Archive for Holidays

LONDON catch up blog

We were lucky to spend 4 nights in London and during the day we took the tube to get

around places in London.

The London Eye was a great place to be able to see all the significant landmarks

in London.  We also had an introduction to the art of queuing.  Interesting to see that

some people from other countries didn’t think that they needed to stand in line like everyone


David worked a number of years ago in Convent Garden area so we went back

to see where he worked,.and found it was all boarded up.

Before we left we were happy to help a busker, the Mighty Gareth, form a crowd and to

entertain us with his routine.  A few coins for his hat were well earned.

Seeing Buckingham Palace and the Beefeater Guards was very special.

Thousands of people waited with us, then we walked up The Mall.

The guards and the horses that came around the square were very regal.

A visit to the tower of London and seeing the Crown Jewels another highlight.

Amelia will always remember her 11th birthday.

Where do you think we went with a writer in the family?

Yes Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.  Matt our guide was a character, and gave

Amelia a few jibes in good fun.  We learnt some interesting information.

Enjoying our travels.

Julie, David and Amelia

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“Sleep is the best meditation”  Dalai Lama – that is what we found on a little card on our pillows when we arrived at our hotel in Barcelona.

No sign of gangs of pick-pockets at the train station.   Lots of warnings to be very careful and consider security

of money and other valuables.  Even being told to report thefts to the police for insurance purposes as you

won’t get them back.

After settling in we went looking for the swimming pool.  Very disappointed as it is so tiny – about the size of

two double beds..  Then it was time to search  for lunch/dinner.

Getting with the Barcelona atmosphere we sat outside in the outdoor dining area on  Rambla  Catalunya  and dined.

Paella, garlic mushbrooms, pesto ravoli.  Such beautiful food.

We will enjoy our stay in Barcelona.

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Bonjour, & merci.
We are again back in the hotel room with sore legs.
Yesterday, was the Louvre. In the queue early and then raced to see Mona Lisa before the hordes. Only about 20 in front of her when we got there. I hate to think what it was like when the Japanese & American tour groups arrived – we saw them heading there later.  Extremely impressive building.  I took so many photos my camera battery died and I felt lost.
We did the old Greek, Roman & Egyptian stuff which was our interest – way to much to look at, you would need several days.  Then on to Notre Dame then eventually to the metro station.
Today a bit slower start to the day and on the metro to experience the  real Paris. No one smiles – feeling sad!
Into the Pompidou Centre, visited a few shops, Amelia tried on some sneakers, looked at t-shirts – didn’t buy anything other than lunch.  For the first time a nice waiter asked us where we were from.  Coconut ice cream is very nice – Amelia thinks chocolate is the best
Sitting outside the French Cafe – Amelia and I watched the people of Paris and the tourists go by.  We all thought that Paris would have a high standard of dress.  As you can gather we saw it all.  It was very nice taking time out to do what you do in Paris – eat, drink and watch the people go past.
Packed, as in the morning we will be off to Barcelona by train.
Early start – departing 6.30am.
Note:  I plan to do a catch up post on London – as it will be good to keep a record.  Each day we do so much, that this will be a great place to look back at.
Julie, David and Amelia

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Amelia’s Introduction

Hello! My name is Amelia.

My family will be going on holiday for five weeks and going to LA, London, Paris, Rome, Greece, Barcelona, and Hong Kong and I will be blogging it right here.

I thought I should start by introducing myself, my interests, etc.

  • I am 10 years old (11 on the 15th of september)
  • My favorite colour is purple
  • My favorite animal is an owl
  • I absolutely love writing and have been published twice in a writing magazine named Write On
  • I want to be an author one day
  • I spend a lot of my time watching youtube videos
  • I like playing Minecraft (mostly Xbox edition)
  • I am secretly a unicorn (not really haha, OR AM I)

Lots of statements beginning with I *sighs* Oh well

So yeah. If you want to hear more from me then stay tuned folks.



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Join the Great Summer Reading Adventure!

Our annual Summertime Reading programme is about to get underway again for kids between 5 and 12 years old.  Pick up your Summertime Reading Club map from your local library or Paper Plus store from December and be in to win some great prizes!

Read six books of your choice between 20th December 2013 and 24th January 2014, then take your map back into the library to receive your sticker and a $5 Paper Plus voucher. The librarian will also enter you online for the prize draw and the major prize this year is an iPad mini.

For a further challenge, you can complete the Science Alive Reading Adventure by reading four different books and spotting the science feature in each of those books. Take the map back into the library and the librarian will enter you into the draw for some more great prizes.

We’ll also have a weekly Summertime Reading Challenge here on the Kids Blog that you can enter to win PaperPlus vouchers.

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Free online fun at the library these holidays

Now that you are free from school what plans do you have for the summer holidays that stretch before you? (I am so jealous!) I have a few suggestions that you may want to try if you start to get a bit bored. They are free, enjoyable and all for you!

