December is undeniably a month synonymous with spending quality time with friends, family and loved ones. And in a year which did its utmost to keep us all apart, there is no doubt we will all be appreciating these opportunities should we be lucky enough to have them.
But, as with many things, it can be easier said than done.
With all the joys the festive season brings, it all too often comes with its fair share of stress as we succumb to pressures to do it all: Attend all the events, buy all the presents, host all the guests, cook all the food – and the list goes on.
In a bid to find some calm amongst the storm of the holiday period, we’ve compiled some tips throughout this issue to help you find your zen amidst the Christmas calamity.
On page 43 we look at expert advice like the Mental Health Foundation’s Five Ways to Wellbeing (connect, give, take notice, keep learning, and be active), to the art of delegation, practising gratitude and getting out and about in Mother Nature.
The therapeutic benefits of baking having been widely noted throughout 2020 – but if you’re sick of sourdough, we have Annabel Langbein’s delicious recipe for a festive panforte on page 45.
Or, if you’re more into the equally soothing art of crafts, we’re helping you get creative for your Christmas table on page 60 and with gift wrapping on page 75.
Perhaps it’s as simple as kicking your feet up with a cup of tea (or something stronger), reading a book or watching a cheesy Christmas movie.
However you choose to take your time out this hectic month, just know you deserve it.
Another fortnight, another opportunity to showcase the talented people and businesses which make up our region. This issue we have some incredible stories from all corners of the region which highlight, celebrate and champion those who give our locale its unique and special character.
On page 16, we learn about the inspiring musical journey of Christchurch teen, Analise Twemlow, who doesn’t experience the involuntary tics caused by Tourette’s syndrome when she sings and performs. Her new single, ‘Made in New Zealand’, is raising money for other Kiwis diagnosed with the disorder.
Through our cover star, Canterbury fashion icon Bridget Hope, we keep the spirit of Cup Week alive by learning about her race day look, style tips, and her wider approach to the art form of fashion.
In our Fashion, Health and Beauty section we learn about the wide range of beauty treatments and health services to indulge in for the social season, or to treat your loved ones with as we enter the gifting period.
In Cuisine, we give the lowdown on the region’s new and noteworthy hospitality hot spots, and in Home we share some festive design inspiration.
Our monthly Build section is a chance to salute our ever-evolving cityscape – and this issue is no different as we not only hear from our region’s most influential thought leaders, but also get a look inside local winning architectural designs.
Afterall, there’s always plenty worth celebrating around here.
We’re here. The tail end of 2020 has arrived, and those Christmas lights at the end of the tunnel are starting to glow brighter. So, too, are the longer days and anticipation for the season of socialising and celebration.
In Canterbury, the commencement of silly season is traditionally signalled by Cup Week. An event which, this year, carries more meaning than usual.
As we prepare to head to the races or celebrate anniversary weekend another way, some of the largest cities in the world are heading back into government-mandated lockdown.
If there has been one enduring dispatch of this inexplicable year, it has to be how fortunate we are to call New Zealand home.
I, like many of you, may have suspected – if not known – this fact already. But amidst a global pandemic and entering the time of year where social contact is most crucial, it seems we have a lot to be thankful for.
So, while the build up to the holiday period can be understandably stressful – between finishing off work projects, attending social events, present shopping, and packing for out of town vacations – it seems, this year, the bright side is incredibly easy to find.
Just as this issue heads to print, we head into the long weekend. For many, Labour Weekend marks the home straight to summer. Perhaps it is your yardstick for when it’s time to head to the beach, lake or bach. Or, maybe it’s an opportunity to slow down and take a breather before that final push to the end of year break.
By the time this issue is back from the printers, you too will be back from whatever it was you chose to do.
And in this issue we are – as we always do – sharing local stories from local people and businesses who make our Canterbury, Wanaka and Queenstown communities worth celebrating.
We speak to a young Queenstown musician, Anderson Rocio, who whipped up a song for hit Netflix show Lucifer from her bedroom in a few hours.
Paradise has more than a million streams on Spotify – and counting!
We also catch up with the Two Raw Sisters, Rosa and Margo Flanagan.
In a world of restrictive diets and food fads, the Christchurch duo serve up a refreshing food philosophy which encourages us to challenge our preconceptions around labels like “plant based”.
Christchurch-born tailors, Working Style, share their foray into women’s suiting, and in the Fashion section we let you in on our love of rib. In the Cuisine pages, we get creative with breakfast ideas and Home looks at some covetable new interior design trends.
Our Build section offers a peek inside some award-winning architecture, interior design and construction. Not to mention sharing some exciting new designs for large public projects like the Canterbury Museum.
So wherever your long weekend took you, we’re very glad you ended up back here.
And just like that, we’re halfway through October. Which in Canterbury can only mean one thing: Cup Week is right around the corner.
While this extraordinary year’s festivities will look different, sans A&P Show and with pandemic-induced capacity reductions – there is no denying we could all use some celebrations to look forward to.
So, in this issue, we’re celebrating everything Addington Cup Week; from the thrill of racing to the glamour of fashion, and joys of socialising.
Get a rundown on the race days and hospitality packages on offer at Addington on page 39. See our racewear fashion picks for women and men on pages 48 and 59, respectively.
As well as some bonus style tips from the fashion insiders at The Crossing, on page 41.
We’ve also got your culinary requirements covered; whether you’re heading out for a pre-races champagne breakfast or brunch, looking for a post-party dinner or hosting an at-home soiree in need of catering.
No matter if you’re an equine enthusiast, sporting buff, fashion lover or social butterfly – there’s never been more reason to dust off your fascinator and enjoy a day, or two, of Canterbury’s famous Cup Week.
