Cycling for beginners

The bicycle band, 1898
Cycling while playing music is not recommended for beginners. A cycling novelty [1898], Christchurch City Libraries PhotoCD 5, IMG0053
A friend of mine has just started riding a bike around Christchurch. She is a very tentative cyclist but I’m so proud of her for getting on her new bike and giving it a go. So far her forays along bike paths have been positive ones and I hope she comes to love cycling as much as I do.

I thought this would be a great opportunity to share what I know about cycle commuting in Christchurch with her, but also with other wannabe cyclists who are thinking about trying to rack up some kilometres this month in the friendly competition that is the Aotearoa Bike Challenge. (Registering on the website is quick and easy and if you download one of the recommended apps to your phone it’ll record your cycle journeys automagically! Also there are prizes!)

Tips for newbie Christchurch cyclists

If you’ve never done it before, riding a bike can be a bit intimidating but the more you do it, and the more you learn, the more confident you’ll be. Here are some things it might help you to know:

  • Cyclists are friendly folk – We love encouraging new cyclists and there are numerous clubs and groups that would love nothing better than to encourage you towards freewheeling greatness. Try:
  • Plan your route – If you’re nervous about busy roads and intersections plan your route so you can avoid them. And if you feel like a particular intersection or bit of road is dicey, there’s no shame in pulling over and being a pedestrian for a bit. I do it all the time!
  • Cycle lane etiquette – If you’re a slowpoke like me you’ll want to keep to the left of a cycle lane so it’s easier for faster cyclists to overtake you on the right. If you’re speedy calling out a cheery “coming up/overtaking on your right” as you approach is helpful for avoiding any collisions. A bell is a useful piece of kit for cyclists of all speeds as it’s great for getting the attention of pedestrians on shared pathways (or those who absentmindedly wander into a cycle lane). To me a bell always sounds more friendly than “OI!”.
  • Do wear a helmet – Because them’s the rules. And if you’re in an accident you’ll appreciate not being concussed (I speak from experience). And yes, it’s still the rules if you’re cycling on the footpath (but don’t cycle on the footpath unless it’s designated a shared pathway). Correct deployment of your helmet is firmly strapped on your head… not dangling off your handlebars.
  • Do wear whatever else you want though – There is no cycling uniform and I have successfully biked in everything from heels to jelly shoes (and even a veil once – it was Halloween). Short or floaty skirts can be problematic (especially when windy) but a snug pair of shorts underneath or the coin and a rubber band trick (or a peg) can successfully keep things “under wraps”.

Things to know about cycling infrastructure

There are a lot of cycling initiatives and changes to infrastructure happening in Christchurch and some of these can be a bit confusing or mysterious if you’ve never come across them before. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Sharrows – If you’ve seen road markings that incorporate a bicycle icon and a chevron shape then you’ve seen a “sharrow” (share arrow). These are used on slow or quiet streets and indicate that cyclists should bike towards the middle of the road. But do move across to the left if a motorist wants to come through.
  • How to make lights go – You may notice at or on the approach to an intersection a section of road that looks like the surface has been sliced into, often in the form of a box or rectangle. Underneath the road surface is a sensor that can detect bicycles and in some instances this may be the only way to trigger the lights. If you feel like you’ve been waiting an age for the lights to change, look down or around you. You may be a little too far ahead, behind or to the side to be registering as a cyclist.
  • Extra lights just for you – In the central city there are now some intersections that operate on a different system to work in with the new separated cycle lanes. Instead of following what the main traffic lights indicate, you’ll need to pay attention to the special lights just for cyclists (you’ll know they’re for you because they’ll have a bike symbol). Keep your eyes out for these at spots like the Tuam/Colombo intersection, and by the bus exit of the Bus Interchange.
  • Hook turn boxes – A hook turn is a handy option at really busy intersections where making a right hand turn in heavy traffic might not be the safest option. If you see a painted box featuring a hooked arrow and a bicycle icon at an intersection this is a good place for cyclists to perform a “hook turn” (although hook turns are allowed at most intersections). A hook turn is when you take a two step approach to a right turn. Staying to the left, a cyclist can go with traffic through a green light then stop in the hook turn box, and then go with traffic through a second green light (or even ahead of it if the road is clear), effectively making a right hand turn in two stages. The NZTA has official instructions on performing hook turns (with pictures) that explain this really well.

