No. This is not a question relating to esoteric wondering about our existence on this planet. It is simply about why I am here in New Zealand. It is a question asked by several people arising out of my recent posts.
|Catriona aged 4 (2005)|
In New Zealand when a child reaches his or her fifth birthday he (or she) graduates from Pre-School and starts attending Junior School on the day after the birthday. When I first visited The Family, Catriona was just four. I promised to return for the ‘graduation’ on her fifth birthday. I’m not quite sure why but I decided on the spur of the moment when I was booking the plane that I would stay for six months: the whole of the UK's winter. In September 2006 I set out for what was to be one of the most wonderful and life-changing things that I have ever done. I have never regretted a single moment.
Now Catriona is a young lady and a weekly boarder at one of New Zealand's premier girls schools and loving every minute of it. Not yet having any grandchildren it has been a wonderful privilege to watch the children in my adopted family grow from year to year and, in particular, to watch Catriona, to whom I made the original promise which brought me back here, blossom.
Of course it's not all about one person or even about The Family although without them I would not have come in the first place nor returned year after year. I have made many dear and important friends here in New Zealand and also have the sport which has dominated my life more than any other sport since I gave up fencing and being a fencing coach. In fact, truth be told, they are the only two sports that I have ever really enjoyed.
[The two recent photos of Catriona are taken from her Facebook page.]