Saturday, August 17, 2013

herd mentality

Okay so it has been a while, which inevitably leads to the 'where do I start?' feeling that in turn means more procrastination and not getting a 'to it'....

A while back I had a half written post in my head inspired by the line in Ice Age - after Manfred save Diego's life Diego asks 'Why did you do that? You could've died trying to save me' to which Manfred replies 'That's what you do in a herd: you look out for each other.' The fact that the 'herd' in question was a woolly mamoth, a sloth, a human baby and a sabre tooth tiger proving the point that the 'herd' is what you make it. I'd been watching the Ice Age films with my self-appointed nephews whilst visiting them on the South Island. From there I went to see F/friends in Christchurch and one of my elderly relatives (2nd cousin once removed if we're going to get pedantic about this!). The concept of family, and who you can turn to, rely on etc - especially when you're an ex-pat - was a recurring theme of conversations the whole trip.

Before I set off a friend had sent me some audio books which were great for travelling as I get travel sick if I read when things get bumpy which summed up most of the flights and bus journeys! I got stuck into Nathan Lowell's Trader Tales series where again the prevailing sense of family is being something you make out of those around - in this case (space)shipmates. Not the whole crew necessarily, but those, who when push comes to shove, have got your back.

I've been doing some family history research and it never ceases to amaze me just how big our extended family is. I joke about being related to half the Canterbury Plains which at first glance seems something of an exageration, until you think about how few people live down there and how many I'm related to one way or another! Even if it is at 2nd, 3rd, 4th cousin level etc. Yet despite all these relatives (many of whom I've never met admittedly) my Kiwi 'family' bears far more resemblance to the Ice Age herd or the Solar Clipper crews - people who life has thrown me in with one way or another, whom when push comes to shove are the ones I turn to, and its those self-appointed 'nephews' who I miss the most.

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