Flanders in NZ 15 – Orange is the New Black

Continuing with last week’s theme–I’ve been on a demolition site for a couple of weeks, at this point orange really is my new black. Paired with my favorite coach sunglasses when I have to stand in the sun for too long I might as well start writing a construction site style book. Maybe the few of us females that work in the construction industry will read it. If I was enjoying the top-of-the-pedestal view right now I’d write a bit about how I felt when there was only 1 option for female boots when I went to buy a new pair last month, or how I daily consider tailoring my hi-vis vest so it doesn’t get caught on anything. I’ll save that for later…

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Site Style Selfie

Last week the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra came to town. A colleague and I had been talking about plays and Shakespeare when we saw a flyer for the NZSO’s upcoming program – “Shakespeare in Music” Even better, they were performing in the local Air Force Museum! I thought there would be an actual concert venue there, but we walked into a hanger full of planes and the orchestra was set up right in the middle of it all — it was an incredible venue!

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NZSO at the Air Force Museum

Saturday was a beautiful day. incredibly warm for a day in the middle of August in the southern hemisphere. So obviously Keith & I headed to the beach. Well Keith went on a 10 mile run, I ran a measly 3 and then took some photos of the Sumner area to compare to 2 years ago. It’s pretty much the same–the containers are still along the cliff, and the houses are still up there at the edge, too dangerous to even demolish. A recent news story discussed helicopters soon being used to take debris off the cliffs.

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Sumner Beach Containers

Saturday night we cooked up some BBQ chicken and had our neighbors over before heading out to some new Chch bars for the night. There’s been a cat hanging around our duplex so the neighbors brought it over with them and I sort of fell in love (this is big coming from a dog person). It disappears at night so I presume it has an owner or sleeping spot somewhere…but hangs out on our porches during the day and follows us where we go. Is it bad that I keep my fingers crossed that it will keep showing up? It is quite the adorable feline.

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Cat Friend

As impossible as I thought it was, Sunday was a complete 180 — freezing and rainy. So we headed to She Chocolate with a colleague and friend and enjoyed some hot mochas (chocolate spoons always included!) and words of wisdom.

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She Chocolat

Hope this made for a good Week 15 gap filler! Looking forward to putting together next week’s post all about Sydney and the Gold Coast (and my dream of holding a koala!)

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Flanders in NZ 14 – Such Great Heights

I recently submitted my timesheet clocking in a little more overtime than my social life appreciates; so to continue the theme, I’ve been piecing this blog together from Friday night through this past weekend to finally get it out.

The past month I’ve been working on a project with many hours of construction site time and monitoring. I think Keith officially hates my alarm clock. Despite the hours, the project is quite fun, and I got to ride in my very first crane basket last week! Doing bridge inspection pre-my current job, I found myself in bucket trucks and cherry pickers, but never dangling off of a crane. New experiences in conquering vertical elevation last week!

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Crane over Christchurch

I couldn’t resist the Queen Elizabeth parade wave on our ride back down to earth…

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Float Parade

Last Saturday the Crusaders (the local favorite in Super Rugby) played the semi final game against the Sharks (from Durban, South Africa). Despite the tiny temporary stadium, 2 cheap seats were still left and we snagged them right away. It was fun to see another rugby game and eat another meat pie :). Whats great about the Crusaders is that a good portion of the team are also on the All Blacks–quite the stacked team! The Crusaders crushed the Sharks. But spoiler alert, they played in the finals last night versus the Waratahs (NSW, Australia) and lost by one point–32 to 33. Definitely a lot of disappointment in Canterbury last night.

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Crusaders Rugby @ the “temporary” stadium

Last Saturday I worked in the morning and Keith and I were talking about what we should do the rest of the weekend. Aparently our neighbors were thinking the same thing, as they then knocked on the door asking if we’d like to join them on their Sunday trek to Mt Hutt (popular ski field near Chch). We live in a duplex and really couldn’t have ended up with nicer neighbors. They hail from the U.K. and recently purchase a pretty intense 4WD van. So at 6am we climbed in their van (which may be the most pimped out van I’ve ever been in–skylights everywhere, curtains, and glowing sound system included) and headed to the mountains.

If you haven’t been following for 2+ years I was at Mt Hutt in this post in 2012, and was excited to bring Keith back and teach him how to ski. Despite only being on the downhill slopes a few times in my life, learning to walk on cross country skis has appeared to make me an adequate downhill skiier. We signed up for an all-day package which included a lesson, spent some morning time on the bunny slope teaching Keith what a pizza was, and then headed up the chair lift for the first time right before lunch. Keith did a great job, and the more comfortable we both got with the trails the more we rushed back into the lift line. By the end of the day we even started talking about doing a weekend trip to Queenstown to check out the slopes there (although with the heat waves we’ve been having this winter not sure how feasable that is!)

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(from top left clockwise) – Chair Lift Fun and view, Keith skiing, Kea parrots attacking a truck, Jen skiing

I was surprised to learn, this time around, that Mt Hutt is over 7,000 ft high–far larger than Mt Washington in New Hampshire. The cold elevation definitely helps when there is no snow ANYWHERE else in the plains. It’s been an extremely mild winter over here thus far. Looking at Mt Hutt’s webcam this weekend all the snow we had previously is already gone.

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View down to the Canterbury Plains

I’m currently already sitting within the next weekend so another new post will be up shortly and then…Aussie, Aussie, Aussie!