2019 was the best year yet and there was so much promise at the beginning of this year.

The flat I live in is in the street parallel to the one my parents lived just before I was born.  The family moved back to Wellington when I was two and I lived in New Zealand until I went to the University of Sydney for my undergraduate and Masters. I traveled before arriving here in August last year.

I started work at a comms PR agency, it’s a “what I want to do with my career job” in Covent Garden. For the first six months it was ideal. I had weekends in France and Switzerland, in Cornwall and Scotland.

I’ve always been someone that throws themselves at work but since Covid-19 started I’ve used work as a means of escapism, which has kept me sane in many ways. We went into lockdown in March and started coming out in July. I was back working from the office on Tuesdays and Thursday for three months – but now of course we’re in lockdown again.

I’m lucky to live with amazing, smart, funny, cool people and we live only 70 metres from another large flat of awesome Kiwis. We’ve been through 8 months of pretty depressing stuff but still manage to play 500, make each other laugh and cook great food.

Abby, one of my best friends leaving was terrifying, my dog at home dying was horrendously painful, knowing I’m spending Christmas without my family for the first time feels daunting and this weekend I will miss my mother’s 60th party. But then I am lucky, I have a roof over my head, a job that rocks and great friends, it can’t be all bad.

Science will prevail and soon I’ll be able to come home again.

 

PS, Lulu’s flatmate Abby  that she  refers to was the first interviewee in this series. Lulu is my daughter and I miss her very much.

PPS – this is the lucky last in this series, I have gone full circle from Abby to Lulu in the same flat in  London. Since lockdown in New Zealand I have interviewed approaching 200 Kiwis living abroad in 75 countries. If I continued I could make it my life’s work but I have other things to do. The collected interviews are, as I type, being put into a book. More exciting news on this very soon. More news soon too on what I will be working on next.

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Images supplied by interviewee

This interview and the others in the series are an extension of my new book “This Is Us” it is in all good bookshops in New Zealand and also available in Australia. It will be available elsewhere in the world from August.

Amazon UK here.

Amazon US here

Through the publisher here

This Is Us – the diaspora in lockdown – these interviews are slightly different from the ones in the book as they focus on New Zealanders living abroad in this time of isolation.  Copyright Licensing have awarded me a grant to complete this project and convert these postings into a book.

If you can think of suitable interview subjects please let me know via pete@petecarter.nz – I currently need interviews in the more unusual places around the world.

Exisle have released This Is Us as an e-book you can buy it here.

Pete Carter is the author of This is Us. Due out in June 2020 it will be published by Exisle and tells the story of more than 200 New Zealanders in words and pictures. The book is really a portrait of the nation and how it is made up. Pete wrote Our Dog Benji a children’s book illustrated by his nephew, published by EK in 2017. He is also the author of two books of poetry. He has had magazine articles published and poetry in anthologies. As a photographer he has had two solo exhibitions and work included in group exhibitions in NZ and overseas and has sold work to and been commissioned by corporate clients.

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