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer

http://realruth.wordpress.com/2013/08/13/hitchin-heritage/  a little more about  George Chapman

© silkannthreades