It was the sun that tipped me off. Something was off. According to the airplane “moving map”, we were flying east towards Christchurch, but the position of the sun outside the window suggested we were heading south. And then it hit me — we were in the Southern Hemisphere, meaning the sun stayed in the northern half of the sky. So the rising sun ahead of us and off the left side of the airplane meant we were indeed heading east. I’d spent all my life in the Northern Hemisphere and I’d used the sun being in the southern half of the sky to orient myself. But not anymore. Not for the next year or two, or three.
After a shorter-than-anticipated stay in London, we were moving to the South Island of New Zealand. After a l-o-n-g trip of almost 31 hours (door-to-door), we arrived in Ashburton on a gorgeous fall day. After a shower, some food, and a little nap, decided to walk over to the main local park, Ashburton Domain. What a great park. Huge soccer fields (maybe 5-6 of them), a large children’s playground with fun equipment/structures, an aviary, a flower garden, streams and ponds. Quite picturesque.
The next morning I woke up to something I’d missed in London. The sun. Not that it was never sunny in London, it’s just that places and events conspired to keep solar sightings somewhat rare. First, it was cloudy a lot. Even when the sun came out, living in small and narrow houses all jammed together meant that the sun was hard to see from the house. Skyscrapers, tall buildings, and the low path of the sun kept my views down. Not so here.
We got to explore our new home better during the day. What struck me is the lushness. Yes, England is very green as well, but the greenery has a tropical feel to it. Many ferns. Palm trees in many gardens. Many fruit and flower trees and plants. Our garden itself has so many flowers still blooming, as well as a vegetable garden with tomatoes, beans, spinach, lemons, and more.
I think we’ll like living here. For a little while at least. 🙂