Yesterday I found myself hunting through boxes in a cupboard on top of a seldom used wardrobe looking for the wonderful list we made of our possessions when we shipped them back from the UK.
It was quite a morning. First I tripped across London – re-learning the history of Brentford (Julius Caesar et al) from a real estate agents handout (!) and looking at our darling wee house on Enfield Walk. It was built in 1863 and according to my neighbour, had apparently been a butcher shop with living out the back and on top. I suppose someone of an historic bent could’ve found a list of previous owners but I preferred to think that while settlers were setting out to stuff up New Zealand, someone was in my kitchen buying a chop. As I looked at the photo’s I remembered Keith on his knees laying the intricate 19th century paving up the path and just as quickly, how slippery that path was when it rained but if there was ever unconditional love for a house, I had it for that one.
In another box were photographs of my kids in the states when they were young. And of us all beside a series of Christmas trees when we anchored ourselves back in New Zealand.
After that my hand fell on a packet of old photographs that brought back wonderful memories of me laughing with Dad in the basement as he played his records and told the sort of stories that only he could tell. Of my sister, oozing energy hunting for a geocache box. And with my first true love dressed up for the 1973 Niles High School Prom that I cannot recall one second of now.
Then I found the letter from Susan Shaw. A childhood friend of the best kind, updating me on her crush on both actors in ‘The Man from Uncle’ and sending me an address to write to them. She added in the one for the Beatles as well – ever hopeful that I’d develop the same sort of enthusiasm she had.
And on it went.
I never did find the list I was looking for but it certainly wasn’t a wasted morning to realize how much of my life was shared in amazing places with wonderful people and how grateful I am to still actively share it with those that remain. I’ve also discovered Napoleon Solo is dead but Illya Kuryakin is still tottering along which leads me to believe there is a bit of life left in us old dogs yet. So to all my old friends who’ve made similar world journeys and to the new ones who are longing to explore what lies on the other side of MIQ (Mandatory Immigration Quarantine) – ‘Lang may ye lum reek’ – and don’t slip on the fancy tiled paths in the rain.