Tales from a Twiglet Holiday in Christchurch

We had a lovely holiday in Christchurch, The Husband, The Little Fulla and I. Well, most parts were lovely. There were a few ‘interesting’ situations. We’ll get to that in a bit. Christchurch still holds a special place in my heart. I think living in Christchurch through massive earthquakes and ongoing smaller ones was an experience that brought people together in many ways and such a collective experience has made me more attached to the city. When we go back and visit there are many things that still kind of feel like home: extended family, good friends, our church, the familiar streets, complete with damaged buildings, containers and all, and just the feeling of understanding, that I’m a part of what’s going on, even though I’m not there anymore. We even got a strong quake in the night while we were on holiday.

The Sign of the Takahe, one of Christchurch’s iconic historic buildings that is being repaired.
Containers aren’t just for shipping, they’re for holding up damaged buildings.

While so many parts of the city, commercial and residential, are still in damaged disarray, there are always new creative things popping up, like the re-start mall and the Margaret Mahy Playground, and new buildings are slowly appearing. I’m trying to re-become a Waikato lass because family is here or near and they hold a more special place in my heart, and I do feel I belong here too. But I still can’t help feeling sad when I leave Christchurch. And I may be a little more red and black than I should be… (That’s a rugby team reference for the international readers.)

Half of the tallest things in central Christchurch at the moment are cranes.
Much of the central city still looks like a bomb site or gravel desert.
It’s hard to believe that just a matter of years ago this was a normal, thriving central city full of historic buildings.
New beginnings: The Little Fulla explores the epic Margaret Mahy Playground. He might be a little more red and black than he should be too… 😉

One of the things I love about Christchurch is the climate. The cool breezes and low humidity were an amazing break from the sweltering north. Although, since we’ve been home the weather has thankfully been cooler. Mostly. Not today. Another thing I love is looking at people’s gardens as we drive around. Christchurch people have some beautiful gardens that they obviously spend a lot of time in. In comparison, my garden is looking very raw. So raw, it’s dripping with things that need to be done. Baby steps.

I suppose I should recount an interesting tale. While in Christchurch we took a holiday within a holiday to Hanmer Springs for two nights. The holiday house we stayed in, while very basic (and affordable) had a couple of nice surprises: a green grapevine and a plum tree. This fruit discovery was rather exciting since we hadn’t taken much fruit with us. Hanmer Springs is a beautiful place to visit, with favourite activities being the beautiful hot pools and the walking tracks through alpine forest. Going with a baby is a little different, as we found out…

The festivities began on the road. It was a one-and-a-half-hour trip and we timed it to coincide with a nap for The Little Fulla. After a wee while he fell asleep. Sorted! He only slept for about half an hour then progressively became screechy. “It must be either his nappy or he’s hungry” I said. I had fed him not too long before we left and checked his nappy. He must be hungry again. We arrived at our holiday house and as I got The Little Fulla out of the car I smelt poop. Oh dear. Of course it was poop.

We have had poohsplosions before; defined as when poop escapes the confines of the nappy; but this was something else. It was a poohnami. The poop went through two layers of clothes. The Little Fulla is well-known as a fidget. By the time I got his soiled clothes off it was on his hands and legs. I called The Husband for reinforcement. The Husband held his arms to prevent further spread but when I took the poop-laden nappy off, The Little Fulla kicked his foot in it. Then his foot touched his other foot. There was nothing for it but to burst out laughing. Poop reached his tummy, the change mat (thank goodness I had put that down), our hands; it was getting everywhere. The Husband ran to put the shower on while I tried to control all the fidgety, flailing  limbs, still laughing at the hopelessness of trying to control the poop. But there was no hot water since it gets switched off when guests leave the house. Oh dear. The Little Fulla had to be washed down. We carted our wee poop child off to the bathroom, The Husband holding his arms and I holding his legs, and the poor thing had to have a quick cold shower before we bundled him up. Fortunately, it was a sunny afternoon so it wasn’t too traumatic. Welcome to Hanmer Springs.

Walking around Hanmer Springs is too beautiful for words.

The rest of our Hanmer holiday was fun, with The Little Fulla’s first ever swim at the pools, walking in the beautiful forests and baby nap-induced quiet times, which were probably what I needed. But I think we will always remember that trip for its poohnami. Luckily for you, I instead have photos of nice naturey things.

DSCF5822 cp
DSCF5833 cp

DSCF5869 cp
My favourite trees in the world.
DSCF5917 cp
I took this photo of the bridge into Hanmer Springs on our way out. Three days later it was threatened by a forest fire on the cliff right beside the bridge, temporarily shutting off the town. My original plan would have had us leaving that morning. What a blessing I changed it. And they managed to save the bridge!

4 thoughts on “Tales from a Twiglet Holiday in Christchurch

  1. Spectacular scenery. Can’t quite get over that things are still in such a process of rebuild at Christchurch….we really felt for you all with the quakes…
    As for the little one and his nappy situation you’ve got total empathy from me here :). Why is it always when you’re travelling that these things happen?!


    1. Thanks Julie, yes I’m still laughing about the poohnami episode. It was pretty hilarious!
      As for Christchurch, even a lot of people in the North Island don’t realise how bad the effects of the earthquakes have been. A damaged city is no easy repair job. All the damaged buildings have to be inspected then fixed or demolished. Then there’s earthworks, creating foundations of epic proportions and rebuilding, not to mention all the planning and actually getting people to buy or lease land and buildings. A lot of people are struggling with psychological issues too. The mind just boggles. But you still can’t help but love the place!


What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s