Where to go for more information

Library resources for beginner cyclists

 

And the nominees are…

The nominees for the Academy awards have been announced for this year. For me the most notable inclusions are “genre” films in the Best Picture category. It’s unusual for genre films to get much love from the Academy in this category (Peter Jackson’s The Return of the King is so far the only fantasy film to ever win Best Picture) so it will be interesting to see if either Guillermo Del Toro‘s fairy tale fantasy (The shape of water) or Jordan Peele‘s modern gothic horror (Get out) will take the out the Oscar. They’re both up against more traditionally “Oscar-worthy” films in this category so it seems unlikely, in my opinion ( but if you’re interested in knowing more, may I direct you to this graph showing how the genre preferences of the Academy for Best Picture stack up)

Oscar nominated movies must have opened in the previous calendar year, which means that some (but not all) of these films are now available in New Zealand. Flicks has a useful list of where and how you can watch the 2018 Oscar-nominated movies locally.

As for the library collection, below are the 2018 Oscar-nominated films available for loan on DVD or with tie-in reading material. See how many you can watch/read ahead of the awards ceremony on Sunday, 4 March (Monday, 5 March here if you’re planning on watching live).

2018 Oscar nominated films available on DVD

Related books and soundtracks

A number of  this year’s nominated films are either based on books or have tie-in titles or soundtracks, so you might want also want to check out:

  Cover of The breadwinner by Deborah Ellis Cover of Call me by your name by Andre Aciman Cover of The disaster artist by Greg Sistero and Tom Bissell Cover of Dunkirk: The history behind the major motion picture by Josh Levine Cover of Molly's game by Molly Bloom Cover of Mudbound by Hillary Jordan Cover of Star Wars the last jedi, the visual dictionary Cover of Victoria and Abdul by Shrabani Basu Cover of Wonder by R. J. Palacio Cover of The world of Kong: A natural history of Skull Island

Find out more:

Into each life (and city) some rain must fall

The current summer deluge is a) disastrous for your hair, b) a good reason to get your winter gumboots out of storage and c) an excellent excuse to watch Singin’ in the rain for, oh, the millionth time.

But rain does bring slightly more serious consequences as well, like surface flooding, leaking rooves, and inundated waterways.

So here are some tips and great resources on how to deal with the literal fallout when the heavens open.

And while it may seem counterintuitive, in some areas, like Banks Peninsula, water conservation is important during heavy rain due to water quality at reservoirs being affected.

A recent development in the central city has been the installation of rain gardens, which help filter excess rainwater, helping to keep the Avon River clean from contaminants.

For more on conservation and water quality see our page about Water

Christmas movies for everybody

Whether you’re a massive Christmas fan or something of a grinch, there should be something in the list below to keep you entertained for at least one and a half hours out of the festive season.

How you make it through the rest of the hours is up to you. Maybe a nice book?

Anyway, take your pick from the below and Meri Kirihimete!

For the Romantic

Two thirds of this list features Colin Firth and that can’t be an accident.

For the Traditionalist

Family friendly and comfortingly familiar.

For Kids

Watchable for kids (and not so terrible as to be unwatchable for everyone else)

For Fans of sex and violence

Movies for people who enjoy “adult themes”.

Ultra Violet to Aubergine: Reading purple

Last week Pantone announced their colour of the year for 2018* and fans of purple will be happy. Ultra Violet, as it is being called, is a “…blue-based purple that takes our awareness and potential to a higher level”.

While this might sound a bit of a big ask for a mauvey shade that might easily have been called “Nana’s lampshade”, it’s worth pointing out that when it comes to colours all sorts of meanings can be conveyed. Whether it makes sense to or not, we associate colours with feelings, ideas, and concepts and this fact is not lost on designers and artists.

I accidentally proved as much when I decided to scroll through books from this year, looking for those that were ahead of the field in featuring next year’s representative hue… and found patterns emerging.

Purple, on the whole, isn’t as popular a colour for book cover art as some others – black is very common in some genres, shades of blue turn up a lot, and if you like Romance fiction hopefully you’re not repelled by the colour pink…

In any event, here is how Ultra Violet groups itself in our catalogue, more or less.

