Chur to the CHUUUUUUUR

Trip Start Jul 18, 2010
Trip End Mar 04, 2011

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Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Friday, December 24, 2010

This morning was a lazy-late start, but we were up and dressed for an amazing lunch with Stu’s mum. She’s so friendly and nice to talk to. Our Welsh-phrase lessons continued over salad and cold meats. Far swifter than I’d have liked, she stated “Oh I really want to have some grandchildren”… at which exact point a piece of lettuce got stuck in my throat and I ended up having a coughing fit in the kitchen, much to Stu’s amusement. Yeah, it was really funny Stuart!
After lunch, Stu’s mum needed to pick up a few more things for Christmas dinner from the supermarket, and my dental appointment was at 1pm in town, so we all headed out. After a short time in the supermarket, I was horribly aware that the time was getting close, so Stu rushed me off to the dentists to get my recently cracked tooth repaired. An emergency appointment, for a foreigner, on Christmas eve… at least the price was the most painful part I suppose. We went back to pick up his mum and take all the groceries home.
We’ve planned to go out into Christchurch for a shop, last minute presents for Stu to buy and my much-needed flat shoes after searching endlessly in China with my seemingly canoe-sized feet. I said goodbye, and gave her a box of sweet nuts from China.
The day is perfect for a walk around Christchurch, beautiful blue NZ-skies and sun like you wouldn’t believe. Stu took me to a nice bar/restaurant for mussels, thick chips and beer in the sunshine. What bliss is this!? The sun is so strong here, it’s the first day I’ve really experienced it… I am going to burn like crazy.
We had a good bimble around town, and had a quick scan in a jewellery shop… I know he’s got me jewellery for Christmas, but just not what type! If the other night’s surprises are anything to go by, it’ll be amazing though! The sales assistant thinks that we’re actually looking to make a purchase, ha, I could have really caused some embarrassment-purchasing here… but I was feeling nice, plus he’s my lift back to Rakaia!
Stu checks the map back, it’ll take an hour one way, he has a drinks thing organised for 7 in Christchurch, and it’s 5 now… the result isn’t pretty. So we rushed off, chatting all the way… until I fell asleep, not a good omen for the road trip really! Poor Stuart. I awoke just before we reached the ‘Longest bridge in NZ’… I’ll never forget that one Jen! Following the directions Caz has drawn up for me wasn’t that easy, and we got a bit lost and frustrated. Finally at the farm again and Stu went off to get to his drinks function, late. Eek.
Plans have changed slightly for tonight, we’re heading out to the local pub instead of Ashburton, probably a good idea before the big day really and it means I don’t have to ‘dress up’ now! Rhi has arrived and Eifion will join us later at the pub. It’s so great to see Rhi, we have a good catch up over JD & coke’s at the pub, swapping tales of our last 2years apart.  Funny, no matter the distance, Rhi and I always seem to go through the same experiences at roughly the same time?! Our solution, we were actually twins divided between Gaenor and Dewi, then I was cryogenically frozen for 10months to avoid suspicion.
Eif arrives after an hour or so. He’s been working through NZ-summer as a roofer, I have never seen someone from the Roberts family so tanned!!
The locals are out in force tonight, it’s crazy in Rakaia pub! That is a sentence I never thought I would say. After a few hours Rhi and I hatched a plan to keep the party going… most of the boys are up to milk at 4a.m., not even the cows get Christmas day off.
On the way back, we see a car pulled over awkwardly at the side of the road, closer still and we realise it’s semi-hiding a car that is vertically nose-down in the ditch! More worryingly so, there’s movement inside… we stop and nurse-Rhi swings into action checking that everything is okay. The guy is searching for his cell phone. What an idiot. More so, it’s right by the local police station! So we head back to the farm, Eif goes to bed due to an epic drive from Matamata today.
Rhi, Sam, 2 Irish guys and myself head off to Sam’s place to continue the Christmas eve party. We’re exchanging new-music and banter. At some point, I don’t really remember when, Rhi said “Do you want to see a duck”… I thought she’d gone a bit crazy personally, especially as she went behind a door after saying it. Then, re-appeared with the cutest duckling I’ve ever seen! It’s been a bit deprived of love and attention, you can really tell by it’s constant ‘nuzzling’ into mine and Rhi’s neck and hair… so cute. After ALLOT of talking a drinking Sam’s individually wrapped-in-Christmas-paper beers, thanks Jana!, Sam passed out. Rhi dragged him to his bed, in what can only be described as a primate-manner! So, so funny. “Get to my cave”.
Rhi and I head back home around 4, maybe 5ish. It was light anyway.  I have a scheduled call from home at 9am NZT, when it is Christmas eve in Tremeirchion, and the family tradition of ‘presents at Dad’s’ is going on, minus a nia this year.
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