Lyttelton Harbour Festival of Lights 2015

The Lyttelton Harbour Festival of Lights is an annual event of lights, music and fun celebrating the Lyttelton community, Matariki, the Māori New Year and the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year.

The Festival runs over nine days from 13 to 21 June, and this year boasts two stages active throughout the night, on London Street and at Albion Square. The programme features a parade, masquerade balls, music, waiata, food and wine, live poetry performances, art exhibitions, and, of course, fireworks.

Festival of Lights

Highlights of the 2015 programme of events [4.4 MB PDF] include:

Lyttelton Festival of lightsSaturday 13 June

  • Mask and headgear making workshop at Lyttelton Farmers Market, 10am-1pm
  • Matariki 2015 at Albion Square, 11am-1pm
  • DJ Missy G at the Porthole Bar, 8.30pm
  • Toque guitar duo at Civil and Naval, 9pm

Sunday 14 June

  • Afternoon Jam at the Porthole Bar, 3.30pm

Monday 15 June

  • Astro Dome by Science Alive at Lyttelton Primary School, Voelas Road campus, 4-7pm
  • ¡No Siesta Fiesta! at Freemans Deck, 7pm: Spanish and South American music

Tuesday 16 June

  • Lyttelton Bingo-tini at The Lyttelton Club, 6pm till late: Bingo, Martinis, and prizes galore

Wednesday 17 June

  • A Night with a Future Star at the Porthole Bar, 8pm

Thursday 18 June

  • Children’s stories and craft after dark at Lyttelton Library, 6.30-7.30pm
  • Celebrating Lyttelton Writers at Freemans Dining Room and Bar, 7-8pm
  • Josh Rennie-Hynes at the Porthole Bar, 8pm
  • Graham James at the Wunderbar, 8pm

Friday 19 June – Street Party

  • Lyttelton Soup Kitchen at The Lyttelton Club, 5pm till late
  • “We are a Tribe. We come by land and sea and air, travelling through time and space” parade, 6pm
  • The Lyttelton Port of Christchurch Fireworks display, 7.30pm
  • Visit the beautifully restored church of St Saviour’s at Holy Trinity, 6.30-9pm, including a 20-minute selection of musical pieces performed by The Cathedral Grammar Combined Choir from 8pm
  • Sexy Animals at the Wunderbar, 8.30pm
  • DJ Willie Styles at the Porthole Bar, 10pm
  • Kitchen Collective at Civil and Naval, 10pm-2am

Saturday 20 June

  • A Feast of Strangers at Naval Point Yacht Club (for Lyttelton Harbour Timebank members), 6.30pm
  • Lyttelton Masquerade Ball at The Lyttelton Club, 7pm
  • Labyrinth Masquerade Ball at the Wunderbar, 8.30pm
  • DJ at the Porthole Bar, 8.30pm

Sunday 21 June

  • Mathoms and Art Market at Diamond Harbour Hall, 2-5pm
  • Carmel Courtney Trio at Freemans Deck, 3pm
  • Mid-Winter Swim at Naval Point Yacht Club, 3.30pm
  • Afternoon Jam at the Porthole Bar, 3.30pm
  • Alliance Française Music Festival at the Wunderbar, 6pm
  • Festival Poetry Session @ Lyttelton Coffee Co., 8-10pm

Lyttelton links

The following resources are helpful for Lyttelton visitors and locals:

Lyttelton from Purau, 1852, CCL PhotoCD 4, IMG0079
Lyttelton from Purau, 1852, CCL PhotoCD 4, IMG0079

Previous Lyttelton Festivals of Lights

The 2015 Festival is the eleventh time the Festival has been held. Read our post about the 2014 Festival and our interview with Wendy Everingham about the 2007 Festival of Lights.

This week in Christchurch history (25 to 31 May)

25 May 1861
“Christchurch Press” appears. The first editor was ex-Superintendent James FitzGerald, a bitter opponent of the proposed Lyttelton-Christchurch railway tunnel. He and supporters began the paper to air their views.

25 May 1903
Statue of Queen Victoria unveiled in Market Square, and the area is renamed Victoria Square.

Queen Victoria statue, 2007. Flickr: CCL-2013-01-15-DSC05886
Queen Victoria statue, 2007. Flickr: CCL-2013-01-15-DSC05886

25 May 1969
First pair of one-way streets (Lichfield and St Asaph Streets) in operation. With traffic signals eventually controlled by a computer, this was the beginning of New Zealand’s first area traffic control scheme.

26 May 1859
Public Library begins as the Mechanics Institute in Town Hall.

 

28 May 1840
Major Bunbury on HMS “Herald” visits Akaroa collecting signatures of Maori chiefs for the Treaty of Waitangi.

