The holidays are over. I am back at work and filling in my days writing and trying to explain global warming to my 87 year old mother.
I have begun a new book. It is nothing like, “I am Joe Donovan” (apart from the skill and daring of the author), but it is beginning to make loud and insistent noises when I don’t pay it attention. This time I have a plan and have set a deadline for completion of the first draft (August), but in the meantime, I have research to do and as always happens when you think the way ahead is clear, my other job is offering more hours while the students are enrolling.
I enjoy watching the campus come to life. First up the kids go back to school at the primary next door. It’s not until I hear their squeals of laughter and watch them running everywhere at playtime that I realize how much I’ve missed them. A few weeks later the uni students arrive and the campus begins to groan. Second years walk their slightly cynical swagger while the first years gawp and try vainly to pretend they know where they’re going. They’re easy to spot. The girls dress to impress and the boys have not yet had time to grow out the haircut from home. But every new student has that glint of hope in their eyes because they have finally reached this place called ‘grown up’. That tends to disappear mid semester with the first test results and a dose of glandular fever, but it is great while it lasts.
I did a lot of new things this summer – many of which involved giving up. I gave up Christmas at our house in favour of Christmas on an island that stole my heart. Every day for two weeks I could laugh and hug and moan and play with an extended family who are only ever on the telephone or messenger or what’s app. I think if we have a bit more practice we could have the next 20 years of casual Christmas’ ticking over nicely. I encountered my first Blue Tongue lizard which I am certain is closely related to a Tuatara. Apparently they’re not harmful to human’s but I’d just as soon not meet another one coming out of my bedroom. I also travelled to the north of NZ and spent a happy week visiting old friends and new places and taking lots of wonderful photographs.
I am ready for 2019 which is just as well as one month has already gone and there are only 11 more left until Christmas.
Happy New Year!