OK Ruth here goes the formal bio:
Barbara Strang was born in Invercargill, one of ten children. Her home is now on the Estuary, at the foot of the Port Hills, Christchurch. She lives near huge sea cliffs, which she saw as a symbol of the danger and frailty of life even before the recent series of quakes. Her street suffered both liquefaction and rockfall but luckily her house was not badly damaged. She is inspired by the natural world and feels it a privilege to live by the Estuary with its abundant bird life. Her poems and haiku have been widely published. She has had two collections of poetry published, Duck Weather, Poets Group, 2005, and The Corrosion Zone, HeadworX, 2011. She was one of six contributors to The Unbelievable Lightness of Eggs in 2006 (which is also the title of her poem on the pavlova). This is where “Op-Shop Fever” was first anthologized.
This is a photo of my branch of the estuary. Birds have made themselves at home on the pockmarked seascape.
Right that’s out-of-the-way, let’s have a chat:
The earthquakes have had a profound event on my area, Mt Pleasant, which is right on the fault line. Huge numbers of houses will have to be demolished. I have been looking for ways to express this in writing. But there is still a lighter side, and I would like everyone to know that I do practise what I preach about op-shops. A sad effect of the quakes is that many of the op-shops in the east side of the city were demolished, being in old brick buildings, along with both the local supermarkets, the four closest libraries to me etc. But the “Recycled Clothing Warehouse” has kept going, in spite of having scary cracks in its slab floor that you have to carefully step over. Two new op-shops have now opened in Ferry Road, a real sign of recovery. I am really looking forward to this exhibition which will, I expect, be a little like a wonderful op-shop, full of treasures garnered from all over.