However, to pick up the threads, on Sunday 23 June 2013 I flew down to Christchurch for the NZ Post Children’s Book Awards ceremony on the evening of the 24th.
And something significant happened on that journey. As our Boeing (the black Dreamliner 787-9) flew in brilliant sunshine across the Central North Island Plateau, notwithstanding that my seat was on the wrong side of the plane, I somehow managed to catch a glimpse of the summit of a snow-clad Mt Ngauruhoe peeking out from the sea of white cloud, as it disappeared on the port side.
THAT tugged on my heart, but – ah well, let it go? There’s not a lot you can do at 45,000 feet?
Is there? Unknown to me, there was to be a sequel …
We were late touching down in Christchurch, and Peter and Marnie Anstis were already there – great to see and catch up with them again. The ceremony on the following night was a wonderful experience. ‘Taketakerau The Millennium Tree‘ didn’t win, or get placed in any of the categories, but just to be there and to be selected among the 20 finalists was very exciting.
And there were other perks. An old friend from tramping days took me over to Lyttelton to see the post-earthquake recovery there, and get a glimpse of the Port Hills. Next morning Peter and Marnie invited me to go with them for a look at the awful devastation in the center of Christchurch itself, followed by a quick lunch at the airport before we took off on our flights home.
Then unexpectedly, in August I was co-opted onto our local Health Services Trust, and in November 2013 became Interim Joint CEO for the Service – a 6 months’ stint.
Trust affairs continued to impinge far too much on my life until I resigned altogether in March last, and finally disentangled myself a couple of months later.
And as for Mt Ngauruhoe – watch this space – HERE!