Two paradise ducks swimming in a rain pond formed in an abandoned building site. The site is a victim of the recession but that pair of ducks, reflected in the pool of water glistening in the middle of that vacant lot, was far more beautiful than any retail development.
The fleeting glitter of the little golden onion dome of the Russian Orthodox church on Brougham Street. Half hidden by trees, and hemmed in by warehouses and car mechanics it looks like a whimsical toy dropped in a tool box.
Almost directly opposite the wee church are the grubby blue lego blocks of Brougham Village. I’ve been fascinated by this collection of tiny matching houses, watching them from the bus window and wondering what it is like to live there. Pieces of people’s possessions come and go in the windows, a pot plant, some china dolls, a half drunk bottle of tequila and a big sleepy ginger cat.
The bus driver was playing Leonard Cohen’s I’m Your Man at a volume that we could all sing along to. As we came through the traffic lights at the end of Brougham Street all the rocket ships were climbing through the sky. Everyone was quiet, listening. The sun was shining.
Out over the sea, a contrail carved a perfect white arc below the cirrus clouds as the plane completed its ascent from Christchurch airport and turned west towards Australia and the world beyond.
In Opawa two small boys climbed on the bus. They had grey school shorts on and their legs were thin and white. They climbed on the bus, two beetles bowed down under their giant backpacks. They sat together and as the bus pulled away from the stop they joyfully gave the finger to one of their class mates as he ran down the road, too late to catch the driver’s eye.