Tonight I am listening to the soundtrack to Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and recalling our holiday in New Zealand. We may book our China-Japan flights this weekend, which is very exciting because I haven't been to China before. Yet, I wouldn't mind visiting NZ's South Island again. It's such an easy destination, few language problems (except for the really thick accents of the far South), road rules almost the same as in Australia. What I really loved was the magnificent scenery coupled with a feeling of solitude. Dramatic mountains coupled with coasts silent but for the wind and the waves.
I could seriously imagine us living in Christchurch - somewhere with the life and intelligence of a university combined with the facilities of a city, yet small enough the escape into natural peacefulness is simple. I'd love to have some research or teaching post where I could potter along without pressure, just a desire to learn and create. I suspect that "commercial pressures" are inescapable, but it's a nice fantasy to have.