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



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??


31/5/2014: TOAST!

Yep these old buildings just off Waltham Road in the wee go-ahead central city suburb of Sydenham are toast. The excitement among locals is wot is gonna replace them?? Fifty houses are planned for the site.



Talking of toast many of the long-term (more than a couple of nights stay) inmates of the Hilton Suite (the cardiac ward at Christchurch Public Hospital) lost weight. Mostly cos they were seriously ill, but another reason could have been the boarding school type food.

The service was great, morning and afternoon teas served in bed, and the food edible if a touch bland, but it was the morning toast that was the horror. Stiff, cold and looking like bits of medium density fibreboard though, thankfully, one of the ever-attentive nurses whispered in my ear about the toaster at the other end of the ward so I was able to gather up the nasty bits from those less mobile and re-serve them hot and toasty.

Me? I lost nearly 4Kg and the best meal was the Kingfish snuck in by some considerate visitors!!



30/5/2014: A new twist on hospital admission ..... ... workers visit the Parkside cardiac ward at Christchurch Public Hospital. They were part of a team inspecting the buildings for earthquake damage.

Don’t expect to get much sleep in hospital, especially if you are in a ward and not an individual room. Apart from that, three weeks spent in the Christchurch Public Hospital were an interesting experience and an eye-opener in many ways.

As posted a couple of days ago my Sunday afternoon and evening in the emergency department was a real foot-turner. Yes I had watched the odd TV show about the abusive antics of those visiting emergency rooms, but to hear and experience it in the flesh, so to speak, brought a certain sadness for those trying to help others and the off-hand treatment they received.

One of the reasons for the inability to sleep in the cardiac ward was due to the admission of patients in the evenings or early morning with the odd one noisy or aggressive and some having to be put in an individual room with a security guard, but all in all it was the general ward business, a constant coming and going of doctors and nurses and other staff.

Ischaemic  Conditioners or Daleks?

Included in the sleep destroyers were these unusual machines I nick-named Daleks. They turned up with an attached nurse at all hours to take your temperature and blood-pressure, but a recent article, Squeeze The Arm, Protect The Heart, in the New Scientist magazine of May 17th makes them out as saviours to heart attack victims and those undergoing open heart surgery - so I guess one should not denigrate them too much.




28/5/2014: A HIT! A HIT! A PALPABLE HIT!

See the wee green light?

Here are readable results of the weekend's University of Canterbury Fencing Club's annual Eeccleston Epee competition. The fun event, the only one-hit duel in the Southern Hemisphere - epee is the old dueling weapon, where duels were won by the first fencer to draw blood, tarted up for modern times with the winner of each friendly bout being the first to score a hit - and honours Nelson fencer David Eccleston.

Andreas Sesun 1
Jaco Fourie 2
Brendan Lindsay 3
Josh Gibson 4=
Sheldon Ogilvie 4=
Sparky Mark 6
Anthony Goh 7=
Ross Shepherd 7=
Laura Bythell 9=
Zane Hamilton 9=
Marguerite deAbaffy 11=
William Fraser 11=
Chris Knowles 11=
Albert Webb 11=
Josh Allan-Johns 15
Sarah Cohen 16
Hamish Pullin 17
Hannah 18=
Sam Townshend 18=


It is being built round the Hagley Oval in a bid to host a match or two in Christchurch as part of the World Cricket Championships destined for New Zealand and Australia in 2015 and it could, like Hadrian’s two walls, end up standing as monuments to failed ideas and dreams
Two possible reasons, World and New Zealand cricket has been hit for a duck over the match-fixing and other nefarious activities, while a recent stint in hospital has also highlighted what could be another problem in staging the great game at Hagley Oval..

First the firestorm over Kiwi kriketers and their match fixing could be a positive or negative for the sport. Any news is good news, as an old saying goes and the advertising/promotion it generates could draw in the punters, so to speak, or put them off, but we will have to wait and see which it could be.

The other possible problem that could mar Canterbury Cricket’s bit of the World Championships is that of “dust offs’. HELICOPTER MEDICAL FLIGHTS..

The landing pad receiving the medical emergencies for Christchurch Public Hospital is very close to Hagley Oval and the clatter of helicopter blades and the scream of ambulances heading for the hospital’s emergency department disturbs hundreds of inmates now, I spent two weeks listening to it recently, so imagine what it would be like during a world cup match?

Not so bad mid-week but on weekends there could be up to six or more “dust-offs” a day. But forget the agony of the hospital’s patients, even those indomitable former openers, Bruce Edgar and John Wright, would find it hard to concentrate!!  Worse still could be the damage to live radio or television broadcasts, instead of the crisp crack of willow on leather there is just a wokka, wokka, wokka of whirling blades!!!

Solutions please.

Wonder what "Paddles" the great cricketer Sir Richard Hadlee, would do??



My feet experiencing a mugging in the emergency department at Christchurch Hospital.

I can confirm first-hand the thuggary against medical staff at Christchurch Public Hospital.

Read this story in the nation’s top newspaper MEDICAL STAFF ATTACKED BY MUGS ...

The young woman in the bed, on the left, next to me in Christchurch Public Hospital’s emergency department was high on something. Her screeching voice frightened others, including my feet, undergoing emergency treatment, but the end came when one of the medical staff trying to treat her was sent flying and three security guards arrived to control her. They did so by lying on her! Thankfully the nurse was shaken but unhurt.

