There is a brilliant definition of news, though I apologise in advance to forgetting whom to attribute it to. "News is something, that someone, somewhere, doesn't want known. Everything else is advertising." We could say the same for gossip, witness the rise of the gossip magazines and televised infortainment.

Whatever definition you give it news/gossip/information is widely sought and avidly devoured. Its dissemination is one of the pillars of democracy for those who hoard information, for whatever mistaken idea, should be rejected by all fencers who believe a bout is a free and frank conversation between two equals - a conversation of the blades!

So this column encourages the spreading of information/news/gossip as long as it can pass the basic tests for slander - truth or reasonable personal belief!

If you have something to say about anything to do with fencing, earthquakes (since the Great Catastrophe of February 22, 2011, this page has been recording the trials and tribulations of the citizens of Christchurch in the rebuilding of their city.) or what is posted on this site then this is the place to say it.

You can engage blades by e-mail at: En guard!

Like Letters to the Editor, submissions should be concise, pertinent and may be subject to editing.

Archived Gossip and Photos: 2014,

2013, 2012

2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007



With swords, not a finger like this fellow.


There was the clash of steel as fencers from Christchurch, Timaru and Waimate took part in the Canterbury Schools' 1st and 2nd Year Fencers (and Home Schooled) Championships at Avonside Girls High School while across town the University of Canterbury Fencing Club held its annual Mochi Shield event.


Diane hands out the medals at Avonside, while .......


..... Chris waves the Mochi Shield at its fast exiting winner, Andreas.


And now for some sword waving ....


Wooooooooh! UCFC must be the only fencing club in the world to fence in a bar - BENTLEYS BAR.



When the dribble about the vibrant (gotta get that funky word, used by the public relations minions, into the rant somewhere) rebuild of the earthquake flattened city centre starts flowing again after time off to take in THE NATIONAL ELECTION.

To demonstrate that vibrancy (got it in again) here are some pictures of a vibrant (again) lunchtime in vibrant (and again) New Regent Street in the vibrant former central business district - city centre to us non-public relations types.


Oh look at all the people ...


What people?


Yawn. It was lunchtime and the Wizard was stomping round, but even he was unable to round up humans to take part in the vibrant lunchtime in vibrant New Regent Street.


You can read more at the nation's top newsprecinct THE PRESS.





When you see signs like this one on Waltham Road - nobody takes any notice of it, go stand on Waltham Road by Hastings Street and feel the bounce when buses or trucks go past!!!!!!




When you see big bends in bridges ....


Like in this one on Colombo Street by Kilmore Street over the Avon River.


Are you gonna vote termorra?????



Wot's missing?

A giant chocolate fish to the first correct answer - use the en guard link above.




15/9/2014: HERE'S ANOTHER WOT IS IT RANT......


No, not the coffee on the right, the thingie on the left! The coffee cup is there to give an idea of how big the metal thingie is.


Our Former Railway Worker, now retired, turned up with it the other day.

Our Former Academic, now in private practice, promptly went to seek counseling as he recognised it as a New Zealand Government paper clip, something that obviously frightened him during his government service in Wellington many, many years ago.


A pretty formidable clip for New Zealand Government paperwork.


Both remember them used on noticeboards to hold papers etc.




The dust flies on Waltham Road after February's earthquake .. remember it?


With a dry summer predicted and the knock-it-downs still grumbling away .... Will we become DUST BOWL REFUGEES?


A local medic who lives on the Port Hills reckons he can see clouds of it even now as he descends to sea level while an electrician says he is sick of cleaning air filters in heaters and air-conditioners.

Question: Will Environment Canterbury, Sarah, CCC or Seedo do anything to alleviate it?? Like watering the barren bits? Stopping traffic on dry windy days? Stopping destruction or construction on dry windy days?

Have a nice Summer!



We in Quake City can moan about the numerous road works and how they interfere with our normal life, but there is a not-so-nice side of earthquake repairs we don't see ........

Grubbing around repairing a sewer under Opawa Road!



No obese workers here - they would have trouble even getting into the sewer - just a bit of gritty resolve, a Hi-Vis vest and Hardhat, just in case.


Oh, and our Former Railway Worker, now retired, sold yesterdays stamper thingy on trademe for a bomb of a price - $278 to be exact.


10/9/2014: IS IT A BOMB?


Wot is it?


A howitzer shell? A trench grenade? A mortar bomb? Our Former Railway Worker, now retired, staggered in with it at the Opawa Cafe yesterday morning - it weights more than three-kilos - and dumped it on the table among the coffee drinkers.


It is some sort of ticket stamper he believes was used by the New Zealand Railways many years ago. You poke the ticket in the brass hole and it gets stamped with a date.


Sept. 2. 14, does this mean the thingie was made at the start of the First World War??


Have a read on WIKIPEADIA and if YOU know anything about it let me know so I can inform the Former Railway Worker, now retired who has listed the thingie on Trademe to sell.



The Baxter family have been growing flowers for yonks for their customers on their Bridle Path Road property and now Mrs B's three lads, John, Rick and Mike, are doing it again so to speak.

Before the quakes - at work in the bunching shed at Aromaunga flowers on Bridle Path Road in Heathcote.


After the earthquakes - flattened!


Now - The former bunching shed site points to the new flower shop - the former garage!


See - Everyone is welcome.


To get your fresh flowers from the growers!


Oh, they also grow cherries plus this year's crop of roses are looking good too and at 94 Mrs B still bakes a mean fruit-cake!!


