Blenheim – Thereabouts

We woke on Monday to find Blenheim a bit busier out in the street. Wendy and John were busy too, starting to get to grips with their motels. We made our usual slow start to the day, meaning to keep out of their way. We wanted to do a load of washing which Wendy said was OK but we’d have to connect up the washing machine forst. I did – and found the hoses tricky to connect to the water taps. That’s my excuse for how I got distracted and forgot that washing machines have two hoses for getting water in and one for letting it back out again. I forgot about the drain hose. And we filled the machine and went off and left it to do its thing.

We headed off into the centre of town; only a couple of blocks away. Blenheim is a nice place but there’s something about the middle of the town/city that is more like a maze. It’s disorienting on foot and diabolical in a car. We found the post office and our mail and got distracted with a few of the shops so it was quite a while before we found our way back to the motels. Wendy and John were just finishing the cleanup after the flood from the washing machine because I’d forgotten to hook up the waste hose. They were very good about it because it really was something they could have done without. After lunch we moved on over to the racecourse, where we’re allowed to park up out of the way. There was still a keen southerly so we found a sheltered place and set up in the sun. The racecourse has a lovely outlook towards the hills to the north.

Tuesday was a beautiful day that started with a bit of a frost that must have had the vineyards scrambling. Wyn took some cushion covers in to get drycleaned, and decided it was time for the kitchen blind as well. That had square drive screws holding it on so that required a trip across town to Mitre 10 for a screwdriver, and then back into town with the blind. So our morning passed. After lunch we decided a bike rise was a good idea; having found some information on the Wither Hills Farm Park owned by the council. It had lots of bike trails marked on its map, some of which didn’t look too strenuous. It was a lovely sunny day by this stage, with a breeze that stopped it getting too hot.

We found a starting point, and set off on the easy route around the foot of the hills. This park is a great asset, sitting just behind the houses and overlooking the city. As we got towards the end it got more confusing as signs anounced parts were closed for construction of new reservoirs. Nevertheless we had a good ride and the last bit back down and along to the car was a good swoop to end with. It was a great way to see a nice part of Blenheim.

Wednesday (yesterday) started with another frost. the previous day we’d seen about a dozen helicopters flying in from Wellington and there was obviously a big frost fighting operation on. We avoided most of it by sleeping in – we still seem to be on pre-daylight saving time. Wyn had a hair appointment and l tackled some window cleaning. Some of the windows need the inside cleaning from outside because of the insect netting and were in need of a spring clean. It was a lovely warm morning for it, warmer outside than in. In our sheltered spot the temperature rose to 17 degrees although the cold breeze came along in the afternoon. I went to pick Wyn up and we ended up in a few more shops, doing our bit for the local economy. We had a late lunch in the sun before heading back to pick up our drycleaning. The blind was a complete disaster but we were determined to not let that spoil a lovely day. We had tea with Wendy and John with toasts to motel life. Motel life was all go with a busy evening and lots of interruptions. Ah how that took me back to my motel days 30 years ago. It was a lovely evening and a fitting conclusion to our stay in Blenheim.

Today (Thursday) we move on south, probably to Christchurch. The morning is overcast and it sounds like we’ll run into another southerly change later on. I guess the south is welcoming us back.

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