Archive for the ‘Christchurch – wider’ Category

Meeting Murals

I found another mural I hadn’t seen before. This one is at 150 Colombo Street, on the wall of Formaggio’s Restaurant. It’s by Flox, and is titled An Ode to Hinewai. Hugh Wilson of Hinewai is featured in the top right-hand corner. I love the birds and flowers, and have admired other murals by Flox. The abundance of street art adds to the pleasure of walking around Christchurch.

It’s good to find another mural
around the city they are plural

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The Jubilee Walk, constructed for the 125th Jubilee of New Brighton in 1985, was where Christine and I walked this week. We started beside the river near Bower Avenue at the spot where New Brighton was named in 1860. A plaque was erected there by the North New Brighton community in 1985.

We saw several bird families on the river:

Swans with cygnets
Canada Geese with goslings

Our morning tea spot was the reserve which commemorates Jack Hinton. He was awarded the Victoria Cross during WWII for the courage he showed in a battle with German troops in April 1941 at Kalamata in southern Greece. After being hospitalised with injuries from the battle, he was taken to a prisoner-of-war camp in Germany. He escaped twice, but was recaptured both times and was imprisoned until the end of the war. In his later years, Jack and his wife retired to Bexley and regularly walked the banks of the Avon/Ōtākaro River, next to the reserve.

Jack Hinton Reserve

The stone above the plaque was donated by the Mayor of Kalamata in recognition of the heroic contribution of Jack Hinton and his fellow soldiers, and olive trees have been planted around the reserve.

Further on we came across this stump which looked like an animal.

Animal-like stump

The weather was mild, and this was a most enjoyable jaunt.

To walk beside the river is
a pleasure that is simply wiz

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Flotsam on the beach this morning was thicker than we’ve seen before.

Flotsam with ships on the horizon

Two horse riders were taking advantage of the firm sand, and keeping clear of loose dogs.

Horses on beach

The wind was strong and cold, and we admired a kite flying overhead, then realised the man controlling it had a kind of bicycle which was being pulled along by wind power.

Kite rider

So many different sights to see
they gave our walk fresh novelty

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Man and dog riding the same surfboard was a sight that surprised us at Waimairi Beach this morning.

Surfing dog

The dog was obviously loving it, and I’ve read that top surfers believe dogs who learn to surf develop a unique attitude, knowing they have something that sets them apart from other dogs. Surfing dogs have been documented occurring as early as the 1920s in the United States. Since 2016 there have been World Dog Surfing Championships in the San Francisco Bay area in California. I’m not clear whether these champion dogs surf alone or with their human.

I’ve seen a dog in a kayak before, but never riding a surfboard.

Whatever will they think of next?
Perhaps a dog who’s learned to text?

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The calm cloudy morning was ideal for another exploration along the Ōtākaro/Avon River. Christine and I parked in Brooker Avenue by the site of the Barkery, a dog adoption café, which has now sadly closed.

The Barkery

We crossed on the new Avondale Bridge. The ground looked almost as though it was covered in snow, but this was actually a weed mat protecting new plants.

Avondale Bridge

In Orrick Crescent there’s a community garden with beehives and scarecrows. A sign identified it as the Peter Roben Memorial Garden, a project of the Church of Latter Day Saints.

Scarecrow on bicycle with face obscured by apple blossom

On the other bank we were glad to find a swan on her nest, where we could just see there was one egg. We wondered where her mate was as they are usually very protective.

Swan on nest

The path under the Anzac Drive Bridge was flooded, so we walked beside the road, and were frustrated to be told by workmen that we must make a detour rather than just walk around the corner. This seemed absurd, as the workmen were chatting and there was no sign of any productive activity.

Detour ordered

On the way home we visited the Dallington Op Shop in Gayhurst Road, always an interesting place to browse, and I bought another jigsaw for my collection.

A morning stroll by riverside
gave exercise that satisfied

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To see spring lambs was the purpose of our drive to Rangiora. There weren’t many, but we did see some on the main road, including these four asleep in the sun.

Four sleepy little lambs

When I came close to the fence they woke up and (l)ambled away.

Waking lambs

Rangiora’s central area is inviting with many fine old buildings. In fact, you’d hardly know there have been earthquakes. We lunched at Coffee Culture, sitting outside where they have several large tables. I think these are a good idea as it means you may have a chance to meet and talk to other people. They also provide magazines to browse. We looked at The Simple Things, which I’ve heard of but not read before, and also Good, a New Zealand magazine I’d never heard of. It usually takes us all week to get through the Listener and the Guardian Weekly, but Stephen is always keen to look at other publications for recipe ideas.

