Tag Archives: rural

On top of the box….a palimpsest?

In my previous post I featured this photo:Tea TrayOn top of the box you can see a serving tray, a Susie Cooper tea set and a copper vase. These items used to belong to my paternal grandmother. They are the small remnants, little leftovers, of a long and busy life; of good food and warm kitchens, delicious pikelets, cream sponges, roast dinners and much else besides.   They  are the tangible reminders of times I experienced with my grandmother, as well as  reminders of times I only know through hearsay. One of the hearsay pieces is the serving/tea-tray.  Like my grandmother was, it is simple, sturdy, good quality and without frills ! I am told that the wooden tray came from the tea rooms that my grandparents owned for many years in a small, rural town. The tea rooms were one part of their business. In its entirety it included a butchery and a bakery. It was advertised (in 1948) as the town’s  Up-to-date Cash Meat and Bread Mart, where small goods were a specialty.

The business was sold long before I came in to existence but the building it was in (which included the family home) was a place of occasional family pilgrimage. It was not a beautiful building, in our family’s estimation, but it had enough status, having been part of the town’s life since 1910, to be registered as  a Category 2 historic place (#5193) on the New Zealand Historic Places Trust Register. Category II status means a place is  of ‘historical or cultural heritage significance or value’. So, imagine our mixed emotions, our consternation, when we saw our place of family history like this, following the earthquake of September 2010.

Just a few weeks after the earthquake, it was already in the process of deconstruction for safety reasons. Sadly, since then, most of the building has been demolished and it has, naturally, been deregistered as an historic place.  However, a  modified, and safer, building, respectful of the old design, has arisen in its place.  And I believe it still remains a place of good food and hospitality.

When I look at the items on top of the box, and reach back in my mind to their underlying stories and foundations , I wonder if, what I see before me are truly remnants, or simple leftovers, or my own unique version of a palimpsest. ( I really would rather like one! But my grandmother would much prefer ‘leftovers’. We always had lovely ones for Sunday night tea 🙂 )

© silkannthreades

From Source to Sea

In my post River Dreaming,  https://silkannthreades.wordpress.com/2013/01/09/river-dreaming/  I wrote about my dream to walk and/or explore all the rivers in Christchurch, from source to sea. For me, that is a big dream but I have made a start and some progress.

The river which I have explored the most extensively, so far, is the Styx River. The river is on the northern edge of Christchurch and is 24.8 kilometres long. Over the years, I have walked a great many of the pathways that follow the Styx, and I am longing for other areas to be opened to the public so I can connect the dots on my river walking project.

On Sunday we visited the Janet Stewart Reserve which is part of the Styx River system. After our time there, we followed the river to its outlet at Brooklands Lagoon.  We went by car. It was not my first time to drive beside this lower portion of the river but it was my first visit since the major earthquakes of 2010 and 2011. I couldn’t tell if, or how much,  the river had changed, but the road was certainly uneven and many houses and properties in the area seemed derelict or abandoned. I also noticed that there are lots of areas of the river which I would like to explore on foot or, perhaps, by canoe, if someone will provide one and help me paddle!

Here are some photos of the beautiful Styx River as it heads to the sea. The red machine you can see on the river looks as though it is used for clearing weeds.Up the Styx

There were lots of ducks on the river but  most of them managed to escape my camera. At the bend in the river I could see cows resting in a paddock. It was a pretty sight.Down the Styx

Last of the pics of the Styx.Beside the Styx

If you would like to read more about the Styx River, click on the following link http://www.thestyx.co.nz/new-zealand/main/   Our city has a wonderful vision for the river and its catchment area.

© silkannthreades