Farewell Christchurch

Finally most of my morning is taken up with sleeping in! So after a late start to the day, I grab my things and head off to the Art Gallery. Suddenly out of the corner of my eye, I spot Fiddlesticks. Yes, it is a fabulous place to sit outside in the sun to enjoy a coffee – well I ended up enjoying an omelette, muffin and no less than two cups of coffee. Yes the coffee was beautiful and it gave me time to write and finish yesterday’s blog.

The Art Gallery was across the road and in the midst of so much damage and older buildings was this beautiful piece of architecture that inspired such hope for a bright new future.

The art gallery was beautiful and full of artwork by New Zealanders.

I did have a bit of a flashback to Mary Poppins when I realised what this art installation was made of! “I love to laugh, ha ha ha ha…”

As I started walking I noticed this grey beanie and thought to myself – I know this person. Sure enough it was Sarena from Kate and Sarena at Fat Eddy’s. Anyway in typical Janet fashion I greeted her and she was delighted to say hi. Sarena was also the woman who played on the keyboards. I do hope she and Kate continue to build careers with their music.

Then I came across this beautiful statue. Then I read the piece that described it. Lorna Waring Rowland sounds like a fabulous woman. Reading the plague describing this statue is intriguing and it is great to hear the words not only of the artist but of the model – Lorna Waring Rowland.


As I came around one particular corner, I came across this art installation made up of beautiful books. Imagine how much I laughed when I read the sign!

After that I took off to visit the contemporary art gallery but as luck would have it – closed Mondays!

Then I began to wander the streets with the intention of finding the shop that advertised coffee and Gelato and to find a cinema. As I did I browsed through some of the shops until I found the Gelato. And yes it was worth the hunt!

Shirleen and I had originally planned on going to the movies today, so I decided to include that in my plans and I am so glad that I did and in the process discovered Alice’s Cinema. What a lovely place to experience film! I wish every cinema experience could be like this. The ticket sellers even insisted on bringing my coffee into me because they wanted to make sure I did not miss the start of the film – and in a cup and saucer no less!!! To be honest, the whole experience felt more up-market than going Gold Class.

Each cinema, as I discovered had it’s own theme and to my delight, I had to follow the White Rabbit to find my cinema! “I’m late, I’m late, for a very important date…”

The plan was to see ‘I Feel Pretty’ but it was not showing at that time so I randomly chose Sweet Country. Imagine the irony of discovering it was an Australian film! Actually I think it is one worth seeing. It challenges many of the stereotypes about what we might like to think happened during the settlement era but it still overall remained faithful to the harshness and cruelty of Australian history. There was also a complex layering of the characters that left me feeling like nothing was as it seemed.

After that I wandered back through the shops, picking up a couple of things for the boys and Soraya back home, then with a couple of hours to fill in before dinner, I dropped into OGB. I thought it would be a great way to fill in the early part of the evening anddid so with a glass of Laurent-Perrier Champagne and a Ploughman’s platter. Hmmm – it was delicious and hit the spot perfectly.

While there I met a young boy and his mum who lived in Queenstown – however she was originally from Brazil. They were off to The Killers’ concert tomorrow night but tonight they were going to watch Peter Rabbit so he could practise staying up late! Yet another beautiful moment shared with others. Sometimes I think these moments come particularly when you are traveling on your own and are one of the bonuses may not always value because they are just moments of connection.

Now I am back at Fiddlesticks enjoying my last meal in Christchurch. What a feast! Once again the waiter’s recommendation for which to drink with my meal was perfect. The lamb was delicious with a shiraz from the Hawkesbury region. After that I treated myself to dessert – a chocolate torte with cherry compte and kirsch sorbet, and a coffee. It was good but of course I am way over-full!!!

I have been very blest this trip to Christchurch, New Zealand. The time spent with my friend, Shirleen was so special and I have memories of our time that I will always treasure. Unfortunately life’s about turns meant that we did not spend today together but that is the way things happen and a great lesson in making the most of today.

The people of Christchurch continue to face enormous challenges, even seven years after the earthquake. How often do we hear in Australia that drought is tough because you never know when it actually starts or finishes much less the time it takes to recover. I cannot help but wonder if earthquakes could be interpreted in a similar manner. The aftermath of this disaster seems timeless and forgotten to all but those in the midst of it.

Until next time New Zealand! Adieu!

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