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December 30, 2009

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Milford Sound from Mitre Peak Boat
Christchurch Art Gallery

We spent a very pleasent ten weeks in Christchurch, the largest city on New Zealand's South Island. We rented a house from an American family who were going back to the States for a semester. At the end of our stay in Christchurch we were two bikes and a van richer and ready to set off and explore the rest of the South Island before finally crossing the narrows between North and South islands to stay with our friend Virginia in North Island before driving on up to Auckland, selling the van, selling the bikes, and flying off to Japan.

Christchurch is a city of 250,000 inhabitants with a decidedly British feel to it. It has a nice modern art gallery with a collection that we both found totally un-inspiring. Nonethless, we made several visits to the building to attend the public lectures that were held there by the University of Canterbury to introduce its star professors to the citizens of Christchurch. We attended a very interesting lecture by a micro-biologist talking about cells and the ways in which they can be fiddled with to prevent disease. We also heard the famous Dennis Dutton waffle about the role of Darwinism in the arts and culture of humans. It was interesting at the time, but the only thing Jan retained was the fact that Dutton talked about the human need for beauty and symmetry, a fact that is dear to Jan's heart, and the ignorance of which by modern artists and architects makes her blood boil.

prev| Written December 30, 2009; updated and posted October 8, 2010 next