Good Times

Good Times? These are a few of my best, from childhood on…

  • Spending time with aunty’s seven kids during school holidays – bike rides out to the river, spending the arvo at the local park…
  • Finishing a party at someone’s house by cooking a fry-up with whatever was in the pantry/fridge
    (despite cleaning their flat out of food for the week)!
  • Riding on the outside of Wellington’s Cable Car – heading back to the flat after a night out.
    (Only a leather strap to hang on to.)

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  • Working in the music-cassette section of a record pressing business – and being called in to help the boss decide what the heck to do with “Ma Na, Ma Nah”.
    (This before Sesame Street had hit the TV screens. If not for me, no one would have heard it for another seven-odd years!)
  • Learning to crochet a baby layette for my first-born… lemon 3-ply wool, in a shell pattern.
    (Quickest learning a handcraft I ever have managed.)
  • Teaching self-defense to my eleven year old pupils.
    (From then on they could disrupt any trouble in the playground by asking “Does anyone here need help?” Oh, the scrambling with reassurance “It’s only a play-fight!”)
  • Watching elder son machine knitting his own secondary school uniform pullover.
    (So proud.)
  • Reading good books to classes in which a third could not or did not read for pleasure. McBroom’s Wonderful One-Acre Farm to get them laughing, House of Sixty fathers to get them weeping.
    (“Not crying, Miss – just something in my eye.”)
  • The years spent with my dog, the Basenji I named Toffee, ‘cos he was brown and sweet.
    (This after asking my class to use the Internet for suitable names in the language of the breed origin – much glaring.)
  • Commuting between home town and uni city every week. 140 K on the straight listening to AC/DC. (And getting pulled up by the rural cop who’d seen me twice but stopped me on the third for a warning.)
  • Watching the cop fist-pump as he sang “Thunder!” on his way back to his patrol car.
  • Teaching – from five-year olds to sixteen-year olds, then tertiary-level students.
  • Breaking the secondary school’s rules, by not reporting the 16-yr olds who smoked. I mean, we gave them adult level responsibilities, so I gave them some “tips”.
    (“If you’re going to smoke when you’re driving in your car to school, hold the fag in your right hand, with your window open just a crack. The smoke will get sucked out and your hair won’t stink.”)
  • Joining the teens in the back shed when the ‘grown-ups’ were wining inside.
    (Better music, better gags, more fun.)

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