Yesterday was a day out of the box. A strange combination of circumstances that created one of those experiences you don’t forget.

Firstly I drove for about an hour to another rural town with the enchanting name of Otorohanga. They have a kiwi house. I was addressing the monthly meeting of the Otorohanga Lyceum Club. A room full of lovely ladies who had all brought a plate for lunch. Yum! The coronation chicken was a highlight, so was the scalloped corn and quiche about six different ways. After lunch and tea/coffee/biscuits I spoke for around 45 minutes and took some questions. For most of the speech you could have heard a pin drop, either they were listening hard or asleep. It seemed to go well and everyone seemed keen to come to the next book launch.

I was listening to my latest audio book in the car, a Kathy Reichs book. Tempy Brennan is quite different from the ‘Bones’ version but my goodness, she writes well! Very clever.

Got home about 3pm and went to the computer to check email and Facebook. And that’s where I learned that Jonah Lomu had died. Oh how sad! Far, far, far too young. My heart bleeds for his wife and young boys. It is hard enough to lose the one you adore without having to share your grief with the wider world, and in Jonah’s case, it truly is the wider world. Hopefully in days to come the outpouring of kind words and love will bring them comfort.

Then the phone rang. One of my fellow parishioners was looking for the Vicar. No, she wasn’t with me. Her little dog, a Sydney Silkie called Brodie, was out and running around Putaruru. I shall spare Mr Brodie’s blushes and not go into great detail. Save to say there was much calling and driving and searching. I found him way out on the Arapuni Road because I had asked some school kids if they’d seen him and when they did, later, one gave chase and followed him out of town. Brodie was distressed and tired, so I took him home and we had cuddles and tummy rubs (him, not me).

The day finished with home group, singing, prayer, Bible study and sponge cake. Brodie lay quietly at Jan’s feet while we all discussed his adventure.

This morning a press conference has told me that Captain Richie McAwesome is retiring from professional rugby and is going to get his commercial helicopter licence in Christchurch. Good on him. Time for one passion to end and for him to devote himself to a new one.

So what does it all mean? Life can change in the blink of an eye. Some people  have it all organised and planned and seem to be masters of their own fate, but there is always that ‘spanner’ that can turn everything upside down. It is good to have a day, once in a while, that reminds you of that fact.