Saturday, 31 December 2011

Happy New Year

Well, there won't be many people in Christchurch who are sorry to say goodbye to 2011....we are having a few peeps round to celebrate - I managed to find these wild flowers growing on our 'lawn'.

Happy New Year everyone!

Friday, 23 December 2011

Shaky Isles

A shaky day today, earthquake-wise. The Fat Boy didn't mind though - we had a little quiet time at a friend's place, enjoying an OK! Banana Nectar.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

I am a thief.

One of the results of the earthquake is that there are many many properties which have been abandoned. Sometimes temporarily, but sometimes permanently. And many of these properties have lovely gardens. I am ashamed to admit I have been pilfering flowers. Not many. A few freesias in spring, and some daffodils.

A friend of a friend had a lovely property quite near us (the house is now demolished), and I visited there yesterday to gather some roses.... they are stunning, and now they are looked at and admired, instead of hidden and neglected.

I think I could go to jail for this....

Friday, 2 December 2011

Introduction to film...

Is it bad to sit your toddler down in front of The Labyrinth? He loves it, is captivated by Jennifer Connelly, and laughs at Hoggle...

But it is actually kind of violent...and scary....not least of all David Bowie's outfit. Hmm.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Just some ducklings.

Ten little ones at the local park - growing so fast!

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Tourist Trap?

I spent the morning in Christchurch's Re-Start mall. Although most of the area has been renovated and re-opened, The Tap Room on the corner of Cashel Mall remains eerily untouched since February 22nd. I got goosebumps while peering through the window at the dust and half filled wine glasses. Then the cynic in me started wondering if it was a deliberate measure to allow the perfect photo opportunity for "quake-tourists"...

Friday, 4 November 2011

Mature-Age Student

I sat my first exam in five years today. It went fine. It was really cold in the exam room though (a church hall), which annoyed me and distracted me and I thought was a bit thoughtless of the organisers.

A man wearing an old brown suit and large-rimmed glasses gave us a talk beforehand on the usual stuff about cell phones and drink bottles and where the exits are. However, after he had pointed out the exits (which he said we were to leave by in the event of a large earthquake), he gave what is obviously an updated part of his spiel. He said "In the event of a small to moderate earthquake, a decision will be made as to how disruptive the quake is, and extra time allotted to the examination accordingly. This may be 5, 10 or 20 minutes, depending on how disruptive we deem it to be."

Fortunately this didn't eventuate.

ps. Photo of our neighbour's mental-as-anything pink flowers.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Near Matt's work - before and after

Demolition is proceeding at a fast pace in the city. And for a gold coin, you can now take a bus ride around the carnage to see for yourself.

Saturday, 29 October 2011


I met a friend outside the temporary council building (the old Rexel warehouse) for a milkshake yesterday - someone had set up a caravan/container serving lunches and shakes.

We sat on the old cable reels from Rexel, and watched the ongoing construction of a new central bus exchange.

The mayor still has somewhere to park his car, but it's probably not quite as flash a location as it used to be...

The thing is, it seemed totally normal, and relaxing, and social to be sitting in a carpark, drinking a shake, watching demolition crews at work, surrounded by the sounds of construction and not a piece of greenery in sight. I think we are definitely now adjusted to the new ChCh.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Post-quake social life

We were lucky to be able to attend the opening of a contemporary jewellery exhibition in Christchurch this week - Blood Sports by Dunedin designer Jane Dodd. As with everything in Christchurch right now, the setting was unorthodox, yet totally acceptable to those of us currently living here. For example, the gallery entrance:

Being right on the fringe of the red zone, the previous shop front was closed, but you could watch the going-ons through the large windows at the front of the gallery:

Before the quake, there was a cafe in this space, but unfortunately it has not re-opened yet. If it had, then I would happily spend whole mornings and afternoons watching the slow and steady demolition of the CBD.

Bees bees bees

Not sure if uploading these videos will work, but bees were a'swarmin' all around the house this afternoon. I'm a bit scared to go out there...

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Fancy pooch.

When we were in Melbourne recently, we visited the North Melbourne Aesop store. All the Aesop stores have amazing, and unique fit-outs, and are generally pretty cool. Their products are awesome too; natural botanical ingredients and simple, sleek labeling.

Anyway, they aren't cheap, and all we bought was a slap of soap for us, and some dog shampoo for Boo.

We had a warmish day last week and Boo got her first Aesop bath - not sure she really appreciated it, didn't seem overly impressed. But she sure smelt good for a while.

Monday, 17 October 2011


I am in the process of removing ivy from the path by our house. It is one of the few 'safe' outdoor areas to work in, and the ivy needs to go at some point, and the weather was lovely today so I got stuck in..

Only after I had stripped the trunk of this tree did I notice this:

Holy crap! That is one massive spider. He sat there for over an hour.

I'm not so keen to continue with the ivy clearing now.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Rugby Shmugby

Sitting at home, with the dog on the couch, watching cycle 16 of America's Next Top Model.

...and eating cake. Lots of cake.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Still the best....

