July 31, 2011

Snow, Murder Mystery and a Céilidh... the week in Christchurch

The snow has gone... the last lingering bits cling to the roadsides, but we are left with only memories.

Digging their way out to get to work.

How did he drive with no clear windows

Memories - and the damage... a new chainsaw has made short work of the tree that lost so many branches.....

 Poppy has enjoyed her week but took advantage of the sun to warm up at a friends house.

The Camellias are on their way. It is spring in a month!
Last week we went out with some of the clinic staff to  Murder Mystery Dinner... it had an international theme as we travelled from France, to Rome and onto Scotland... and was very funny.

This week we carried on the Scottish theme and joined many assorted people to celebrate a friends 60th in a little hall, far out to the west for a Céilidh.  They reeled until the witching hour, finishing with a lovely waltz and Auld Lang Syne.. a lovely night of good fun and a chance to catch up with some friends from work. 

 Scott took to the floor with the birthday girl..

Typically some of the highlights of the night were the picture of the birthday girl face down in the snow, naked... taken last year, and the enthusiastic dance caller, resplendent in his kilt, proving he was a true Scotsman in some of the more animated reels.

New term of the new semester starts tomorrow. Two new classes, many new faces... three returning classes of familiar faces and for all of us,  a heavy workload.  At 10 am we have a paid union meeting. I support the need to argue for the new pay and contract conditions but the thought of having to stop work and picket dismays me... the timing really could not be worse, but i guess that is the reason for it. As the only one not actively teaching first thing in the morning, I will have to go. The nice thing about being a vet was we didn't have to do all this :(

July 29, 2011

Tour of the Christchurch CBD red zone - July 29th Christchurch - NZ Herald Videos

If you know Christchurch, you might recognise some of the places.... or more accurately, where some of them used to be.
If you don't, then it will give you an indication of the status of the deconstruction of the city. Perhaps that should be desecration...

“Results seen in people that have experienced post-traumatic growth include some of the following: greater appreciation of life, changed sense of priorities, warmer, more intimate relationships, greater sense of personal strength, and recognition of new possibilities or path’s for one’s life and spiritual development”

‪Baby Hippo Ballet‬‏ - YouTube

Thank you to Jo for this one... http://head-nurse.blogspot.com/2011/07/had-bad-day.html
A reminder that hippos are built for the water...
I think I am too...

July 25, 2011

Miss Poppy's Feeling for Snow

Might stay home today

Broken branch and buried car

Down the drive / right of way

Looking back at the house - more branches down - and we can't get the snow off
Thats a patch of singed hair on Jess - trying to get too close to the warmth! 
Horseshoe Lake
By the lake

Horseshoe Lake in snow

Look at the depth on the chairs!

Breaking branches

Christchurch Winter Snow

Virgin Snow

So we went to bed with heavy snow, and got woken by texts from Auckland after seeing Christchurch on the news.  We got our Winter Wonderland!  

 We haven't had decent snow like this since about 2006, although we had a light fall a couple of years ago. The big blizzard here was about 18 years ago. I wonder if this will cause flooding with the river levels rising? We can hear the snow avalanching off the roof!
We are not alone.... looks like much of the country is getting it, apart from the north half of the north island. 

Anyway - as we snuggle by the fire and adore the clean fresh view of the garden we will enjoy being on holiday and take the dogs out for a walk later.  The power is going out over large parts of the city - so might have to get the portable gas fire going, but meanwhile, the new heat pump is doing it's thing and we have the main gas fire going too.... but neither will work in power cuts. At least the earthquake has got us set up to cope with all that. 
Welcome glow
West along the road

The driveway out to the road this morning - definitely no work! 

Poppy checks it out
 Poppy is now curled up beside me by the fire after an exciting wake up playing in the snow.

 And it is still snowing - beautiful :)

July 24, 2011

Poppy barked at the strange snow covered man

Having some decent snowfall here now ... but Poppy didn't appreciate seeing it all .
Off to keep warm and see if we wake up to a Winter Wonderland :)
Just hope the fragile electrical infrastructure keeps working. The increased power usage will probably plunge us into darkness and the snow won't seem so great when we are freezing inside as well as outside:(
Back with more pictures tomorrow.

Snow on the deck

July 23, 2011

Christchurch Red Zone Video | NZ Raw

I took this video out of the car window.

So far I’ve only really seen photos of damaged buildings in the city centre and no videos. The photos I’ve seen only tell so much of the story. They each show a single location.

Quote from the page:
Last week, after not being allowed access to our Tuam Street office since February, we were finally given the go ahead to retrieve essential equipment from the office. As we were escorted in by CERA (Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority) staff, I took this video out of the car window...

For some reason, it’s almost more shocking to where a building used to be rather than the damaged building itself. Driving past the site of the CTV building was an eerie feeling. It was very strange to be driving along Cashel Street and look left all the way to Latimer Square.

Posted via email from Four Paws and Whiskers

July 19, 2011

Christchurch July 18 - CBD red zone - Ross Becker - Picasa Web Albums

The latest pictures from the centre.. for the benefit of those who live a long way away and want to see the progress in the "deconstruction" of the city.

We spent quite a while figuring out what was missing and trying to picture what it used to look like. Reality is that in many cases we can't.... but everyone can appreciate the empty spaces.

Life goes on in the malls and suburbs where many of the business have moved to and we can only look at all this nostalgically over the cordon fences.... the true impact is yet to come.

It was another sunny day today, so we headed North and had a look round the new houses in the Pegasus town area, checked out the lake (mill pond calm and deceptively inviting as there was no wind), had coffee with friends at Waikuku and fish and chips as we drove home. Nice being on holiday.....

One of the pictures shows the massive crane being assembled for the Hotel Grand Chancellor - there are pictures on facebook of it towering high above the 22 stories of the hotel - the tallest crane in New Zealand at the moment.

Posted via email from Four Paws and Whiskers

They always return to the scene of the crime ....

The victim..... If you know this "object" please call...

Murder? This is a job for ......Dyson

July 18, 2011

A visit to the seaside....

Shag Rock
I read Adrienne's blog today showing some pictures of Sumner after the earthquakes.  It was sad, because we had lunch in Sumner not long before the February quake, sitting across the road from the Museum, and the RSA.  It was a glorious, warm day at the time, peaceful; everything that lunch at a seaside resort should be.

So  as I am on holiday and it is another sunny day - crisp and cool, but blazing sunshine, we decided it was time to drive out there again.  So far I have only made it part way to Redcliffs, which I wrote about here in April, but this time we followed the containers and the raw cliff faces all the way along the estuary.

We all say photos cannot do justice to the reality. I stood and leaned on the car, looking up at the sheer scale of the ravaged cliffs, the damage to homes and lives,  and it seems so much worse when you are really there

Redcliffs - click to enlarge

Entering Sumner

The Coffee Shop

The once peaceful coffee shop is cross the road from much of the destruction in Wakefield St.  I hadn't realised just how close it was until I stood there again.

The view from the coffee shop in January- Museum to the right, RSA to the left

This youtube video shows the rockfall on the RSA Building - just click on the link to see it.

All you can see now- click to enlarge
Prince William there recently- the far left of the above photo, before the containers.

This video shows the footage of the damage to the area.

Our favourite beach front cafe is closed but we walked Poppy along the top of the beach, on the footpath, away from the contaminated water, enjoying the sea breeze and the beautiful view, finally stopping for a coffee at Underground, a friendly cafe with special waterbowls for dogs.

I even managed to check out the op-shop.


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