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.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Winter Wonderland

A few photos taken this morning after a huge dump of snow.

It is still snowing heavily here, I've just made macaroni cheese and we're looking forward to a day inside in the warm.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Back home..

We have moved back home, to our poor old house. The garden is less of a garden and more of a paddock. My veges and herbs did not survive the pile of rubble and then the scaffolding.

We now have a great view of the city, I can't get over the number of cranes everywhere - it is hard to see but there is a particularly large one right over the CBD. I'm looking forward to watching the deconstruction of the Hotel Grand Chancellor from up here.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011


I made this. My food styling isn't as polished, but the chocolate slab of heaven was amazing. Creamy chocolaty amazingness. Make it. Eat it. Enjoy.

Friday, 8 July 2011


I have been wanting a cast iron gem iron for a long time. Finally I found a reasonably priced one on Trade Me (the better older ones are much sought after), so snapped it up.

It was slightly rusty - needed a good clean and oil, but is now pretty much good as new.

I made my first batch of ginger gems the other day - they were warm and soft and delicious, but not as flavoursome as I would like. Next time I'm going to add little pieces of crystallised ginger I think.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

A trip on my bike...

This morning we had a bit of a reprieve from the icy weather of late, so I jumped on my bike and went for a bit of an explore.

We (I had the kid on the back) went past this old lady on Fendalton Road:

The whole left side is on quite a lean. When we got to Hagley Park, we saw the beginnings of the new 'entertainment hub':

As most of the cities bars, restaurants, theatres and music venues are either demolished or off-limits, the council is setting this up as a semi-temporary measure. I like they way they have decided to use tents, and inflatable domes - can't argue that people won't feel safe there.

In another part of Hagley Park, they are digging up the old lake. It was originally man-made and the earthquakes turned it into a swampy, muddy wasteland.

I'm not sure what the repair strategy entails, but it's certainly looking worse right now.

..then on past Christ's College - where many of the classrooms have been moved into containers parked on the legendary Quadrangle: the Arts Centre, and Le Cafe - looking a bit worse for wear:

...methinks that "Open" sign out front may be a little misleading:

...finally we reached our destination - the Canterbury Cheesemongers. I didn't go there for the cheese though - it was the eccles cakes and pork pies that were calling my name.

A quiet little haven, ticking along amongst all the mayhem. I hope those folk working at the Art Gallery are making the most of this little gem.