Cruising around Christchurch

Hey there Delilah,

I was so excited when I found out Clawdeen had turned up to visit me for a couple of days in Christchurch, New Zealand. I had to go and collect her in the car.

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I told her that we had to go back to my house for a bit so I could hang out some clothes on the washing line. I don’t think she was too impressed to start with, because she stayed in the car. But, she eventually came to have a look because she wasn’t too sure what I meant when I was talking about it… so she thought she would come and investigate.  She was surprised to see clothes hanging outside and was intrigued by the pegs that were holding the clothes onto the line. She did decide that it was a little bit boring, so she went to investigate the rest of the backyard. She peeked through a hole in the fence and met Floss the cat who thought Clawdeen was rather cute!

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 Once I had finished the laundry, we got back into the car and went for a drive around Christchurch. I thought it would be great for Clawdeen to see some of the city that I call home. We went to the Botanic Gardens which are in the centre of the city. Clawdeen thought that the flowers she saw were beautiful and that it was a great place for hiding! She was very sneaky! She found several purple flowers and especially took a liking to one that looked like a pompom. I showed her a branch of a tree that is a bit like a swing. So many people have sat on the branch that the bark has been worn off and it is smooth and shiny. She lay on it and wanted a swing. Near the end of our walk she spotted a fountain and was quite keen to have a look at it. It is called the ‘Peacock Fountain’ named after a man who gave the city money. It was built in 1911.

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After the Botanic Gardens we headed into the Museum. We were walking through quietly and I was explaining things to Clawdeen when I realised she wasn’t next to me! She had managed to find an exhibition of street art and was enjoying the display. She said she remembered how your Mum had taken a photo for the ‘Photo-a-Day’ challenge and she was hoping that you might be there because you had suggested the street art idea to your mum. We chatted about how far away Christchurch is from Brooklyn and she understood why you weren’t there. She did enjoy looking at the artwork that was on display.

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We then went into the Cathedral Square to have a look at some more flower displays. There was a Festival of Flowers on and there was a huge variety to look at. We saw a kiwi bird made out of a plant! I told Clawdeen that the kiwi is a bird native to New Zealand and that it is very special. She asked about the elephant and whether that was special to New Zealand as well. I had to tell her that it wasn’t. She did laugh at the cars that had plants growing in them and looked super carefully in the little houses to see whether anybody was living in them. She wasn’t too sure.

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When we were in the Square, Clawdeen asked about the Cathedral and why it was not open for people to go into. I told her that there was a new cathedral in Christchurch and that it was made out of cardboard! She didn’t believe me and immediately wanted to go and have a look at it! So off we went to the Cardboard Cathedral with Clawdeen telling me the whole time that she thought I was making up stories! We got there and she became very quiet, because I was telling the truth! It is a church that has been made out of cardboard. She thought it was rather funny. Once we got inside she told me she thought it was a rather cool building and that she was most impressed.

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After we had finished looking around the cathedral we went to New Regent Street where we spotted a tram, and lots of people having coffee. On the way back to the car we walked through Cashel Street Mall which has some shops in it that are made from shipping containers! Clawdeen thought that this was rather silly. I told her that all the other shops had been knocked down and they were using containers until they could build new ones. She decided that it was a good idea after all. I like how they have all been painted really bright colours.

We got back to the car and I told Clawdeen that it was nearly time to go and collect my son Alex, from school. She was really excited to meet him. We had a quick job to do on the way and then we would go and get him. Clawdeen was not too thrilled with me or the fact we had another ‘job’ to do! She did change her mind though, when she saw what I wanted to take a photo of and insisted that she be included in the photo! I wonder if you can work out why?

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Once we had collected Alex from school and were all safely in the car we drove to the library. Alex and I go to the library LOTS! We love it.

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Clawdeen was really impressed with all the different books and she even found some to have a look at. She found some that were about the U.S.A. and I could tell she was thinking about you when she was showing them to me.

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Once we had finished at the library, we went home and Alex showed Clawdeen his skateboard ramp. She was pretty keen to have a go, so Alex helped her as she wasn’t prepared to take her boots off or wear protective gear to help keep her safe. She had lots of fun by the looks of it! She eventually got very sleepy, so we tucked her into bed for a good night’s rest.

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Alex and I showed Clawdeen around the house and around the garden. She was surprised that we had so much space that Alex could play in and was rather amazed that we had our own vegetable garden. She told me that your school has an edible garden. Alex was super impressed when he heard that! Can you see the vegetables she found in our garden?

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She also really liked the sunflower and climbed up to the top to have her photo taken.

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The next day, before Clawdeen left Christchurch for the next part of her adventure, I took her for a drive up on the Port Hills so she could see the view. She was really impressed that we are so close to some hills and that you can see such a long way when you go up high on them. We looked one way and we could see the city and then we looked the other way and could see the water.

It was fabulous having Clawdeen to stay and I do hope she enjoyed herself while she was here because we certainly enjoyed having her.

Lots of love and hugs, Katherine (Bibby) and Alex

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