A wee while ago, I posted about Margaret Mahy's arrest for drink driving.
In the following article which appeared in this weekend's Sunday News Margaret, one of New Zealand's writing greats, takes what I thought was a very cavalier attitude to the situation.
Would she be quite so flippant if she had hit a small child or a pregnant woman, not a parked car?
National treasure and world-famous children's book author Margaret Mahy has spoken of her shame at the most embarrassing chapter in her long and successful life.
Mahy, 72, was more than twice the legal alcohol limit after she drove into a parked vehicle at Christchurch on a Sunday morning in April.
"I have had a career with some good patches. This wasn't good, though, because someone could have been hurt."
The legal limit is 80mg.
A careless driving charge was withdrawn and Mahy, beloved for such classics as Lion in the Meadow and The Seven Chinese Brothers, paid reparation to the owners of the car she hit and another parked in front of it.
"Nothing was going on except I did have a drink that morning before I set off but, really, what put the level up was apparently because I had been drinking the night before," Mahy said. "I've been told the alcohol can carry through to the next day, but I didn't feel that drunk or anything.
Asked if she had a drinking problem, Mahy replied: "Well obviously when you black out and everything like that, you do have a drinking problem.
"This was just one of those stupid occasions. I don't usually drink in the morning, I almost never do that. It was just that I was in a bit of a rush on my way to the airport."
"Well look, goodness gracious me. I was at fault and when you've been around a long time and are reasonably well known, that makes the news and you can't afford to be too precious."
"We would ask she is judged on her life's work rather than one single incident," said publishing manager Lorain Day.
In 2006, Mahy received the Hans Christian Andersen Award for a "lasting contribution to children's literature". Her novels have been translated into German, French, Spanish, Dutch, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, Finnish, Italian, Japanese, Catalan, Afrikaans, Russian, Mandarin and Icelandic.