Kids’ books

The cover art for kids’ books, as it is with their clothing, decor and other possessions, is a bit more exuberant with the use of colour than you find with the corresponding versions aimed at adults. Because time and age hasn’t made them love neutrals yet, I guess.

Graphic novels

Visual by their nature, it’s not a tremendous surprise that graphic novels would make good use of colour in the covers.

Cover of World trigger Cover of Rezero Cover of Spinning Cover of Magi Cover of Angel Catbird Cover of Black butler

Young Adult

Did you used to be a kid a little while ago? Then you might still be interested in some of those colours you used to see a lot of during childhood.

Cover of Shadowhouse Fall Cover of Firsts Cover of Jane unlimited Cover of Intensity Cover of Origins of evil Cover of Because of you Cover of The ends of the world Cover of Beasts made of night Cover of Ringer

Health, wellbeing and babies

Maybe it’s that purple is “gender neutral”? Maybe it’s that parts of your body sometimes go purple if they’re exerting themselves? Anyway, enjoy these kinder, gentler purple covers.

Cover of Myles textbook for midwives Cover of The Fibro manual Cover of Father therapy Cover of Cognitive behaviour therapy for OCD Cover of The Journey Cover of Baby names 2018 Cover of Resistance band workout Cover of The hormone myth Cover of the baby detective

Fiction (mostly mystery)

Here’s hoping they saved the purple for the cover, not the prose.

Cover of The Mitford murders Cover of Miraculous mysteries Cover of Shattered Cover of Barely legal Cover of Death in St Petersburg Cover of The locals Cover of The art of hiding Cover of Christmas in Icicle Falls

Tech, science and maths

Ha. Maybe purple really does “take our awareness and potential to a higher level”?

Cover of the night watchers Cover of Modern Java recipes Cover of Samsung Galaxy S8 Cover of Minecraft Cover of An introduction to linear algebra

Food

There aren’t that many naturally purple foods but, oh yes, there’s an aubergine in the mix there.

Cover of The flexible vegetarian Cover of The fearless baker Cover of What am I supposed to eat? Cover of Dinner with Dickens

The last word in purple covers

And while it’s not a new title, you can’t write a blog post about book covers that are the colour purple without mentioning The color purple.

More on colours

If this is a topic that’s of interest to you we have a number of really interesting titles about the history of colourcolour in art history, and the science of colour.

*Amazingly, Ōrauwhata: Bishopdale Library and Community Centre has managed to use 2017’s Pantone colour, a bright green, with a splash of Ultra Violet, that proves that it was super “on trend” when it opened earlier this year.

The Gig Guide: December 2017

Planning on attending a concert, show, or gig in Christchurch? Then why not take a look at what we’ve got of that artist’s back catalogue?

Comedy

Music

Christmas

Special performances incorporating festive music.

Popular music

Theatre & Dance

What gigs are you looking forward to in the near future? Anything we’ve missed? Do let us know in the comments.

Books on screen: Murder most foul, sci-fi classics and more

Read the book before you see the film/TV series, or read the source material afterwards for all the added backstories and characters (that you can absorb at your own pace)?

It’s a tricky one and the answer really depends on your own personal tastes and inclinations. Either way, here is the latest crop of works of literature that are getting a makeover for the screen.

Out now

If you’re a “read the book first” sort, you’d better get cracking before you miss –

