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NOT THE FRONT PAGE BUT THE GOSSIP PAGE

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

Since the Great Catastrophe of February 22, 2011, this site has also been recording the trials and tribulations of the citizens of Christchurch in the rebuilding of their earthquake flattened city.

(If you have something to say about anything to do with fencing, earthquakes 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


4/4/2015: WILL THESE NEW HOMES FAIL??

The talk in Quake City is all about shoddy repairs to damaged homes and the failure of newly-built homes to meet building standards - READ MORE HERE in the nation's top newspaper.

 

This brick fellow failed in Sydenham ...

And is still awaiting repairs or "deconstruction", that after-quake coined bullshit word meaning "demolition"! But then what Publick Relations terrorist or media reporter have read the COMPLETE PLAIN WORDS?

 

Now,

Did this wooden fellow pass??

 

What about this steel fellow??

 

Both are in Sydenham.

 

3/3/2015: MORE FENCING PIX! AND A STORY ABOUT QUAKE COMMUNICATION!

Last week's opening night of the combined United Fencing Club and the Christchurch Fencing Academy - coaches, from left, Rob, James and Keith in action.

 

Another left-handed coach in action at Christchurch Boys High School and Christchurch Girls High School combined fencing club - Tom Kent, alias Man Mountain!

 

 

Multiple national champion Alex Chan puts his epee and sabre skills to work preparing food for Franz Josef residents. Who, what and where is FRANZ JOSEF???

 

For those looking for their Quake Fuck-up fix, have you heard about the home-owner who was rung by his insurace company last week to find out how the repairs to his house were going?

Oh, he said, when were they supposed to start?

Oh, said the insurance company we passed your job on to the builder months ago. First I've heard about it says he!!!

Clunk! went the phone.

Will he have to wait THIRTY YEARS??? Read more here!

 

 

 

27/2/2015: CANTERBURY UNIVERSITY ROLL, 'PLUNGING', 'CREEPING UP'?

Both terms used in same The Press' story this morning, which is it? Have a read HERE!!!

 

Is a fire engine needed?

Nah!

 

Not if you go by this line-up.

 

Or those clubs that recorded record membership sign-ups, (like the University of Canterbury Fencing Club (right) the nation's oldest, continually operating fencing club.) during the second day of Clubs Day yesterday.

 

Bet The Press won't cover that!

 

 

 

 

 

25/2/2015: THERE ARE CARS AND THERE ARE CARS THEN THERE ARE MORRIS MINORS!

 

This shiny example greets passengers at Palmerston North international airport. It belongs to Ebony coffee and roastery

 

The popular Pommie vehicle was designed by a Greek engineer, Sir Alec Issigonis, during fire-watching duties in the Second World War. Over a million were made by the time production ended in the early 1970's. It is said that their longevity is due to using steel recycled from captured German battleships! MORE HERE!

 

 

 

24/2/2015:A DUST-OFF!

 

A helicopter takes off from Hagley Park yesterday after delivering its load to Christchurch Hospital.

 

A tow off.

A tow truck removes a parked car from near Christchurch Hospital yesterday during the world cup cricket match.

 

A take off.

 

Belongings removed from spectators at yesterday's world cup cricket match at the Hagley Oval.

 

Now read about the cricket DICK OFF in the nation's top newspaper.

 

23/2/2015: KIWI FENCING GETS UNDERWAY.

It is the start of the fencing season here with many clubs starting or about to start the 2015 season.

As encouragement here are some great shots from the Federation International D'Escrime, the international organisation controlling the ancient art and modern sport.

Women's epee.

 

Men;s sabre.

 

Men's epee.

 

Men's foil.

 

Women's cakes.

Read more about the who, what, where and when HERE!

See the "Links" page to find a club near you!

 

22/2/2015: WE REMEMBER.

 

 

 

 

 

21/2/2015: IS THERE A WHIFF OF CORRUPTION ROUND HAGLEY OVAL AND THE CRICKET WOLRD CUP?

 

Why is the dunny at the far end separated from the others? (See the pix posted last weekend). Has someone complained about the stench? The noise of grumbling guts waiting for a take-a-way bag of chippies, or, the gambling??

 

Gambling?

The helicopter landing zone for medical dust-offs at Hagley Park with the Hagley Oval in the centre. Patients are rushed by screaming ambulance to Christchurch Hospital on the right.

 

Will those attending today's cricket match be betting on the arrival of the noisy Woka Wokas?

Will those viewing the live television broadcast be reaching for the ear muffs? (Ta Prime for last weekend's free-to-air viewing even though we could hear the Woka wokas! Didn't our leftie bowlers do well.)

There were three medical dust-offs last weekend will there be more today??

Quick, place your bets now. You cannot be accused of match-fixing or rorting and you could make a heap of dosh just like the International Cricket Council and Canterbury Cricket?

