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Lockdown, slowdown, go again

Lockdown, slowdown, go again

Camilla

After 8 weeks spent on a house on a hill, lockdown, planes and plans being cancelled, it feels emotional and exciting to say that tomorrow we will finally hit the road again!

We made a home for ourselves in this place, slowly moulding our old family habits with new ones. The house is on Mt Pleasant, few km south of Christchurch and north of the quaint port of Lyttelton. It has incredible views over the city, the ocean and the Banks peninsula. We never lived in such a remote place, with no close neighbours and in a street without traffic. This came with challenges (see the lack of human interaction or even seeing other people) but also brought us peace and connection with nature.  

We started exploring the hills around us and ventured for a hike almost every day. We made up stories with Tommi about the sheep being our neighbours, pretended the stones in the clearing were planes bringing us to Bali or trains to see Nonna or Oma. We never thought we'd stay so long here and we are so grateful of our super kind hosts that made us feel welcome and that we had someone to count on here in NZ! They are a lovely Kiwi couple who live in Christchurch, and for one weekend we even did a house swap.

The neighbour

During the first weeks we enjoyed lovely sunny bbq lunches in the garden in shorts and t-shirts, soaking up the heat of the sun when the wind wasn't blowing. But the sun now sets earlier every day, every afternoon we now lit a fire to warm up the house, every week a little earlier, and we layered up t-shirts with jumpers and we wear long trousers.


When the lockdown measures started to be lifted we ventured outside our little hill, going for coffee and walks on the beaches of laid back Sumner, New Brighton or in the Governor’s peninsula. One of our favourite things was to hike the 4 km from our house to Lyttelton, passing by WWII bunkers and steep rocks overviewing the Bank peninsula. We would then grab a coffee and then make our way back up via a different track. It was a bit over 8km in total, quite an effort for a caffein refill!

New Brighton beach 

There was a lot of lockdown cooking. Our top new entries were:

  • Hand pulled noodles and dumplings, following the recipe of Pippi Eats
  • Roasted Aloo gobi paneer from Meera Sodha EAST
  • Courgette and tomatoes keftedes, from Georgina Hayden’s Taverna (and my first cookbook bought as an ebook)
  • Flatbreads, of which I finally managed to perfect a recipe that works for me
  • Pizza night. I always followed the recipe of an Italian baker, Bonci, but finally managed to find a foolproof way for the whole process.

Now NZ is in Alert level 2, which means travel around the country is resumed, we are beyond happy about it! We felt so lucky to be ‘stuck’ here, where the virus has been always under control and the government response so swift and effective. And we are so happy and excited to be able to explore this country more.