Back to ?Reality - Leaving NZ

It's amazing how soon things become just a memory and you're so firmly back in place you wonder if any of it was real!  It was hard coming back from New Zealand - hard to leave family not knowing how long it might be before I can see them again - hard to come back to the daily grind after such a wonderful, relaxing holiday.   One month of lazing about, eating wonderful food cooked by someone else, sitting in the garden, walking, browsing the shops,  doing ordinary stuff and talking to my daughter and grandchildren.  Two long flights - the first about 10.5 hours, the second 13.5 with a lot of hanging about in Singapore in between, really took their toll, especially when you're feeling down. But I'm left with some wonderful memories.  New Zealand skies are some of the most amazing I've ever seen anywhere in the world.  Here's one of them:

Evening sky over the Canterbury Plain

And the scenery is so wild and wonderful. You can walk for hours and not see anyone.
Mother and daughter walking in the Port Hills.

And I'll miss the recycling culture! 

No excuse to refuse a plastic bag! 
Christchurch city is still a building site, so many years after the series of earthquakes that leveled it.  But how do you build a city from scratch?  There are lots of new restaurants and office blocks (none more than 8 stories high) and a few smart shops opening, but there are still acres of empty plots and most of the old historic buildings are still propped up and cordoned off awaiting restoration.  I miss the diversity of the original city centre, though the futuristic new one rising out of the rubble is going to be spectacular.

Meanwhile, back home to ordinary life and a mountain of work. It all feels a bit surreal (jet-lag?) and, just to prove that it is, The Girl has been dyeing her hair and I now have a purple bathroom!!  But, on the plus side, the sun is shining and my magnolia is in full bloom.


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