Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Back from the Gold Coast

All back to normal after our little trans-Tasman adventure. Almost normal, still school holidays. We had a good time away and I am not exactly sure what we did each day as they tend to blend in to each other on the sunny GC, especially when it rains for days on end. Being the outdoor mecca for the Aussies and Kiwi's there isn't a hell of a lot to do when the weather is crap. However, we did manage to get out and about.

Sitting in the airport in quiet contemplation I saw a young woman wandering through the place that looked so much like Jasmine, and it was. Jonty had organised a surprise in Jasmine coming with us - a first time full family holiday. What a great surprise. That changed everything about the holiday. It was Jasmine's first out of NZ experience and although Australia is the country most like ours in the world, there are differences and it is a fun place to visit.

The great thing about the Gold Coast is the weather and the beaches. That hot and damp heat is like a tonic for chilly South Islanders, however, a Southerly wind prevailed for all but two days of the holiday so there was no humidity. It was a bit chilly but we still swum most days and I walked on the beach at 6.15 every morning. I was addicted to it and loved my alone time each morning.
This is my destination each morning - Flat Rock
...and the view south to Coolangatta.

Each morning we hot footed it down to the Currumbin Estuary for a swim in the pool that John swims in 365 days a year. It is tidal and warm and all the oldies go there for the slow swim that keeps them young and vital. We were there about 8 or 9 o'clock each day and it was perfect...except on the very wet days when we didn't visit.

The fish are gorgeous and come right up to you looking for tasty bread treats. People feed them as we did one morning. In a feeding frenzy Nic got bitten by one and was screaming the place down for a few minutes but recovered enough to see his bleeding and bruise as a badge of honour of an intrepid traveller. Next holiday instalment tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


We are off to the Gold Coast for a week or so, so there wont be any posts from me for a while. Catch up when we get back.

The day after

So, because we get up so early in our house and being at Moeraki we just had to get up and see what was happening at the wharf. Many bleary eyed people were getting themselves aboard the charter fishing boats. It was a perfect still morning and although cold, the sun was almost up. We then went for a walk up the hill and around the back of the town. After breakfast the whole family headed for the Katiki Lighthouse and discovered a penguin hospital. One adult penguin was in the wards about to be released so we saw a Hoiho up close which was a first for all of us. When then descended to the seal colony lookout and watched the seals flopping about in the water and fighting on the rocks. Great fun.

Of course we had to visit the boulders as you do. Then off to Waimate to see bees and got a tiny jar of perfect honey... and a quick visit with Marie-Anne in Timaru. It was a perfect day to be travelling up the country. Sunny and not too hot, still and stunning.

Monday, April 14, 2008


We have just come back from a great weekend away in North Otago celebrating my mother's 70th birthday. All the family and some friends rocked up to Moeraki for the day on Saturday with the family staying overnight and enjoying a day roaming around on Sunday as we journeyed home. I think I have blogged Fleur's Place before and it is so worth a revisit. Anyone who eats there will always plan a return visit. We were 15 in number and everyone loved their meals. We also had a gorgeous chocolate mousse cake for dessert and some lovely Two Paddock wines. Yummy Groper
Jasmine and David came up from Dunedin which was brilliant. Marie-Anne came from Timaru and Susan and Craig from Waimate so it was a southern affair. Auntie B and all of us made the trip from Christchurch.
Granny and her adoring grand children --- and the cake

Jasmine and Dave in the groovy little car and the whole party outside Fleur's

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Daylight saving

It is the same every year, well twice a year actually. The weirdness of the first day after daylight saving starts or ends. Today was my sleep in day and I actually did which is unheard of. Of course Nic was up at 5.45 full of beans. However, he did keep a low profile after a honey sandwich and a screaming fit over a large mosquito in the toilet. I had no energy today and just wafted about the house and garden pathetically moving things about and weeding tiny pieces of the garden. Highlight of the day was a walk around Hagley Park in the late afternoon. Nic had his bike and we just pounded on behind him.

So I did get to do a couple of the things I dreamed of for the weekend. However, no leaf shuffling as it is a bit early in the season for mountains of leaves. Lovely to be out and about with all the other families and walkers, bikers and tourists. Very pleasant. Yesterday I got to soak in the pools at Hanmer after a 4 hour rain soaked session watching mad people racing in the 12 hour mountain bike race. It was fun to watch and support friends and family. We felt a little guilty slinking off to the warmth of the pools but thought being there to support in the first place was the key thing to focus on. Simon and his team were 18th in their section and Cath (above) was 2nd in hers. Even though the 12 hours race was downgraded to 8 hours, that is still bloody impressive. 8 hours racing in the mud and rain. Madness. Would love to have a go one day though. Something to look forward to.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Different eyes

Lately I have been feeling really bored with everything. Not sure if it is a comedown after all the fun parties and celebrations or the inevitability of winter but whatever, I have felt trapped in my boringness. Today however, there was a glimmer of hope - actually more than a glimmer, more like a flash. Brought on by the need to use my car today and not wanting to pay for parking, I parked about 1km from work and walked the last 10 minutes of my journey. What transpired on my way back after work was a bit of a revelation. So simple in the telling but rather fantastic in the execution.
The wind had moved from the relentless north east drone I bike home in every night to a chilly southerly. That in itself could have really pissed me off as the one day I don't bike I could have had a lovely sweeping tail wind home. It didn't though. I had the pleasure of walking through Victoria Square in the very late afternoon autumn light - shinning through gorgeous golden leaves. Tourists were wandering about, leaning over the bridge watching the punt struggle gently against the river flow. It was all slow and relaxing. Then I scooted across the road and headed up Durham St towards the car and made a mental list of the things that I could do this weekend that would make me happy. And it goes like this
  • get out in to the park and shuffle through mountains of crispy leaves
  • head up to Hanmer to watch the 12 hour bike race AND have a super soak in the hot pools. The trees will be fantastic

  • get over to Lyttelton Market and buy some new herbs, organic vegetables and lovely pesto

  • commence the autumn clean up in the garden

  • go for a bike ride in the park

  • climb up the Bridle Path

  • go to Blax for a coffee and wander through the deli really slowly
    and so on and on and on...

The joy that walking home instead of biking afforded me was that my mind was allowed to wander - not having to constantly ensure my life is not in danger and keep an eye on all the crazy car drivers and without the distraction of my MP3 player, I had room to think... something not to be underestimated.

Every now and then I need to take a different route and see the world a little differently ... so simple ... so perfect