28 May 1955
First parking meters installed.

29 May 1967
Opening of the new Bank of New Zealand building in Cathedral Square.

30 May 1874
First rugby match played.

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

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s Captain Underpants!

Captain Underpants is one of the most popular book characters for kids and his books are hardly ever on the library shelves.His hilarious adventures have kids laughing out loud. On Sunday morning at the Auckland Writers Festival, I joined hundreds of Captain Underpants – both young and old – to listen to his creator Dav Pilkey talk about his books.

Cover of Captain Underpants Cover of Dav Pilkey Cover of Captain Underpants Cover of Ricky Ricotta

Here are 10 things you may not know about Dav Pilkey and Captain Underpants:

  1. Dav Pilkey was a super happy kid because he could do what he liked all the time…until he started school. School wiped the smile off his face because he found it really hard.
  2. He has ADHD and dyslexia but he hasn’t let this stop him from doing what he loves the most – writing and drawing comics.
  3. His teacher gave him the idea for Captain Underpants when she used the world ‘underwear’ and all the kids in his class cracked up laughing. He discovered that underwear is very powerful. He drew his first picture of Captain Underpants that day.
  4. That same teacher told him he couldn’t spend the rest of his life making ‘silly comic books’. He proved her wrong!
  5. He likes to be close to nature and loves kayaking.
  6. He has a pet giant beetle called Megalon.
  7. He writes his books in a cave.
  8. He has written two more Ricky Ricotta books because he pinky-swore to a kid a signing that he would finish the series.
  9. The Adventures of Dog Man, written by George and Harold in kindergarten, is coming out next year. This will be Dav’s 60th book!
  10. There is a new Captain Underpants book coming in August – Captain Underpants and the Sensational Saga of Sir Stinksalot. In this book we get to meet the adult versions of George and Harold.

Dav Pilkey’s presentation was full of action, thrills and laffs and was one of my favourite sessions of the Auckland Writers Festival.

Come and meet Dav Pilkey in Christchurch!

You too could meet Dav Pilkey in Christchurch this weekend. Dav is going to be talking and signing books at Fendalton School this Saturday 23 May from 12 to 1pm. If you would like to go along you’ll need a ticket, which can be collected from The Children’s Bookshop.

Xinran at the WORD Christchurch Autumn Season

It was interesting to hear Xinran speak at a WORD Christchurch event. She spoke for more than an hour and we could have listened to her for much longer. Xinran is a very good story teller. She told many stories from her 300 interviews in China. She spoke about some negative effects of the one child policy, especially the way these children were treated as little princes or princesses, spoilt, cossetted, and given very little opportunity to grow up as independent people.

Cover of Buy me the sky Cover of The Good women of China  Cover of Miss Chopsticks Cover of China Witness

Some stories were hard to believe and in fact were probably isolated cases, such as the child who demanded that her mother buy her the river. Other stories concerning mothers doing everything for the child were not so surprising when there was so much pressure on children to perform academically. For the same reason, we heard similar stories of Japanese children in the past, even if there were two or more children in the family. Xinran admitted that the one-child family was probably a necessity, however. It’s hard to know how these negative effects could have been avoided.

Many people wanted to ask her questions. One woman wanted to know more about her charity The Mothers’ Bridge of Love concerning girls who were adopted out to foreign countries like New Zealand. Xinran talked a little about this and how such girl babies were smuggled out by mothers. The long term result of a preference for male children is now the huge imbalance of adult men unable to find partners, especially in rural areas.

Her speech only covered negative aspects of the one child policy. I am looking forward to reading her book Buy Me the Sky to find out if it also includes some positive aspects.

Anna Sun
Upper Riccarton Library

This week in Christchurch history (18 to 24 May)

18 May 1881
Christchurch Boys’ High School (designed by W.B. Armson) opens in Worcester Street. The school moved to the present Straven Road site in 1926, and the old building is now part of the Arts Centre.

Boys' High School, Worcester Street, Christchurch [ca. 1882], CCL PhotoCD 3, IMG0018
Boys’ High School, Worcester Street, Christchurch [ca. 1882], CCL PhotoCD 3, IMG0018
19 May 1910
Halley’s Comet visible by telescope in night sky. Prophesies of doom and superstition abounded while the comet was visible.

20 May 1861
Gold discovered in Gabriels Gully, Otago. As with other discoveries, the ensuing gold rush depleted the city of its more adventurous young men.

21 May 1866
City Council abandons the vital city drainage scheme because of its financial state. A huge shipment of pipes which had just arrived from England had to be sold off. This guaranteed Christchurch’s reputation as New Zealand’s most polluted and unhealthy city for another 20 years. It is interesting to compare the transport cost of these pipes from Glasgow to Lyttelton – £882 – with the cost from Lyttelton by lighter and cart to Christchurch – £400!

