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
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.