Sunday, 26 February 2017

A Tree Church on a farm, in a garden

That's where I went today. 

It had been on the list for a wee while. While I am not sure I would go again and pay $15 to walk around a garden, it was a lovely setting. 

It would be great for a wedding, and indeed I think it is booked most Saturdays for that purpose. The sky visible through the leaves and branches above your head, and fantails flitting amongst said branches.

Today though we happened to be there when a bunch of middle-aged women had taken over the church and were sat chatting and chortling away. It sort of took away the serenity and tranquility of the place. As we left a busload of old age pensioners arrived and they filled the church. We never got to just sit and immerse ourselves in the peace and quiet, as one would in most churches.

It could do with a wee cafe in the seating area, under trees near the office and away from the special-ness of the church itself.

#52Stories, Week 7, Who was your first best friend ? Are you still in contact with each other ? What do you remember about the friendship.

I really am running behind schedule with this !! But I WILL complete the challenge,

Anyway, who was my first best friend ? 

I had friends at kindergarten and at school who I used to have play dates with after school and in the holidays, and there were the girls next door who I played with mostly at weekends.

But, best friends ?

I think it would be Jo. 

We were buds at Miropiko Kindergarten, she was Joanna then. We went to different primary schools, not miles apart - but far enough that we didn't bump into each other at all.

At Peachgrove Intermediate some seven years later we met up again. By this time she was Joey, she still is to my Dad.

We had lots of fun, in class, at lunch times, after school and at weekends. At Intermediate we got to take cooking and sewing class. Jo was a whizz at sewing ! I was extremely jealous as it seemed I had inherited my Mum's genes and sewing frustrated me. Like Mum I did a lot of "negative sewing". Later though, away from school I did manage to overcome some of the frustration, and these days, if needs must - I can sew with the best of them. (well maybe not THE best, but there isn't as much negativity going on).

When we moved to Wellington, Jo and I became pen pals. In the school holidays she once came and stayed with me, and another time I went and stayed with her. If we visited at other times, I always made sure to meet up with her. 

We continued to write letters all through college, and our early working life. Our first overseas holiday (without parents) was to Fiji for two weeks, just us.

When I moved to Australia we continued to write, I must have used up all the pages in the "D" part of her address book with all the moving around I did ! (Ashfield, Artarmon, Campsie, Hurstville, Werris Creek, Bexley, Oatley, Clontarf, Margate)

When I moved back to NZ briefly in the early eighties, we actually saw each other again. Both married, and Jo with two little girls. I think we still wrote when we were here - long distance phone calls were an extravagance back then, and it was at least a decade before cellphone (bricks) or the internet.

Then it was back across the ditch for me and the writing resumed. Swapping recipes and news from Adelaide and then Sydney again. Then I joined the Mum club and we had more to share and compare. When I visited NZ we caught up again and the girls met each other too.

And so it went on. When I moved back to Hamilton we saw each other more, and then I moved to Wellington. The writing continued, and phone calls too on the odd occasion. New Zealand Post must have LOVED us. Some school holidays I rented a car and we managed to visit.

The internet came along and letters were replaced a bit by emails, and phone calls became cheaper - then text messaging too.

Today, we email, text and facebook each other to keep in contact AND visit.

Jo is the only friend I have constantly kept in contact with for most of my life. Whenever we see each other, it is like we had only seen each other the day before. Nothing is ever awkward. We still laugh about the same things, our interests have changed a little, and our lives have taken different paths, but our friendship has been constant. 

I hope it stays that way.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

#52Stories, Week 6, Do you mingle with a large circle of friends, or do you forge deep relationships with just a couple of close friends at a time ?

So February’s topics all are about love, relationships and friends – yay. All things I am an expert on – not.

I thought I’d have a go at some of the friend topics.

Do I have a lot of friends ? Social media would suggest so.

Do I mingle with a large circle of friends ? (like run around town in a pack ?) No.

Do I forge deep relationships with just a couple of friends at a time ? I guess so.