In case you hadn’t noticed, it is spring. The blossoms are here (and, so too, are the associated photos), daylight saving has arrived, and the temperatures are creeping up.
As cliché as it may be, there really is nothing quite like the invigorating energy and possibility of spring.
It is hard not to feel motivated by the extra daylight hours and balmier weather to act on ideas which might have been brewing over the colder months.
Psychologists and philosophers alike put these feelings of seasonal inspiration down to what’s occurring in nature. What seem like such external factors actually deeply impact our internal systems: from neurotransmitters in the brain to our metabolism and hormone balances – we’re biologically built to be more energised in spring.
And it is this powerful force of change which has inspired our cover this fortnight, from Kiwi designer Mahsa Willis’ latest collection, Enduring Nature.
Her designs speak to the resilience and beauty of nature through change and catastrophe; adapting and renewing in the face of endless challenge.
Like Mahsa tells Metropol on page 16, as part of nature, we too, will endure and thrive in these extraordinary times.
So, whether that is tackling some jobs around the house, kickstarting a new exercise regime, or something much bigger; there’s no better time to make like nature and harness some spring fever to set yourself up for a satisfying summer.
We’re living in a uniquely stressful time. Between the fluctuating number of community Covid-19 transmissions, oscillating government alert levels and a general air of uncertainty – the bright side can seem hard to find.
At Metropol we’re all about celebrating and supporting the community, and this raison d’être has taken on more relevance in present climes.
Evidence shows optimistic people are less stressed, healthier and can even live longer, so on page 10 we share practical tips from world-leading experts on how to build such a mindset.
We also share inspiring stories from closer to home, of people who live these ideals every day.
Jazz Thornton, a 22-year-old mental health advocate who, by sharing her story, is saving lives and changing the way we talk about such important issues.
And Octogenarian John Winkie who will bike across Banks Peninsula to raise money for an important cause.
We learn about a local business, Cactus Outdoor, which is pivoting in the face of the global pandemic by using its local manufacturing facilities to create high grade face masks.
We find out what Addington has in store for a new-look racing festival, and what boutique hotel The George has on offer for those planning a way to commemorate the end of an unforgettable year.
However, I would also like to extend the invitation to our readers to send in your own suggestions for stories you, too, think Metropol should be celebrating in its pages.
“Don’t ever make decisions based on fear. Make decisions basked on hope and possibility.” Michelle Obama.
Biking through the Christchurch CBD on a balmy Sunday afternoon, it was uplifting to see so many others out and about.
I waited in a long line for my Rollickin’ Gelato and had to dodge a fair few pedestrians to navigate my bike between the tram tracks and traffic queues.
Sitting on the banks of the Avon enjoying my salted caramel scoop, the sun-soaked bars and restaurants of The Terrace brimmed with denizens of all ages.
Perhaps it was the springtime daffodils and ducklings on display – or the sugar rush – but I couldn’t help feeling a sense of hope and possibility for our city.
The hospitality sector has been one of the hardest hit during the Covid-19 pandemic, and the city’s centre has been late to flourish during the rebuild of the last decade, yet here were so many enjoying what the CBD has to offer.
My mind also turned to what had unfolded that week just around the corner. Where 93 people delivered brave and touching victim impact statements in front of a man who had robbed them of so much 18-months ago on March 15.
Outside of court, crowds gathered to support the Muslim community.
An attempt to terrorise had only instilled greater unity.
Once again, this community showed how hope prospers in Ōtautahi.
“A good half of the art of living is resilience.” – Alain de Botton
I was going to start this, my first column as editor of Metropol, writing about beginnings.
After a bit of googling I had found a lovely quote from spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle about the magic of beginnings, and had even written a few lines about the opportunities of starting anew.
But after Friday’s announcement – when we released an almost national (sorry, Auckland) sigh of relief that we would stay in the lockdown-less Alert Level 2 – I realised it’s not about starting, it’s about continuing.
And Canterbury knows a thing or two about that. Continuing is a common thread weaving the region’s stories together; our communities personify resilience.
When I moved back to Christchurch three years ago, I was blown away by the sense of community here.
There was a shared investment in communal success I’d never encountered before, and have come to understand as the city’s superpower.
In the face of adversity, Cantabrians know the key to getting through is to do it together.
I inherit some intimidatingly large shoes from Metropol’s outgoing editor, Melinda Collins, just as a global pandemic tries to sneak back into our communities.
Yet with so much uncertainty on the horizon, I know one thing for sure: I wouldn’t want to be doing it anywhere else.
Metropol has dedicated its pages to celebrating community for the last 22 years, and it’s a huge privilege to help that continue.
“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” – Oprah Winfrey
The world is facing unprecedented challenges.
From bush fires to a global pandemic, it feels like we’ve been hit by one thing after another. But the word on the street – from Tony Robbins to Oprah – is that gratitude is key to getting through those challenges and leading a fulfilled and successful life.
When things seem dire, the hardest thing in the world seems to be focusing on the ‘good’ and yet the science is pretty adamant on the fact that gratitude is food for the soul.
Whether you focus on the big things in your life you are grateful for, such as your health and family or the small things in your everyday life like a good cup of coffee or a beautiful sunset, gratitude can be lifechanging.
Gratitude is said to enrich human life; it elevates, energises, inspires and transforms, and those who practice it will experience significant improvements both physically and mentally.
There really isn’t any downside, so what do we have to lose?
After all, it’s not happiness that brings us gratitude; but rather it’s gratitude that brings us happiness.