Monday, June 2, 2014

Classic Kiwiana and Old Friends.

Have you got an old, old friend that you spent a very short time with, but the memories are so strong in your mind? Mine is Jenny Scown.

Jenny found this 1960's mirror and then put in her own photo of a Crown Lynn Vase with hibiscus.

When Jenny and I were 17 years old we travelled together to the US to be American Field Scholars. We stayed all year with one family; mine lived in New Canaan, Connecticut had four kids and was incredibly good to me. (In fact I don't know how they put up with me.) Jenny went on to become one of New Zealand's top photographers and now has a gallery called Inspirit (please call in if you're anywhere near Hamilton, it's a real treat; clothing, sculpture and vintage pieces). Anyway she just emailed from New Zealand to say she has my mirrors ready. 

She scoured the Hawkes Bay for two mirrors from the 1960's and then put in her own photos. I'd say the look was Kiwiana , which means old timey stuff, color and (my personal favorite) a healthy touch of kitsch. Can't wait to hang them.


Jenny's picture of Wainui Beach

Here's Jenny's photo of me and her at the end of our AFS year. I don't think I've ever seen this photo but from what I can ascertain I've put on the requisite 30 lbs (well done me!) and Jenny has...lost weight? Wait... did she not get the memo? As you can see, Jenny was her usual smiley self and it was elasticised dresses (and scowly face) for me!

Jenny in her cloud shirt and me in elasticised dress, age 18, on an interminable bus trip somewhere in the US.
We hadn't seen each other in 30 years until I called in to her art gallery two years ago. It was so so good to see her. After hearing us talk, Kevin, the old hubstar said: "You really didn't even spend much time together."
"But it was such an important time in our lives." said Jenny.

Talking of the old hubstar, Kevin went on a three-day hike by himself up in the hills. "Classic mid-life crisis" said Harley as he drove away. Better than a Maserati, or fresh baked blonde I say. Plus I fully expect him to write a memoir bestseller a la Wild. Get cracking Kevin!

Kevin emerging from his three-day hike in the Santa Cruz mountains


Today is Jackson's 15th birthday. Yesterday we got a suite at the Oakland A's baseball (which starred in the movie Moneyball) for free (not sure how that happened. ) I'm not much of a sports watcher so I spent three hours eating frightening food with sauces in nuclear-reactive colours.

Jackson and friends at the A's game pouring yellow stuff on other stuff.


Oh to be 15 and hang your socks over the edge

Jackson in Ohope Beach when he was six.

This afternoon I'm off to New Zealand until Friday week. I know, I haven't been able to think about it with a work deadline looming. One of the kids asked why I was going. I said: "To bond with my tangata whenua (family) and finish my novel."

Or did I say.... "To get away from you guys, sit on the couch all day and eat Mum's sticky date pud for breakfast."








33 comments:

  1. enjoy your trip and looks like he had a grand birthday indeed

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  2. Sticky date pud would be worth the flight. Have a safe trip and good luck with the writing, dates are good brain food I hear.

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    1. its soft, gooey and caramely. and must have pouring cream on top!

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  3. Did you only have sex with your hubs in September?! All these May/June babies. Have a fun time back home.

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    1. Now that's a classic Kiwiana comment BB!

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    2. I really am a fourteen year old boy...my mind just works that way. Sorry Kevin.. Only three more months then she's putting out again.

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  4. Enjoy your trip! Have some Minties and chocolate fish and Vegemite for me.

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  5. You gotta love a guy who can go off hiking by himself for more than an hour.
    Have a good trip!

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  6. Happy birthday, Jackson!

    Hope you have a great kiwi vacation!

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  7. Oh, make sure to take lots of photos! :)

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  8. Have a wonderful time back at your homeland with your folks.x

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  9. When I look at 18yr olds now, I think how different they looked to me (us). I had that same unsure scowly slightly smiley face but when I look at the French girls, they all seem so confident and sure of themselves. They flick their hair casually and strut down the road. I don't think I've ever strutted since I dressed up in my mum's dressing up box clothes and pretended I was someone else.

