Hi Folks a few weeks ago I mentioned that I was going on a holiday. My holiday was a planned visit to see my two brothers. I did think about cancelling my plans because of the coronavirus but decided I would be alright.
Tuesday 11th of February I set off on my trip. I arrived at the Brisbane International Airport early afternoon. Checked in ready for a 3.5 – 4 hour flight across the ditch to Christchurch New Zealand. I took an Air New Zealand budget flight which meant I would arrive in the middle of the night. I had a safe flight, arrived around midnight. I preordered a super shuttle bus to transport me to my brothers place.
Alistair was waiting out on the council path and seemed excited to see me. We sat in the kitchen and had a quick cuppa before retiring for the night.
Alistair having his breakfast . 12/02/2020
Alistair is 63. He lives in the unit that my deceased parents owned , its still in my mother’s name and the public trust are in charge of it. Alistair was born with poor eye sight which cannot be fixed. If you can imagine looking through a straw that’s what Alistair has learned to live with. He is not considered legally blind, nor does he use a cane. Alistair was also born with Macroglossia – which is a medical term for an unusually large tongue. Severe enlargement of the tongue can cause cosmetic and functional difficulties in speaking, eating, swallowing and sleeping. Its uncommon and usually occurs in children. Alistair’s main problem is speaking and eating, he doesn’t appear to have problems swallowing and sleeping. I believe Alistair does have mild intellectual impairment. Alistair was educated at a special school only because the headmaster at the school where his siblings attended refused to have him there. Alistair has never had paid employment, he does voluntary work at a residential home for dementia – my mother lived there for 5 years. Alistair goes to the Salvation Army every Sunday morning, he plays indoor bowls , has many trophies, and currently is coaching adults with disabilities. Alistair has a nickname MOT – Minister Of Transport – he has a passion for buses and trains …he knows everything about them, even more than some of the drivers. Alistair has never been in a relationship, he lives alone and manages the best he can. The government provide a domestic cleaner for one hour weekly and a pension for him. Alistair manages well with cooking and care of his personal hygiene etc.
My abode for two weeks. The unit is set down a narrow driveway that has 4 lowset two bedroom unit and one highset at the back of the property.
On the first day after having a sleep in I went for a walk to the local shops. It was the summer season in New Zealand, the climate is cooler than Brisbane so I did remember to pack a cardigan. I found an ATM and got some New Zealand currently and did some grocery shopping. I sat in the food hall and had coffee with a cheese scone -yummy.
Day two I headed into the city on a bus to take photos for my blogging here on WordPress. Christchurch has got a wonderful bus service which includes the city and suburban areas. I went to the Metro Bus Exchange and got myself a Metro Bus Card, its a worthwhile investment.
In 2011 Christchurch had a massive earthquake. The Christchurch Cathedral which is in the center of the city and a national icon was tragically damaged. Even though I was not an active member of the cathedral it was part of my childhood and brings tears to my eyes to see the state it is in. There is currently controversy as to whether it should be rebuilt.
While in the city I adapted the role of a tourist. Because I do have problem with walking long distances I decided to travel around the city on a tram. $25 for a day, hop on hop off.
I must say I did enjoy my ride on the tram. I hopped off in New Regent Street that has got the lovely display of colourful buildings and several quaint little cafes. I met my gelato friend there, he’s rather cute. When I hopped back on the next tram the driver directed me to sit where Queen Elizabeth 11 had sat many years ago. He said “you can be the Queen for the day ” and of course being the clown I am I played along with it and waved to all the other tourist and wished them a delightful day. I was also given a free pink rose for Valentine’s Day. I had a wonderful day. More highlights to come …..watch this space xo