Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Friday's birthday adventures on a ferry

Last Friday (26th) was my friend L's birthday. She decided it was time for a small adventure so settled on going across on the Diamond Harbour ferry for dinner at Godley House. Friday is the only night the ferry runs late, with the last pick up in Diamond Harbour at 10.40pm.

L has a 4 year old daughter so I thought it would be a great idea to take my four year old nephew on an adventure and it would mean the children could play together (they know each other which makes it easier) leaving the adults to have adult time. Usually G. (4 year old daughter) is the only child at these events so it can be quite boring for her when we all just sit around talking.

I had arranged to collect nephew L. at 4pm but at 2pm I got a phone call from my sister-in-law to say that L. had decided that he couldn't wait any longer and needed to be collected then. Luckily my parents had called in so I sent them round as entertainment as I really wanted to get another 2 hours of work done! I knew that once I'd collected L., that would be the end of the work day.

He was almost bursting by the time I got there at 4.05pm, which was a bit unsporting of me. Part of his excitement was the ferry ride, part playing with G. but also staying up past his normal bedtime whilst his younger brother went to bed also loomed large on his horizon.

I'd decided to do a couple of work visits after collecting him as he's always very interested in that sort of thing - going to the bank and collecting work at the printers. Mind you, he wasn't so sure about the huge guillotine operating at the printers while we were there but was able to tell I. all about it later that night.

We'd arranged to meet everyone at Satchmos in Lyttelton before catching the ferry which was a good thing as half the party, including the birthday girl, were running a bit late. Eventually we walked down to the ferry with the birthday girl's party just making it on before we headed off. Its only $10 return, which I felt was very reasonable and it only takes 8 minutes to get across now with the new ferry. I can remember the old ferry that used to plough its way across but this one is a catamaran, has comfortable seating and is warm. We travelled across with a man and his dog - I wonder if the dog incurred the $1 bike charge or not?

The hill up to Godley House is just as steep but it took less time to walk than I remember. L. walked and talked all the way and I don't think he stopped once to draw breath. Very funny. Having walked up the hill we then found the room they put us in very hot so we had to turn the heaters off and open windows until we'd cooled down.

Had an excellent meal - not too expensive and plenty of it. Our pizza had huge chunks of chicken on it. After the meal I took L. and G. outside to run around and burn some energy off as they'd both been so good and well behaved. It was overcast but warm and they both ran and ran and ran. All I had to do was be in their general vicinity while they pinged around all over the place laughing and chasing each other. It was really nice to see.

Once L. started to say how tired he was, we decided that we'd better catch the next ferry back at 8.40pm. He was so excited waiting for the ferry to come in to the wharf and once we were seated, he was speechless with excitement (a very unusual occurrence!) and had a huge grin on his face. Driving back to his home he was pre-planning his stalling tactics for going to bed e.g. "I'll have a glass of milk and you'll have coffee, and I'll go to bed once you've drunk your coffee" etc.

All in all it was great fun. I was a bit exhausted from the continuous conversation from 4-9.30pm but its only because I'm not used to it. L. was really good and had a great time and birthday L. had fun as well. Any adventure that involves a fun ferry ride is always a good adventure.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Road Trip

Last Friday I went on a day road trip with my friend J. I almost didn't go because of the guilt of not going to work but looking back on it, I'm really glad I did. Life is made up of moments, most of which we don't remember, but by taking the day off work and just submerging myself in the 'doing' of the day, it became a day to remember.

J. had an appointment in Hokitika at 10am so we needed to head away by 6.30am so to make my life easier, I stayed the Thursday night with her. We headed off in the dark and pouring rain in her sports car and hoped that the weather forecast of snow on the road in Porters Pass was incorrect!

Luckily it was, although we could see the snow in the tussock maybe 100m above the road. We had a break in Arthur's Pass and it definitely felt like winter there - gloomy and cold enough for snow. Then on again to what is usually the wet West Coast, but as you can see in the photo, it was a lovely day.

While J. was at her appointment, I pottered around Hokitika going to all the touristy and arty shops. Great fun. Then I went and sat on the beach in the sun and read. The sea was very rough a long way out with big breakers so it made a very comforting sound but didn't crash onto the shore too violently. Surprising number of people just wandering around on the beach, including an elderly man with a can who left a very interesting pattern of footsteps in the sand.

We had lunch at the Cafe du Paris and meandered back to Christchurch late afternoon. A large van had a go at killing us at the Kumara roundabout (weird roundabout - it has the railway line running right through the middle of it) but luckily J. saw that he hadn't seen us in the little car and stopped as he swept past the front of the car looking horrified. So not only did we have a great road trip and talk about everything for the whole day, we avoided death! All in all, an excellent day.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Fantastic morning

I just had to share this photo - I was eating breakfast last week and the sky just became more and more amazing. I had to stop stuffing my face with muesli and race outside to get a shot of this before it changed. This time of year is great for seeing fantastic sunrises and sunsets as we're up in the morning and travelling home at the right time.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

I know I keep harping on a theme

How can you not be impressed by autumn colours at this time of the year? This was taken as I was running down the drive to go to work - I. was already in the car patiently waiting as I fluffed around with the camera but it was worth it.

This was taken almost a week ago now and since then a huge cold & wet southerlie that has dumped snow on Banks Peninsula has come through and removed all the leaves. Good thing I fluffed around and took the photo.

Lots more has happened in the way of adventures and excitement but as I'm at work and trying to concentrate on work for a change, I think I'd better keep this to a minimum. But as a spoiler/trailer for the next update think of road trips and presents!!

Friday, May 05, 2006

Trying to be good

I haven't posted as much this week because I've been trying to be good and not spend lots of time reading all my favourite blogs. There's been an upside to this though because it means when I go and check them there's always something new to read. Rather than getting frustrated daily because there's nothing new on some of them, I get excited because there will definitely be updates.

The only reason I'm blogging at the moment is because I'm trying to make one of my computers heal itself and it really is best if I don't watch the process because I get quite tense. Surprisingly enough, I have done a recent backup!

The weather has really packed a sad this week. Its been overcast, cloudy and cold all week. I got suckered in yesterday when the forecaster said it was going to be sunny and wore my sandals to work. As a result I had cold feet all day. Serves me right for believing the weather forecast! But the bad weather means that all the lovely autumn colours are disappearing off the trees which is sad. Haven't been able to see the mountains for a couple of weeks so I don't know if there's any snow up there yet.

Went to see Sione's Wedding last week which was absolutely brilliant. Filmed in Auckland and written by the same people that wrote Bro' Town and the Naked Samoans (both been on TV over the years). I came out of the theatre with a grin on my face and spent most of the movie laughing. Great stuff. Hopefully it'll come out on DVD so I can watch it again.

Haven't got much planned for the weekend. If the weather isn't too foul I. and I may go down to the swapmeet in Ashburton. Not that I'm particularly interested in car parts but we tend to run into a lot of people we know there so its always very social.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


Well, the trip to the UK is confirmed and booked. I'm spending the whole of October there which is very exciting. Even though I don't go for 5 months, I've got so much to do before I go - which mostly consists of saving money so I can do stuff when I get there.

At this stage I. is not going as well. We'd have to save a hurruvalot of dosh for both of us to go so its just me going with my mother there. She's coming back a week earlier than me though.

There's also the possibility of a side trip to Jersey as that's where mother has to go for a few days but its dependent on how cheaply I can get there, of course.

So exciting.