I'll try and make this quick. I still have tricky days, and although the new job is far more interesting than the old one, it's amazing how much the change in job hasn't solved. Although this week I've had a chat to someone who has given me an idea (or rather the impetus to pursue an idea).
I'd like to go away. Properly away. It's four years since I last did that. I'm considering going to New Caledonia, although I'll need to wait till I have enough leave. I have been there before - in December 1986 - and can't remember much about it other than the searing heat. That was on the way to New Zealand - an incredible journey for a small kid. Our UTA jumbo jet had a name - "Big Boss" - and we stopped in Bahrain, Muscat, Colombo, Singapore and Jakarta at some point on either the outward or return trip. In those days you had to refuel much more often. I remember looking out the window of the plane to the Australian desert that never seemed to end. Occasionally you'd see a road, a car, some sign of life. Anyway, Phil has been giving me advice on what to see (and how and when) if I do go to New Caledonia.
Last weekend Kevin went to see his parents (or "folks") in Masterton so I decided to invite Tom, Rhiannon and her boyfriend over on Saturday. Not a bad evening (lots of good food), but I couldn't totally relax. Too much talk of computer games and Game of Thrones-type TV series. Apparently I'm unusual in ever going to the cinema by myself. I don't logically get why going to the cinema alone is any weirder than going to McDonald's alone. On Sunday I walked up Mount Vic and went to my cousin's place for dinner.
Work is fine. On Tuesday I went on a traffic control course at the Brooklyn tip, even though most of it wasn't relevant to me. A lot of the people on the course were in their early twenties, and their attitude to the course made for an "interesting" day. In my lunch break I finally figured out how to set the clock in my car - it only took me just short of four years (I'd got used to adding or subtracting the right number of hours and minutes but it had recently started to annoy me) - and I don't even know which buttons I pressed. Talking of clocks, at 1pm today, quite by accident, I saw the animated clock in the Old Bank Arcade do its thing. I had no idea what would happen, and I was quite impressed.
On Saturday I'm going on a difficult tramp (for me) in the Tararuas - it's scheduled to take ten hours and at this point I'm wondering how I'll survive. If I do make it I'll put up some photos in my next post.