On Saturday morning I headed down the road to the bottom of Lyttelton Harbour, where Living Springs farm is. I was the only volunteer who wasn't associated with the English school, so I did my best to teach the other volunteers English English and not what passes for English in New Zealand...;_)
When we lived in Hondarribia, there was a small fishing fleet there and there were 5 fishmongers. Admittedly, it was a larger place than Lyttelton, but considering the size, there should be at least ONE fishmonger.
We buy fish from the market most Saturdays, so that's something. But I don't know if it comes off one of these little boats. I'll have to ask.
There is a government-backed committment to make New Zealand predator free by 2050 and Kiwis are being encouraged to trap and kill predators in their own backyard. The focus is on rats, possums and stoats, but they would also like to see the back of hedgehogs. I have to admit I couldn't bear to kill the two hedgehogs we found in the sump last summer. Hedgehogs are dying out in the UK but it seems they are thriving here.
We have however been trapping rats. We have 12 traps in the attic that Duncan checks on a regular basis and there are now 6 dead rats buried in the garden. Until recently I had three trap tunnels baited with peanut butter and set up around the house to catch rats. These didn't catch any rats, only sweet little field mice (which are also an invasive species).
Although I didn't like it, I continued trapping these poor mice until one of the traps caught and killed a sparrow. Another "exotic" species, but that was a the last straw for me and I've stopped using those traps for now.
The boyf, Billie and I headed out to Lincoln last Friday and really quite enjoyed it. It is missing the sea, but has a little river and it doesn't have any hills, but it seems popular with cyclists. And what a library.
The laboratory was the closest you'll get to an English pub in Lincoln. Good food and dog friendly. Read more on the boyf's blog.
If I didn't live in Lyttelton, I’d probably choose New Brighton (though I would be worried long-term about the threat of sea level rise and tsunamis). New Brighton has a fabulous long sandy beach and a cool modern pier that stretches out into the Pacific. The council had to do a lot of work to repair it after the earthquake and it is due to open to the public again tomorrow.
New Brighton also has one of the new electric car charging points that are springing up around Christchurch.
But the thing I like best about new Brighton is the library. You can sit and work in a chair that looks out over the ocean and there is a cafe below whenever you need a break from that.
Another month has whizzed by, we're well into Autumn and we have been busy working on the house and garden while the good weather continued. Fortunately, the veranda was replaced before the weather turned wet this week. I'm also happy to report that I no longer get seasick going off to bed as the house has been re-levelled and new piles put in to keep it level-ish.
This week, I have been working on the illustrations for Chapter 13 of the second FAB Club book. By the next Epistle the drawing should be finished, which will ease the deadline pressure somewhat.
I've also been busy running cartoon workshops in Lyttelton. The first was in the library with kids aged 7-12. They were enthusiastic and engaged and it was very rewarding to see how much their drawing developed in a couple of hours. The second was at a youth club that catered to 11-14 year olds. We started with about a dozen kids and ended up with four! All of them were the younger ones who weren't distracted by their peers. It was a good learning experience for me.
I think that peer pressure in the early teens is a big factor in which interests we take up. Most kids give up drawing at this point, believing that their drawing isn't good enough to impress their friends. I was lucky at that age to have friends who loved to write and draw and we created comics to entertain each other. Without that encouragement, I might have given up too, as I don't find that drawing comes naturally to me and I have to work at it. It is the reason I give myself deadlines in order to develop my work. Doodle Diary on gocomics.com forces me to to draw at least three sketches of my life every week, many of which debut in the Epistle.
We are having beautiful autumn weather here in New Zealand. I went out on the paddleboard yesterday because the forecast was for very light winds. It started out that way and I got to the island in about 25 minutes. But by that time I had paddled around the island the wind had changed and Lyttleton harbour became choppy. It was a good 35 minutes of paddling to get back to Magazine Bay. I was knackered but it was totally worth it.