The Hounds of the Lord

A few days ago I was in Dunedin, two and a quarter hours drive away. I could live in Dunedin. I love university towns but unfortunately it is the only city in New Zealand that has this quality. Students bring so much texture to a culture.

Dunedin’s architecture is so intact, relatively anyway. It’s a joy to wander around to gaze in awe.

This is a Dominican convent, now empty. (Sorry about the vehicles, especially the SUV) When I was a young man and not too mature I lived for two years in Aquinas Hall in Dunedin, a Dominican run university hostel. I used to go to Mass most days.

In those days I was a believer, in fact I was a fervent Catholic. Hard to believe now especially that I understand more about how Dominicans were are at the forefront of book burning and torture during The Inquisition. Savonarola was a Dominican hero. I’m sorry to say that I am glad that he got his comeuppance one day in Florence when he was hanged and burned. (Some records say that the hanging bit was skipped.) Below is a photo of where it happened.

The Dunedin Chinese Garden

Recently after 8 years in the planning, this large garden with accompanying buildings opened in Dunedin. It has been built as a tribute to the contribution that Chinese people have made to the history and prosperity of Dunedin and Otago.

The Garden was prefabricated and assembled in Shanghai on a site identical in size and shape to the one in Dunedin. It was then dismantled and transported to Dunedin where it was reconstructed. Workers came from China to complete this task.

Discovery World

On Friday I visited the Otago Museum. I went mainly to see the new tropical butterfly house, however as often happens if one is prepared to focus softly and pay attention to what is happening on the fringes there were other rewards.

Here is one example. I visited what is I think primarily an area for children, it is called Discovery World.

This assemblage is a sort of game in which white billiard sized balls roll down and around various complicated channels some even ending up in the mouth of a snake, like the one visible in the middle of this image . It’s a bit like one of those devices where you put a coin in a slot and it rolls around and around and around a mini-mountain and ends up where I can’t quite visualise.

If there is any connection between what is happening in my brain and the images that I make then I am more than a little worried!


I am in Dunedin, catching up with a few people and going to a couple of openings.
Today I go to stay in Central Otago until Monday when I return to Invercargill.

I won’t able to access the internet while I’m away, as far as I know anyway, so probably won’t be able to make any new postings over the weekend.

I enjoy the atmosphere of this university town, as a young man I spent two years studying here so there is quite a lot of nostalgia about this visit.