Aotearoa or Land of the Long White Cloud is of course New Zealand.
As any follower of my blog would know, my dream is to move to Dunedin. My sister does not hold the same enthusiasm.
In April/May 2007 we both went round the world and clocked up some frequent flyer points. Enough to fly to New Zealand. I have since added to them but if my sister does not use them by the end of November they are lost. So I am taking her to see where I hope to live. We fly direct to Dunedin on Friday, pick up a car at the airport and stay in Dunedin until Tuesday when we will drive down to Lake Manapouri for 3 nights then return to Dunedin and fly home on Monday November 10. I am not taking my computer but am sure I will post some details and photos after my return. I plan to attend Choral Eucharist in the Cathedral of St Paul one Sunday and at St John's Roslyn the other Sunday. I plan to buy a home in this parish and have been following the blog of the Rector Available Light, Ven. Kelvin Wright.
The Diocese of Dunedin had the first woman diocesan bishop and has now ordained a man living in a open homosexual relationship, so you can see it is very different to the diocese of Sydney. While I love St James, King Street, I foresee the 2 hour train journey each way getting more difficult as I age. Even if I decide to worship at the Cathedral in Dunedin, it will only be about 4km away.
The need to prepare, sell and pack up beforehand is going to take time, especially in this economic climate.
So I will not be posting or reading the blogs for nearly 2 weeks. I will eagerly watch the news to find the results of that little election some of you are having next Tuesday. Results for President will be easy, No on Prop 8 may not be so much on the TV news. Whatever the results the shaky isles as they call them may be a little more shaky from my jumping up and down hopefully in joy and not in anger.
Eight years ago I was disappointed when Al Gore was not elected but I did not know what a disaster Bush was to become. When he was re-elected 4 years ago, I broke off all my contacts (mainly professional) with the USA. I was also angry that Australians re-elected Bush's little side-kick, Howard but I had to keep talking to my countrymen and few of my friends had voted for him anyway. I did hide my Australian flag when we invaded Iraq and the NZ flag still dominates my sideboard although we have a new government and have withdrawn.
It was the forum for the film Brokeback Mountain that had me returning to regular contact with US friends. I realise all the bloggers I follow and most of my readers will be equally disappointed but I fear for all our futures if McCain is elected and something happens resulting in Palin taking over. The thought is unbearable.
New Zealand has always been willing to be more independent than Australia. It also has a much better social reform record in gay rights. However they also have an election (on Saturday November 8) and I fear the conservatives are more likely to win.
Take care everybody. I will remove comment moderation while I am away so if anything strange appears, please do not blame me.
Wait – what?
5 hours ago