Wednesday, 4 September 2013


This is the last spring we celebrate in this house.  More to follow in my next blog.  Yesterday  I took a photo of our yellow plum tree.  It's a bit like a Christmas card with its radiant display of white, green and red.  In late afternoon I sat on the balcony and absorbed the bridal beauty of this gorgeous tree with the rata and red camellia in the foreground.

Plum tree, native rata tree and camellia bush.
 During the past week our family has been absorbing memories.  Memories of being together as a family with Foster and Frances arriving from Thames in the North Island to take part in the 50-year celebration of the Survey School at the University of Otago.  Foster and I enjoyed being part of Basil Jones' party at The Link on Friday night, a special occasion for both of us.  For Foster it was good to meet up with his 1984 entrance class mates, and for me to see so many students I met during the nearly quarter of a century working at the Survey School.  It was delightful to catch up (and recognise!) people I knew as young students and to be recognised as well.  A warm and sincere time.

 Foster and Frances enjoyed the special Survey School celebration dinner at the Toitu Museum on Saturday night.  This is such a lovely photo of them, dressed up to party.

Foster and Frances ready to celebrate.
 Earlier in the week we had another special memory occasion when two couples visited us, all connected through the School of Surveying.  Ever since I retired we've stayed in touch with Allan Blaikie (Acting Head for several years) and his wife, Mary.  They moved to Rangiora and we have lovely memories of staying with them and being totally spoiled.  We spend a lot of time going back to the old days.  The other special couple to visit us came from Auckland.  As always, so lovely to see them too and to bring back the old days but also focussing on the moment.  Sylvia and Norman Sloper are in the same position as we are: moving house.  Norman's first wife, Pat, was my colleague at Survey School.  She died tragically in a car accident.  Sylvia's husband, Gus, died several years ago and now it is wonderful to see how Norman and Sylvia have found happiness together.  Our children have known these couples for many years and it was a special treat for them to meet up with both couples.

ltr: Mary, Sylvia, Norman, Allan, Ray, Bart, Foster and Frances
 I end this blog with the Metro For Sale sign in our drive.  The start of ending forty years of living in our 'brown' house with its glorious views and more than fifty years in this wonderful suburb.  Howie, the photographer, came on Tuesday afternoon and I saw myself as a 'snow plough', removing unnecessary items before the photos for the internet were taken.  But, he made a beautiful job of those photos as he managed to get my 'certain hill' (a previous blog) in many of them.