04 September 2011


Mike's neighbour Magenta with the Girls and Chickens
Hannah Testing Snow on Mikes Lawn

Catherine and I recently spent a week in Christchurch looking after two of our grandchildren, Tasman and Hannah, and giving their parents some respite to cycle the Heaphy track ( - that's what they do for a holiday)! We did some walking along the eastern coastline of Christchurch past Shag Rock (now 'munted', as they say, and sadly so for me as I'd spent some of my youth sitting happily on top of it) and spent a day at Oxford with my old climbing mate Mike White to give the girls some farm experience. It seemed to be all about 'chooks'. The girls were great company and the grandparents thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Each evening before tea I spent about an hour teaching them the art of cycling, braking and getting up again after a fall - the 'getting going again' seemed to come naturally to them.

It was sad on Sunday to look at the wreck of Christchurch - all the buildings awaiting the wrecking ball and the place where I started work (the old Provincial Building) collapsed - but my old office in the wooden part still intact.  It is certainly going to take many years to repair and the scars will be permanent.

Tasman, Hannah and Granny - a flock of reds!
Mike, Girls and Henny-Penny

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