Wednesday, January 29, 2014

An ordinary day in New Zealand

What might have proved a serious fire was averted by the prompt action of Mr T. Sheen. of Temuka. He occupies the tent and tarpaulin premises of Mr J. Brown and “baches" on the premises. At one o'clock on Sunday he had just removed a baking dish from his stove.This he placed on a shelf erected in a disused passage leading to what was originally an outlet to the dwelling house. A few minutes afterwards he noticed a smell of burning, and found that the paper on the shelf and on the adjacent wall had ignited, presumably from a spark left on the dish, and that the flames had already secured a hold on the lining boards. Mr Sheen was fortunately able to put out the fire, but not before some boards had been burned through. 
"Town and Country." Timaru Herald, 7 December 1897, 2.

Monday, January 27, 2014


A still, small suburban voice is raised in protest at motor sheds (local nomenclature: "garridge") which would give a town planner the shudders and which  make even the. unaesthetic borough councillor bite his lip. Still, what are you going to do about the man who is his own carpenter? He will accept from the hands of the builder the sweet little bungaloid love nest, pay his "twenty-five down," pride himself on the three-and-sixpenny spike on the roof, and the fivepenny green tile in the chimney—the charming tout ensemble of his thousand pounds' worth—and long for a "garridge." This he, of course, builds himself as near to the road as possible. Among his materials are one or two old motor car cases, a sheaf of corrugated iron (either new or not), six pounds of wire nails and other necessities. When he has done this thing he hales his neighbours with pride and babbles at the masterpiece which utterly destroys the beauty of the entire street. If he has a specially charming little home he not only builds a home-made "garridge," but he searches the country for the ugliest kind of stick obtainable to hitch his wireless wires to. He ties this eyesore to his sweet red chimney (with the fivepenny green diamond tile) with fencing wire or clothesline. His taste goes phut the moment the house is up and the concrete paths laid. "An Englishman's home is his castle"— heaven knows what his "garridge" is.

 Auckland Star, Volume LXVI, Issue 228, 26 September 1935, Page 6 


Wednesday, January 08, 2014

What I did on my holidays

I wrote a review of Pip Adam's I'm Working on a Building for Metro and I then wrote a feature about Jeremy Hansen's Modern: New Zealand Homes from 1938 to 1977 for The Listener.

Young Marble Giants: