Katherine Mansfield’s Zigzag

FIND THESE STEPS – Just beyond 267 Thorndon Quay, and on the upper level at the intersection with Cottleville Terrace, at 2 Tinakori Road.

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Katherine Mansfield lived at 11 Tinakori Road, in a house open now to the public, so this little set of steps and pathway was close by and appears in one of her stories, ‘The Wind Blows’.

‘They cannot walk fast enough. Their heads bent, their legs just touching, they stride like one eager person through the tow, down the asphalt zigzag where the fennel grows wild, and on to the esplanade. It is dusky – just getting dusky. The wind is so strong that they have to fight their way through it, rocking like two old drunkards. All the poor little pohutukawas on the esplanade are bent to the ground.’

(www.katherinemansfieldsociety.org; The Wind Blows (1915).

The Esplanade has become Thorndon Quay, and now no fennel appears in the area, but all else could be the same, including the warehouse at the bottom of the path.

Further along Tinakori Road is Premier House, at 260 Tinakori Road, the official residence of New Zealand’s prime ministers.

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