  • Alias Grace – Canadian 6 part series directed by Sarah Polley, featuring Anna Paquin and a cameo from author Margaret Atwood. Based on the true story of a young housemaid, Grace Marks, who became embroiled in a double-murder, this series is only available on Netflix and is a rivetting watch.
  • IT – I was terrified by this book in the nineties (and the subsequent mini-series adaptation). The current film splits the tale of a group of kids fighting a malevolent entity that often takes the form of an evil clown into two films – the sequel is due in 2019.
  • Murder on the Orient Express – The Agatha Christie classic gets another film outing (the 1974 version earned Ingrid Bergman an Oscar) and with a fairly impressive cast including the likes of Dame Judi Dench, Johnny Depp, and Michelle Pfeiffer, with Kenneth Brannagh (who also directs) as the moustachioed Belgian sleuth, Hercule Poirot. The original novel was published in 1934, so avoiding spoilers might prove difficult.
  • The Mountain Between Us – Kate Winslet and Idris Elba’s charter plane crashes into a mountain and that’s not the end of the drama. Based on the novel by Charles Martin.
  • The Lost City of Z – Author David Grann’s hunt for famed explorer Percy Fawcett’s expedition in the Amazon has Charlie Hunnam as the missing Fawcett, with Sienna Miller as his wife and Robert Pattinson as another member of the expedition.
  • Thank You for your Service – Biographical war drama based on the book by Washington Post journalist David Finkel. The film follows several soldiers after their return from deployment in Iraq and their struggles with PTSD and the psychological trauma of war.

Coming soon

  • Chaos walking: The Knife of Never Letting Go – Another young adult sci-fi series adaptation, this time of Patrick Ness’s widely acclaimed dystopian novel. Daisy Ridley and Tom Holland are set to star.
  • Dune –  Frank Herbert’s epic sci-fi saga gets another go-around (after the 1984 film directed by David Lynch, and two miniseries’ in the early 2000s) this time with Arrival director Denis Villeneuve at the helm.
  • Break My Heart 1,000 Times – Bella Thorne will star in this “supernatural romantic thriller” based on Daniel Water’s young adult novel set in world where people can see ghosts.
  • Guernsey (The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society) – Mary Ann Shaffer’s 2008 bestseller set on the island of Guernsey during WWII was filmed earlier this year, with Downton Abbey stars Lily James and Jessica Brown Findlay in the cast and Mike Newell directing.
  • Ready Player One – Ernest Cline’s dystopian future/Virtual Reality/geek nostalgia-fest novel follows Wade Watts as he attempts to find an ‘easter egg’ that will bestow on him a fortune. Directed by Steven Spielberg, expect to see this everywhere in March 2018.
  • Peter Rabbit – A new animated version of Beatrix Potter’s classic tale of an adventurous bunny is due in early 2018, with voices provided by the likes of Rose Byrne, James Corden and Sam Neill.

On the radar

With the end of the Game of Thrones TV series on the distant horizon, Patrick Rothfuss is being mentioned as the next George R. R. Martin. Probably because they both have beards and neither have actually finished writing all the books in their respective series’. Lin-Manuel Miranda of super-musical, Hamilton, is producing the series for Showtime based on the first 2 novels of the as yet unfinished Kingkiller Chronicles fantasy trilogy.

Beca Heritage Week 2017

BECA Heritage Week is back again, 13-23 October, and this year the theme is Plains, Port Hills and Peninsula – Finding our way.

Beca Heritage Week logo

The big event on Sunday 15 October is the City of Cycles family fun day, at The Arts Centre which will offer music, entertainment, and films as well as food vendors, vintage markets and… valet parking for bicycles!

Other events during heritage week will include talks, tours, classes on researching family history, and much more.

Pick up a programme flyer at your local library or find Heritage Week events online.

Library Heritage Week events

The library had a range of activities to celebrate our local heritage:

Exhibition – The lost cave baches

This exhibition will show photographs and tell stories of the Lost Cave Baches, located between the east end of Taylors Mistake and Boulder Bay. A booklet will be available with photographs and stories.

Matuku Takotako: Sumner Centre
13-23 October during library opening hours

Lyttelton by Rail

In celebration of the opening of the Lyttelton Rail Tunnel 150 years ago, members of the public are invited to share their stories, memories and images of travelling on the Lyttelton to Christchurch passenger train. These memories will be collected and recorded in the Lyttelton Library by volunteers for the Lyttelton Museum. There will be an accompanying display of images and information about the Lyttelton Rail Tunnel at the Lyttelton Library.

Lyttelton Library
14 – 21 October during library opening hours

Entrance to a tunnel on the Christchurch railway [ca. 1868]
Entrance to a tunnel on the Christchurch railway [ca. 1868] CCL PhotoCD 18, IMG0029

City of Cycles Family Fun Day

Look out for library staff and the following events at City of Cycles family fun day, at The Arts Centre on Sunday 15 October.

