The Christmas letter: blogmas 15 December

Wellington, December 2016

Hi everyone

So here we are at another year, and what a year 2016 has been. From the deaths of so many well-known people to elections and referenda, 2016 won’t be forgotten. Here in New Zealand, we experienced a 7.8 earthquake centered on Kaikora in the South Island in  November. Followed by many aftershocks, this has altered the landscape of parts of the South Island, moved Wellington 6cm north and has led the scientists to discover more fault lines. We now wait to see if the subsequent movement may cause another big shake in the region. The quake took place when people were at home in bed, and I don’t want to think about what it could have been like if more people were out and about.

But not all was bad. The year began with a mini road trip in South Island, starting with the ferry trip over to Picton, then taking the train down the east coast (not that we could do that trip now due to the earthquake) to Christchurch. From there we drove to Oamaru, then over to Lake Roxburgh before heading down to Dunedin. The weather was mostly good, and we saw some spectacular scenery.

Moeraki Boulders

We had lovely weekends away in Nelson in April and Napier in September, enjoying autumn and spring respectively away from Wellington. Karl took work trips to Beijing, Hong Kong, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. I, meanwhile, travelled a lot for work this year to Auckland, Hamilton, Nelson, Hastings, Taradale, Tauranga and New Plymouth, almost earning me a silver frequent flyer card!

Our main trip this year was of course to Europe in June. We spent almost a week in Sweden, stopping in Malmö and Kalmar before heading to Stockholm. From there we drove to Copenhagen for a couple of nights, before heading over to Aberdeen to visit my nephew and the latest addition to the family, Claire Bridget, who was born in March. We then headed to Glasgow and Edinburgh, seeing more family and friends. We were in the UK for Brexit – what a mess that is.


We had some guests in Wellington this year, with several friends from Scotland visiting, a former student from Denmark and my nephew Karl popped up from Christchurch. Charlie the visiting cat moved in, and we have become cat slaves. Anton left us the day before the earthquake and returned to Denmark, where we hope he will be happy. It is so strange not having him about. We miss him.

As ever, there have been many dance performances, the highlights this year being the Tanzteater Wuppertal and the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’. We enjoyed the comedy festival, various film festivals, the World of Wearable Art and all the different street festivals that populate the late summer and early autumn.  I’m still doing and loving Pilates, and started barre classes again now my shoulder is almost better.

We can’t wait until the holidays as both of us have had a stressful few months. Let’s hope for long, summer days!

Wishing you all bloggers out there the very best for 2017!


  1. What a year. So many trips, so many quakes. You obviously both have very busy lives. Wonder you have time to blog! Hope your holidays are laid back with plenty of sunshine


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