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Acclaimed British writer hits city


Fans of literature are in for a treat when highly acclaimed British author Zadie Smith hits the city for her first – and only – New Zealand appearance at the Christchurch Town Hall’s James Hay Theatre on 13 November, presented by WORD Christchurch and Penguin Random House New Zealand.

 

 

Smith has turned her highly acclaimed authorial hand to race, religion and cultural identity, and her novels are becoming known for their eccentric characters, savvy humour and snappy dialogue.

She exploded onto the literary scene 20 years ago with her debut novel White Teeth, which captured London in all its multi-cultural glory, and she has gone on to an illustrious career in writing, producing novels, essays, and short stories.

Out this month is her new book Grand Union, a collection of sharply alert and prescient short fiction stories which move exhilaratingly across genres and perspectives from the historical to the dystopian.

“Zadie Smith is one of the most important voices of her generation,” WORD Christchurch Programme Director Rachael King says.

“She is a sought-after voice on issues of culture and creativity, but also on race, class, politics and feminism. We couldn’t be more thrilled to be hosting her in Christchurch.”

Smith will appear in conversation on stage, with a chance for the audience to ask questions and to meet her afterwards at a post-show book signing.

‘An Evening with Zadie Smith’ is at 7pm on Wednesday 13 November at the James Hay Theatre, Christchurch Town Hall.

For ticketing information visit www.wordchristchurch.co.nz.

 

 


 

Expert photography workshops


Multi award-winning photographer Scott Fowler first picked up a camera at age six – and for the next 50 years he has barely put it down.

 

 

After being successful in a number of international photography competitions in 2008, people began asking Scott for his expert advice, so he started running one-day workshops from home.

Today, Scott is sharing his passion and creativity with budding photographers all over the country and overseas – and many of them are going on to win international accolades themselves. “I encourage my students to enter internationally and they do very well.”

From portrait classes and one-on-one lessons to six-day workshops in stunning Central Otago settings or 14-day photography tours in Samoa, part of his teaching is around full immersion. “When you’re practising something 24 hours a day and totally immersing yourself in the subject without any distractions from the outside world, it really accelerates your learning.”

Scott is also a sought-after commercial and wedding photographer, as well as an accredited judge with the Photographic Society of New Zealand and an online instructor for the Photographic Society of America.

His storyteller’s imagination and love of surreal imagery keeps his students coming back for more. “I will always go the extra distance for you to get the right shot. I tell all my new students that the time it takes for you to get the right shot is the time it takes, so go at your own speed.”

Visit www.scottfowlerworkshops.com for more information.

 


 

Be part of the magic!


Get ready for the biggest week in Christchurch!

 

 

Starting at Addington Raceway, Christchurch Casino NZ Trotting Cup Day on Tuesday 12 November will be full of excitement to toast Christchurch Casino’s 25th anniversary.

This year elegant glasses of Lanson Champagne will clink, gourmet cuisine will be served, and the 116th running of the Christchurch Casino NZ Trotting Cup and 11 spectacular races will amaze.

Fabulous race day attire will be seen on the catwalk, with The Crossing Fashion Starts Here Competition heats and semi-finals being held in The Edge Public Village, and finals in the presentation area. Competition will be fierce with over $20,000 worth of prizes up for grabs, including phenomenal international travel courtesy of Air New Zealand.

This year promises to build on all the excitement, glamour and entertainment the event has become famous for during its proud history that spans more than a century.

On Cup Day, Addington is proudly supporting St John and Ronald McDonald House South Island. The week’s excitement continues at Addington’s Show Day Races on Friday 15 November, Canterbury Anniversary Day, with great racing, live entertainment and a free kids’ entertainment zone and petting zoo. Entry is by gold coin donation to Māia Health Foundation and no public surcharges will apply.

During Cup Week, Addington will be offering an exceptional range of hospitality options, including private and shared marquees, prime viewing hospitality and indoor and outdoor choices. Limited options remain for both days.

Public tickets go on sale 2 September. For full details about how you can #bepartofthemagic, visit www.addington.co.nz.

 


 

A global odyssey


It was a “life is too short” moment that led a photographer from Loburn on a journey to meet the people who have lived on earth the longest.

 

 

Last year, Katherine Williams of Tandem Photography travelled to some of the world’s most interesting crevices, which culminated in her winning New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography (NZIPP) Nikon Photographer of the Year 2019.
After a back injury that kept her out of the action for 10 months, she realised that saying “we’ll do it in three years’ time” just meant continual postponement.

Katherine committed to take her husband and business partner Neil – also an award-winning photographer – and her two daughters, on an educational worldwide odyssey. The goal was to capture the essence of her chosen photographic subjects – centenarians. Deciding on the ambitious project came after one of those unexplainable eureka moments. “I knew it was something I just had to do.”

