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 Post subject: First Girlfriend
PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2018 12:44 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2005 6:46 pm
Posts: 1207
Location: Masterton New Zealand
(I thought I had posted this before but I can't find it. Apologies if it's there somewhere)

First Girlfriend
Perhaps not the very first girlfriend but the first serious one. At the co-educational school of Takapuna Grammar , Margaret Sheffield, or Meg as she preferred to be known, was a very intelligent girl, always near the top of every subject she took at school where I was always in the middle. She was not a beauty in the normal acceptance of the phrase, but with a lovely nature and curves that attract young men like a moth to the flame. At the age of thirteen she had climbed Mt Cook with her father, who had been an alpine guide, with experience in the Himalayas and Kilimanjaro in Africa. We became partners at the regular dancing lessons after school which, the teachers hoped, would further our social careers in later life. At the school drama club, she helped me in my role of Professor Higgins in the school production of “Pygmalion”, which was well received by the local community, and parents and teachers. On school trips to the Tongariro ski fields the class stayed at the Rotorua ski club hut and she skied besides me as I fell off frequently and in doing this she diplomatically taught me much about what she was already skilled at. While she was always friendly and smiling she was no door mat and told me off on occasions, such as when I was a little unkind to her younger brother at Takapuna beach.
In my last year at school we paired up for a school fancy dress dance which involved gender swapping. It was here that I realised how difficult it was to dance backwards. She wore a fine moustache, workman’s boots and trousers with braces, finished off with a fine red neckerchief and a flat hat. My own attempt involved a long black wig, mascara and lipstick and magnificent eyelashes. I also borrowed a bra and two pairs of socks and although I had worked hard in the previous couple of years at learning how to unhook a bra with one hand I had never mastered re-hooking it and needed her assistance which she willingly gave with much laughter.
My last sight of her was on a moonlit night on the desert road at 1 am, when I dropped her off, at her request , to climb Mt Ruapehu, as I made my way from Auckland to Palmerston North intent on my latest project.
We were very fond of each other but we each had very definite ideas of what we planned to do.
It was many years later that I discovered that she had become director of broadcasting in Nepal, as a contracted employee of the BBC. There was a connection with Nepal by her father’s involvement there and his love of the Nepalese people. She was influential in many areas of broadcasting when she returned to the United Kingdom until a sad event occurred. She had flown back to New Zealand for her father’s 90th birthday but after attending that she had been killed in a traffic accident in Auckland.
A strange event happened only a couple of years ago as I worked in my part time capacity at the Settlers Museum in Waipawa. Four young Chinese on a working holiday picking and packing apples had a day off work and visited the museum. Things were very quiet so I gave them a guided tour as I explained the various exhibits and how they related to Hawkes Bay history. They spoke very good English but I was struck by something about one of the girls. Her mannerisms, her laugh, and even her gestures reminded me of Meg, even though I had not thought of her for years. A couple of years previously I had been asked to do the display of cameras, projectors and related items, as I had a photographic background. When I had nearly completed this I had felt that we needed a couple of large black and white prints to fill a gap and I had chosen a couple of myself and a travelling friend from my archive of many, many large photos that I still had at home. As we approached the display the girl pointed at the photograph of me and said in a very surprised voice “Oh ! That is You!” pointing at my 52 year old photo! I think even my mother would not recognise me now. How had this friendly Asian done so ? Maybe there is such a thing as re-incarnation.

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 Post subject: Re: First Girlfriend
PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2018 8:46 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 11:56 pm
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Location: Solihull, UK
What a lovely story, Michael. Thanks for sharing it with us. :)

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Blessed are the crack'd - for it is they who will let in the light.


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 Post subject: Re: First Girlfriend
PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2018 11:36 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2003 6:40 am
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Location: Canada
Here we are:
viewtopic.php?f=7&t=3138&p=33555&hilit=girlfriend#p33555
Your stories are always worth multiple reads.

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 Post subject: Re: First Girlfriend
PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2018 11:28 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2005 6:46 pm
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Location: Masterton New Zealand
:D Dammit! I missed it. I usually add to the file each time I post it, a date & destination then save that.

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 Post subject: Re: First Girlfriend
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 8:26 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 09, 2005 5:07 pm
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Location: Chattanooga TN USA
Agree with Torre, Michael. Are you a trained storyteller?


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 Post subject: Re: First Girlfriend
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 10:20 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2005 6:46 pm
Posts: 1207
Location: Masterton New Zealand
I think two of the most useful things that I got into Lee, were genealogy and U3A. One encouraged the other to write down anything and everything that would be construed as interesting by descendants. I was very touched with this particular effort when I made contact with her daughter in the UK and sent it to her. She was very moved in her response which made me feel good.

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