114 Comments
Mar 5, 2022Liked by David Slack

Wonderfully rendered recollections which resonate with so many of us. I don't think the Golden Weather ended, more like it retreated to our memories.

May I just put in a totally subjective and unscientific plug for the clumsy. My theory is that such minor disabilities, just like verbal non fluency or a certain amount of shyness, often lead to empathy and insight later in life. If things always come easy for us, then it leads to an unrealistic expectation of the same in others (and more often than not the Linked-In/Koru life). I am pleased you missed that tendon however, imagine a David Slack who couldn't type for us!

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I like this theory :) Cheers Quentin

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Mar 5, 2022Liked by David Slack

I like your theory, you may have a point that I hadn't considered before re 'minor' disabilities. I was a 'clumsy' kid (still am) and I have been a counsellor for over 20 yrs!

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Mar 5, 2022Liked by David Slack

Well that was a lovely bit of writing.

Took me right away from the current chaos and worries and on to a lovely nostalgia trip. Thanks David.

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Cheers Rob. I sometimes feel it’s a kind of dereliction at such moments , but this tells me it’s not, and I appreciate it

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Mar 5, 2022Liked by David Slack

It's not. Gentle reflective writing helping maintain the balance.

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Mar 6, 2022Liked by David Slack

And funny and quirky along with depth and wry wisdom.

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🙏

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Mar 5, 2022Liked by David Slack

My first time in a plane I’m with mum and my little sister, we’re going to Nanas in Gisborne, I don’t know it’s cos mums finally left dad, but we stop in Wellington first, I’m looking out the window as we come into land and I see all these little houses, “whose are all the doll houses?” I exclaim loudly and everyone around us laughs and the air hostess fills me and my little sister pockets up with lollies.

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Snap. My mother took me to Gisborne where g/dad was manager of USSCo . I don't remember traveling there but I do remember being flown home alone after they reconciled - on my own in a new woolen camel colored coat with a luggage label pinned to it and feeling important although I was very small. It was a DC3

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The frustration is all the lost blank bits! I have no memory at all of being in the air

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Mar 5, 2022Liked by David Slack

My aunty and cousins lived in one of those doll houses overlooking the airport - I used to love visiting them when I was little!

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Coming some Sunday: Wellington visit memories :)

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Oh boy. That’s a trip x

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On the overnight interisland back with mum- destination Oamaru - I swallowed the .22 cartridge case uncle Brian had taught me to whistle with. The steward came in a white coat

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!!!

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Of course there was more, Sir!!!! Before we got home to Leith Street in Oamaru there were these GI's on the train from Chch who were nice to me and one of them let me play with the best cigarette lighter I ever saw. Pistol shaped. Trigger operated. As soon as we got off the train mum took it and said he gave it to her. A week later we went out to our backyard, by the chook house, down by the rail line to wave to the GI's returning north. I waved like crazy while she lifted me up. We could see them in their uniforms sleeping against the windows but none waved back. I think mum was as disappointed as me. Dad would have been at work delivering telegrams on his pushbike. Did I mention I was x-rayed at the Oamaru Hospital for the shell and we had to save my potty jobs to make sure it came through? Anyway, it did in the end and mum took that off me as well. She told the hospital and they told her to bring me back straightaway because I had a spot on my lung and they had been frantic trying to find us.

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Mar 7, 2022Liked by David Slack

And? You can't just leave us hanging...

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And they told my parents the shadow was a bit of food. More recently, but before Covid 19, a grumpy heart surgeon said to me and my witness wife, "We don't know what it is."

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Mar 5, 2022Liked by David Slack

My never-ending childhood beach summers were spent at Waitarere Beach - farm boy and siblings find salt water, bluebottles, shelfish and the rusty wreck of the Hyrdabad. You’ve bought those memories to the surface for me, thanks David. Lovely story.

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Marvellous! Yes, Foxton most for us and I’d forgotten how much those bluebottles loomed! Crabs too

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Mar 5, 2022Liked by David Slack

Yes, the Hyderabad. DIdn't know what it was called in those days. We moved south when I was 10 and I was disappointed to find most beaches did not have a "pirate" ship buried in the sand.

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Every beach should have one 😎

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Mar 5, 2022Liked by David Slack

Waitarere & the Hydrabad for me too Ian. And also for Michele A’Court? Thanks for the memories David. And the memory of the awe of summer holidays as a kiddie

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How about that! I’ve always thought of you as Devonport!

