Swallows at Totara Valley

a swallow coming in for landing

a swallow coming in for landing

One of the delights this last week has been the dozen or so swallows that have swerved and manoeuvred around us as we have sat outside for meals and tea breaks.  We figured that they were feeding on the flies that ‘hung out’ on the limestone in the heat of the day.  Sometimes one would fly between us… they are amazingly skilled little beasties, and very hard to photograph!

batman

batman

pausing for breath I presume

pausing for breath I presume

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Totara Valley shack progress

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Anne and I had a good week’s work on the shack building interior… with help from our buddies Geoff & Dale Olsen we managed to get the new internal doors installed, curtains made, bedroom stripped, and ceiling insulation and plywood up, and then we worked on the rest and entrance wall… we had some nice people visit along the way.  A great week with lovely Autumn weather – the insulation helps as we only had to have a heater on twice for half an hour each time.  The portaloo was a welcome luxury!

 

a content Griff!

a content Griff!

Gordon, Johan, Amos & Ezra Dalkie, Vina & Keith Moir

Gordon, Johan, Amos & Ezra Dalkie, Vina & Keith Moir

Anne with Geoff & Dale - heroes

Anne with Geoff & Dale – heroes, in front on the new doors

Jane Davis, Micah and mates came by

Jane Davis, Micah and mates came by

kitchen before bench and insulation

kitchen before bench and insulation

and after

and after

entrance wall before

and after

and after… tongue and groove, my pride and joy!

Searching for Sugarman

searchingforsugarman1I finally got to see the South African made docu-movie Searching for Sugarman… what a story and what a cleverly crafted film!
The ‘sugarman’ in the movie is the Detroit singer/songwriter Sixto Rodriguez who produced two albums in the early 70’s that flopped on the US market but somehow got traction in the southern hemisphere and in South Africa in particular where he was ‘bigger than Elvis.’  But the singer never knew it and never received any royalties.  Indeed there were rumours that he had committed suicide on stage in his anguish.

The truth lay somewhere else and the movie documents the process of discovery and eventual invitation to perform in concert in South Africa.

The man they found was a humble construction worker (with a degree in Philosophy!) who, even under the new spotlight, seems to be unaffected by it all – still living in the very humble house he has lived in for 40 years.  His three daughters feature in the film and paint a picture of an honest man who even surprised them!

It is a very good film and of interest to people whether they know his music or not.

I was introduced to Rodriguez in 1980 by a friend.  The album she gave me to listen to was Rodriguez’s second album Coming from Reality.  I immediately loved it and there are songs on it that remain some of my favourites all these years later… Climb upon my music and in particular, To whom it may concern.  I purchased Cold Fact, his earlier album, a year or so later.  His social comment and songs from the pit are quite profound.

I chanced upon a cassette tape of Coming from Reality in the late-80’s but only managed to find a CD of it in the last few years.  It is well-worth listening to!  The movie fortunately plays a lot of his songs!

St Stephen’s Church pre-demolition photos

I have been creating a catalogue of images of the building over the last few weeks… here are some of them

we will keep the distinctive wind vane for whatever is next

we will keep the distinctive wind vane for whatever is next

the tower and wind vane

the tower and wind vane

cracks in the plaster

cracks in the plaster

deterioration post earthquake

deterioration post earthquake

our nuclear-weapon free building...

our nuclear-weapon free building…

foundation stone

foundation stone

doorway - we are salvaging these in the hope that we can use them in any future building

doorway – we are salvaging these in the hope that we can use them in any future building

art deco doorways into the sanctuary

art deco doorways into the sanctuary

the ceramic tile marking the opening service in 1959

the ceramic tile marking the opening service in 1959

above the entranceway

above the entranceway

art deco metal work above the street-front porch

art deco metal work above the street-front porch

the St Stephen image... the coat and the stones

the St Stephen image… the coat and the stones

a window acknowledging a significant donor

a window acknowledging a significant donor