Recent necrology, April 2015

Some well-known people who have died recently

  • Cover of The Tin DrumRichie Benaud, 1930-2015
    Celebrated cricket commentator who was also an outstanding Test player in his time
  • Gary Brain, 1943-2015
    New Zealand percussionist, timpanist and conductor who served 25 years with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
  • Sheila Kitzinger, 1929-2015
    Natural childbirth activist who encouraged women to see birth as an exhilarating experience
  • Brian Sutton-Smith, 1924-2015
    Developmental psychologist whose work — prolific, scholarly, and precedent-setting — was quite literally child’s play
  • Richard West, 1930-2015
    Gifted author and travelling reporter whose writing covered Africa, Vietnam, Latin America and Yugoslavia

Find family without leaving your couch with MyHeritage

Exciting news on the family history front. Until now because of licence restrictions customers have always had to come into a library to access online family history eResources like Ancestry and Find My Past.

MyHeritage logoNow from the comfort of your own couch you can surf our newest genealogical eResource – MyHeritage during ad breaks while watching the Bachelor, or Campbell Live. It is a great way to kick-start finding those random relatives and construct that family tree for future generations.

Are you to the ‘manor born’? Or are you like me – ‘bog born’? Was your family “upstairs” or “downstairs”? The answers lie within MyHeritage and other family history resources from Christchurch City Libraries.

Begin the hunt!

Crossfit at the Library

Cover of High intensity interval training for womenChances are you will have heard of Crossfit. It will either strike fear to your bones or have you salivating, depending on what side of the fence you sit (or jump ) on. Perhaps you have tuned into the Crossfit games, labeled rather grandiously as the “premier test to find the Fittest on Earth”, personally I would rather stick needles in my eyes, but each to their own.

Crossfit runs, jumps, pulls and pushes beside its slightly friendlier cousin HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). Gone are those long hours spent quietly slogging away on the treadmill or bike, now it’s all over in 30 minutes max and you are left in a pool of sweat, gasping for breath and wondering “why? why? why”?

Crossfit comes with its own language

Cover of 365 WODsTraining takes place at The BOX…whatever you do, do not call it a gym, gyms are for sissies. The box is where you do WODS (workouts of the day) and AMRAPS (As many reps as possible) and you embrace the SUCK…ie you get to feel really really bad.

I am not particularly enamoured of the trend. My daughter has joined up and I have been abandoned to muddle my way around the gym on my own, so I am feeling a bit bereft, however in an attempt to get to grips what is obviously appealing to many here is a list of crossfit and HITT titles.

Four quick questions with Helen Macdonald – author of “H is for Hawk”

Cover of H is  for HawkH is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald has being doing the business – literary awards, bestseller lists, and LOTS of reader love.

We asked her four quick questions ahead of her visit to Christchurch next Tuesday 12 May, as part of WORD Christchurch’s Autumn Season (get your tickets now!)

She will also be at the Auckland Writers Festival and the Dunedin Writers and Readers Festival.

What are you looking forward to doing in Christchurch?

This is my first time in New Zealand, so I’ll probably behave like an overexcited small child rushing around trying to see everything. I’m delighted to have the opportunity to appear with Steve Braunias at the evening event, and can’t wait to meet people and talk with them afterwards. But naturally I want to see the city too. Visit the museum, walk the streets. And of course, there’re the birds! I’m a total bird geek, so I’ll be bringing my field guide, and if there’s time I’ll probably go off to a local forest or reserve and have a wander about with my binoculars, see what I can see.

What do you think about libraries?

They’re so important! So many are closing in the UK and it’s a very depressing state of affairs. I live near Cambridge and am lucky to have access to one of the great research libraries of the world. The library in my local town is very different: packed with novels, dvds, audiobooks, people piecing together jigsaws on tables, children sitting and reading on mats, and noticeboards full of local events. It’s a proper community hub, and I love it.

What would be your “desert island book”?

The Complete Works of Shakespeare. Not an original choice, but, you know. It has to be.

Share a surprising fact about yourself.

I’m incredibly allergic to mammals. Pretty much all of them: dogs, cats, foxes, deer, even rabbits and hares. They’re my kryptonite. Horses are the worst. I live near Newmarket, the home of British horseracing, and quite often I’ll start sneezing uncontrollably in the supermarket because some jockey or other has walked past. I’d have been a very sickly person indeed if we still used horses as regular transport!
Helen Macdonald

More about Helen Macdonald

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