To say it has been a long time since I last blogged is an understatement. The reason for my online absence is a recurrence of breast cancer that was first diagnosed in 2012. Anyone who has had a cancer diagnosis knows that it tends to turn your life upside down. For me, it meant ‘closing up shop’. Amongst other things, I wound up a small business that I had been working on for the past year or two, stopped accepting landscape design commissions and ceased blogging. My heart just wasn’t in any of it anymore. From mid last year on, I have been consumed with not only coming to terms with my own mortality, but also getting on with all that is required to prolong my life. Surgery has been followed by chemotherapy, that will in turn be followed by radiation therapy later this year. I’m still undergoing chemo at the moment; however, the side effects of my current treatment are infinitely easier to manage than earlier cycles. I am once again in the land of the living and feeling immensely grateful that I feel well enough to get back into doing some of the things I enjoy.

This quote from author Neil Gaiman pretty much sums up my hopes for 2016:

“May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art – write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.”

Eastern Waiheke Island beaches and wineries

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