Saturday, 16 June 2018


I'm home in Christchurch at last. Jane, our daughter, and I flew from Hamilton on Tuesday.

Yesterday was my 79th birthday. Jane and I and Ava, who has a nasty cold with a horrible cough, went shopping at new to me Garden Centre. I bought a bird bath and a frilled, white cyclamen with a decorative pot to put on my dining table. John and I had looked around but never seen anything we liked enough to buy. I'm sorry he wasn't with me, both to see and help me place it. He enjoyed watching the antics of birds around our bird bath at Matarangi. We followed this up with lunch in the Cafe before going to the supermarket. I got a few groceries before Jane took Ava to the doctor. Jane cooked a simple tea of pork steak served with a version Greek Salad based on what was in the pantry. Today  have chosen a seaside restaurant for lunch. It's smart, yet casual and a comfortable place to be with an active three and a half year old. John and I had considered The Beach Bar many times but not gone into until this year. It always seemed to be closed for remedial work following the earthquakes. I'm looking forward to going there today.

Coming home has not been as difficult as I thought it might be. There were hidden tears as we left Whitianga. I didn't want to upset Jane who was driving. It seemed that as long as I was in Whitianga I felt close to John and the life we had together on the Coromandel Peninsula. Leaving to come home was like saying final goodbyes. It felt sad to leave so many memories behind. I'll be back but it will be forever different. John and I spent time together there, either living or holidaying, almost every year from 1960 onward. Sitting in our car, being driven by Jane set off another wave of emotion. I was surprised by the strength of my feelings as Jane drove us away from the township. John and I spent many hours studying cars. We waited until we had a guaranteed sale for Mum's house before choosing a badly needed replacement car. We bought a brand new red Honda Jazz which John was very proud of. He loved driving it. John took the car for it's twelve month check the week before we left Christchurch.

The third day John was in hospital the doctor on the palliative team went over John's situation with us. John said he would miss two things. The first was his little Ava coming from her back door to our flat with a smile and a hug for Granddad, while the other was driving his car.

After John died I talked it over with family and we all agreed to give the car to our daughter. I haven't driven for over 6 years. I lost my confidence when I got Bells Palsy because  somehow it affected my eyesight. I don't really want to drive around the city and we are close to all the main bus routes plus there are taxis if  I want to be independent of Wayne and Amanda, who made it plain they don't want the worry of me driving

This flat I live in at our son's home doesn't feel like home and yet it is. It's nice to have things in convenient places for me but I've still got lots of re-arranging to do. We haven't been in the finished version for long. Less than nine months and I'm still surrounded by stuff that needs sorting out. Now I'm on my own everything will be different.  There's no need to consider John's ideas or his comfort. Living alone is a different ball-game. I would like to go to church tomorrow, but after two days out, I need time at home. If I want Jane's help I should start tomorrow.

It's been cold, with daytime temperatures around 13'C, (55'F), cloudy and wet. Today should be fine but don't expect to see much sun and tomorrow it rains again.

Later. We had a lovely lunch. It was all that I hoped it would be except for the fog. Even so it was beautiful and I loved watching families and dogs playing on the misty beach. We were able to go for a walk on the sand so Ava could run around too. I had Eggs Florentine with hollandaise sauce followed by Creme Brulee and Baileys Irish Coffee, just to prove I'm not 100% teetotal. Ava spent the rest of the afternoon watching Netflix with me while I dozed and Jane, Amanda and Wayne gardened and stacked firewood.


Jenny said...

So nice to see you blogging again ,but so sorry for your loss .

Lynda said...

Hi Ann, yes lovely to see how you are getting on. I emailed you regarding my visit - did you get that? Sorry but I didn't get over to the beach house to come and visit with you. What a sad time for you all - it sounds like you are coping well though and it's lovely to have family so close by... and little Ava of course!!

MargieAnne said...

Thanks Jenny. I would really like to get back in the habit og daily posts.

Thanks too Lynda. I've finally got around to replying to your email. I do procrastinate delaying my replies then forget to go back to them. It's a bit pathetic.

Nice to know that my blog is still being read by a few people.