Heels and Gumboots

An English woman in New Zealand

Month: August 2016

Dunedin – 7 things I love about the place

Dunedin Railway Station

1. Dunedin Railway Station

Alpacas at Greg's Place - Karaka Alpaca Farmstay

2. Alpacas at Greg’s Place – Karaka Alpaca Farmstay


The Art Gallery

3. The Art Gallery

The coastline - near Tunnel Beach

4. The coastline – near Tunnel Beach

The stunning Lanarch Castle

5. The stunning Lanarch Castle


6. Dunedin Botanic Gardens

6. Dunedin Botanic Gardens

7. The architecture in the city centre

7. The architecture in the city centre


Christchurch loves a night out

Fun lights at the Botanic Gardens

Fun lighting at Christchurch Botanic Gardens

One thing I’ve noticed now that we are starting to feel more normal after living for so long with earthquakes and all that goes with that, is that Christchurch always turns up to the party. Christchurch people seem to love going out and turn up to everything that’s going, and I really like that.

The earthquakes definitely made me anxious about what might happen. If I was in a cafe or restaurant, I would always look for the quickest and easiest way out,  and plan how I was going to get out. It was noticeable amongst me and my friends that we organised fewer nights out, we didn’t get together as often, we stayed at home and tended to invite each other over rather than meet in our usual bars and restaurants. It somehow felt less scary to do it that way. I felt like I needed to be sure our 2 cats, Lady and Daisy, the house and all of our precious things, were OK, and it felt easier to do that staying in.

So….cue last week’s Botanic D’Lights at the Christchurch Botanic Gardens which had 75,000 visitors over the 5 days – I think we’re ready to go out again!

I went on the last night and there was imagination around every corner, in almost every part of the gardens. I felt like a child at a funfair, loving every minute and wondering what was coming next, knowing it would be something that challenged my thinking a bit (love evenings that do that).

In January at the Night Noodle Market, the same thing happened. I heard from so many excited people that the ‘Night Noodle Market is coming here!’ and when it eventually got here, thousands of people turned up, basically to eat noodles in a park! I went with hubby and some friends and loved the atmosphere but we made the mistake of wandering around the market for a bit first, just seeing what we might eat which was silly as by the time we started again the queues were enormous . You can see Stuff’s article here  about the turn out at the Night Noodle Market that took the organisers by surprise.

So we chose the shortest queues, purchased our noodle dishes (mine was sweet and sour pork with rice, not a noodle in sight, and was lovely) and headed off to The Villas and indulged in bit of post-noodle market (I’m going to call it PNM) dessert. The PNM desserts were gorgeous and the coffee reliably fantastic and just sitting outside on a balmy evening, with the sun going down, chatting with friends, made me realise that the earthquakes had been stifling me, beating me at times, and a part of me said that night,  ‘Nah, don’t want that to happen anymore.’

I think that most people need to be with others, it’s what makes us happy. Christchurch people definitely want to get together and always love it when somebody puts on an event that gives them that opportunity. It’s necessary in this city and is lovely really.

The next Night Noodle Market in New Zealand is coming up this spring and is in gorgeous Queenstown,.Check out the Facebook page here for the info.

Botanics D'Lights display

Botanics D’Lights display (not life size but nearly)

Adventurous lampshades

Adventurous lampshades – out of the living room and into the trees


What’s the difference between an alpaca and a llama?


Lapis hogging the camera, and Lashkar behind

This is what I’ve picked up along the way:

An alpaca is way cuter, actually

A llama has banana shaped ears and an alpaca doesn’t

An alpaca is bred for its high quality fleece

A llama is used as a beast of burden – it carries things

An alpaca hums when it wants to communicate – and that can mean anything

A llama is heavier and taller than an alpaca

Baby llamas and alpaca are called cria – love that word

Llamas and alpaca are both camelids

They can both spit. Alpacas tend not to spit at humans; they prefer to spit at each other and mine spit sometimes when they want another one to get away from the hay!

They both eat grass and hay and have 3  chambers in their stomachs.

A big “Thanks” to Kit and Sheryl at Silverstream Alpacas where we bought our alpaca boys. We are so glad we met them!

The 4 alpaca boys and the horses

The 4 alpaca boys met our neighbour Linda’s horses when I got home from work today and it was a case of,  ‘What are you?’ ‘Who are you?’ ‘Will you bite my head off if I come near you?’ kind of chat between them.

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Who are you?

Lewisham the alpaca meets Taylor the horse for the first time





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