Wow... that was a year that was!
It started with me taking on a new lease in life - back to being a classroom teacher. I must admit I was anxious to start with but the understanding and skills came back to me as the year went on. Many thanks to my very kind friend John Petrie for giving me the opportunity to test the water. Anyway the year in the teaching frame has been a wonderful lease of life for me. It's like I discovered the fountain of youth again.
However not all was bliss at the start of the year. Lesley and I were smacked in the heart when we found out she had a cancerous growth that was life threatening. My heart goes out to anyone who has been through this nightmare. I really had no idea what a challenge it was until it became personal. I guess I was a little blaze because certain elders in our life took this on and kept their cool and got on with life. I never imagined the scary feeling when it is your best loved one & mate who is in that place. Anyway we drew strength on that fact and my lovely Lesley was so brave & determined. What a magic lady!
Anyway we beat that beast ! Thanks to all those who were there for Lesley when the going got tough.
So then we got on with life again after the darkness and decided to grab some light.
At that time the terrible earthquake hit Ch Ch. We wish we could have been there in person for our family down there but I guess you will understand we had our own quake !
We had a wonderful family holiday during the Easter Break. Those Grandchildren of ours are certainly very special in their individual ways. Absolutely magic ! Les and I had so much enjoyment being with them- the best tonic ever.
So then we were into the rugby season. I am trying not to be biased and those that know me well will appreciate I am always harder on my kids than anyone else but Nick was a star for the Orewa First Fifteen. It is was a pity he was injured at a time when they needed him and the coaching game plan was shoddy. But no excuses he gave us great pleasure in his games and it will be a memory I personally will cherish.
The next momentous occasion was the 50th wedding anniversary of Eunice & John. What can we say about these two wonderful people. In the relatively short time I have been part of the Tait dynasty I would like to say how fortunate I am to be involved in such a magic family. The reason why is Grandma & John. They rock to us all and to be there to celebrate their union of half a century was very special. Hell even our cricketers don't achieve that !
The next big occasion was the Rugby World Cup. Now I must admit I was a bit lukewarm on this because I thought it would be a commercial overplay.
Les & Nick convinced me to go to Auckland to enjoy the fanfare of Opening Night. I was reticent & guess what it was a disaster - because of my lack of love for crowds.
However we went to a couple of games - thanks to Les & Nicks persistence and it was great. I guess the real cream on the pudding was when a blast from the past FB' me and said Fletch - I have a ticket to the final are you interested. Well ????? I couldn't really afford it but my very good friend Phil Olsen subsidized the cost and it was all on. A plus was that a certain cheeky Welsman by the name of Daniel Pugh Jones- both from a place I hold dearly to my heart- arrived as well. The story that unfolded was pure Hollywood. I was introduced to heaven ! Thanks guys lots of memories and affirmation that I made a difference in Wales during my time there. I shall return soon!
Now here comes a real wow!! My lovely Lesley decided she would join a group of self masochistic women and run over the North Island mountains. Absolutely nuts!!
But Les ran the 21 kms over The Mt Ruapahue - Tongariro ridges in 4hrs 35 mins. Quicker than I played 18 holes of golf. Now that puts it in perspective... simply amazing.
So we move onto the final curtain. Ha ha!
Ups for young Nick - our amazing son. He was accepted at the CPIT in Chrstchurch. Now those in Cantab know all about shakes but this has really has rocked us.
Out of a group acceptance of 20 per year Nick cut the chase. He has had this dream for a long time and he achieved it. The thing is he made the opportunities happen - no luck or who your parents are. He did it himself. I admire him so much and this is the best Xmas present Les & I could have had. I would like to thank all those influential people who have helped make this happen. You know who you are and Kapai!!
So now we move onto the festive season. It has been a challenging yet fruitful year for us. We should reflect on those living in Christchurch because you guys still have much to deal with and we admire your staying power so much. We love you and hope the future will bring better fortune.
To our immediate clan - Merry Xmas and a wonderful New Year in store [ power of positive thinking guys!]
Love you all...
Dave, Lesley & Beazley.