8/9/2014: A DOG'S LIFE!?

Heading away from Quake City at 100kph.


Now, what could be driving Dog away??? ...... Have a look yourself at these stories in the nation's top newsprecinct:






If reading all that gabble depresses you just remember you can always get a coffee and talk to the birds at Ian's outdoor coffee cabin on the corner of Wordsworth and Colombo Streets in the go-ahead suburb of SYDENHAM!




A Morris Minor designed by a smart alec captured in the go-ahead suburb (or is it precinct?) of Sydenham. Read about the wee cars HERE!And read about the BLITZ here.


It is said that SIR ALEC ISSIGONIS came up with the idea of the Morris Minor during fire-watching duties during the blitz. This bodes well for Christchurch, a city recovering from its own blitz - do you know of any creative discoveries since September 201o??




Customers at the Opawa Cafe on Monday morning wondered why the glitzy SUV's and other assorted motor vehicles heading for Opawa Road were roaring through the car park - now you know - traffic management on Hawford Road.

Also on Opawa Road ...


About 40 metres down to the Heathcote River in fact, hauling on this rope on Opawa Road yesterday the Irish worker is in town to celebrate the first earthquake. The question is, was he doing a slip jig or a reel?? And no, he comes from STRABANE not Tipperary!





The cyclist survived, not sure about the car driver.



Are a problem for residents of our quake-ravaged city.

Repairs to those things that cower in the ground but bring amazing benefits to us living upstairs, so to speak, are accepted by most, it is just the traffic management plans that are put in place that can cause a bit of head-scratching if not outright confusion.

Skirt is doing its best with regular flyers to local residents and updating its website with the latest impositions but no-one seems to take much notice, perhaps they are too frightened to look up a skirt?

Read this view in the nation's top newsprecinct.


You could try and turn right here on Opawa Road?


Or left?


Or wait until they work it out??

If you want to take a peek up their skirts have a look HERE.

Oh, and keep away from the river end of Opawa Road this week.........



Mens’ Foil: 1 Daniel Garelja, Auckland. 2 Louis Jennings, Dunedin. 3=  Chris Bell, Auckland and Connor Foley-Walker, Dunedin. 5 Baz Clark, Wellington. 6 Daniel Keleghan, Christchurch. 7 Jason Sim, Dunedin. 8 Richard Souness, Christchurch. 9 Riley Symon, Dunedin. 10 Nigel Hanson, Dunedin. DNF Isaac Rusholme-Cobb, Wellington.

Womens’ Foil: 1 Stephanie Willie, Auckland. 2 Vicky Fan, Auckland. 3= Pippi Miller and Simone Marshall, both Dunedin. 5 Alice Wu, Timaru. 6 Rachel Rolwlands, Christchurch. 7 Vanda Symon, Dunedin. Amy Wilson, Wellington. 9. Dorothy Boyd, Dunedin, 10 Suzy Cheng, Dunedin.

Womens’ Epee. 1 Ilaria Trame, Italy. 2 Felicity Boyd, Christchurch.3= Alison Price, Queenstown and Anna Chalton, Auckland. 5 Laura Bythell, Christchurch. 6 Simone Marshall, Dunedin. 7 Amy Wilson, Wellington.

Mens’ Epee: 1 Lucian Nightingale, Christchurch. 2 Mark Rance, Christchurch. 3= Andreas Sesun and Nicholas Hill, both Christchurch. 5 Louis Jennings, Dunedin. 6 Isaac Officer, Christchurch. 7 Isaac Rushholme-Cobb, Wellington. 8 Jonothan Brill, Christchurch. 9 Hichel Soares, Queenstown. 10 Mike Jameson, Dunedin. 11 Sebastion Clar, Dunedin. 12 Jaco Fourie, Christchurch. 13 David Jennings, Dunedin. 14 Zane Hamilton, Christchurch. 15 Quin Downs, Christchurch. 16 Baz Clark, Wellington. 17 Trent Hall, Queenstown, 18 Jonothan Seal, Queenstown. 19 Joshua Gibson, Christchurch.

Sabre: 1 Baz Clark, Wellington. 2 Jason Sim, Dunedin. 3 Adam Burrough, Dunedin.


Three different warm-up styles from left: talking, warm-up with coach and , foreground, warm-up by-your-self! Wonder what was the most effective?


Now here's a shot the girls will love - Vanda giving the men epeeists their marching-orders!


And Nicola gets Lucian to straighten his epee.


See, if I turn my back you can hit me there too - scoring action in the womens' foil!


Now some sabre action.


The medals, gold, silver and bronze and a mask from Fenz.


You've heard of the Sabre Dance? This is the Epee Dance.


We have all heard about the Kingston Flyer - have look HERE if you haven't. Here is the Queenstown Flyer, epeeist Jono Seal!


Ducking the hit!? Did Andreas get the hit?


A fallen warrior.


Come back soon - more pix and gossip to come!



29/8/2014: ENJOY SOME MUSIC....

Now, meet Dion again, this pic was taken a few days after February's big shake.. The concrete placer and digger driver lives on Pages Road and had no power, phone or water so what does he do? Serenades the few passersby with his guitar!


Things are still tough in Quake City and the horror stories keep coming as residents dealing with all sorts of bureaucratic bull-shit get kicked in the crotch, so to speak.

