Freedom

8 December 2016

Freedom.

I scrawled the word on the back of a receipt yesterday, while waiting in a little Wellington cafe for a friend.

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Cafe scribbles

Yesterday, I handed in my thesis. For the last two weeks, there has been no space for anything in my brain, except for my research. I’ve had thesis-flavoured dreams, thesis-tainted food, and a thesis-clouded brain.

But today – today is my first day of freedom.

Meanwhile, mama and papa went down to see a new orphan house in Manukau in the big smoke. She’s a 20s bungalow (it kind of blows my mind that the 20s were nearly 100 years ago). I talked to mama yesterday and she said that she liked it and that she ‘didn’t go all floppy’ at the thought of the work involved (that’s mama’s test for whether she’s up for a project).

Meanwhile, I’m jamming all my possessions into my car on Saturday, and driving 12-14 hours (depending on how many snack stops are required) up the globe – all the way from the cold end of the North Island of Aotearoa to the warm end.

I’m going to miss Wellington. I’ll miss the orchestras and my clan of friends. I’ll miss the museums and cafes and street festivals where thousands of humans dance on the road under wreaths of bunting and lights.

But. Whangarei offers other attractions. They say it has 100 beaches, so maybe I’ll take on the challenge of going to each and every one. Pohutakawas, my favourite native trees, line small turquoise bays, with their barked arms sprawling just right for climbing and making swings.

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Classic summer days

My clan in Whangarei go waterfall-hunting every summer. We collect up anything that floats, jump off verdant waterfalls, and float lazily down rivers.

And, this summer, there’s going to be a project. I LOVE projects.

Here’s hoping this Manukau orphan is ‘the one’.

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