Lunching at Coffee Culture

Afterwards we visited the Public Library which includes a small gallery. Their current exhibition, until 6 October, is Ngahere – The Bush of Aotearoa by the Professional Weavers’ Network of NZ Inc. Lovely woven pieces filled the room.

Hanging artworks

There was a sign saying Please make sure children are supervised at all times in this exhibition. Presumably there is concern that children might finger the pieces. No need to warn adults to keep their hands off? I loved this piece by Karuna Peralta.

Jewels on the Forest Floor by Karuna Peralta.

A northern drive on sunny day
with sleepy lambs along the way

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Snell Place Bridge, which opened in May this year, was where Christine and I decided to start this morning’s walk. Of course we found that roads on my pre-earthquake map are no longer open, but after a short detour we found the bridge. It’s painted an attractive green with wooden arches.

Snell Place Bridge

A number of whitebaiters were trying their luck along the river. I did wonder about pollution.


We were delighted to meet a family of ducklings, so new they still had yolk on their faces.


Many swans inhabit this part of the river. A couple were elegantly posed behind a clump of daffodils, but of course one hid as soon as I turned on my camera.

Daffodils and swans

It was a lovely calm morning, and a pleasure to see so many birds. We crossed the river at New Brighton Road and returned along Locksley Avenue, now devoid of houses.

We just walked slowly at our leisure
where trees and ducklings gave us pleasure

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Christine and I set out this morning with some trepidation as the forecast was for rain. We bundled up warmly and drove to Dallington, north-east of the central city. We’d planned to start our walk from the newly opened Dallington Landing, which we understood was at the corner of Gayhurst and River Roads. However, that location was not easily found and we eventually parked by the recently rebuilt Medway Footbridge, the third bridge on that site.

Medway Footbridge

The previous Medway Bridge was completely destroyed in the 2011 earthquakes, and part of it now forms a memorial.

Munted Medway Bridge

We followed the river back to Gayhurst Road where we discovered the Dallington Landing. This area is attractively planted, and all funded by the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust.

Dallington Landing

We’d met only one brief shower of rain, and were pleased to sit in a dry shelter to have our morning snack. On the way back we saw several swans and a few traffic cones that had been dumped in the river.

Swans and cones

We popped in to check out the Dallington Craft Shop at the corner of McBratney’s Road, where they offer free books, magazines, and jigsaws. I couldn’t resist adopting a couple of jigsaws to add to my collection. Round the corner the Dallington op shop was also open, so we browsed there. For just one dollar I bought a hole punch to replace my old one which is inclined to leak small bits of paper. All in all, a satisfying expedition.

After a walk it’s good to stop
and browse an interesting shop

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Stephen now has a mobility parking permit which makes everything much easier when we are out and about. This morning we needed to do a couple of errands at Papanui, and decided to have lunch at Kidd’s Bakery Café on the way home. We hadn’t been there since well before the pandemic.

The cafe was not busy and had a sign up warning they were short-staffed because of Covid, but the service was fine. On a day when heavy rain and possible snow were forecast it seemed amazing to be comfortable to sit outside in their garden courtyard. It also made good sense for social distancing.

Lunch at Kidd’s

Stephen had a chicken filo, and I had a Quesadilla with sesame chicken, which was flavourful and filling. Both of these were warmed in a small oven (not microwave) which gave them a good toasted finish.

The other group in the garden area included young children who were supplied with colouring pencils. After they left the sparrows swooped in to clear away any crumbs.

We sat outside at Kidd’s Café
surprising on a wintry day

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After rainy days we needed an outing, and drove to Kaiapoi. They have an excellent Salvation Army op shop which is always fun to browse. I prefer op shops to ones with brand new merchandise. If I see something I fancy there I know I can afford it, and if it turns out to be unsuitable I can always donate it back. This time I bought a jigsaw, and Stephen bought a Greek cook book.

We then went over the road to the café in the old station building, which is called Paris for the Weekend.

Paris for the Weekend Café

We last went there for breakfast two years ago, and liked it. This time they were offering orange-flavoured hot chocolate, which was delicious, and ideal for this jaffa-loving person, although I would have preferred it slightly hotter. We enjoyed a light lunch sitting in the turret area which is definitely the prime spot.

Turret table

There’s a new kinetic sculpture on the riverbank behind the café:

Karo by Andrew Drummond

and it’s always good to see the Kaiapoi River Queen:

We hope to have a trip on this when the weather is warmer.

A pleasant drive to Kaiapoi
with light lunch that we did enjoy

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