Thursday, 21 March 2013

About Iri

Intrepid Iri (with camera) is now flying over the city on her broomstick because she thinks you might enjoy the perspective having viewed the closeup pictures which featured in her previous post. Below us is the Christchurch Hospital, you can glimpse (hopefully) the Avon River which glides through the Christchurch Central City and on its banks the dark green rooves of the Antigua Boatsheds and the Boatshed Cafe. Lucky it is such a nice clear day. This is a normally a beautiful part of the city, to the west (left) of the picture is our Botanical Gardens, follow that road north and you will arrive very shortly at the remains of the Central Business District (CBD), horrifyingly flattened, demolition still ongoing.

Iri Ani the Witch

I invented Iri originally as an email addy, when my niece said to me, "for goodness sake, get something more interesting than or whatever". Iri is short for Irihapeti, in the same way that Liz is short for Elizabeth and Irihapeti is the Māori form of Elizabeth. Ani stood for Anne and thus Iri Ani was born. Later Iri Ani opened a Yahoo Messenger account after which she encountered some amazing people and survived many incredible adventures during visits to her favourite chatrooms and a couple of Yahoo groups. In one Yahoo group she became a pretty cool character, along with an alien, Sir Rupie, Zippy and several other characters in what became a serial email story (even in verse sometimes) continually added too by several members of the group. Iri was not only a witch but also owned a gumboot factory and was clearly half in love with the alien of the group, a love which naturally went unrequited as we would expect.

Iri Ani became a blogger when Yahoo opened their now defunct Yahoo 360 blogging site; when that was closed she followed a core blogging group to the Multiply social networking site. Her Blogger account was originally opened as a safety net, a kind of backup and archival site which has now been brought to the fore after the owners of Multiply quite suddenly and unexpectedly announced the closure of their social networking. As well Iri experimented with Ipernity and Blogster but she has now deleted these accounts.

But there is more to an Iri than as an internet character, more even than the sum of my pages as a blogger, more even than I knew ...

Iri in a Dictionary

It was only this week as I was flicking through my Williams Dictionary that I discovered my Iri on page 79. It turns out that Iri is not just a name, she is a verb, an action:
Iri (i) v.i. 1. Be elevated on something... 2. Rest upon... 3. Hang, be suspended... 4. Embark on... Whakairi. 1. v.t. cause to ascend...  [whaka - causative prefix, my insert]
Iri (ii) v.i.  Be published, heard...
Iri (iii) 1. n. A spell to influence, attract or render visible one at a distance... 2 v.t. Affect with such a spell...

On page 80:
Irirangi  (i). 1. n. Spirit voice, which was regarded as a bad omen. Reo irirangi, radio. (modern) 2. a. Having a supernatural sound. 3. Restless, unsettled agitated. [rangi - sky, my insert]

A bit more to Iri than first met the eye. I think I chose my handle well, even if inadvertently.

NB: in reality, and because I should not tell a porky, the aerial picture of Christchurch Hospital was kindly supplied (also inadvertently) by The Press (Christchurch) website.


  1. I love your picture on a broomstick; I am so envious I must get my own.

    You've bestowed upon yourself a great and fitting name, or perhaps it was bestowed upon you. One never knows about these things.

    1. I love the picture too and it has its own little story. The son of one of the women in the group (Rizzy), who was about 12 or 13 at the time I think, photoshopped the picture giving me a broom to fly on and a night sky backdrop. Then my twin sons who were about the same age added the witchy hat and the gumboots.

      I would love to see you on a broom too, we could fly out together perhaps, hehehe (best witchy cackle).

      As to Iri, originally I thought I had chosen the name, now I begin to think it chose me. But Irihapeti was first bestowed on me by one Haani, a teacher (kaiako) of the Māori language (te reo Māori) during a summer school course. She liked to Māori-ise all our names where possible because it helped the korero (speaking) to flow better without the distraction of Pakeha names.

      There have been some great Māori women in our history who have carried the name Irihapeti.