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Saturday 18th Feb

Heatwave forecast for today so we headed out early (10am) to the beach with the kids.  Went to North Brighton and picked up a coffee to go at the Beach Cafe.  Driving through New Brighton it was very visible that there had been a lot of damage with the earthquake.  The kids play park is across the road from the cafe and we sat on benches first to have our coffee and the kids played on the climbing frames etc.  The beach was a short walk through the dunes and Mr T and SIL walked along the beach whilst the kids played at the edge of the water.  Stef says this beach reminds her of home as it looks the same on either side as standing on Irvine beach and the only thing missing is Arran.  Stef asking a lot of questions about family history and about my younger life.  Home for lunch and Ella going to Click and Climb with a wee friend this afternoon.

A quiet afternoon and I went food shopping with Stef.

BBQ for dinner with Steak, Chicken, Sausages, Salad, and a brown rice salad  and Christine and Theo joined us.

Sunday 19th Feb

We were invited to Antz's nephew Luc's 3rd Birthday family party.  He had a Teddy Bears Picnic and all the cousins brought teddies,  Chris and Theo brought theirs too.   Theo got covered with the toys and was counting out loud and then throwing them in the air which all the kids loved.  Then everyone was asked to play too.  Lots of laughs.

Stef made a stew in the slow cooker as we were out most of the afternoon.

Monday 20th Feb

Ella at school,  we headed into Hagley Park where they are celebrating a Festival of Flowers.  Thousands of cicadas greeted us in the heat and at one point Mr T could hear the low note but he still could not hear the cacophany of sound, he could only hear one or two clicks.  Managed to get quite close to a few cicadas in the trees.   Some very large trees in this area and the Hot House is called Cunningham House (but with no 'e' like Irvine's Cunninghame House) but it was closed because of the earthquakes and I suppose it is in the central city.  Saw some damage about the park, like columns which are now off centre, but this was well cordoned, and judging by the amount of visitors it did not deter the tourist.  The exhibitions were all free.

Tuesday 21st Feb

Went down to the local hairdresser for a trim as the water here is making my hair so soft and I cannot seem to get it to any style.   The hairdresser was very interested in Scotland but she has never been out of NZ. 

Stef had a lunchtime pedicure booked and a Shellac polish and she treated me to one later in the afternoon at 3pm   Afterwards had coffee in Chino's in Kaiapoi which surprisingly is still standing because a lot of that area has damage.

Wednesday 22nd Feb

One year from the earthquake that dessimated Christchurch,  the service from Hagley Park was televised at 8am this morning and there would be a report on TV tonight called 'When a City Falls'.  It was rivetting material and well worth watching.

Stef met some mums and their children in Victoria Park in Rangiora this morning for some play time for the kids, they lost their Mother and Toddler Room in the earthquake and have been meeting in the park regularly ever since.  I sat in the park with a coffee with the young mothers and then wandered round the shops for an hour.  The cones where the cordons are all had flowers in them and it was such a nice touch.  It seems that everyone had been encouraged to do this and it certainly made an impact.  At night on the news the people putting flower petals in the rivers also tugged at my heart.



Thursday 23rd Feb

Had coffee this morning at Sally's, Stef's frind who lives on the same estate,  only needed to take Miss Cora with us as Leo was at pre-school and Ella at school.  Sally is working towards becoming an anesthetist technician and sits her finals soon.  No mean feet with a husband and young children to look after.  We spoke about the earthquake and how she had been involved in theatre on that day. 

Saturday 24th Feb

Mr T, Antz, Greg Van Meer and Andrew Tolman were at a Beerfest in Hagley Park.  From 3pm to 7pm, which was classed as a half day.  Bands playing and boutique beer tasting which always interests the boys.

I watched Miss Cora whilst Stef dropped them off, she is a really placid baby and only cries if she is tired.

Stef went out for Chinese Take-away tonight and Chris and Theo joined us to help with the kids at night when Stef went back for the male folk.  Stef says she prefers Scottish chinese meals, but I enjoyed what I had.

Sunday 26th Feb

There was a Custom Car Show at Rangiora Showground today and Richard Van Meer's Holden would be on show so we had to support him.  Not only cars, tractors,  rally cars, drag racing cars,  radio-controlled planes,  helicopters (real) and animals etc were all there.  Also the local battle en-actment group who were all done up in German uniformas inside a trench surrounded by barbed wire.

I was very impressed with Richard's car which is a year older than Stef (1976) and was spotless and gleaming.  Also all the old tractors (oldest I saw was 1929) looked like new.

Everyone had a slice sausage roll with HP sauce and I had a bacon and black pudding one from a Scottish Food stall called Thistle Do Me (stef thought it was Thislte DOME to begin with until we pointed out the difference). 

Spoke to Bailey and Alfie on Skype this evening, really miss them.  Alfie kept trying to kiss me and was looking behind the laptop to find me.


Well hope you are enjoying my holiday with me,  please feel free to comment,  I love to know if you read it and don't forget to leave your name if you do comment on here.

Until the next time then...........
  • Fascinating! Continue to have a good time. :)
  • So pleased MrT finally got to hear cicadas. The day that we were with you at the garden centre they were so hard I couldn't believe that he couldn't hear just a wee bit of them.
    Sounds as if you are continuing to have a great time. I'd been wondering what you might do on the 22nd - we spent some time watching TV. Is it this week that you go to Geraldine?
    You don't mention weather so I guess it must be fine to judge by how much you are getting out and about.
    What is a Shellac polish?
    Must write up Sydney venture but been far too busy catching up on emails while we were away.
  • I was confused when I saw the word 'heatwave' but soon realised you'd left cold, drizzly Scotland behind and were enjoying what sounds like a wonderful trip to New Zealand! (I'm very behind with my blog reading...) How interesting it is to see the wonderful places you're visiting! I'm SO glad you're enjoying yourself so much! Were those book bloggers you were meeting up with?

    Penny (Scottish Vegan Homemaker)
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