Heritage Display

Come and see a heritage display reflecting Christchurch’s past in the Classics Building at The Arts Centre. Library staff will be on hand to answer your questions about our heritage images collection and our Christchurch Photo Hunt competition.

Storytime sessions

All aboard for a special storytimes adventure incorporating stories, songs and rhymes with a Cantabrian flavour (and plenty to please train fans too). Set inside a magical star tunnel, these sessions will run every half hour from 10am to 3pm in the Classics Building at The Arts Centre. Suitable for children aged 3-7 years. Bookings will be taken on the day.

Ride On: A pedal through Christchurch’s cycling history

An exhibition for those who love freewheeling. Here you’ll see a fascinating display illustrating Christchurch’s colourful cycling history. It will include heritage bikes on display, as well as images and historical research pulled from Christchurch City Libraries collections.

Book talks – Port to Plains; Over and under the Port Hills, the Story of the Lyttelton Railway Tunnel

David Welch, author of the recently published book, “Port to Plains; Over and Under the Port Hills, the Story of the Lyttelton Railway Tunnel” shares stories about the railway tunnel, the Bridle Path and  the section of the original Sumner Road, from Ferrymead via Sumner to Lyttelton. Participants are invited to join in an open discussion about local history and various research methods.

Lyttelton Library
Monday 16 October 6.30–8pm

Matuku Takotako: Sumner Centre
Tuesday 17 October 3.30–4.30pm

Book Talk – Head of the Harbour by Jane Robertson 

A history of Governors Bay, Ōhinetahi, Allandale and Teddington, this immensely readable, impeccably researched and superbly illustrated book tells the stories of the families who settled at the head of the harbour, of the homes they built, of their relationship with the land and sea, their working and recreational lives. It traces the influence of well-known residents such as Thomas Potts, Hugh Heber Cholmondeley and Margaret Mahy. Author Jane Robertson has interviewed many residents and ex-residents, whose experiences and photographs enrich a book that is not just for those with connections to this special place, but for anyone interested in the history of Canterbury and of New Zealand.

South Library
Friday, 20 October 11am-12pm

eResource Tasters – Ancestry Library Edition

Ancestry library edition logoAn introductory session on how to use Ancestry Library Edition, which is free within the library. Come and get some tips to help you discover your family’s history.
You will gain an overview of the wide variety of vital records from New Zealand, Australia, United Kingdom, Europe and the United States from this eResource. Free, no booking required.

South Library
Thursday 19 October 11am-12pm

Christchurch Photo Hunt

Christchurch Photo Hunt Our annual heritage photo competition takes place in October. It’s an opportunity to contribute to the photographic record of our city.

So dig out your photos of local people, places or events. Entries can be made online, or by dropping into your local library.

Previous years’ photo hunt entries can be found on Kete Christchurch.

The Gig Guide: October 2017

Planning on attending a concert, show, or gig in Christchurch? Then why not take a look at what we’ve got of that artist’s back catalogue?

Comedy

Kids

Music

Theatre

What gigs are you looking forward to in the near future? Anything we’ve missed? Do let us know in the comments.

Christchurch Photo Hunt 2017: Plains, Port Hills & Peninsula – Finding our way

Every October Christchurch City Libraries holds a month-long heritage photo competition, the Christchurch Photo Hunt.

Plains, Port Hills & Peninsula – Finding our way

The theme this year is “Plains, Port Hills & Peninsula – Finding our way”. So we’re keen to see your photos taken up hill and down dale, in inlets, bays and harbours, or of wide Cantabrian vistas. The people, the places, the events of Christchurch and surrounds.

Christchurch Photo Hunt poster 2017

Images old and new welcome

And while we expect to see older images, recent ones are welcome too. Did you take some good shots during the recent Port Hills fires? Or do you have images of what the affected areas looked like before the devastation? Do you have pre-quake images of Lyttelton or Akaroa? So check your memory sticks, hard drives, shoe boxes and photo albums for images that capture a moment in our history.

Competition and entries

You can bring your photos 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.

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’ and prizes of a bookish nature are up for grabs in each category.

Winners will be announced on 1 December and winning photographs will be featured on our website.

No photos? Contribute anyway

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.

More Photo Hunt information