Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Set adrift on memory bliss of you (PM Dawn)

You angel, you (You may say I'm a dreamer - Chapter 2, pt 6)

I shared my mother's life for twenty-six years. I'm 58 right now. I've lived longer than she did.

That's nearly 33 years without her. I've felt pain for every one of those 33 years.

There are no days that I don't think of her and miss her terribly. The power within that little frame is a hard thing to do without.

Tragically John Lennon and Paul McCartney lost their mothers when they were very young too. John was about 15, Paul 14. They didn't recover either. That pain and the repression of those feelings helped bond them and lasted throughout John's life. I can identify.

1983 became a huge year. 

I was teaching at New Plymouth Boys' High School in 1983, my first year in my first teaching job. The year had been a good one in many ways. Serendipity had led me to New Plymouth, teaching at a school that was much like MAGS.

I had applied to teach all over NZ during my final teaching section at Keri Keri High School in late 1982. I sent applications off to state schools, private schools, single sex and co-ed schools, north and south island schools, town and country schools. Nothing!

When I headed back home to Ramelton Rd. to lick my wounds Tom Ryder from NPBHS rang me for an interview and gave me the job there and then. Weird how life works out. 

Prior to my first day, mum and I drove down from Auckland and stayed in a little motel at the base of the school in Coronation Rd. Some friends in my Teachers' College tutor group invited me to stay with them at their family's beach house at Oakura. While there I answered an ad for a flatmate at moved into a house in Spotswood with two girls (Moira and Anne).

Year zero NPBHS
A month after starting teaching, Moira had a birthday on February 26. To celebrate, we headed to a posh place on Devon Street and from there to a party that Anne had been invited to. I was dressed in a suit (as you do to eat out at a posh place), but it turned out the party, organised as a going away for someone, was a fancy dress. Aarrghhhh!

I felt like a complete plonker. I was introduced to a few of Anne's friends. One guy, clearly gay, called Patrick Cameron, had come as Batman. After we'd chatted I went to get a drink. Sitting down, people watching. Next thing I know, this gorgeous vision in an orange flamenco dress sat with me, and, was inviting me to dance!

And we did! And it was love at first sight.  

Sounds like I'm making it up! But I swear it's true, I was just about to say I love you, love you, but was...

...the next day. Moira, Anne and I were in a car driving around Hawera for some reason, we went by Ronald Hugh Morrison's house, and I asked who this vision in orange, that I'd fallen in love with, was.

Jacky Smith. And Anne knew her from theatre. And she worked as a shop assistant in a fashion store, Accessory House, on Devon St.

I screwed my courage to the sticking place, and went in. There she was. Still a vision, I hadn't dreamt it! I mumbled something and asked her to lunch at the Govett Brewster Art Gallery. OMG - she said yes!!

We started going out. I was in heaven and couldn't believe this woman (five years younger but so much more mature in all ways) was actually spending time with me.

By November 1983 I'd moved in to 33 Lorna Street with her (Patrick Cameron, her flatmate, had moved out). We went to Auckland during the year and I'd shown her off to mum and dad and Ross. 

Everyone approved.

Love and peace - Wozza

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