July 10, 2005

Welcome to the Waikato Climes

Wow, my first ever blog. I'm kind of nervous. I mean, suddenly there's all this blank space to fill up with thoughts straight from my brain.

This is why I wanted to start doing a blog:
1. I thought it looked cool
2. To stay in touch with people
3. World domination - I'm surely going to be discovered by the Guardian or New York Times now
4. Cos Derek does it and it looks easy

So I think a blog about me sounds cool. Narcissistic. But what blog isn't? It's kind of unnerving to think that Aldous P Grumpypants could be sitting out there in Fartsville, Kentucky, reading about what I get up on my weekends.

But anyway, I think this time of my life, known affectionately as The Time I Was Exiled To Hamilton, will be kind of good. There's very little wind, lots of parking, my rent is cheapish, it's close to hot pools and Auckland, the river is pretty, and the people are nice. What more could you ask for really? From my desk at the Waikato Times, my first full-time real journalism job since leaving Massey last year, I cover all the happenings at the schools and the Matamata Piako District Council, which means I drive one of the company's custard-coloured cars out to Te Aroha every couple of weeks to get the low-down on roading. Most of the times I've driven out there, the weather's been nice, the cows have looked happy, and the muffins at the council meetings have been tasty. In my two and a half months here, I've had a few front page stories, been abused by press officers, and done the inevitable death knocks. There will be more, I know it. I like the idea that some great journalists have cut their teeth on this paper, legends like Michael King, and the alumni of the Waikato Times reads like a who's who of journalism.

So for the time being, the next year or so, I'm happy to be exiled back to the Waikato. I'm sure New York and London and Paris can wait a little longer for me.

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