In 1994 I did my first media course at NZBS... we were a mixed group of different backgrounds, interests and ages. At the end of the three months we all went our separate ways, although two of us did go on to do the radio degree course the next year. However over the last 17 years there is one guy that I've kept in touch with - not necessarily by design but via a series of random meetings.
Here in Shakeytown we like to pretend that we're a big city... we're not really, certainly not by world standards, and deep down we all know this. The standard line of thought is, if there are 6 degrees of separation around the world then in Christchurch, there are just two. Everyone seems to know someone you know, and if you move in certain artsy/creative/event circles then you'll run into the same faces reasonably frequently. As long as they're faces you enjoy seeing, this isn't a bad thing :)
And it's just this way with Neil... through randomly infrequent meetings - outside now-broken theatres, at festivals, and recently at TEDxEQChch - we've maintained the link that started all those years ago on that media basics course. These days he's into photography - check out his official website - and was donating his time & services for the TEDx event held recently. There's a Flickr set of all the pics, or you can view the highlights here. If you look closely at this pic, you can see part of my black/white jacket (with the bright pink lining) about halfway up, at the very left. I was heading towards the photographer, to give him a hug!
To other, non-TEDx-related matters now and the fight to reinstate/save the Dux de Lux continues. A wonderfully reminiscent piece was written recently by my very first (& coolest ever) uni lecturer, Dr Sharon McIver, who describes the Dux as 'the unofficial cultural centre of Chch'. Owner of the Dux (the business, not the building), Richard Sinke, wants to be allowed to fix up the damage and start trading once more but is fighting the Arts Centre over access. To round off today's Dux coverage here's another trip down the Dux memory lane, this time by Vicki Anderson, who tries to explain how it's more than just a bar.
We're starting to pass more & more milestones along our road to recovery... the most recent one was the 3month mark - since February's shake. Which means you get stories like this little collection that appeared in The Herald a week ago:
Mayor Bob Parker
In just 4 days it will be 9 months since the September quake that started this whole seismic shitstorm.
9 months since our world was turned upside down... & sideways, then up & down again, then up & down a few thousand times more.
9 months is a long time - just ask any mum! I grew an entire human being in less than 9 months. Twice. What do I have to show for the last nine months, apart from a few more wrinkles & grey hairs?
No new house, just the same old broken one that we can't live in.
No new house plans, just lots of questions & uncertainties.
No desire to even start planning a new house until we know for sure the old one is coming down soon.
9 months of interrupted sleep, broken routines & a totally disrupted life... and no baby to blame it on. Just a petulant, sulky teen of a planet that has decided to try and shake us off this particular bit. Maybe we're in Terry Pratchett's universe (the Discworld) after all, and Great A'Tuin has finally gotten pissed off with having 4 elephants and a flat planet on her back.
In my next life, I wanna live in Ankh Morpork. Perhaps I could get some of the Unseen University staff to magic me up a new house... although, given their track record, I may be better to wait out the slow grind of the insurance process on this version of earth. But seriously turtle, get over the PMS.