Sunday, 7 December 2008

Reunions and headaches

The second Workplace Wellbeing Seminar took place in a Wellington Council building overlooking the harbour. But then most of the city overlooks the harbour as it is built on very steep slopes that run down to the water - it's a very beautiful place but hard work getting uphill! Some of the houses at the top are on struts and seem to be suspended in space.

Conor and I met up again with Anne Junor back from having a great time at a Bosnian wedding. Before we arrived Anne had met Roger who had not been in time to prevent a projector screen from falling on her head so she was feeling a little sore - in more ways than one. Other 'old friends' Michael from the Federation of Voluntary Welfare Organisations and Kerry from the PSA (Public Services Association) were also part the team presenting at the seminar which, like the one in Hamilton, was over subscribed.

Those attending were largely the combination of Community & Voluntary Sector managers and governance reps that were invited to attend in pairs. For people not known to be positive about trade unions they were very polite - and for the most part interested in what I had to say. The event went really well - ending with Michael making a brief but passionate exhortation for people to join and engage with their unions. I hope that they do.

From there Conor, Anne and I made our way to the airport in a specially arranged taxi big enough to take enormous quantities of baggage! Not much of it clothes but lots of lap tops, work books, employment resource packs, handouts and other necessities for the third and final Seminar in Christchurch. After some reallocation of stuff between us we got checked in without paying excess baggage - I was amazed!

After a glass of Sav and some surprisingly good curry - and another sav on the plane - we arrived in the south island at Christchurch and after another taxi ride found ourselves at the Avalon Motel our accommodation for the night. The journey from the airport took us down some of the longest, straightest streets that I have ever seen. Christchurch is a very attractive City.

The unit that Conor and I shared at the motel came with a tartan sofa so I felt completely at home. The continental breakfast - juice, 4 slices of bread, cereal, choice of tinned pears, peaches or apricots - came that evening for completion (bread in the toaster) and consumption the following morning. I'm still wondering what would have happened if I had asked for pears and peaches? We cheated and had the orange juice for supper!

The motel owner was really helpful and I left the office with a huge pile of maps and leaflets about the south island. In fact, I woke up the following morning buried under most of them having had one of those dreams where you never arrive at where you want to be............

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