Saturday, January 2, 2010

Crossing the Pacific

The overnight flight from Vancouver to Sydney, Australia may be the longest flight Air Canada offers. In compensation for our somewhat bumpy ride however, the view out the window offered a stunning extended sunrise. The plane flew amidst the high elevations of a badlands skyscape of towering thunderheads, each eroded into weird shapes by the wind. Beyond them was an evil crimson sky that flared and glowered amongst the clouds as we passed through the canyons and over the ridges around us.

Christchurch, New Zealand sits on the Canterbury Plain, a flat, once largely wetland slope gently meeting the Pacific Ocean as a long line of artfully disconnected sandy beaches. We chatted with the curator of the City's museum one afternoon and he informed us that if the city idea had been passed through a contemporary environmental assessment process, it would have been denied. Even so it is a beautiful place, at least in January.

We live close by the River Avon, a tree shaded swath of green winding into the city centre and lined with mostly small cottage type housing. Our backyard is a small jungle of both oversized familiar plants - mint and rosemary - and large unfamiliar ones. It also includes the required bbq.

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