The Vorrh – A surreal and timeless fantasy

the-vorrhThe Vorrh. The name rolls mysteriously off the tongue. It’s a book, and a forest. Ancient, sacred; populated by monsters, angels, and those who have lost all memory and time. This is the first offering from B. (Brian) Catling, and it comes recommended by Alan Moore (Watchmen, V is for Vendetta) who said of it –

Easily the current century’s first landmark work of fantasy

This is a great book. It’s highly readable, imaginative and vivid, with a thread that winds four story plots around an altered sense of time. Catling, who sees his work as Surrealist, draws a very human character in Ishmael, the Cyclops, while some of the humans have monstrous tendencies.

The web of the characters’ various journeys are brought together in the ancient forest, somewhere in darkest Africa. Be warned there are one or two grisly scenes, but quite essential to the sense of ceremony in the plot. Likewise, there is a little sex.

The story revolves around the Vorrh, a Cyclops, an English Photographer, a Frenchman (based on Raymond Roussel), and a Scot; “One of the Williamses”, who abandons the Army to fight for the native Erstwhile, and his wife Este.

B. Catling has penned two sequels to The Vorrh, picking up on the Trail of Tsungali, an Erstwhile hunter, as he takes the Bow back to the forest.

A little Gormenghast, a little Cloud Atlas, perhaps? Surreal and timeless.

Read more about The Vorrh

Te Rerenga Kōrero – Ko koe taku toa!

Kia ora. To encourage the use of Te Reo Māori Te Taura Whiri i Te Reo Māori – The Māori Language Commission publish weekly Māori phrases that can be used to support or cheer someone on.

Ko koe taku toa!
You’re my star player!

akina te reo rugby

Photo Hunt October: Kaiapoi Port, 1963

Kaiapoi Port 1963.
Entry in the Christchurch City Libraries 2008 Photo Hunt. File reference: HW-08-FE-11. CC-BY-NC-ND- 3.0 NZ.

The saturated colours of 1960s film brings a blueish tinge to the Kaiapoi River and port.

Christchurch City Libraries has been running an annual Photo Hunt in conjunction with the city’s Heritage Week since 2008.  The 2016 Photo Hunt is running again from 1 – 31 October. During the month of October we will be posting a series of images from earlier Photo Hunts.

Enter the 2016 hunt online or at your local library.

Kete Christchurch is a collection of photographs and stories about Christchurch & Canterbury, past and present. Anyone can join and contribute.

Our stories unearthed: Christchurch Photo Hunt 2016

It’s that time of year again when we encourage you to dig out your old family snaps and submit them as part of our annual heritage photo competition, Christchurch Photo Hunt.

Emily Treleaven and Clara Coles
Hidden History – Clara Coles (on the right) owned 2 shops with her husband. This may be their St Albans outlet on Canon St. St Albans shop by CCL Photo Hunt is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivatives 3.0 New Zealand License

Hidden Histories – Our Stories Unearthed

The theme this year is “Hidden Histories – Our Stories Unearthed”. But what’s a hidden history? And what sorts of images are we looking for?

Broadly speaking, almost any image can convey some aspect of a forgotten history, or a story not widely known. A holiday photo captures a particular moment in that family’s whakapapa. A picture of a couple in front of their first home is part of the story of that house and of the people who lived in it.

Marshall family swimming at Coes Ford
Hidden History – Coes Ford has been a popular swimming spot since the 1920s. It was named after Jack Coe who owned the land next to the ford. Marshall Family Swimming, circa 1960 by CCL Photo Hunt is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivatives 3.0 New Zealand License

A photo doesn’t even have to be that old to unearth a story, particularly given that Christchurch’s streets and built landscape have changed so much over the last 6 years. As new buildings spring up, it’s good to have a visual reminder of what went before.

Couple sitting on beach, old Brighton pier in background
Hidden History – The original wooden pier at New Brighton was built in 1894 and demolished in 1965. We do not know the names of the people pictured. Old New Brighton Pier by CCL Photo Hunt is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivatives 3.0 New Zealand License

So fossick in drawers, albums, hard drives and shoeboxes for your relatives, school friends, old cars, modes of transport or technology, domestic scenes, places of work, of worship or play and bring them into any of our libraries (download an entry form) or submit them online.

Physical photos that are submitted will be carefully digitised then returned to the library at which they were donated, for collection by the submitter.

A hunting party
Hidden History – The names of the people in this photo are unknown except for Walter Scott Blaikie, seen standing at far left. A Hunting Party, 1895-1910 by CCL Photo Hunt is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivatives 3.0 New Zealand License

You’ve got the whole month of October, with entries closing at 5pm on the 31st. There are two categories for entries, ‘Your People – How we lived’ and ‘Places – Your landmarks in time’. Prizes are a tablet or Kobo Glo eReader.

Winners will be announced on 25 November and winning photographs will be featured on our website.

Don’t have any photos to submit? You can still help unearth our stories by contributing your local knowledge to Kete Christchurch. There are dozens of images there featuring unknown people or places. Perhaps you recognise them? Register with Kete Christchurch and comment on any images or information with what you know.

Portrait of a young woman
Hidden History – This image was a winner in the 2014 Photo hunt. The woman could be local but her identity is unknown. Portrait of a Young Woman, 1910s by CCL Photo Hunt is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 New Zealand License

Past Photo Hunt images

Christchurch Photo Hunt 2016All of the photographs in this post were submitted in past Photo Hunt competitions. They all reflect something of the history of Christchurch and Canterbury. Copies of these images will be available as free postcards at our libraries during October. Pick up a copy of your favourite image or collect the whole set.

We’ll also be sharing daily Photo Hunt image posts on this blog for the month of October. Check in every day for a new/old view of our city and our people.

You can also view all the previous Photo Hunt entries on Kete Christchurch.

More Photo Hunt information