Friday, November 25, 2011

Long banned book found - And now what?

A book that was banned in the 1970s has been seized from a  book shop in Wellington this week - read more.

And, see what I've written about Courage Day and censorship

New Zealand Pen said  ....

NZ PEN appalled at book seizure in Wellington

The NZ PEN Centre was disturbed to learn of the seizure of
Bloody Mama from a Wellington bookshop earlier this week.

The book was banned in 1971 by the Indecent Publications
Tribunal which was formed in 1963 and replaced by the Office
of Film and Literature Classification thirty years later.
However the Department of Internal Affairs is still bound by
the Tribunal's now outdated censorship rulings and have
taken what PEN considers to be inappropriate action in the
case of Bloody Mama.

"It is time the DIA reviewed the decisions made by the
Tribunal" said PEN President Tony Simpson.  "Books that were
banned forty years ago are considered quite acceptable now.
Freedom of expression and freedom of access to information
are required in the UN Declaration of Human Rights and it is
unacceptable that government officials are today seizing
books.  This is not the sort of practice we would expect in
New Zealand."

The NZ PEN Centre calls for the return of the book and a
review of the Indecent Publications list to bring it into
line with acceptable practices for the 21st Century.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Advice to aspiring writers: Anne McCaffrey

Advice to aspiring writers:
        "First -- keep reading. Writers are readers.
        Writers are also people who can't not write. 
        Second, follow Heinlein's rules for getting published: 
          1. Write it.
          2. Finish it. 
          3. Send it out. 
          4. Keep sending it out until someone sends you a check. 
      There are variations
      on that, but that's basically what works."

                                 ~ Anne McCaffrey, who
                                    passed away at 85 this week.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Christchurch updates -visitor centre, mall, and free wifi

And of course the container mall is open in Cashel Mall .. with FREE WI_FI read more here
I have just been sent this information from the city of my birth!
"After eight months in temporary premises Christchurch’s i-SITE Visitor Centre now has a specially-designed portable home beside Canterbury Museum on Rolleston Avenue.

“It’s an ideal spot for the visitor centre because it is in an area that will naturally attract most of our visitors to the city,” says Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism chief executive Tim Hunter. “We’re thrilled to have secured such a central location for the centre and are looking forward to welcoming many visitors and locals through its doors over the summer months.”

Prior to the February quake the i-SITE Visitor Centre was based in the Old Post Office building in Cathedral Square. For the past few months it has been operating out of temporary premises at the Chateau on the Park.

Manager, Sandra Caldwell says the new i-SITE Visitor Centre is a one-stop shop for visitors and locals looking for travel advice. It also offers ticketing for many key Christchurch events and booking services for tourism activities, accommodation and transport for Canterbury region and the whole of New Zealand.

“And the location of the centre is superb; it’s an easy walk to attractions such as Punting on the Avon, the Canterbury Museum, Caterpillar Tours at the Botanic Gardens and the North Hagley Park Events Village which is going to be home to some great events over the summer, including the World Buskers Festival in January.

“There are cafes and restaurants close-by and the Re-Start retail complex, with its attractive and vibrant mix of 26 shops and Ballantynes, is a short walk down Cashel St,” Ms Caldwell says.

She says i-SITE staff are delighted to have a more permanent home in time for the busy summer season.
“We’re expecting lots of visitors, including cruise passengers to come through this centre. Our new facilities in the Botanic Gardens will allow us to provide a high level of service to those who want information about the experiences and activities they can enjoy around Canterbury and the South Island.”

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Butchart Gardens: BC Canada

Love gardens? The Butchart Gardens needs to be on your bucket list. 

Starting with a few sweet-pea seeds and a rose - given to a young woman with no gardening experience - add a large hole in the ground, dug by her limestone and clay digging husband, and the world is bequeathed a place of beauty.

This horticultural adventure started in the early 1900’s when Robert Butchart established a cement plant in a small cove on Tod Inlet, Vancouver Island, Canada. This, coupled with his wife Jennys’ love of colour (she was an accomplished painter) and dislike of the ugly holes left behind by the mining, a series of gardens began to surround the family home. Japanese, sunken gardens were among the first and before long their fame spread and by 1915 some 18,000 visitors were arriving to see this work of art.

An Italian garden, a rose garden and some 500 flowering cherry trees were added along with a salt water swimming pool and a bowling alley. This was life on a grand scale and  is owned by the family and still they plant.

Other features include wonderful statues that are dotted around the grounds and many fountains, including the Ross Fountains which were added for the gardens 60th anniversary. Reaching a height of some 30 metres, the sequence of the display is random and this lack of synchronisation means the patterns may take hours to repeat. 

The gardens are on display all year and whether you visit in the wonderful winter or the full flush of summer the garden will impress. It even is open in the evening when the garden takes on a magical appearance. The many displays are shown to great advantage under lights, and reflections colour and form mean plants, that may have been hardly noticed during the day visit are valued under the different conditions.

Vancouver Island is well worth a visit for many of it’s features, but this must be at the top of your list.

Note: I visited the gardens in 1990 and this article was written for a Christchurch newspaper in the early 2000's

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Lonely Planet top ten regions includes NZ and Borneo

Here are Lonely Planet’s picks of the regions to put on your map from Best in Travel 2012. Chosen by a panel of Lonely Planet experts, they’ve been written up by Lonely Planet authors to give you that most contagious of ailments: the travel bug.
1. Coastal Wales
2. La Ruta Maya, Central America
3. Northern Kenya
5.  Hvar, Croatia
7. Maritime Provinces, Canada
8. Queenstown & Southern Lakes, New Zealand (Make sure you check out the South Island – my birthplace and particularly Christchurch on your way south - the KTW)
There isn’t a bad time to turn up in the world’s top adventure playground. There are nonstop outdoor activities year-round in the resort towns of Queenstown, Wanaka and Te Anau, as well as the surrounding mountains, lakes and national parks. It’s not just the unbelievable alpine scenery. Where else can you ski in the morning and golf or water-ski in the afternoon? Head out hiking and drink water from mountain streams…then down more potent liquids in vibrant resort nightlife when the sun goes down. Raft down white-water rapids, tandem paraglide from craggy peaks or hike world-class trails such as the Milford, Routeburn and Hollyford tracks. Add excellent wineries and superb restaurants, and what more is there to say? - Craig McLachlan
9. Borneo (YAY: I’m off there in 2012 - theKTW)
 Borneo is one of the last remaining tropical paradises that won’t break the bank. The East Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak, tiny but oil-rich Brunei and Indonesian Kalimantan are home to the world’s oldest rainforests, the region’s third-highest peak and some of the world’s best diving. The indigenous Dayak peoples add a layer of intriguing cultural complexity and, of course, there is also that cutest of primates – the cheeky orang-utan. Shawn Low
10. Poitou-Charentes, France

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Wellington - New Zealands capital city:Lonely Planet called it the coolest little capital in the world. Population under 200,000