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Mar 5, 2022Liked by David Slack

So neat to read and picture you as a kid and your family. Instantly brings back memories of a Sunday morning running to the front gate to bring the milk in, tripping up the front steps, smashed glass, milk everywhere, still have the scar under my chin! Flying unaccompanied to Whangarei to stay with richer cousins in their flash house in Kamo, endless games of draughts and dreaming of moves, having steak for dinner which we couldn't afford at home. Hundreds of bluebottles on the coast at Glinks Gully (Ripiro Beach) legendary tales of ambergris from whales and heaps of glass balls from the Japanese trawlers, scary trips down the beach to the lighthouse at Pouto, itchy bites from sea lice on the coast at the Akl Eastern beaches where we grew up. And later for me the wonderful smell and ad for Coppertone! Thanks for a wonderful start to the day, big sigh as I return to the realities of now.

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These are wonderful memories Deb. Thanks so much!

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Mar 6, 2022·edited Mar 6, 2022Liked by David Slack

"Memory filters out the grey days, so maybe what remains is too golden and generous, but memories are places you live too and they make a warm place to be." So true.

Orewa was where Uncle Ray and Auntie Bernice owned a Motel for a while. But before they were too busy with that to do anything else it was where I would be taken out fishing on Uncle Ray's boat with cousins Donald and Stewart. About 1972, it's also where and when I first learned about real grown up swearing. One morning the outboard motor spluttered and died after we had passed under the bridge and were heading out through the quite high surf on our way out for a day fishing. The the rapidly deployed emergency seagull motor then fell off into the sea as Ray was pulling madly on the rope to start it. By this time we had drifted close to the rocks north of the bridge, the front hatch came loose and started banging around the front of the deck. The last thing Uncle Ray screamed before he jumped off the back was "You kids get get in the cabin and some cunt close that fucking hatch!" A few seconds later the seagull came flying back out of the water onto the boat, followed by Ray dragging himself up the small ladder. Cousin Don meanwhile was lying under the hatchway pulling the hatch by its chain as we topped another wave and, when we hit the bottom, I watched as he floated up and broke his nose on the hatchway edge. Just as Uncle Ray got the main outboard started - he'd forgotten to turn the fuel tap on and the carburettor had run dry. No fish were caught by us that day.

Coromandel was Uncle Beam and Aunty Hilda's batch, even earlier - mid to late '60s. Just Beamish and I (little Ish) plus the dog and the 12-gauge in the dingy up the creeks among the mangroves. Sometimes we'd come home with a dead duck or two (and be spitting lead balls onto the saucer at dinner the next day or two) but more often Beam, Ish, and Dog would be duckless, soaked to the bones and covered head to foot in mud. Grinning ear to ear.

I can't remember any of the early '70s school student exchange trip to Kawawaka where I was boarded with another family for a week (or was it two) and felt utterly, completely miserable and homesick the entire time.

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This is GODDAM OUTSTANDING

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Mar 6, 2022Liked by David Slack

We took turning reading aloud our favourite sentences. Post of the day imo.

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Mar 5, 2022Liked by David Slack

Oh, David! This is just what I needed today. A delightful wander down memory lane to the joys and dramas of childhood holidays. So sad for your lovely cousins, amused by the world but so few years for them to enjoy it. My first holiday away from my home in Dunedin was on a sheep farm in Waimumu near Gore, staying with family friends. I was seven. Fred the farmer invited me to join him on a "bunny hunt" the next morning, and I was beyond excited at the prospect of cuddling bunnies. Your imagination can provide the reality ...

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Oh boy! I can see and hear it all. Poor 7yo Jill!

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Mar 5, 2022Liked by David Slack

Hahaha, surprisingly untraumatised - more astonished!

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Mar 5, 2022·edited Mar 5, 2022Liked by David Slack

I had a very similar experience, also near Gore. I was a little older, if not wiser, and knew what 'hunting' meant. But I was not prepared for the fact whole families of rabbits, including babies, were going to appear in the sights of the .22. Fortunately the city boy never hit anything.

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Mar 5, 2022Liked by David Slack

I don't recall Fred missing any! I hoped until the end he would let his daughter and me keep one baby, but no. Friends with the daughter until this day. Happy memories of many farm holidays each August.

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Mar 5, 2022Liked by David Slack

It is unfair to make me cry on a beautiful Sunday morning. Also the Coppertone jingle is now stuck in my head: “Tan tan tan, get a Coppertone tan tan tan. Whatever kind of skin you’re in, red skin, white skin, yellow skin, brown, Coppertone makes you go browner”. Was a geeky kid myself with no clue about anything - thanks for this lovely piece xx

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❤️

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I was trying to find an image of the bottle from the 60s but no joy. Boy but they advertised, didn’t they

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Mar 5, 2022Liked by David Slack

Kia ora David, What a beautiful, poignant story. It’s a lovely tribute to your generous aunt Adrienne and uncle Brian, and to your cousins, smiling Trish and Nicky who saw only 39 summers. Thinking of Charlie in his tinny on the Manukau, the last of his family of origin. And thinking of all the new stuff we’ve learned over the past two years as a result of covid. Not as much fun as lilos, curry, coke, surf, flying! What joy, despite breakages, blood and bandages!