Now about the container of hot chippies ......

 

 

20/2/2015: CAPTAIN COOK IS EMBARESSED AND PISSED OFF!

See him squatting with his nickers down in the nation's top newspaper!.

 

He is hiding his face he is so embarrassed!

 

And he is pissed off cos they are going to remove/move him from in front of the former Quake City Town Hall. Perhaps it is to allow the mindless and expensive re-jigging of Victoria Square and/or the demolition (deconstruction in quake buraucrapic speak) of the town hall?

Never mind it is the fourth anniversary of February's 2011 big shake on Sunday!!

Prime Minister John Key is not coming, will Gerry and his Wastemakers stay away too??

 

 

19/2/2015: THEY HAVE BEEN DRIVING UP AND DOWN THE BEACHES FROM THE KAPATI COAST TO MANAWATU FOR HUNDREDS OF YEARS....

See...

It's a road!

 

As a school boy I helped excavate some old coaching sites between Waitarere and Otaki. The beach was a main thoroughfare from the 1840's on. It was easier than trying to wend your way, with stagecoach and horses, through the bush and swamps extant in those early days.

More HERE!

 

 

17/2/2015: STUMPED IN PALMERSTON NORTH.

Christchurch residents stumped by the Christchurch City Council's tree-murdering escapades (see post of 21/1/2015) will be interested to note that the infection has spread to the wee North Island village of Palmerston North.

See....

Stumps on Broadway - that's the name of the major shopping street in the Manawatu city.

 

Read more here in the local rag, Manawatu Standard, Whose office sits alongside one of the village's best cafes - the Royale.

 

The big chop has left residents angry.

 

And George, the tuatara, and his girlfriend exposed to all, much to the disgust of Mr Dibble who sculpted em.

 

The reason for the big chop, bird shit.

 

Yep, like some New Regent Street business folks who want to get rid of the Wizard for his verbals and parking habits, the Broadway shop owners got the trees murdered to stop birds roosting and excreting.

 

 

16/2/2015: WOULD GERRY AND HIS WASTEMAKERS KNOCK DOWN THIS OLD DUNGA??

 

No, not the Old Fella sitting in the foreground!

 

Started in 1303 Linlithgo Palace, in Scotland, is still standing in spite of wars and other tribulations, read more HERE.

Even the Scots, noted penny-pinchers, recognize the cultural and historical significance of old dungas.

Will Christchurch have any heritage buildings, like the above, in 700 years?

 

 

15/2/2015: SEE, THEY ARE CRAPPING ALL OVER HAGLEY PARK!

The day after the opening match of the Cricket World Cup at the Hagley Oval - read more in the nation's top newspaper.

Dunny's lined up on Hagley Park.

 

And

They've barred the gates at Hagley Park.

 

Even the little ones.

 

But watch out!

You could be bowled over by this security guard.

 

Or

Relax and watch some Sunday cricket in Hagley Park.

 

 

 

14/2/2015: IT'S NOT CRICKET!

They want to alter Victoria Square - again. Read more from our nation's top newspaper here

 

Let's face it the central city died when they built this ziggurat across Victoria Street in the 1980s cutting off the direct route from Papanui and Merivale.

The former Parkroyal Hotel, after the quakes....

And ..

The site now, The statue of Captain Cook, centre, is up for removal as is the one of Queen Victoria.

 

The earthquakes have given Gerry and his Wastemakers a chance to revive Cathedral Square by opening up Victoria Street again, but are they doing what the residents of Quake City want?

More about Victoria Square.

Wot do YOU want?? Be quick and tell Lianne and her ladies at the Christchurch City Council or you could get squished by Gerry and his Wastemakers!

 

 

13/2/2015: IT IS FRIDAY THE 13TH!

Wot happened here, a smash'n'grab in Palmerston North??????

Was the money machine attacked or was it an attack on Pommie food?? Was anything stolen?

 

Why did this car attack?

 

It even bemused the Police and Towie, seen here exchanging notes.

 

It was a slip-of-the-foot by an elderly driver trying to park in this parking space in Palmerston North.

 

The driver was unhurt and the shop owner a tad distressed and no it did not happen today the 13th but some days ago.

 

Question: Was the driver shopping or withdrawing cash, or both?

Read more about Black Friday the 13th HERE!

 

12/2/2015: CLEARED FOR TAKEOFF!

An Air New Zealand ground crew member gets the good gos on arm-waving at Christchurch International Airport recently.

 

While....

University of Canterbury Fencing Club member, Lucian, meets top Italian fencing coach and world veteran fencing champion, Maurizio Galvan, near Venice. Maurizio is well-known to Kiwi fencers after running a training camp in Quake City before the quakes!

 

While....

And the Uni club prepares for its opening for the year - all welcome - even non-uni folks, to learn the ancient art and modern sport at the one of the nationsl oldest fencing clubs.

