Our town Tres Cantos is 30 minutes north of the city, it’s about the same size as Paraparaumu – which is where I’m from. I moved from Auckland to London in 2007 and worked in project management.

We’re on week ten of lockdown now. On day 47 – I blog so I know the days – we were finally allowed out for a walk with the kids. Before that we weren’t allowed out at all, except of course to the supermarket or pharmacy.

De-escalation started in Spain just over two weeks ago, but Madrid is the epicenter so we’re a bit behind. The state of emergency officially finishes on the 24th of May but it has been put back twice already.

We came here two years ago for my husband’s work, he’s in fintech. We’re very lucky we’re in a house with a terrace. We’ve had great contact with the neighbours – over the fence. I have 2 little ones, Lara is five and Asher is two and a half. The kids are bilingual – they have better Spanish than I do.

My father died in Tauranga on Christmas Eve, I’d just had surgery so couldn’t get home. I was booked to come over in April to have the funeral and say goodbye properly. And then I just couldn’t. I rebooked for September but the airline have already cancelled those flights. I lost my mum in 2014 and my brother died two years ago. It’s just me now – though I still have lots of friends at home.

I’ve always loved taking photographs and writing – I promised my Dad I’d keep that up. I blog as Roaming Mama and have an Instagram account. Because Spain was ahead of the UK I gained a following, mothers there were asking me how we managed.


Image supplied by interviewee

This interview and the others in the series are an extension of my new book “This Is Us” that will be published by Exisle and released on the 1st of June 2020. These interviews are slightly different from the ones in the book as they focus on New Zealanders living abroad in this time of isolation. If you can think of suitable interview subjects please let me know via pete@petecarter.nz .

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

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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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