the alfmeister

a figment of reality's imagination

Archive for the tag “Christchurch”

Munch at Lunch…Beach Cafe

Great indoor and outdoor dining

Thank you, thank you! It’s not often I have nice things to say to the in-laws but taking the girls away for the day on a hot-rod run was meant to mean I could get out and spray the weeds on the 2-acre estate, mow the lawns, go to the dump, and assorted other odds and bods…well, at least to start with, that was the intent.

My dearest in chains scuppered all plans to carry out manly work in exchange for a lunch date…,Christ Almighty, my poor body…two days after chafing down two fast food burgers this was probably not a good thing so I carried out a tried and true Aussie method to decide what I should do; toss a brick in the air, if it lands back down on the ground, go out.

Her original plan was to go to our favourite eating place, Pukeko Junction in Leithfield but I convinced her that we should try out other places, especially around CHCH in support of local businesses. She suggested Beach Cafe that she had head about and half an hour later we sat down at a table there.

This is very close to the beach although you wouldn’t know as you cannot see it from the cafe, but then again there is no need for panoramic views when you have food like this. Read more…


Friday Drinks – Harrington’s Anvil

Please excuse me on this one, as we shut down the printing press to bring you this breaking story as a last-minute change to the normal schedule. And there is not much to say about it…why? I can’t bloody remember.

And that is why you must get out and buy this beer; the latest bolter from the Harrington’s stable.

My bestie was down from Hamilton (although we don’t admit that in public) and thankfully he had read my last review and took heed of the warning. So on the way home we stopped in at Harrington’s, well-known to Dazza, and he bought a dozen Rogue Hop (up until this fateful night, my favourite amber liquid from this locality). The man who served us, an ex-merchantman who I have spoken to on previous times of custom recommended we try this newbie which was on tap, not yet in bottle form. It was appropriately named Anvil, as in it felt like you had been hit between the eyes with one after drinking it!

On the Richter-Scale for beer I vaguely remember him saying 6 point something, as my senses were suddenly awash by a taste more hoppy than a Bugs Bunny omnibus, and the smile never left my face for the rest of the night. Me and Dazza unfortunately only had the foresight to buy one pub-pet of this Belfast Gold, and I can safely say that he would not mind me telling that when he caught his flight back the following evening, he still wasn’t really feeling okely-dokely.

Don’t know the price, don’t know the percentage, don’t know anything else…all I know is that this is a stunner that cannot be ignored. BUY LOCAL CHCH!! You won’t be disappointed!


Right. I get a the following Tweet:
Auckland Jolted by Earthquake.
I read on to find out it was a 2.9………..2.9!?!?!

So how is it the 80% of the 7000 earthquakes we’ve had down here that are greater than 2 point bloody 9 don’t get reported? Are we old news already? Or is this Auckland being the known centre of the universe?

Today there were 5 earthquakes around the country larger than this reported on NZ Quakes, the biggest being 4.7 in Te Anau, the other four in CHCH.

Give us a break…wake us when it gets serious. We eat anything under 4.0 for breakky.

PiS…don’t take this post too seriously Auckland.


Knox Hall on Bealey Ave; this photo was taken a few weeks back, but yesterday when I passed it, demo work appears to be underway. Another landmark gone.

My tour of the City Formerly Known as CHCH…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The day before the 6.3 that hit us here last week, I had been speaking to Ross Becker about using his photos in my blog. While you may not know who Ross Becker is I have no doubt you have seen his work – his photos have done the rounds via Picasa, Facebook, or by email. He is a fantastic photographer who has been commissioned to take a historical snapshot of the devastation and rebuild. In seeing my posts on the shakes he was more than happy to allow me to use them and add my own captions to them as I take you on a “this was my place”…

So thanks to Ross Becker for kindly allowing me to use his shots in this post. All photos in the slideshow are by Ross and licensed under Creative Commons. You can view the full portfolio at;

 Ross Becker – Picasa

8mths on…when will it stop? Or get easier?

I’m tired.

Real tired.

