The Mighty Manawatu

I’ve been in my new home for five weeks. I’m in love: with the house, with this city, with my garden.  I miss the ocean, but the beach is a 30 minute drive away, even though it’s the fierce, cold Tasman Sea, not my familiar Pacific.

Instead I get to walk beside the mighty Manwatu River. I found a great riverside trail, and if I walk to the Fitzherbert Bridge then back along the streets it’s a nice, even five miles.

Admittedly it doesn’t look so mighty right now.

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They had floods here in July, but now we’ve had no rain to speak of in months, although it’s not an official drought, because that would give farmers some government relief the government is clearly reluctant to offer.

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Schools just let out for the summer break, and it’s 82F every day. In the afternoons I nap on a quilt, in the shade of the ornamental cherry tree, where the breeze keeps the heat down, while the starlings and wax-eyes flutter overhead.

I’m treasuring how calm and peaceful things are here.

In August last year my mom was asked to take medical leave from her work. On 31 December 2016 we found out my mom had a brain tumor, and because of the brain damage caused by her MS they won’t operate. She had to take retirement. We spent the year traveling all over the country looking for our new home, while we also waited for the condo to sell.

Thank you, universe, from the bottom of my heart, for sending me a buyer. Thank you, universe, for guiding me to this new house.

My mom had to give up driving, and I’ve watched as her memory and language skills decline weekly. My grandmother fell and broke her hip, and needed hospitalization, and I went to the United States anyway, because getting away to travel isn’t going to be so possible in the future.

I only published one book, and I forgive myself, because I didn’t just survive 2017, I sold a house, bought a house, moved to a different city, and most importantly, met treasured friends in the flesh. I fulfilled a dream I’ve had since I was six years old, and went to Disneyland.

I’m joyful, and revived, and eager to greet 2018.

 

Deja vu. Again

My mom was a kid during the Cold War of the 1950s. She knew there’d be a nuclear war. I was a kid during the Evil Empire era of the 80s. I knew there’d be a nuclear war. What point was there in trying to do anything when I wouldn’t be growing up? And now here we are again. I have no idea what’s going to happen, but I do know we have each other, and the connections we forge. We have the words we write, the art we make, the code we design, the smiles we share, the pets we snuggle, the joy of oxygen going in and out of our lungs. Under our feet lies a planet in the Goldilocks zone: we already beat the odds.

We get today. Let’s do something with it.

It’s a piefee

This is a piefee. It’s a latte served in a chocolate-lined sweet pie crust.

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Photo by Tasteful Bakehouse.

Tasteful Bakehouse on Karangahape Road has made a local media splash with their 2017 creation. My only beef with it is meat pies are far more of a Kiwi culinary tradition than sweet pies. Sweet pies exist, but more people grew up on apple crumble than apple pie. To me this is a coffee tart. A toffee? A tarfee? Cofart?

I feel 100% certain if I google I am going to find this idea has been done in a thousand other media posts in dozens of countries before now, but I refuse to burst the bubble of Chamnan Ly from Tasteful Bakehouse. Good on you, mate.

 

Thank you!

Thank you, humans who buy my books!

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I’ve sold 22 copies of Salt of Your Tears, and a bunch more read it on KU. I earned USD $79 from it, which pushed my US Kindle earnings over my $USD100 minimum payout, and I just banked a cheque, wooooo. Y’all have paid my June electricity bill and kept me warm and functioning for another month and I am so, so grateful. I wish I knew everyone’s names so I could thank you all personally. I literally do know the names of quite a few of you and squishy hugs will be forthcoming in October.