Sunday, 26 February 2017

#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.

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