I was wandering alone for a month, back home in New Zealand, interviewing climbers and mountaineers for a book I wanted to put together. It was a month off from my first marriage. The synopsis went through two publishing meetings. They told me they loved it but they didn't feel there was a big enough audience. They gave me other publishing house names to send it to but my mother was diagnosed and I wandered off to university late.
I still have the manuscript but that was a long time ago.
Anyway ... way back then and I arrived in Wellington, at the home of my truly delightful friend, Michelle Bennie. I had her absent flatmate's bedroom. It was a small room in a beautiful old wooden house. Her flatmate was out of town. The bedroom was located on flimsy-looking stilts ... located on the side of a steep bush-covered hill there in Brooklyn. Possums on the roof at night, it offered a beautiful view over Wellington city.
I remember that this was the place where I first 'met' Isabel Allende, via a book on the bookshelf in that bedroom. I devoured 'Eva Luna' one rainy day, enjoying the strange and exotic taste of her story, curled up on someone else's bed in a city not my own.
I was in town to interview Matt Comesky. The loveliest high altitude climber I've ever met. He was on K2 with Bruce Grant and Alison Hargreaves when they were blown off the mountain. I so very much wanted to understand the mind of the climber way back then. I still do, and war photographers and journalists have joined the ranks of those who fascinate me.
Anyway ... Wellington, 1998, Isabel Allende was the bonus.