April 14, 2014

More Royal Fever

On Day 8 of the Royal Tour Wills and Kate made it to Christchurch.  It was Kate's first visit - but everyone was very pleased to see William return.

My family had a field day out seeing them in various places.  James managed to get some video of them arriving at the Council offices where he works for their official welcome to Christchurch.  The video is here for now:

Ngai Tahu Karanga (Call) the royals onto their ancestral lands.  http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/live-updates-royal-visit-5915534

Then they made their way to Latimer Square where I was waiting with some students, right across the road from the new CTV Memorial site where they spent a long time talking to survivors and families of those lost in the quakes.
CTV Memorial Site

The new mural on the "Calendar Girls" building

Police moving in groups... Les Mills gym back right - good windows for people to watch from
 In the time we waited we got to admire the bomb dog checking out the nearby parked cars, the secret service men crawling everywhere, the legions of police around the barriers, or moving en masse, resembling stormtroopers... we spent some time with a policeman nearby - he admitted he wasn't armed but the high vis men on the building nearby with binoculars were.... ideal sniper vantage point.

Roof top Sniper alert

TV3 News meet the crowd - as did many other news teams.

The Crowds build up
Police and Secret Service discuss two dodgy blokes behind us.... 

Finally, they're here!!!

Wasn't expecting a minivan!
 They arrived in a minivan - it took us a while to realise the impossibly slender arm in the window was actually her. She is so tiny - tall and very slender. He was a tall and good looking young man ......

She's so tiny!!!

Mayor Lianne Dalziel and CERA boss Roger Sutton talk to the Duchess

Escorting a photographer firmly out of the area...

Meeting a family...

Leaving the memorial site and heading to the Cardboard Cathedral

So what can I say - yes they were lovely. Kate was gorgeous in Canterbury colours.

Alex managed to get a place down in Latimer Square and filmed them playing cricket.

They came quite close to him so he got some great pictures of Kate. Tonight watching the news the cameras got footage of him in the crowd. Bearded bloke -middle, back row....

The official cricket video can be seen here

They headed off to open the new visitor centre at the Botanic Gardens and then on to Wigram Air Museum.

They were shown a video on the rebuild...

Lots more pics here:

An amazing day. I always regretted missing seeing Diana... and we were away during the 2011 Quake Memorial service. When they got so close this time round I wasn't going to miss it - so glad I went.

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April 12, 2014

Royal Fever

William and Kate arrive in Christchurch on Monday for yet another earthquake memorial.  They will be near work so we thought we might wander up and join the crowds for a glimpse of the limo. Realistically all we can expect unless we start waiting at dawn!

I was pleased to read they will be getting a new coat for their spaniel Lupo. from our local Christchurch Company

Prince William and Kate's family pooch Lupo is to be kitted out in a New Zealand-made coat.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be gifted a specially made tartan wool coat for their spaniel to wear.
The New Zealand Dog Coat Company confirmed on its twitter account that permission had been granted for the gift to be given when the couple visit Christchurch on Monday.
Becky did Vet Nursing with us many years ago - and was recently featured in the papers with their Calm Coat for Dogs.

The web site is here

http://www.thedogcoatcompany.co.nz/ - lovely photos of the dogs down at the local Tannery Shopping centre.

I can see I might have to take Poppy shopping!

The weather is lousy here- forecast 10 days of rain.. better than Cairns with Cyclone Ita though. I took the dogs to the dog park...

They enjoyed it at least!

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April 4, 2014

Sad week for Christchurch

There have been a lot of sad staff at my work this week as they cope with the loss of two students from our Science and Health area. A past social work student, Amy, has been found murdered.
Police have formally charged a 38-year-old man with the murder and sexual violation of Christchurch caregiver Amy Farrall.
The Otaki man appeared before Judge Noel Walsh from his bed at Christchurch Hospital today, where he is recovering from dog bites suffered during his arrest.
The man, who has interim name suppression, was reportedly handcuffed to the bed and had heavy bandages on both of his legs, along with a small abrasion on his face. He did not enter a plea.
A corrections officer, hospital orderly, lawyer, police prosecutor and judge were also present.
The man was also charged with aggravated robbery, wounding with intent, failing to stop and reckless driving over the alleged attack of two tourists near Franz Joseph on the weekend. 
Then shortly after, a current nursing student, Sharla, was knocked off her bike and killed in a tragic accident.
Police have released the name of a cyclist killed in a crash on Lincoln Rd this morning.
Sharla Phyllis Haerewa, 22, was in her second year of a nursing degree at CPIT. Police said it seemed she was cycling to work at Christchurch Hospital when the crash occurred at 6.40am.
Police crash investigators said it appeared a heavy truck turned left from Lincoln Rd into an unnamed road opposite Domain Tce, but turned directly into the path of Haerewa on her bike. The front of the truck apparently hit the bike side-on.
The truck continued around the corner, knocking Haerewa from her bike and dragging the bike nearly 40 metres before coming to a halt.
Haerewa died at the scene.

