Sheila About Town, Travel
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Sheila About Town

The musings of a 20 (something) Aussie girl living in Christchurch, New Zealand…

Firstly, moving to New Zealand in winter was a huge mistake. (Note to self: when making life altering decisions, make sure to do some research.)

Coming from Australia anything below 18 degrees is a bit chilly on the nips. How about minus 10 for your liking? I actually could see my breath in the air INSIDE my room. That’s not okay.

They actually talk about the wind like it’s the only thing everyone has in common. It’s not the old ‘the weather is nice today’ icebreaker, it gets really specific here. ‘Oh them southerly’s look like they’re on the way’ is an actual phrase here. Say that to any South Islander and you’ve made a new best friend.

Defrosting – something I associate with my chicken I take out in the morning for my dinner. Why do they call it that, defrosting? Because it’s come out of the freezer, where it’s super cold – like Antarctica cold.

Here in New Zealand’s deep south – they defrost their cars. Picture this: you’re running late, toothpaste smeared on your chin, makeup half finished, pulling on your jacket, run out the door, go to open your car and… nothing. It’s stuck. Your car door is literally frozen shut, and your windows are covered in a thick layer of ice. Say goodbye to another 10-15 minutes, while you ‘defrost’ your car with some lukewarm water and scrape your windows with a library card, while the traffic on the roads gets dense.

But it gets nice in summer I hear you say. No, it doesn’t. You may get the odd slightly less shitty day here or there, but it’ll trick you. Mr Weatherman up there in the clouds can quickly change his mind, and those sheets you put out in the morning to dry will be dripping wet by the time you get home. In winter the locals would reassure me “it gets so much better in summer!” Then a 26 degree day would come 6 months later and they’d be like ‘see?’ Umm, what? This is the great weather I’ve been waiting all year for?

Well, that’s enough groaning from me for today…

I talk about most of the above in my segment on StyleTV here on CTV (Canterbury Television) tomorrow morning, NZ’s Waitangi Day special! You can watch it live or on demand at

Aussie Sheila, out.


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