At breakfast on our first full day in New Zealand we were surprised that we had all slept pretty well without waking up in the early hours of the morning feeling so wide awake that it wasn’t possible to get back to sleep.
It was overcast and slightly chilly when we set out on the first little adventure, a bike ride to a coffee shop.
I filmed Dan as he rode with Stephanie and Mick from the bike tour company down to the C1 coffee shop where we were to find out the secret of the new coffee craze in the UK, the Flat White.
Filming Dan on the roads of Christchurch.
A perfect flat white with the rosetta in the milk.
Sam one of the owners and a true passionate coffee expert and guru introduced us to another drink that they bottle and sell.
It tastes great. With the texture and body of mango juice and a flavour somewhere between kiwi fruit and mandarin it would be my juice of choice if it could be obtained anywhere else in the world but, at the moment it is not.
New Zealand is the only place on the planet where you can get Feijoa juice.
A fantastic drink.
At this point there was a minor crisis. Dan was unable to find his jacket.
The jacket going missing would not have been a real problem if it had not had Dan’s keys in it.
We scoured our collective memory to try and remember the last time we saw it.
The only place we thought that it could be was on the plane.
Air New Zealand once again excelled on the service front.
Fraser made a couple of calls and within a few minutes Pete from the tourist board was in the minibus heading to the airport to collect it.
I needed to film the process of making a flat white coffee.
The coffee shop was really quirky and a bit bohemian in a very modern and cool way. The place where the creative folk of Christchurch go to mingle and find inspiration.
The only thing that was a problem was that a combination of the design of the shop and the poor weather meant that it was quite dark.
To save on excess baggage costs and because the places we planned to film in were either all outside or in very bright indoor areas it had been decided that I would not bring lights with me.
I really could have done with something to lift the light levels a little bit and the light on the to of the camera would not be the best for the job.
Sam overheard the conversation about lighting that Stuart, the producer and I were having, so he suggested that I might try a work light that he had in a store room.
It was not the perfect solution but, it did help a great deal.
Once that little bit of shooting was done it was time to get back on the bikes, or that was the plan anyway.
Shooting in the C1 Coffee Shop. Nigel holding the working light we borrowed.
Mother nature forced us to change the plan by turning on the tap in the sky.
It started to pour with rain, a very rare occurrence at this time of year according to all the locals.
Sheltering from the rain in the coffee shop.
So other indoor locations were our next stops to see what some of the good food in the city is.
By the time we had done that and also had a small bite to eat the sun had come back out so the filming on the Avon, the river that runs through the city was now possible.
Then the shots of the cycling that we had not been able to get because of the rain also got done.
We had the chance for a short break in a bar just off Christchurch’s Cathedral Square.
It was during this break that we encountered a very angry sea gull.
A few birds occasionally swooped down on to the pavement beside our table looking for any little scraps of food.
This particular bird was not at all happy that any other gulls were coming to the area that he had decided was his and set about trying to scare them of with loud squawks, puffing up his feathers and a menacing walk.
Don't mess with me......
......I'm a real angry bird.
Our final little scenario was to be in one of those bars that has its own brewery. Here it was a simple job of a few shots and a short interview with the expat owner and his family.
After we had finished he insisted that we taste the variety of beers he had.
A tasting tray or three appeared at our table and we sampled a few, some with interesting names like “nockabollackoff”.
I would have though that this would have been a better name for a strong Russian vodka.
The tasting trays. Lovely beer, if you like that kind of thing.
It was now, although still light, quite late in the evening and the effects of the 13 hour time difference was being felt by us all again.
There was great restraint shown by all concerned at the amount of tasting and drinking that was done.
We needed to get back to the hotel to get some sleep.
When we got back a package was waiting for me with a neat little toy to play with, a small camera in an underwater housing.
My toy to play with tomorrow.
Tomorrow would be a busy but hopefully interesting and fun day.