Friday, December 30, 2005

In Their Own Words.....

On the eve before their departure from NZ back to a cold and snowy UK, I asked the girls for their thoughts on NZ and what they had seen and done. Here is what they said, in their own words....

Ellie (age 9)

The roads are very quiet in the country and in the UK it would be busy.

Going up on the mountain in the helicopter was very exciting, and the snow landing was weird because it was summer!! We saw Mount Cook, massive!

The people are very friendly and when you are in your car they wave and I think they are very proud of their country.

The whales aren’t something you see everyday in Worthing, and we saw Kiwi’s and it is the only place in the world where you can see them.

I loved the trams in Christchurch. We had a really funny driver who was taking the mickey. We went to the museum in Christchurch and I learned more about the Egyptians. I learned most of it from the book Aunty Helen is writing.

We had teppanyaki at a Japanese restaurant where the chef cooked it straight in front of us. Cool!!

I tried new foods, I tried crayfish, prawns, cream soda (I love it!), broad beans and raw peas in their pods from Aunty Helen’s garden.

We used the gardens special places to play farms, especially in the vineyard and orchard (where we kept our horses). I helped in the garden by watering the plants and digging up potatoes, I helped Aunty Helen weed the new herb garden.

I didn’t like being ball-girl because I wanted to play tennis, I was better at tennis than Caitlin.

I loved Peter and Susan in Narnia. We sat in the VIP seats and had our dinner delivered to our seat – we had pizza and drinks. Aunty Helen and Uncle Warren live near where they filmed Narnia and there was a special exhibition of photographs in the local village. Some of the local people were used in the film.

Summer is gentle, like our dog Frosty. It’s nice to have a dog here in New Zealand to keep us company because we miss our dog. I got a little bit homesick, but Aunty Helen said this is normal.

I want to come back because I will miss Helen, Warren and Summer.

Caitlin (age 6)

It’s stunning (her words, not mine!). It’s very fun especially the Antarctic Centre and the jet boats and the helicopter ride which was very exciting. I wasn’t scared. It was very high up.

I think it is funny that the people are called Kiwis. I think Kiwi birds are cute and friendly and funny beaks. I was very brave in the dark Kiwi house.

I loved Science Alive in Christchurch. The best bit was Glow in the Dark Golf!!!! We also went to Aunty Helen’s library in New Brighton, it was fun because there was loads of things to do.

I learned to eat with chopsticks at a Japanese restaurant. I was the best! I have tried lots of new foods, and I now love salmon, raw peas in the pods (Aunty Helen grows them), choc milkshake ice-cream and broad beans.

I learned to do the poi’s and the New Zealand 12 days of Christmas song (a Pukeko in a Ponga Tree).

I liked helping in the garden and digging up potatoes.

I was good at being ball-girl in the tennis court – better than Ellie. I met Rebecca and Luke and they taught us a game on the trampoline called “Crack Egg”, it’s fun! I can now do a double seat drop on the trampoline, I played on the trampoline almost every day.

We went to see Narnia, I love Lucy and Aslan but I didn’t like the pizza we ate in our seat that the lady bought to us. I didn’t like the White Witch because she was bad. We saw the fur coats from the film at a gallery in the village, I love Lucy’s coat.

I love, love, love Summer the dog. I will miss them all. TIMMY!!! (Caitlin’s new word!). Warren taught her that!

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Thursday, December 01, 2005

We're Bursting .....

.... with excitement!

It's Thursday 1st December and the next few weeks are going to be SO exciting.

Tomorrow I shall be driving up to the new house (dosed up with painkillers as I have hurt my back) to feed the chooks and to drop off a few bits and pieces that we don't want the removals mob to handle. Warren will be driving up after work to meet me there .... it's OURS!! Still hasn't sunk in, even as I sit here surrounded by packing boxes and bare walls!

I shall miss New Brighton. We are so glad we didn't heed those that told us to steer clear of the area. Granted, it has it's bad areas, but then NZ is like that - some grotty houses in even the nicest of areas. Certainly more of a community feel here - eclectic is a good description. It's had a bad rap for decades, ever since the arrival of "malls" into NZ society, which meant people didn't have to come out to New Brighton at the weekends to shop as the malls now opened up at weekends too.

New Brighton is currently one of the fastest moving property areas in Christchurch as more and more people see its potential, there are more and more houses being renovated, more 30-somethings and professionals moving in to the area and the Mall here is currently undergoing refurbishment (opens next week). Then there are plans to beauty the seafront and finally the expensive apartments on the coast are being moved into ... you can smell the change in the fresh coastal air.

There's got to be a down-side, right? Yep, for those who are sensitive to such things there is a larger % of Maori living in the area. And yes, it's definitely not as "monied" as other areas of Christchurch - so if you're looking for a predominately white, "ladies who lunch" type area, steer clear. If, however, you want a laid back, don't care what you wear, beach lifestyle and will take full advantage of the location, then New Brighton is for you.

And that concludes the broadcast from the New Brighton Residents Fan Club..... Waddington here we come.....

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