I used to have “Sunday Morning Communion” with Murray. I would be working out in the garage and I would hear “Hey Piper!” from behind the garage wall, where there was a creek running through his property. I would go out round the back of the garage and there he would be, standing in the creek in his gumboots holding a half G of beer. We thought it was great fun, hiding there and having a beer.
Last year we had our first trip overseas, apart from Australia. First we celebrated our Fiftieth Wedding Anniversary. We had a bit of a do with some friends at the Cossie Club – that was a good night. Then we went on a fifty day trip around the world, which was enjoyed by both of us immensely. We started off in Hong Kong. We went from there to Britain, through Britain into Calais and into France. Through France to Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, back to Switzerland, into France again and back to Britain. In England we went down to a place called Oakhampton, catching up with some friends we knew. They gave us a great time and took us all over the Moors. From there we went to Bath. I thought Bath was a magic place. We visited Stonehenge and all those areas about there. I sat in a pub which first got its liquor license in 1436 and had a beer and yes, it was warm. I don’t like English beer that much.
We traveled from there to West Kirby and spent a few days with Peter, Colleen’s brother, and his wife Guyan, who took us around everywhere. Continuing on from his place to the Lake District, we did some great walks around the different areas. We went to Appleby to see Appleby Castle, because Appleby is Colleen’s maiden name. We got there and the castle was closed and we could not get in, which was a shame. We went on a trip to Ireland, via Chester and Hollyhead in Wales, to catch up with Keith Twaddle, a mate of ours that used to belong to the harrier club. He lived at Dunleary (or Dún Laoghaire). We caught up with him for about four days, and while we were there we went down to his local. He said to the girl behind the bar there, “These people are friends of mine from New Zealand”. Her reply was “That’s your problem, not mine”, which made us all laugh.
From there we went back to Peter’s. Had a few more days with him and went on to Bristol to visit with Bridget, his daughter. While we were there we walked across the big bridge there, the Clifton Suspension Bridge. It is a very high swing bridge, 127 feet to the deck and they are very proud of it. Then we went to London, where we stayed with William (Peter’s son) and Jill, his wife. We learned to use the Tube – great people mover. We went to a show while we were there. The show we saw was Les Mis. We had seen it here in New Zealand but we thought we would like to see it in London. It was absolute magic. We also visited a lot of the London attractions. Then it was the homeward journey, through San Francisco, where we met up with Colleen’s sister Judy, who had been in America at her daughter’s place. We enjoyed three days there. The weather was just out of this world. We went across the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito and saw lots of other things. From there we came home. It was an absolutely marvelous time. We were really pleased we had done it last year, as we would not have managed to do it this year.
I have filled in my time since I retired doing bits and pieces. Two things I really enjoyed was a hot air balloon ride that Colleen and I did, and a ride in a Tiger Moth at Paraparaumu Airport, doing loop the loops and all sorts of acrobatics. I wore a flying cap with goggles, and a sheepskin flying jacket and it was magic! I was still making some model planes, and there was enough garden to keep me busy. We got mountain bikes and did a few rides with a group of people.
We were still doing some walking with the Harrier Club until a while ago. We have done the Abel Tasman, Queen Charlotte, the Picton to Havelock South Relay. Also a big crowd of us did the Havelock North 10K, which was great. The last bike ride I managed to do was the Hastings Around the Vines, which was 28K. I managed only the 20K’s – the last bit was just too much. That was in March this year. It was a great time with some really good people.
My health has gone down a bit this year. We were supposed to have done the Central Otago Rail Trail in April this year, but I could not manage that, so we went down to Christchurch with the group that was doing the ride and we just had a holiday there. We went to Akaroa for the day and stayed with Noeline and Bruce Lawson, friends of ours. It was just after that that my health really did deteriorate.
My first heart attack was in 1982. I was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1999. I had a triple heart bypass in 2002. Then my prostate cancer returned, which has bowled me over to what I am today, but it is really only since April of this year since we came back from Christchurch that things have really got worse.
Sadly, Terry's health deteriorated rapidly after his 77th birthday in April 2008 and after several hospital stays he went to Te Omanga Hospice for assessment. He was determined to leave there and go back to his home town of Upper Hutt, so after a week he was moved to Elderslea Rest Home for full time care. He tried to fight it, but cancer is a vicious disease and eventually he sucumbed, with his wife of 51 years and myself, his eldest daughter, at his side. He is missed so much and each day it is very hard to wake up to the realisation that he is no longer on this earth. I know though that he is with his family and mates, watching over us every day. We love you so much Terry and miss your cheeky grin and funny sayings.