  • BusyThings: Fun games and activities for 3 to 7 year olds that include creating music and art.
  • TumbleBook Library: Animated books which include games, quizzes, videos and puzzles.
  • Literacy Planet: Create characters and earn rewards in return for completing fun tasks.
  • OverDrive: Over 1200 children’s fiction and non fiction e-books and downloadable audiobooks for your enjoyment!

Far be it from us to encourage you to play online more, but there will be wet days when playing outside will not be an option. This is where we can help. All you need to access any of these online resources is an imagination and a  library card number and password / PIN.

Oh and don’t forget to come and visit us  at your local library this summer!

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What movies do you want to see these holidays?

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Summertime Reading Club Challenge – Week 2

This is the second of our weekly Summertime Reading Club challenges.  Each week we’ll set you a challenge and you have to comment on the challenge post to go in the draw for the weekly prize, a $50 PaperPlus voucher and a Hoyts movie pass.  We’ll draw the winner on Thursday and announce the winner on Friday when the next challenge is posted.

Congratulations to last week’s winner – Ben.

Week 2 Challenge

Leave a comment telling us: 

Which author would you most like to meet? 

If you could ask them one question what would it be?

Make sure you leave your name and email address as well so that we can contact you if you win. 

See below for terms and conditions  Read the rest of this entry »

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Join the Summertime Reading Club

Join the Summertime Reading Club in 2012. This very popular summer activity starts again on 21 December and runs to 18 January 2013. Complete the Summertime Reading Club challenge and you’ll be in to win some awesome prizes including Paper Plus vouchers, an iPod, a digital camera and an iPad!

Simply take a challenge card, complete four of the challenges and then return the card to the library to be in to win.
There are two levels to choose from:

  • Easy (for 5 – 8 year olds)
  • Hard (for 9 – 12 year olds)

Each week on the Christchurch Kids Blog we’ll also have a Sumertime Reading Club Challenge.  You can enter each week for your chance to win Paper Plus vouchers and Hoyts movie vouchers.

Keep your eyes peeled next week for the Summertime Reading Club challenge card that you can download from the Kids page of the library website.

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My Christmas traditions – Zac’s Kiwi Christmas

Christmas in New Zealand is the complete opposite of traditional images of Christmas.  Movies, books and Christmas cards nearly always show Christmas as cold and snowy, with people wrapped up in their warm clothes and gathered around a crackling fire.  In New Zealand though, it’s warm and (if we’re lucky) sunny, with people in shorts, t-shirts and jandals.

One of my traditions that I start Christmas day with is getting up early to watch cartoons and What Now.  If there’s nothing much on TV I bring out my old favourite videos, Red Boots for Christmas and The Santa Bears.  When I was younger my family would go and have a picnic in Hagley Park for lunch where everyone would bring something different to share.  These days my family brings lunch to my parents’ house.

Christmas can be a really expensive time of the year, so we decided a few years ago to just have a present exchange.  You have to buy 1 present for 1 person and there is a limit to how much you can spend.  You might get a serious present or something silly, and there’s not so much mess to clean up afterwards.

At night after we’re all full of turkey, ham, new potatoes, ambrosia and Christmas Pudding, we sit down and watch the Royal Variety Concert on TV.

What are your Christmas traditions?

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Of Pie and Poetry

Tomorrow (today for you) is the Thanksgiving holiday in America. Families and friends gather for turkey dinner with stuffing, cranberries, mashed potatoes, gravy, candied sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, dinner rolls, corn bread, jello salad, green salad…

And after all that? Pie. Pumpkin pie, pecan pie, mincemeat pie, chess pie, apple pie. You get the idea. A feast.

I have a particular fondness for pie, as anyone who’s read my books may have noticed. Pie appears in all four of my published novels as well as the novel I’m working on now. I didn’t set out to write about pie, but clearly it’s on my mind a lot. Look back at stories you’ve written. Do your favorite things make frequent appearances?

Pie takes front stage in The Luck of the Buttons when we discover that the comically unlucky Button family gathers for pie whenever there’s trouble. And the Buttons find themselves in trouble a lot. The pie eating (and trouble) continue in Button Down.

Pie in my life is nothing but good luck, and I’ll be baking my a pumpkin pie tomorrow, my favorite. I will give thanks for readers like you who make me want to write books.

Because every celebration deserves a poem, I’ll share with you one of my favorite poems of thanks from childhood.

The Sun by John Drinkwater

I told the Sun that I was glad,

I’m sure I don’t know why;

Somehow the pleasant way he had

Of shining in the sky,

Just put a notion in my head

That wouldn’t it be fun

If, walking on the hill, I said

“I’m happy” to the Sun.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Celebrate International Ivy + Bean Day these holidays

At the library on Friday 12 October (the last Friday of the school holidays) we’ll be celebrating International Ivy + Bean Day.  If you don’t already know who Ivy and Bean are, they’re two very cool characters who get up to all sorts of fun and games.  The books are written by Annie Barrows and illustrated by Sophie Blackall and we have all of their books in the library.

