Choo, choo, choose the BIG Model Train Show

It’s all go in Christchurch this weekend. There are Fun Palaces, Plant Parades and sing-a-longs happening in the centre of the city over the weekend and the activities look exciting. But make time to chug along to Pioneer Stadium where you will be in for a real treat.

The annual Christchurch Model Train Show brings together some of the best model railways in the South Island and has an expected 30 layouts.

If you are interested in New Zealand railways in miniature then check out the One Track Minds module and be amazed by their detailed handiwork.

Our Model Railway resources

Cover of Creating realistic landscapes for model railwaysCover of Airbrushing for railway modellersCover of Planning, designing and making railway layouts in small spacesCover of Layout design

Bonjour French Fest!

No doubt like many of you, I grew up learning French at school. For seven years I practiced saying helpful phrases like Ouvre la fenêtre; and Il y a un autobus. I must have enjoyed it, because I then chose to study French at university. As a consequence, decades later, I can fake the BEST French accent, order coffee authentically, and pronounce the word croissant like a pro.

French Fest

My early exposure to French language and culture has also, however, left me with an enduring love for all things Gallic. So Akaroa’s biennial French Fest – happening this year from Friday 9th to Sunday 11th October – is a celebration I would very dearly love to attend. Malheureusement, I will be away that weekend, so I will be relying on all of you to do your best to pop over the hill and join in the celebrations.

And there’s a lot to celebrate – this year marks the 175th anniversary of the first organised European settlement. You can choose to mark the occasion by attending Friday night’s Fête des Lumières Street Party, or watch the following morning’s re-enactment of the landing of the settlers from the French ship Comte de Paris. Saturday also offers Le Jour du Marché, with a street market at the showgrounds, and on Sunday you can join in (or just watch!) a game of Ki-o-Rahi – a traditional Māori ball game played by two teams on a circular pitch that was taught to the French settlers.

As an added bonus, French Fest has this year partnered with Beca Heritage Week, and has the honour of offering the very first event in that festival’s programme. So much to see and do! Je suis jaloux that you will be able to attend – perhaps as a small favour I could ask you to bring me back a croissant, or possibly even pain au chocolat.

French books
French books at Central Library Peterborough. Flickr 2015-09-23-IMG_9541

Akaroa info

More French stuff

L'Hebdo magazine Cover of French Vogue Cover of Nina

Get yer Fun Palaces on – Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 October

Free, pop-up Fun Palaces will be hosting exciting arts, science and culture activities for people of all ages and abilities this weekend. New Zealand will be the first place in the world to get our Fun Palace on!

Fun Palaces

My sister in London will be Fun Palace-ing too – Story Telling For Big Kids and Little Kids at the Brockwell Lido Fun Palace. Meanwhile, in Christchurch I will be with the whanau sampling events at our Fun Palaces HQ Central Library Peterborough. But wait – there’s more!

Mosaic

Be There lists all the local Fun Palaces.  You can win too – snap a selfie at any of the Fun Palaces and upload to your social media accounts with the hashtag #funpalaceschch and you are in the draw to WIN a bicycle worth up to $2,000. See you there!

아이들과 함께 할 10월의 이야기

곧 아이들 학교 방학이 시작되네요. 온 가족이함께 할 수 있는 신나는 정보를 소개 할까 합니다.

Fun PalacesFun Palaces 2015라고 들어 보셨나요? Fun Palaces는 1960년  영국 연극 연출가 Joan Littlewood 와 건축가 Cedric Price에의해  ‘신나는 실험실’ 과 ‘거리의 우주’라는 상상의 이야기가  그 시작이 었답니다. 이러한 시도는 2014년 Stella Duffy를 중심으로한 여러사람들에 의해 현실화 되었답>니다. 그리고 세계 최초로 크라이스트쳐치 에서 시작을 하게 되었습니다. 10월 3일 부터 4일까지 City Centre 여러 곳에서 누구나 참여 하여 즐길 수 있는 여러 행사가 준비 되어 있습니다. 예술, 과학 그리고 다양한 문화 행사를 직접 경험하고 배울 수 있는 유익한 프로그램을 시내 곳 곳에서 만날 수 있답니다.  시내에 위치한 Central Library Peterborough에도 이 행사와 연결된 여러 가지 프로그램들을 준비했답니다. 아이들과 함께 방문해 보세요.

이 달의 책입니다.

