Home. I've lived in several houses in different places in NZ; the ones I lived in with my husband were home - "home is where we rest our head at night" we used to say. When he died I moved from Auckland to Christchurch where my daughter lives. I call it home, but it's not really. I've not yet replaced the pictures on the wall since the house was repaired after the shakings and I don't suppose I'll bother now. It's a perfectly nice place and I'm very grateful it looked after me. I know I can trust it not to hurt me.
But home? Home is the sea I guess, a broken-down little bach in the Bay of Islands, boat - only access. The small launch we had. The old fig trees, the remains of Maori trenches on the hill, the soldiers' brass buttons that sometimes were washed up on the little stony beach and slender white remains of clay smoking pipes. When a road was finally put through we went there so I could show my darling this magic
Heh! Lots of big glassy houses with views. All ghosts driven out. Now a website shows exclusive 'hideaways' for sale or rent. Not home any more.
But the sea is still there. I watched a Marae programme the other day on Maori TV and my heart lurched when I saw the river where my father's boat lived. Eventually he got a mooring at Opua, but until then we waited until the tides were right before we could chug down the river and into the open sea. Bliss. Home.
I recall that a few years ago there was a thread on PA about 'fromness'. Where are we from? If we are overseas and are asked that we tend to say we are from NZ. But when we are in NZ we tend to name a town or a city. I remember then that I had a problem defining my fromness. I'd not lived in Christchurch for long so I felt no attachment to the city - I'm loving the changes that are happening here now. I no longer felt that I was from Auckland. The Auckland I knew had grown grotesquely different from the city of my student days in the 50's. Even the harbour there was contaminated with floating gin palaces.
But I'm content now.
Next month Christchurch will be able to enjoy 'South Pacific', the musical. I'm hoping that those in the audience take in the message - a young man from the US who falls in love with a young native girl, but can't bring himself to actually marry her, acknowledging you've got to be carefully taught. A young woman from the US south who falls in love with a French man and his two delightful children. She has to wash that man right out of her hair when she finds out that the two little ones had a native mother.
Thanks for the story, Hilary. My mother sang the praises of Sister Kenny as a person who stood up to the medical fraternity and persevered. I well remember the 1940's epidemic. It was a fabulous time for many of us kids.Glorious summer! I was lucky because my folks had access to a primitive bach and I could swim (when the tide was right) and fish and when the weekends arrived my dad would bring our little launch and we would go fishing. I even saw a movie - we called in at the fishing lodge at Otehei Bay and they showed movies to their guests.
I seem to recall doing correspondence school lessons.
My husband, Leon, lived in Wanganui and made a canoe which provided many happy hours on the river. Many years later an astute GP discarded the idea that Leon's sore knee was arthritis, and after careful measuring of the legs said it looked like he had had polio. Casting back in time Leon recalled having pneumonia as a young man, initially diagnosed as swinging the lead. He was very week for a long time and that's when he probably had polio. And yes, some years after that he had post polio syndrome, and sometimes needed a stick for walking. But he knew how very lucky he had been.
I quite like having Mercep on in the afternoons. Means I can turn my little radio off and do some reading.
Not directly related to the budget, but I have 2 questions. Are people on 5,10,15 hours work a week included in the employment figures? And do people who work 2 or more jobs have to pay secondary tax?
"Anyway, thanks all. I had actually been struggling with what to say about this, but I just stopped what I was doing this morning and wrote the post. It’s a relief to discover I’m far from the only one feeling this way."
Echoing Russell here. I've just finished reading all the responses and I feel battered. But grateful for the knowledge and wisdom in so much of the writing. I was angry because I had been lied to over so many years, because only in the last few of my 80 years did I start making any sense of what it was all about.
And now the Armenians to think about, and the deliberate turning away from their significance. How could they?
I do. Watch Campbell Live every night. Recorded on MySky.
I'm frozen. There's a letter from EQC sitting on my table and I don't want to open it. It arrived this morning, and I know what's in it because EQC rang me a couple of days ago to say they were sending, I think, a 'package'. It would explain how they work out how much excees I have to pay for my repairs.
I froze when they rang, realising I would have to find the pile of e-mail printouts, and notes of phone conversations. Just thinking about those times is making me feel shaky. I never received anything back then mentioning an excess - I read about it in the paper some time ago.It will be a minimum of $200, and is based on the cost of the repairs.
Just writing this has unfrozen me enough to open the letter from EQC, and it's not the 'package' after all. It's an acknowledgement of a request I made for information about the cost of my repairs - it is an OIA.
The thing about all this is that my house wasn't badly damaged, the repairs have been done, after my doctor wrote to say that indeed my mental state was unsteady. (similar houses round me had been repaired) All in all I was, and am, extremely lucky. So if *I* froze just having to think about EQC, talk to them, have them back in my life, then how are those feeling whose claims are still being 'processed'?
Thanks for your story Greg.
Emma - I feel punched in the gut at your news. One of those times I want to scream "Not fair!!!".
I'm emanating positive thoughts to you, and I'll be reading your novel.
BenWilson puts in nicely "Usually it's just the death business". Yes, Business, Commerce is what it's all about. All sing "Money makes the world go 'round"
And thank you Marc C for putting up the link to Loretta Napoleoni.
81 first column - thank you for explaining some of the information many of us need in discussing Middle East 'problems'.