Woo Hoooo! Christmas at the Beach is back – and it’s better than ever! The combined churches of Blockhouse Bay, together with the Whau Local Board, are inviting you to another Christmas extravaganza, set to rival those of previous years, even though the bar is set pretty high!
So grab your kids, your neighbours, the in-laws, throw in your picnic blanket and dinner, and head on down to the Blockhouse Bay Reserve for a cracker of an evening’s entertainment. There will be plenty of food vendors if you can’t be bothered making your own.
Kicking off at 5pm with a treasure hunt, there’s lots of activities for the kids including face painting, bouncy castle fun, and Christmas stories.
Make sure you flex those vocal chords for some carol singing - the carol choir have been practicing for weeks now, so it will literally be like singing with the angels! But the singing won’t stop there! Shane and the Shazaam band will be playing hits from the fifties and sixties so you can sing along there too, and dance the night away if that’s the way you roll. Here’s a bit of trivia for you … Shane is actually a Blockhouse Bay local who had a number one hit some years ago with his song St Paul.
Although road closures will be in place around Endeavour and Gilfillan Streets, parking won’t be an issue. Simply park at any of the local BHB churches – shuttles are running there and back so no worries about competing for that close parking spot.
Thanks to the Combined Churches of Blockhouse Bay, and the Whau Local Board, this is a FREE event. However, if you feel inspired to give a little back, tins will be collected for the Auckland City Mission. Look out for the collection boxes near the stage.
So, come along to the beach and get into the Christmas spirit in true Kiwi style.
Where: Blockhouse Bay Beach Reserve
When: Sunday 18 December
Starting at 5pm
For some people, ‘retirement’ is not quite the right word, and for Hillsborough Heights resident, Coralie Fennell, this would appear to be the case. This energetic lady has just published a delightful children’s book, Topsy Turvey, which was launched at the Village’s recent arts and crafts fair.
This delightful book, aimed at five-year-olds and upwards, describes what could happen if children are untidy. Its message is wonderfully delivered in verse, with that lilt upon reading that is reminiscent of favourite classics, and with the potential to become just as beloved.
Originally written and illustrated by Coralie 40 years ago for her two daughters, Topsy Turvey has an appealing ‘vintage’ charm, with that heirloom quality to it. A lovely, weighty feel, and unusual in that it is locally hand-made, the cover opens to reveal a beautiful, double-sided pop-up.
Topsy Turvey would make a perfect Christmas gift, though due to being hand-made is in limited supply. Orders can be placed by contacting the author at email@example.com
With the country almost closed down, it’s a good chance to holiday with friends, but you need a plan. Everyone else is also looking for that lovely, secluded beach!
We conducted a small survey on Facebook, on the Blockhouse Bay group page, and found that most people remained based in Auckland. That can be a great holiday if you take advantage of our many attractions, beaches and parks.
Whatever you do, relax, recharge, and create memorable moments and milestones. It takes at least four days of doing very little for stress to start to leave. In our busy, connected world we seldom take the chance to relax and let our body, mind and spirit recover and recharge.
If you have children at home, it’s really important to do something different and create family memories. Bland days of playing on the computer merge together into a road without memorable markers. Dads especially – you don’t want to be that guy that becomes invisible in the photo album inside your child’s mind.
Wherever you go, and whatever you do this summer, have a great time, laugh a lot and just be a little bit dangerous!
Numerous drivers have tackled the BHB mudflats this year and lost – many of them have lost big time.
A late model Range Rover Evoque valued at $90,000 went for a swim in April.
Then in October it was like the lemmings headed for the sea. A late model Jeep got stuck and then so did a Land Cruiser that came to help.
Shay from Ace Heavy Haulage deployed a winch tractor which made short work of recovery, though not before the incoming tide had come up to the doors. Due to the Jeep’s excellent seals, the interior was saved from water damage.
Unbelievably, within days another car, a silver Toyota RAV4, was stuck about 380 metres out from the ramp at Lewis Street. Ace came out once more but we understand that the driver’s credit card was declined. No cash, no splash.
The driver then brought down a second vehicle, an ageing Pajero. Once it had been red, but a home spray job had given it a black look. It too got bogged down. Numerous tides went through both vehicles.
The Sunday circus saw three more “recovery” vehicles also get stuck. With great effort, these three were pulled out before the tide came in. Over 20 people, friends of the RAV driver, were engaged in this effort. They left once they had got their own cars out.
Bystander Tony commented that he was upset that they drove off leaving two broken strops on the beach, plus a car window. He removed the rubbish. Tony was also one of many people concerned about oil and fuel seeping from the flooded cars.
Importantly, the Pajero was insured but the RAV was not. This ultimately led to the Pajero being recovered by the insurance company and the RAV being abandoned. Both vehicles were in the $3,000 - $5,000 range for recovery costs. The harbourmaster eventually recovered the RAV with a small barge, so ratepayers had to cough up for that one unless the money can be extracted from the driver.
Johanna commented on Facebook, “I hope we are not all paying. Surely it is up to the ignorant owner who drove it there, then decided to leave it?”
While all this was going on, another car was stuck at Wood Bay. Tow truck driver Russell, who got the Pajero out, says he gets 4-5 similar jobs every month.
The Lewis Street driver training course will no doubt continue to lure inexperienced, over-confident drivers out to a sticky end. The bay is covered in a layer of sand which looks deceptively solid but is really more like a pie crust. Once it is penetrated, there is about half a metre of very soft mud.
The whole fiasco kept us locals entertained for days. There were over 100 bystanders on the beach watching on the Sunday.
When Susie Davis launched the Travel Club as a fun social outing addition to her business, Driving Miss Daisy, she had no idea how popular it would become, but each of the trips so far have been sold out, and she has more in the pipeline.
The idea had been in the back of Susie’s mind for some months, but fear of the unknown held her back. Motivated by an awareness that many of her clients’ friend networks had diminished as they got older, resulting in less social contact, Susie tentatively put the word out.
She needn’t have worried. Once her ‘regulars’ got wind of it, the first trip sold out within two days.
Off they went to the Hibiscus Coast – Susie, plus three ladies who had never met before, chatting and laughing together like old friends. After a coffee stop in Takapuna, they arrived in Orewa in time for a delicious pub lunch at the Ship and Anchor. One of the ladies in her eighties had grandparents who had owned property in Orewa, so they drove past the old cottage – a real trip down memory lane for her.
So far there have been two outings, both sold out within days, with more planned next year. Not to be out-done, Susie’s dad Roger (‘Driver of the Month’ who featured in our June issue), is planning a ‘boys-only’ trip.
The Travel Club is essentially a guided tour designed around a nominated destination, at a pace suited to the group. The added bonus of an experienced, first-aid-trained driver/companion, plus the opportunity to meet new, like-minded people, is part of the appeal – not only for the travellers, but for family who want their elderly parent to have some fun, but simply are too busy.
Susie comments that social isolation is a growing problem in our aging population. The Travel Club is part of the solution by providing opportunities to get dressed up, put some lipstick on and enjoy a social day out.
Just a thought … elderly parents can be the hardest to find a meaningful Christmas gift for - a Travel Club voucher could be just the thing. Ed.
Contact Susie Davis
021 503 481