I come from a family of nomads; the daughter of immigrants from a country of immigrants. As a London child, when asked about my family’s origins, I knew the answer. My family was my parents. My parents came from New Zealand. It was a source of pride. My mother was from Waiheke, my father from Wellington.
Waiheke? Where’s that?
It’s an island.
No one asked, so neither did I.
Had I been there?
I flew through two nights to arrive at an airport of glass and steel and walked out into the humid green scent of a New Zealand summer.
When I booked my flight to New Zealand, almost a year ago, it was with several purposes in mind. I wanted to explore the country and family history further, to set time aside to do some work of my own, and to catch up with family and friends. My timing for the trip was driven by a very English motive – the weather.
The thought of another British winter made me twitch. It’s not the cold. I can take the mild extremes of London temperature quite happily. It’s not even the day length – at least not that alone. It’s the quality of light in British winters that drives me nuts.
I know this sounds ridiculously obvious, but I simply cannot see in the dark.