Gallops – and they’re off and racing!

https://christchurch.bibliocommons.com/item/show/758060037_harrySaturday 11th November marked the beginning of the NZ Cup and Show Week 2017 in Canterbury. Every year during the middle of November, Canterbury celebrates the province’s anniversary holiday.

Will you be going to the A & P Show or having a flutter on the horses? I love the gallops events at Riccarton Park Racecourse. The thrill of their speed pumps my adrenaline.

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Pets and fireworks don’t mix

22382403_10213144851508211_6562001469831516731_oFireworks went on sale recently and even though Guy Fawke’s night is over people are still setting them off each night. Most pet owners dread this time of year. Our wee darlings and big tough pets alike crumble into anxious dribblers.

My ditzy fluff-ball Zac (pictured with his favourite toy pig) whimpers and tries to hide behind my legs. I heard swaddling them helps them feel safe. I tried a tight-fitting jersey which seems to work a treat during fireworks, thunderstorms, earthquakes etc.

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David Welch – Port to Plains; Over and Under the Port Hills, the Story of the Lyttelton Railway Tunnel

The Lyttelton rail tunnel officially opened on 9 December 1867. The trip through the hill secion took less than seven minutes. This was New Zealand’s first rail tunnel, and for many years it was also the country’s longest. The Lyttelton rail tunnel was the first in the world that was driven through the side of an extinct volcano.

I recently attended David Welch’s Heritage Week talk about his upcoming book: Port to Plains; Over and Under the Port Hills, the Story of the Lyttelton Railway Tunnel.

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Entrance to a tunnel on the Christchurch railway [ca. 1868] CCL PhotoCD 18, IMG0029
No dry reading here! David loves a good social history so has concentrated on the real characters in the saga of constructing a tunnel through a volcanic caldera. In his talk he brought to life well-known early pioneer names such as Fitzgerald, Moorhouse, and Dobson in snippets of stories included in the book.

I for one am really looking forward to its publication. Place a hold on Port to Plains; Over and Under the Port Hills, the Story of the Lyttelton Railway Tunnel and we will let you know when a copy arrives for you to read.

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Tusiata Avia – From poetry to prose

I recently went to a From Poetry to Prose book talk featuring Cover of Wild dogs under my skirtTusiata Avia at the WEA here in Christchurch, as part of their October Writing Workshops.

She talked about how she has gone about making the transition from poet to novelist. Ashamed to admit I wasn’t familiar with her work, I was inspired by her forceful writing combined with a very relaxed attitude to life.

She read from her upcoming first novel and from a poem in Wild Dogs Under My Skirt which have the same characters and the same domestic abusive dynamic. Wonderfully engaging, she performs the characters voices so well that I found myself lost in the story.

Tusiata Avia is Christchurch born, of Samoan descent. An acclaimed performance poet and children’s author, her work has also been published in various literary journals. Her first collection of poetry, Wild Dogs Under My Skirt, was published in 2004 then taken to the world as a one-woman poetry show between 2002 and 2008.

Pacific female authors are so lacking in long fiction which makes the wait for her novel that much more anticipated!

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Ah, the serenity of the West Coast

This Labour Weekend I’m off to the West Coast of our South Island again. I get an itch to escape to there fairly often and this time it felt like it had been too long since last visit. There is something wholly relaxing about leaving your busy city life for the wilds of ‘the Coast’.

Here are some West Coast reads:

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Be safe on our roads this holidays.

Beat those change-of-season sniffles

Cover of Living the healthy lifeAutumn has arrived suddenly and those cool mornings and nights are playing havoc with our bodies. Boost your immune system with some good info from our:

Or search our catalogue for specific health terms.

Local groups with a health focus

Make sure you have plenty of sleep, eat well, exercise, keep warm and retain social contacts. If you’re in an at risk group, you may be able to get a free flu vaccine.

Winter is coming!

Cold climate knitting

Wow, we have some great knitting titles from the Scottish highlands and islands, and Scandinavia at our libraries.

Other titles:

Groups:

Our Zinio for Libraries collection includes several knitting eMagazines that you can download for free and keep. PressReader has knitting magazines that you can view online. You will need your library card number and PIN/password.

Car maintenance, tinkering & upgrading

Kiwis have a love of tinkering or sprucing up their cars, myself included, but I am a complete amateur. Here are some gems you can get through the library:

Beat those Winter Blues

Are you finding the gloomy days and cold nights are getting you down? I’ve come up with some blue-busting winter warmers to drag you out of the doldrums:

Exercise

There. I said it. It’s essential. Yes, I can hear you moan! Nothing warms the body up and produces happy brain chemicals like moving. It doesn’t have to be a marathon, a gentle stroll can do it. Christchurch City Council’s Sport and Recreation page has walks, fitness centres, bike, beaches and boating, activities, leisure clubs for older adults pages full of info and contacts.

Find a local club in CINCH or simply walk the dog, dance around the house to some cheerful tunes or get exercising with friends.

Get out of the house

Now this is a simple one. Withdrawing from day to day social contact with your fellow humans can have a negative effect on your mood. Yes, it’s cold out but there are warm places to go such as your local library! Ensure that you socialise with your friends and family regularly or find a social group on CINCH.

Brighten up your house

Let more light in by opening curtains and trimming trees. Ensure your body gets light by sitting by the window. Less light in winter can affect your mood.

Help others

Volunteer your time. Helping others is great for our own mental health. It gets you out of the house, socialising and you may even get some exercise too.

I just can’t do it!

Is depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress stopping you from having a positive outlook and fulfilling life? Visit your doctor/counsellor and these organisations to get help getting your life back.

More resources from our catalogue

The End of Black Sabbath’s touring

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Black Sabbath at Barclays Centre, Brooklyn, 2014. Photo by MusikAnimal CC-BY-SA 4.0

Black Sabbath is touring the world for the last time. It’s appropriately called The End.

The Auckland show was on April 28th and then they rock Dunedin on April 30th.

I’ll be grabbing my black t-shirt and jeans and flying down to Dunedin to do some headbanging to the wonderfully heavy sound. Ozzie is one of the few old rockers that can still sing like he did in his youth. I’m so excited!