There must be something in the air around this busy intersection in Leidschendam. Not just exhaust fumes from all the traffic either… a sense of humour, maybe contagiously infected by the “robot” shaped telephone and communications mast on the other side. As we wait at our set of red traffic lights we spy strings of old shoes right at the top of some very tall street lights. It would take a strong and brave climber to get up these poles to add a shoe or two. A little distance away someone else has tried to start a “new” shoe string of their own… early days for this one it seems.
June 7, 2013
February 2, 2013
You are getting two posts today but only once of them will make sense at first glance: (this one if you haven’t guessed already… jokers amongst you can keep the cheap jokes on how much my writing and photography have improved in the other post LOL).
It will look like I posted an almost empty page alongside this one, but panic not… there is method in my madness.
WordPress seemingly answered my prayers when they built in a feature that allows WordPress Bloggers to “copy a post” .
For someone like me who routinely has several posts at various stages of the blog brewing process in the works so that I can remember to look up research details that go with photographs from our travels for instance, this was brilliant.
Now I wouldn’t have to manually copy / paste “(photograph © Kiwidutch)” and “DPChallange” (daily post challenge) into every new post I was setting up. Well that was the theory anyway.
Reality is that I can only “copy a page” of an already published blog post… Duh!!!? Who wants to see an almost empty page with a few bits of reoccurring information on it?? Why can’t I “copy a page” of a page still in draft, handy for me and quietly taking place behind the scenes?
This is exactly like most monumental government ideas: often the idea itself is brilliant, inspired even, but the bureaucracy of putting it into practice omits the few basic steps that contain the magic ingredient and turn it into a white elephant instead.
So close and yet so far… it’s like perfecting the lightest, tastiest and easiest to make cake and then after the recipe is printed in a book, seeing that every one of the raising agents has been omitted. Do the publishers then go and fix it? Why no… they just say it works perfectly and expect every reader of the recipe to work out the missing ingredients by themselves.
WordPress turned an inspired idea into a FAIL by simply requiring that the post you wish be copied needs to be already published and not making this feature available to posts in “draft, or in the ”schedule”.
Fine if you want to repeat the “flesh” of a previous post, but what if you only want to repeat the bare “bones”?
Determined to make it work I duly chose one of my posts and started to edit out all the bits I didn’t need. To be honest it look five times longer to set up the new post this way than it would have had I started from scratch. It was also ten times more frustrating because I knew that it should be making things easier and faster but was in fact doing the opposite.
I tried with the shortest of my posts I could find but let’s be honest here, I don’t do “short” particularly well in either words or photographs: so although I persevered the results were still that it was faster to make a manual post with laborious copy/pastes that it was to use this should-have-been-brilliant feature.
I’m totally happy with almost everything else on WordPress, whilst I do still have a wish list of ideas for improvements I appreciate that the site is still a work in progress and that improvements are being made behind the scenes constantly so my little wish list is probably somewhere near the bottom of the “to do” heap.
So Dear Reader, I hope that this at least explains why you get a double post today: one of which is a small rant because I’m rather disappointed that a feature I had such high hopes for has produced a result akin to a cake that promised so much but completely failed to raise, and a second post which is completely useless to you dear reader ( I humbly apologise) but which, now that it’s published will hopefully help me to overcome the stupidity of having manually copy / paste the “bones” of my blog posts every time.
And the photographs of cakes and biscuits (cookies) …How are they relevant you ask ? Well, naturally they are there to keep you sweet until tomorrows post.
September 30, 2012
My New Zealand Driving Licence is about to expire so we came to Sydenham to the Automobile Association to renew it.
Unfortunately I need a copy of our city council rate payments, or bank statement etc as proof that I am still eligible for my licence and since we own property in Christchurch providing the required documents aren’t a problem, if only we had remembered to bring said documentation with us.
On the first occasion we didn’t have time to go back to the north side of the city to retrieve the paperwork because we had a lunch appointment to go to in Hoon Hay, but I noticed the Old Sydenham Post Office in a very sorry state and quickly snapped a few photographs as we went by.
I’m devastated to see it so broken and damaged, and hope that the bracing I’m seeing means that a repair might be possible,but when I look at the photographs on the computer that evening, I notice that the roof tiles have all been removed… and get an ominous feeling that that’s not a good sign.
The Old Sydenham Post Office is a well known and loved landmark, a beautiful historic building from about 1911 that was turned into a restaurant in 1993. I do know that at the very beginning of the building’s life that there was a clock tower on the Colombo & Brougham Street corner of the building but that was removed I think in the 1940′s.
Later, whilst running errands we pass the building again and the awful feeling I had is confirmed, it’s in the process of being demolished.
After our visit to the Sydenham Bakery just down the road I get Himself to pull over so that I can take photos of the demolition process. It’s a sad moment, but unlike many of the heritage buildings in the city I at least get the chance to catch a glimpse of the building’s former glory and say a quiet goodbye.
