Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Old friends, memory brushes the same years (Simon and Garfunkel)

Time it was, and what a time it was, it was...a time of innocence, a time of confidences.
Long must be...I have a photograph.
Preserve your memories; they're all that's left you.

More from 21st April 1984:
Patrick, SWMBO and Lyndsey

With Clay (best man), Margo
(MC) and Chris Loud

Patrick and Jacky's friends

The Knowles 2 sitting left with other friends

The Marbecks 2 standing back right

Love and peace - Wozza

Monday, April 28, 2014

Sail away with me honey, I put my heart in your hands (David Gray)

John Lennon got it right - all you need is love.

Except it's not that simple is it. That was a statement rather than a question.

It's a start and without it you can't build something that lasts but I'm not that naive. Okay - I am, but still...

I look at that picture on my last post and can't help thinking about those two characters who pledged their lives to each other (I take those vows VERY seriously). I look at that photo of my mum and dad on their wedding day April 18 1953 from the post before that and can't help thinking about them as well.

As George Costanza knows a good relationship needs a good meeting story. 

My father was a young gun pharmacist working at 171 Queen St (Eccles Pharmacy) and my mother was working at 192 Queen St (Lewis Eady's record department). He would visit the store looking for jazz records and bringing her some perfume of his own concoction to sweeten the deal. 

He got the brush off but he never gave up. They were so different, from different social backgrounds, with different interests.

My mother recognised this and tried hard to shake him off but he was persistent, my father, and, according to my mother, he gradually wore down her resistance. 

By a complete fluke of timing and location they had met and eventually one thing lead to another (wedding, children, life together, illness, death). As it does.

Me, Deedoo, Grandma, my brother Ross.
Prior to this my father came about because somehow my grandfather saw something in Christina Holden.

Unbelievable. There must have been something there that Harry found wondrous but I could never figure out my grandmother. She always seemed old (Harry - Deedoo, was never that) and unknowable. I only once saw her being compassionate and it seemed so out of context it lodged itself firmly into my memory.

Stop me if I've told you this before - we were having Christmas dinner at their place - Reimers Ave, Mt Eden and a women walked in the front door - she was clearly disoriented - turned out she had wandered out of a nearby nursing home. My grandmother was quick to be supportive and understanding. Shocked the hell out of me!

Ma, Ross and our mum - Dulcie Mary Purdy
My other grandma - Ma - was the complete opposite: gentle, always compassionate, loving - things she passed on to her daughter (my mum). How she ended up with her husband Henry is a life mystery too. 

He left her as soon as my mother was born (their fourth child) for another woman. We never met him. Why would we? He was only ever referred to by the grownups as a negative presence but...she had fallen for him. They had had three boys before Dulcie. They had had a life together in Taumaranui. After he ditched Lucy gathered up the Adsett family and moved to Auckland. Mum attended Cornwall Park School. My father had also moved around with his parents work but they also settled in Auckland where he attended Mt Albert Grammar.

Mum had a variety of jobs after leaving school and was happy at Lewis Eady's. Dad had become a pharmacist and was happy at Eccles Pharmacy. A fluke set of occurrences and then BAM!! I arrive on planet Earth.

All this got me thinking. What leads people to find each other and then stay together?

What is love? is the most popular search on Google (according to The Guardian). Here are some thoughts from different points of view:

Love is chemistry in true love, or attachment and bonding, the brain can release a whole set of chemicals: pheromones, dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin, oxytocin and vasopressin. However, from an evolutionary perspective, love can be viewed as a survival tool – a mechanism we have evolved to promote long-term relationships, mutual defence and parental support of children and to promote feelings of safety and security. 

Mature love develops over a long period of time between long-term couples and involves actively practising goodwill, commitment, compromise and understanding. I have no doubt that my parents were faithful to each during their thirty year marriage.  

At its best, however, all love is a kind a passionate commitment that we nurture and develop, even though it usually arrives in our lives unbidden. That's why it is more than just a powerful feeling. Without the commitment, it is mere infatuation. Without the passion, it is mere dedication. Without nurturing, even the best can wither and die. 

The paradox of love is that it is supremely free yet attaches us with bonds stronger than death. It cannot be bought or sold; there is nothing it cannot face; love is life's greatest blessing.

