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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


10/12/2014: MEET MISSY!!

A parrot at Nelson's Nature Land Wildlife Trust. ... Pic by Slaw.

Missy sometimes says hello but mostly just grunts or screeches like a fire alarm. She's the maddest (and ugliest) parrot in the zoo, and probably a strong contestant for maddest parrot in the Southern Hemisphere too. She's the avian equivalent of clinically insane, but pretty harmless as she doesn't have a bottom beak.

Sounds like someone you know??????

Find out how to meet Missy HERE!!

 

 

18/12/2014:WHAT ABOUT THIS WALL JUST UP THE ROAD?

It seems to talk too and dance.

It's on the corner of Welles and Manchester Streets, near the now squished, by the earthquakes, upstairs cafe where Annie Lennox used to to go to recover from her performances on stage.

 

 

 

17/12/2014: THIS WALL CAN TALK!

And it is directly opposite the one that can't talk.

Though wot it says is anyone's guess.

 

16/12/2014: YOU KNOW YOU ARE IN QUAKE CITY .....

 

When the walls speak like this one between Welles and St Asaph Streets in the former city centre. Oh, and the towering knock-it-downers now renamed put-it-uppers.

 

 

14/12/2014:TV3 CRAPS ALL OVER NEW ZEALAND'S SECOND WORLD WAR HISTORY......

Yep, didya watch last night's TV3 news bulletin?? BATTLE OF THE RIVER PLATE????

Battle of the River Plate

Battle of the River Plate

Don't look too close at it below for you might get covered in the crap dumped by TV3 as news!

Here's TV3's view of one of the major naval engagements of World War 2. Soldiers did it!!!!!!!

 

Here's New Zealand History's view. Sailors did it!

 

Embarrassing or not? Perhaps a current, or former, naval personage needs to tell TV3 the difference between a soldier, sailor and airman. Otherwise they could end up calling the Prime Minister a Donkey!

 

 

12/12/2014: CAN'T YOU POST SOMETHING POSITIVE ABOUT QUAKE CITY WHINED ONE OVERSEAS READER .....

WELL YES .... HOW ABOUT THE GO-A-HEAD SUBURB OF SYDENHAM.

Remember this? The former dairy on Colombo Street - one of a whole row of shops and buildings downed by the quakes.

 

Now two of the skittled businesses have re-built! The other, on the left, is Graeme Patching's Frame and Mirror Company.

 

Here's Hitesh Ravji and his daughter Priyanka outside their popular Sydenham dairy.

 

That has got to be positive! Read more about em here: The Nation's Top Newspaper!

 

 

11/12/2014: DOWN, DOWN AND .......

Down ...

The remains of a 60-year-old church building in Opawa. Question; how many car parks will it make??

 

 

10/11/2014: THEY LIKE FENCING AT CHRISTCHURCH BOYS HIGH SCHOOL - THE ANCIENT ART AND MODERN SPORT.

A three-day introduction to the modern sport of fencing ended with a touch of the ancient art it once was thanks to maths teacher Greg Mehrtens, a collector of old swords.

This is a sharp sword, he demonstrates, not like the blunt epees you have been fighting with ....

 

See!

All the participants in the introductory course got a chance to chop a water-filled milk container in half!!!

 

 

7/12/2014: GERRY AND HIS WASTEMAKERS HAVEN'T GOT THEIR HANDS ON THIS OLD DUNGA, YET.....

Now abandoned and derelict the former Christchurch Civic Offices, just up Worcester Street by the River Avon from the present lair of current Mayor Lianne and her ladies.

Read more about one of the last remaining central city heritage buildings HERE!

 

Here it is in the late 1960's as a group of uni students head past it on their way to lectures at the former University of Canterbury, now the Arts Centre, up the road.

It seems Gerry and his Wastemakers are focused on spending lots of money on destroying the perfectly adequate Victoria Square, just up Oxford Terrace past the Morris Minor, and spending millions more on a park for the Ladies of the Night on Manchester Street.

A question: Which Christchurch daily newspaper undertook a story about Manchester Street's Ladies of the night and their clients?

Was it published?

 

4/12/3014: NOW THE BAD NEWS .....

Remember the blub about the Ruelle Eatery in New Brighton posted on the 29/11/2014? Well, it seems to have sunk them ....

