5. …and what of the future?



Tanya discovered this stunning mural while riding in Avondale..

We are filled with gratitude that we are still both alive, loving and supporting each other, mostly  in good health, and able to enjoy life in this amazing country, Aotearoa. We specially appreciate the  tree-bordered streets and parks of Grey Lynn, the easy access to  interesting cultural activities and eating places , the fantastic network of walkways and cycle ways from the inner city outwards,  the free bus trips to most of the places we want to visit, the many old friends we enjoy seeing in their different housing situations and variety of lifestyles.

We also feel  privileged to be part of a changing society, in which the rights of women and of tangata whenua are gradually being acknowledged and built in to many of our social structures.  We believe there is, on the whole, a greater openness in Aotearoa towards human differences, and we hope in the near  future  to see a true structural move towards a fairer society, economically, and a more carefully nurtured environment (and we hope all members of our current government will have the courage to push all these issues with some vigour before they are all – invevitably- replaced!!!)

And for ourselves we are also beginning to talk with other friends in their 70s and 80s about appropriate future housing alternatives as we age …small cottages..village apartments  (we’ve made an appointment to find out about new developments at Selwyn Village)..and other retirement options. 

Although we appreciate many features of our current apartment, we do like the idea of visitors being able to knock on our door, rather than having to ring intercoms or mobiles to open  the front door  and move up and down the floors….we know we have another round of decluttering to do inside the house, but a little more space would be helpful …and a quiet cul-de-sac  has some appeal after being on a busy central city thoroughfare… and  of course a small backyard raised garden would be a delight.. as we  imagine our later years…

But we’re in no hurry to move…we have enough to do keeping up with the present – in the present.

And we can’t finish this newsletter without commenting on today’s announcements by the Government of an impending new national Health System, which replaces 20 district health boards with a  single national authority, and an associated long awaited Maori Health Agency.

We sincerely hope that this will overcome the huge inequities of access to quality health care in Aotearoa, and is followed soon with new “By Maori, for Maori” systems in housing, justice, welfare and the environment.. .

 Finally, what of our Newsletter?

In view of all the challenges ahead, we have decided to send out our newsletters every three months, on a seasonal basis, instead of monthly, from now on.  So we’ll catch up with you next in July 2021- mid-winter…

Hope you all stay well and happy…

Nga mihi aroha,  Charmaine and Tanya

C and T…pic thanks to photographer friend and neighbour Guy Hamling..


  1. Lydia Smith says

    Dear Tanya and Charmaine
    I do enjoy your blog and this one is particularly relevant as we are the same sorts of ages. I found your suggestion of talking together and both learning each other’s tasks vital and inspiring
    Lydia Smith

  2. Bronwen Christianos says

    Thank you always you two beautiful souls for your thoughts and comments.
    Somebody once said to me: “old age is not for sissies”
    I have to agree.

  3. Such a lovely photo. Thank you so much for sharing, and for sharing your newsletters. This reader is very appreciative and grateful that you take the trouble to voice your hopes and fears activities and skills.

  4. What a gorgeous picture of you both, shining with beauty. This was a lovely blog, thank you.

  5. Marjory Lewis says

    Looking forward to your July newsletter – I love reading them

  6. Susan Drake says

    Lovely to see you both looking so well and happy. You are obviously keeping very well and active in body and mind. Long may it continue! Greetings from us in Halifax, Yorkshire. Sue

  7. Thank you for sharing so much with so many of us. What a stunning pic of you both – it has captured the essence of you. As for the hibiscus – breathtakingly surreal.
    Wise decision to produce Earthtalk quarterly, will give you more time to smell the roses!

  8. Chris Ann says

    Beautiful photo of you both! Arohanui

  9. I love this whole newsletter! See you (virtually) in July and THANKS for sharing with us! Love from Wellington!

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