My thoughts are with both the families. Lovely girls both lost in terrible circumstances. Parents everywhere can't help but feel for them.

I also hear that it has been extra hard for the current nursing students who have not only lost one of their fellow students, but are also having to nurse the murder accused and his other two victims. Apparently he has name suppression....
I really struggle with all that - I found it so hard to have to deal with people who I knew neglected or hurt their pets but I am immensely relieved not to have to nurse them! I have also learned a lot about sadism and psychopaths this year and what they try to get away with....

We will be visiting the SPCA as a vet nursing class this week. An annual reminder for me of the work they do to help the injured, abandoned and abused animals.
In keeping with Amy's love of animals, people are asked to donate money to the SPCA in her memory.

I can at least do that.

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March 27, 2014

Horseshoe Lake aerial view March 2014

CHCH EQ Photos did some more aerial shots of Christchurch this week..

Here is Horseshoe Lake - we live to the bottom right of the photo across the river.
It is almost empty.....


What did it used to look like?



Avon River Park had some pictures on facebook of the inner part - sad to see it so damaged

There are plans to use the sunken land as a potential rowing venue which will double as a flood plain reserve for the River Avon. Here is one of the proposals... which would mean blocking off the road along the main River and putting a bridge up. Parts 3 and 4 would be inside the Horseshoe loop...


The other option is widening the Avon....

The city is also changing  - maybe not fast enough and the roadworks are a nightmare.

Red Zone streets - no longer have road access 
Where did you want to go again????

The new grass areas are where the new frame will surround the eastern part of the city. Latimer Square is where the Rescue teams were based after the Feb 2011 earthquake. It used to be surrounded by buildings. At least the green is better than the dusty wasteland look.


Just had a lovely graduation dinner with last years classes - tomorrow we will be watching them graduate.  Another year gone.

The weather is cooler at night now - and although we all commented it wont be long until summer again, someone pointed out that type of thinking is wishing our lives away. So I will relish the beauty of autumn and live in the now!

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March 23, 2014

Appreciating the late summer sun as graduation week begins

I am really loving the spell of fine weather - an autumn treat as the leaves change colour around the city. We feel as if summer hardly got started this year so got to make the most of every day we can.

Poppy and Jess made some friends at the dog park... there were seven of them!

We spent a lovely day at Sumner Beach yesterday.  Hot sun, beautiful scenery and a relaxing afternoon.

Quiet day today after a very late chat with my Mother in England. She has sent me piles of lovely pictures of all my relatives and ancestors and it was good to chat and have a giggle together and catch up on her news.

Blair, my nephew has got a job in Auckland, so will be leaving us soon. Alex and I went to Mum and Dad's for fresh scones with jam and cream  and James and Jess came over. I took all the new family photos over to show them - it's a novelty for them to see their family resemblances too.  We also looked back at all the Kent  ancestry too for Dad and Blair.  It was a peek into a way of life that has gone; history captured in letters and photos.  It made us wonder how we will look back at our lives today - blogs, social media, digital photos - what will our grandchildren all look at?  The back ups we keep are never seen by anyone !

I got these pics of the Marlborough Sounds as I flew over on Thursday - you can just see the Interislander Cook Strait ferry in the channel crossing from Picton to Wellington.

You can see a map of the route at https://www.google.co.nz/maps/search/picton+ferry/@-41.2537453,174.2519566,11z

It is graduation week for us so we have reunions with our classes and formalities to look forward to :). I love seeing them all again. It is a timely reminder of why we do the work we do. Congratulations are definitely in order for all of them.

Have a great week!

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