Sunday, August 10

Islands of Pleasure..

It was so nice to recieve photos of the 2 little girls, complete with the quilts I sent them.
Here is A with her Raspberry Ripple quilt. All snug, in Auckland's filthy winter weather, at her Nanna's house.

And here is S with I Spy, also taken at Nanna's house, fending off the chills of Auckland's winter. S took 'I Spy' to school for Show & Tell, & explained to her class mates how you can play with the quilt.

I am so thrilled the girls liked their quilts. Their Nanna is, of course, Best Friend J. I have been reminiscing again about times with BFJ, when we were young, & how much fun we had together.

When we first went to the Southern City together, we had to stick together, as our culture seemed just that little bit different from our Southern countrymen.

I have blogged about this before, here.

We were teased as being from an 'inferior Island', much like the rivalry between Melbourne & Sydney. The North & South Islands had this mockery of each other's customs, & speech dialects differences.

There were certain phrases that seemed to mean something different in the Nth & the Sth. It seemed odd to BFJ & I. We had always thought there would be no differences. After all, we had come from virtually the same stock, as in English, Irish, Scottish, Welch heritage.

Auckland did seem more cosmopolitan, I suppose. There was a larger variety of heritages, in that the Dalmations, or Dallies, as they were called, had come as 'Gumdiggers', initially, & had become Vineyard owners, with wonderful names, & diverse cultural ideas. Christchurch, that Southern City seemed to be very English. Of course Dunedin, was supposedly Scottish, but we didn't get to live in Dunedin.

We were teased mercilessly, & it came as a surprise to us. We had never thought of the two Islands being seperate. We only thought of the whole country as New Zealand. Even our accents were different- who knew?

Oh, those Southerners had fun, educating us to the ways of the Southern customs. We had thought we were so worldly! How naive we were! How strange some of the couples we met!

The wife, who was never without a cigarette dangling from her mouth, & as she drank, her face would melt & almost fall off the end of her chin. Her hair would sag, her words would blur, & she turned into some ruin, in front of our eyes! She would 'freshen' her makeup. The ruby red blush on the cheeks! The scarlet lipstick, slightly off the lip line. Hideous blue eye shadow, to the brow!

BFJ & I were really shocked. We had never seen the likes of such a person. Her husband, a huge tall, thin, bloodshot-eyed, balding, drunken creature. I think he only lived for his next drink. We had never met people like these in the course of our 'sophisticated' lives!

How strange, the weekend 'sports'. The 'drunken' cricket matches, a sort of Sunday ritual, where the buses took players & parents, (some of them, to later become our in-laws, perhaps to our dismay!) & they all mostly, proceeded to get drunk! It really was eye-opening to us, sheltered as we had been, in spite of thinking we were from the 'Big Smoke', as Auckland used to be called.

Our first outing to a Country Race meeting. We dressed up, wore dresses, high heels, & were unsure of the what was entailed, really. How we laughed, in secret surprised horror, at the drunken tipsy women, all dressed in stockings, high heels, & some in hats, who sat on the grass eating pies from paper bags, & drinking beer from paper cups! The shoes, lying abandoned on the grass, shunned. So this was sophisticated Country Racing??

I had only ever been to the races as a child, & was well protected from such scenes, if indeed they had been similar. All I really remember is a horse biting my fingers, -mistakenly, I was hastily assured, as I screamed in agony & bewilderment, & was to develop a lifelong mistrust & fear of horses.

Of course, there are other memories of wonderful friends we made, who were 'normal' by our Northern standards. Quite apart from those we married! haha.

Couples, married, buying houses, having children. Leading happy lives.

One such friend, who named her firstborn after me, is coming to stay with me for a week. She will arrive next week, & I am so looking forward to her stay. She has visited us here twice before. Once with her husband, & once with a girlfriend. We always have fun, & always enjoy her stay.

Slava Grigorian, The Sounds of Rain, parts 1 & 2.


fifi said...

