As recommended to me by the older lady working in the Trade Aid shop in Picton. Good on you!
Normally we would never ever go away between Christmas and New Year in New Zealand. It often rains and isn't that warm. And everybody is on holiday, as this is the big summer school holiday. New Zealand is as busy as it gets (which, admittedly isn't busy by UK standards, but means crazy drivers on the roads and premium prices in accommodation). But one of my sisters was coming over from London with her family and the other sister had booked a bach for us all up in the north of the North Island, the Coromandel.
It used to be that ordinary Kiwi families had holiday homes ("baches", or "cribs" further south). But the increase in property prices, particularly near water, has meant that baches are becoming places that only rich New Zealanders (or foreigners) have. We were lucky to be able to find an old wooden bach that could accommodate all of us (bigger than the one above).
I haven't been to the Coromandel in 15 years and it has changed a lot. The old wooden baches have been replaced by much bigger and modern versions and any available land by the beach either had been built on or is being subdivided to be built on. There are very few beaches left in the Coromandel that don't have baches on their edges (New Chums is one and it is rammed with tourists because of it). The developers have their eyes on these. The money from Aucklanders and other rich outsiders (beachfront sections are retailing for $2 million) has changed the Coromandel. Places like Matarangi swell from 700 residents to 3000 and it feels like all of them have brought powerboats and jetskis.
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I've drawn a lot of comics about electric cars over the years. When they first started to appear in Arctic Circle, I thought the technology was in its infancy. I didn't think that I would be driving one in the near future. But electric cars have come a long way in a short time. There is an electric car share scheme (yoogo) in the little town where I live and I’ll be taking an electric car to go and pick up something I bought on the Internet on Friday.
It seems the future is here already.
The boyf were in Oamaru when we saw this chap working on his boat. He asked if we’d like to buy it, but there was no way we would because:
boats cost way too much to maintain and it works out cheaper to rent them when you need them,
I get seasick and
the boyf has just spent thousands restoring another old beauty, his 1975 Land Rover, Gertie.
I've lived in many places in the world that have a garden moniker. I went to university in the Garden of England (Kent). I spent a year and a half living in New Jersey, the garden state. Now I'm living in Lyttelton, which is a part of the city of Christchurch, which calls itself a garden city. Part of the reason for this is the wonderful Hagley Park in the centre of town. It has paths that are flanked by trees which look wonderful at this time of year.
What would be great is if Christchurch would plant more trees in avenues of roads. Trees do an amazing job of soaking up pollution and controlling temperatures. When I lived in Melbourne in Australia I was in a suburb that had lots of plane trees. The temperature in Elwood was about 5° cooler than the neighbouring suburb suburb of St Kilda, due to those trees. Trees are amazing.