One of the most unusual stories was the home-owner, whose house was part-way through a re-build, given a wad of cash and a hand-shake and told to do it herself, the re-build that is.

Then there are the tales from sole-traders with former premises on Manchester and Colombo Streets, who have taken their insurance payouts and moved elsewhere. They'd like to rebuild, but the bureaucratic hoop and pole dancing is just toooooo much (And the cost of new foundations!), so their central-city properties will remain vacant for years to come while they enjoy life outside Swamp City.


If you are feeling a bit stressed or grumpy come and enjoy the sound of busker Chris who performs at the Countdown on Colombo Street. Pssst, don't mention it, but he does like the odd Crunchie bar!


You could also have a listen to WEE TAM.




Work is underway on the Waltham precinct pool.


Do read page page six of Tuesday's top newsprecint, The Press, for more about the Waltham precinct pool.


A rural scene from the Waltham precinct park.


Plus a TV precinct - wonder wot central-city precinct is is in??




With busy roads like this?????

Brougham Street looking towards the Waltham precinct from Opawa Road yesterday - ninety-five of the hundred cars and stationwagons viewed in a short period had only one inhabitant in em!!

Yep, now read about the plans for a car-free Christchurch hospital in the nation's top NEWSPRECINCT.

And they plan to use part of Hagley Park just up the road for international cricket matches too.

It is these bureaucratic shenanigans and OTHERS like this that are entertaining the residents of Quake City.




Nobody wants it.


Read about the on-going tale of the unwanted ROOF. In the nation's top newsprecinct, but what roof are they talking about? The one pictured here is on Madras Street so does that mean there are numerous roofs lying round the former central city?



See, it is weather-tight so you think someone would want it.



Yep, that's what the nation's top woman's magazine, oops newspaper, is renaming the popular Christchurch suburb ... HAVE A LOOK HERE!

Wot the heck is a preesink?

Could it be a description of an area of the city that didn't sink?

Could it be to describe an area of Quake City before the bigsink?

Could it be an Americanism used by those that are trying to fudge things?

Could it be that those using the term are unsure of the meaning of PRECINCT!

Could it be they have been watching that popular American cop show of the 1960's, 87 PRECINCT!

Is this a water precinct? A puddle? A kid's precinct?




Well, at least part of it.

For twenty-five years they were a feature on Waltham Road, Strong Bothers (top left).


All gone - they have moved to Buchanan's Road, Hornby.


Guess the age of the operator of this knock-it-down crowning the rubble of the former Strong Bro's building - first correct answer wins a giant chocolate fish......

More pix on an earlier posting 5/6/2014 and again on 10/6/2014.




Here's the results from this year's first event ....


Wot's the Mochi Shield you ask? It is a tongue-in-cheek recognition of Italian World Junior Epee Champion, Dr Gian-franco Mochi, and his beneficial impact on Christchurch fencing MORE HERE!

Gianfranco lived in Christchurch with his family for some years and fenced at the University of Canterbury Fencing Club (then in the UCSA Ballroom now shut up cos of earthquake damage) and encouraged many of our members to braoden their fencing skills and experiences.




To understand the terminology, unless you are a child of the 1060's and 70's, you will need to look HERE!


A musical cigar box.



Played by Lance, the Postie, at a musical soiree in the seaburb of New Brighton. The regular get-to-gether pisses-off one business in the mall, but entertains many more along with their customers.



Here's a happy seabrighton business - Select Meats. Closed for earthquake repairs it will open for business next week!!

Now here is a bit of old time rock and roll to finish WITH!

Rock on!!



Greening the rubble, gardening in the Red Zone, and a naked woman with her legs in the air welcoming the Japanese Premier, quake ravaged Christchurch has provided a host of (tongue-in-cheek) inadvertent laughs, but this pavement art attracted the attention of business owners and worker slaves in Sydenham lately.

According to the fellow who nests here, the different colours mean something, but he had forgotton what.



Any idea of what these question marks mean on this Colombo Street footpath?


One local reckons that, according to a Skirt flyer, it means months of disruption to his business as sewers and other thingies are repaired. Now what was the name of the CTV reporter who got confused between sewage and sewerage - do you know the difference??


A memorial to Maureen? A superannuitant and inveterate cafe-goer who once ran an ashram in the North Island, Maureen Fletcher was killed here in February's earthquake. RIP.




13/8/2014: CORNERED??

The people of Christchurch in their earthquake damaged city.

Like a hunted spider?



Or politicians and bureaucrats unable to cope?



With broken homes and stressed residents?



But hey, the flag, albeit a a bit tattered, is still flying over the former Provincial Buildings in the former city centre!!



10/8/2014: Electioneering in Central Christchurch.

Road works, knock-em-downs, road works, orange cones, road works and political posters but no voters.


5/8/2014: A CCC COVER UP??

Remember the tongue-in-cheek posting on the 17/7 about the Christchurch City Council's consenting process??? Well here's the riposte - a cover-up on Opawa Road.


Looks good dunit?


3/8/2014: Howz your cathedral? an overseas reader has asked.

I know she was referring to the Christchurch Anglican Cathedral and all the grumbles and shenanigans that surround its rebuild or demolition.

Many will also know that folks in Quake City blame the Anglicans for all our problems for settling in the middle of a swampy wasteland on their arrival here.

The front door ....


Boxed in ....


But still standing ...


Of course the pix show the Catholic Cathedral on Barbadoes Street which many residents in Quake City prefer to the other one in the Square - Read more about it in the nation's top newspaper.




