Lockdown shop draws glances

Processing apples for some apple jam and a pie on Saturday are (from left) Lidia Campos (29), Liz...
Processing apples for some apple jam and a pie on Saturday are (from left) Lidia Campos (29), Liz Rades, Santeline Hanquez (22) and Erika Bisserier (27). PHOTO: CHRISTINE O'CONNOR
Gently placing more than 60 eggs in a supermarket trolley each week — along with copious amounts of fruit and vegetables — attracted more than a few sideways glances for Liz Rades during lockdown.

Feeding a mix of six vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free eaters at her Dunedin home was not something she had planned for.

Mrs Rades said she was tramping on Stewart Island when the Covid-19 lockdown was announced, and emerged into civilisation the day before lockdown started.

"We had been in the bush for 10 days. We had no idea what was going on. It was like one of those Armageddon movies."

While on the tramp, she became friends with two French women, and when it became clear what lockdown meant, they became upset because they had nowhere to go.

"So I said, ‘No worries, of course you can come and stay with me’, Mrs Rades said.

"But then they said they had a French friend in Oamaru who also had no place to go. So I said, ‘Of course, she can stay too — the more the merrier’."

Mrs Rades said it was a spur-of-the-moment thing and she didn’t really have a choice.

"I have six children, and I always think if one of my kids was travelling and something went wrong, I would hope someone would take care of them.

"I believe in paying it forward."

In addition to the three French women, her eldest son, her daughter and her daughter’s boyfriend also stayed during the lockdown, Mrs Rades said.

Apart from a lack of personal space in her house, the most difficult thing to deal with was the dietary needs of everyone in the bubble.

"It was interesting doing the grocery shopping.

"We went through about 60 eggs a week. It was unbelievable."

Lidia Campos, of Toulouse, France, said the trio were grateful for Mrs Rades’ help.

"The support Liz showed us was really amazing. She was kind, caring and welcoming — especially when it came to food.

"She was really respectful. She always tried to find a way to cook something without meat or without gluten.

"We struck it lucky. She was so understanding."

The French tourists left Dunedin yesterday, headed for Oamaru to find work.

Mrs Rades said it would be very quiet in the house now.

"We had a lot of French yacking.

"I’ll miss them."


Give that woman an award. So generous of her.

That is wonderful. People like Mrs Rades deserve all they wish. My deepest respect!

Good on her!

But they've broken lockdown.

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