Sunday, 31 March 2013

The Movies At Sumner

It was a fabulous sunny Saturday
and a friend and I decided to go for  a walk
at Sumner and then go to the movies.

There is a promenade from the
explored and climbed  Cave Rock...
(Which is still cordoned off since the 2010 earthquakes).
The well known landmark
at the mouth of the Avon-Heathcote Estuary.

Along the waterfront to...

The equally well known concrete and stone Scarborough Clock Tower
with its four faces donated to the then Borough of Sumner in 1934.
Which withstood the earthquakes with only minor damage
and has now been repaired.

There are huge rocks which attempt to stop the sea
encroaching and good waves
at this popular spot for surfers ....
Although the water temperature is cold...
Too cold for me, plenty of people
in wet suits were enjoying it.

Christchurch, like most of New Zealand is desperate
for rain... The Port Hills, always barren, were very thirsty,
dry and seemed even more desolate.

This hill behind the cinema
is harsh evidence of the chaos and damage the
2010 and 2011 earthquakes caused..
Once loved and lived in homes...
Empty and tetering...
Waiting for demolition or another quake.

The lovely Hollywood Theatre opened in 1938 as one cinema
 and now has three cinemas. It is the only suburban
cinema in Christchurch still standing and running after 70 years.

It has good selection of drinks, lollies and goodies.

And is privately owned by this couple
who have made a very good job of keeping
the theatre open and an excellent
selection of movies...
Despite being surrounded by quake damage.

We chose to go to 'Quartet', several
people had recommended it...

It has some favourite actors...
I thoroughly enjoyed it.
If you haven't seen it do go or get the DVD.

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Wednesday, 27 March 2013

My Teddy Bear...

I am staying with my friend in Christchurch
who makes the most beautiful teddy bears.
I did a blog on them when I stayed here last year...
You might like to have another look.
I have always coveted one of her bears...
And yesterday I was given this beautiful red bear
that she has made.

Isn't he gorgeous...
Sitting on my bed...
Of course he is going to live in my housebus
and be a 'bear on the road' ...
So what am I going to call him?
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Sunday, 24 March 2013

Shopping... Addiction or Necessity... Or fun!

I've been shopping...
I did have a shopping list when I came to Christchurch...
Boots, merino jumpers so I can throw out my old
ones with holes in, some new 3/4 pants as I've
worn my old ones fishing... So!
There are no fashion shops in the Far North,
shopping is part of coming to Christchurch.
There is a good range of shops here...
Particularly in Riccarton Mall...
Well stocked for the winter...
And this season it's all about colour and fun.
I needed a new pair of boots.
I walk a lot and totally wore through the soles of last winter's boots.
I have been looking in Whangarei...
But wanted something different...
And here they are... Bought from 'Street Legal'.
I was in another shop 'Identity Fashions' one of my favourites...
And found this beautiful scarf...
It's the size of a lavalava so for summer and winter.
I wanted something to do while I am here...
Particularly in the evenings  as it's beginning to get
dark earlier and I don't like tv.
Knitting seemed the answer as I can carry it around
and stuff it in my pack.

 I met this lady at church this morning.
We had coffee together in the church cafe after the service...
And got talking... As one does.
She has designed a few patterns
and directed me to a particularly good wool shop...
And this is what I am going to knit.
The wool in the top picture is 60% Merino wool,
30% Possum fur and 10% Nylon.
It's a fine 8 ply produced and marketed by
Touch Yarns... For those interested in such things.
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Thursday, 21 March 2013

Kaitaia... To Christchurch

Well... It's 8am and I'm ready to go... Pack on my back and waiting
for  my friend to pick me up to take me to the airport.
I'm going to Christchurch where the weather is definitely cooler...
Then to Sydney where the weather is much warmer...
So clothes for all seasons.
Also my pack has four kilos of beautiful Manuka
Honey for my daughter in Sydney...
And organic face cream and sunblock and olive oil soap...
From Viola Organics in Whangarei.
For some reason it's much easier to buy
in New Zealand than Australia.

I've packed up my bus... Disconnected the batteries...
Turned off the LPG... And all those things
that need doing to leave it for 6 weeks.
It's parked safely at a friend's place...
In her paddock...

There are only two planes a day from Kaitaia...
One at 9am the other at 5.15pm.
They are quite small planes...
One seat each side of the aisle...
No overhead lockers...
No room for hand luggage!

But we arrived in Auckland... It's a 40 minute flight...
No flight attendants... Just sit and enjoy the view.

Then off to Christchurch... The earthquake city...
Where the temperature dropped and I was very glad I had a jacket.
But it's great to be here, staying with friends...
Part of a family of six, plus people coming and going.
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Monday, 18 March 2013

Kawakawa... The Hundertwasser Town... On My Way North

It was a wet rainy day when I left Whangarei on my way to Kaitaia
Kawakawa seemed sort of half way and a good place to stop for lunch.

The corner where you turn off... Staying on State Highway 1
There is an introduction to Hundertwasser...

And a lovely reserve... where I stopped because
the parking is easy.

Green grass, trees, a rotunda... A very pleasant picnic spot.

Kawakawa is the small Northland town famous for it's
toilets that Hundertwasser built when he made this
country his second home.

They are beautiful and a wonderful display of his art.

