The Secret Diary Of ... John Key
Bronagh said: "Did you cancel the newspaper?"
"Did you pay the boarding kennel?"
The tide was going out as we drove to the airport. It looked like rain.
"Did you turn the TV off at the wall?"
We were whisked through customs and passport control, and settled in at the Koru Lounge. The wine range was excellent, and Max liked the freshly baked cookies. But you couldn't see the view; it's strange how they frost the windows.
"Did you bring the camera?"
We stretched out in first class. Stephie fell instantly asleep. I opened my copy of the Richie McCaw biography. When the plane left the tarmac, I shut the book and closed my eyes. I thought: Hawaii. The summer house, the crash of the surf, the joy of being somewhere happy and confident - it felt so good to get away. Leave it all behind.
"Did you pick up my white dress from the drycleaners?"
"Did you lock the back door?"
"Did you switch the iron off?"
I turned to Bronagh and said: "Did you?"
The tide was coming in as I drove home. It looked like rain.
The good thing about the two nine- hour flights is that I had time to finish reading the Richie McCaw biography.
It's a really good book. I better pick something else up before I catch the next flight back.
The man from the office called and said: "Code Red. How soon can you get to Wellington?"
"Later this afternoon."
"I thought you were in Hawaii."
"Never mind that. What's the Code Red?"
There was silence on the end of the line, and then the man from the office said: "It's Hekia. She's gone mad."
I'll always remember the sight of the blood when I walked into her office.
Hekia said: "Don't worry. It's not mine."
"It never is."
There was a terrible groan from the filing cabinet. I opened it, and a woman toppled out.
Hekia said: "Have you met Lesley?"
The woman groaned. "I quit."
Hekia said: "See? She's fallen on her sword."
"It's buried between her shoulder blades."
Hekia said: "I can explain."
She should have known better than to say that. She knows how I feel about explanations.
Spent the rest of yesterday and all of today cleaning up the mess, getting State Services to kiss Lesley better and putting Hekia on ice.
The man from the office said: "There's something else I need you to do."
"No. Whatever it is, I'm not doing it. I've had enough! It's Christmas! I want to go on holiday!"
He said: "It's extremely important."
I said: "No!"
He said: "The Government could stand or fall depending on whether you do this."
And so I went to a radio station and busted out my Gangnam Style dance moves.
Couldn't catch a flight till tomorrow, so visited Sir Peter, and told him I had 24 hours to kill.
He said: "Perfect. Let's watch The Hobbit."
Flew domestic to Auckland. The tide was going out. It looked like rain.
Transferred to the international terminal, and went shopping at Whitcoulls. Decided to buy Civilisation: 20 Places at the Edge of the World, the new book by Steve Braunias.
It's had very good reviews. No wonder! I couldn't put it down, and was still reading it when the plane landed.
The night air was fragrant. What a beautiful island.
I caught a taxi to the summer house. Stephie was asleep. Max was eating a snack. Bronagh kissed me and said: "So was it?"
"Was what it?"
"Was the iron on?"
Steve Braunias' secret diary column will return later in January.
Taranaki Daily News