From the air above Australia

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Well hello blogosphere. I haven’t really had much of an opportunity to scribble (type) recently. I have a few hours to kill on this flight to Singapore (en route to KL) so here’s an update….

Life is beginning to get back to normal after our devastating earthquake on 22 February. Katherine, Molly and Katie have returned to our home in Sumner. They spent over two weeks as ‘refugees’ in Timaru, a city two hours drive south of Christchurch. For the first week and a bit they stayed with dear friends of ours before moving into a motel.

Annie is still living with more friends in Papamoa (in the North Island) and attending Tauranga Girls’ High School. She is there with 11 of her rowing squad from Marian College. They competed in the North Island Secondary School Championships over the weekend and performed really well.

I seem to have spent a rather large amount of time commuting between family members, which I hope has made it easier for them. I have been based in Sumner and have been amazed at the speed of the repairs to infrastructure. We were without power for about 6 days and water for about 8 days. We have had major damage to the road access to our seaside community but this gets better daily.

Contractors have been working long hours and are really the unsung heroes of the whole earthquake. They just get on and get stuff repaired. Christchurch is a city of high-visibility vests and road cones and the moment.

Being ever the optimist I am hopeful that our lovely city will rise again and become a modern, safe and efficient place in which to live. I am worried for the inevitable politicking that will occur. I just hope that a charismatic and visionary leader is selected to drive the changes that we need through. I am in favour of a senior architect leading the design of the new city and in a well-structured plan. I loathe the idea that property developers will all have a go and add to the already disjointed arrangements we had. It is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity to get it right.

On the personal front I am enjoying the fact I have lost a rather significant amount of weight (10kgs) since Christmas. I had been getting tired of being overweight and uncomfortable in ‘my own skin’. Mum’s death last year had me a considering my own health and I feel a zillion times better without the surplus weight. Of course the rather nice complements on how well I’m looking are an added bonus! I am pleasantly surprised at how easy it has been to loose and keep off. Perhaps I am becoming more disciplined in my old age.

I am enjoying work, which is remarkable after 26 years doing the same thing (well broadly). I work with a wonderful bunch of people and being based in Christchurch I am able to avoid the more tedious ‘corporate’ components of my role, well not so much avoid but minimise.

I am typing this at 40,000 feet over Australia while en route to Kuala Lumpur via Singapore. I shall be in KL for two days participating in a World Bank Ease of Doing Business Seminar. I am really looking forward to it as I have been to KL only once before (and loved it). I have made some lovely friends over the years from the Companies Commission of Malaysia. I hosted a delegation from there earlier in the year. They send a really lovely and heartfelt email after the earthquake that was very nice. I’ll spend a day in Singapore on Friday and have meetings at the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority, also dear friends. I shall be back in Singapore in May for the 8th Corporate Registers Forum conference. I am attending the IACA conference in Winnipeg in June so there is a lot to look forward to. The plan is to travel via Washington DC and to have meetings with the World Bank. I hope also to get an opportunity to travel to Thailand as part of my APEC work before the end of the financial year.

It is nice to loose oneself in work after an earthquake! Once I knew Katherine and the kids were out of harms way that’s what I was able to do. It was very therapeutic. I would get up each day dress for work and go into the office, usually I was the only one there, but I was able to clear email and just sort stuff out.

My office opened for business again today (14th) and staff members were invited to come back in from 10 till 4 and share their stories and just be with each other. I think it was a lovely idea and I was sad to miss it. But such is life and I’ll be back amongst them all next Monday.

The earthquake inevitably interrupted a number of projects that were on the go so it’ll be good to get them back on track.

On the domestic front we are looking to replace our vehicle ‘fleet’. My crappy Mazda is well over due for replacement and I am committed to giving it to one of the guys at my regular coffee house in exchange for a decent long black (I’ll get the better deal!). We are looking at getting a wee Toyota Yaris for Katherine in its’ place. And after having driven 8 and half hours through the liquefaction and flooding on the day of the earthquake I have decided that the Peugeot needs to be replaced by something a little taller and robust. I am looking at either a Hyundai Sante Fe or Toyota Rav4. I have friends with both and have been impressed with them. I’d like a diesel so we’ll just see what level of bankruptcy I can entertain.

Oh and I’m going to upgrade my tele to one that has at least 4 HDMI ports as we now have MySky, DVD, xBox 360 and Apple TV… I am a toy collecting tosser I know.

One comment

  1. Kia Ora from Kapiti. I love reading your blogs, keep them up please. Am I one of your ‘friends with a Rav 4?’ If so, then I can recommend it as a good vehicle but if you want more grunt then the Hyundai is the way to go. My In-Laws have a Hyundai and it is great. We were thinking of trading up at some point.

    Take care, and enjoy your trip. It would be great to see you in Kapiti one day soon.

    Steve

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