|Pohutakawa at Macandrew Bay, Mount Cargill on the right|
After my last blog I had a wonderful email from my friend Cocky and I want to insert part of it in this week's 'edition'. Her words brought back so many memories and although they are in Dutch, I thought it would be good to put her voice on memory.
--- Dierbare en gekoesterde herinneringen. Vroeg in de ochtend zwemspullen verzamelen en samen op weg naar St Clair. Zwemmen in het heerlijk warme, zoute water. Met de zon op ons gezicht onder een strakblauwe lucht waarin af en toe een krijsende meeuw over vliegt. Ik kon jou onmogelijk 'bij benen' en dus zwommen we ontspannen in eigen tempo afgewisseld met korte! 'babbelpauzes'. De bonus voor de ontspannende inspanningen was een cappuccino/ espresso op het terras. Met een verse abrikoos. Uitzicht op de Pacific, plezier om de stuntende surfers, de warme zon en warme vriendschap. Het delen van gedachten, ervaringen en zwijgen. Het constante, rustgevende geluid van de golven. En terwijl het hier vriest dat het kraakt, de eerste schaatsmarathons op natuurijs worden gereden en de voorspellingen over een Elfstedentocht steeds luider gaan klinken, voel ik geen kou maar de warmte van vriendschap in zomers Dunedin.--- Dit zijn de beelden en gevoelens die voor mij gekoppeld zijn aan St Clair hot water salt pool. Een dagboek heb ik nooit bij gehouden maar sommige gebeurtenissen en indrukken staan in het geheugen gegrift.
Thank you, Cocky, for sharing memories across hemispheres. And I feel the same way and realise how fortunate we are, not only to look back on favourite times and places, but also to have access to so many ways of direct communication. For our family the past week has been fraught with difficult situations which we luckily enough now could share straight away with our family and friends overseas. And when, in a few weeks' time, we hear the results of these difficult meetings, we can do the same again and live in hope that the outcomes have been favourable.
We are also fortunate to be able to listen to music, as much as we want. Classical music for us and now and then country or any other kind of music, but for Miriam it's Andrea Bocelli. Every Saturday morning approx 8.30 we go to our fantastic Farmers Market near the Dunedin Railway Station and every Saturday morning a personal carer arrives at that time to help Miriam getting ready for the day. But before that I'm regularly reminded I have to put a CD on. I then ask Miriam, 'which will it be today?'
Miriam has always listened (and danced - before the stroke) to music, the favourites have been numerous but the last few years she loves to listen to Andrea Bocelli, and her favourite CD is still 'The Best of Andrea Bocelli Vivere. She must know it by hard, tries to sing along in her own way, has the cover with her, looks at it (HIM!) constantly, and her favourite is the Celine Dion duet 'The Prayer'. Miriam never lets me forget this routine since routine has become so important to her, more now than ever before. Sometimes it's hard. Very hard. At five past twelve: 'Mum, lunch!' 'All right, darling, but I just need to hang the washing first.' Grumbles, sighs and then a gracious 'thank you' when lunch finally has been made. But I'm diverging, as I wanted to say something more about music.
Bart had a nine-hour melanoma operation in September 1998. He was told to get his affairs in order as he most likely wouldn't see Christmas. As part of his recovery, even during the radiotherapy stage, he would lie on the sofa and listen to J.S. Bach's cantates on the portable CD player which his work mates at the Otago Regional Council had given him. The skills of an amazing surgeon, the power of positive thinking and the power of music have all worked wonders.
Thank you, Tony Allison, for taking this photo.
|Bart on our balcony. Photo by Tony Allison.|
The sad news is that Penelope and her husband Raymond (also a writer) will leave Dunedin at the end of this week, initially heading north towards Auckland. We will miss them both so very much. GO WELL, YOU TWO!
|On dry land again:Penelope and Huberta, January 2013|