Sunday, June 16, 2013

WARNING MANY PHOTOS ....MY 75TH BIRTHDAY .... HOW COME I AM SO OLD?


I woke up early, 5 am, just like an over excited child. More truthfully, I was disturbed when someone got up and although I was determined to stay in bed I never dozed off again.

Once we had worked out how to start our day it flowed long in a delightful way. I could not have orchestrated it so well. There were a couple of hiccups like our son waking with a stiff neck and needing to see his chiropractor. He is currently having treatment for a badly mis-aligned spine and today's pain was probably the result of yesterday's manipulation and being overtired from a long, tiring week at work.

We went to the Farmers Market at Dean's Bush, Riccarton. This is an up-market, Farmer's Market with some interesting vegetables like hot chilies, many types of cabbage, Japanese radish and everything it seemed except spinach, which I wanted.

There were several meat producers with sausages, smoked meats etc and the rest were loaded with delicious baking, cakes, breads, hot food stalls and a few specialty stalls. The day was chilly and grey or we would have spent a lot more time there. It was in a pretty setting beside the Avon River. A few hardy souls sat on the grassy banks enjoying their food.

It was a short walk from Dean's Bush to the Riccarton Mall but enough to give me a pain in the eye. John put gel drops in for me and once I could see again we wandered around until we came across the Chocolate Lounge, the most dangerous shop in the Mall. First treat coming up. Belgium Dark Chocolate Mochaccino.
EMPTY CUPS ... TOO DELICIOUS TO SHARE

Amanda, Wayne's wife, returned to pick us up, (she had been doing a couple of work related jobs). Next stop C1 Espresso in the central city.

This Cafè is in a stand alone building, once the High Street Post Office, a survivor of the earthquakes in a street of demolished buildings. There are beehives and a pointing man on the roof.
STATUE OF MAN ON ROOF POINTING OVER THE CITY
The lights are recycled from the Art Centre.

The pinball machines, old sewing machine and sliding bookcase were rescued from the original Cafè.

The owner has encouraged coffee growing in Samoa. There are too many stories to write here. We ordered at the counter and found a table. While waiting for our food I began to wander around, taking photos. The staff were so polite and stepped aside or waited for me to take my shot before moving through. Such patience surprised me.

Finally I returned to our table to find the others eating but no sign of my food. I was on the verge of asking if it had been overlooked when it arrived. The staff had been keeping an eye out for me and waited until I was sitting before bringing my meal which was delicious and fresh and hot. I had a courgette and bacon slice with fresh salsa and salad. It was just right.
THE SLIDING DOOR LEADING TO THE KITCHEN, TURN RIGHT TO THE BATHROOM

Wayne was feeling miserable so Amanda took him home while John and I strolled up High Street between the protective fences all the way to Cathedral Square.


CATHEDRAL SQUARE AND THE REMAINS OF THE CATHEDRAL

This street was opened to pedestrians recently, but not through traffic. I took many photos of the desolation and future expectations. Our walk ended in the Start-Up area where shipping containers have been arranged to make a funky shopping mall in Cashell Street.
IT WAS THE CHRISTCHURCH BRANCH OF THE BANK OF NEW ZEALAND BUILDING

It's only 14 months since the destructive 6.3 quake on February 22nd, 2011, which changed our second largest city forever. There are many people who still live in awful conditions and the city has lost so many historic and beautiful buildings it is unrecognisable.

But that is not what I saw and felt. I found life, a city rising out of the ashes. People with vision and excited about the future. People, proud of what they have and are and will achieve.

This is the most exciting city in the world. Words like resilience, innovation, inventiveness, creativity and determination all come to mind.

We did a little business, sorting out a minor banking problem in one of the Banks in a container. We walked across the road to one of the schools John attended as a youngster.

We walked around the church where he sang in the choir. It was a High Anglican Church and that means the services were more like Roman Catholic services with swinging incense burner and procession of altar boys.

It seems that St Michael's school continues in a new block of classrooms but the church is meeting elsewhere while repairs are being made. St Michael's is one of the few churches to survive.

After all that walking and photo taking it was time for another cappuccino. We chose Taste Of Coffee in the red container and opposite the Humming Bird Cafè in the brown container.

A text to Amanda and she met us by the Bridge of Remembrance which is also closed and under repair. We thought that was the end of our day out and John changed into track pants and we put our outside clothes in the cupboard. We were just getting cosy in front of the fire when we were asked if we would like to be taken out to dinner. Silly question!

Half an hour later and in our glad rags we set off for GOR:LLA and had a delicious fun meal of shared plates, some small and one large. Pork crackling with chilli dipping sauce, smoked ricotta and pickled vegetable salad made a satisfying starter. Shoulder of lamb with a light sauce based on aioli, pear, arugula and parmesan salad, crispy potato cubes done in dripping, (fat), beetroot, almond and feta salad made our main course memorable. The lamb was roasted to perfection and it was so tender you could pull it apart with a spoon. The meat melted in your mouth and the accompaniments were perfect. The food was so delicious we had to finish with dessert. We all ordered salty caramel icecream. Someone mentioned to the waitress it was my birthday, and when I complained that no-one had baked me a cake with candles she returned with a fine taper already lit. The staff joked with me over the pathetic singing and I blew out the candle with one puff.
MORE CREATIVE USE OF SHIPPING CONTAINERS

John and I are now sitting in front of the fire. Amanda and Wayne are out and the rugby is On. A test match with All Blacks and French. I'm not at all interested except to know the All Blacks are winning 23 to nil with the game three quarters gone. Final score 30 - 0

Now it's time to add in the photos. I hope you enjoy them. I have so many it was a job to limit them to 28, but who's counting? I believe it is polite to limit photos to 8 or 9. OOPS!


5 comments:

  1. I loved the photo tour... what a people to admire. They went through so much (and still are) yet they look forward with courage. I can learn from them.

    I'm so glad you had a good day... happy happy Birthday, MargieAnne. May the Lord bless you with many more healthy and joyful ones to come!

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  2. Amazing photos!! thanks. And, Happy Birthday. I hope you have a lovely day and don't worry - you don't act your age at all and that is a compliment ;)

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  3. Happy Birthday, better late than never :)

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  4. Happy, happy birthday, looks like you had a great day!!! missed you, glad I found you again, followed when you were in Hawaii, then you have not been posting on that blog & forgot this one.... just noted you are a day ahead of us!! How very weird, sort of....

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