Where are the penguins?

Yesterday I took the children to the snow and the beach on the same day. There are few places in the world where you can do this and I don’t count Auckland as one of them because the snow was fake snow at Snow Planet. Christchurch is just such a place though. Although the beach is probably too cold for swimming except for the most hardened of surfers.

Somewhat paradoxically, I found myself feeling hot at Snow Planet and cold at the beach. The discomfort at snow planet was quickly and easily remedied by the removal of a couple of layers of clothing. There was no remedy for feeling cold at the beach because you can’t exactly add a few layers when swimming in the surf: they’ll get wet. So we left.

Snow Planet was terrific and both kids had a ball. Elizabeth now loves going up the magic carpet and down on the tube. The minute we get to the bottom she starts saying, “again, again”. The beach was an irritating mix of sand everywhere, sticky sunscreen needing application to 3 bodies and a too-bright sun. Give me snow over beach any day.

Daniel riding the magic carpet
Elizabeth eating snow
Time to build a snowman

S.A.D = seasonal affective disorder, is a disorder that supposedly affects people who live in the northern hemisphere. The long, dark days cause depression in some. I on the other hand suffer from Summer Affective Disorder. I hate summer. My ancestry is a mix of Scottish, Welsh and English and my genes have adapted to over tens of thousands of years of a cold climate with gentle lighting. I am not made for hot summers.

Today we all went to the ice-skating rink for some cool. Daniel was a star and really got into it for the first time. It was Elizabeth’s first go on the ice and on skates and she was very wobbly. For some reason she was expecting to see penguins there so ended up being disappointed where she saw there were none.

Me with Elizabeth on the ice. Daniel is in the background with his “zimmer” frame.


Me and Daniel


In my element. Notice I’ve had to ditch my jumper. Even 10 degrees is too hot when you’re exercising.

6 responses to “Where are the penguins?”

  1. What a great life you lead. The main decision you make every day is: where will I go to have some fun today. Lucky you!

  2. Rach, You left out the Irish ancestry. Granny is half Irish and claims a bit of French (I think) as well. That rink looks super – large, perfect ice and few punters! So much to do in Auckland for a wide range of interests.

    • I didn’t know there was Irish as well.

      The rink was very, very quiet. When we arrived, there were a couple of bus loads of teenagers and I was worried they were all joining our session. It turned out they were just leaving though and we had fortunately missed a very crowded and busy period.

  3. I think Daniel and Elizabeth are lucky that you take them on so many expeditions. Was interested to see that there are ‘trainers’ at the rink for new skaters. If they have big ones for adults, I might give skating a burl myself. Last attempt many years ago ended in a twisted knee Snow Planet looks wonderful. Wish we had one in Canberra! Keep up the good life:)

    • Looks like you’ve got a nice ice rink in Canberra. In my experience, you can minimise the chance of twisting ankles and knees by making sure your boots are done up firmly. The frames are good too and more and more rinks are getting those in. Daniel even wanted a go without his towards the end, so it did a lot to improve his confidence and feeling of balance.

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