I come visit my friend Kathryn in Christchurch from Sydney about once a year. Each time that I visit she has a new place to live, and they are all lovely.
This latest is my favourite, though. She has moved to Lyttelton, a little port town east of Christchurch that has an air of rebellion and new growth that carries within it a certain timelessness. It reminds me of Dunedin, if Dunedin were taken and put in a bag and shook all around and then dumped back down on the earth again. Same harbour, same volcanic hills, same port, same little wooden villas – but it is all facing East instead of North.
There are small and insignificant things that keep reminding me that I am at home: a full sky brimming with stars, the smell of mud on the gravel drive in the morning, bellbirds calling. I randomly ran into an old friend in a cafe my first morning in Lyttelton – she used to live in Dunedin. New Zealand is just small enough to be full of such strange connections and passing coincidences.
It has been a very nice couple of days, rummaging through vintage stores and antique shops, talking and drinking and eating well. but it has been busy. I arrived down in Dunedin last night, and now it is time to relax.