22-25 May 1988
Snow falls in Central City for first time in 10 years .

22 May 1868
William Rolleston becomes the fourth (and last) Superintendent of Canterbury. The 4 superintendents have been remembered in the names of the city’s “four avenues”, previously called the Town Belts.

Looking south down Rolleston Avenue to the Port Hills [ca. 1890], CCL PhotoCD 1, IMG0053
Looking south down Rolleston Avenue to the Port Hills [ca. 1890], CCL PhotoCD 1, IMG0053
23 May 1960
Tsunami (tidal wave) causes water level range of nearly 6 metres in 2 hours at Lyttelton.

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

Very very sleazy tabloid hacks. Hack Attack – Nick Davies at the WORD Christchurch Autumn Season

This is the first booky session I’ve been to with both my Mum and Dad. And a friend. Both had heard about Nick Davies, and didn’t know he was coming to Christchurch for the WORD Christchurch Autumn Season. So we were a keen crew, as were the rest of the crowd. Joanna Norris, editor of The Press, was in the chair – she’s great – en pointe at all times, and with rich journalistic knowledge.

Nick is a Guardian journalist. He investigated the phone hacking that was rife in British newspapers:

The story began in 2007 when the Royal Editor of The News of the World was imprisoned for hacking into voicemail messages of staff at Buckingham Palace.

Nick Davies

He was contacted by a insider who had all the information. Once the stories started coming out it grew massive – 200 people were complicit and  5500 victims affected in phone hacking scandal. It went straight into the world of power, but the difficulty was to prove it. The Guardian posted stories, and may have left it there – but it became locked into the story by the aggressive responses of people like Rebekah Brooks, then CEO of News International:

Our credibility was at stake.

Nick gave us a great insight into the murky world of the tabloid hacks – phone tapping, corruption, prostitutes, cocaine, the lot. The bad guy tabloid hacks are “very very sleazy”. Nothing is off limits.  He sees the hounding of Princess Diana by the newspapers as a turning point.

The wall of deference was broken down & everyone was now fair game … Diana’s life was ransacked for stories.

Tabloid newspapers are “peculiarly ruthless” and riddled with “cruelty and hypocrisy”:

What they do is reputational violence.

This works most effectively against the power elite. The rich and powerful see their fellows brought down by scandal, and don’t want it to happen to them.

Nick had quite a good theory as to why it is that our newspapers are relatively “gentlemanly” as opposed to the UK tabloids. New Zealand ‘s difficult geography and sparse population means that we haven’t developed a national newspaper. Our papers are provincial.  But in the UK, 12 to 15 newspapers were all competing in a rich market.

Discussion moved to the recent UK election and the role of the newspapers.

Since 1979 noone has been elected without Rupert Murdoch’s support.

Some newspapers “pumped the electorate full of misinformation”.  Ed Milliband was portrayed as an “unreliable, untrustworthy nutcase”.  Every party “needed a Murdoch man in their office”. Cameron had Coulson, but Milliband had a Murdoch connection too because:

You have to build a bridge to Rupert.

Nick explored more the parlous state of journalism and public relations:

The PR stuff can go in the bin – we decide what is news. … Honesty is the main thing in journalism.

A great discussion – and the issue is of ongoing interest. Read the book, and follow @bynickdavies and keep up with it all.

Search our catalogue for Nick Davies

Cover of Hack Attack  Cover of Flat Earth news

More from the Nick Davies talk

Read Andrew’s post Hack attack by Nick Davies

WORD Christchurch Autumn Season

Christchurch plays host to the WORD Christchurch Autumn Season. We will be attending sessions, blogging, and tweeting (hashtag #wordchch)

Read our WORD Christchurch blog posts

Nick Davies

David Mitchell’s Middle Earth

Writers festivals are just as much about discovering new authors as they are meeting your favourites. David Mitchell is one of those authors I keep meaning to read. I hear lots of great things about his books and the blurbs sound interesting but that’s as far as I’ve got so far. After listening to his session at the Auckland Writers Festival today his latest book has gone to the top of my reading pile and I’ll be searching out his earlier books.

The interviewer started by asking David about the inter-connectedness of his novels. Although each of them is a stand alone novel, there has been much discussion by fans about how characters overlap in his stories and the very ‘Middle Earth feel’ of his work. David explained that, as a kid, he made his own Middle Earth by drawing imaginary maps. He would scrawl these huge worlds and locations on paper. His impulse with his writing is to make something enormous. He wants each book to be individual and for people to not have to read all his books, but each book is a small piece of something bigger.

David described himself as ‘such a nerd for names.’ He mentioned that it’s very important to get the names right and that he spends lots of time working on them. High Scrabble scores apparently make very good names.