Guitarist Ryan Fisherman has just produced his first EP and mate Benny was there to take the photos - cat just seems to like the music.


Our Former Railway Worker, now retired, has regaled us with stories of hard-drinking and other shenanigans by him and his mates in the former city centre now a mushroom and many of them related to the Churchill Tavern just down the road from the Colombo Street goods yard .....


Churchill's just after the February Earthquake.


Churchill's a few days ago - all gone.


Naturally our Former Railway Worker, now retired, has taken his shenanigans elsewhere, but that has not stopped the growth of Sydenham!!


Deeds, not words!





Anywhere else in the world and a seaside suburb like New Brighton would be a gem to cherish but not in Christchurch.


The once popular beach ville seems to be ignored and abandoned by those up the road in swamp city - Red Zoned and ravished, but thousands of folks still live there and thousands from the west still visit to walk their dogs and fly their kites.



Yet roads and bridges are still rumpled and unless it directly relates or affects those in the west it seems nothing is done, or being done.



However this Friday things may change when concerned locals go face-to-face with Mayor Lianne and her Christchurch City Council Ladies -who knows what could eventuate? A hot water paddling pool? Really?



How about repairing Pages Road and the New Brighton Bridge?? Don't even mention the shambolic rebuild shenanigans of the Bridge Street bridge.



/2014: ALL ALONE!!

In central Christchurch.


Yep, all alone on Manchester Street. The question is; who built these former Metropolitan Electricity Department buildings? Why? Cos they are among the few buildings in the former central city still standing and we should look to employ those that designed and built them in the rebuild!!


A few nearby neighbours.



Want to know what's missing? Compare the above pic to the one below taken after Septembers big shake.


See all those buildings to the right of the policeman rushing up Manchester Street to warn folks about the grumpy church and other buildings on his left tossing bits onto the street.




Going up! The bunkers, battlements, buttresses and minarets are going up in Hagley Park!!
READ what the developers say .....


Down, down and down. The bricks and broken concrete was once this hall at the Cesspit (Christchurch Polytechnic) and provided a training base for three Christchurch fencers training for the 1979 World Fencing Championships being held in Melbourne.


Thanks to the endeavours of Rosemary Tredgold, the daughter of British Olympic fencer Rodger Tredgold, the hall on Moorhouse Avenue became the base for Steve Tillman, Steve Clarke and myself.

More about the memorial hall in the nation's top newspaper....



25/7/3014: WOW!

This picture and story of Gerry Brownlee, Member of Parliament, and leader of the Wastemkers, published on the website of the nation's top newspaper, THE PRESS, unleashed a storm of censorious rumblings at this morning's Kaffee Klatch.

None were good and the nasty comments came from those who experienced him as a teacher at St Bede's, to those who worked with him or knew those who had.



The ravishing rants even out-did those directed at Side-Show Bob and his mates after the quakes and by-the-way, there were four copies, yes four copies, of this morning's The Press at the table - this bodes well for the circulation figures.

Now, have you heard the story about the Kiwi traveler flying to Wellington using only a metro rail card issued in Madrid and all in spanish?? True.




Men's epee medallists, Jess, Andreas, Steve and Mark - Don't ask!! Pix by Jaco Fourie.

Auckland epeeist Jess Beer won both the women’s and men’s events at the weekend’s Presidents Cup fencing competition in Wellington much to the chagrin of fencers seeking to qualify for November’s Commonwealth Fencing Championships in Scotland.

The results:

Men’s Foil: 1, Felix Boyce; 2, Hamish Chan; 3= Daniel Garelia and Daniel Keleghan; 5, Chris Bell; 6, Nathanael Walker-Hale; 8, Steve Martin; 9 Louis Jennings; 10, Bryan Clark; 11, Jurgens van Zyl; 12 Nick Henderson; 13, James Tweddle; 14, Hamish Bulmer; 15, Russell Johnson; 16 Richard Souness; 17, Jonathan Carruth; 18, James Harwood; 19, Nathan Newton.
Men’s Epee: 1, Jess Beer; 2, Andreas Sesun; 3= Steve Martin and Mark Rance; 5 Kyle Macdonald; 6, Xavier Watts; 7, Jurgens van Zyl; 8, Martin Brill; 9, Felix Boyce; 10. Sheldon Ogalvie; 11, Louis Jennings; 12, David Jennings; 13, Lucian Nightingale; 14, Isaac Rusholme-Cobb; 15, Hamish Bulmer; 16, James Harwood; 17, Nathanael Walker-Hale; 18, Jaco Fourie; 19, Brett Ammundsen; 20, Bryan Clark; 21 Russell Johnson; 22, Michael Claydon; 23. Mithchell Reid-Tait; 24, Johann Ryu.
Women’s Foil: 1, Charlotte Dewsnap; 2, Fiona Mcdonald; 3= Alice Boyd and Rachel Rowlands; 5, Amy Wilson; 6, Corrine Ankenbruck; 7, Sophia Tweedle; 8 Jessica Kaiser.
Women’s Epee: 1, Jess Beer; 2, Anna Chalton; 3= Corinne Ankenbruck and Charlotte Dewsnap; 5, Maija Terho; 6, Nicole Martin; 7, Amy Wilson.
Mixed Sabre: 1 Felix Boyce; 2, Bryan Clark; 3= Charlotte Dewsnap and Russell Johnson; 5, Hamish Bulmer; 6, Cameron Dickons; 7, Mitchell Reid-Tait; 8, Nathan Newton.

