Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Brrrrrr... stick another log on the fire!

While our Spanish office is lapping up the sunshine and heat of summer, down here in New Zealand we're in the grip of winter - but that's okay as the mountains have got enough of that soft white goodness on them now to allow a bit of snowboarding fun again!

Last Saturday saw snow right down at sea level in Christchurch, at least for a while anyway - quite a rare sight apparently. I suspect it was quite a busy day Monday for the insurance companies and mechanics as the sudden snow fall caught a lot of people out on the roads with the occasional loss of traction. Always makes driving a little more interesting!

Naturally we felt it would be rude not to head up Mt Hutt the following day and have a play on the fresh dump of snow generously given up by the heavens. An excellent start to the season - hopefully it'll be a great one this year with lots more snowy goodness to come! I'm looking forward to trying out all the local club ski fields I've not had a chance to play on yet.

Last summer I decided to get in to surfing properly. I assumed it would just be summer entertainment, hanging up the wetsuit for winter when I dusted off the snowboard. Apparently though, everyone's told me all the best surf's to be had in winter as the swells get bigger and better. Not wanting to miss out on all the fun I've invested in a thicker winter wetsuit and some booties. I'm still putting off buying a hood for as long as possible though, but it's getting colder out there!

I was recently introduced by a friend to a new method for getting out back of New Brighton (one of our local Christchurch breaks) when the swells particularly big... wander to the end of the pier, chuck your board over and jump in after it. Having some lemming genes in me I absolutely loved it! Though I did get a shock the other day... when I jumped in and touched the bottom! Came as a bit of a shock I can tell you as I thought it was a tad deeper than that!? I guess that's one of the risks of a beach break - shifting sands.

One thing that puzzles a lot of us pommies who migrate out here to New Zealand - what's with the lack of central heating?!? The South Island gets as cold if not colder than the UK so why on earth haven't they seemed to have caught on to the wonders of central heating?!? Maybe these Kiwi's are simply a hardier breed - it's a common sight to see blokes wandering around in shorts mid-winter over here!

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