David’s latest novel, The Bone Clocks, is his ‘midlife crisis novel.’ It deals with immortality and the price you might pay to have immortality. The story is made up of multiple parts and each one is written in a different genre. David wanted to put many different ideas in the book but make them co-exist. The only way to do this was to compartmentalise them by genre. The interviewer pointed out that the book’s protagonist, Holly Sykes, is David’s first proper female protagonist. David found it particularly nerving and frightening writing a female protagonist as he hadn’t done so before. The Bone Clocks sounds amazing and I certainly can’t wait to delve in to David Mitchell’s world.

The inevitable question about his influences was asked, and I loved David’s response:

The world is made of potential ideas; you just take from it what you want.

Christchurch, you are lucky – you can see David Mitchell at WORD Christchurch Sunday 17 May 6pm at Court Theatre. Buy tickets now.

The World of David Walliams

We learnt a lot about David Walliams last night thanks a soldout WORD Christchurch event:

As a kid

  • He used to pretend to be Wonder Woman (he demonstrated this with a nice twirl).
  • He dressed up in a silk dressing gown and put a “David Walliams Private Detective” sign on his door.
  • David was decked out in a mauve bridesmaid’s dress by his sister.

The World of David Walliams

Tips for budding writers

  • Have a very evil villain.
  • Write a story that you’d like to read.
  • Read as many books as you can.

His favourite books as a kid

  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  • The Lion, The witch and the wardrobe
  • Stig of the dump (approving noises from my other half for that announcement)

He remembers lying with his head on his Dad’s chest, as he read him Green eggs and ham.

David in action

David did a couple of readings, from Gangsta Granny and Awful Auntie.

We saw that he has the power to get kids to jump and down with fizzing excitement. And then sign books for them for aaaages. What a star.
The World of David Walliams

Coming up from David Walliams – a picture book called The Bear who went boo, and the tale of a little boy who busts his grandad out of a maximum security twilight resthome.

Storytelling is for everyone. Always.

Everything around us, inside of us and between us does – according to science – exist of atoms. That’s one way to explain the world. I prefer it the other way. I think it exists of stories.

The Story Factor The Storytellers Way Hooked Storytime

We are constantly surrounded by stories. We don’t just read them and listen to them in the news and books, we also see them happening around us all the time. We tell stories everyday even without realising. Kids telling us what happened at school. Neighbours recounting stories about their pets. Partners talking about work. Mums repeating stories about their babies. Builders amusing each other with builder’s jokes. Customers narrating about their childhood. Buildings, parks, streets echoing the stories of the past and present. Toys, pictures, songs and our favourite objects evoking our memories. Birds, trees and mountains unfolding tales of the land and nature. Who will I encounter today and how long will you be a part of my story? Will our stories thread together? Is it going to be amusing? Is it going to be sad?

Stories have many aspects and powers. They cure, connect, entertain, support, educate, clarify, inform, enrich, amuse, impress even sell! They connect us with total strangers. Whether we are able to relate to a story or not, they offer us to slip into somebody else’s shoes and see how green the grass really is on the other side.

Therefore – stories are not just for kids. Stories are not something that rests on the bedside table  and are evoked once every now and then, to lull someone to sleep. Stories are very much alive among us. Living in a city, where everyone has a remarkable story to tell, is – at least for me – very precious. We should remind ourselves more often that these stories are our priceless taonga. We should encourage each other how to nurture and share them.

Here, at Christchurch City Libraries, we are super excited about stories. We feel very grateful to be able to host the world-class storyteller Regi Carpenter (USA), brought to Ōtautahi by Story Collective. Regi will be holding a koha based workshop on Storytelling for children today, 12th May (South Library, Sydenham room, 4-5.30pm).

If you are not yet ready to take your storytelling skills to the next level and just want to submerge yourself into an exquisite storytelling session, come and listen to her perform tomorrow, 13th May, 7.30-9pm, at the Orange Studios.

If you are totally whakama, like myself, and prefer to contemplate about storytelling out of your reading settee, than you may like to browse through our books on storytelling. You never know – you might become the scintillating part of somebody else’s story on your way to the library.

Free Comic Book Day

On Free Comic Book Day – Saturday 2 May 2015 –  I went to Comics Compulsion in Papanui, and we bought a My Little Pony comic and got some freebies.

Meanwhile 31 teens were at Papanui Library celebrating Free Comic Book Day with a fun workshop and pizza and comic swap. Spencer Hall and Elijah Lopez, two graphic artists, helped the budding comic-makers with drawing technique tips and advice.  Comics Compulsion came to the party with free comics.

Free Comic Day at Papanui Library

Spencer thought the teens “made some really great work!” He animated some of their pictures together on his blog.

Find out more