At a time in our early New Zealand life where I was ready to put out an ad in the local paper saying "Grandparents and/or extended family wanted!", Gay came to us like a beacon of hope. Initially she was just going to babysit our girls for an evening, but within no time we'd all fallen in love with her and adopted her into our little family. She inspires me with her joie de vivre, her unwavering zest for life and her unshakably positive outlook. She never just feels "fine", she's always "wonderful" and when asked about her weekends or days off they always seem to be "brilliant" or "fabulous"... Now that is definitely a sunny attitude to aspire to! Gay fills the room with laughter, treats everyone she meets with kindness, leaves people feeling good about themselves and is just a complete joy to be around. She also has that certain wisdom that only comes with a certain age and for the stories and lessons she has shared with me, I am extremely grateful.
Dear Gay, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your kindness, for the joy you've added to our little family and for the many nights you've made it possible for us to join the adult world... X
Now over to you:
1. What does Lovelyness mean to you?
Watching the sun set from Muri Beach, Rarotonga. In truth, any sunset from anywhere is always lovely.
2. When are you happiest? What brings you joy?
Waking up! Particularly on a warm summers morning, birds singing and the start of a new day- a new start. Feeding the pukekos gathering at my front door waiting for their breakfast. An exciting game of All Blacks and/or Mooloos rugby. Last, but by no means least, being pain free. Winter brings aches and pains so roll on spring and summer.
3. What are you most grateful for in your life?
To be physically active. I am grateful for the ability to ride the “biscuit” behind the boat and ride my bike, albeit sedately. Family and friends and to be financially secure.
4. What would you list as your top 3 priorities in life?
Now I am concerned that I sound repetitive:-
- Security, both financial and emotional. It has taken a while to be both and many lessons have been learned.
- Family, of course. When my children were old enough to leave home, one doing his OE, it was a matter of letting them go. Our children are only loaned to us, so I needed strength to allow them to learn their own lessons in life.
- Friends. If you haven’t heard from a friend for a while, give them a call. I have friends all over the country, because I have lived in many places in New Zealand. A friend from Napier Facebooked me the other day saying our friendship is 45 years in the making. Friends will come and go in our life, each giving us a lesson or maybe they needed one from us.
5. Who’s your current role model and why?
The Dalai Llama. A Buddhist and vegetarian. He once said of the meat served on his plate at an invitation dinner “I ate it because it was served to me.” Such a humble being. Although I don’t follow the Buddhist regime, I do find inspiration in their teachings.
6. Who do you see as being lovely and why? (Famous or not)
My daughter, Vivianne. Kindness shines from her like a beacon. She is a very down to earth and generous soul. Judi Dench, because she is teaching us to grow old gracefully. And I’ll take as many lessons as possible on that subject.
7. What's your favourite type of food?
In the winter – home made soups with crusty bread, lavishly spread with soft butter. In summer – salads.
8. What are your favourite pastimes?
I enjoyed my Nissan NX but now just love my Suzuki Swift. We travel round the upper North Island at every opportunity, without any thoughts of the petrol cost. Her rego is HLF and a friend suggested she will be a Hellova Lotta Fun. True to form. A petrol head at heart – V8’s, stockcars. I have been driven around Bathurst Circuit and have been in a pit crew for a stock car. Nothing like getting my hands dirty. Lovely!
Dining out with friends, the occasional game of cards and taking the opportunity to join any spontaneous outing.
9. Do you have a favourite quote?
"Stop letting people who do so little for you control so much of your mind, feelings and emotions." by Will Smith - I LOVE THIS QUOTE.
10. Where’s your favourite place?
Rarotonga. Warm days in the pool or ocean, balmy evenings drinking cocktails. Always in the company of beautiful people.
11. Which is your favourite season and why?
Again, I am sounding repetitive... Summer – camping at Lake Whakamaru – here we come! Boating, hopefully. And family time. Christmas in Wellington with Vivanne and her boys.
12. Do you have a signature style?
Twinsets and pearls. Just kidding! I don’t have any particular style in my home other than everything has its place and I like to keep it tidy.
13. Who was your biggest inspiration growing up and how have they shaped who you are today?
My parents. My Mum, because she was the least egotistical person in my life. I was never given anything that would be discarded in the short term, so I always received gifts that would be useful or educational in my life. My Dad, because he was firm but kind. He was more my caregiver as Mum worked long hours. He was a very understanding man and taught me to be an independent person.
14. Which qualities do you value most from those closest to you?
Truthfulness, integrity, sincerity and spontaneity, not necessarily in that order.
15. What are your best attributes? What are your worst?
Best - Love of life and respect of others. Worst - My anger overwhelms me sometimes
16. How would you most like your friends to describe you?
Funloving, enjoys life. Bubbly.
17. If you could pick any place in the world to live, where would it be and why?
There are pros and cons for any country we choose to live, but in New Zealand we don’t have to travel far to attend any enjoyable event. We are reasonably financially strong. There is no war, famine or disease (to any large extent.) There are no dangerous animals or insects. Yes, we do have unsafe areas, where we need to be sensible and keep safe. But we have the most beautiful scenery in the world.
18. What are your aspirations for the future?
I aspire to keep happy in hopes that it is contagious.
19. Can you recommend: a lovely song, a lovely movie, a lovely book?
- Book: “You Can Heal Your Life” by Louise Hay. A great reference book for most ailments.
- Movie: “Out on a Limb” starring Shirley MacLaine. Her life experiences are quite parallel to my own.
- Song: “I Believe in Angels” by ABBA. There is something good in everything I see.
20. Any Lovely Last Words?
Live every day being kind to all living things. Never go to sleep with anger in your heart.