"Hey everyone, due to circumstances out of our control we are going to be permanently shutting by the end of the month We are going to be open Saturday & Sunday's hopefully for the next few weeks, thank you to everyone for your support, Nikki & Danielle"

Bugger, oh well, there is still the Lighthouse Cafe!

 

3/12/2014: SAFETY FENCES FOR THE SAFETY FENCES

YOU KNOW YOU ARE IN QUAKE CITY WHEN .....

The safety fences used by workers to keep people safe are surrounded by orange cones and safety fences - for safety reasons of course!

And the bureaucrapic nightmare goes on, and on and on and on and on ....

 

Who keeps the bumble-bee safe??????????????????????????????????

 

 

1/12/2014: HAVE WE LEARNT ANYTHING FROM THIS ...... ???

The remains of the CTV building after February 2011's earthquake.

Got talking to a group of gawpers yesterday near where the CTV building once stood. What have you learnt from the earthquakes they asked. Well I keep a supply of canned food, fill the electric jug with water after each use, have a supply of candles on hand and a can of red spray paint, was the reply.

Oh, they said, what we meant was what HAVE the officials learnt.

Dunno I said, it was a shamble beyond anyone's comprehension and told them some stories of bravery and stupidity already mentioned on this site. So nobody was to blame said one said nodding towards the former CTV site.

Here's Nigel Hampton QC's thoughts ....

 

Wot's your thoughts after all these years???

 

30/11/2014: GOING DOWN IN QUAKE CITY .....

Lunch for these workers from Manila who are inserting Enable's broadband cable into Christchurch Streets.

AND ....

The former Cop Shop (Police Station) on the left, on Hereford Street in the former city centre - more at the nation's top newspaper.

The building on the right is the Christchurch City Council offices where Lianne, our Mayor, and her Ladies lurk. There are 3000 CCC workers and 160,000 ratepayers in Christchurch so that is 53 ratepayers to each worker!!!

So there!

 

29/11/2014: HURRAH!

The wee cafe in a former house at New Brighton on the corner of Oram Avenue and Rodney Street has re-opened.

I came across it while cycling round the suburbs after February 2011's earthquakes. There was no electricity, no water and people in terror throughout the city but there was Dave, the owner of the Jungle Patrol Cafe as it was called then, dishing out free coffees to the locals. Magnificent!

Dave in action.

 

It was a true suburbian cafe, close to the beach at New Brighton and ideal for locals and visitors alike, now the Ruelle Eater, as it is renamed, is run by sisters Nikki and Danielle who produce all the eaty delights on site.

 

Sisters-in-cafe - they even have a page on: THINGIE!

They address all customers directly, with no need of giving out numbers, are open on weekends and provide fresh water for the four-legged woofers!

 

 

 

27/11/2014: YOU KNOW YOU ARE IN QUAKE CITY WHEN YOU SEE THE ROAD CONES GROWING GREEN THINGIES .... AND THE PRIME MINISTER COMES VISITING.

Plant coning - A new use for the infernal and eponymous road cones? No, it is not a jack-up, it is really growing inside the cone!

 

Four years on and still so much to do ... read about the elderly folks getting fucked-over by their insurance company ... A TOWERING ABUSE.

But will our Prime Minister John Key be doing anything about it and the rest of the rip-offs and bureaucrapic shenanigans going on in Christchurch?

 

Will the huge job of dealing with the aftermath of the Christchurch Earthquakes claim a third victim? Sarah boss Roger Sutton, right, has gone (sexual misadventure?) as has former Quake City Mayor Bob Parker, centre, (perceived incompetence?) now will it be Prime Minister John Key, left, (forgetfulness?)

 

 

26/11/3014: COMING DOWN!

The Opawa Baptist Church.

This 60-year-old Baptist church on Wilson's Road in the quiet suburb of Waltham. Is that a lonely crucifix in the window?

 

There are rumours it could become a car park - waiting for God?

 

But perhaps Pete and his mates could rebuild the Ark of Hope, they erected in Sydenham after the earthquakes, there? Or a collection of his GOD BOXES!

 

 

 

25/11/2014: YOU KNOW YOU ARE IN QAUKE CITY WHEN YOU SEE THE SURVIVORS' PARKING PROBLEMS ....

Too many ....

 

Too high and ....

 

Too small.

 

More about parking at RISINGHOLME!

