One of the quotes on my website says: “When I grow up I want to be a little boy.” It is by Joseph Heller an American author. One of his well-known books is Catch-22 which I read a while back. If you read a lot of what Heller has to say about life and about God – he is very cynical. The quote almost seems to say – don’t grow up because then everything just gets too complicated.

Maybe you feel like that – sometimes I do. But I want us to think about children. Can you think back to your childhood? I’m sure there are a mixture of good and bad memories and feelings. But the chances are that one overshadows the other and you look back on childhood with a pleasant feeling or it is very painful for you.


Yesterday I made borsch. I bought some Polish rye bread to go with it. I think I was having a Ukrainian nostalgic feeling. I am really looking forward to being back in Ukraine for 3 months later this year. I have had a few chats with friends in Ukraine recently. It is bitterly cold there right now and a number of people have died across Ukraine because of the cold. I have heard that my house is warm but the water pipes to the house have frozen so there is no running water inside. I have realised that being away for so long (now over 16 months) changes many things.


I’m now back in Sydney. I have yet to be called in for a day’s casual teaching, but hope that won’t be too far away. There is plenty to keep me busy meanwhile. I will be away a lot this year and coordinating all the details can be quite time consuming. On March 14, I leave for Central Asia, followed by a few days in Mumbai, India and then about a week visiting Dan and Xan in Thailand. I have applied for the required documentation and am now awaiting for this trip.

In NZ I went with my youngest sister Priscilla and her family to where my parents were holidaying at Kinohaku on the Kawhai Harbour. I had never even heard of this place. It was out of the way – we had to drive 45 minutes to buy milk. But it was a very pretty spot. We visited some beautiful falls, a natural arch, black iron sand beaches, and we went boating and bush walking. The week before I went with Ruth and Jon to the top of NZ and saw the meeting of the oceans. Jon and I paddled farther out into the deep deep blue of the Pacific (and thankfully made it back again). As I marvelled at the beauty of NZ I thought about our unspoiled it is. It is such a long way from anywhere, relatively young as far as human footprints go, and reasonably low in population. These things combine to give NZ some of its unique appeal. But it made me think more about our influence on this planet.

The next few weeks I will be involved in playing touch footy, helping out with Beecroft Rugby, Russian table tennis club, and hopefully some teaching work. If I have some spare time I might be fitting in coffee with a few friends I neglected to catch up with last year – get in touch if you have the time and the inkling.

I have now been staying with the Bryants for 12 months and am thankful to them for a good place to stay and for good company.


I Resurrection by L. Tolstoy is one of the best books I have read by him. It is not as long as Anna or War and Peace yet it paints such an amazing picture of the protagonists, their backgrounds, feelings, longings and inner turmoils. I thoroughly recommend this book. 5/5


David and Jacky Bryant for giving this stray a place to live.