Much has changed between my occasional visits to Christchurch in the last four and a half years.
On my first post-earthquakes visit I was awed by wrecked buildings, broken roads, tell-tale see pages that told of cracked water-pipes, portable toilets in the streets, tangles of steel reinforcing on what looked like bomb-sites, barricades, soldiers, and silence in a city echoing sorrow.
I should begin by saying I am but a beginner beekeeper, so these are just my observations. I don’t keep them for honey, but for pollination, though my kids would tell me the joy of sticking their heads under a giant honey tap in harvest season is a hard reason to beat.
Tens of thousands of Kiwis out in the rain over the weekend to protest against the TPP which many thought had been killed off in the last, failed round of talks. But no. In the collective race from commonsense and responsibility to their peoples and institutions, governments are expecting the deal to be finalised later this month. Meanwhile some Ministers have already dismissed the protests.
Funny… it just didn’t seem like Greece. We’d been dazzled by the blue and white on Santorini, subdued by the mainland Greek’s grey and shades of olive and now Corfu looked like Greece’s bohemian cousin, in her green, orange and pink. But then maybe it was Corfu Town’s shabbiness, its charm and its palette of ochre that gave it the taste of Italy.