Akaroa was lovely. And here are some photos from flickr to prove it. As I can't get the photographers' names to appear underneath, please click on the photos themselves to see who the clever photographers are. (Credit where credit is due.)
The history of the place is that the French arrived in the harbour and planted their tricolor flag, but were two days too late - the Treaty of Waitangi with Britain had just been signed.
Happy to say, Niece S survived her budget accommodation experience. I'm sure, although she would never admit it (well ... maybe when she's forty) she will be all the more enriched from having had the experience of 'slumming it' with the rellies in Akaroa. (And darn it all - I didn't get to read until too late, Becky's comment on my last post with her suggestion to say to Niece S - 'Suck it up!' Oh boy would I have got her good with that! She wouldn't have known Aunty Chiefbiscuit had it in her!) Mind you, her mother - my sister L (not to be confused with McD) was just about as bad, moaning about how every time she looked around, there was a toothbrush-armed person on their way to the facilities to clean their teeth. Do I need to see that? she wailed. She also asked why all the campers were always so damn perky and happy? It was driving her insane. I felt like I should warn our fellow campers to refrain from offering their usual bright and cheery 'Good morning' (or 'guten Morgen' as the case may be) my sister's way, as they were in imminent danger of receiving a swift kick on the ankle.
Nuff said. We had good fun, with the rowdy game of charades on the last night the highlight of our stay. (And don't ask what b-i-l B from Australia mimed for the song title, 'She'll be Coming Round the Mountain'.)
We all then stayed another night with my sister in Christchurch, returning the rental car (and breathing a sigh of relief because the mobile phone that was rented with the car had survived its dunk in the Waikaia River okay; my sister S from Oz not having to pay for damages after all.) At 6.45 the next morning I dropped the four of them off at the railway station so they could catch the train to Picton, and then the ferry across to Wellington to see the rest of the family up there. They are having a most wonderful kiwi holiday. (Next instalment may be in my sister McD's partner, Dinzie's blog?)
Since arriving back from Akaroa and Christchurch, I've been writing prose and poetry for a deadline - today. I made it, but feel that the intensive writing workout has tilted my brain, causing brain cells to roll off into a corner (like one of those hand-held games involving tiny ball bearings) and now my head needs to tilt the other way, so my brain cells can reassemble into their normal pattern. (Seeing as I was up writing until three a.m.this morning, it is no wonder that I'm feeling a little confused - a little less than my usual alert wee self.)
Meanwhile ... I have got work again. Starting tomorrow, I'm back at the pre-school. Just for a month. It will be thrilling to see them all again after a little over two months away.
The weather continues dry. ABM has just come in from his usual twilight golf and said it was magical - still and warm. A beautiful night. We have no grass left on our lawns. As I pass what little summer flora we do have, I hear their tiny whispers, gasps and whimpers for water. I do try to remember to give them all a drink every day. I'm not completely heartless.