 

 

23/11/2014: FENCING IN THE RE-START MALL IN CENTRAL CHRISTCHURCH.

Canterbury University Fencing Club members brought the Ancient Art and Modern Sport of fencing to the fenced-in earthquake raddled central city yesterday as part of their annual Duel at Dawn end of year celebration.

Mr Vice and Josh duel by a fence surrounding the frame of a partially built building and the long arm of a putter-upper, once known as a knock-it-downer.

 

While many gathered to watch the dueling between Ilaria and Lucien others blissfully wandered up Cashel Street towards the damaged Bridge of Remembrance, now undergoing repairs, or stopped for a coffee at Hummingbird Coffee on the left.

 

High heels and fencing whites in a duel?? Yes, Laura and Nursey dressed-up in honour of the ever- popular Balaentyne's Department store.

 

This is what is on the other side of the fence ... new buildings going up!

 

More about the Re-Start Mall HERE!

 

 

22/11/2014: YOU KNOW YOU ARE IN QUAKE CITY ....

When the wee footbridge over the Heathcote River, damaged in the earthquakes nearly four years ago, is repaired and re-opened but the road giving access to it is closed!!

OR ...

When workers, slaving away at the re-build of Christchurch, have their bicycles and helmets protected by orange road cones and safety fences!!

Quirky or something worse? More here! At the nation's top newspaper.

 

21/11/2014: FIGHTING KIWIS .....

See how our fencers got on at the Commonwealth fencing championships in Scotland ... the clash of steel! Also check out how the old folks did in the Veterans!

And don't forget Canterbury University Fencing Club's Duel at Dawn at the Restart Mall in the centre of Christchurch. - they call it that but it starts at 10.30am on Saturday morning once the students have woken up!!!! Will Femsoc be there??

More action from CFC ....

Foilist on the right; ooops, better put the brakes on, my target is showing aggression and has his hand hidden behind his back - wonder wot's in it????

In foil fencing you are not allowed to touch your gear with the un-armed hand nor cover the valid target (the metal vest which registers the hit) with it during the bout.

 

20/11/2014: TWEET, TWEET, TWEET!

Who are the worst people to deal with in Quake City as a customer?

Tweet, not this fellow.

Recently, at a local cafe, one could not but overhear a group of women discussing dealing with customers.

They talked about who were the best to serve and who were the worst. No, it was nothing to do with the earthquakes but general service - one of them I'd noticed working in a local bank.

So what has this to do with you dear reader? It seems that Kiwi customers are in the middle, just grumpy and stupid appeared to be the common denominator here, while mainland Chinese were the most arrogant followed by Arabs. The best to deal with were the Japanese followed by Americans - yes Americans!

Now, was the discussion group being racist, sexist or what? An Arab friend laughed when told about their comments and suggested that his people just liked good service, while a Chinese friend, from Hong Kong, did hint that mainland Chinese could be a bit demanding and an American friend just laughed. I know no Japanese but the local sushi bar on Colombo Street are always pleasant to deal with!!

 

17/11/2014: WOW!

WHAT'S BETWEEN HIS LEGS THAT CAN DO THIS??

Wonder what he has between his legs that blasts apart a tar sealed road??

 

The Enable folks might be a bit geographically challenged but the workers inserting the Enable broadband cable are pretty efficient as these pix show.

 

Oh, it is a high pressure blow job!

 

 

15/11/2014: STOP PRESS!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY.

The front door of the former Evening Star newspaper in Dunedin now the front door of the Odious Daily Twaddle which is what those at the Star called the Otago Daily Times.

The Otago Daily Times has its birthday today. Born on this day in 1860 in Dunedin. It's sign proudly adorns the front door of the former Evening Star building on Stuart Street.

The Star was an afternoon paper while the ODT is a morning paper like the nation's top newspaper, The Press.

Read more about the ODT and the Star HERE ....

One of my first jobs as a bulkhand in the composing room at the Star in the 1960's was to, literally, stop the press. Sliding down the circular metal staircase between the composing room and the printing press clutching the wee quarter forme holding slugs of type with the latest news locked in and yelling out 'stop press.' Once the press was stopped it was locked into place on the front page and the press restarted.

Now, what is a nomple? What was a bodkin made from? Who was the Printers Daughter??

 

 

12/11/2014: FIRST THE SAD NEWS ...

