Arthritic Hips, Hard Livin’ and the Best Sneer in Town

Book cover of Rocks OffYay, oh Yah… I’m off to see Billy Idol next year, we’ve got the tickets and everything. Not only is Mr Idol on the bill, but also Cheap Trick .

All the hard living, pushing retirement acts of my ‘yoof’ seem to have run out of money, or are craving the limelight, or both because so many of them are heading this way in the next few months, or have been here this year.

We went to see The Rolling Stones on the 22 November which was indeed epic and the best live gig I have ever been to, and I know several fellow middle-agers loved heading off to see Rod Stewart in Dunedin and will be there to see Elton John in Wellington.

Just as an aside, in keeping with the aged rockers theme, I discovered a site that constantly updates the combined ages of The Rolling Stones, which at writing, was 283 years and 39 days.

Book cover of Kicking and DreamingA quick poke around ticketing sites shows a plethora of names from the past; Heart, Foreigner, Three Dog Night are doing a three group gig, Kenny Rogers, Yes, The Seekers, Joan Armatrading, and Jethro Tull are all on their way and even Paul Simon’s and Sting’s egos are planning a double billing.

Of course many will involve travel if you wish to relive your youth, but it’s a small price (well, not really) to get to sit with a bunch of other ‘old folk’ singing along to your favourites, marvelling at their skills and buying some coveted ‘merch’ while telling yourself, “Glad I got to see them while they’re still alive”.

But if you want to enjoy the music without parting with the cash for tickets, travel and merchandise, you can visit your local library, or indeed, visit us online at home, where you can  grab CDs, DVDs of live concerts and indulge in a little downloading through Freegal. This is where library customers can download free songs, or even videos from the Sony catalogue.

Book cover of Hey JoEven some of the aforementioned artists are there, such as The Seekers, Kenny Rogers, Paul Simon and Three Dog Night.

And then you have them on your phone, your tablet, your laptop… forever!

There are also some great biographies and autobiographies to read on these eternal artists, some authorized, many not, and some of the great ones are written by ex-wives, roadies and those close to the action and the excess.

So get your groove on, be it live, at your nearest library or in the privacy of your home or car.

Te Kupu o te Wiki – The Word of the Week

Kia ora. To celebrate Te Reo Māori we are publishing kupu (words).

Kīwaha (colloquialism)

Tēnā kimikimi, āe
You don’t know!

Kupu (word)


Kei Te Whanganui-ā-Tara te pāremata o Aotearoa.
New Zealand’s Parliament is in Wellington.

Browse our Te Reo Māori resources.

Commemorating the contribution of the Pacific Islands to the First World War

Talofa lava, Kia orana, Malo e lelei, Fakaalofa lahi atu

On Friday 28th of November from 11am – 1pm, Va Pasifika and the team at Aranui Library will join the Pacific community of Christchurch in acknowledging and commemorating the contribution of the Pacific Island British Colonies to World War 1.

There were around 1700 Pacific Islanders directly involved in the war effort (including medical personnel), and those that were unable to serve overseas formed groups to raise funds and donated goods, money, labour and services. Niue, Cook Islands, Fiji, Rotuma, Samoa, Tonga, Tokelau, Tahiti, Hawai’i and as far East as Kiribati or Gilbert Islands are all recorded as having men that served during the First World War. The Great War was both a huge opportunity for these small island colonies to prove their loyalty to the British Empire, but also planted the seed of the move toward independence for the larger island nations – which is so crucial to the diverse make-up of the Pacific Islands we know today.

Our Pasifika Talanoa (or storytelling) on the 28th of November will give our Pasifika elders an opportunity to share the stories of family members, and highlight the contributions of their homelands. We are hoping to also, record their stories and make these available for the public to access. The Talanoa will also be an opportunity for our elders to have a preview of the research and Pasifika World War 100 material that we have been gathering and will be exhibited at Aranui.

The event will run from 11am until 1pm, with light refreshment provided.

Jan-Hai TeRatana
Aranui Library

This week in Christchurch history (24 – 30 November)

24 November 1881
St Albans Borough formed.

25 November 1940
“Holmwood”, en route from the Chathams to Lyttelton, sunk by German raiders. Passengers and crew were taken aboard the German ships, and eventually made their way home 2 months later.

25 November 1980
Totem Pole placed in new location at Christchurch Airport.

26 November 1857
Opening of the first building (long since demolished) on the present Christ’s College site. The school’s original planned site was in Cathedral Square, but the land had been exchanged for the present Hagley Park site to allow room for expansion.

26 November 1910
The ill-fated second Scott expedition leaves Lyttelton on the “Terra Nova”, bound for Antarctica. See 1988.

26 November 1959
Memorial Avenue (a memorial to airmen killed in W.W.II) officially opens.

Photo of Memorial Avenue, Christchurch  [ca. 1959]
Photo of Memorial Avenue, Christchurch [ca. 1959] Christchurch City Libraries, CCL PhotoCD 10, IMG0032

27 November 1985
Remains of swimming pool uncovered when excavating behind No 1 stand at Lancaster Park. Pool used as venue for 1907 Australian and New Zealand Swimming Championships.

Photo of Cashin Quay under construction [ca. 1963]
Cashin Quay under construction [ca. 1963] Christchurch City Libraries, CCL PhotoCD 11, IMG0057
28 November 1893
Women vote for the first time in parliamentary elections.

28 November 1908
Work begins on the Summit Road, the first part of Harry Ell’s obsessional dream.

28 November 1964
Opening of Cashin Quay, Lyttelton Harbour. The engineering techniques used in reclaiming this area were unique in the world.

29 November 1901
Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s first Antarctic expedition arrives at Lyttelton in “Discovery”.

29 November 1978
Concert at Q.E.II Park by rock singer David Bowie.

More November events in the Chronology.