Paddling Upstream

Today is decidedly blustery.


It is very difficult to show “blustery” in a still photo. Take my word for it; it’s blowing a gale.

After a day of pelting rain (“Good for the garden,”says the Pollyanna in me) the wind kicked up and everyone’s getting a bit sick of it.

Leia hunkers down in that freakily quiet spot in the paddock (it must have something to do with fence placement) while Geraldine decides it’s a day not worth getting out of bed for and Jolene declares it’s playing havoc with her coiffure.


Talk over morning coffee, a little louder to be audible over the gusts hitting the side of the Homestead, centred around our latest adventure.

Rowing on the Avon: Quintessentially Christchurch.


Our chaotic course among the tourist-laden punts may have lowered the tone slightly

Paddling through the Botanical Gardens on a sunny, lazy, sparkly day is a wonderful way to start the New Year and proof absolute that, here on Union Homestead, the course may be haphazard and the technique questionable, but we always paddle our own canoe.




21 thoughts on “Paddling Upstream

  1. My husband and I have become avid kayakers, and really love it! We stay to calm lakes and rivers…no whitewater rafting for us ’cause we are just getting too old for that! 😉 Have a happy, healthy and wealthy New Year!

    • It was great fun. The Farmer, who is a natural at these sort of activities, ran rings around us and ensured we were all thoroughly drenched by the time we returned the boats. It was the perfect weather for that sort of mischief 😊

  2. Stuck in the dark gloom of the cold, damp, foggy and chilly period known as typical winter in this southwest corner of of BC, even your blustery, gusty feather ruffling day looked pretty nice to me just now – and the garden is looking lovely, by the way.. The paddling adventure looks wonderful. When we visited Christchurch this was actually something we had planned to do as well, but the days we were there (early March 2014) there had been some stormy weather and the Avon had flooded it’s banks in the previous week, so much of the river was still looking pretty muddy and messy. How far can you paddle on it? Is it just through the Gardens and city, or can you start higher up and go all the way down to the coast? Except for the foliage, you lot look like you could be in Canada in your canoe and kayak :). And I agree – a great way to start the New Year. We usually start our New Year with a beach walk, but changed it up and visited the local tourist attraction, to see it’s Christmas light displays (which are spectacular) instead – a decent enough walk in it’s own right. Hope 2018 is a wonderful year for all of you, though topping the Grand Tour will be tough :).

    • We were surprised at how far you could paddle. Basically you get the boat for an hour paddle as far upstream through the gardens and Hagley Park as you think feasible then you turn and have a current assisted journey back. We were addressed as The Canadians throughout our paddle due to our chosen vessel😊 Butchart Gardens look wonderful. I was interested in the garden etiquette…No fancy dress. Is this to avoid confusion with staff?? Hope 2018 is great for you and yours. 😊

  3. Hi, ‘A day of pelting rain’…..Oh, the envy I felt on reading those words! The rainfall Christchurch receives would help to explain the lushness of the public gardens in the middle of summer. I think a children’s author once wrote about the pleasures of messing about in boats – ‘canoe’ comes under my definition of ‘boat.’

    • The day of rain was very welcome here on the Homestead; it filled up the rain barrels, softened the goats hooves for trimming and gave us a chance to clear a few inside jobs without feeling guilty

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