Well - following the British election from the other side of the world was interesting, to say the least. Although John and I didn't get to vote (we didn't sort out our proxy/postal forms in time), we were in good company, as nor did the rest of the ex-pats on this side of the world - the volcanic ash cloud also stopped all air mail (including postal votes) from getting through until it was too late. For myself, I have mixed feelings about not voting - when the election started, I really didn't care, as I didn't think I could make much difference, and it didn't feel right in voting when we are no longer living in Britain, and don't have any intentions to return (at least, for residency purposes) However, as it got more exciting (and we love the BBC Radio I-Player - we aren't able to access the TV version from outside the UK, but the radio is fully available - we listened to the News Quiz and the Vote Now Show, which kept us fully informed of the more interesting parts of the campaign), there was a small twinge of regret that we wouldn't be part of probably one of the most gripping UK campaigns to grace the political theatre in recent years. But, hey, we may still get a chance if there is a re-election in the next year or so! It was nice to be able to watch the results unfolding in real time (I was not alone amongst my colleagues in having the BBC Live website open on my PC throughout the day), even if the end result wasn't as decisive as the build up would have suggested.
The rest of this week has been pretty quiet - a draw in hockey (fortunately, a friendly, so it didn't count), but I did manage what has to be one of the more spectacular saves of my career, managing to knock the ball out of the air with my left (padded) hand as it whizzed past on a very acute angle. Even the opposing coach was impressed (as was I - I hadn't even consciously seen the ball move!).
We're starting to delve into the pieces for the next concert - we are doing the Shostakovich Jazz waltz, which I'm really pleased about. We've also got a very mixed bag of pieces, some of which are nice, and some which are less fun, both to play and to listen to - the most extreme of this is the Unanswered Question:
in which the woodwind, trumpet and strings are playing at different speeds, in different keys and with different bar lines. Not sure how well it is going to go down with a paying audience - it isn't going down well at all amongst the woodwind!
Winter is starting to grip Wellington - the temperature is definitely dropping in the evenings and mornings - however, it is still sunny and warm during the days (just a shame they are spent in an office!). I have been assured that the fine weather won't last, and we will get our share of wind and rain, but I will be happy if the depths of winter stay away for a wee while longer - I am enjoying the spectacular sunsets and the ever changing colours of the sea too much :-)