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Bonita and Peter

What we saw in September 2003.

What we saw on 8 December2003 !

Copyright Peter Leon Collins © 2003

- and getting here was half the fun!

This sequel to the story of Our Wedding, tells of our move, from Sydney to Rangiora in Canterbury, North of 'Christchurch the Garden City', in New Zealand's South Island.

At our wedding, we announced our decision to set ourselves up in a more suitable house for our retirement. We already knew that if we stayed in Sydney we could never afford the sort of home we needed.

We also wanted to be near the snow, so that Peter could continue his ski training and keep working towards ski instructing, and to be close to family (Peter's brother lives in Christchurch). Finally, we hoped to find somewhere that would allow us to enjoy as much as possible of the benefits of city life - while avoiding its drawbacks.

In short we wanted good shopping and services, affordable housing that is modern and spacious, clean air, free parking, no traffic jams, and to be near both Christchurch and the snowfields. Could we have that cake and eat it too?

It turned out that we could. Rangiora, with a population of 10,240, is only 30 minutes drive north of Christchurch, enjoys a smog-free atmosphere and rivals Nelson for sunshine hours. It is the nucleus of a prosperous agricultural, horticultural and fruit-growing area, including vineyards and olive groves. It boasts a horse racing track, boating, golf course, public swimming pool and squash courts, and nearby beaches. The modern shopping centre includes restaurants, tea rooms, shopping malls, gift shops, a department store, supermarkets, Returned Service Club, and - according to the publicity - it even has public toilets. What more could you ask?

Very important, from our point of view, is that of all the medium-sized towns around Christchurch, Rangiora is the most charming, the best equipped, and the closest to the snow. It is less than an hour from half a dozen challenging ski fields, including the highly commercial Mt. Hutt, where there is more than a passing chance that Peter will be spending much of each working week during the 2004 winter ski season.

Oh, and there is one other thing. A few days after arriving in New Zealand we received an email from Ireland, telling us that Pirouette, a boat that Peter had owned thirty years previously, was now anchored at Purau, an hour away. It seemed like an omen. (See Twisting In the Wind for the background to this story.)

We take over the new home on 8 December 2003. The street address then will be
239 West Belt
New Zealand.

No idea yet what the postal address or phone number will be after that date.
My NZ mobile is +64 21 131 6309 but naturally that will only work when I am there. You can of course contact us wherever we are, through and