Saturday, 26 February 2011

KIA KAHA Christchurch

It hasn't been a good week for our little country. The earthquake in Christchurch has been so devastating for so many families. Day five after the quake today and it was hard to look at it on the telly, and to see the devastation and then to hear the names and see the photo's of peoples loved ones who had died (especially the babies and the young people) - too much to cope with. Then to open the paper to be confronted by the pages of news and photo's, I just had to flick through and I'll go back again later in the weekend and read it. It's too emotional. Then there is the guilty feeling you are left with because you can't bear to watch it, but the folk in Christchurch have to live through it whether they want to or not, they can't just turn it off as if it were a bad movie. Of course there are the good luck stories and the lovely wedding that took place on Friday, of one of the girls who was rescued from a trashed building. And it was heartening to see the rescues in the first couple of days, but it seems a long time waiting now. Praise God for all the help from the international community, it is so good to see the solidarity when distaster strikes, we can't thank them enough, these wonderful men and women who have put themselves at our disposal. My heart goes out to everyone who has loved ones missing, from Christchurch, from New Zealand and from countries all around the world. Our own family has been extremely lucky, everyone accounted for and well, praise God. Kia Kaha Christchurch - Stand strong -the rest of the country stands with you and you will prevail. Kia Kaha!!

Saturday, 5 February 2011

The south of the south

A while since I have been on and written anything, so here goes.

My GKB and I have been gadding about the countryside, first back over to the West Coast and then down around the Catlins area for a few days before heading to Invers (Invercargill to the uninitiated) and then on to Central Otago.

We took Mum up to her sisters 80th celebrations and met up with another sis who had flown in from Aussie the day before. We partied at a lovely restaurant on the Taramakau River, which was absolutely beautiful, but as evening fell the sandflies came out and those of us who had been sitting enjoying the view as well as the beverages were, on the whole, forced back inside. Another great reunion with all the cussies we had grown up with, and more nostalgic thoughts and homesickness from those of us who have moved away and made homes in other parts of the country.

Then it was home and dropping off the mother and the sis and the GKB and I took off for a well earned break without any family or whanau attached to us for a change. We had a great time even if the weather wasn't the kindest to us. Mind you we got sunburnt on the Coast while fossicking for gem stones on the beaches, now all we need is a drum to tumble them in! We saw the penquins at The Nuggets, and because of the heavy rain the Purekanui falls and the Mclean falls in the Catlins were lovely.

We stayed in motels in Invercargill and were shown real southern hospitality by the lovely Indian lady who was our hostess. She brought us freshly baked loaf to have with our coffee when we first arrived and couldn't have been more helpful. After a day looking around the city, H and J Smith's hasn't changed, it is still a great old store to go into, we headed for Central Otago via the Devils Staircase around the lake. Two days later there a was a major rock fall, so we were pleased we went when we did. The lake was a magnificent turquoise colour, hard to describe if you haven't seen it.

At the camping ground each evening we had a rabbit visit, this was the first time in about 20 years of going up there that I have seen rabbits in the camping ground - they must be pretty prolific for them to come in amongst us like that, they are usually extremely timid. We spent a day in Queenstown and then it was time to pack up and head for home.
So now we are back home and back into the workforce, planning for another trip to Japan sometime later in the year, hopefully.