Archive for the ‘Christchurch – Central’ Category

I’ve bought my eggs from PIKO for the past 36 years. I appreciate that they come from free range hens and egg boxes are recycled. Deliveries are made Monday and Thursday mornings, and I usually get half a dozen at a time, occasionally a dozen.

With the nationwide shortages lately PIKO have limited sales to two dozen per customer, and deliveries sell out quickly. Yesterday we had only three eggs left, so I went across at 10.30am hoping to buy a dozen, as I knew I’d be out on Thursday morning and not able to stock up then.

To my surprise there were no eggs on display, they were all stacked behind the counter where a staff member was busily packing them into boxes. When I inquired I was told eggs now need to be pre-ordered, and that when they’d filled the prior orders they would phone me to let me know when mine were available. I was relieved to get my dozen and have placed a standing order for every Monday.

Egg rack re-stocked

I haven’t checked the egg shelves at the supermarket but have heard of friends who’ve missed out on getting eggs. It’s especially hard for vegetarians and those who like to bake. There are lots of hints around as to what you can substitute for eggs. One friend told me she made a Christmas cake using golden syrup instead of eggs, which turned out fine.

The egg shortage is likely to last for another six months until more young hens come into lay. The upside is that no hens will now be confined to battery cages. The price of eggs and of some baked goods will go up, sad when the cost of living is making life hard for many, but we need to remember that previously it was the hens who were paying.

Have you changed your ways with eggs?

Support for moves to free range hens
means liberation from cruel pens

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Big Birds

A mural I hadn’t seen before is on the fence outside Rydges Hotel in Oxford Terrace. It features birds and reptiles of Aotearoa, and is by Chilean born artist Rodrigo Rozas.

I love all these images, and like to think that the people in town for the Buskers’ Festival will admire them too.

I hope that you will spread the words
so folk can see these native birds

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Peculiar Plate

This number plate caught my eye in the car park at The George.

To me it seemed slightly offensive and reminiscent of the objectionable term used by a former M.P. to describe women. The fact that it was attached to an expensive BMW made it seem worse. I thought that someone with that kind of money should have better sense.

I googled and found that colleges in India offer a Bachelor of Unani Medicine and Surgery, and some of these institutions are known as Top BUMS. Maybe this BMW driver is a medical graduate?

Could graduates perhaps become
known locally as a Top Bum?

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Stephen’s favourite activity is to eat out, so one of his Christmas presents from a daughter was a Christmas Eve dinner at Venuti, our favourite Italian restaurant. I’m lucky that he was happy to share his present with me.

We arrived early to be sure of nearby parking, and strolled down to Victoria Square where the dandelion fountain was playing and people were starting to set up for Carols by Candlelight at 9pm.

Venuti was taking bookings from 6 to 7pm, so they could close at 9pm and go home to do their Santa duties. We were happy to eat early and support their being able to finish ready for their two weeks’ holiday.

Our table was by the window and we enjoyed watching the passers-by who included many members of the Salvation Army Band complete with instruments, and members of the combined Christchurch Choir carrying songbooks, all headed for Victoria Square. We also saw people with bags of takeaways, and uber eats being delivered across the road. All this while we relished our delicious meals. Stephen had his favourite Margherita pizza while I chose grilled gurnard with caponata (eggplant relish), vegetables and salad.

Dinner at Venuti

To finish we shared a serving of Tiramisu – always our choice at this restaurant and always delectable.


We drove home in daylight, thus avoiding any late-night hoons, in plenty of time for a Christmas Eve Zoom with the distant daughters.

The meal is always such a beauty
at favourite restaurant Venuti

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Aiming for the central city to do some Christmas shopping we found our usual mobility car park was occupied by a delivery truck making several deliveries. We therefore headed to The Crossing car park where convenient mobility parks were available on Level One. They used to charge just $2 for two hours, but this has now gone up to $3.50 – still a reasonable price.

On the walkway to Ballantynes we met a number of Christmas trees. There was a competition to choose which one you prefer, but voting was by smartphone, and I didn’t bother.

Christmas trees
My preferred tree

My choice, would of course have been the one with the flamingo on top. Called “Flamingo Kisses” it was entered by the Calvert family who said: “Topped by a magical flamingo representing the colourful Christmas our family shares.”

The tree that has the pink flamingo
in my opinion rates a Bingo!

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The dining room of Warner’s Hotel in Cathedral Square was full of smartly dressed people, with many civic dignitaries present on an evening in 2001. The occasion was the 100th anniversary of a dinner held in honour of Captain Robert Falcon Scott before his epoch-making voyage of discovery to the Antarctic. The original menu from 100 years before had been re-created, and there were many courses. The only one I now remember was jugged hare.

Scott married his wife Kathleen in 1908, so she would not have been at that original dinner, although she was in New Zealand for his 1910 expedition. A book “Widows of the Ice: the Women that Scott’s Antarctic Expedition left behind” by Anne Fletcher , dealing with Scott’s ultimately doomed second expedition, was published this year. As well as Kathleen, the book features Oriana Wilson and Lois Evans, and tells how they came from different backgrounds and how they dealt with the intrusive publicity when the tragic outcome of the expedition eventually became known.

At our dinner the guest of honour was Sir Edmund Hillary. After the meal many people brought $5 notes and asked him to sign them because the note bears his portrait. I didn’t do this, it seemed rude to me – a bit like the intrusions journalists had made into the lives of the widows of the ice.

A dinner to commemorate
the men who later met sad fate

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Clever number plates often catch my eye. Yesterday this truck was parked near my home, outside where new units are being built.

It was there to empty the portaloo which provides a necessary facility for the construction workers.

Their number plate diverted me
it shows they deal in poo and pee

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Today we had the best value breakfast we’ve come across for a long time. We went to Thrive Café, which is part of the Christchurch City Mission at 269 Hereford Street.

Thrive Café

There’s just one cooked breakfast offered, bacon, eggs, and hash browns, for $7.50. It was perfectly cooked and well presented. They also had an enticing array of cabinet food. Prices are kept low at this social enterprise to provide access for everyone to food and a café experience, and the total cost was half what it would be at a “mainstream” café. Profits go to the City Mission and I wonder how they manage to make any profit. I thought maybe some of their workers would be on unpaid work experience but was assured they are all paid. The café is open 7.30am to 2.00pm each weekday – not sure about weekends. They do outside catering as well, and there is off-street parking with two mobility parks.

Good breakfast at a low cost price
and cabinet food looked very nice

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Our cottage has been repainted outside. We chose to have the same colour scheme again, because I love it and it makes the cottage stand out.

I can thoroughly recommend Stone Brothers Painting Contractors. Their price was good and their work careful and thorough. The project took seven working days, sometimes with two men, sometimes with just one. New health and safety regulations meant scaffolding was required, which wasn’t the case last time we were painted.

Preparation for Painting

Ziggy was very interested in all the activity, and appreciated their leaving drop-cloths in various spots for his comfort.

Ziggy on dropcloth

I’ve since washed the windows, and am relieved to know I won’t need to wash down the walls this year as I have in previous summers. It’s great to have it all done and to have the building looking good.

Painting complete – note how quickly the roses have bloomed

We now have a refurbished nest
with painters who were just the best

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daily life
cycles continue
tulips in municipal beds
scents of sweet jasmine assail those who walk by my house
determined plants push through cracked paths
remind us we are
the garden

Assailing Jasmine

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