34 years ago today Tanya came to dinner for the first time at Charmaine’s little cottage in Clarence Street, Ponsonby. And that, as many of you know, was the beginning of our relationship.
We still share strong political beliefs and values in common, and mostly enjoy each other’s very different strengths. So we happily weave our daily lives in the city, or beyond, with time both together and apart. There is a special comfort in growing old lovingly together.
This year we celebrated our anniversary with dinner at Q Theatre, followed by the opening gala evening for the SameSameButDifferent (LGBQTI etc) Writers’ Festival.
As well as attending several activities over the weekend, we befriended a lovely lesbian psychiatrist from Malaysia and London, Sharm, at one of the workshops. We have included her in a couple of other recent events.
She came to dinner at our place with Carole (from the Women’s Bookshop) and Claire (from the Grey Lynn Library). Sharm has worked in London in the area of gender disorders , so we had some deep conversation about the growing number of gender transitions there (and subsequent reversals), among other things.
We also met up again last Saturday at the Wynyard Quarter, and walked around the beautiful stark concrete Silos environment, enjoying the creativity of several artists in the Lip(s) show there- especially Courtney Sina Meredith’s poem “How about being a woman”, Gill Gatfield’s Glass Ceiling, Peata Larkin’s Bind; and we had a lovely encounter with Sharonagh Montrose, and explanation of her Where the Circle Crosses the Line ,which features her daughter’s superb singing of the St Francis prayer too.
Sharm is a keen outdoor adventurer, and is interested in the possibility of working in Aotearoa in the future; we’ll be putting her in touch with some of our friends around the country.
A sad footnote to our enjoyment of the SameSamebutDifferent Festival
We heard this morning , Tuesday 19 February, that Peter Wells has died. Peter was the founder in 2016 of the SSbD Festival, and also, with Stephanie Johnson, founded the Auckland Writers’ Festival. He spoke at one of the opening sessions of the SSbD Festival from his wheelchair- he had been ill for some months- and we also heard a lovely interview of him by Jim Mora on RadioNZ on the Sunday morning after. Peter was a truly remarkable man- writer, activist for LGBT rights and visibility, film maker…and brave to the end.
Our deepest sympathy to his husband, now widower, Douglad Lloyd-Jenkins, and his many close friends .