I have been thinking a lot about all of the friend groups I have been a part of growing up. They have mostly been girl groups – maybe that’s why love and relationships remain a mystery to me. Anyway, I'm focusing on the girl groups for now.

My first friends and playmates were the children of my parent’s friends. One was born the same day as me so we had shared parties sometimes. As I got older friendship groups sprouted in various places - mostly there was no crossovers. People were in that group, or in another group.

There were:

Neighbours, kids in the same street, or family friends and cousins
Kindy friends
Brownie buddies
Skating friends
Gymnastics mates
Bike buddies

Mostly when I was at primary school these friend groups were all quite separate. I only saw the skating people on a skating night or at a competition, the same with most of the Brownies. Some of them were in my class at school, but maybe not in the same little cluster as me.

At intermediate things changed a little - suddenly there were Kindy friends back in my circle, some girls from Brownies materialised at my new school too. People who had been in my classmate group at primary school moved into other groups, and their places were taken by new people who had come from other primary schools.

Then at the end of 1972 some of my classmates became part of my growing penfriend group, as we moved to Wellington. I had to start again. Over time I had

Girls' friends - who attended Wellington Girls' with me
Train buddies
Soccer teamies
Netball teamies

Some of these friends came along with me after school when I entered the big wide working world, others vanished and became distant memories. Then I had a variety of workplace buds (over time)

Bank of New Zealand peeps
Medical Benefits Fund people who welcomed me in Sydney
Mutual Acceptance acquaintances
New Zealand Electricity Corporation mates (young and old)
Westpac buddies - the CBA and the Wales'
the Yellow family
the Corrections crew
the international bunch at Hawkins

intermingled with these and sometimes crossing over like venn diagrams are supposed to 

Parentline Hamilton,
Hamilton Day Care
Girlguiding Wellington; Pencarrow and New Zealand
Wellington Cruise Ambassadors

Plus there were the flatties in Sydney, the roomies and housemates, and just like my parents - things went full circle and sometimes the parents of friends of my daughter became my friends.

Donna M, Jo, Nini, Dot, Ann, Mary, Coralie, Jillian, Kay, Beverley, Cynthia, Maureen, Diane,Marie, Sheryl, Sadie, Faith, Jan, Denise, Lynette, Carey, Susie B, Susie B, Robyn H, Robyn W, Debra W, Debra W, Elva, Joy, Donna R, Julie K, Bernice, Donna J, Margaret, Linda T, Maree T, Linda R, Sue, Patsy, Nell, Juliana, Helen, Michelle, Barbara, Claire, Sigrun, Joanne, Jane, Beverley, Lynne, Debra B, Debra N, Debbie H, Deborah S, Vicky, Barbara, Christine, Ruth, Louise S, Selina, Sue H, Sue G, Josette, Heather S, Linda P, Sue C, Debbie F, Karen, Lynne, Sue, Tracey, Trish M, Cushla, Prue, Heather L, Fiona M, Megan, Michelle, Cathy, Cath, Debbie C, Astrid, Donna S, Jan, Angie, Louise, Sue, Yvonne, Jenny, Trish D, Debbie W, Paula, Lee, Sasulu, Jamina, Shelley, Ann M, Ann M, Linda K, Linda B, Kim J, Kim B, Rachael J, Cindy, Sheila, Kirsty, Jacinta, Jacqui, Ruth, Kate, Emma, Livvy, Belinda, Lizzie, Becs, Trish C, Michelle, Sarah M, Lianna, Carol, Julie B, Lynda T, Tanya, Grace, Fran, Coral, Cheryl, Margaret, Fiona, Rae, Shell, Penny, Julia, Monique, Glennie, Trish P, Louise, Louise, Anna, Nicki, Nicola, Diane, Sue B, Julie F, Jill, Carri, Leonie, Colleen, Nikki, Nicola, Cheryl, Margaret, Pam, Ann-Marie, Judy, Carolyn, Katy, Rhonda, Marianne, Pamela, Michelle, Sarah M, Sarah C, Miriam, Lara, Carol-ann, Yuan...and probably masses more I will remember as soon as I hit "publish".