Sunday, November 14, 2010

Heading South

Well, once again I have been fortunate enough to get myself a trip Southward. In two days time (early Wednesday morning), Stephen will drop me off at Antarctica New Zealand and I will climb aboard a huge plane to emerge into spacious whiteness. This time I am travelling to Antarctica as a research assistant to my supervisor on his research examining the behaviour of scientists in the field. Focusing especially on the choices they make that relate to environment sustenance or degradation.

During my time in Antarctica I will be maintaining a blog for Science Alive, a local Christchurch science centre. This means I will probably not post much on here, but you are more than welcome to follow my adventures while on the ice at

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Look what I found

Can you tell what it is? They're really hard to find here in New Zealand and it has been ages since we've eaten any. About two years I suppose. Any ideas?

It's a waffle iron. Waffles are not popular here. In fact, when I excitedly took over a taste of our first waffle to our kiwi neighbours, they had never before tasted waffle. So, where did I find such a desirable beauty? Well, it all started with a trip to the beach.

Saturday morning woke up warm and beautiful, so after a quick trip to the market, we headed back over the hills into Sumner. We met up with some friends there with our swim gear, sun screen and lots of ideas. While Stephen and Gavin grabbed some surf boards and headed out to the waves, Nina and I stripped down to our swim suits and splashed and played in the waves. Body surfing, running in place, trying really, really hard not to swallow any salt water (to no avail). And Matt and Emily watched from the rocky beach, taking pictures and enjoying the heat. After a meander down to the ice cream shop to dry off (and get ice cream obviously) we jumped back into the car and drove home.

On the way home we passed by a little shop that had long intrigued us. We had walked past in once or twice before when it was open and peeked into the darkened door way, glimpsing piles of teetering pots, ragged books and long forgotten toys and tools. Today it was once again open and we had the time. So we screeched to a park and jumped out of the car.

Stepping into this place was like walking into a story book. We emerged from the warm heat of the sunny, summer day to a dimly lit, musty aired, cool room so jam packed full of stuff there was hardly room to stand. We squeezed our way in between glass cases filled with mismatched tea settings and tiny glass figurines, a stuffed lamb with a bow-tie placed on top of a pile of cloth-covered books and a decomposing fish mounted on the wall, piles of records and a strange looking metal contraption on a pillar. Wait - could that be. . .? A waffle iron! A beautiful, round silver waffle iron. A short search brought up a cord, a quick test with an outlet and then the bartering began. After a good barter, a quick trip home and a bike trip back, I eventually wound up with a waffle iron. And this morning we enjoyed a delicious breakfast of tasty waffles with maple syrup, yogurt and fruit salad.

[mmmmmm - waffles]

Sunday, November 7, 2010

F5000 - riding the world of fossil fuels

Last weekend, Stephen and I went out to the Ruapehu Race Track west of Christchurch for the Classic Car Rally and the Lady Wigram F5000 Trophy races. We arrived at 12 noon, just in time for the lunch break. We parked the car, strolled around the fenced off race track and ogled the various cars being worked on and tuned up for their last whiz down the track. It was a lot cooler than I thought it would be (though I was still quite aware of being 1 of about 10 women at the whole event). Combine this with the purchase of a new camera lens and I was thrilled to be at such a neat and colourful place.

[Tasty food for race-goers]

[Prepping for the races]

[Checking out the competition]

[There were a lot of amazing classic cars and even more admirers of them]

[Jaguar - a lot faster than it looks]

[Racing minis]

[Crashing minis]

[Watching the cars drive round]

[Watching the F5000's go by, racing for the Lady Wigram Cup]

[The classics]

[F-Libra class]


Packing and prep work are taking up my time these days. Just a week and a half to go until we fly down south for the land of ice and snow and wide open spaces. Can't wait to step onto those cross-country skis.