Thursday, January 17, 2013

Number one

Dear New Zealand,
I miss you.  That is all.

PS  And despite the fact that I am currently having a thang with your big rough cousin, you will always be my number one.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Sunset swim at Rapaki

The other evening we drove over to Lyttelton so see a place I didn't really recognise. So many of the buildings have gone that it is now just a shell of its wonderful former self.

But then we drove on around the coast to a beautiful spot that is completely unchanged from how I remember it: Rapaki Bay. There we had a sunset swim, a treasure hunt on the beach and the children dug a sandy pool around a warm spring. While some parts of this city have been changed forever by the earthquakes, others are just as lovely as they ever were.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Christchurch walkabout

Yesterday we went into central Christchurch to see for ourselves what we had seen many times via news footage and photos online. Now I am going to repeat some things that many other people have also said, because they are true. No amount of looking at pictures online can quite prepare you for the extent of the damage to the central city. Whole blocks have disappeared and without landmarks we sometimes found ourselves disoriented. I sought out familiar old haunts: workplaces, theatres, libraries, favourite shops, restaurants and bars. Except for a couple of places they were all broken and closed - many will never reopen. It was one of the saddest walks I have ever done.

Thank goodness we ended the day on a much brighter note; four families got together for a barbeque. Happy to report that, unlike the city they live in, these Christchurch friends were in fine form.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Farewell Raglan, you gorgeous place you

We had ten wonderful days in Raglan. Supercool house to stay in, fabulous company, great food, excellent shopping and plenty of activities to keep us out of mischief. Other people may like the more flashy, glitzy holiday towns but I love Raglan. I even had a somewhat deluded "we could live here!" moment and browsed real estate.

Who knows when we'll next be back there. Hopefully not too far in the future.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Off to the circus

My children still speak wistfully about the wonderful holiday they had with all their aunts, uncles, cousins and grandmother (on my side of the family) in Waiwera just before my lot moved to Australia. The fabulous holiday we have just had together in Raglan is also likely to be something we all remember and reminisce about for years to come.

One of the new memories we now all share is of "the other Shona". My mother's name is Shona and several times in Raglan we encountered another quite different Shona. The other one is a very talented and hugely entertaining performer in Circus Aotearoa. Her hilarious segment as a steriod-crazed Eastern European hula hooper was a highlight of our fun outing to Circus Aotearoa.

The members of my household are pretty spoilt when it comes to seeing great, contemporary, non-animal circus. We have been fortunate enough to see Aurelia's Oratorio, Slava's Snowshow, Circus Oz, Mandurah's own Pulse WA (with their amazing show Harmonike), Raoul and Circa and many other amazing and beautiful circus style shows. Circus Aotearoa is smaller scale and closer to traditional circus than the other shows I just mentioned, but it did not disappoint. We went with a group of thirteen adults and ten children ranging in age from late seventies to preschool and we all enjoyed it.

If you get the chance I recommend you treat all generations of your whanau to a Circus Aotearoa show too. From their calendar I see that after Raglan they are off to Thames, Whitianga and Waihi this holiday season. Find out where and how to catch them at their website here

I'd love to hear if your family enjoys the experience and delights in the antics of "the other Shona" as much as mine did.