Korean books
Korean books, Flickr Korean-Oct-2015-2.jpg

재명훈 작가의 SF소설 가마틀 스타일 – 우리는 어떻게 태어났을까? 세상에 태어나 문득 스스로를 바라보게 된 순간 어떻게 생긴 자아와 어떻게 생긴 몸이 ‘나’의 많은 부분을 구성하고 있었던가. 또한 그 두 가지가 내 기대와 맞지 않았을 때, 세상은 우리에게 어떤 모험을 제시했던가. 맨 처음 그 모험의 길이 펼쳐졌던 우리 인생의 어느 순간에 우리는 과연 그 여정을 감당할 만큼의 용기와 적당한 정도의 위대함, 그리고 인간성을 갖추고 있었던가. 이 책이 던지는 질문은 그런 것들이다.— 「작가의 말」중에서

김탁환 작가의 역사 추리 소설 목격자들을 소개합니다. “방각본 살인 사건”, “열녀문의 비밀”, “열하광인”으로 이어지는 김탁환 작가의 백탑파 시리즈의 또 다른 이야기입니다.

Children's books
Children’s books, Flickr Korean-Oct-2015-1.jpg

유다의 별 – 2014 한국 추리 문학대상을 수상한 도진기 작가의 작품으로 1920~1930년대에 실존하며 340여명을 죽음으로 이끌었던 사이비 종교 집단 백백교와 현대에서 벌어지는 연쇄 살인사건을 접목시켜 흥미진진하게 이야기로 풀어낸 추리 소설입니다.

이번에 소개할 읽는 어린이 그림책은 천미진선생님의 산골짜기 연이네 비빔밥입니다.

Fendalton Library Children’s Book Sale도 잊지마세요

I like big books and I cannot lie

Cover of Into the Wilderness“I’ve chosen the book for August” the email said, “It’s Into the Wilderness by Sara Donati

With tablet in hand, and the bing-bong of the email hitting my inbox still ringing in the air, I searched the catalogue to place a hold. I started reading the comments…

Fans of “Outlander” by Diana Gabaldon will enjoy this series…

and

As a huge fan of the Outlander series I was so happy to find this book…

were top of the list. *Sigh* I hated the Outlander series!

A few days later, the book turns up–all 876 pages of it. …Mutter, mutter…fat books…never reads anyone else’s choice…gets us to read a blimmin’ 900 page book…*groan*…

Cover of The Memoirs of CleopatraNeedless to say, I wasn’t looking forward to reading this big, fat, Outlander-esque  book for my book-club. I used to like fat books. A good, long read that would keep you going for weeks — so long you’d have to take it out three times maybe, like I did when I read Memoirs of Cleopatra. Books with plenty of pithy plot and scope for real character development. Books so heavy that reading in bed is a real workout.

But then I had kids,  and got a job* too, and life just got too busy for fat books.

I turned the book over in my hands. Just because the cover is emblazoned with Diana Gabladon’s words of praise, that doesn’t mean I’ll hate it, right? Just because Outlander fans love it, that doesn’t mean I won’t enjoy it.  Better not put off starting too long, or I’ll never get it finished in time. I cracked it open.

Cover of The Gilded HourAnd I started to enjoy it. Right from the first chapter. Elizabeth was just a great character, so feisty! I couldn’t help but like her. And that was the general feeling from my book group too.  We (almost) all managed to (almost) finish it, despite the 876 pages. And we all quite liked it, though most of us aren’t going to rush out and read the rest of the series.

This morning, a bright, shiny new copy of The Gilded Hour arrived here at Spreydon Library for a hold, and I think I’ll add myself to the hold list.

I might even read the rest of the Wilderness series. Maybe. After all, once upon a time, I liked big books, and I cannot lie.

I put together a list of some of my favourite big books, perhaps you’ll like them too, they’re definitely worth the effort!

If you (unlike me) like Diana Gabaldon, you might like this If you like… list

Do you like fat books, or do you prefer a slim read?  do you have a fat book to recommend?

*At the library. I know, ironic right? No time to read fat books now that I work at the library

Facing up to the flag

Cover of Compete flags of the worldI once came close to arrest for a flag indiscretion.

It happened in about 1985 in a South African border town on the edge of Lesotho. My husband and I were on one of those languid, childless road trips, with no set agenda, that are so dear to South Africans and New Zealanders alike. We rounded a corner of this town, and there before us was a truly amazing sight: the local Police Station bedecked with several newly laundered South African flags of all sizes – draped over the stone walls, hanging from the trees, laid out to dry on the lawn.

We were astonished on so many levels. We hadn’t even known that flags were ever washed, and we had heard that it was a mark of disrespect for a nation’s flag to come into contact with the ground. This was a South African Police Station in the middle of nowhere – we had to have a photo. We slowed right down and took the snap. We thought we were brilliant; we even conjured up a snappy slogan. We would sell this photo. We would become Rich and Famous.

Instead we were invited in for questioning. Our film was confiscated and our holiday snaps destroyed. We had overlooked that it is an offence in South Africa to photograph a police station.

