So, we’re over 2 weeks into lockdown in New Zealand (and since I last wrote). I don’t know about you, but I’m still feeling so tired and weighed down…. I feel super grateful that I’m safe, looked after, and it looks like I can get all my meds here (even if I have to pay for them), but obviously this is not the trip that was anticipated, and the anxiety I have been left with from cancer means I tend to worry about the worst possible outcomes from all these (not just for me, but for those I know and don’t know) – and it’s not clear when flying home will be the safe option (though Emirates is showing flights to Manchester from 2nd June, but I’ll have to talk to the medics) – was due to land back May 10th. Uncertainty SUCKS and is so UNSETTLING. The insurance company has finally emailed this week to say that I clearly haven’t made a ‘decision’ to stay, but am ‘stranded’ here, so I’m still covered (although they haven’t approved medical costs yet).

Like everyone else, life has not gone to plan recently … The plan for this trip was to:

Over the past 2-3 years, cancer has taught me that life’s plans can be thrown up into the air with very little notice, self-isolation has been fairly normal, you really start to question what is essential (what do you have the energy for/what gets you through the days), and walking around and around the block (the beach is beautiful, but it can feel rather like walking round and round the same block, so I try and find new corners that look like they are miles from others!

New Zealand is effectively in similar weather pattern to UK September – so some lovely days, but increasing chance of rain, wind, lower temperatures. Thankfully have been loaned some warmer clothes, but seeking to make the most of the nicer weather (though this morning I am still in my PJs, blanket on, window open, The Good Place on … can see lovely blue skies) … and get enough ‘fresh air’ to help with mental health and sleep!

It’s been good to talk through ideas with Sapati for some content that he can share online, that doesn’t just add to the overwhelming ‘noise’ that seems to be coming from many places:


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The view from Vaughan Park chapel this afternoon, looking out over Long Bay, North Shore, Auckland, New Zealand ??

A post shared by Ruatara Chapel (@vaughanparkchapel) on

So, I’ve been thinking about what I have done out here, as I’m certainly not where I want to be with my book – the plan was around 6 weeks of research and restructuring, then 2-3 weeks of writing (the actual draft is due in May), and obviously most of my talks were cancelled (though some may be replanned for online). This week has started to feel like can do a bit more after the past couple of weeks trying to sort out insurance and anxiety melt-down…

When I consider that I cried at the airport heading to Jersey last summer, amazing that I managed to get all the way out here so straightforwardly, and still just about hanging on in current circumstances. Thankful for technology so hoping that all keeps going … praying for wisdom from leaders to bring this global pandemic to a halt safely as soon as possible and that we will find a way out of it – with questions about what life looks like afterwards – I hope we will value some things differently

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