Bopping with Niall JP O'Leary

Niall O'Leary insists on sharing his hare-brained notions and hysterical emotions. Personal obsessions with cinema, literature, food and alcohol feature regularly.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Travels through Time and Space at Christchurch

Okay, I'd better get this up to date.

Last time on "Bopping around the World", Niall was on his way to dinner with the travellers from the Magic Bus at Stonehurst Hostel....

Getting into the hostel was potentially difficult as there was a swipe on the door. I did the criminal thing and followed someone in. Practically everyone was in the kitchen crowding it up, so I headed out back with Anne and Rebecca. It was a fine evening and there was a table all set for our meal. The meal itself was great. Reggy had made a wonderful Swiss dish (coincidentally one of the first things I ever made) with potato, onions, cheese and pasta. I had brought some Merlot so food and drink were consumed with gusto. Then for dessert Rebecca and Kristina had made kaisersmann, the pancake dish we had had in Nelson. Everyone was stuffed.

Rebecca had hooked up with a Berliner called Tim who spoke English with a very American twang. He had an annoying habit of celebrating all things German - including himself - almost all the time. He didn't endear himself to me much by pointing out the wellworn and hearthily annoying fact that as a Dubliner I don't pronounce my 'th's too well. Hmmmm.

While passing the Internet computers, I met Martin from DCU AGAIN! He was staying in the hostel. No doubt I'll see him in Bangkok etc., though he won't be there.

Following some high-pitched singing etc., I took my leave relatively early. Robbie and Laine (the Canadian) had turned up earlier and I suspected things might go on all night. I arrived back to the house at 12 (after the taxidriver had to ring in for assistance to find his way). As I made my way to my room, I got a little shock to see Jonathan standing silently in his doorway. "I have to go to the toilet, though I can't sleep," he said, a little eerily. "No prob," said I and left him to it.

Next day I spent with Sandra and the kids. We went to the Gondola, another cable car up to a wonderful view of the city. Included in the ticket was a trip on the 'Time Tunnel', a sedate electric carriage ride around an 'inspirational' (and short) account of Christchurch's past. It suited the children well and indeed Jonathan wanted to go again. Instead though we looked over the landscape spread before us, then descended to have a picnic. The day was fine, so Sandra then took us to the beach at Sumner Bay. I regretted not taking my swimming trunks, but still wound up my jeans to wade in a little. The beach itself was not too busy and very pretty and given time I could see myself flaked out on it. The children took to the water immediately, though soon were out again, apparently feeling the cold. Walking back to a cafe, Samantha found two dollar coins sticking out of the sand. It didn't take us long to lose them again (shaking out blankets, I think), but poor Samantha kept searching. I decided to strategically drop a new couple of coins in the vacinity where she was looking. Nonchalantly I dropped them behind me and called out to Samantha to take a look. She said she'd already looked there, so I bent down to collect them and drop them closer to her. No coins. Like quicksand they were dragged under and no matter how I delved I couldn't find them. I revealed enough of my misfortune to the kids to get them to look, but in the end Samantha only found one dollar. We solaced ourselves with ice cream.


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