new zealand a summary:
*braided rivers - still so wierd
*mountains - so young and pointy
*fish and chips - ok, I believe it now, they really are better in nz
*vegetation - cabbage trees and flax are cute, australian weeds look so out of place, so many european trees in one place out of europe is wierd
*drought - my heart still says that wasn't a drought (green bits!), despite what my head says.
*nz heatwave - 30C with a cool breeze is really quite pleasant actually
*geological tour - fantastic!
*scenery - good on the canterbury plains. I expect it's spectacular in all the places I didn't make it to, (and kaikoura when it's not raining) but  I didn't get far from Christchurch this time
*whales - big, but smaller than I expected
*Christchurch - surprisingly big feeling for a small population
*fantails - so cute, I want one!

canterbury faire in dot points:
*meal plan - excellent food, medieval, and lots of it, but long quewes
*extended length - I couldn't notice, seemed just right, or maybe a bit short
*classes - longer time slots than rowany festival and not rushing from one to annother was very nice
*half circle theatre - very talented entertainers, including a couple of naughty knights
*acessibility - so much easier than rowany festival, from shuttles to billeting to bunkrooms and meal plan.
*bunkrooms - not enough luggage space, but were politely only left half filled. Otherwise remarkably innocuous, which is better than any other bunk option I've seen.
*bean baron and village games - fun!
*people - remarkably friendly and helpful
*organisation - done on a rather personal level, rather than organised.  Most things were achieved by asking people until you located the person who could help you.  Everyone would try and help, and the site was small enough that this mostly worked, and I mostly found out  about quirks of the site and event about half a day before I needed the information.
*size - stall small and personal, but on the verge of becoming something bigger and having to go through a lot of growing pains
*overall - I'm already wondering how to afford to go next year.

I'm glad to be back in my own bed (I don't sleep well in other beds, but apparently sheer exhaustion will counter that sufficiently), glad to have missed the worst of the sweltering melbourne weather, and feeling kinda strange to be daily presented with the strange red smoke filtered sunlight and yet not to have been around for the worst of the bushfires. But everyone I know is safe, and I'm not a firefighter, so my absence made no difference.


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