Cover of One Flag, One Queen, One TongueSo, I harbour strong feelings about flags. What can the library do to  satisfy my flaggy curiosity?

What’s more, this current New Zealand flag debate is not my first flag referendum. Given the tumultuous changes in South Africa with the advent of democracy –  it was obvious that the old flag would have to go. I remember the calls for designs; the anxiety over the loss of historical connections; the thousands of letters to the press. Clearly it would be impossible to please everyone. When the design of the new flag was announced, with lightning quick speed the new (and current SA flag) was denounced as being like a child’s painting of a pair of Jockey Y-front underpants laid on its side. Not such a good look.

Cover of Symbols and their hidden meaningsNow it is a much loved icon of the new South Africa. There may be many profound reasons why this is so, but I believe it is partly because it is such a joy to face paint. The old flag involved a huge expanse of white with three tiny (detailed) little flags slap bang in the middle of the flag. Right where the nose is usually positioned. Quite frankly, it was dead in the water well before the first election.

So I put it to you here – when Flag Referendum time arrives, after you’ve resolved all your other flaggy issues, ask yourself one question:

“Will the flag I choose look good when painted on my face?”

Body Festival 2015

The Body Festival is Christchurch’s annual event of dance and physical theatre. This year it runs from 25 September to 11 October. Participation is an important part of the festival which gives everyone an excuse to give it a go and get their body moving!

As always this year’s event offers a broad range of dance workshops and beginners’ classes as well as performances and exhibitions.

The opening night event, No Lights No Lycra was energising (and sweaty) with the kind of upbeat playlist sure to get a body moving, but there are plenty of other opportunities to “trip the light fantastic”.

Dance o mat, 2012
Dance o mat, 2012, Flickr CCL-2012-03-21-IMG_0499

Don’t miss these highlights of the festival –

Speed dancing at TedX
If you’re not sure what kind of dance style suits, you can try out a range of them in quick succession at the Dance-O-Mat.
Library leotards
Body Festival 2008, Flickr CCL-2013-01-15-DSC09707
Retro Aerobics
Flash back to the 1980s and “feel the burn” with this homage to the workout videos of Jane Fonda. Bring your legwarmers and leotards!
Outstanding Feet
A celebration of the diversity of dancing talent sourced from the high schools of Canterbury.
A day of hip hop
Watch a dance movie and become inspired before you join in on one of the hip hop workshops, or all three of them: beginner, intermediate and advanced.

Feeling inspired and want to know more?

World Book has mutated!

There was a time when the World Book was just one plain brown set of encyclopaedias sitting on a shelf. Nowadays it has transformed into a startling array of gorgeous looking eResources. These eResources are updated daily, available 24/7, and are full of multimedia options including video, interactive maps, activities and country comparisons. You can print, email and save results and even have articles read aloud to you. In short, World Book eResources are very clever and very useful, but they have a problem – there are almost too many of them! I do get asked about the many World Book platforms that we have so here is a brief rundown:

Confused? Just remember that World Book has developed eResources with certain ages in mind. So if you are helping your children do their homework or wanting to update your CV then World Book does have something for you.

Te Kupu o Te Wiki – Puku (tummy)

Kia ora. To encourage the use of Te Reo Māori we are publishing weekly kupu (words) and phrases that can be used with children.

Kīwaha (idiom)

He aha hoki
Whatever

Kupu (word)

puku
tummy

Tirohia tēnei puku nui!
Look at this big tummy!

Whāngahia te Reo

 

This week in Christchurch history (28 September to 4 October)

28 September 1864
Re-built Victoria Bridge opens. It is probably the country’s first iron and stone bridge.

29 September 1978
Friendship Corner opens by the Bridge of Remembrance. After a heated public debate over whether the area should be used for parking, the Council decided to plant the area with trees representing Christchurch’s sister cities.

30 September 1972
New Town Hall complex and James Hay Theatre (designed by Warren and Mahoney) opens. Ferrier Fountain commissioned.

1 October 1870
Opening of Canterbury Museum building, designed by B.W. Mountfort.

Canterbury Museum, Rolleston Avenue, Christchurch [ca. 1885], CCL PhotoCD 12, IMG0090
Canterbury Museum, Rolleston Avenue, Christchurch [ca. 1885], CCL PhotoCD 12, IMG0090
1 October 1948
City Council takes over Canterbury Public Library from University.

1 October 1953
Over 3000 hectares of Waimairi (showgrounds area), Heathcote (Bromley area) and Estuary included in City.

2 October 1916
Opawa joins city.

3 October 1988
Park Royal Hotel opens in Victoria Square.

More September and October events in the Christchurch chronology: a timeline of Christchurch events in chronological order from pre-European times to 1989.