The other attraction is the steam train 'Gabriel'...
Restored by volunteers and train enthusiasts.
The rail line is being restored...
It doesn't go all the way yet... But it's a very interesting ride...
Beginning with a ride up the middle of the main street.
Do stop and explore.
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Sunday, 17 March 2013

Parua Bay... Whangarei Harbour

I have been in Whangarei for a few days.
I am getting ready to park and leave my beloved house-bus
and go to Christchurch to visit my Dad again...
Then to Sydney to visit my daughter.
So... after spending all the summer weeks at various Far North  beaches
I desperately needed a good hair cut...
My favourite cutter is in Whangarei.
I also needed some prescriptions... Stuff to keep me young and beautiful!
I wandered round the town... Bought a pair of jeans...
The day I go to Christchurch the maximum temp is 15deg...
And I bought a pair of shorts... It was 27deg in Sydney last night...
So one extreme to the other.
My biggest find was the video hire shop, that I
pass on my walk into town from where I park at the Town Basin,
is having a closing down sale...
I totally indulged and in two visits there
bought about thirty DVD's... To last me all the winter!

I then went  to Parua Bay for a couple of days to escape the maddening city crowd...
And parked on the edge of the water...

Right here on the grass.

I was sitting outside one evening having a drink
and enjoying the sun and solitude...
When this little yacht buzzed past.
It grabbed my attention it was going so fast.

I don't know what sort of a yacht it is called...

It's very light. It has a very narrow hull and each side a netting
panel at a raised angle to the hull... You can see here.

The young lad was very quick and skilled...
He came zooming into the wharf and with a flick of the sail
was around and off in the other direction.

When it was travelling at speed the whole hull lifted out of the
water and underneath was what looked like a thin netting panel,
similar to the ones each side.
At speed the yacht sat on the bottom knife edge of this panel.
You might know what it is?
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Saturday, 16 March 2013

More... About The Ross Sea...

After viewing the documentary 'The Last Ocean'
and doing two posts on it...
Wanting to bring this issue to your awareness...
I was very pleased to read the following article in
today's (March 16) New Zealand Herald.
It holds out hope that the whole of the Ross Sea will
become a marine reserve and the ecosystem there preserved.

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Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Sea Week... Film 'The Last Ocean' About The Ross Sea

The most informative and significant thing I did during
 Sea Week was watch the film 'The Last Ocean'.
It's a documentary about the Ross Sea...
The only sea and ecosystem not destroyed by humankind...
And greed for the $...
 Click on the link, read it and watch the movie.
It may be coming to a theatre near you.
If you feel as angry as I do... sign all petitions,
protests and write letters to significant people in governments.

It's a documentary made by award winning New Zealand
filmmaker, Peter Young.
Powerful imagery along with insightful interviews
from Antartic scientists, fishery representatives, politicians
and ocean campaigners make this a compelling
international story.

There is a Charitable Trust...
To raise awareness of the Ross Sea being the
last, intact ocean ecosystem on Earth...
To educate the public about the value of the Ross Sea
ecosystem to humanity  and science...
To educate the public about the unique dynamics of a relatively
untouched ocean ecyosystem and how human impact
could change these dynamics...
To promote the Ross Sea as a unique ecosystem requiring
protection from human influence.

We have eaten our way through 90% of the world's top predatory fish.
We have pushed marine ecosystems to the brink of collapse worldwide.
The Ross Sea is now one of the last places where the intricate
balance of nature prevails. It is also the last living laboratory to study
how an intact ocean system works.
If the toothfish fishery continues in the Ross Sea, every member
of the ecosystem will pay the price.
The intricate balance will disappear and with it will
go our last chance to understand.

The ecosystem from the top predators
to the bottom dwellers... These incredible animals
are part of a grand play of checks and balances.
Together they act as a single organism -
the last intact ocean ecosystem on Earth.

The magnificent starkness of the ice shelf.

The Ross Sea is composed of species found nowhere else in  the world
evolving in an ancient process uninterrupted by humans.
It encompasses less than 3.2% of the Southern Ocean
but boasts significant populations of many Antartic species.

38% of all Adelie Penguins
26% of all Emperor Penguins
30% or more of all Antarctic Petrels
6% of all Antartic Minke Whales
6% of all Weddell Seals - the southern most mamal.

Read this article in the New Zealand Herald
 on the New Zealand governments stance... Apalling.

 The Last Ocean website will provide a public voice and be a focal
point for science and information. It will be the cornerstone to the
building and co-ordinating of the on-line community
and fund raising for various projects.

FORSE (Friends of the Ross Sea Ecosystem) established
in 2001 have provided sound scientific advice to political bodies like
SCAR (Scienific Committee for Antartic Research),
CCAMLR (Convention for Conservation of Antartic Marine Living Resources)
IWC (International Whaling Commission) and
CEP (Committee for Environmental Protection)

FORSE needs your help: Please support these projects...
Donate... Tell your friends.

There is another organisation...
The Antartic and Southern Ocean Preservation...
About issues and advocacy...
And more compelling information.

There is another film, also DVD and book of the same name...
The End of the Line...
Have a look, find a cinema near you where it will be screening.

Look at this site... sign a Petition to the New Zealand Government.
Actually it's now closed but you can start another one.
As a New Zealander I am angry and embarrassed to read that
New Zealand sent the first commercial long line fishing boat to the
Ross Sea... And lead the 20  nations that now are depleting this area
of Toothfish... Sold on the open market as Chilean Sea Bass.
Sandfords, the major New Zealand fisheries and the government are
reluctant to stop fishing in the Ross Sea and are trying to be
 convincing that it is doing no damage!
I don't believe them...
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