God I feel tired. So tired. But the show must go on, and I make my way towards work.

Work. Such a simple word for something that can mean so much.

Or so little. MediaWorks executive director Julie Christie sails into view as I pull into the carpark.


She is rowing a boat. She pulls hard on the oars. They whack the heads of TV3 staff who are lifting the boat on their shoulders. Then they lower it into the carpark, and she sits there until news boss Mark Jennings arrives to carry her into the office.

Well, we all have our morning rituals.

It's been my habit these past 24 years at TV3 to sit down at my desk and work on news stories. But my desk went missing last week and this morning the chair was gone.

A hollow-eyed colleague says it was wanted for Paul Henry's audience. Intrigued, I walk around to the studio where he broadcasts his simulcast TV and radio show, and observe a nice old dear sitting on my chair in front of Paul. The charming lady was knitting.

I ask a technician what's going on, and he explains that a nationwide search has found someone who watches Paul's show. It was felt she would lend a live atmosphere if she came into the studio.

I find the quaint granny afterwards, kneel beside her, and say, "That looks like a bonny cardigan you're knitting. Tell me, is that a reverse stitch?"

Her caregiver says, "You're wasting your time. She's completely deaf."


My socks and shoes get soaked when I step out of my car into a flooded carpark. I see Jennings standing by, bent-backed, with a hose. He explains that Christie wants to row her boat in water. She sits and waits for the water to rise.

"You're not doing anything," she says to me. "Get another hose."

I stand beside Jennings and while we water the carpark, we go through story ideas for Campbell Live.

I ask, "How should we approach Budget week?"

He says, "How about instead we watch Taylor Swift take a tumble in a hilarious blooper from her Bad Blood music video?"

"I was thinking we could go back to Otara, where we filmed a family on the minimum wage during Budget week in 2012."

"Or we could follow up on reports that Beyonce poured $20,000 worth of wine into a hot tub!"

"I think we should campaign for a living wage."

"George Clooney says having children isn't high on his list of priorities. Let's do a vox pop on that - but I'll meet you half-way. We could film one or two people in Otara."

God he looks tired.


MediaWorks CEO Mark Weldon holds auditions for Campbell Live co-hosts.

"Check this one out," he winks. "She's dynamite! You'll love her."

A small, dark-haired woman glares at me, and says, "You make me sick. You have no identity. I can't stand it. I'm ashamed to be here. I'm disgusted at how much you have copied my husband by wearing a suit."

Weldon whoops, "That's telling him, Natalia!"


Christie sits unhappily in her boat. The water has drained away.

"I know," she brightens. "Get Hilary Barry out here. I'll tell her something that'll make her weep buckets."


I park the car a few blocks from the office, and sit at a nearby cafe. The coffee smells good. It tastes even better. I take a bite of my toast and it's like I've never really appreciated how good toast can be.

I can see TV3 from my table at the window. I feel good. I feel wide awake. Then I watch the TV3 building give a sudden lurch, and disappear into a sinkhole.

I walk towards the wreckage. The first thing I find is a broken oar.

I turn, and head towards the sun.