Gallops – and they’re off and racing! 11th November marked the beginning of the NZ Cup and Show Week 2017 in Canterbury. Every year during the middle of November, Canterbury celebrates the province’s anniversary holiday.

Will you be going to the A & P Show or having a flutter on the horses? I love the gallops events at Riccarton Park Racecourse. The thrill of their speed pumps my adrenaline.

Find out more

Show Day at Addington, 1947 : Picturing Canterbury

Show Day at Addington 1947. All dressed up in their best white dresses for day’s outing. Jim and Venis Olin with daughters Merle and Avis and friends Margaret and Natalie. Looking fresh on arrival but probably tired by the end of a hot NW day. Entry in the 2013 Christchurch City Libraries Photo Hunt. Kete Christchurch. CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 NZ

Masters in Pineapple Lumps

You get a native tree when you take New Zealand citizenship. Greg got an enthusiastic Pittisporum. I got a brooding, slow-growing Black Pine.

But the real citizenship rite of passage happened back at my language school. The Kiwi staff decked me out in a floppy hat, a Swanddri shirt and gumboots and pushed me in to teach my class of twelve Korean, Japanese and Chinese students who would do anything if it was set to karaoke. So, in five different languages, armed with kiwi tucker and L&P’s, we belted out:


Recommended Listening: We don’t know how lucky we are

Assignment 4: Go get yourself a Canterbury Draught!

Pineapple Lumps 301 – the challenge goes rural

CoverStanding in the oldest, coldest,  darkest bach we’d ever holidayed in, I slipped through the cracks in time and touched Canterbury history.

I could hear the woman who had lived in this south-facing abode berating her husband at night: “Get me some wallpaper to cheer this place up!” she wailed.

So he did. Five different patterns. One for each room. Which could explain how she ended up with a bedroom papered in a Beardsley print of partly dressed  nymphets.

Sloppy word choice will get you every time!

Recommended reading: Baches & Cribs

Assignment 3: What’s your Canterbury bach horror/love story?

The Canterbury A&P Show – gotta be there!

Meeting the animals at Canterbury's A&P Show

It’s a Canterbury tradition, isn’t it? Every year we’re up at sparrows on Show Day. We bundle the kids into the car and head to the showgrounds munching marmite on toast as we go.


There’s always a queue. We bump over the paddocks and get mixed messages from people waving orange flags. We park, slap on sunblock and head to the entrance pockets jangling.

The animals are happiest early in the day. The rides are best before lunch. The nor’wester arrives at noon along with the chips and hot dogs. We buy up Christmas presents at the stalls before we leave exhausted, sunburnt and full of memories. The A&P Show is what Canterbury’s all about. Brilliant!

Pineapple Lumps 101 – can you pass the true Cantabrian test?

Cover“Blog on ‘Canterbury’ in under 100 words,” they said. My heart plummeted – how could I, a wordy immigrant,  hope to achieve that?

But before I could call myself a Cantab,  first I had to come to terms with being a Kiwi. I bonded by doing  all the right things: I barbied, bought an Edmonds cookery book, watched rugby at Jade Stadium (the Sharks won – Yeah, right!)

But the Pineapple Lumps advertisement  finally did the trick. One viewing and I knew – I could come to love this place.
Recommended viewing:
Assignment 1: What’s the quirkiest thing about Christchurch/Canterbury for you?