Me? I'm just out to find a better part of me. Being around SWMBO helps me on that pathway. I've put my heart in her hands.

Love and peace - Wozza

P.S. This post inspired by some questions Jade fired at me today and questions we fired at her about her new young man!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

And everyday I am learning about you, the things that no one else sees (The XX)

Thirty years ago, on the 21st of April, about 4 o'clock in the afternoon, Jacqueline Frances Smith, age 22, never previously married, said, "oh go on then" to a humble secondary schoolteacher aged 26.

My memories from that time are pretty clear.

It was a cracker of a day in New Plymouth. A tad windy but fine. I know this because we had to have our photos taken indoors rather than beside the Waiwhakaiho River (or wherever it had been planned for). 

I watched bits of Singin' In The Rain in Margo and Clay's hotel room where I got changed for the big event and I remember smiling a lot during the day.

Mr and Mrs W N Purdy with Mr G N Purdy
As you can see, I looked 18 but I felt great. The day before we'd had a car crash outside the venue (we were rear ended just before turning into the place) but we were both fine - shock and a few superficial cuts only, however our car was a write off so Sallie kindly lent us her wheels to go on our honeymoon (south to Wanganui and Wellington).

Many or our friends and family had made it down or up or across to join in the festivities. In fact many of the present whanau you see on the bottom right column of this blog were there.
Fast forward 30 years - photo by Jade 21/04/14

Sadly a few people could not be at the wedding of the century: namely our mums - my mum had passed away the previous year and Jacky's mum couldn't make it up from the deep south.

Also sadly, a few people are no longer with us in 2014 to help us celebrate our 30 years together, but we feel their presence in our lives still.

So - be upstanding, raise your glass and drink to SWMBO and me and our pearler of a partnership over the last 30 years and here's to the next 30.

Love and peace - Wozza

Friday, April 18, 2014

Hold me and kiss me and tell me you're mine ever more (Toni Bennett 1953)

Jack Adsett and his sister Dulcie
The second HUGE wedding anniversary in April belongs to Graham and Dulcie Purdy. 

Without this wedding there would be no Wozza's World and without Wozza and SWMBO's wedding there would be no Sammy/ Jesse World. 

Crazy paving - it all links together into a crazy pathway. Hmmm - deep!

1953 and there are only 2 million people living in NZ. The National Party is in power under Sid Holland. 

Marilyn Monroe rules at the box office (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes) and Frank Sinatra moves to Capitol Records.

This is also the year that Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay reach the summit of Mount Everest and put Nu Zild on the world stage.

April 18 1953 was a cracker of a day in Mt Eden, Auckland. St Barnabas church was the scene as Dulcie Mary Adsett was given away by her big brother Jack.

Off on their mystery ride 1953
In attendance were friends and relatives, notably the bride's mother - Lucy, and the groom's parents - Harry and Christina Purdy (pictured above bookending the new Mr and Mrs Purdy).

The reception was held at the Lewis Eady music store in Queen St., where Dulcie was an employee. I guess there was an upper floor where the wedding breakfast was laid out. 

The happy couple would honeymoon on the exotic Norfolk Island.

It was to be a rock solid marriage lasting 30 years; the two providing a loving home for two boys that only ended with Dulcie's passing in 1983.

God bless them both.

Love and peace - their eldest son

P.S. 1 Whanau member Mervyn Francis Hynes (third cab off the rank in the above photo) provides some great continuity. He's escorting fellow whanau member Nita Selman who would also have a large part to play in the Purdy family in the future.

P.S. 2 BTW in a nice touch - the bride's wedding band also links this event in 1953 to Samantha's in 2013 as she now wears that ring. Graham Nugent Purdy would approve!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

It really moved me (The Passions)

April is chock full of anniversaries and birthdays in Wozza's world.

Hip Hip Hooray to Jynette, Nita, SWMBO, Sallie and Dulcie Mary Purdy who all have April birthdays.

There are three HUGE wedding anniversaries to celebrate as well. Without two of them there would not have been the third. Huh? Stay tuned for the next two posts and all will be revealed.

Jesse wonders anew about the in laws.
So, let's start with the third one shall we.

