|Gardeners planting tulip bulbs at Topkapi palace in Istanbul|
|The skyline at Broadway in Sydney|
But we're modern types, and we've flown home to see our nearest and dearest.
|Freddy and Clem|
The necessary business of letting go of our grown children hasn't been that straightforward for us, for all the words we've spilled on the subject. I think we needed to reassure ourselves that both they and we are in the right place.
There are eight of us here - sons and daughters minus Sam who toils in Sydney and his girlfriend Madi who toils in Papua New Guinea. Last night, on account of the persistent drizzle, we canned the barbecue and roasted a leg of lamb. Of course, you say. New Zealand lamb. It was good as you're imagining. And my mother called to say she'd bought a house. Never a dull moment with my mum. I am a little out of practice at reading and responding to the currents which swirl about and under the surface here, but give me a week and I'll have forgotten I'm on a remote island at the southern extremity of the globe. New Zealand and its norms will have reasserted their position at the centre of the universe. But isn't that why we've flown so far? To reset the compass? Find our true north? GPS tells you one story, but your heart tells you another.