Autumn in Canterbury can be savory. Golden days where the mean burn of the sun is gone and the heat is welcome. Calm winds; blue skies. Grass has turned green again.
I’ve talked to Sally for years at a craft group we both frequent. We saw them in Murchison at a kayak club weekend. Her husband Nathan joined us for the Old Ghost Rd bike ride in January. But this was the first weekend trip we tried out as families. It’s a test of sorts: 1. Are kids compatible? 2. Are husbands compatible? 3. Are our ideas of what constitutes a fun activity compatible?
Check. Check. Check.
The woods part of the drive was very pretty–Lush west coast bush is completely different than beach forests of the east coast.
There comes a time when a procrastination mounts to such a weight of inertia that a project is stuck. Immovable.
That’s how the blog has been these past couple months. The longer I wait, the move behind I fall, and the less savory the project appears….Maybe this is what mounting credit card debt feels like?
This is my attempt to become unstuck.
- Over Christmas we did some cool trips. We drove to the west coast via Arthur’s pass, stopping at cave stream on the way. We spent some days at Okarito beach with the Pritchard family, then some more days at Lake Kanere in our new glamping tent. We did a couple nights at Spencer Park, just here in Christchurch. It was fun.
- In January I got out on some awesome weekend trips–St James Walkway in Lewis pass, and the Old Ghost Rd bike ride on the west coast.
- For Waitangi Day we went up to Golden Bay (at Pohara), camping, biking, fishing, playing.
And summer has been warm! I’ve enjoyed the evening bike rides at the local hill. Warm afternoons with the doors open. Wearing shorts. I don’t think there has been any summer we’ve spent in NZ so far where I’ve had more opportunity to wear shorts!
I do have fantastic pictures from these trips. But whether or not they get shared, at least now I can move on.
“Ooh, my accent isn’t really THAT bad, is it?”
Very probably it is.
But it’s not just the accent; it’s the whole attitude.
Every Friday afternoon Milo has soccer practice, and there’s an American dad who brings his son. I’ve never talked to him before, but this Friday the field was eerily quiet. Us lonely parents conferred and the word on the field was that Oaklands school gala was on–that’s why only 25% of the normal contingent of kids was present. Along with very few parents.
But despite the slim field, The American must talk.
(I know what that’s like.)
Thankfully, the American Dad glued himself to another dad, and the poor polite Kiwi was stuck mumbling “hum….ah….yes…um….uhuh…” for the whole hour. I got the interesting position of being able to listen in while not being an essential part of the conversation.
It wasn’t so pretty. Opinionated, yes. Loud, yes. Forceful; also yes. The snippets were full of “you kiwis this” and “us, that.” At one point I caught the American saying “You guys are catching up….you know….advertising, sport….”
Clearly he believes the American culture is superior.
I hereby resolve to cease and desist from comparing the American culture to the Kiwi culture. No one wants to hear that. Let alone the Kiwis!
I think back about the weekend now and realized that I’m photo-poor, but the memories are good.
It’s a long weekend, as Monday is the Labour Day public holiday, and Jeremiah had planned a hunting trip with the Brotherhood.
It’s a quintessentially New Zealand scene; cattle munching grass, next to a new world-class greenhouse (behind), in the city of Christchurch, second largest city in the country.
I don’t know if those calves were staring longingly at the relative shelter of the greenhouse or at the tasty plants inside, but they stood there watching us all morning. They’re the owner’s “cattle beasts,” because if you own grass, then why would you not own sheep or cows to eat the grass? Exactly. So they do. (Clearly, cow pies on the lawn aren’t a problem if you’re wearing your gum boots.)