Ok, Christmas is over, and has been for several days. I got to the Church of Christ Christmas lunch. The church open plan was filled with tables. When everyone arrived they filled the hall. The newspaper estimated the numbers as 250 people. I helped by cleaning leftovers as plates were returned for washing. It was a good exercise and something I would want to do in future years.

I saw mum for a couple of days. She came up to Dunedin on Christmas evening. We did a bit of wandering while she was here. One day we went out to Purakanui, my ancestral settling place on Otago harbour and ended up in Aramoana. I wish I had my camera with me because there were some interesting cribs out there, the kind of thing of which I like getting pictures. We got to Purakanui in the end, but didn’t find our family who live there.

The other place where I should have had my camera was our visit to the Chinese garden. For those readers who are not familiar with this venture Dunedin’s Chinese garden was built by workmen from China in 2008 and opened earlier in the same year. I believe it is promoted as the biggest authentic Chinese garden outside of mainland China. Even if it is built next to a railway line and gets the wind from Dunedin’s industrial area by the harbour. Fortunately Dunedin has no offensively smelly industries. The plants in the garden are established now and some of the rawness of the new garden is passing. It’s a great place to take older children: paths and water and rocks to climb, just let them run! I like the city scape looking out from inside the garden.

Also took mum to the Rita Angus exhibition at the Art Gallery (which is free). Still recommended.

The weather has been consistently getting to 30C/87F during the daytime since Christmas. I have retaliated by two new pairs of long shorts. Normally I prefer to wear full-length trousers. We shall see how much the universe can withstand exposure to my legs.