Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Dinner on the pier at Lyttelton Harbour.  November, 1986.  Dad (mid-chew), Mom and Leonard.
Dear Kate, 

For the past few nights I've been rifling through boxes looking for photos of Christchurch, but it turns out that I don't have very many.  There are lots of shots of family life in the '70's and '80's -- birthday cakes and napping children and a photo Dad took of Mom standing tall and proud next to her magnolia.  But very little shows how much was lived in the city itself;  no one captured our giggling, teenage loitering in front of the cathedral downtown, or Friday nights spent wandering from Whitcoull's to Smith's to the fabric shop where Mom looked at patterns and planned her next sewing project, or the way we draped ourselves over the bridge railings where the Avon River makes that curve -- you know, round by the boat house and the Botanic Gardens? 

I still dream, at least a couple times a year, of riding the bus up Colombo Street, tracing its route from home to town and back again. And now, of course, home videos show the utter devastation along those same bits of road.  Who knew so much and so many could be lost in a minute or two?

All of this to say how glad I am that your Al goes into Sydney every Sunday and takes photos in its streets; that Mil draws the buildings and trees and sky around you; that you capture that beautiful Australian light and shadow in your prints.   Promise me you'll keep doing it forever and ever?

It's time to go out and take some photos.



  1. Anna, you look so much like your mother!

    Also, scanning through this blog, I just have to say how beautiful your photos are. Just stunning.

  2. beautiful words anna & what a fantastic photo of your parents.
    those hills behind them are so familiar :)

  3. Lyn, sweets! Thank you -- I do look just like her. Miss you. xoxo

    Mary, don't they though? They make my heart ache, those hills. I grew up on the other side, in Cashmere.

  4. I can't get enough of this photo or the other photos on this site, which are different than this one, but all tremendous in their own way.

    I understand perfectly what you mean in this post. How do we capture the little things which come to mean everything? How do we know which little things aren't so little? I think about that in my present life and I want to keep everything.

  5. Reminder to self: life is fleeting, enjoy.

  6. Beckie, it's such a difficult balance between the keeping and the letting go in all ways, isn't it?

    Trace, yes. Hard to do sometimes, but yes. xx

  7. this is such a gorgeous photo...I feel for the people in Christchurch...My husband's family is in the north island so everybody is safe but i wish it was the same for everyone. This is so sad and now Japan....

  8. I know, so much loss right now. Such loss.

  9. How could we have been so impossibly young? And were you the even younger photographer who took this sadly enchanting picture? You must have been all of sixteen and yet, already...

  10. I know: you guys were around the age Bobby and I are now. And I remember that dinner so well -- it was right before we left NZ, just a few days before, I think. November, 1986.