Denny Gordon got a brief chance to return to his local this week.
He was served by Ashburton Club and MSA’s Cindy Lawson at the newly set up drive-through bottlestore.
Mr Gordon, 73, is missing the camaraderie from heading down to his local, the Ashburton Club and MSA. He has been a member of the club since 1972 and, prior to Covid-19, regularly socialised there.
Since being confined to home under lockdown restrictions, the active senior has taken to walking; last week he clocked up 38km around the streets of his home bubble.
The bottlestore staff have set up a process of ringing and ordering before a contactless pay (via eftpos) and collect system all done under the verandah; members of the public are not allowed in the bottlestore.
Inside, staff have been set their own designated areas to maintain social distancing and are using gloves or facemasks if dealing with customers, of which there was a regular stream within two hours of opening o Tuesday.
Mitre 10 Mega opened its doors with a click and collect service and had a stream of customers collecting homeware and garden items. Cezarne Rodgers was picking up packets of broad beans, including a new brand with purple flowers.
Ms Rodgers did not enjoy them in her youth but has grown to enjoy baby broad beans. She said it was important to get them in the ground before the first frost. She has already planted leeks for next season.
A keen gardener, she also has a mix of fruit trees and vines and is still getting courgettes off her plants.
She has two, one-metre square raised gardens ready for the broad beans and expects them to be ready to eat from September to October. She freezes any excess.
“They are yummy and you can do a lot with them,” she said.
Kelly’s Cafe and Bar owner Belinda Fine and staff member Sarah Holmes were looking forward to getting back to reality after five weeks of lockdown. They have opened the downtown cafe selling takeaway coffees and cabinet food from their servery hatch windows at the front of the cafe. They are also offering an evening takeaway and delivery option.
Paper Plus Ashburton staff, including Libby Mason and Barrine Ross, were helping people with their purchasing needs including stationery, reading materials and postal supplies from orders placed online or by phone. As a Post Shop agency, staff were also helping people pay their bills (with cash) and to post mail.
UK visitor Charlie Beaumont was among the steady stream of visitors to the Ashburton Resource Recovery Park, keen to dispose of waste and recycling.
Mr Beaumont arrived in New Zealand with wife Briony in January on a trip to visit family and celebrate their grandchild’s first birthday. They were due to head home to Kent on April 14.
However, since going into lockdown with daughter Kate, her husband James and grandchildren, aged one and three, on a dairy farm at Lowcliffe, the Beaumonts are resigned to being here, for now.
They will help the young family move to their new dairy farm position on Moving Day.
Mr Beaumont, a retired Youth Justice Worker, did not have the urgency of work to return to the UK so was enjoying spending time with family.
Visitors to the recovery park were being logged by staff at the entrance in case authorities needed to trace park users in the event of any Covid-19 transmission.