    Did Kevin smell a little ripe after his trek in the wilderness?

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  10. Hi Jody, I loved your blog and it brings back such great memories. It was a special time in our lives. I made special friends like you and treasure all the good times I had over the year in Wallingford Connecticut and travelling around the country. I do remember when we met and how I instantly liked you and I still feel the same all the years later. I am so glad we are back in touch and part of each others lives again. Have a great time in Ohope reconnecting with the Whanua and enjoying all the good things you miss when you are not here. I really enjoy your entertaining blogs and wit and humour. Keep up the great work your AFS Buddy Jennyx0

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  11. Enjoy your trip Jody I and I look forward to reading about it on your return :)

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  12. Off you go!You will be missed am certain of that!Enjoy your parents and friends!

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  13. I am insanely in love with the second option--- please be sure to share photos once you hang them! Meanwhile, I hope you have a fantastic trip!

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  14. Bb said what I wanted to say! ;))) have a great trip x

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  15. What a fantastic way to channel a mid-life crisis. My husband has taken buying a new car in his own hands (I always bought my cars myself, thank you very much) and is currently trying to convince me I need a Ferrari. Seriously. *rolls eyes* *tears hair out* This is so not going to happen.
    Btw, you have NOT put on any weight. And you both look like dolls!!!

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  16. Enjoy your trip! As for old friends, I have a few of the ones you mentioned. One I must have known for only a year in childhood before we lost touch. In our early twenties, thanks to MySpace, we finally got back in touch and she asked me to be her bridesmaid. We hadn't even seen each other since year 5 but the friendship was very dear to both of us and I found she, like other friends I had known briefly in childhood, was someone I spoke most honestly and candidly with. Some part of me thinks the reason we cling dearly to those friendships is because they happened at a time when we were most "ourselves". Those friends knew us before we realised we had to tone down certain aspects of ourselves to fit in in adult society or something? What do you think?

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  17. Birthday wishes to Jackson & I hope you enjoy your trip xx

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  18. Have a lovely trip!
    Old friends are those who shared our rites of passage, that's why they're always special.
    Sx

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  19. Friends like these are the best you hook up where you left off after 5 mins it's like you have never been apart. I think that was a great mid life crisis a trek how lucky you have been he's a keeper. Enjoy New Zealand.

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  20. I had a special Jenny - her real name - in the sixties/seventies - her husband was a painter and she was a potter. We only really got to know each other when she moved away from my area and we realised we were going to miss each other. For years we told each other everything, met up in London to see great plays and films and generally had a ball together. Then our lives changed but we still managed a couple of emotional reunions until they decided to go back home - New Zealand.
    The memories don't fade.

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  21. It's so cool! Lovely ideas! the round mirror looks like the ring I've used from Boca do Lobo. But it is so stylish! lovely!

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  22. Happy Birthday to Jackson (belated) and good luck with the escape, I mean have a good trip! (please may I come too? I really need to escape this menagerie!)

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  23. That is so cool that you reconnect with your friend after so many years! Sounds like your son had a wonderful birthday and I hope you have an awesome visit with your family.

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  24. Those mirrors are GORGEOUS! Such a lovely story.

    Have a great trip!

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  25. Those mirrors are just fabulous. I can imagine it would be worth flying all the way to New Zealand to enjoy not only your Mum's company but her sticky date pud which sounds divine!

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  26. Jody hope you are having a great time. I adore those mirrors and her photos. I think it's so lovely to reconnect with old pals. I got the same feeling at my last school reunion and yes, some of those peeps weren't even the people I hung out with...It's more the shared experience for sure... Good luck with the novel and deadline!! So exciting..Happy Birthday to Jackson. Now we both have 15 year old Jacksons! x Kim

    p.s. Our husbands should be friends. That sounds like Max's idea of heaven.. He just got back from a 3 day canoe trip..

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  27. That's you and vinogirl at the A's in the same week...I must be missing something.

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