Friday, June 02, 2006

postcard from South Island

Well, all those things I said about not being sure about living somewhere with only really 3 seasons and how I'd miss winter... I'm wondering if I should take them back! I'm in Christchurch and someone has turned the heating off.

It's a bit strange - kind of like going to Northern Ireland from mainland Britain. You know that technically you are in the same (political) country but it feels like a completely different place and you have to cross water to get there. I guess not that disimilar to going to the Northern Isles too for that matter (they sound almost Welsh in Orkney, tis most disorientating). Why so different? Well on the way down there was snow on the Kaikoura Ranges - not a lot admittedly and yes there's snow on North Island too - I just haven't seen it yet, but the biggest difference for me is the trees. There are sooo many more deciduous trees here, to the extent that I was hearing comments yesterday about how sad it was that the lovely autumn colours had been blown away now, and most of the trees in the park by the Meeting House are bare skeletons rather than the native evergreens I've become used to in Wellington.

I came the slow way - ferry and intercity bus which meant it was a 12 hr trip from leaving my front door to arriving at Julian & Bridget's for my tea, but which also meant I saw far more than a blanket of cloud on the way not to mention it being far kinder to the environment. Somewhere north of Kaikoura there is a roadsign of a pedestrian crossing the road - someone with a sense of humour and probably at least 30 years under their belt has added a halo. The signs here are far more like stick men then in Britain so 'The Saint' walks on...

The usual stop in Kaikoura gave me time to nip along to the beach and take the same photos as last time - I'll upload them when I get back, but it all looked somewhat less blue than last time! What's more the beach was deserted apart from me and some rather cold looking seagulls who didn't even look as though they had the energy to cry 'mine, mine, mine, mine, mine.....' (if you haven't seen Finding Nemo then sorry, you'll not get that)

It's great getting a chance to catch up with Friends and family again. It feels odd how familiar it feels down here yet how little I know my way around, passing through in both directions for Summer Gathering added on to my stay here 2 years ago means I recognise a lot - I just don't know quite where I am! Nice as it is to be here and see everyone it has reinforced that Wellington is where I'd rather be living. I don't do flat very well. I need my hills rather than distant mountains altho' I must admit is is tempting to get Ali's bike out and see if I can still remember what to do. I don't think I've ridden since borrowing Emma's bike in Orkney in '94 and that was the first time I'd ridden in years! Ah well, you never forget how to fall off a bike do you...

If I get chance I'll write again whilst I'm here but no promises.... busy weekend ahead including dinners with Charlotte and Fran - well no need to go getting homesick for Welly is there?!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

dear Anna
I looked at that post myself last year and I'm so glad to see that you are happy with it! it sounds wonderful - I wonder if we could keep in touch? I was recently published in Quaker monthly, and would love to send a copy to you or the Christchurch meeting, if you want one. You (or anyone else from the meeting for that matter) can contact me using
and I would love to hear from you
Yours in peace and friendship
love and blessed be
Greta McGough