On holiday once when I was twelve I met a boy from Dunedin.
In what i can imagine was my best australian bogan-tinged accent I said:
"Gee you've got a strange accent!"
to which he replied in perfect Etonian English:
"Its frightfully better than yours!"

So I always thought of Dunedians as very posh. You should have gone there, it may have been vastly more civilised.

Joyce said...

The girls look very happy with their new quilts. They are beautiful (both girls and quilts!)

Thimbleanna said...

How fun to see pictures of the girls with your quilts. What a great friend you are Meggie!

jovaliquilts said...

What sweet photos of the girls with their quilts! Lovely to know they are so appreciated.

I've learned so much about life in Australia from your blog. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

What gorgeous quilts!! Cute kids, too :)

Mike said...

It's funny how customs within the same countries can vary so much. We have that same thing here in the US between the north and the south and west.

Of course the east doesn't really count. They are a custom in and of themselves.

Lovely quilts Meggie.

Bren said...

The quilts are gorgeous and look much loved!!

smilnsigh said...

Precious pictures.

Hope your visit with your friend will be just as wonderful, as others have been. Enjoy!

Miss Mari-Nanci
'Smilnsigh' blog

Molly said...

Looks like those little quilt custodians are very happy with your work!

Rosie said...

the closer the communities, the more intense the rivalry...

Tanya Brown said...

A wonderfully colorful post, Meggie. Thank you so much!

Those are some happy quilts and happy little girls.

Strider said...

In the Norther Hemisphere, we are in the "dog days of summer".....looks like you guys are in the "dog days of winter." Godd news for both of us....our heat is about over, and your cold weather is just about over!!! Have a good day.

ancient one said...

Those are beautiful girls underneath your beautiful quilts!

Enjoyed the little stories of you and BF.

bluemountainsmary said...

Fantastic to see the quilts being used - thanks for sharing!

I love the descriptions of the people you met - so vivid - I could see it all very clearly.

The Sagittarian said...

Haha, we're still abit like that...truth be told, we're probably WORSE these days!! One-Eyed Cantabrians, Dorklanders...on it goes. Great story Meggie and lovely quilts!

Ali Honey said...

How lovely to recieve photos showing you how thrilled the girls were with their quilts.

Do enjoy your friend's visit. What fun!

Kellie said...

Have fun with your friend Meggie it will do you good! Nice to see the girls snuggling their lovely quilts.

Quilting Kim said...

Those little girls truly look happy snuggling with their quilts. They say that a photo is worth 100 words - so true!

Finn said...

Hi Meggie, the quilts look so very sweet, as do their new owners and users *VBS* No place like home, except Nana's house *S*
And hurray for old friends and long visits. Have a wonderful time and make lots of new memories. Big hugs, Finn

Linds said...

Great memories are like those beautiful quilts, Meggie - wonderful to take out and snuggle under!

crankydee said...

the quilts are great. much better then the one I sent to a little boy - bugs in jars - turns out he is frightened of spiders (and there are a lot in the quilt) an eight year old boy frightened of spiders. go figure

MarmiteToasty said...

Ive ALWAYS wanted to learn to quilt and today in the post arrived me first quilt book to start me off.... well, first I have to read it from cover to cover...... how strange that I popped over here and there are the two most beautiful quilts that you have made with 2 beautiful girls under them :)

Wish you lived near so you could teach me how to do it lol


Margaret Cloud said...

I envy you creating such beautiful things, the quilts are sooo nice, just stopping by to say Hi.

Laurie from Rotorua NZ said...

Hi Meggie

Nice of you to drop into my blog, I took a quick peek at yours and will return when I have time to spend what looks like a few hours to catch up with many awards!!! I have just had my first I was so proud as proud as a Grandma could be......I have not quilted for my grand 4 boys yet I thought may be when they are a little older may be 6 or 7 may be the best age...they had baby quilts of course, and Mummy also quilts so they are not deprived...will drop in again
love Laurie