Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Happy New Year

Well, here we are a week into the new year and we are enjoying ourselves immensely. We have been to a few beaches over the last week at Woodend (left) and Taylor's Mistake (bottom, left) and catching some great waves on our body boards. There has been a few Nor' Westers pushing the temperature up to the mid 30's which is ideal for the beach.

In case you don't know what a Nor'Wester is, it is a weather pattern local to the east coast of New Zealand's South Island. For this reason it is also often referred to as the Canterbury arch - a high white cloud in an otherwise clear blue sky over the Southern Alps, accompanied by a strong hot northwesterly wind - The Nor'wester. Interestingly, it has a deep psychological effect on many people subjected to its hot, dry nature and has been statistically linked to increases in suicide and domestic violence because it alters the seratonin/melatonin ratio of the body through the altered electric fields caused by the winds. Luckily in our case it is statistically linked to day-trips to the beach and thoughts of a BBQ.

In other news, my brother and his wife Jenny ended up on the evening news for all the wrong reasons. Only a month in New Zealand and on their second day heading north towards Blenheim, they stopped for a night or two in Hanmer Springs where they decided to take a trip on a jetboat that stalled and ran aground, injuring five people.

According to Keith and Jenny, they were only ten minutes out on the water when the boat started acting funnily and the driver decided to take it back to port to swop it for another when it hit exposed riverbed and crashed. The driver and four passengers were airlifted to Christchurch Hospital with minor back and neck injuries. Jenny escaped practically unscathed but Keith received whiplash and was taken for an x-ray at a clinic in Christchurch. He was given the all clear but next morning when he phoned regarding physio, they told him he had a crushed vertebrae and was taken in an ambulance to the hospital where he wasn't looked at for 24 hours as there were no consultants around although other doctors. That was yesterday and today he's told that there's nothing wrong with him (which we knew yesterday) but he has to wait around to be given the all clear before he can go. Jenny's blogged more fully on the situation here so I'll say nothing more although I now have less faith in the hospital system here.

I'll be adding some NYE photos and such over the next few days and as always, photos will be on Facebook as it's a lot easier to host them there although I have listed all the NZ photos so far below. Thanks for stopping by and I hope to write more often.

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