The creative couple refinanced to fund the trip. “But it wasn’t until literally the week before leaving that everything came together including renting our home out to make it possible.”

 

 

One of the first stops was the lush jungle of Vietnam’s Mekong Delta, where the family slept on bamboo slats with no mattress or pillow, the patter of piglets and roosters outside – and the odd snake wriggling across the path. The seven-month journey then traversed the likes of Japan, Alaska, Cuba, Costa Rica, Croatia, Mexico and Montenegro, and the less-trodden paths of USA, Italy, France and the Greece Isles.

“I was confident my daughters would learn immeasurably more about life, not by just having conversations about different cultures, but by walking amongst them. The only way was to show them, not just tell. I wanted to empower my children – completely and utterly – with an appreciation of experience and basic street smarts. Nothing beats that immersion.”

She enlisted locals as interpreters to help her extract the stories behind the well-lived faces. “These people all had something special to share,” she says. “It’s not just a life story engraved into their facial lines, but their surroundings I capture to tell the story too – inviting a peek into their environment.”

 

 

Katherine has curiosity and deep empathy for the people she photographs. “One of the common threads for the reason of their longevity was tenacity for life, the ability to ride the storms – those hardships, trials and tribulations.”
Dramatic landscapes, such as daunting mountains tumbling into frothy seas, didn’t escape her lens either.

On harnessing courage to embark on an adventure, Katherine says, “You need the fortitude to jump in head first, then back that up without needing to know every detail. It will just fall into place.”

Back home, an enchanted heritage building in Ferry Road houses the studio for wedding and portrait photography. However, for her evolving creative project, Katherine is looking for more centenarians of different nationalities to immortalise in a website, book and exhibition.

“Some of my subjects have already died, so it will be in honour of them and their families. It’s nowhere near complete yet – but I’m comfortable with it being a slow project.”

www.katherinewilliams.co.nz

 


 

A too-curious kitty: Ourvets


When it comes to kittens, cute and adorable as they are, it’s good to keep in mind that old adage about curiosity killing the cat. Just like human babies, kittens are curious about the world around them and as they grow and gain in strength, it’s all too easy for them to get into trouble with eating things that, though satisfying their curiosity, might prove very harmful in the long run.

 

 

Such was the case with Shadow, a 12-week-old kitten who presented at Ourvets Parklands one morning having vomited up a pom-pom tassel the night before. She had since vomited several times and seemed lethargic, though she was still keen to eat.

An x-ray was taken, which showed that Shadow had something obstructing her gut. The situation necessitated surgery as soon as possible. Shadow’s stomach was opened and two hair-ties were removed, however there was another pom-pom tassel attached to them, extending down into her intestine. The intestines were trying so hard to pass the tassel that they had telescoped in on themselves. This piece of gut had to be removed, along with the tassel.

All up, this surgery took three hours, then she went into recovery. If the surgery had been delayed by even one day, Shadow could have died, but her mum was very diligent and brought her in at the first sign of trouble.

Veterinarian Alice Finch, who performed the operation, says that it pays to keep a vigilant eye on young animals. If they do present with sudden vomiting, even if they’re still keen to eat, the owner should get them checked out as soon as possible as it might be a very serious problem which could quickly escalate into a potentially life-threatening situation.

One month on and Alice says Shadow has made an excellent recovery. “It’s as if nothing happened; she was bright and playful, and was even attacking my knuckles!”

Find Ourvets Parklands at 438 Mairehau Road and phone 03 383 2233. For more information on Ourvets, visit www.ourvets.co.nz or find them on Facebook: Ourvets@ourvets.christchurch.

 


 

Get Investing: Alistair Bean & Associates


Alistair Bean, Managing Director at Alistair Bean & Associates says, “it’s a great time to be investing in the stockmarket and managed funds”.

 

 

As a Financial Adviser, Alistair says, “It can be difficult to see past a media gloom fest. The current investment opportunities are driven by global low interest rates, a high New Zealand dollar and record global low unemployment. Company borrowing is therefore inexpensive, so debt can be repaid and money can be invested in things like infrastructure and staff, all of which helps to foster a growth economy.”

Alistair believes he has the right formula for expanding his clients’ wealth – just ask his clients, who have enjoyed absolutely stellar growth over the last number of years. Regulations restrict disclosing full data on investment returns, but it’s safe to say his clients’ base annual average return has gone a significant way into double digits.

“Making investment decisions for you so you don’t have to.”

