Showtime on the Peninsula

Summer time is show time on Banks Peninsula. Every year in early January Duvauchelle opens its gate to rural life when it hosts the Banks Peninsula A & P Show.  It might be a small show, but it’s a goodie.  You can enter your pet terrier in the lunchtime races, enjoy watching show jumping or wife carrying races and potter round the trade displays.  Indulge childhood memories with a hot dog or candy floss.   If it’s gossip you need, pay a visit to the beer tent while the puppet shows or clowns entertain the kids.

Local rivalry is at its best inside the produce shed.   There folks battle it out for the best cabbage,  carnation or plum jam, the perfect photograph or  decorated cake.  Over 300 different classes cater for most interests.  You can all enter – how about a bottle of your own homebrew (yes the judges will taste it!) or is painting your thing, show it off in the art section.    

Under 17 years of age?    Perhaps you’re a budding photographer, or training for master chef, or the old sand saucer appeals.  Have a go and enter your treasures before 10 am on the day.

Click on this link to see all the classes available and deadlines for entries which usually close in early December.

Sheep shearing is more exciting to watch than you would imagine – you’ll be lucky to find a spare seat later in the day when the competition is hotting up.

Gumboot throwing is the focus after all the competitions are over, a time when most folks are found in the beer tent.  Hot food is available as the night wears on and the band keeps the place lively.   There’s even a local taxi to get you safely to your motel room in Akaroa, 10 minutes away.

Can you Handel it? Hallelujah!

CoverIt’s that time of year again. You know. Christmas. It’s right around the corner! Being from the northern hemisphere, it’s hard for me to get into the Christmas spirit in Christchurch. BBQs and jandals and Christmas just don’t seem to mesh! But throw a little of Handel’s Messiah into the mix and, voila, Christmas spirit aplenty!

It’s ironic then, that Messiah was orginally written for Easter. The libretto (drawn from the Old and New Testament) devotes more time to the Passion and resurrection of Christ than to the Christmas narrative. Since Handel’s death it’s become customary to perform Messiah during Advent rather than Lent or Easter.

So if you  need a little Messiah for a Christmas pick-me-up, the library has numerous copies by a wide range of choirs from around the world. Every year I like to borrow a few versions to listen to and pick my favorite. (Not all tenor soloists are created equal!) So come in and borrow a copy or two. And then if you are so inclined, go and hear it live. I know a couple of choirs perform Messiah each year in Christchurch.