As it happened our 'Further Travels ', did not really eventuate. I think we both fell under the spell of that Southern City, & I know, even though we both fell in love with our future husbands, that was not the magic involved in our initial love affair with the beautiful Southern City, that is Christchurch.
It was, in those early days, of the 60s, a beautiful city. It was the beginning of 'The Rest of Our Lives'.
We had completed a season Apple picking in the Orchards of Neslon, & the wider district. We had journeyed to Christchurch for an Easter Long weekend. We had loved what we initially saw of the city.
When our Apple adventures ended we journeyed, along with many other 'Seasonal Workers' to Christchurch, which was the mecca, in those days, for the seasonal workers, at the end of the fruit Season.
The scramble was on for jobs, accomodation, & mostly survival, in a winter that seemed to be particularly harsh, to those of us from Northern climes, & no doubt, even harsher to the Aussie population among us!
The city itself had a magic which had nothing to do with the laconic & mysterious young local men we met.
There was the breathtakingly beautiful river, which wound it's way through the center of the city. The majestic seeming Cathedral Square, with the huge Cathedral dominating, & all the scurry & hurry occurring beneath it's awesome presence.
We remained in touch with friends made during our Apple Picking era. We made new friends. We obtained jobs we felt no obligation to, & 'fooled' our way through those jobs, as we explored the wonders of the Southern City.
We found 'Hovel' accomodation, moved 'up', to slightly better living quarters. We met our future husbands. But that fact was unknown to us at first meetings. Gom hates this fact, but he called upon me every night for a week before I went out with him!
Still, the magic of the city enthralled us, BFJ & I, & we sampled some of the pubs, & the Inner city bars, filled with fakes & posers, as they were. We met true friends, we met our futures.
This is a view of the Alps from the Sign of the Takahe. A scene of some terror for my BFJ. She was taken there, one dark night, & told the story of the girls who had murdered the mother of one of the teenage girls!*She began to believe this might be her last night of life. Luckily, she was returned to safety.
A view of the Avon River, which is truly one of the beauties of this Southern City. The Autumn magic is hard to picture, but oh, the wonderful cold nights, filled with woodsmoke. I guess that is no more, but in our young days it was a part of it all.
The wonderful leaves that fell in great curdles in the Park. The wonderful amber colours, the crisp crunch of them, as we dashed, running madly though the great swatches of them, curling & crisp, though dying, but so wondrous to behold, & enjoy!!
Those wondrous avenues of golden colour. The lengthening shadows, as we raced & laughed among the fallen glory of Summer passed.
As the Winter descended, we experienced the bitterness of real cold. Icey frosts, of depths we had no previous knowledge of!! The grass of Lattimer Square, white like snow. As we ran, black-stocking clad, with many layers on the top, to our job in the city. Arriving with clattering teeth, & chilled legs, arms, faces aglow with frost!!
Coffee!! Coffee to kick start the days. Dressed Pies* for lunch! Warming laughter to tide us through the days, knowing the chill woodsmokey evenings awaited. Filled with erreverant laughter.
Joys to recall, in old age 'poverty'.
*That is a true story, & a movie was made of the book, but I have forgotten the title.
**Those Pies were covered with a blanket of mashed potato, with crushed peas, on top, then a layer of beetroot!! The first time we encountered them, we were horrified! But hunger got the better of us, in the end. We used to call them 'Stuffed Pies' - they were!! in the worst way.
Tony Orlando, Halfway To Paradise.