To celebrate International Ivy + Bean Day we’re having special Ivy + Bean parties in some of our libraries.  You can bring a friend along and enjoy activities, games, giveaways and a reading of the latest Ivy + Bean story.  It’s all FREE and there is no need to make a booking, so just come along.  Here’s where the parties are on Friday 12 October:

  • Shirley Library, 10:30-11:30am
  • Upper Riccarton Library, 10:30-11:30am
  • Diamond Harbour Library, 3:00-4:00pm

Look out next week for our interview with Ivy and Bean.  You’ll laugh your socks off!

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Join our Winter Reading Club

Winter Reading Club is a fun reading challenge that you can take part in throughout the June and July.  From Monday 18 June you can visit your local library and pick up your challenge card.  Just complete four challenges and you will get a mini prize pack.

Find out how to enter the Winter Reading Club – Read the rest of this entry »

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Enter the Library Explorers Challenge to win cool prizes

Throughout April we’re running a Library Explorers Challenge where you can answer a series of questions and go in the draw for some great prizes.  We have Paper Plus vouchers and movie passes to give away.

All you have to do is grab a question sheet from your library (or download it here – April challenge), go to the Kids website to find the answers, enter your answers and your contact details into the form and you’re in the draw for the whole of April.

Week 1 winner – Maifea Fetu, age 12, won a movie pass

Week 2 winners – Lucy Constable, age 12 ($20 Paper Plus voucher) and Anthony Orr, age 11 (child’s movie pass)

Week 3 winners – Tyler Timms, age 11 ($20 Paper Plus voucher) and Grace Boddington, age 12 (child’s movie pass)

Thanks to everyone who entered.  This competition is now closed.

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Hugo movie – what do you think?

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Books at the Movies these holidays

Our Summertime Reading Club starts on Friday, giving you the chance to win prizes just for reading books.  You can read all about how to join the Summertime Reading Club here on the blog.

Throughout the Summertime Reading Club we’re going to be highlighting some of the great movies that are coming out these holidays.  You may have noticed that there are lots of movies based on books – Hugo (The Invention of Hugo Cabret), The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn, and War Horse (based on the book by Michael Morpurgo).  We’ll be having lots of exciting giveaways where you can win copies of the books and movie passes.

Our first competition, starting Friday, is all about Tintin, so keep your eyes peeled!

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Books at the Movies – The Adventures of Tintin Competition

There are so many great movies coming out in cinemas in the Christmas holidays, and the one I’m most looking forward to is The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn.  The movie is based on three of Herge’s Tintin books – The Crab with the Golden Claws, The Secret of the Unicorn and Red Rackham’s Treasure.

Thanks to HarperCollins NZ, Random House NZ and Hardie Grant Egmont we have a MASSIVE Tintin prize pack to give away.  The winner will get a copy of the amazing book, The Art of the Adventures of Tintin, a set of the Tintin movie tie-in books, a Tintin poster and a movie pass to go and see the movie at Hoyts.  One runner-up will win a Tintin poster and a movie pass.

Thanks for entering our Tintin Competition.  Here are our lucky winners:

Main prize winner is – Leo
Runner up – Bryn

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What is Your fav Holiday???????????

(a) Christmas

(b) Easter

(c) Birthdays

(d) School Holidays

(e) Other (please specify)

Write in a comment

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Celebrate Tintin Month these school holidays

This month Christchurch City Libraries is hosting a month-long celebration of Tintin and Belgian culture. There are lots of events that you can come along to during the school holidays including:

  • Tintin and Belgian culture corners in community libraries
  • Tintin readings by members of the Belgian community
  • A Tintin colouring competition for children
  • Screenings of original animated Tintin films
  • Previews of the new movie

We are showing Tintin in Tibet at Shirley Library on Tuesday 18 October from 2:00-2:45pm and I’ll be dressing up as my favourite character.  To find out what is on at each library, check out the library events page.  Here’s the latest Secret of the Unicorn Trailer for you to enjoy.

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Tonight is the 69th anniversary of the Battle of Savo Island.

The Battle of Savo Island was a battle between warships.

Japanese ships attacked American and Australian ships.

The Japanese were the winners, by a long way.

The battle started at 0143 – that’s 1.43am.

The night was dark and wet and still.

Total Australian dead – 84

Total American dead – 939

Total Japanese dead – 111

And those men were only a few of those who died at Guadalcanal, and Guadalcanal was only a tiny part of the horror that was World War Two.

On this blog, tonight, I pay my respects to all those who died so that we could live in a peaceful world.

I only wish it was – a peaceful world that is. We are so lucky to live in safe and beautiful Aotearoa.

Take care everyone

From your August Star Author

Sandy Nelson

Author of The Ghosts of Iron Bottom Sound

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