One of the amazing things about being here in Christchurch is the way the locals face dealing with the substantial aftermath of the earthquake. The rebuild process is a slow one for sure, but it is approached with inventiveness and good humour wherever possible.
One of the brightest examples of this is the Re-Start Mall. What do you do when you have no building to host your retail outlet? Why, you take a shipping container, paint it a bright and cheerful colour, then just set up shop anyway!
This kind of optimism and ingenuity is evident everywhere in the city, but this is one of my favourite places so far. It is vibrant, friendly and the epitome of the ‘just get on and do’ spirit. It also shows how, despite the financial and commercial impacts, the sense of art and culture is equally part of the rebuild process. There is a definite feeling that when times are tough, it is more than money that gets you through here. It is the community and the humanities that are playing a significant role – and the writer in me just loves that.