And my mind keeps wandering, worrying, and shutting down completely at times.

And then the worst of it…the bouts of depression. That’s a strong word, and one that should never be taken lightly, and while I wouldn’t say for sure whether I am or not, there is no doubt that at times everything builds up to such a point where fighting it doesn’t work anymore. It is easier to shut oneself down and away, and block out everything…and wait for the next time to calm the kids, or brace the wall, or grab the table top. No biggy in each incident, but collectively they fuck with you, subconsciously.

It isn’t the earthquakes, and the spectre of another big’un; in fact I find them strangely exciting and awesome, how can one not? It is just one of those things, a force of nature, an act of God…it cannot be compared to other so-called random acts such as your plane slicing through the side of a building due to terrorism, or being mowed down on the footpath due to a driver pissed out his head, or being gang-raped and murdered in a back alley…they are selfish acts by deranged people with no damn reason to be alive other than to make a mockery of others. But an earthquake, flood, tsunami or otherwise; we all watch it on the news and sit in awe, dumbstruck by the sheer power and helplessness, but impressed deep down and respectful, and accepting, to a point, that if it happened to you (and of course it will never happen to me would it?) you would accept the cards dealt to you, man up, and take it on the chin. The first time. And the second time, as it was expected. The third and the fourth start to make you double guess…but 7000 of them? Fuck me sideways, give me a break!

Again, it isn’t the actual act that gets to you. But it is what they can do, to my family, my friends, my colleagues, and to every other god-damned person I may never even meet in a lifetime here in Christchurch…in fact, more than that, it is also what it is doing to my beautiful city that is starting to get to me. Not just the stunning gardens and historic (and beautiful) buildings, but the fact that they are as much a part of what makes Christchurch, and Canterbury as the uniqueness of the people who live here. Destroy one, and the other will inevitably be ground into non-existence.

And being strong for my family, while seemingly easy and in my nature, is also the hardest bloody thing to do. And then my work is on my back unerringly (and in my eyes insensitively) to perform in a place where the next day is uncertain, let alone the next month, year, or even 10 years; balancing the two in its current guise has gotten too much. And one has to stop, and it won’t be my family that’s for sure. So, as if the rest wasn’t enough, the pressure of finding new work in a town where builders and geologists take up all the Situations Vacant ads crushes even the strongest of personas.

Namely me.

But then I remember other things; there are people out there who have it a hell of a lot shittier than I do. And in this case, I only talk of my fellow Cantabs (let’s face it, others in this country and around the world do too, but only home counts at this moment in time), and those in the eastern suburbs, in Sumner, and up on the hills overlooking Redcliffs and in Lyttleton are doing it harder than me. Does it make my pain less? Probably not, but it racks you with guilt, and nothing you do will make that go away. And just when it does, fuck me, there’s another shake and the energy levels plummet again.

The first thing (eventually) you notice is the empties in the recycle bin…I’m not just saying a few beers or a bottle of wine now and again to calm the nerves. Copious amounts…binge proportions, like a party after winning the rugby final drinking. And of course for some, along with the drink is the smokes. Me, I like a beer or two or three after a day at work, and maybe a smoke or two (I don’t smoke a lot at home), but a dozen beers each night, and a packet of smokes a day to get you settled is pretty full on. But before you brand me as an alcoholic, the brain clicked, and changes were made. No smokes in three weeks (fucken hard after last Monday’s bombshell!) and not even a drink during the week. I cannot say I feel any better to be honest, but it’s a slippery slope. Thankfully I cannot eat chocolate otherwise I would be near on (morbidly) obese by now! And I cringe at too many of them every day which keeps me in check on that!

Now this isn’t a ‘poor me, poor me’ post. It is something that preys in the back of my head, during reading a book, during a drive, during (every night) the middle of the night, and even during playtime with my kids. Speaking about it doesn’t come naturally to me, but getting it out in any other medium does. Don’t pity me, don’t even respond to me, just understand me.

PiS…there is nothing like a good comedy to take one’s mind off it all if even only for half an hour..hence my Comedy Classics.

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