From hour to hour, Alistair is paying very close attention to the subtle shifts in the market so that you don’t have to. “I take the stress of managing your investments from you – it’s a pleasure and a passion,” Alistair says.

“To make sufficient wealth for clients so that time is no longer an issue.”

After 37 years in finance, Alistair attributes his success to some basic investment principals he applies when contemplating promising assets to invest in:

• The share market rises and falls, creating buying opportunities for good shares at bargain prices. We aren’t followers when it comes to selling shares at a time when people should be buying. News in the marketplace always affects the values of shares. The key is having the strength to buy when others are selling at a discount, and being mindful of where a share price is in its cycle.

• The market has exponentially rewarded long-term investors. Despite major hurdles like world wars, recessions, oil shocks, Trump trade wars and Brexit, equities have still significantly outperformed property, bonds, cash and inflation. You need to be in the market and stay in the market with diversification still being the key.

Alistair travels the world to see investment managers, and spends many hours each day immersed in the business of researching investment opportunities, ensuring current investments maximise clients’ needs.

July saw Alistair Bean and Associates celebrating in style with their ‘client family’. After nearly seven spectacular years in business, they are thrilled to have moved into fabulous new premises in the city they love in Christchurch’s new West End Business Precinct. A client said to Alistair, “I was referred to you by my brother who raves about you. He was so happy, his partner and his best friend also invested with you, it’s like a family”.

“That’s how we like it to feel too, everyone deserves great investment advice,” Alistair says.

Disclosure documents are available, free upon request.

 


 

Cutting his comedy teeth


We’ve all heard the motivational stories of those who make something from nothing. For Brendan Dooley, making something from nothing has a more literal meaning – after all, making goldfish appear in glasses of water and pulling $20 notes from inside Crunchie bars are all in a day’s work for this local comedy magician. “I was the kid that never grew out of it,” he laughs.

 

 

“I saw a juggler at a circus when I was three and that was my first obsession. My mum got me a magic kit when I was five, I had a magician at my birthday and that was that.”

While he was always the quirky kid at school, Brendan kept largely to himself, but it was on stage – every chance he got – that he would shine. At the age of 11 he made his career choice, in both heart and mind. It was at the Buskers Festival in Nelson when he saw street performer James James – one of the world’s top street performers – surrounded by 200 people. “All he had was a small table and his personality,” Brendan says.

 

 

“It was on that table that he produced six oranges from three cups and a pineapple from his hat! I’d never seen people react to magic like that, just the clapping, the cheering, the energy… it was next level.
“It was in that moment that I knew I wanted to give people that same feeling.”

Brendan now takes the same approach to hosting corporate events. “The job of a street performer is to stop you and make you watch something you didn’t plan to watch.
“Corporate entertainment is so mainstream, so I aim to give them something they didn’t expect.”

The St Bedes alumnus who was born in Dunedin and called Christchurch home since he was three, dropped out of school at 16, did his first national tour at 17 and has since toured New Zealand, Australia and Asia – even Jakarta – doing predominantly corporate events, festivals and theatre touring, after cutting his comedy teeth with private shows. “I haven’t unpacked my suitcase in two years,” he laughs.

 

 

The youngest recipient of New Zealand’s Best Comedy Magician, a nominee for 2018 Variety Entertainer of the year and the youngest member of the world’s longest running magic show, Brendan likes to “approach the line, but not quite cross it” in his comedy and his “quirks” are something he embraces – that includes his love of funky shoes and suits.

But along with belly laughs, there’s been plenty of tears too. There was bullying in school for his unique passions and sense of style, but even more poignantly, Brendan lost his mum, who had raised him alone, to cancer when he was just 18.
Interestingly, it is the hard times that have made him such a good performer, by forming the basis of what is a beautifully refreshing attitude to life. “For me the main point is that bad things are going to happen; it’s all about how you deal with it,” he says.

“We don’t have a choice over what happens, but we do have a choice over how we react. It’s about whether we get ‘bitter’ about it or ‘better’ about it.” And there’s no doubting, Miss Dooley would have been proud.

 


 

Capturing Southern Beauty: McAtamney Gallery


The beauty of the South Island landscape has been captured by one of the country’s leading watercolourists, Bernadette Parsons, in a new exhibition at Geraldine’s McAtamney Gallery this month.

 

 

The gallery’s new premises on Geraldine’s main street (40a Talbot Street) is playing the prestigious host to the exhibition, entitled Haast, which features 12 paintings, mostly painted on location in the Haast Pass area, evoking the solitude and serenity found in the mountains, bush and coast.

The Waikato-based artist often makes her way to our southern spot, drawing inspiration from the beauty of the landscapes. She started painting more than 20 years ago, moved by watching a watercolourist work, and clearly demonstrates a deep connection with the landscapes she turns her talented hand to. “Watercolour allows me to interpret the landscape, to find what is unique,” she says.

