113. Geraldine to Christchurch

We stayed at Peski’s for four  days, making sorties into Geraldine when the weather wasn’t too bad. We regretfully gave the 1882 Cafe a miss (“next time”) but did go to view an amazing recreation of the Bayeux Tapestry. Made from million tiny pieces of spring steel, the teeth of patterning discs from an industrial knitting machine, stuck to heavy duty sticky tape, polished with black boot polish – yes really – and then hand painted with the teeniest paintbrush, one tiny tile at a time, it is a real labour of love. Created by Michael Linton, it took 20 years plus a further five years for Michael and his daughter to research, design and create the ‘final section’ of the mosaic. Only eight colours of paint were used, as in the original tapestry, and the whole mosaic measures 42 metres.  www.1066.co.nz

We bought an interactive DVD-ROM which describes the Bayeaux Tapestry in detail, plus it has many other features including lots of mind-bending puzzles. Have you ever really checked out all the figures and animals in the top and bottom borders, not to mention the main figures which tell the story? All are described minutely on the DVD-ROM. Here is a small sample, I hope I’m not breaching copyright posting this very small section – see the website for a photo of the whole. The central figure is Earl Harold of Wessex. Harold was King of England from January 1066 until his fall at the Battle of Senlac on October 14 1066. He is mounted on a palfrey, which is also  described in detail.

Tapestry Sc13

Back at Peski’s, Penny told us there was a dog in the mobile home which had recently arrived and set up near us. But it wasn’t just a dog – it was two glorious German short-haired pointers. what’s more they were dripping wet, not so much from the rain but from having a swim in the nearby creek! They reminded me so strongly of an old friend’s dogs which took me for a walk (not vice versa) in Melbourne some years ago. A great reminder that it was more than time to get in touch with my old friend again (which I did, and we’ve exchanged several emails since and REALLY caught up on news of our respective families).

It was time to get back to Christchurch and do some gardening in preparation for yet another Open Home as we try to sell our home of five years. We stopped for coffee at Ashburton. For years we always stopped at the Blue Cafe at Tinwald but it has now closed. However the large Robert Harris cafe near the Christchurch end of the main street has proved very good, with wonderful pastries and usually space to park, even T5.

Back home we parked in our old driveway, the tenants have gone and the house is empty, so we could use the shower and also store some gardening equipment in the garage temporarily. There was quite a bit of gardening to do, all the rain had certainly had effect. It was very nice to be back in my garden for a while, I have missed it very much while on the road. A neighbour popped over to check out who were were, a gesture we appreciated.

Since writing the above we have decided to withdraw the house from the market, put the tenants back in for nine months while we take off to explore Australia, then after that we will move back in for several years while we do some renovations.

It was very pleasant catching up with old friends and renewing acquaintances with the neighbourhood. We were just in time to bid the long-time local chemists goodbye as they are retiring. Penny and I had a pleasant walk visiting our old haunts, how some of the trees have grown.

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