The death of Waltham Road: Yep, according to a letterbox drop by the broadband company Enable, Waltham Road is no more. It had survived more than a 150 years of pestilence, Agricultural and Pastoral Shows, earthquakes and demented residents but has now succumbed to modern PR and Journalistic skills. It is now known as Waltham Street!

Not to be outdone, the nation's top newspaper along with local tv company CTV and national broadcaster Campbell Live also demonstrated their journalistic skills and accuracy in their stories about the opening of the new Blood Donor building in Christchurch.

All three breathlessly rabitted on about how giving blood saves lives but none mentioned where the new building was. In story terms reporters should keep the old journalistic mantra in mind - who, what, where, when and how - thus covering all the questions that could arise in a reader or viewers mind. Read wot THE PRESS says and you can view wot CTV and Campbell Live dithered about on line. The address of the new centre is: 15 Lester Lane, Addington, Christchurch and you can make a booking to donate by ringing:03 343 9040 or 0800 448 325.

NOW THE GOOD NEWS .....

The Wizard has his back-to-front volkswagen beetle back. Yep, after six months of repairs the car is back in town! You can see it parked at the end of New Regent Street.

Did you know he has a drivers license and passport in the name of Wizard but no IRD or Social Security numbers??

 

 

 

9/11/2014: HAVE A LISTEN TO ARCHANGELS THUNDERBIRD

IT'S THE MUSIC THE UNIVERSITY OF CANTERBURY FENCING CLUB ENDED THE YEAR WITH YESTERDAY .....

Who is AMON DUUL?

 

That and a frenzy of:

 

Balloon busting!! As usual Nursey is lying on the floor!

Come back next year to the only fencing club in the world that meets in a bar!!!

UCFC website! keeps you aware of what is happening in fencing at Uni.

 

 

 

8/11/2014: SOME FENCERS WILL MOAN ABOUT ANYTHING!

Yep, they do. I've had three moans about the posting of the results from the National Fencing Championships - you have not posted the results of the men's epee they whined!!

Go have a look at the posting for 27/11/2014.

But they were posted the day after they were held goes another moan - Well the results came in AFTER this site went to bed.

Wots going to bed?

It's an old newspaper term once used by compositors to piss-off the sub-editors who wanted to make changes or up-date information before it got printed.

In the pic below of the nation's top newspaper going to bed in the 1970's era of hot metal, the Comps are on the left and the Subs on the right. Looking from back to front are some of the pages of the next day's The Press. The ones right at the back are still being put together with type for the articles and plates for the pix.

The page at the bottom of the pic is all tucked-up in its forme, the metal frame holding all the type and plates together, ready to have a flong made from which to cast the curved plate that goes on the printing press to print the paper. In other words, it's gone to bed! So any changes will have to wait for the next day's paper or be squeezed into the Stop Press slot.

A deadline is still a deadline even in this electronic age of news, it is the production and circulation that has changed out of sight!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

7/11/2014: YOU KNOW YOU ARE IN QUAKE CITY .....

When you see hard-hats left lying around next to demolition or building sites.

 

Or

 

When street signs point in different directions ...

 

And when people grumble about the rebuild of the quake-damaged city.

 

5/11/2014: HAVE A SEAT.... DEAR READER.

Yes, be seated.

 

Two reasons: One cos it is Guy Fawkes Night and you can sit outside and watch the fireworks! It could be the last time you can enjoy our annual celebration for a former terrorist!

 

Second reason to sit down is to savour the absurdity of repairs done to a wee inoffensive footbridge over the Heathcote.

 

See those nice simple railings to stop you falling in the river, not that anyone did for none of the locals have heard of any.

 

 

Now notice how they have added to the wee footbridge with a height extension and netting to make it safer??

 

Locals feel the additions are unnecessary and designed to piss them off by making it difficult for them to fish, pee and throw rubbish off the wee footbridge into the river. Oh, and still use the handy shortcut after earthquakes!

 

Your rates well spent??

 

1/11/2014: G'DAY!!!

Next time you go speeding past roadworks just remember, they limit the speed for a reason - cos there could be some poor slave working, a slave you don't necessarily see, like this fellow hard at work on Fifield Terrace. Do be nice to workers unlike the newly elected National Government.

 

These ancient metal pipes also came from Fifield Terrace well before the present work started.

 

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