Monday, December 24, 2012

Rivers and Christmas presents

One of the nice things about being in Christchurch this time is that I'm getting the chance to walk more in the area I'm staying in - my wife is riding her bike, which suits us both.  Usually when I'm in Christchurch I drive everywhere, or rather I'm driven, since it's not a city I feel comfortable driving in, and this means I don't get to know it well.  It's not easy to find landmarks either, so often it just seems like an endless run of buildings or homes.  

Anyway this time I've begun to know a little more what with walking from the house were staying in to my daughter's place - it's only a twenty minute walk - and back again, or walking to church yesterday morning - the church was only about ten minutes away - or walking this morning to the Barrington Mall.  In the process of all these walks we keep crossing the Heathcote River (river might be a bit of an overstatement; I'd call it more of a stream, really, like the Kaikorai stream in Dunedin).  At one place there's a lovely bridge with ducks swimming and willows weeping; at another there's a path that winds along the side of the stream/river and a number of houses back onto the water.  It's interesting how many people have done something different with the bit of bank that belongs to their property.  In one place the property is entirely open, in another there's been a garden planted with steps down on either side, in another place there's a kind of pagoda (currently lit up for the Christmas season), in another a quite spectacular garden has been planted with plants that relate to the water. 

And besides all this my daughter's place is in a street where the Heathcote runs alongside.  All very special. 

Yesterday I mentioned that I wouldn't be getting a karaoke machine for Christmas, something for which I'm grateful.  I won't be getting a best Baby Taylor guitar either, which is just as well because I can't play a guitar.  It would be wasted on me.   Still, I'm sure there are lot of guitarists out there who'd appreciate a Baby Taylor; you have to be in the right vocation to make the best of one of these.  I wouldn't mind a can opener, for Christmas, one that would always open when I use it, rather than occasionally.  Or a car jack that would do the job by itself; a kind of robotic one.  Not that I've had to use a car jack for quite some time, but I know from experience that it ain't a pleasant experience.  I could do with a Tom Tom app that didn't have a mind of its own, too.  The one we have was giving us two sets of directions simultaneously yesterday, one with an Australian voice and one with the usual cultured English voice.  It seemed to have no qualms about having us go bi-directionally.  (Of course it always works when my wife tells it to; it only misbehaves when I set it up.)

Anyway that's enough options for Santa.  We'll see what he comes up with!
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