Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Christchurch

Tartankiwi

Before you groan "oh no not another earthquake post", please read on... 

At a time when some are saying that we should just jump ship, desert quaky Christchurch and start again in another place,  I choose to remember the reasons that I love living here and to recognise the reasons that we stay.

I have not lived here for years, in fact I only moved to Christchurch 18 months ago but in that time I have grown to love it. Many of my reasons are personal, but I thought I'd share them with you.

The very first time that we came to New Zealand, we got off the plane in Christchurch. I  well remember the excitement  of our first experience of New Zealand; the sweet smelling air after Europe's pollution; the beauty of the botanical gardens with their majestic old trees and numerous rhododendrons in full bloom; the splendour of the cathedral; watching punters relaxing on the River Avon and pottering round the wonderful market at the arts centre.

I remember that the hotel owner warned us that when we went into shops people would talk to us. She had noticed that most Europeans  tourists were suspicious of shop staff talking to them, assuming that they were trying to sell them stuff. She was right, every time that we entered shops, people would start conversations and we were unnerved by it. "Where do you come from?", "how long are you here for?", "are you going to North Island?- Yes?- Don't bother, just stay on South Island its much better!". After the stress and suspicion of life in Europe, it was refreshing to be in such a friendly and trusting environment. It took us a few days to adjust, but we loved it! Little did we know that we would eventually live here.

It was our move to Christchurch which afforded us the chance to assess our lives and take the opportunity for me to give up my parttime job and become a stay at home mum. I feel really grateful that we made this choice and although it brings many challenges, I love it.

On reflection, if we had not moved to Christchurch I would not have a blog. I can say this with absolute certainty. Through blogging I have met the most amazing group of talented, intelligent, warm and friendly women who inspire me to try new things. If nothing else, this is a great reason to love Christchurch.

And how cool is it to live just a few hours drive away from this stunning scenery:

For all the bangs and shakes that they have endured, Cantabrians are a hardy bunch and a great community spirit exists which offers support to everyone, even those of us who have not lived here long and don't have family nearby.

 I know that I am not alone in my love for this place, so I thought that I would open a linky and ask others to share their thoughts, photos, stories and feelings. You don't have to live in Christchurch to join in, the only rule is that the posts have to be positive and about Christchurch.

To get involved, just grab a badge and don't forget to link in. (I will keep the linky open for a fortnight, so please pop back and see what others have to say.)

Tartankiwi



P.S. sorry for re-posting lots of times, I keep making silly mistakes... sorry!!!




7 comments :

  1. Thank you for writing such a heartfelt post about Christchurch, 'cos to be honest, it has crossed my mind to wonder why people would stay with all the shaking going on over so long. You have answered my question..it seems like a very friendly community..well worth staying for!

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  2. Everyone I have talked to (up here in Auckland) lately has said the same thing, 'I couldn't stay, especially with kids'. It isn't that we think you are mad, it is that we don't know if we would be able to tough it out like so many people are doing. Christchurch was a huge part of my childhood as we would go down to visit my grandparents, sometimes for Xmas, and as an adult it still looked exactly how I remembered it, so I can't believe it will never look like that again. If there is some way that you can stay I think that is amazing :)

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  3. I've never done a linky thing before, so if I don't get it to work I'll just let you know I'm planning a similar post. I'm Christchurch born and bred and this is my home, where my roots are.

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  4. I'm totally in. WIll do a post in a couple of days x Great Idea!

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  5. My daughter lives in Christchurch and like you has no intention of leaving, she loves her life and like you is a Scot (Ayrshire) and was leaving for a holiday when the 4th Sept earthwuake happened. Luckily her house is ok and her extended family too, but friends over here do not understand. Christchurch has something special which gets into your soul and your heart. Hope to visit again in February but at the moment our thoughts and prayers are with you all. x

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  6. What a beautiful post xxx
    I TOTALLY get why people are choosing to stay - Christchurch is a beautiful city and the people equally as beautiful (apart from the occasional comment re Auckland's - we're not all that bad you know!)
    ps: I joined moodscape

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  7. Hi there! I just came over from your comment on "do a bit". I'm a Kiwi living in Sydney (been in Aus for 15 years and loving it). I just wanted to say that you should never feel a need to apologise for posting about the earthquake situation you are all enduring (we have friends and relatives there of course) and that I enjoyed reading this post. You obviously have a tenacious and positive spirit. Wishing you all the best - Norma (South Island born and bred).

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