As I do another round of proof-reading, this time the ‘dye-lines’ from Hong Kong (I wrote sky-lines so you can tell where my thoughts are drifting to), my mind is wandering. The dye-lines are a mockup of the whole book, but at a low and slightly fuzzy resolution. I’ve also got the laminated cover, but it shows a silvery tone on the dark areas. My son spotted a typo on the spine, the one place that I hadn’t proof-read. I didn’t expect the title to be spelled wrong, but I’ve discovered that the designer can’t spell, so if she has to type in words (rather than import my text) the red lights need to flash.

So my mind is wandering back to Huia, and the cool bush walk I took one day, to the Karamatura Valley.

The sun was blazing down, and I couldn’t wait to get into the bush. But I had to pause to read the plaque at the entrance. It told the story of how the Te Kawerau a Maki tribe would go shark fishing in the harbour,

an activity commemorated by this impressive carving, like a guardian, at the entrance to the track.

 This area was extensively felled, and the giant kauri trees transported on a  tramway that was constructed through the bush. Here is the remains of one of the logs. If I was standing in the photo, it would be higher than me.

And all the while, along the track, I could hear the river chuckling as it ran over boulders and stones of all sizes. There is something cooling about the sound of a stony river on a hot day. And soothing. Sometimes when working to reel in my book and bring it to land, I feel like a shark fisher. So it feels good to revisit the bush with you today, as I attend to more detailed tasks, knowing it’s the last chance to get it right.