Letters home, 2001, Graeme

Greetings from Graeme, 2001

So good to hear from you again. Shirley is trying to fatten me up, but I don’t mind. The effort is doomed to failure in spite of the excellence of her cooking. I warned her “You can’t fatten a thoroughbred”. Some people just can’t take a hint. They have to try.

Your time for the London Marathon is awesome. I told the guys at work. They found it difficult to believe my ELDER brother even ran a marathon, never mind the time. Mum and Dad are both very proud of you too. I saw them last weekend.

I took Shirley up to Pauanui for the weekend and stayed at the Pond’s beach house. It is so good to be able to use the place now that Hahei is no longer in the family. I am not sure how much longer Allan and Alison are going to be able to keep it. Allan sounds weaker every time I talk to him on the phone. I mowed the lawns for them and Shirley cleaned the windows. We had a great time, drank a lot of Karlee’s coffee, played minigolf and pool and had dinner at the Sports Club, and almost took the ferry to Tairua on Sunday, which was Mother’s Day, the official excuse for being there.

The ferry Timetable did not suit, so we drove round with flowers and a card for Mum and a Bible! for Dad. They are both in good health although a little vague. Mum is inclined to be a bit weepy and Dad’s Parkinson’s is getting worse. He is now in almost constant motion; even when he is sitting still some part of him, mostly his face, is still moving. Mum was vey glad to get your card. It had pride of place on her dresser.

Abby and Geoffrey are both doing well at school. Abby has started high school and Geoff intermediate, and both are regularly coming home with commendations, Abby with excellent results for projects and Geoff for being an all round good guy. It is very encouraging.

My own job continues. This boat is a long time in the building, but I am determined to see it to the water. We are told that the builders will be allowed to go along on sea trials, but I will believe that when I see it.

Near the end of your letter you mention that one of your English workmates asked you to tell him about his own country. Funny that isn’t it that we take our own back yards so much for granted. I still have not seen the South Island, a situation I intend to rectify this Christmas. I am sure that the most casual visitor to Godzone could tell me things about The South that I have never seen. Shameful really.

I hope you guys are both well and you find a new job soon.

Have fun and God bless you and keep you.

Fondest regards,