I will start at the end of my journey. Which is arriving home and dumping my bags and going to the loo.
I see that STILL the bathroom has not been cleaned. Every mother reading this is going to be nodding her head. I asked. I asked again. I lost my rag and was told that I need to stop nagging. When I left on Wednesday morning I reminded the eldest that it had now been eight days since I first asked her to do what is the only ‘key chore’. And, I added, I hope that when I get back I find a clean bathroom.
I hate mess. I love order and clean surfaces. I despair at the build up of dog hair on the bottom of the couches and chunks of fur clinging to the carpet and the tuffs which gather in the corners. As I write, the kitchen is a mess of dirty pans and dishes.
I don't think I would cope if I were transported back to the 11th C Scotland especially as I doubt I would be part of the nobility.
When I stumbled in at 9pm, he and they were watching telly. I had asked for dinner to be saved. Dinner saved was a single burger bun drying by degrees in the oven and some cooked bacon and egg. No one rushed up to make me a hamburger.
It took me 40 mins to drive from Dunedin airport to home. I had to wait ten minutes for my bag. The flight from Christchurch was pretty good although we had to wait for a time on the tarmac and it was a tad hot and the descent into Dunedin airport ‘interesting’.
The tiny plane (wahhh) from Blenheim to Christchurch held its own and it was a smooth ride (remember, I hate flying). It was a chore to walk for ages to get into the terminal but how lovely to be greeted by the amazing Belynda Smith. She is now officially, after my mother, my hero. Such a short time and so sad and, sigh, I can’t do the thoughts on my birth place just now. Anyway, we were yakking seven million miles a minute when my name was called – it was a polite call but it really meant: get your ass to the plane; we are waiting.
The Blenheim/Christchurch flight was in a tiny plane but thankfully the weather was wonderful. As we descended into Christchurch, everyone on the plane stopped talking as people peered out their windows...
An hour and a half before I left Blenheim, which I am now officially in love with, I’d delivered my addressed and spent half an hour signing books and talking to folks.
The morning I spent at Marlborough Girls High and it was wonderful: talking to the girls and meeting the teachers and meeting up with colleagues from times’ past.
Shout out to Colleen Shipley, librarian at MGH who gave me a much needed hug when I got of the plane from Wellington. (The trip up had been horrendous with three small planes, terrible winds and passengers who needed their barf bags).
Needless to say, I am glad to be home and glad that I can take to my bed but I am no longer secure in thinking the earth beneath me is stable. This realisation has caused a lot of anxiety amongst people in the South Island.
Tomorrow is reality. I have to take eldest to her lecture and turn up to school. That is how things are; I am your mother and we are kind to snails [Fleur Adcock: For a Five Year Old]
But the bottom line is from all these people: hurry up and finish the next book! We want to know what happens.