89. Winter 2015 – Christchurch

All good things come to an end and so it was with our second winter 2015 homesit at a dairy farm near Rakaia. Our charges the dog Ally and cat Marvi were a joy; after some initial hesitation even Marvi was happy to accept Penny as another animal with which to share their home.

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I took lots of photos of sunsets and snowy mountain ranges, both clearly visible from the homestead. It was lovely having a full-sized oven although it took me a little while to get used to it after my slightly temperamental smaller sized oven in the caravan – in fact it fought back, giving me a small burn and scorching a tea towel.

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We had several visits from friends and relatives and made a couple of trips into Christchurch including one special one to inspect a brand new baby, and enjoyed exploring the countryside around. But more often we just relaxed  ….

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The day the owners were due to return we shifted back to T5, where we were visited several times by Ally and Marvi who must have been a bit bewildered by this turn of events. I was sorry to leave them but I think Penny was happy to be the subject of our undivided attention again!

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One thing marred our leaving, it seems a small mouse must have taken the opportunity when the front door was open to zip inside the nice warm house and into the bedroom nearest the door, or perhaps it was brought inside by the cat. At any rate the day after we left a peculiar smell started in that bedroom, and it was not till several days later that it was traced to one by then very dead mouse hidden in the bedclothes.

So now we are back in the chestnut orchard in north Christchurch where we will stay till it’s time to hop on a plane heading for a relatively warmer place – Brisbane. The orchard looks so different …. bare trees and a huge amount of leaf litter and soggy chestnut husks on the ground. Some of our old friends are still here and we were delighted to find a Photographic Society member here too.

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A lone black alpaca romps around in a paddock at the back of the orchard and bounds over to say hello when Penny and I go for a walk.

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We have shifted to another site in the Orchard so we now have power and can run the small electric heater and use the electric toaster and microwave. As quite a number of other caravans/motorhomes have the same idea, it is necessary to limit ourselves to one appliance at a time or else the main fuse blows out – as happened several times on a very cold night!

We discovered a small leak in a water pipe in the bathroom, of course in a difficult place to access, but it was very lucky we did discover it or else we might have been returning from Australia to a caravan with a soggy mildewy carpet. Luckily Dave was able to replace the pipe without TOO much trouble. (Try lying on the cold wet muddy ground under a caravan).

We’ll be away in Queensland for a month and after a week with Nic and Mick intend to travel up the coast. At Yeppoon we hope to have a mini-reunion with several of my Darchy cousins plus a cousin from another family, then on to friends at Bowen and perhaps Townsville and Cairns. We will be looking for a suitable caravan and/or towing vehicle and by the end of our Australian trip we should have a better idea of what our future plans are (!). We also hope to fit in a Motorhome show at Maryborough just before we leave.

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