Random Ramblings from Christchurch – I

The sky is the colour of cornflowers. Gossamer, wispy clouds chase each other across the languid skies. A lawn mower hums to itself on a distant grassy knoll. The symphony of silence is broken by the occasional buzz of a dragonfly on the stained glass window panes. A brave ray of sunlight tiptoes in through a door left ajar, ever so slightly. The air is crisp and fresh and smells of pine cones and summer and newly cut grass.  The air also smells familiar, an old all-comforting sense pervades even as the newness of brave shoots asserts itself all along the cobbled side walk. I could live here and I would be home the minute I moved in. I could walk past the rickety, old, timber- slat homes with varnished armchairs standing proudly in the bleak afternoon sun. There is a harmony here; of grass,of brambles and of sweet smelling frangipani that is all inclusive.

The roads like to meander along as do the lazy side walks, where the last remnants of snow are already becoming melting memories. Purple mountains hold hands in the distance and proclaim the arrival of warmer days and warmer nights. Summer hangs around like an old buddy, her golden arms around my bare neck, even as she side steps with me and whispers promises of seasons yet unnamed. In the town square, they are heralding the arrival of dusk. Sunset has painted the steeple of the old corner church with rich earthy hues. The owner of the alfresco café brings out a basket of cinders, all aglow and the warm colours blend in with the air and light up the palette that evening has spread around her. The air is now redolent with the woody scent of warmth. A busker plays his violin even as the shops around him light up for the evening. The gondola is gently led back to its resting place for the night and the boatman anchors it to the dock even as waves from the river lull the boat to a sleepy stop.  The tram driver starts his last trip around the square, the weeping willows in the central park retire for another night. The great lights in the town’s dining hall are lit for another meal and the stained glass windows make enigamatic patterns on the lawns.

Evening eases out, night has fallen even as the first stars light up the night sky. “Do you want to get off near the taxi stand?”, the tram driver asks me.  I nod and he stops for me. “Are you a long way from home?”, he asks me, perhaps because I am taking in the sights with the eager eyes of a tourist, perhaps because I have a map but my heart is charting out my path and perhaps because I have been on the tram all evening. As the giant tower clock chimes nine times, I wonder if he will understand that somewhere on a marked map of an alien city, you look at the parted curtains of a house set behind a lavender hedge and you know that you could walk in there and be home. You dont though, you read the maps and linger for a moment and pass the hedge and take the road. And yet as the shooting star goes and as the crow flies and as the map reads, I dont need to be anywhere else. For now, for sometime.

As Hagley Park sleeps and as the taxi speeds through Christchurch’s inner lanes, I make the journey from a home to a home, punctuated by the stillness of the night.

-To be Continued-


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. IW
    Apr 20, 2007 @ 06:55:31

    Touché …. Sigh! ….. Ahhhh…

    Scarlett at her evocative best. Sometimes i wonder if you and the rest of mere mortals live & breathe the same air ! Lend me your rose tinted glasses, will yaa ? 😉


  2. asuph
    Apr 20, 2007 @ 07:02:12


    Although this is written with your usual, what do I say, flair… you have this knack of painting surreal pictures, vivid and yet dreamlike imagery — as if one has put some filters in front of the reader’s eyes.

    And yet, and yet … this did not mesmerise me. This almost made me want to tell you — you of all people — aage badho yaar! Yes, the impatience is probably just me, still there might be a point there to ponder… maybe you’re getting lost in the details?



  3. Scarlett
    Apr 22, 2007 @ 03:09:33

    IW,dear IW, thank you kindly. This piece was long overdue and I fell head over heels with the quaint city of Christchurch. Here you go, grab these rose tinted glasses, they are quite cheap, I sell for $2 a pair, credit allowed and welcome. Esp. for me dear bro!!

    Asuph, geez, its getting harder and harder to please you m’boy!!
    I should have written this about 4 weeks ago when I was in Christchurch and could feel the warm sunshine on my neck and when the grass blades defied the winter and stood up bravely for what they believed in, perhaps it would have rung truer.

    This was also a writing exercise, I need to work on my details as I have realized, the point of this travelogue is merely a play with words, painting pictures, capturing the mood and not really going anywhere.

    I _need_ to write more, this laziness aint taking me anywhere. Check your email 🙂



  4. enig
    Apr 27, 2007 @ 15:19:25

    hey Scarlett…loved the lazy relaxed tone in the piece…!! who says laziness doesn’t take ya newhere :D:D

    I’m just trying to understand the context tho, did you go home hunting by any chance??



  5. Scarlett
    May 03, 2007 @ 06:41:48

    Aloha Enig,

    I dont mind being lazy, I am quite happy to watch the grass grow. And boy, isnt the grass in Christchurch just lovely!!!!

    Nope, I wasnt house hunting, I was on a business trip for a week all by myself, no colleagues either and I spent my time exploring the city and wandering around without a plan. Ah the joys of letting your mind decide the destination.



  6. Bernard Harder
    Dec 09, 2009 @ 19:17:04

    We’ve surely come a long way since we used door knockers ages ago. Today, electronic door chimes are very easy to install and are highly customizable. http://www.doorchimeshq.com


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