True love at the Carlton Hotel, circa 1982

PhotoIn an article in The Press  on Tuesday 10 May, a woman reminisces about meeting her husband to be at Lyttelton’s  Harbourlight Theatre.

There is nothing quite like a demolition to get the memories of first love flooding back, and mine are located at the Carlton Hotel on the corner of Papanui Road and Bealey Avenue.  It was a rather large ugly barn like place inside, but it was here that I met my true love, and decided that he was a bit of all right as he danced frenetically to ‘The Cowboys’.

I don’t imagine that I am the only one who has thoughts of the past connected to buildings that we are losing, or are badly damaged.

Our library web pages have a number of links to well-known Christchurch landmarks.

Perhaps you frequented the Gladstone Hotel and fell for that brooding poetic looking character in the corner, or were married at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, shopped for that special something for the School Ball at Shands Emporium, or developed your first crush at the Normal School? Which no longer around Christchurch building holds special memories for you?

Live, local music cheers gloomy Saturday

Carmel Courtney at Lyttelton LibraryIt was perfect – serenaded by the soulful, conversational music of Carmel Courtney in the warm while the rain drummed on the roof. With a mix of her own compositions and a few covers, last Saturday’s performance was polished yet personal; Courtney’s first since the quake. At times mellow and expressive, sometimes fiery, but with just the right leavening dash of fun, Courtney’s voice kept her audience engaged and captured many more new arrivals as they popped in to find something of interest.

We couldn’t have asked for  better.

Waiata for NZ Music Month

PhotoThis was so much fun! Adrenalin, but not the earthquake variety. And the best way to learn a little Te Reo Māori.

To celebrate NZ Music Month 2011, The Christchurch City Council waiata group – Ngā Manu Tioriori  – entertained customers and colleagues on a tour around libraries.

You can listen to waiata at home, just check out some CDs and enjoy. Learn about traditional Māori music on our website or enjoy a book about the history of Māori music.

2001: a library bloggy odyssey

Kia ora and welcome to our 2001st post.
Four years ago we dipped our toes in – blogging from the 2007 Auckland Writers and Readers Festival.

We started with two mild-mannered bloggers. Now we now have a team of keen bloggers. Our alumni includes Moata Tamaira, Blog Idol who has a popular blog on Stuff (and a Qantas Media Award to boot!)

In 2009 we brought you  Post#1000: Richard Till and Heston Blumenthal – A Culinary mashup.

In 2011 we have a small (but perfectly formed) team going to the Auckland Writers and Readers Festival, so look forward to posts, interviews and festival goss galore – and lots of reading ideas.

Thanks to Christchurch City Libraries, and all our bloggers and readers and commenters. Keep your comments, suggestions and ideas coming.
Christmas in the Old Childrens Library Workroom

Southern women write about southern men

logoA trio of writers from the South Island are set to take to the stage at the 2011 Auckland Writers and Readers Festival to talk about their recently published books which all have the connecting theme of  ‘outsiders’.

Charlotte Randall is a novelist whose first book Dead Sea Fruit (1995) won the Reed Fiction Award and Best First Book Award in the South East Asia/Pacific section of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. Her second novel The Curative and fourth novel What Happen then Mr Bones? were runners-up in the fiction section of the Montana Book Awards (2001 & 2005 respectively). Her latest novel – Hokitika Town – is about a boy called Halfie and is set during the gold rush in 1865 Hokitika.

Emma Neal is a poet and prose writer who has had writing published extensively and was the inaugural recipient of the New Zealand Society of Authors Janet Frame Memorial Award for Literature in 2008.  Her new novel Fosterling  is about a young man found unconscious in a remote forest, who is seven-foot tall and hairy!

Laurence Fearnley is an author and curator who has written extensively on New Zealand craft artists and has received many awards and grants for her work. Her seventh novel The Hut Builder focuses on a southern small town (Fairlie) and its most famous inhabitant – the butcher/poet who climbed to the summit of Mt Cook with Edmund Hillary.

All three novels have male protagonists, so I’m keen to listen to the authors talk about their work, and hear if they had any difficulties writing from a male point of view.  Also, the stereotypical image of a southern man revolves around beer, horses, dogs and countryside found in the Southern Alps – a far cry from downtown Auckland, mate! I have no doubt that they will offer a wholly more sensitive image – of men living in interesting times.