Well, temporarily anyway. I'm in the middle of delivering a 2-day training course here in beautiful Picton at the top of the South Island. I flew in to Blenheim last night in truly grotty weather - it appears that when we put the clocks back to begin Daylight Saving a couple of weeks ago that we also turned the seasons back from Spring to Winter! It's been snowing, sleeting, hailing, blowing a screaming gale, and it was not a particularly great flight across Cook Strait: the aeroplane was a Beech 1900D seating just 22 people and we were bouncing around a fair bit. However, Picton seems to be serenely separate from the rest of the country as far as weather goes and was bathed in glorious sunshine today, although it was very cold.
I like Picton. It's usually a "blink and you missed it" town - or probably more accurately, "the town you go through on the way to the interisland ferry". However, I've been here for training three times now and really like it. Not sure I'd want to live here permanently, although it is so beautiful the silent contemplative part of me is tempted. I'd happily have a bach here for holidays!
It's pretty isolated though and it's a very small town, although Blenheim is only half an hour away by car. It's quite crafty: lots of really interesting little arty shops and great eateries, mostly catering for the tourist trade and the people hanging around waiting for the ferry, but there's also lots of great walks around here, and everywhere you go there is the sea - the Sounds and the hills dominate the landscape in a way that just oozes peace and stillness.
I made sure I had time to go and visit my favourite shop here: Gepetto's Workshop, which is this amazing woodworking shop on Main Street that has some really gorgeous turned wood things. I got our daughter's name-train there last time I was down here just before her birthday, and I love wandering around looking at all the beautiful things and smelling that good wood smell. This time I've got her a little wooden magnet - I try and bring her something very small back each time I go away for a work trip, and often try to tie it into the place I've gone to.
In some ways I'm glad I'm here - Picton always feels like a retreat - but in other ways I want to be at home right now. There's quite a bit going on for us personally right now (not bloggable at present) and me being away right now is awkward, but I guess we didn't know until today so there wasn't much chance to do it differently! Just have to wait and trust God is in control of everything, and as I know God is, it helps.
All shall be well,
and all shall be well,
and all manner of things shall be well.
Julian of Norwich, anchorite (1400s)