(scroll down for the film! you don't have to read the guff.)
Survivor guilt is alive in 2021 for those of us in New Zealand, while the rest of the world is sick and dying. I mention it by way of apology and recognition of my good fortune, not as a bid for sympathy. In case you wondered.
We've planned this trip for two years. It happens to fall in the middle of the worst pandemic the world has ever seen. Suddenly, New Zealand's remoteness; its dual entry ports for the rest of the world, become a positive advantage. No one in except Kiwi passport holders. Apologies now to New Zealanders and assurances that I have been paying taxes here for years. Not all 33 of them, but a lot. Free hotel quarantine was very kind though.
Pretty immediately, I realised something else was happening. I had fallen in love with this country. I can't say "again", because I never loved it. I left, for reasons so personal and so complicated I have only understood them very recently. I arrived in September as if for the first time. Like a Pom. A Pom tourist.
So I am deeply humble. Is there anyone I haven't offended? Family and friends left behind in Europe? Those here in New Zealand I abandoned?
And encouraged too. The welcome has been pure New Zealand.
I'm only sketching for the moment as we're moving too fast to set up a studio. So hopefully the little videos on the home page will keep you interested, entertained - and awed, while you wait for some paintings to arrive here.
If you're here, God bless you and thanks for being a friend.