My brother has given me £150 to spend on coffee while I am in New Zealand. So after I arrived yesterday, Ratnavyuha and I went to One-2-One Café in Ponsonby, Auckland, and drank coffee and ate cake. The cafe reminded me of the Boston Tea Party in Bristol, with its garden seating. But it’s winter here in NZ, and slightly too cool to sit outside. It was a quiet Wednesday afternoon. In the park where we had been walking there were many Pakeka – the Maori name for what in Europe we call the Purple Gallinule – garish great rails, with red beaks, purple bibs and silly big feet. And in the lake were slithering eels in meshed tangles. Like the feel of my thoughts at certain moments, like on solitary retreats, and after a very long flight.