The news that Trump will be the US President says something about the shadow side of human nature.
We wish each other a peaceful and happy Christmas and for many it will be. Family gatherings, shared food and presents, Light tree laughter and fun. Beach picnics are being planned.
Ever noticed how the one thing that didn't go as well as you would have liked stands out above everything else in the day? How easy it is to keep on kicking yourself for that double booking, that ill-judged joke! To maintain a buoyant attitude in the face of this negative bias - which after all is only trying to keep us safe - develop these three simple habits.
Once again the early birds are waking me with their calls. I can feel the change happening as I'm more ready to get up these mornings and less likely to huddle under the duvets (yes, two in winter!) resisting the sharp bite of a frosty morning.
Behind the door in the changing room at the pool is a neatly printed inscription: "I was having the worst day until you said Hi". The way the painter has gone round it rather than try to obliterate it makes it even more charming. I can't help smiling to myself.
Saradha arrives from Wellington, queasy from a rough landing. She steadies up over breakfast and we set off for Golden Bay. On the Hill a queue of traffic is at a standstill and a policeman tells us there's a tree down but we can get past it. We carry on, stopping in Takaka to dash across the road in a downpour for coffee and cake at the Wholemeal Cafe.
The sea swim season has ended. No more gathering at the yacht club on a Thursday evening with an anxious knot in my gut, wondering whether I can get round the course among the other swimmers. Susan suggests a gentle swim at the beach after work, in the last remaining days before the clocks change back and the long summer evenings come to an end.
Anis Ibrahim, the Five Foot Traveller, writes about the dérive, a French term meaning drift. We do it when we stroll about a new town, often lost and hoping to be found again, seeing the streets with the fresh eyes of a tourist.