They didn't get the coveted purple pin, but they managed to scoop four gold pins and three silver this year.

The standard of photography has also increased immensely - look at last year's photo.

Go Sons!

ps. will hopefully start blogging again this week - just needed a bit of down time.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Farewell Cambridge Terrace...

From this:

and this:

to this:

and this:

and this:

and now finally, this:

But it's not all bad - cos they have this.

Thursday, 22 September 2011


We spent the past few days in Melbourne (to attend the most elegant wedding ever) and were overwhelmed with all the food and things to see and do.

If there was one place we would like to spirit back to Christchurch with us, it would have to be Cumulus Inc on Flinders lane - we went three times in five days. The service was amazing and the food perfect. Actually perfect. One time we sat at the bar by the kitchen and watched the genius chefs at work. They had this large tub of eggs, sitting at 55 degrees - perfectly poached - just pluck one out and crack it onto your dish and there you go...

It made us realise that it's all in the details - the pots of jam and the simple presentation - no smears of jus on the plates, no fancy coulis, no sprigs of micro-greens, just simple delicious food.

But it wasn't all food - there was art..

there were bikes...

there was fancy siphon coffee..

And there was The Everleigh - my kind of bar - quiet, stylish with slick table service and delicious cocktails served in 1930s crystal glasses (I had a Debutante - gin, lime and orange bitters)...

As an aside, we both had rotten colds while we were there and on the recommendation of the waitress at Movida (oops, back to food), I tried a sherry as an aperitif and IT WAS AMAZING. Possibly my new favourite evening drink. Just need to get myself a bottle..

And because I can't leave the topic of food alone - we had dinner somewhere which featured this on the menu:

...which we (unsurprisingly) didn't order.

We did order some of the best thai ever at this place though...

and went on a mission South of the river, so Matt could call in on his favourite furniture store of all time...

An amazing trip. Sorry Christchurch, but we are gutted to be home (although the kid is very excited by his Playon Crayons, his Plui and his very own child sized Ikea table and chairs which the nice man at check-on let us bring back at no extra charge even though it was clearly excess baggage).

Monday, 5 September 2011

Stuck in our heads..

This haunting tune from Lana Del Rey...

Friday, 2 September 2011

Still Truckin'

In case you were wondering what had happened to me - well, nothing. Things are just the same, but the weather is getting slightly warmer.

The aftershocks are continuing, and the houses are still broken - I walked past this one the other day:

The television is just sitting there, and there is still food in the pantry. Crazy.

And I picked this up from the local doctor:

Twelve months on, things are still far from normal round here.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Groundhog day..

Stuck inside again, snow-bound. It started Sunday night and hasn't really abated since. It's pretty and peaceful, but driving me crazy being stuck here (the car isn't going anywhere anytime soon).

If we could all hang out with our friends, drinking hot drinks and fresh baking it would be much more fun.

I'm hanging indoors, with a freshly baked brownie, a grumpy baby and a whining dog. Hrmph. At least the brownie's good.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Auckland's best kept secret(s)...

Daikoku Ramen, downtown Auckland It was there back when Britomart was the lowest of the low...before "Britomart" really existed.

Cheap, good service and yum yum yummy fresh ramen noodles.

Auckland's second best kept secret? The Zoo.

Sunday, 31 July 2011

A tough few days...

In the early hours of Thursday morning my Dad had a massive cardiac arrest. My Mum did CPR until the ambulances (there were three) arrived (watching all those medical dramas on TV wasn't wasted time it seems), at which point he had no pulse. They defibrillated him several times (with the electric paddles, just like on TV - "clear....doof!") and gave him a cocktail of drugs including amiodarone and adrenaline. They managed to get a heart rhythm again but estimated he had been without a pulse for approximately 30 minutes. Mum phoned Matt and I, and we met them at the emergency department of the hospital. He was lying almost naked on a table, while about seven doctors nurses and paramedics worked on him - bagging him, intubating him, giving him more drugs, checking his pupils...

Once his heart was beating regularly, they put him on a ventilator, took him to ICU, cooled him down to 33 degrees and put him in a coma for a day or so to give his body some time-out. We had the chat with the doctors about brain injury and quality of life. I recognised the tone the doctor was taking - I have used it myself. It was preparing us for his hunch - that Dad wasn't going to wake, or if he did, he would be permanently altered.

They slowly woke him yesterday. As the sedation wore off he started frowning. We asked him questions (Are you in pain? Do you know where you are?) and he shook his head. He opened his eyes slightly and looked around then frowned. We kept telling him he'd had a heart attack, he was in hospital, and he kept frowning. He was still on a ventilator so couldn't speak, but was gesturing with his right hand - we asked if he wanted to write and he nodded furiously. We were amazed he could understand us at all, we had been prepared for the worst. We gave him a pen and held up a piece of paper and this is what he wrote:

A reasonable question.

He seems to be totally neurologically intact. He is being transferred out of ICU tomorrow, to a ward, where they will start some imaging to work out exactly what happened.