No, you may not stab my foot! In epee fencing the target area is from head to toe as this pic shows.



23/7/2014: THEN AND NOW.

The nation's top newspaper has published some then and now pix of Cathedral Square, see HERE! Bit slow chaps It was done on this site over two years ago ......... see post of 5/4/2012 and numerous pix taken within the four avenues around that date.

The Press building and the Square circa 1970's taken from the Government Life building.


Now what about a pictorial about quake day and afterwards??? Yes, it might be a bit dismal in the former central city, now a mushroom but, for example, in Sydenham it is all action...

The corner of Wordsworth and Colombo Streets in Sydenham days after February's quakes.


And a few days ago.

It is all action in the central city of SYDENHAM. The former Winz building is to be repaired and the Wee Fellah's dairy is nearly rebuilt among the many positive things going on.


21/7/2014: IS HE DEAD??????????????????????????

Is he???

Nah, he was filming skateboard action at the Washington Way skate park in Sydenham - read how popular the park is in the nation's top newspaper THE PRESS!




The aftermath of the earthquakes has thrown-up much more than liquifaction, Gerry and the Wastemakers, Sarah, Seedo and other bureaucratic buffoonery though, thank the Big Fellow upstairs, they are slipping into the dim, dark and destructive past.

You might be interested in these symbols of Christchurch's rebuilding? They were on Opawa Road yesterday and make of them what you will ......




The thought that struck me was this the CCC's latest consenting process????

Doing away with paperwork??

Good on em!



Adelaide fencing coach Leon Thomas was in town running an Oceania Fencing Masters Association coaching course at Avonside Girls High School on the weekend.


Leon, left, helps Marguerite and Ross with some of the paperwork involved in the basic level coaching course. Eight local wanabe coaches attended.



Talking of coaching, former University of Canterbury fencer, Rob Blackburne, above, is fencing and coaching in the United Kingdom. The NZ epee finalist is competing in top UK competitions and coaching at Stirling university and the Dunblane Fencing Club.




I know photographers, picture editors and others are going to crow about this picture – it is a grin-and-grip shot they will grumble and you said you would never use them – ah but this is a wee bit different, it is three generations celebrating their worship of our great art and sport of FENCING!!!



Wellington fencer Richard Peterson, left, his son Stephen and grandson Nolan were all captured at Wellington High School taking a breather from the fencing sessions run there by Viccy Bishop.

What is a grin-and-grip you ask?? A type of non-action photograph of people grinning at the camera and holding something in their claws such as a medal or certificate!! Also used by inane politicians and their PR advisors as a form of self-promotion.

They are abhorred by real photographers, picture editors and intelligent readers, except where it is something unusual to do with our great sport!!! Do you know of three generations of fencers??




Heartily concur especially in summer strolling the secluded sand hills with your girlfriend!! Just don't get sand in the wrong place.



A mid-week view of the New Brighton Mall.


Are we missing something here? Anti-stress in an attractive sea-side suburb?? Go have a coffee in the Lighthouse Cafe just up the road.



11/7/2014: What did you think of part two of the three-part TV drama, Hope and Wire, by Wellington film maker Gaylene Preston, based on the Christchurch earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 and shown on TV3 last night??

There will be a lot of grumpy folks around Christchurch oday, expecially motorists!!

Grid locked - the corner of Moorhouse Avenue and Gasson Street on that day in February - which is why cycling should be encouraged, but don't hold your breath!!

Think I'll take a car to the Opawa Cafe this morning instead of the bike!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


10/7/2014: DOWN.

Little remains of the former city centre Centennial swimming pool, but Lianne and her Ladies are going to spend $20,000,000 on a kids playground on the site???

While just up the road in Armagh Street is this pool ......

Christchurch's new open air swimming pool - thanks to Steve Cox a reader of the nation's top newspaper for his suggestions on putting the waterlogged central-city basements to good use! Glug.



Compare this tongue-in-cheek poster with the strictures that could be imposed on the University of Canterbury by the Christchurch City Council ... read about how the University could be fenced off!! in the nation's top newspaper....




Mr Abe and Gerry Brownlee, left - naked lady right.

Yep, both the international and local media missed the big story of Mr Abe's visit to the quake-shattered city. A naked woman lying on her back with her legs in the air welcomed him!!

As the old media saw at the beginning of this page states; "News is something, that someone, somewhere, doesn't want known. Everything else is advertising."

No doubt Mr Abe and his minions didn't want the naked women highlighted.

And that is how our Kiwi newspaper and tv folks saw it. They ended up looking like women's mags and facial make-up progrmmes - no hard-nosed reporting here, just follow the leader - self-sensored pap!!

See how THE PRESS and TV1 covered the event.

Now what was the name of the bright minion who lined up the media before Mr Abe arrived? Yes they had the sun behind them, there is nothing worse than filming into the sun, but they also had the naked lady behind them too. Nicely done!!! So skilfully done with the international and local media acting like sheep!




Police search Christchurch's cardboard cathedral before the arrive of the Japanese Prime Minister today.


Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe greets well-wishers at the site of the former CTV building in Christchurch.

Some well-wishers waited for hours to welcome Mr Abe.

Media and police outnumbered those who turned up to watch Mr Abe pay his respects to those who died when the building collapsed and burned in February’s earthquake.

Bit of a knees-up?? Insensitive??



