CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR HAVE COME AND GONE
We are 'camping' in luxury at the Linrose Retirement Village. It's wrong to call it camping but we are living out of our suitcases in someone else's home. We're in separate bedrooms in our D-I-L's parent's unit. Bev, Amanda's mother, needed space to use her wheelchair and that meant only room for a single bed in her bedroom. The second bedroom is tiny. We have a large wheelchair friendly bathroom with a wet floor, The kitchen and living area are open plan and fully acceptable unless you want to host more than 2 - 3 people. The unit is comparatively private with tinted windows and a trellis covered in a pretty green vine in the pocket handkerchief front garden. I loved the weeping cherry which sort of finished off the garden a gave the final bit of privacy from the street. Sadly people who think gardens should be manicured to death trimmed it a few days ago and the lovely weeping branches are no more. There's just a tuft of branches at the top of the stem about 4 feet above ground. Yesterday we had two people, friends of Bev's, pop in. I should be thankful but right now I'm still in hiding mode. I just do not want to socialise outside of family. I've some summer cold symptoms, not getting good sleep most nights and just plain struggling with our situation. It doesn't help that my speech which was affected by the Bells Palsy is made worse without my partial plate, broken and thrown away.
The disappointment from our house sale falling over and the state of our old bus is still with me. Although I knew our bus needed a lot of work before it would be fit to go on the road that was always my hope. It had been parked up for too long. The battery had been flat for too long and John had not been able to move it for more than a year. The Old Purple Bus was built on a 1968 Austin chassis, The coach was used around a small town, Oamaru, before conversion. Now it has some rust in the frame although the chassis still seems sound. I had hoped we could bring it up to legal road standard and paint it up until it looked like the cute vintage it is. It is now a Project with a capital "P" and goodness knows how much money would be involved, let alone time. We will try to sell it as is since it will cost about $4,000 to get it to Christchurch on a transporter. Our plan was to bring it here and slowly work on it, with help from our sons, until it was up to scratch. We are waiting on some information before listing it for sale, "As is Where Is." There's a good chance it will end up in a wrecker's yard.
Little Miss Ava-Jane was walking everywhere when we got back to Christchurch on Dec. 21st.
We had a good trip down. Our car was well loaded and hummed along despite it's age. I think it will last us a year or two yet, We had an evening in Rotorua, Dec. 18th, where our son there cooked us a roast chicken dinner. The next day was a long one. We stopped at the military Museum in Waiouru for lunch but had no time to go into the museum on this trip. I had hoped to visit my cousin in Palmerston North but couldn't raise her on the phone because she was in her garden. We are kicking ourselves now as we could have done with stretching our legs before driving on to Carterton. We had a very nice motel style cabin in the Carterton Campground and enjoyed the food we had bought in Masterton before we got there.
Sunday, 20th we spent with John's brother and his partner. It was fairly warm but we had a nice Cafe lunch and left them late afternoon for the drive to Wellington and the Bluebridge Ferry for our Cook Strait crossing. On board we went straight to our cabin, an extra cost of $40 but so worth while as we felt quite rested when we went to our car for the final leg of this trip to our night's accommodation at Blenhein Top Ten Campground where the cabin was tiny but adequate. Monday we got on the road about 9 am. Later than we intended because of a mix up over payment which was sorted in seconds once the office opened. This was the hottest day ever and our car does not have air-conditioning. Marlborough is so very dry it's not surprising they have already had fires. I was so glad that when we left the hills and came close to the coast there was cool cloud cover along the Kaikoura Coast. We had a lovely lunch at Kaikoura and before long crossed the North Canterbury hills and into the full blast of the sun. A beautiful clear day and I gasped for some shade which we found in Amberly, just north of Christchurch.
It was a relief to arrive safely at Amanda and Wayne's house before coming around to this Unit.