Christchurch is filled with beautiful, modern homes that are small and stylish (the opposite of most houses in Upstate New York). I love how comparatively small they are, and how new they look.
This sparked another foray into looking up house ideas. This time… flooring (bamboo has been decided upon), book shelves (now to figure out how many books I will have [Kindle cannot beat Anna Karenina in paperback and probably never will], and where I'm going to have the reading nook!), porcelain tile painting (two radically different ways with each side saying the other is wrong…), and staircases.
One of the coolest things I found was a staircase/bookcase. If you look it up on the internet, (staircase bookcase), you will see exactly what I am talking about because I think there is only one of them in existence. It sparked a question of how many books I'd need to fill it, on average.
We also went to the botanical gardens in Christchurch today. (After driving to the airport to get the badminton rackets, which are none the worse for wear.) It was… amazing. I don't think I've monopolized the camera so much since… Kyoto? Probably not since another trip. I was taking pictures of flowers a lot, mostly because they're so beautiful.
We saw dahlias (some looked like lollipops— Grayval Lollipop and Grayval Sonya, both stunning), roses (beeeeeautiful!), chrysanthemums… mostly roses and dahlias, since they were the main attraction to that part of the garden.
There were also rock gardens, made specifically as micro-habitats for lichen, etc. Wasps were feeding on violets (pale ones) and other flowers.
Pink, blue, red, purple, yellow.
Green especially, in all the trees and the grass.
The clouds were wispy, looking almost painted on.
We saw a tree covered in 'eyes.' Basically a knot with an eye shape around it— completely natural, but slightly eerie. It was like seeing one of those buddhas covered in eyes… except it was a monochromatic tree trunk. Honestly, I could think of a character like that— just imagine talking to a tree covered in eyes!
Since it was a Sunday, I think Christchurch was a bit more crowded than usual. As it's the weekend, no one's at work. (A propos, it's a bit strange to think of people in other countries as going to office jobs. Or jobs in general. Being in Asia and South East Asia, where everyone is out on the street at all times, you begin to assume that they don't work 9 to 5. Our town is so sleepy on week days we forget some people stay at home.)
It was a bit hair-raising being driven through Christchurch by Dad. Not only is everything backwards compared to the USA, but Dad likes accelerating quickly and turning faster. When Mom drives, you can barely sense you're moving. Dad accelerates faster, brakes harder, and takes turns at a higher speed.
I think it would have been a bit nicer on a week day.
But we'll find out tomorrow!