It is now Tuesday, and I got home Saturday evening. I am long overdue to post something on my blog, but there has been, and still is, a lot to sort out.
It is a bit disconcerting being home at Waikouaiti Old Post Office. If things had gone according to plan, I would probably be in Arkansas at this moment. I have been doing my best to make all this turn out for the good, rather than allow myself to get all depressed and sad, but I did have a few "wobbles" this morning which I managed to cure by going for an hour's walk. I am finding walking enormously helpful, both for body and for the mind, and I do recommend it!
Laura had to work at the local shop this weekend, so I sat in our gallery on Sunday afternoon. It did feel a little odd being open to the public. Some people think I am in America still, and others have caught up with what happened. I keep having to explain things.
We managed a quieter sort of a day yesterday, and had some lunch together at our local cafe. I have been desperately tired really, and it was good having a few hours just unwinding a bit.
A huge thank you to Ruth, Ralph, Alexander, and Charlotte who welcomed me into their family when I was in Auckland so unexpectedly.
I really don't know how I would have sorted out the mess that I was in if Ruth and Ralph hadn't rescued me from my airport hotel. I was in no state to travel anywhere for a few days, and I was fairly deaf too.
I was never made to feel a nuisance, and, even when I got well enough to have left them and begun my journey home, they encouraged me to stay longer and see the Portage Ceramics Awards exhibition at Lopdell House.
We had fun too, and the children proved that even gravity can be overcome! I still smile when I think of the morning that Alex, Ralph, and I sat around the kitchen table with our various laptops, and attempted a video link up. We got some good feed back effects as our computer microphones picked up some of the broadcast sound!
We also got to see some of the country.
Ralph took us out for a lovely drive to see some of the magnificent country that is to the North West of Auckland. There are stunning views over the land, and also out towards the sea.
It is a hilly volcanic landscape that is clad with native forest and tree ferns.
Ruth and Ralph are clever people as well as being kind.., Ruth does language teaching, and Ralph has a business called Magic Rainbow. Ralph makes children's furniture, sandpits, climbing frames, and playhouses; and garden products such as potting benches, arches, arbors, compost bins, and raised garden beds; and products for workshops, such as benches and shelves. Do have a look at his website www.magicrainbow.co.nz
The stay in Auckland, not only gave me the time to get better, but also provided a great opportunity to look at galleries there, and to also see more of Auckland.
Botox and tans.
There is alternative Auckland, of native trees, muesli, organic fair trade coffee, biodegradable houses, earnest joggers, Nordic walkers, and community meetings.
Yes, there is poor Auckland as well, with overcrowding, vandalism, unemployment, bad nutrition, and bad health, but there is more good than bad in Auckland. It is, and can be, a great place.
I met real kindness in Auckland, from friends, and from complete strangers, and I will never forget it.
I left Auckland on October 11, and traveled South by bus and by train. I will write about that in my next post.