Privacy issues prevent me from showing more. Further exciting hospital stories and pix, including that of the cardiac ward's top indoor cricketer, to come soon so keep looking!



Nineteen turned out for the annual event and three no-shows.



Canterbury University Fencing Club Secretary Brett, right, lays out the rules of this unique one-hit epee competition.


Old time fencer Brendan Lindsay turned out too.


Action in the bar - yes ucfc meets each week in a bar/pub! That's it in the background.



Yes, I want a giant chocolate fish too!! Allehandra/Lexxi, the daughter of fencers Rangi and Marguerite was on hand for the awarding of the giant chocolate fish, Each competitor was awarded a cfish and gold medal!!!


Eccleston, Dave Eccleston?? Nah, it is regular winner, this year too, Andreas wearing a jacket Eckky awarded him some years ago.


23/5/2014: FOUR YEARS ON!!

There were only two wee earthquakes yesterday and tw0, so far, today, but .....

...... the destruction of central Christchurch is still going on, and on and on and .......



And on!

Shots of the former Majestic Theatre on the corner of Manchester and Lichfield Streets over the last couple of days


22/5/2014: A B OMB SITE????????????

Central Christchurch yesterday and now us younger folks have an idea of what London and other cities must have looked like after the Second World War - u g l y.

But wait, there is good news for central city motorists read what the nation's top newspaper says ...


21/5/2014: STUMPED!!!!

This road sign on Fifield Terrace in St Martins has some locals stumped.....


Just as this, about to break-away tree stump, just across the Heathcote River on Riverlaw Terrace, has locals betting just when it will become an island?


Now have a read of the nation's top newspaper story today about the MAYOR'S flooding solutions..

Question; when is a taskforce a team? Or when is a team a taskforce? Or is our Mayor talking gibberish?


20/5/2014: FLOCTON BASIN.

What the heck is the Flocton Basin many readers have asked? It is an area of Swamp City that has become more prone to flooding since the Earthqukes. Have a look here ... A MAP FOR YOU See also a former Christchurch Drainage Board map of 1856, posted on this site last year, which shows the vast areas of swamp in Swamp City.

As you can see from the map it includes the suburbs of Mairehau, St Albans, and, (but don’t talk about it as it could affect house prices,) swankier suburbs such as Merivale, Shirley and the more down-and-out Dallington.


As one wag says, it sounds ideal for model yachting and should be developed as such to take over from the failing Ellerslie Garden Show?




Winter is begriming to tighten it's noose around Quake City and about half the population is still struggling, many without weathertight homes for the third year in a row.

Will this help them?

Or this ...

Who remembers these?

And, remember this ...

Which is now this ..... A bit barren and cold.

Oooooh! And you wonder why even Queeny has turned her back on our city!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! See, only Her and red cones populate our central city, but they have just resurfaced Colombo Street in Sydenham and it is so smmoooothh! Just like a real road.



Round 340,000 folks live in Quake City and around 160,000 of them pay rates to the Christchurch City Council (among others) for roads, sewers, clean drinking water, garden shows, covered playing fields, and rubbish removal.........

It'll cost YOU to dispose of this - $9.30 to be exact - for rubbish under 50Kg.


Or $231.40 per tonne for this couch and chairs.


So, next time you sit down to pay your rates consider dumping in a street dumper, you could reduce your rates significantly!

And our Christchurch City Council could save millions$$$$$$$$$$$$



11/5/2014: MOVE ALONG PLEASE .............

Yes, cummon Quake City, get on with it .......


The Heathcote River - a flooding memento!


Up the Skirt - Mounds of gravel protected by fences and traffic lights, not to mention road coness, on Opawa Road.


Timber - aftermath of the recent flooding - rootless tree in Hastings Street.


Fun at the beach - New Brighton gets on with it.




Yes, the buggers are still at work in Quake City. Their grumpy grumbling has been reverating over central Christchurch this week.


....Going ....

Still going ...

The old Miller's department store building in the CBD.



Have a look ....

Manchester Street from the Avon River bridge circa 1970.


Manchester Street from the Avon River bridge after February 2011's big quakes.


Manchester Street from the bridge over the Avon River a few days ago.

See any sign of a rebuild?




Yep, that's right, the waterway formerly known as Jackson's Creek is now Jacksons Creek and I spelt it wrong with an apostrophe, see how it should be spelt ... Spelt right??

The Former Railway Worker, now retired, and his mates reckon that the dropped apostrophe has appeared in many CCC signs in the last year or so. Read about the missing ' here!


Bit of a brush-up and preening needed?


Now, before the CCC starts preening too much it and its contractors involved in the development of this bit of Jackson's Creek, which is sliding into the narrow waterway thanks to flooding, need to talk to the locals who believe that the flooding is exacerbated by the difference in levels between the newly developed Jackson's Pond and its exit further down stream.

The water of Jackson's Creek is supposed to flow through the pipe, but it backs-up as high as the seat on the left according to locals, forming Jackson's Pond.


And, sometimes, comes out here.






A duck's arse.

Read more in the nation's top newspaper ... A Bit of a FEATHER Job?


Even this recent work done here at Jackson's Creek has a bit of a quack from flooding. Pity the poor houses when they finish building them - you want to live there?


Cos they want all the water to go through this wee hole, but it don't/can't and the wee creek floods.


New Zealand Post is using former naval vessels to deliver the mail in Swamp City!



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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