February 9th 2015 - Lazy Sundays in Hagley Park
Among the many the delights of Christchurch in the summer are the frequent outdoor events that seem to happen in almost every open space every weekend. It's not quite like that, of course, but you really are spoilt for choice if you live in town. Coming in from outside has its own problems - mostly to do with parking.
The green heart of the city is Hagley Park. The park now boasts a golf course, an international cricket arena as well as the botanic gardens, and stretches over 164 hectares in the centre of Chrischurch. It dates from 1855 and is named after the country estate of Lord Lyttelton who was a local VIP around that time. It's a fine place to spend some quiet time, but can get very busy in the flurry of summer events.
At this time of year they run a series of Lazy Sundays. These are free concerts by local performers in the charming setting of the Archery Lawn. You just have to turn up, bring something to sit or lie on, and enjoy whatever is on offer. It's a way of hearing music that perhaps you wouldn't otherwise come across.
This week we were trated to an hour long set by Flip Grater (it's a stage name), a Christchurch born singer/songwriter who's usually based in Paris. Her music wasn't perfectly suited to the outdoor arena, being mosty quiet, personal, and a little melancholy, but was pleasant and encouraged me to visit her web site for a second earful. Flip was, a little bizarrely, selling copies of her cook book after the show.