Posts Tagged ‘Lloyd Jenkins’

I am having a difficult time adapting to southern small town living. Firstly the weather, I never seem to get warm, ever! Also the people are quite different and I am having to learn a whole lot of social nuances which I’ve never been very adept at. The kids are slow to settle in at school and kindy. My oldest who used to LOVE going off to school now hates it. It all makes writing /blogging difficult.

I really am trying to adapt but really its a constant struggle. My short weekend trips into Dunedin are the saving grace. There is the rush to fit everything in before scooting home and straight back into domestica, but there is always so much to do.

This weekend I stopped by the awesome University Book Store (UBS) and splashed out on some great sale books. The Glass Houseby JC Sturm, New Dreamland: Writing NZ Architecture, edited by Douglas Lloyd Jenkins and Jane Ussher portraits. I could spend hours in that shop really I could.

Then off to the museum across the road. I wanted to check out the last days of Andris Apse’s Antarcticaphotos. I’d seen some in the Sinfonia Antarctica exhibition at the Dowse but altogether they made more of an impact. I love the Otago Museum and an illustration of why, was that there was a small step under a photo of penguins so that kids could step up to get a better look.

I was going to write a post a while ago comparing Otago Museumto Te Papa but that wasn’t really fair (comparing apples with oranges). A few observations though, my kids like this museum better even though its not directly aimed at kids or “theme parked”. OK maybe the butterfly area is a crowd pleaser but the associated stuff is educational and seems to please many age groups. Personally I like the traditional feel, in that you can look at tattoos and hair garments from the Marquesas and ancient greek pottery as well as the New Zealand and local Otago displays. I have two favourite parts – the Victorian “Animal Attic” and the People of the Worldgallery which has a current focus on collecting, collections and collectors including a display on Charles Brasch and his grandfather Willi Fels.

This is NOT a critique of Te Papa which is a different kettle of fish, but just how good the Otago Museum is at getting the details just right.

In my attempts at assimilation here I looked up some of Baxter’s Dunedin poems and with some help found this from Pig Island Letters (2) supposedly written with the Scroggs Hill area in mind (between Brighton and Mosgiel). Somehow it fits.

Her son is moodier, has seen
and angel with a sword
standing above the clump of old man manuka
Just waiting for the word


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I was at my favourite cafe today when I noticed that a painting I really liked that had been there for an age (and I was quietly thinking of saving up for) had gone. I didn’t think so much of the replacement. Anyway the painting I liked was called “Motu Motu” and by the artist Jon Stevenson
Jon in front of Motu Motu

The thing that is good about a regular cafe is that they almost have your long black waiting as you walk in the door – or a Romano in the weekends! Casa Java also serves fair trade coffee which totally blew my cutting down plan by drinking only fair trade. Now if only they had fair trade Ethiopian Yirgacheffe my life would be complete.

I’ve been reading some design books this week. Firstly “Crown Lynn: New Zealand Icon” by Valerie Ringer Monk. I just keep thinking that I grew up with this stuff and some of it is gross. My mother would be amazed that it is now so collectible. She got a set of ‘Autumn Splendour’ as wedding gift I believe or maybe a little later – anyway it was slowing disappearing when I came on the scene and replaced with Fleurette.


The other book is 40 Legends of New Zealand Design by Douglas Lloyd Jenkins and its a bit of a revelation. Again its very familiar territory but the significance of some of these people had been a bit lost on me. Another book to add to the “must buy one day” list. I might have to start another page here for that – or at least a link to an Amazon wishlist. Actually forget Amazon – I’m trying to buy books via Goodbooks if possible now but to be honest, I don’t buy very many books at all. Thankfully my library has accepted another list of recommendations from me recently (including the new Angus one).

Speaking of books I picked up two good 2nd hand ones today Below the Surface: words and images in protest at French testing on Moruroa  and Landfall 208. Both have inscriptions, which is something I love. I suppose unless its from the author they devalue a book, but don’t you ever wonder who “Ethel, Christmas 1947” was? Anyway the copy of Landfall had an inscription on the cover from Fiona Kidman which is funny considering the contents.

My recent obsession with Plischke houses (still haven’t located Eve Page’s) led someone to point out to me the latest “Home New Zealand” magazine which features two quite amazing mid century houses – worth a look!


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