 

 

3/2/2015: GRAFFITI BUSTER IN ACTION AGAIN!

This time it was the former BNZ building in the former Cathedral Square in the barren former city centre of Quake City on Monday morning.

The boarded-up partially destroyed BNZ building - heard about the great escapes from the 10th floor on February 22nd 2011??

 

Yes you sharp-eyed readers, it is not Allen, from the previous posting, at work and the waterblaster was too loud to ask his name.

Good on ya mate!

 

 

2/2/2015: WHAT DO YOU DO ON A QUIET SUMMER'S SUNDAY IN QUAKE CITY?

Sleep-in? Go to the beach? Go fencing under the verandah like the two below?

Not if you are Allen.

It is graffiti busting for the Christchurch City Council Contractor seen here slaving away on Brougham Street early yesterday morning. Up at 7am and finished at 5ish day in and day out!

So next time you see him covering up the eyesores give a toot or a wave it could be your fence next.

 

31/1/2015: A GREEN LIGHT FOR THE QUAKE CITY CENTRAL CITY?!!

Not many people about!

Looking up Cashel Street towards Barbados Street across Manchester Street. Is green for go or green for down??

 

But wait there are these folks.

Now read this plaintive wail in the nation's top newspaper about more people needed in the former central city centre now a wasteland: READ ON.

 

30/1/2015: MORE QUAKERY?

By the bucketful!

You've spent hundreds of thousands of dollars upgrading your 1920's former farm house in Quake City with all the work carried out and certificated by electricians, carpenters, builders and architects etc but the Christchurch City Council's inspector won't pass it on its final inspection cos the smoke alarm is not within three metres of the bedroom and the parking lot in front of the garage is too flat.

Read the posting of 20/1/2015 about un level floors.

More Quakery??

Now if you want to read more world-wide fruitloopery try here: NEW SCIENTIST! Read their comments about the annual consumption of toilet paper on the 5th May last year.

Has the consumption of bog paper gone up in Quake City since Sarah, Seedoo, EQC the CCC and the National Party all got involved in knocking things down and trying to run the re-build and recovery??? Poor bureaucrats, damned if they do help people and damned if they don't.

 

 

 

29/1/2015: THE OLD AND THE NEW IN QUAKE CITY!

Looking across the former city centre desert to Manchester Street. On the right, by High Street, is the black prow of a newly-built office building, of the rest of the buildings you can see can you tell which ones are coming down? The building in the centre once held a newspaper/media office. Remember?

 

Talking about remembering, do you remember what stood in the big hole below?? What famouse shops and businesses?

Hint, one of em's name began with an 'H'. The Restart Mall with the tasty Humingbird coffee shop is to the right.

 

28/1/2015: WOTS GOING ON IN THE FORMER QUAKE CITY CENTRE ASKED A SPANISH READER OF THIS SITE ...

Coming down or going up:

A giant chocolate fish to the first reader to name this building.

 

See quake action HERE! It might help you win the cfish.

 

A wee save:

Kensington House in the foreground - read more here.

 

And freedom campers?

Or is it just another untidy building in Quake City.

 

Read about FREEDOM CAMPING in Quake City.

 

26/1/2015: They have a new website, have a look HERE!

If you still see the old one, refresh the page in your browser and the new old should magically appear.

 

 

23/1/2015: TREE BUTCHERY!!

Some locals are accusing the Christchurch City Council and its minions of tree butchery.

 

A big gap in the trees gracing Cranmer Square in the centre of Quake City.

 

This is human damage not quake!

 

Yet the butchers hide under some of those beautiful old trees, they have not yet butchered, from the sun.

 

Is this poor bugger, captured by "M" recently, between Shannon and Levin looking for a shady tree?

 

The swanky Levin clock tower reads a blistering 31Deg!

 

Wots he doing on a long, hot summer's day??

 

Quack!!

 

 

22/1/2015: HERE IT COMES!

The parking and traffic melee on Riccarton Avenue by the Hagley Oval, aka Germon's Wall.

Read about the Christchurch City Council's parking or dropping-off fines levied agin poor cricket followers hERE in the nation's top newspaper!

 

"This is a busy road with high demand for both traffic volume and parking needs given its location to the Hospital and Hagley Park and the current traffic flow changes in the immediate area." Oh yeah???

Took this pic on Riccarton Road just before the start of the Boxing Day cricket match and what does it show ...... orange road cones! Now imagine the revenue that would be generated if the council fined them or rented out the hundreds of car parks they are protecting.

QUACK!

 

 

 

21/1/2015: JUMP TO IT!

Dare to try it at a club near you.

 

 

 

20/1/2015: QUAKERY OR QUACKERY??