6/7/2014: Who is this fellow????

Read on ...

Jurgens van Zyl.



MIXED (Male and Female) EPEE: 1. Jurgens van Zyl, Auckland. 2. Isaac Officer, Christchurch. 3= Lucian Nightingale and Jonathan Brill both Christchurch. 5. Johann Ryu, Auckland. 6. Laura Bythell, Christchurch. 7. Sam Townshend, Christchurch. 8. Christopher Knowles, Christchurch.

MIXED FOIL: 1. Hamish Chan, Auckland. 2. Jurgens van Zyl, Auckland. 3= Daniela Ravera, Auckland and Lucian Nightingale, Christchurch.


Epee action, Officer, left, and van Zyl in the final.



Foil action, that's Daniela Ravera on the left, one of two women to compete, the other, Laura Bythell, competed in the epee - don't ask about sabre there was none!


Waiting - something you can be sure to happens at any tournament, but the cheese rolls were tasty!




4/7/2014: What did you think of part one of the three-part TV drama, Hope and Wire, by Wellington film maker Gaylene Preston, based on the Christchurch earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 and shown on TV3 last night??

It brought back one of my most enduring memories ....

With the power out and no cellphone coverage, cesspit (Cpit) students and local workers, looking towards the city centre, gather round an open van on Madras Street while listening to the van's radio coverage shortly after the big quake of February 2011.

The calm scene contrasted with what was happening in the city centre. Read what the nation's top newspaper SAYS!




Only in Christchurch!




Are you thinking what I'm thinking? Only in Christchurch.




That's it in the background to the right! More in the NATION'S TOP NEWSPAPER.

Oh, did you know that Christchurch fencers used to cross swords about where the puddles are in the above pic?? The old Christchurch Swords Club once met in the hall at the Young Women's' Christian Association building that once stood there - before the quakes that is.

Now they are spending $20,000,000. plus, on a kids playground by the Centennial Pool, the trouble is there are no kids in the former central city, now a wasteland and the talk is that the playground will become a bedroom for the Ladies of Manchester Street. A small price to pay to get the prostitutes out of the residential areas many are saying??


Action at the former Centennial Pool - no, not that SORT of action silly.




You squeamish sorts might like to look away now ….


The surgical team at work in the operating theatre at Christchurch Public Hospital – it was amazing how many had some connection to our great art and modern sport of fencing! Eh, Mr Shaw?

As a child of the PSYCHEDELIC/PSYCEDELIA  years the painkillers and other drugs given after surgery proved an interesting mix – have you seen a bright yellow Lamborghini chased by two Morris Minor vans disappear under YOUR bed? The funniest event was when a group of us from the cardiac ward met some weeks after our operations at an out-patients clinic, our first response was to compare scars…..much to the bemusement of others waiting.

Oh, did you know that among the literature they gave us on recovery after open-heart surgery there is a recommendation to use an electric blanket during sex!!!??? Truly. How? Why?


The nation's top newspaper was in hospital too after undergoing more surgery and more to come - waddaya mean? watch this space!



A car park, faced by empty buildings, marks the site of the Clarendon Hotel.


Fifty years on there is nothing left of the Clarendon Hotel nor the rotten eggs and slurpy tomatos thrown at the Fab Four when they appeared on the hotel’s balcony overlooking Worcester Street on June 27th 1964. Hungry developers and earthquakes have cleared the site.



A Prague Pair, Jakob, left, and Sam, roughly mark the spot where cheering crowds welcomed the Fab Four to the centre of the Garden City now a wasteland of car parks and unused buildings. The two tourists, Jakob from the Czech Republic and Sam from Slovakia did not know the historical significance of the site, but they did know about the Beatles.


Read what the nation's top newspaper says about the BEATLES....



Reserved! But not for memories of the Fab Four and the cheering fans, but parking.



25/6/2014: OPEN HEART SURGERY ...

A European reader asks for more about the exciting time spent in Christchurch Public Hospital, so here is the penultimate posting about it.

The surgical team were great they allowed me to take my camera into the operating room and then took some amazing pix of the quadruple by-pass heart surgery for me. You can read about it, use that funny web-thing to search for stories and images etc, but it is not until it happens to you that it comes real.

Preparation involves lots of drugs to make you sleepy and getting wrapped in this heated plastic tunnel-house thing. The surgeons seem to like their bodies warm - you would 't want them to have cold fingers and hands would you?

Was it painful some ask? No!  I’ve been stabbed (yes Dave, remember that?), shot, blown-up, run-over by a car and motorbike, attacked by a galley and heaved out of bed, but none were as painful as a kidney stone and its removal!! Not even this heart surgery.


The last shot! Being wheeled into theatre........



The start line.


The more squeamish among you might like to miss the next posting as the pix are pretty interesting.




Australian Fencing Federation Acknowledges former Kiwi's Outstanding Contribution to their Sport

An accomplished 3 weapon fencer, Peter Osvath, right, has made a unique and outstanding contribution to Australian Fencing since 1988. 

