Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Hi ho, silver lining

Today the country fell silent at 12.51pm, one week since the earthquake split Christchurch history into Before and After. Except it didn't, really - fall silent, that is. Watching it on TV I could hear, outside and in the places shown on screen, camera shutters clicking, mobile phones going off, cars driving past, the guy next door continuing to clear out his garage. Tch. It would have been nice if someone had thought to ring our church bell to join in with the others around the country. At least the school over the road was quiet.

So it could have been more solemn. I'm sure it was in Christchurch, aftershocks permitting. There was a surprise there today, a pleasant one: the discovery, in the broken-off plinth of Godley's statue, of a broken glass bottle containing a rolled parchment, and a sealed copper cylinder. Time capsules! Always fun, and especially welcome at the moment. The great hope is that it will be a kind of message from John Robert himself, an inspiration from the original founder to those now faced with starting Christchurch over again. Hopefully not a laundry list.

The Museum people must be feeling the buzz. Not only did their building come through relatively unscathed, but they now have their hands on, literally, a piece of history that promises to be of enormous symbolic value to the city.
That top photo wasn't taken in the Botanical Gardens, by the way, or at a private house: it was outside a factory. Christchurch is The Garden City, and Christchurch people like things to be neat and pretty. Sigh.

2 comments:

the queen said...

Wonderful! When will it be opened? It's like the third secret of Fatima!

Pam said...

I know! But the museum people are such anal types, they want controlled conditions, and that won't happen till they can get back into their laboratories. Tch.

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