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Friday, December 31, 2010

Another Earthquake, Holiday Snaps, & New Year's Eve.

It is New Year's Eve today, & we arrived home from our short trip, to Christchurch in the South Island, late yesterday.

This is a small selection of photos of the havoc caused by the September 4th, 7.1 earthquake, which devastated Christchurch & surrounds.

Some photos are from the city centre and some from surrounding areas.

On Christmas Eve we had been shopping in the city centre in the Mall, pictured in the next photo.

This photo was taken on December 28th, after an earthquake of 4.9, which hit the city on Boxing Day, December 26th. The store on the left had shattered window panes, taped with huge pieces of sticky tape, all safely behind barriers to keep out the passing public.

This home was totally destroyed, along with the vehicle under the rubble in the driveway.
I didn't sleep very well until we arrived back in Wellington.
Although there are no guarantees the earth here will remain stable. So far so good, thankfully.

We had a lovely Christmas although we were not thinking we 'd experience an actual earthquake. One has to feel for the folk who have endured such upheaval, loss of their homes, income and, sense of normality.

Nicholas and Josh, full of expectation as Christmas festivities were being prepared. It was a very warm day with a cool breeze and they enjoyed being in the garden with the teenagers.

One day we spent at the Ron Mueck 'Super Real' Sculptural exhibition at the Christchurch Art Gallery. A touring exhibit from the National Gallery of Victoria, Australia. It was very interesting and amazing to see the way the sculptures were produced, being so life like. A great outing on a rainy cold day.

The next day was warm and sunny, more like summer weather. This is a photo on the way to the Gondola, for a trip to the top of the mountain to enjoy the views. It is eleven years since we first visited this scenic spot.

We drove through the tunnel to meet DD#1 who had ridden from Rangiora, up & over Dyers' Pass, to Lyttleton. We collected her & the bicycle and headed up the mountain on the north side of the harbour, to the Gondola.

Looking back down to Lyttleton Harbour & part of Bank's Peninsular, where most of the aftershocks seem to be happening.

The landslide from the top of the peak, in the photo below, we were told, is a result from the first earthquake.

The view from the cable car as we travelling up......

& looking back down, to where we started.

After we left the Gondola we went to Sumner where the children played on the beach, we indulged them with an ice cream, while we had a coffee & explored Cave Rock, in Sumner, on the coast, also suffered earthquake damage, below a few buildings, a cave, and the view of the inlet as we left.

Holiday Travel.

We had a very pleasant crossing of Cook Strait, to my delight on December 23rd. The weather was sunny and bright and the sea was calm.
The children were not bored and had lots of games to play to keep them occupied for the 3 hour trip to Picton.
We arrived a tad early in Picton and set off immediately for Christchurch.
It was interesting to see snow still on the mountains in the distance, the day proir to Christmas Eve.
We stopped at a spot on the coast before Kaikoura for lunch, although, the lunch I chose, was the worst Ceasar Salad I 've ever encountered. The three boys had a run along the beach and the adults enjoyed the scenery and the setting, before heading further south. A stop was made before, Kaikoura, for a couple of fresh crayfish. We had a quick look at the seal colony as some of them basked in the warm sunshine.

We took a break in Kaikoura, looking at the shops and checking the scenery. Kaikoura is a very popular spot for whale watching tours, not that we had time to experience one of those, this time.
This photo is from the south of Kaikoura, looking back to the north west. After a latte, we headed off to complete the 315 klm drive down the South Island to our destination. IMHO driving those klms, even only as a passenger along with the crossing, was about my limit for a day's travel.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Carol Evening..

Last Night was Carols Evening, yet another highlight to my favourite time of the year.
It was held in the beautiful Wellington Town Hall.
The ceiling is magnificent. Typical of the architecture of the period and the balcony extends around each side, including the centre back.

The music was supplied by the Salvation Army Brass band. They make a spectacular scene dressed in their Christmas Red Jackets, providing a wonderful foil for the highly polished brass instruments. Each year there is a guest choir in attendance.
This year, as you can see from the photograph, the tambourines were featured, giving a special rendition of a selection of Carols.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Dinner at a Friend's Home.

We have just returned from dinner at a friend's home.

The weekend started with the most beautiful day yesterday, with a lovely summer evening. No such luck for tonight! It was blowing a gale, nothing new for this part of the world, it did n't dampen the spirits of the seven of us, or the mood of the evening. Always the perfect hosts, our friends wined and dined us well, with sumptuous strawberies, meringue, and cream to complete the meal. The dinner table repartee, was uplifting & sprinkled with much laughter.

The house was decked in appropriate trimmings to add to the expectation of the Christmas Season, about to enfold.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

December 2010..

Today is starting day for the afore mentioned Boo Club SAL I've joined with fellow stitchers, from home and overseas.
I've also had word that my orders, for beads for the next SAL, have been mailed, as of yesterday. Still waiting on the pattern for that one to arrive.
As it is the first of December, a Christmas photo or 2 might be appropriate.

This is a quilt I made in 1985, seems like a lifetime ago. It is rolled and carefully stored by Epiphany, each year, ready to be hung the following Advent.