Wednesday, 5 April 2017

A stroll around Christchurch and meeting Antje Schmidt

PHIL: Day 52/7 April

The rain is dripping off the eaves at dawn. A relief really as it allows us to catch up on indoor activities rather than sightseeing. Visit Rick Gant, a local private balloonist and then link up with a long-lost tennis partner of Allie’s from Schwieberdingen who has now settled in Akarua near here. 

Old cars rally
There is a Volksfest on at the old Christchurch University complex – Kiwis are mad-keen collectors and restorers of everything from tractors to aeroplanes.

More wine in the evening mixed with watching ‘Team America’ DVD which Andy promises to be hilarious but merely confirms to me that Americans just can’t do subtle humour. 

This parody of US world policy is scathing and the puppetry clever but the only laughs are puppets attempting a variety of sexual positions. Andy realises ‘we are not amused’ and switches off after half an hour or so.

Old building in Christchurch
ALLIE:DAY 52: Saturday, 7th of April

A rainy day, meeting old friends of Phil and mine and a cosy evening at home

Wake up to the sound of rain! We are so fortunate. This is the first real rainy day. Drizzle the whole day. But it doesn’t matter. After breakfast we all drive out to meet Rick and his wife, ballooning friends of Phil.

Long time no see! With Antje in the pub
Have a coffee and a chat with more hot-cross buns (an English Easter tradition). Then Phil and I drive into Christchurch and have a rainy walk around. Most shops look rather tacky and touristy to us. All you see indeed are Japanese Sushi bars.

At 12.30 we are meeting my old tennis friend Antje Schmidt.

I haven’t seen her for at least 15 years and she has moved out to work in New Zealand for two years now.

Antje has hardly changed since I last saw her
She lives in Aoraki and works for the boat company. We have a pint of Cider in the Irish pub (the best place we could find) and chat about living in this remote country.

What she misses is – like you would expect – the history and the closeness of others countries. New Zealanders are proud of everything that is older then 100 years.

And you can’t blame them, but compared to buildings in Europe that date from 14th century, that is nothing. Nevertheless she loves the countryside, the friendliness of the people and the relaxed lifestyle.

After lunch she takes us to the Art centre - a nice traditional English building.
The rest of the day is spent at home, talking, eating, drinking and chatting. Oh and I rang home and had a nice 10mins talk to my mum. 

No comments:

Post a Comment