 

“This is the main thing in any painting. I also love watercolour’s spontaneity: it can be strong and wilful, yet there’s a transparency and softness too.” While working as a practice nurse and raising four children, Bernadette immersed herself in art, every chance she could, seeing as many international tutors as she could.

“I love landscapes, in particular trees, as a couple we’ve got a business growing trees, but a lot of it comes down to how you ‘see’ a landscape,” Bernadette explains. “Artists all have their own unique way of seeing a landscape.”

Today, Bernadette has numerous awards under her artistic belt, including the Best Watercolour in Show at the Easter Show and the award for Most Successful Artist in Show. Her work also features in the books ‘New Zealand in Watercolour’ and ‘Impressions of New Zealand’ by Denis Robinson.

 

Gallery Director Carolyn McAtamney says Bernadette is one of the country’s leading watercolourists and the proof is in the finished product. “Her ability to capture the moments of stillness and peace we feel in the natural world is breathtaking. Bernadette has mastered the loose brushstroke in a way that is second to none and has a style that New Zealanders adore.”

Find the gallery at 40a Talbot Street, Geraldine, opposite the Village Inn. For more information, phone 027 305 3000 or visit www.mcatamneygallery.co.nz.

 


 

Daredevil in disguise: Wigram Vet


Scout is a typically energetic four-month-old Jack Russell Terrier who loves being involved with everything that is going on. One morning recently, Scout was a little too close to the action when a wooden pallet fell on her. When the team at Wigram Vet examined Scout, it was not immediately obvious what injury had occurred, but she was lame on her left hind leg.

 

 

After sedation and x-rays, a distal femoral epiphyseal fracture with approximately 35 degrees of displacement was identified for poor Scout. This injury is essentially a fracture at the growing zone (epiphysis) of the femur, at the end of her femur close to the knee, Veterinarian Geoff Mehrtens says. “Although outwardly the limb looks relatively normal, such a fracture would have serious effects on her limb as she grows if it was allowed to heal in the abnormal position.”

Geoff says surgery was the best option and Scout’s physically active family wanted the best possible outcome for her; she is after all, an important member of the family ski team. “It is a tricky surgery where we essentially must balance the distal knob of bone that forms the knee back on to the shaft of the femur with two semi-parallel metal pins. The post-operative phase is particularly important with these injuries. We must balance the need for confinement because the fracture repair has substantial stresses, with the need for maintaining function, movement and muscle strength. Due to the fracture being so close to the stifle joint, discomfort and lack of use can lead to muscle wasting and decreased mobility of the joint.”

Wigram Vets started Scout on a programme of physical therapy soon after surgery, managed by their canine rehab guru Kate Donald. This involved massage, range-of-motion exercises and some sessions in the hydrotherapy treadmill. The implanted pins were removed at an early stage to enhance the recovery of the joint.

“Scout is a model patient and has made an amazing recovery from a potentially crippling injury, because of the holistic integrated repair strategy she has received,” Geoff says. “However, she has not modified her daredevil behaviour and will, I am sure, continue to support Wigram Vet in the future!”

 


 

A blissful day out


Described as New Zealand’s biggest and most popular country fete, The Christmas Country Fete 2019 promises to be the best yet as it celebrates the securing of a permanent home at the beautiful Lyddington Garden, only 40 minutes from Christchurch.

 

Photographer Kate McConway

 

Mike Sheppard, Owner of The Christmas Country Fete, says having Lyddington Garden as a constant hosting venue means that not only do people get to leisurely browse for Christmas gifts in a relaxed and spacious location, but they also get to view one of North Canterbury’s most picturesque and spectacular gardens for some tranquil time out.

With easy access, free parking, the central wine and food area, wonderful shade and shelter spots to sit and soak up the live music and entertainment, this isn’t just a perfect day out – this is bliss!

The Christmas Country Fete 2019 features over 160 stalls (comprising a mix of familiar, previous stallholders and new stallholders) showcasing their unique, artisan, pure New Zealand made wares that will be cherished gifts for years to come by those who receive them.

 

Last year’s fete brought a bit of inclement weather but Mike remains perkily upbeat. “We’re praying for sunshine this year – it’s going to be great!”

To plan your brilliant and blissful day out, download the online electronic programme before leaving home, and like their Facebook page. Ticket sales now online.

The Christmas Country Fete is at Lyddington Garden, 891 Mt Thomas Road in Fernside on Thursday 31 October, from 10am to 4pm. Visit www.thefete.co.nz or find them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/thefetenz.