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Christchurch, June 15 2011

Post Big Quake #3

So much has been written about Christchurch. But nothing really quite covers the enormity of what's happened here.

The scale of disaster is unthinkable at both a national level, and at a very personal one, too. Sometimes a picture tells a story better than words.

This is a shot of my friend's kitchen this morning. There used to be a balcony outside the window, but that fell off on Monday. She was under the table, pretty sure she was going to die.

Big quake 1 And this is the road at the bottom of the hill. No-one was down there when these rocks flew off the cliff. Amazingly, there were no fatalities on Monday. Big quake 2 Later in the day I passed Columbo St, main street Christchurch. Eerily silent. Big quake 3


Then, at the end of the day, at the excellent George Hotel, we of the Negociants Roadshow were showing our wines to the hospitality business of Christchurch -- actually surprisingly turned into more of a party than anything. But here so many stories of dreadful bad luck -- restaurants totaled etc. And immense frustration -- everyone wanting to rebuild and start again, but having to wait forever for a man in a hard hat to sign a form. You have to just shake your head in sympathy, and admire their fortitude.


8 June 2011

P. M. and Prop.

Charmed by Polly

Anyway, what’s a blog for if not to drop names, like some drop Jaffas at the movies?

John Key, Prime Minister, New ZealandThe Prime Minister was in Central a couple of weeks ago, hailed the Proprietor, and told him the following story. (Abridged -- you don’t want to be on this damn blog all day.)

Last year the P.M. was at the United Nations, and met a chap called George, who turned out to be the Prime Minister of Hungary. Just as John Key turned out to be the P.M. of New Zealand. The sort of coincidence that only happens at the UN.

By way of conversation, the P.M. said that one thing he knew about Hungary was that it produces the famous wine Tokai, because of  a NZ film he’d seen called Dean Spanley (featuring a NZ actor of his acquaintance) in which Tokai is much favoured.

The P.M. of Hungary was delighted to hear this, and held forth at length about the virtues of Tokai. A few weeks later a nice parcel of Tokai turned up at Parliament House courtesy of George ...

" I’ll send you some!" said the P.M., generously.

"Great!" said the Prop, enthusiastically.

A top outcome to a good story.

Postscript:  The Proprietor is to be generally found hanging around the mailbox at the moment, looking hopeful. So far no luck ...

Stand by.

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