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Published: April 27th 2009
It's almost impossible to think that we've already been here one month. That said, it has been a super busy month.
Our house is also looking very different. We went all over town looking for some furniture, but ended up finding a lounge set at our favourite shop where we bought our bed. The couches looked a bit dirty, but when the saleswoman showed us that the single couches lean right back and have footrests (proper lazyboys) she sealed the deal. Back at home we gave them a good scrub with some clothes soap, and ow they're actually looking really good.
A box of things that we collected during our travels arrived from SA, and with the paintings, weavings and hammocks hanging on the walls, it definitely looks much more like we've made our mark on the place.
Cath has been getting into her project at full steam. It's funny, in at least two of her courses one of the main projects for the semester is to give a lecture to the rest of the class (being Postgrad, her classes are pretty small). The way I see it the students are both paying the fees and doing the
lecturing. Really smart move on behalf of the lecturer!
A week after my first kite out on the estuary, I tried to do the same thing again, but when we arrived at the grassy launching spot next to the estuary, the other kitersurfers were just coming in. We walked over to the water to find... mud. The last guys out had even ploughed tracks through the mud to get back. It turns out that the estuary completely dries up at low tide. So I'll have to check the tides as well as the wind! We headed to the beach instead, where I managed to have a really good kite. The beach is long and empty, so it's a great spot to go in the right wind.
We haven't managed to take that much time to travel yet. We did do a weekend trip out to Akaroa, after David and Eriko told us it had the best fish and chips in the country. Even Dave was keen to go and he doesn't even eat fish. Akaroa is a beautiful town on the side of an inland bay. Small coffee shops line the main road an there is a jetty
out into the bay where boats that take tourists dolphin-watching moor. It was a really beautiful day to be out there, with the bay glowing bright blue. And the fish was really good.
I also had to make an overnight trip up to Blenheim, in the Marlborough winelands at the Northern tip of the South Island to collect samples for my project. It was awesome to get out of the lab and spend the day walking down the vineyards, tasting grapes and being out in the sun rather than indoors all day. Just to finish off a great day, the Dr we were visiting took us for a beer at a local microbrewery and then out to his Morris dancing class. Morris dancing is a kind of Shakespeare-age British folk dancing which involves a lot of stomping and whacking sticks together. It was pretty unusual, but good fun.
Back at home, Cath managed to use her poor, friendly South African face to good use. Some person we've never met who works at the university offered us a braai for free. It's a big gas barbecue, and we can't afford a gas bottle at the moment, but we did
find that the gas nozzles come off, so a few ours after getting our new braai we had a few friends over to break it in with us. Definitely more good times to come now that we have a braai out in the garden. Lets hope we still have a few more days of sunshine!
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