There has always been something about the night out, the dinner, the birthday or the pending trip. Less the event itself, more the time prior to it that I love. Knowing something great is on its way, that thing you’ve planned to happen finally taking shape. In my case it’s a trip to the States and Mexico to catch up with friends. I’m seated here on Onetangi beach, Waiheke in sunshine, with something a little more than a gentle breeze, though it’s lovely. The kids have left their digital gear behind, ironic as I tap away one finger at a time on my mobile’s tiny keyboard, they choose instead to climb and swing around a giant Pohutakawa overhanging the beach.
We’re still in Winter, on the cusp of hitting Spring though it gets me thinking of the 35 degree Summer we’ll soon be stepping into. Of a couple of mates that have been living in perpetual Summer for the last seven to nine years. What it means to live in another country. I’ve done it several times, though I’ve been fortunate to have married a girl from my own country, so there has always been a willingness, if not slightly pushed for on my part, to return home. When you have that choice, it comes down to how much you love your country. In my case it’s New Zealand’s attitude, it’s creativity, it’s smallness, the rugged terrain which I’ve always adored. Though what do you do if you’ve married a partner from another country? Is the compromise a biennial trip to the shared homeland? If so, whose country are you visiting? Hard either way.
Beyond the impending trip, there’s something else I’m really excited about, finishing the first draft of my second novel. That’s right, almost there and only about five chapters away from completion. I have it all mapped out though I’m dragging my feet to the finish. I think there’s always a bit of a mixed feeling when you reach the end. Is this how it’s supposed to go? Have you said all that you wanted to say? Is that last sentence really the way you want to sign off? People ask me if its elation, the obligatory cigar and champagne or a cold pint at the ready. In my caseÂ it’s probably not much more than an inward smile. Grateful to have gotten there, though focused on seeing it finished to publication. Post that, a few litres of beer for sure. Till then.