This has included:

During his time in Australian Capital Territory (1988 to 1995) – held various positions as President of Australian National University Fencing Club; Vice President and President of ACT Fencing where he notably helped bring ACT Fencing into the national fencing family;

Since moving to Victoria in 1995 – held various positions as President of Victoria Railway Institute Fencing Club; President of Fencing Victoria (2003-08) where he notably concluded the negotiations and plans for the establishment of the State Fencing Centre at North Melbourne;

From 1990 to 2013 – Chair of the AFF Selection Commission, including management of all international competition entries, establishment of AFF results database, regular updating of the AFF Ranking Points and major contribution to the development and transparency of the AFF Selection Policy;

He also served as a member of the AFF Officiating Commission and appointed as referee for the 1984 and 2000 Olympic Games, and a number of international tournaments and World Championships;

Appointed Team Manager for Australian Team at 2006 Commonwealth Fencing Championships and World Championships;

Member of AFF Executive from 2001 to 2009;

Inaugural High Performance Manager for the Australian Fencing Team.

And he is a former member of the Victoria University Fencing Club in Wellington, New Zealand.



Recovering cars from the Heathcote River.


Towies and by-standers would, or could, not say how the vehicle ended up in the river this morning.



20/6/2014: What was Wednesday’s posting all about some of you ask.

I thought the pix said it all, remember a picture is worth a thousand words so three have got to be worth a few, but it seems not.

Compare the over-the-top treatment of a wee road works surrounded by signs, fences, dozens of road cones and people with stop/go signs, with the fuck-you treatment of the footpath work, which is over a week old.

One costing thousands of dollars and thousands of dollars for traffic management to protect the odd brmmm brmm (motor vehicle) from bumps, while nobody (Telecom?? Chorus?? Incompetent or lazy contractors??) cares a damn about the mums with prams, school kids, elderly and other pedestrians using the dug-up and muddy footpath!!

No wonder cyclists rule the roads…..


19/6/2014: FAREWELL TO ALL THAT....

Our Former Railway Worker, now retired, drove into the former central city yesterday and got lost.

It was his first visit to the Wasteland since before February 2011's Great Catastrophe (earthquake) and he was heading for the Christchurch City Council fortress, but the lack of easily identified buildings confused him, while the wasteland shocked him. He is adamant he is NOT returning. I believe there was a tear in his eye when he said that, but he will deny it.

Cashel Street Pedestrian Mall before February 2011 looking towards Colombo Street and BALLANTYNES


Cashel Street Pedestrian Mall yesterday. Some boarded-up buildings await their fate and where have all the people gone? But Ballantynes is still operating!!




A wee road work in Opawa Road yesterday - all fenced off! Why?

A wee footpath work in Opawa Road yesterday - not fenced-off! Why?


A wee footpath work on Opawa Road today - who gives a fuck! Why?

And you wonder why ratepayers are so grumpy and pissed-off....Read about what Christchurch people really feel in the nation’s top newspaper …Nobody cares.





16/6/2014: A FULL MOON - SO WHAT?


A FULL moon on Friday 13th.

Astronomers say a full moon on Friday the 13th last happened in October 2000 and won't take place again until August 2049!!!. So there.



13/6/2014: WHAT WOULD YOU DO???

If YOU woke up one morning in the cardiac ward at Christchurch Hospital with your bed surrounded by these thingies?????

Don't panic, it is the hospital staff's way of saying happy birthday - truly!!!

Now, what is happening in the pix below??? Cleaning? Indoor cricket? Birthday Beatings or, something else?


11/6/2014: PSSSSSSSssssst! Wanna learn fencing???????

Then try one of these clubs ..........


You promised to tell us the name of that Olympic champion, who trained in this building (above) on Waltham Road, on Monday and now it is Tuesday afternoon you squeal. Sorry, but the demolition (or deconstruction for the illiterate) just finished this morning!


Here he is, Marcel Fischer, left, along with Christchurch national epee champions Rangi de Abaffy and Willie Upritchard all trained there (when it was wet), along with Italian World epee champion Gian-franco Mochi.

Marcel was in Christchurch one summer back in the late 1990"s polishing up his English and did a bit of fencing in my backyard!!.   Marcel is a Swiss fencer who competed in the Men's Épée Individual at the 2004 Summer Olympics and won the gold medal. He finished 4th at the 2000 Olympics. His achievements earned him the 2004 Swiss Award in sports. MORE HERE!


Talking of wet, here is a flotilla of quacks in line-a-stern formation on the Heathcote River this morning. Mr duck is to complain to Environment Canterbury and the Christchurch City Council about the discoloured and polluted river!



8/6/2014: The inmates of ward 12 at Christchurch Public Hospital were so taken by the unstinting services and help from the medical staff and others who worked there that they renamed it -


On a more mundane matter, most of the recent e-mails to this site have commented on the pix of the on-going demolitions in Quake City and the fact that other sites are, shall we say, not as rigourous in covering the death of our history and heritage.

One site that is mentioned is the Christchurch City Council Library site: PHOTOS HERE!, but it has poor or nonexistent captions you say - hey, remember a picture is worth a thousand words!

Now here is a thousand words .... thanks to the un-named photographer whom Andreas thinks is John or George for the great shot. .......... So close, but no hit!!




Thanks to Brett and Ben for the shot.


Would you like to win a giant chocolate fish??? Read on......

History bites the dust. What is the name of the World and Olympic champion that once trained in this building?? First correct answer via "en guard" above wins the cfish.

Pix and details published on Monday!!



The gates are locked. The car wrecks and parts will be gone by the end of the month and so will long-time Waltham business, Strong Brothers. For twenty-five years they were a feature on Waltham Road, but not much longer as their building and others around them are demolished. They are moving to Buchanans Road in Hornby.