This time last year we were in San Francisco - the beautiful city by the bay - for Jesse and Samantha's wedding of the century.

It was such a spectacular event thanks largely to our extended American whanau who were fantastic hosts. 

We all fell in love with the city and with the people we met there. 

There's nothing like it - when the lights go down in the city and the sun shines on the bay, I want to be there.  

I'm sure the whanau will join with SWMBO and me to wish the younguns a very happy first anniversary.

Love and peace - Wozza

Friday, April 11, 2014

Ooooo, I hear laughter in the rain, walking hand in hand with the one I love (Neil Sedaka)

SWMBO shortly before the
butter melted.
So - someone's having a birthday soon. 

That someone would be Jacky Purdy, affectionately known as SWMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed) in this weblog.

The LOML (Light Of My Life) celebrates mmmmmmm years on Monday 14th.

Please swing into the spirit of things and send her a message - you can use her Facebook page, email her or write a comment to this post.

Here are some other cute photos of the current Mrs Purdy.

The phone prop was genius!

Happy birthday gorgeous!

Love and peace - Wozza

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Master of the house, doling out the charm (From Les Miserables)

I love Seinfeld. Again - this is not news, I'm aware of that.

I've started watching it again from Season One - I think Jade and I last did this when we were living in Stratford so it's past due. Unfortunately Jade isn't home these days to share this experience, and SWMBO doesn't get Seinfeld so I'm watching a few episodes each day before school when she's asleep.

After a shaky pilot (billed as The Seinfeld Chronicles) it quickly got into a more natural stride and gave hints of the greatness to come. Season One was quite short - only five shows.

I'm currently in Season Two (thirteen shows) and I've laughed out aloud during every episode so far (and I know these episodes well - trust me!).

There were some iconic Seinfeld moments in Season Two: I had a pony (The Pony Remark); Elaine's father and Jerry's monologue about fathers - The hell with the world, I can make my own people (The Jacket); I'm never eating here again (The Busboy); thin ice George - very thing ice (The Baby Shower); the George rendition of a Les Mis song (also in The Jacket); my mothers making a roast o potatoes (The Statue); maybe the dingo ate your baby (The Stranded); and you know we're living in a society (The Chinese Restaurant) are only a few.

This clip from The Chinese Restaurant episode in Season Two tells you all you need to know about why I love George Costanza, Jerry Seinfeld and the show itself.

The comic timing by Jason Alexander is superb. My laugh aloud moment - George beckons Jerry over and says after a pause - If anything happens here, can I count on you?

Love and peace - Wozza

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Daylight dims leaving cold fluorescence (Tool)

It's April and you know what that means don't you! Yes a new quote from my 2004 calendar: 'Small opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprises'  from Demosthenes (although it's misspelled on my calendar as Demmosthenes).

Demosthenes, renowned as a great Greek orator and statesman, was born in 384 (or 383) B.C. He died in 322.
His death was actually quite bizarre.
Demosthenes' troubles with the royal house led to his death. When Alexander insisted that the Athenian orators be delivered to him to be punished for treason, Demosthenes fled to a temple of Poseidon for sanctuary. A guard prevailed on him to come out.
Realizing he was at the end of his rope, Demosthenes requested permission to write a letter. Permission was granted; the letter was written; then Demosthenes began to walk, quill pen in his mouth, to the door of the temple. He died before he reached it, of a poison he'd kept in his pen.
His most famous quotes include this pearler - “All speech is vain and empty unless it be accompanied by action.” 

Either quote was entirely appropriate in 2004 as I set about planning the family's migration to England by flying there for a three week job hunting exercise that ultimately led to a job at King John School in Essex.

We've had Keegan and Jade staying with us for a few days. We had some amazing discussions. Some of them were over just these things - small opportunities that potentially lead to something great.

Keegan was amazed at the stars in the night sky. It's an example of something we take for granted living on Red Phoenix Farm in the middle of Central Hawke's Bay. He's right too - the night sky is amazingly clear lately - crisp nights and lengthening shadows and the end of daylight saving this coming weekend herald winter's approach.

Excellent! Jade and Keegan and I enjoy the darker days! SWMBO hates winter!

Love and peace - Wozza