Its Alive!

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I’m back from the most interesting, fun, and sunny summer break ever. It featured an earthquake that left our building swaying (we were 12 stories up) for over ten minutes, a very near miss on being attacked by a shark (it came at me in murky surf up North three days ago and just swung away from its attack at the last minute when it was only 1m away – suffice to say this was a fright), a huge horde of family and much family related love, plagues of ants and baby hedgehogs, puppies, a new sister to bond with, a bicycle built for two, mechanical failures with a range of consequences that included being mostly out of touch (which was actually nice in an enforced break from everything kinda way), and nearly daily sea swims. Its been a big adventure.

Joel and I have our first art meeting in a couple of hours.

On the plane I was next to a teacher who had never been on a plane as large as a 737 and so was kinda nervous. She started telling me about her passion for children’s literature with the inevitable conversation following. She has urged me to join a programme, which would see me speaking in school classrooms all over NZ about being a writer, called ‘Books in Homes.’ Its designed to encourage kids to read and love books and to follow their dreams also (in terms of the role model programme I’d be joining). I’m going to see if I can do it and I’m really excited about it.

Right now I have a mountain of home sorting to tackle and a million and one just-arrived jobs. Ive achieved watering my orchids properly so far…


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Today we’ve had breakfast in the sun on the balcony. Its almost over the ocean and we sat and chatted while we spotted wild life and did various puzzles from the paper. A really big stingray came into the jetty. Its hard to tell how big from so high up but it was certainly no smaller than the dinghys on the pier. There was a man sitting on that jetty with his feet in the water right there, looking around, daydreaming. We kept thinking he must have seen the ray as it was right under his feet but he looked first one way, and then the other, apparently oblivious. He wasn’t in any danger so the two hands in the air jump of fright when he finally saw that his toes dangled over a wild animal the size of a small vehicle was funny! He scrambled up and then waved at us, realising we’d been trying to let him know for a while, and then we all peered at the huge thing until it slipped under the jetty. Five minutes later a family with small children spotted it and the kids were fascinated. They sat and watched the stingray for ages, quietly. Just today I suppose Ive seen fifteen rays from up here but that is one of the biggest ever.

Yesterday we went and saw The Kite Runner. Its highly recommended. There wasn’t a dry eye in the cinema. Its a beautiful and haunting movie.