An elderly resident of one the more plusher suburbs of Quake City is getting ready to pack up and move out for repairs to his house damaged by the September 2010 Quake and its 13,000 plus followers.

More than a dozen visits from EQC, his insurance company and other, so-called, experts to his home built a few years before the big shake, has left him shaking his head and wondering if there had been any communication at all between the, so-called, experts.

The 70-page Scope Report he received distilling the research, investigations and decisions of the, so-called, experts included the plans of a nearby house instead of his! It also said he had timber flooring, not the carpet and vinyl covered concrete pad that it did have. Yes, some of the vinyl did look like wooden floor boards, but to say the floor was timber is just plain quackery!!!

 

Quack!

In a similar vein did you know that the floors of many industrial buildings in Quake City had floors sloping towards the buildings' big opening doors? I didn't and nor did most of the, so-called, experts so many building owners spent thousands of dollars, and weeks of their time, to prove it, otherwise their floors could be deemed quake damaged and slated for repair or demolition.

The sloping floors were designed and built that way to help remove any noxious gases, chemicals or other nasties that could prove dangerous if spilt or released during manufacturing or other use.

Quack!

 

 

 

19/1/3015: DEEDS NOT WORDS.

This says it all.

 

The repair and refurbishment of the former Work and Income New Zealand building on Cilombo Street in Sydenham is underway with an opening planned for this December.

 

As most people see it from Colombo Street.

 

 

And a view of the former Winz building, from behind!

 

It is said the outside of the building will be clad in glass, just like the Becca building up the street. So get out your sunglasses!

 

Are these the oldest buildings in the sunny inner-city suburb of Sydenham to survive the quakes???

 

 

17/1/2015: QUICK! THE WALTHAM POOL OPENS AT 11AM.

Yep, that's this morning so Sydenham and Waltham residents can cool off on this, about to be, stinking hot Saturday.

Jeremy has prepared some seating for you to come and watch the opening's big splash.

 

Bugger, someone has beaten you to it! Splashing that is .....

 

 

 

15/1/2915: FUEL PRICES PLUNGE!!

 

Today's prices in Palmerston North. Pic by 'M'.

 

Compare them with YESTERDAY'S PRICES!!!!

 

 

13/1/2015: WILL IT OR WON'T IT - OPEN???

Squished nearly five years ago, the wee pool in the relaxed suburb of Waltham was due to open this summer. In fact the nation's top newspaper said it was to open LAST WEEK However that was not to be - next week they say.

The pool three months ago .....

 

Yesterday.

 

A vast difference you see all because of these .....

 

Dozens of chariots of slaves (Contractors) and overseers (City Care).

 

The question is dear reader, will it open ON???

 

 

12/1/2015: YOU KNOW YOU ARE IN QUAKE CITY ....

When its port cannot provide for all the ships wanting to visit and has to move INLAND.

Waiting for a berth?? Don't even ask about room for the tourist liners.

Unlike the Christchurch airport the sea port has no urgency in dealing with the tourists wanting to goggle at the quake-riven city.

 

 

9/1/2015: CROSSED SWORDS!!

Two Kiwi fencers marry ....

James and Katherine got married in Ohoka yesterday.

(Sorry about the out-of-focus pix of the crossed sabres, it was a bit dark at the reception.)

 

James and KJ leave the 150-year-old former Methodist church at Ohoka, in north Canterbury, where the ceremony took place.

 

A question for those of you who know James Russell and Katherine Taylor from their fencing days - who will hold the reins????

 

As you can see, KJ galloped to the ceremony in a horse and carriage then the pair trotted off together afterwards.

 

6/1/2015: PUT TO THE SWORD!

 

A poor water-filled milk container.

 

 

Two fencers at the Cape Town World Champs hold the interest of spectators.

 

 

3/1/2015: IN PALMERSTON NORTH THEY CELEBRATE DIFFERENTLY THAN MOST KIWIS.

They dress up in funny clothes. .. ... .... .... .... .... . . ... . . ... . . ... ............................... . . . . . .. Pic by 'M'.

As you can see GEORGE , the tuatara, and his Dragon got dressed-up for Christmas! George is Palmy's most well-known reason for visiting the tiny village on the Manawatu plains noted for its weather and as the home of a former agricultural college now called a university.

 

However don't ask the locals the way to George - they only know him as the Tuatara and not by his name. It is also said that the wee village, also known as Manawatu City, has more cafes per head of population than anywhere else in New Zealand!!

 

 

1/1/2015: HERE'S SOME SABRE ACTION TO WELCOME YOU TO 2015!

A sabre dance.

 

A sabre drop.

 

And a sabre jump.

 

And you can learn the ancient art and modern sport here .....

SEE THE ARCHIVES FOR STORIES AND PIX PUBLISHED PRIOR TO THIS!)

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!

Archived Gossip and Photos: 2013, 2012

2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007