So who saw that coming? Certainly not me - in fact, to the extent where I refused to go home for the Awards Dinner because I "knew" Casey would win.
I got a phonecall at about 10:30 last night from Chloe's phone (Chloe runs Parafed Waikato, of which I am longtime member and also a volunteer). I expected her to tell me that Casey had won, but in fact when I answered it I instantly recognised not Chloe's voice, but my mother's.
"You won!" she announced, sounding a bit teary. Oh, dear. Did she cry during my acceptance speech - that she was delivering? It's likely.
Exciting though, right? And maybe even the most left-of-field victory of all time. In yesterday's Waikato Times, more space was dedicated to Casey's achievements than today's one liner about me winning. I'd say the entire audience at the Awards would have had close to no clue who I am, excluding of course my parents and Chloe, and the three other people who they passed the phone around to for me to talk to last night.
My mum emailed me the above photo of my award this morning, and told me that I also had a lovely bouquet waiting for me (which will most likely have wilted and died by the time I get home in six days' time), as well as two separate bouquets from her work. Her best friend Le Vonne, whose husband Roy is the Deputy Editor of the Waikato Times newspaper in Hamilton, was more excited than my own mother, and this morning circulated a congratulatory email around their division at work.
I've been told that on my return, I'm to have an interview with the Times (funny, as upon my return from Worlds they ignored my results). So you must excuse me for my inflated sense of self today.
Peace, love and oversized award plaques!