The beach at Kaikoura is grey and pebbly, but still beautiful. It’s a great place to eat fish and chips, as long as you can keep the seagulls away.
What Britscall a newsagent and the Americans call a convenience store, New Zealanders called a dairy. It is where you going to get the paper, a loaf of bread, a pint of milk and in New Zealand’s case, ice cream. We used to have a fantastic dairy in London Street, Lyttelton, called the Empire (it was also a pub/hotel and had excellent drinks deals at happy hour, which was a good time to meet up with people.).
In 2011, like many old buildings in London Street, the Empire Hotel was badly affected by the earthquake. It had to be demolished and it was sad to see it go, though the owners at the time of the massive ice creams had moved on. Now there is empty lot where's the Empire Hotel used to be. It is called Collett’s Corner and they are crowdfunding to try to finance a community building. They need is nearly $10 million dollars, so it will be a hard ask.
One month after the February 2011 earthquake, the poor Empire was being held up by some serious steel scaffolding.
Inspired by the book, Deep Work by Cal Newport (I’m inking while listening to the audiobook. Oops. I think that may be against the idea of the book…), I’m taking a social media break for the month of February. I don't actually use Facebook and Twitter as much as some people I know, but I do think that I need more time to be focused on some important things this year. I need to do a lot more drawing and writing, as well as get to grips with the garden and learn some new software so that I can migrate away from the iron grip of Adobe.
I will still be updating this blog and you can sign up to my newsletter if you want to know what Is going on with me each month. If you wish to contact me, there is good old-fashioned email (write to me at alexhallatt.com).
Fire danger signs are commonly seen around New Zealand, particularly in rural areas.
They have been around for so long they have passed into popular culture and/or and have been adapted for other uses.
Unfortunately this means that they probably don't have the impact they once had. We were away when the Port Hills fire happened in 2017, but the images we saw (the following are from the Christchurch City Council website) were horrifying. We are having another hot, dry summer and it is worrying to look around the Port Hills and see so much tinder. Though I am sure any response would be managed better this time around.
I've had contents insurance for years and (fortunately) never had to make a claim until now. And it was a good one: we had Macbook Pros from 2012 and 2010. Mind you, none of my software will work on the new macs and we have to get a ton of adaptors for the new USB-C ports, but I’m looking on the bright side!
There is no doubt that the quality of individual programmess on TV is better now than ever before. We have loved watching series like True Detective, The Wire, The Crown, Stranger Things and some of Brooklyn 99 (Although we’re not sure about the one that takes it to Florida). We still enjoy watching movies and documentaries. But there isn't the same shared experience of the television in my childhood.
I grew up in the 70s when there were only three channels in England and it was a big deal when Channel 4 opened in the 1980s. But anything that was any good became a topic of discussion the next day. And I was lucky enough to be living in the USA in 1990/91 when Seinfeld was just getting going. That was a fantastic program to talk about at the lunch table.
Now that we are spoiled for choice it seems that watching TV isn't as fun as it used to be.
Maybe I’m being unfair. We were in Feilding just after New Year and it seemed most of Feilding had left town. Or maybe it is always like that.