For the first time in 26 years, Romance Writers of NZ held their annual conference in the South Island. I visited Christchurch about 36 years ago, very briefly. It was to be the beginning of a tour of the South Island with three of my teenage children and my sister and her family. Unfortunately, my husband's (we weren't even engaged then!) father died and I immediately flew back to Wellington, leaving my sister and husband to begin our South Island odyssey without me. I caught them up in Dunedin. So I missed seeing Christchurch in all her pre-earthquake glory. Nevertheless, I loved the city and felt deeply moved by the evidence of grit and determination as they fight back and rebuild.
I was impressed with their efforts to retain their history. Regent Street and the tram were favourites.
Custard squares and books are two of Petes favourites. it was a no-brainer when the two came together on one notice board!
To his disappointment, there were no custard squares. I came to the conclusion it was evidence of the after-earthquake humour. The bookshop (in a caravan) was set up in The Square, which had 'turned to custard'.
Thanks RWNZ for taking the 2019 Conference to Christchurch and giving me an excuse to finally acquaint myself with this beautiful part of our country.