Ever get the feeling that you step outside the social loop for a few seconds and suddenly everything goes wild? This happpened to us this week.
On Monday Tam ran into our friend Fiona downtown, and Fiona handed over an invite to a dinner get-together. Seems she is getting married to a young Turkish fellow (Emrah). (Married?!? She was dating?) We were a bit gob-smacked, as this really seems to have come from nowhere. We get to the Istanbul cafe last night and discover that they actually got married that day, and this was the after-ceremony celebration! Ahh! No card! No present! Oh, well, no warning either!
Over dinner we had many conversations, and one of them was not so cheerful. A friend of ours who is a government lawyer has been flying to Auckland regularly for meetings of a committee to discuss and formulate plans for a bird-flu pandemic. Apparently they have already selected the mass-grave sites. Eeek. We also discovered that the are pretty much going for the “we are an island, use that advantage” strategy. They watch possible human-human transmissions cases verrry closely. The cases they just had in Indonesia almost resulted in a border closure. I think they want to try to minimize the spread within NZ and hope to ride out the storm until mass-vaccine production can start. The estimates is that this will be about 8 weeks. Grim possibilities. But, it is good to know they are thinking and planning, which is better than getting caught with your pants down if a worst-case pandemic starts!
In other news I have spent the last 2 days helping a new friend from Australia search for an apartment here in Wellington. Robin and her SO Selwyn were over here back in November for Crown Tourney, and enjoyed Wellington. But they both had jobs/careers in Sydney. Then both their jobs started to go belly up, so they decided “what the heck”, and are moving over here. Selwyn will be over ina few weeks, once he packs the house and ships the cats (sounds familiar). Darton (the local SCA group) continues its “expansion by stealing the best people of neighboring baronies” policy!