Your beautiful writing nudged lots of joyful summer memories of beaches in Tai Tokerau Northland before they were Auckland satellite suburbs, with people long gone including my brother who knew too few summers.

Ngā mihi nui David. Enjoy your Sunday.

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Ngā mihi Niki. Grows bittersweet doesn’t it x

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Mar 5, 2022Liked by David Slack

Sure does David.

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Mar 5, 2022Liked by David Slack

I'm stunned. That photo of you in the shallows looks the spitting image of me circa 1965. Except that I would have had my collar buttoned up, and it would have been Petone or Eastbourne not Orewa. You've brought back memories I didn't know existed.

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It’s the damn haircuts I reckon. So many memories eh. Very glad to have helped.

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Mar 5, 2022Liked by David Slack

Supplementary question. Did Aunty Adrienne's curry have sultanas and apples in it?

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I wish I could remember. The exchange during the stitches is vivid but memory is absolutely blank of the dinner that night

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Mar 5, 2022Liked by David Slack

Gosh that was lovely. Thanks.

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Thanks Andrew

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Mar 5, 2022Liked by David Slack

I spent summers up at Orewa - my grandparents had a bach somewhere around 440 Hibiscus Coast road - probably went to the same dairy! The one just set back from the road? My grandparents sold it in the early 80’s which was a real shame! But today the place is so different.

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Very possible - I wish the fragments were fuller

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Mar 6, 2022Liked by David Slack

Thank you David, I have been pondering what your storytelling made me feel and I think it was a sense of hope and changed my thinking to what is worth striving for rather from feeling the despair of what I am fighting against, and the difference is powerful.

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Mar 5, 2022Liked by David Slack

Man, this one resonated with me.

We used to drive through Orewa on our regular journey from rural Northland to Auckland to visit our city cousins.

As we came in through the satellite communities, someone would always say, apropos of nothing, "Hatfields Beach, that's where Rob Muldoon has his beach house."

I too carry an interesting scar on my wrist from a childhood accident. However, we lived in a very small rural village and a trip to the doctor was a long (and rare) journey, hence no stitches for me. Bandage it up and carry on. I quite like my big old white hypertrophic scar these days, but it does look like I've had a real go at self-harm at some point in my life.

And you guys had Coppertone? Ooooo! How Fancy! We had good old Rawleigh's sun lotion. We got some impressive sun-burns anyway. My brother and I took great enjoyment from sitting in the tent and peeling strips of dead skin off each other's back once it started to slough. How we are not both melanoma statistics, I have no idea.

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Truly, summer after summer of peeling

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Mar 6, 2022Liked by David Slack

I remember the Rawleighs Man. Big brown leather case. Remember an Arthur Swindley type one.

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Mar 5, 2022Liked by David Slack

I think I might have known your Uncle Brian – after all, how many Brians were there back in the day (I knew him in the late 1970s) who sold books to schools?

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It’ll be him for sure

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Mar 5, 2022Liked by David Slack

He was a character!

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This is very correct 😉

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Mar 5, 2022Liked by David Slack

We camped at Waikanae. Bluebottles and so many crabs in the water you'd put a foot down and feel them scuttle away. Another foot. More crabs.

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Mar 5, 2022Liked by David Slack

Waikanae was also our beach - we used to take the nets out to catch flounder and, yes those, blue bottles. We also had another place which provides most of the sweet memories - a "secret" spot on the Reikorangi river in the hills behind Waikanae, over barbed wire fences, down an enormously step cliff we would take everything we needed for the day including a bbq for the evenings' dinners and the lilos to float from one swimming hole to the next. We'd be there from morning to dusk. Dad would have his transistor on quietly listening to the cricket when he wasn't in the water with us building dams and hunting for eels (but ever hopeful we wouldn't find them). My mum would work on her tan, hijack a lilo when she needed to cool off and provide copious amounts of yummy food. Still my favourite place of anywhere, which you can no longer access.

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Mar 5, 2022Liked by David Slack

Haha, David, you've triggered lots of wonderful memories thank you (as evidenced by the length of my previous message 😂)

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love this, Sally

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