When I’m next in Christchurch again so many of these beautiful historical remnants will already be long gone, replaced with new builds or still just gaps in the urban landscape, with only the ghostly images of their existence imprinted in the memories of those who knew them well.
I can only liken this experience to attending a funeral… gone is the moment when the individual can be saved, all you can do now is to morn the passing, remember the beauty and the good times and say the necessary goodbyes in your heart.
I picked up a small piece of rubble that was within finger’s reach inside the wire safety fence and put it in my pocket. It’s now residing in a little jar at home in the Netherlands … a little non-descript lump to most, but with a strange sentimental value to me, a tiny connection to the past I once knew.
I’m lucky to be here today, it’s clear from the speed of the work that everything will be gone very soon and I almost missed it. There are quite a lot of photos, but this is a once chance photographic opportunity only, the place is quite literally disappearing by the minute.
The building might be soon gone but I can only hope that the memory will live on and that a new heritage might be built that later generations can also fall in love with and treasure. Old Sydenham Post Office… R.I.P.
June 24, 2012
I’ve left the Kauri Museum, but literally right next door is a delightful little building reminiscent of many New Zealand country town public service buildings. It’s an old post office and there’s an information board giving a little of it’s history.
Matakohe Post Office 1909-1988.
Early mail delivery was to Mangawhai, Waipu and Pahi. The Matakohe settlers had to make their own arrangments to pick up their mail fom these settlements.
Later on mail came to the Matakohe wharf, built in 1881. The first postmistress was Catherine Smith who issues mail from her home “Devon Grove”. When a store ws built at the Matakohe a small postal area was included. This was operated for a number of years until this post office was built in 1909.
The Matakohe post office was a centre of this area for the rural deliveries of Tinopai, Hukatere, Ararua, Oparakau and Parahi until 1988 when postal services were replaced by an agency.
It will come as no shock to find that I adored this place the moment I stepped inside… even though it’s sealed off behind a glass or perspex wall it reeks character, history, and I have a deep fascination with things like old ledgers, bank books, ink blotters and wooden post office boxes.
Maybe I was born in the wrong time…I’d love to have worked here, but I still adore (parts) of today’s technology… so it would have been a deal breaker if I was unable to combine it with my laptop and the internet. (I know, I know… is there anything worse than a half hearted cold footed historian?).
February 10, 2012
Today’s post takes us into Christchurch’s Catherdral Square itself… the barriers are in the centre of the central open space of the Square as work is being done on a multitude of buildings close by.
To my amazment the Old Post Ofice building is still standing!
It hasn’t been a Post Office for years now… more recently it became a visitors centre and Starbucks and I have no idea if it is still structurally sound, or repairable if it has sustained damage, …but it’s a relief to see it here at all at this point.
A little further along the Regent Theatre building is now a sad vacant space… CERA have posted a few “then and now” posters on the fences, not for every building we can see, but for a few.
I remember well going to the “pictures” at the Regent during my years in Christchurch and the building too was a beauty inside and out that was much admired and will be sadly missed.
Further down this end of Worcester street that bends around the square and goes towards Oxford Terrace there are several other buildings that I’d like to know more about.
As a kid, I knew the building that’s now called the “Rydges Hotel” by it’s ‘old days” former name of “Noah’s Hotel” ..it sits on the northern side of the Oxford/Worcester corner. I have no idea what shape it’s in now.
On the Oxford/Worcester south side corner stands the Clarendon Tower.
It’s a stange building because it was formerly the Clarendon Hotel, a grand three storey stone building that dated from around 1903.
Then, very contrivertically in the 1980′s they decided to make a tower block out of it and were going to knock down the hotel completely, but in the end they kept the origonal facade and them “grew” another 15 or so stories of modern building out of the top of it.
It was, and still is, the most bizzare juxtaposition of buildings I have ever seen and not quite a marriage made in heaven.
Yes, I was in the “camp” that said, “better some of it saved to live on in this bizzre fashion than all of it lost completely”, but I still thought “What were they thinking?” every time I passed it.
Wiki has more detail about it’s history and photos, here:
Since the rest of Worcester Street and Oxford Terrace are still cordoned off, I can only see the “town side” of the Clarendon and not the facade that can be more clearly seen from Oxford Terrace. The tower looks forelorn with it’s plywood panels covering the broken windows.
I can’t see but am also wondering about the (Robert Falcon) Scott memorial statue (of South Pole fame) that sat on the grass on the river side opposite the Clarendon Tower, apparently it toppled in the February quake and was damaged…
…it’s a very special statue because it’s strikingly white in colour instead of the oft prefered bronze and because it was carved to an amazingly professional standard by none other than Scott’s widow, in memory of her husband and his efforts to reach the Pole.
Once again I’ve tried to use Google Street View to give you an idea of what these places were like before. The CERA information leaflets were flapping around in the wind, so a passing walker volunteers to hold it whilst I take photos. (Thank you Lady, that was sweet of you)… or in Kiwi slang … “Sweet !!”.