Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas updates

There are always a few things that I forget to mention when I write a post about—well, most things, actually. That includes my post about Christmas.

First, I forgot to mention that we watched the Queen’s annual Christmas message on Christmas Day (it's the video above—I thought the former colonials might like to see the Queen of New Zealand’s annual message). When I first moved to New Zealand, I was actually excited about seeing it for the first time, but over the years I became pretty blasé about it. For a time the speeches were released as podcasts, but now they’re all posted to the The Royal Channel on YouTube.

Also, we’ve upped our estimate of the temperature at our house on Christmas Day to the low 30s (that’s upper 80s, low 90s in US temperatures). We’re still working on heat-fighting measures.

Then there are a couple things I couldn’t know on the day: NZ Bus ended the years-long tradition of free bus rides in Auckland on Christmas Day, due to the company losing big money. That’s their right, but despite their PR spin, the public wasn’t well notified in advance: The only notice most people got was posters on buses—nothing was in the media. So, NZ Bus came across looking positively Grinchy.

There was a 25km (about 15 and a half US miles) long traffic jam north of Auckland yesterday. There were also the annual horrendous queues of cars waiting to cross the Kopu Bridge near Thames as they waited to head north to the Coromandel. That jam will soon be fixed by a new bridge, but the Auckland bottleneck will remain for quite some time.

There, with those updates done, the universe is back in balance.

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