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Photo by Kate Boyes

Best Laid Plans by Te Rama Kerr, Year 10

Te Rama Kerr —

Just before the school holidays my friend Shawn and I made a plan to go to the Museum of Canterbury on the Wednesday of the first week of the holidays. It didn’t all go as planned though . . . . .

The day was meant to be sunny, but the grey clouds indicated otherwise. The botanical gardens weren’t as pretty as I’d expected and the humidity was high.

We got to the botanical gardens really early, before the Museum was even open. Neither of us had had breakfast. To counter this we stopped to have a bite at the Ilex Café. I bought us two mouth-watering toasted ciabatta buns filled with ham, cheese and salad greens, the best part was the aioli and tomato relish. Yum! We avoided buying drinks just to save a bit of money. We both felt out of place there as we were young compared to everyone else and people were glancing our way.

From there we enjoyed a leisurely walk around the gardens, seeing flowers, ducklings, and cherry blossom which were very pretty. I got close to one group of ducklings but their mother kept giving me evil looks and whenever I got close, she’d open an eye and hiss. Hearing a duck hiss is a really strange experience as it hissed like a snake.

We headed over to the glasshouse which was super hot and humid, but there were many colourful flowers and I spied some green bananas hanging from one of the trees. The cacti house was just as nice. Shawn loves cacti and all sorts of cacti was scattered about the display. I touched some of the spikes without pricking myself but Shawn wasn’t as careful and was pricked twice with the spikes. Anyway, who in their right mind would go about touching cacti spikes?

Up next was the Museum of Canterbury. I was grateful that it wasn’t busy, barely anyone was there and it was almost silent. We skipped a few sections and went straight to the “old Christchurch” part and mounted the fake horses. I had to adjust the straps so that Shawn could reach and even then it was a struggle. We took some photos of each other and went on the geography part and then to Discovery. We didn’t discover much in Discovery as it’s aimed at children younger than ourselves.

One of our favourite areas was the “Asian” section, with all the beautiful china, katanas and clothing. The katanas were my favourite as I like the look of weaponry. The creaky floors were really annoying though, they were extremely creaky.

It was getting close to lunchtime by now and the Museum Café was busy, so a definite no-go, but there was a Robert Harris across the road. The café was nice and quiet and the cabinet stocked with good looking food. Eventually we decided on halving a caramel slice and a savoury pastry. They tasted great though not as good as the ciabatta bun. We spent at least 10 minutes drinking as much water as we liked. Since the Art Gallery was nearby, that became our next and last planned destination.

Like everywhere else the Art Gallery wasn’t that busy, I didn’t see any big groups. Our bags had to be handed in and we were given wristbands. Some of our favourite paintings were by someone called Mr Sutton and we joked about telling our Mr Sutton about that. Sutton’s paintings were watercolour paintings of landscapes with very light colours. The next best things to these paintings were the light displays. Based in the dark, they were colourful and beautiful to look at. I liked the “Bushfire” or “Bush on Fire” one, I can’t remember its name exactly. We spent an hour or so in that place which I found extremely boring, though that’s just my normal reaction to art galleries.

It was still too early to be picked up so we decided on bussing home instead. That was a mistake on my behalf – I took us onto the wrong bus platform,. Instead of going back to Sockburn, we were headed straight to New Brighton. It made us both laugh quite a bit. Shawn hasn’t been anywhere much in Christchurch so we went all the way out to New Brighton. We saw someone in handcuffs and 3 police cars. Once at our unplanned destination we switched platforms and went back to Sockburn, in total spending about 2 hours on the yellow line. My dad teased me about that mistake and it sound like Shawn’s parents did the same.

All things considered we had a great time, even if I took us all the way to the other side of town. Who wouldn’t want a tour of Christchurch?