It doesn’t pay to piss off the nurses at Christchurch Hospital. Oh yes they have subtle ways of getting you back, like half-sheeting or short-sheeting your bed. Wot’s that you readers who never went to boarding school ask? Have a look here ...

Now ask yourself this, is the bed featured above short-sheeted or not??



About the copyright - contact me if you would like to use one - photographs on this website.

GOSSIP PAGE: The Front Page of The Press, Christchurch and the South Island's largest newspaper, goes to bed in the good old days of hot metal type; Montage at the bottom of this page, Australian foilist Franki Bartolilo; Three-times world veteran foil champion Maurizio Galvan fronts up for New Zealand television; Epee action from Challenge Australia; More epee action from the 02 Commonwealth Fencing Championships; A famous French fencer captured in Seoul; Attendees at a training camp in Christchurch run by Maitre Galvan in 2007.

ABOUT ME PAGE: Two top epee coaches at the Giardino Club in Milan. Oleg Putzanov, left, and Gianni Muzio, right. Montage; Kiwi fencer, Andrew Kell, demonstrates the new sabre mask - 2004 A Space Oddity - in Madrid; Top Kiwi womens' sabreur Katherine Taylor; Australian Olympian, Bill Ronald, relaxes on Lygon Street, Melbourne; Hot Man - an interesting portrait from the Commonwealth Fencing Championships in Shah Alam; Christchurch fencing physiotherapist Scott Suen bounds in for a hit against a luckless Australian fencer; Kiwi sabreur, Robert Snoep watches the action at the CFC in Shah Alam; A polite discussion takes place among University fencers at the Uni Games circa 1969. Last but not least, a tidy black Morris Minor photographed in Melbourne. A famous Italian Fencing Master and three-times world vets foil champion used my Morris Minor van for his afternoon siestas while running a training camp in Christchurch in 2007. The fact that he went on to win his third title on the trot is no indication of the efficacy, or otherwise, of sleeping in the back of a Morris Minor van named Corrie the Morrie!

LEARN TO FENCE PAGE: Youngsters, barely taller than the epees they wield, duel it out in the fencing club at Toledo, Spain; Hitting actions - from beginner to Olympic champion - some example of how to hit your opponent; Kiwi epeeist Natalie Fraser fights into fifth place at a national womens epee competition in Vallalodid, Spain. What every competititve fencer needs - an FIE international fencing license - this one from 1973. A promising young sabreur is given a lesson by one of Spain's top coaches, Luis Jiminez, at the Royal Spanish Fencing Federation's national training centre in Madrid. Aussie coach Mathieu at work; A fencing tournament underway in Adelaide, South Australia.

BOOKS TO READ PAGE: Olympic epee champion Marcel Fischer (Switzerland), Rangi de Abaffy and Willie Upritchard (New Zealand) pose against the ivy after a training session in my backyard in Christchurch. The Montage: Aussie Fencer Sarah Osvath recovers from a tumble; The teams line-up at the Commonwealth Fencing Championships in Malaysia; Top Kiwi women fencers Jess and Les fight it out at the New Zealand National Fencing Championships; Remember when? Kiwi sabreur Keith Mann shows how to fleche during a sabre bout in the 60's! Mann, twice President of New Zealand Fencing and who still competes in local tournaments, received an award for his services to the sport in 2007. Bottom, Hamish McCracken limbers up while some tired Spaniards watch Challenge Australia action and Waimaria and Karita think about what book to read!

FENCING BUSINESSES PAGE : Top. A New Brighton resident enjoys the nation's top newspaper (The Press) in a local cafe; University Students march through Cathedral Square as part of Capping Day celebrations in the 1960's; A view of the Tagus River near Toledo in Spain; Another shot of University of Canterbury students celebrating Capping Day with a float highlighting Government funding cuts to universities; Chris, the head Reader at The Press, scans reporters copy for mistakes before it is sent for setting in the days before computerisation of the newspaper. Bottom: A Kiwi fencer begs for mercy after being disarmed; Top epeeist and coach David Eccleston at a training camp in Wellington; The last page for the next day's paper is sent to the platers; Ioan Pop, The FIE's Technical Director, captured at the World Champs in Seoul; A photographer from the Otago Daily Times captures the action at the 2006 nationals.

LINKS PAGE: Corps a corps or head to head - you decide. The power of acting - Christchurch actor and fencer, Simon Young, attracts the attention of a young admirer during a production in the Botanic Gardens. You need a good sense of balance for inline skating as Christchurch sabreur William Cowper found out. They might look like two grumpy old men, but three-times world foil champion Maurizio Galvan and local coach Rob Sheard were focusing on the actions of fencers at a training camp at the Fencing Institute. Kiwi fencers love beating up their big brothers in Australia and this shot shows Christchurch epeeist Hassan Kamel with the medal he won in Sydney; Gruff young Kiwi fencers ham it up at the Fencing Institute in Christchurch. Action in the mens epee at the 2007 New Zealand Nationals in Wellington where 14-year-old sabreur Alex Chan stole a seven-hit lead on former National champion Chris Nokes. Nokes came back to win 14-7 proving that a good Old Un can beat an uppity Young Un. Aussie and Kiwi coaches who took part in a training camp taken by Ioan Pop, the FIE's Technical Director. Action in the womens epee event at the World Champs in Seoul. Two members of the University of Canterbury Fencing Club fight off in the Duel at Dawn which marks the end of the fencing season. The duel is held at different venues each year, in this case it was the Christchurch Botanic Gardens!

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