Well, here we are. Back together again with my first column since October 2014. Strictly speaking, I've been here all along, looking after the books pages for the New Zealand Woman's Weekly, but the reviews didn't allow for the sharing of the minutiae of my life. And so much has happened!
I turned 50 and had a magnificent celebration, joined by my family and some very dear friends – most old, some newer but all very much loved.
I was lucky enough to have my daughter Kate and my son-in-law home from London to help me celebrate both on the actual birthday and on the day of the party. The ensuing revelry set the tone for my year of being 50.
It's such a milestone birthday and I was determined to mark it by spending quality time with the people who matter to me most, and spending money on experiences and not on stuff.
And so I travelled to Las Vegas from New Zealand and met up with Kate, who'd come from London so we could see Fleetwood Mac in concert together. Having introduced her to the madness and the genius of the Rumours album, I wanted to share the experience of seeing them live with her. We were five rows from the front at the MGM Grand and Fleetwood Mac were everything I hoped they would be.
When Stevie sang Landslide and got to the chorus 'But time makes you bolder, Even children get older, And I'm getting older too', I hugged my girl close and cried happy tears.
I went to Sydney for a girls' weekend with my gorgeous mate Di, and I had long lunches throughout the year with other dear friends.
I finally travelled up to the Hokianga to see my mate Wendyl Nissen and fell so completely in love with the region that within a month, we'd bought a property just up the road from her.
For years, I'd put off going up to see Wendyl's paradise as the four-hour drive put me off. But as soon as I came over the hill and saw the Hokianga Harbour laid out before me, I was determined that I'd end up in this part of the world one day. Luckily, the husband felt the same way.
I trained for and ran the Queenstown Marathon and the training – combined with gym sessions, Pilates and the 5:2 Diet – meant I finished my year of being 50 in the best shape of my life.
And I ended 18 years of night-time talk radio on Newstalk ZB and this year, I have a brand-new show and a co-host, Mark Dye, who's only a couple of years older than my daughter.
It was a huge wrench leaving my night-time listeners. I started with them when I was 32 and I've met so many of them in real life as well as through the radio that it was hard to say goodbye. But I love my new man, as the Woman's Weekly called him when they did a story on us earlier in the year – you may have read it!
He's smart and funny and passionate, and just a thoroughly decent human being, and although I'm taking a while to adjust to the daytime hours, I love being a part of the new afternoon show. How on earth do people get everything done that needs doing when you work all day?
Oh, and about a month ago, I broke my wrist. My right one. Even that's been a blessing, but that's a story for next week.
So that's me. It's been a busy, marvellous, wonderful 18 months. And now sod's law says that life will probably become routine and predictable, and I'll be scratching around every week desperately trying to fill this column.
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