Molly is growing up quickly and a couple of weekends away with big, calm dogs really helped.
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We've had a few cases of Covid in the community in the North Island, but luckily things have returned to normal. We hope for the same abroad, where older members of my family have had their first vaccinations.
The pandemic and puppy mean we are keeping it very local for our summer holidays this year. Since I last wrote we had a couple of weekends away with friends who have baches in Canterbury. First we went to high country in the Hurunui.
You often find eels in New Zealand rivers. Growing up in Dorset we didn't worry about eels but we used to scare each other with stories of the pike at White Slab in the Piddle River. We were never bitten and never saw one, but decades later I did see a massive pike swim further upriver under the bridge at Briantspuddle.

Last weekend we were in Peel Forest in Canterbury's low country. Intensive agriculture means that you can't swim in most of Canterbury's lowland rivers. Fortunately there are beautiful forests you can walk in, some of them with your dog.
There were some big native trees that must have predated white settlement. I think I learned the difference between matai (black pine has bark scales that are white underneath) and kahikatea (white pine has bark scales that are black underneath).

Or is it the other way around?

There was also a lot of socialising.


Now back to work.

Ta ta for now.

PS. Molly loves the beach and has learned to swim, although she'd rather not. Next month we are going to try stand up paddle boarding.
PPS. If you think someone else might find this interesting, please pass it on.
Copyright © 2021 Alex Hallatt's Cartoons and Writing, All rights reserved.

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