Perhaps I have arrived ... finally.

Dad's Garden.jpg

Sometimes I feel like I've lived so many lives.
And occasionally, they collide, in the most unexpected ways.

On Sunday morning, I was wandering in from the car ... back from the babysitting gig in the city, when I bumped into an old friend from my days spent as an Airforce officer's wife.

There was Bridget, walking out from bringing Communion to my Dad, who can no longer attend church.
It was so good to see her. She had been an officer's wife too. We had long conversations, back then, about our real lives ... before those years we spent living on Base Woodbourne.

These days, she lives just along the road, with her family (she kept the same husband :-) ) and so, we have plans. One day soon, after Christmas and New Year, we shall have some of our long conversations again. 

Meanwhile, I went back out into the garden with my camera tonight ... and remembered that my camera is the other place where Joy hangs out. I felt like I was losing Joy, and I had no idea what to do, since Genova is about 20,000kms from here. I discovered so many photographs, unprocessed, there on the camera card. That last storm in Genova, Ben Ohau with Dave and Jude, and Dad's Garden. 

Perhaps I have finally arrived, here in this life ... I'm taking photographs again, with my camera.
Let's see it.

Lake Ohau.jpg

Neil Finn ... & an instant trip back to my childhood

Obviously we didn't have quite the divine guest list as seen in the music video ... so many of New Zealand's greatest sporting folk drop in but this video captures so much that I recognise from my Kiwi childhood.

Those Mousetraps ... the grated cheese, egg and onion, maybe some tomato, on toast, baked and/or grilled.  Sometimes burned.  Hot milk Milo, friends over, furniture moved, mad crazy joy as instructions were shouted at the game on TV.

Martin introduced me to the song and he recognised 'home' too. 

Processing Home ...

When I returned from New Zealand there was a bleak Belgian winter going down and so I simply holed-up, in my office here, processing photographs taken during our 5 weeks back home.

At some point I realised how sad I was becoming, missing the freedoms of home, missing the light, missing people I loved and so I quietly put the rest of my photographs away.  Unprocessed.

Spring arrived ... then left after one day, making repeated attempts over months until finally one day it was ours and I realised I had moved on too.  I had stopped comparing there to here and was focusing on European people and projects again.

I wandered over to Genova, worked like a crazy woman for 5 days and returned to Belgium, swearing I would never attempt Italy in 5 days again.  It's too short a time.  Then Gert took his summer holiday and we explored a small part of France ... discovering some of Bourgogne then falling for Doussard, near Annecy.

Back in Belgium, we have overcast skies and heavy rain today.  We were at 31 celsius two days ago ... it's like that.  Will summer come ... maybe, sometimes.

And I have some exquisite projects in front of me.  A photography exhibition in autumn, the wedding of some favourite folk in France in summer, two workshops in Italy, and the promise of meeting some excellent people along the way.

But today ... today I turned back towards New Zealand and worked through images taken of a favourite family in Fiordland.  Hunter, pictured below, is a treasured friend. 

After I left Fiordland, way back in 1998, he sometimes had work in Dunedin and would come stay with me and my dog, bringing fresh venison from the hills.  Bringing himself and his stories.

He introduced me to the music of Buena Vista Social Club by turning up the volume on his car stereo while we sat out on the deck of my little wooden cottage on the peninsula.

It was good to see him again, to be back in Manapouri for a while and to spend time with his wife Claire, and with their daughter Phoebe too.  Photographs to follow if permissions are given.