Sure to rise – breadmaking adventures

book coverThe other  night I ventured out in a torrential downpour and returned with a tray of Chelsea buns somewhat blackened on the bottom. Yes I had been to night class. It doesn’t sound very encouraging but the buns tasted delicious once the blackened bits were removed. The burning was the fault of a somewhat dodgy oven.

I’ve been to a number of night classes over the years – woodworking and yoga revealed my personal inadequacies in those fields but breadmaking has been fun and I have been learning heaps – not to mention eating some delicious fancy breads. My multicultural classmates and teacher bring all sorts of interesting traditions and ideas to the class. The course culminated in me producing a very nice wholemeal loaf. (Pictorial evidence provided on request).

Now I feel ready to practice what I have learnt and follow up by dipping into the great collection of resources at our libraries.  One of the best known baking gurus writing these days is Dean Brettschneider who began his training at the famous Rangiora Bakery.

Beethoven’s greatest symphony

Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 Choral Symphony is considered one of his greatest works and is one of the enduring favourites of the classical repertoire. The NZSO are performing it tonight at the CBS arena, along with a newly commissioned work by Gareth Farr.

The performance features a great collection of New Zealand talent – Madeleine Pierard – soprano, Sarah Castle – mezzo-soprano, Simon O’Neill – tenor, Jonathan Lemalu – bass.

Listening to the Concert Programme the other day, I heard a glowing review to the effect that (to use the technical terms) they really nailed it. An excerpt from the last movement of the Auckland performance was then played. The reviewer was right. It was stunning. Pietari Inkinen clearly has the orchestra, choir and soloists under his spell. The audience is in for a special evening.

CD CoverOther great interpreters of this symphony are Furtwangler, Toscanini, Bernstein and Von Karajan. You can listen to all of these and others in the Naxos Online Music Library.

We don’t know what Gareth Farr will come up with, but his work is always compelling. Search for his music in Naxos.

Tumbled obelisks in Christchurch

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Barbadoes Street Cemetery

Our Genealogy Librarian and heritage expert Richard L. N. Greenaway spoke this morning on Radio New Zealand National’s Morning Report: Heritage supporters want Christchurch headstones repaired. Have a listen as he, and other experts, discuss Christchurch cemeteries.

He spoke from Barbadoes Street Cemetery.

Explore more about Christchurch cemeteries:

Mana wahine: Dr Patricia Te Arapo Wallace

Cover of Pūawaitanga o te Ringa - Fruits of our busy hands Dr Patricia Te Arapo Wallace was involved in one of Christchurch City Libraries’ most significant cultural taonga Pūawaitanga o te Ringa – Fruits of our busy hands, a series of tukutuku panels that were specially woven as a community project for the Ngā Pounamu Māori Centre.

She is widely respected for her knowledge of Māori material culture:

When Dr Patricia Wallace wanted to piece together the mysteries of traditional Maori dress,  she found inspiration in an unconventional form – modern-day plastic Ken dolls. With the help of ‘Barbie boyfriends’ she was able to reconstruct how early Maori traditionally wore large kaitaka (cloaks) wrapped around their bodies.

Cover of Looking flashLast month Dr Wallace became the first Ngata Centenary Doctoral Scholar to graduate from Canterbury with a PhD in Maori. While the department has previously awarded four doctorates, Dr Wallace is the first Maori person to do her doctoral study solely in the Maori department. Her achievements are even more remarkable for the fact that she only embarked on a university education in her fifties. Research throws new light on traditional Maori dress.

from the article Research throws new light on traditional Maori dress (2003)

She wrote an impressive  Introduction to Māori Dress feature in the  Berg Fashion Library,  in 2010.

Dr Wallace also wrote the chapter ‘He whatu ariki- he kura, he waero: chiefly threads – red and white’ in the book Looking Flash: Clothing in Aotearoa New Zealand by Labrum, McKergow and Gibson (2007).

She is one of six contributors to Whatu Kākahu-Māori Cloaks (2011) which will be launched at the 2011 National Weavers’ Hui.

Read Patricia’s Researcher profile from the University of Canterbury.