Our fabulous firies

Firefighters Being a firefighter requires a lot of dedication – practice, fitness and a willingness to put yourself at risk to help others.

It’s always been the case – you can read our newly-digitised booklet for proof: Rule V of the 1862 regulations of the Christchurch Volunteer Fire Brigade stated firefighters  could be fined up to five shillings if they didn’t attend practice. That was a fair whack of cash for the day.

From 10am to 2pm in the Square this Sunday there’ll be chance to say thanks. There’ll be a parade, displays, and screenings of a new  documentary based on Always ready by Tony Philips. It’s part of Beca Heritage Week and celebrates 150 years of the fire brigade in Christchurch.

Celebrating scary movies for Halloween

Cover image2010 is the 50th anniversary of the movie Psycho by Alfred Hitchcock and the 100th aniversary of first movie edition of Frankenstein.

To be honest, I have never watched either of these classics, but it got me thinking about scary movies and how they have changed over the years. I love a good scary movie, even if I am much less inclined to watch them alone and in the dark than I was in my teens and early twenties.

These days, it often feels less about the audience’s mind working in overdrive to imagine the ‘scariness’ that’s happening off-screen, and it seems more about the gore, the violence and the “spell out the plot” viewing.

I thought I might go back through some books to get some ideas for classic movies to watch – such as How to survive a horror movie, Creepy crawls : a horror fiend’s travel guide, and The Rough Guide to horror movies.

Check out our Halloween page for more scary stuff.

So have scary movies gotten scarier? What’s your favourite? Any recommendations?

Is Hallelujah the best song ever written?

CoverIt  might be. 

In a strange and lovely synchronicity, Rufus Wainwright sang it last night in the Christchurch Town Hall. He also sang a gorgeous number about fellow singer Jeff Buckley (whose version of Hallelujah is also considered one of the supreme covers of this classic).

Wainwright paid tribute to the song’s creator, fellow Canadian Leonard Cohen. And Mr Cohen will be in Christchurch next week.