Kia Ora and welcome to my story. Get yourself a coffee, you're in for a long, boring and bumpy ride!

How I Met My Husband Online

Same Place - Home

How I Met My Husband Online

Our Wedding Story

Todd's Family

Meet My Some of My Friends

Some Pictures from our Holidays

Our Time in Great Falls, Montana

Our Time in White Plains, Maryland

Photos of My Spousal Flight # 1

A Little Bit about my Sister-In-Law's Life

Our Time in San Antonio

Our Time in Del-Rio

Long Distance Relationship Tips and Links

Things I Miss About NZ

DIfferences I've Found Between the Countries

How I've Changed

Some of my Favourite Recipes

My Time in England

My Contiki Tour Around Europe

My Adoption

Here's the part set aside for our family

Some of the photos I've taken over the years

I've been cyber-published

Digital Scrapping Pages I've Done
Websites I've Designed

Links of Interest

My Childhood - My Revelation


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Me and My Dad - 1965 at our old farm in Taihape, New Zealand. Once a biker girl, always a biker girl

I was born in a place called Wanganui (pronounced Won-gu-noo-ee), New Zealand. I lived there for a total of 11 days until I was adopted out. I then lived in a town called Taihape (Tie-happ-ee) ... for the next 11 years in relative innocence and bliss. Get used to the pronunciation thing because I like throwing those tricky town names out there for ya!!

Me in my oh-so-gorgeous school uniform! Wasn't I the cutest thing you've ever seen in a gawd-awful grey uniform and ponytails - and knobbly knees to boot!!

Then my life changed. Sylvia (my so-called-mother) left my father because the affair that she'd been having over the past six years managed to produce a child. She took me with her and left my brother (Shaun) and sister (Janette) with my father. As you can imagine I didn't get to see them alot over the next few years. My father was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and was given a short amount of time to live. Eventually he died just 12 days before my 15th birthday. I was not the most pleasant child to be around in those days - all very confusing and unsettling.

Over the course of those years we moved quite a few times. During these moves I managed to meet some of my best friends that I've managed to keep to this day. One of the few good things about moving around so much is that you learn how to interact with lots of different people. I did make a lot of mistakes during those years - becoming a persistant liar was one of them but somehow I thought that nobody would want to be my friend if they knew how boring I was so I wanted to be more exciting so that people would want to be my friend. Luckily I met some wonderful people that understood that about me and loved me for all of my goods and bads .... which is what true friendship is about after all!! I eventually realised that whenever you lie you get caught out, and to be honest, it takes A LOT of work to keep up with lies, it's just so much easier to tell the truth!

So - here are a few of the places that I have lived in during my time in New Zealand ... with pronunciations of course

Taihape (tie - happ - ee)
Renwick (ren - wick ... finally, an easy one!)
Hawarden (har - den)
Pahiatua (par - hee - ar - too - ar)
Kerikeri (care - ee - care - ee)

Some of those places I lived in more than once ... too good not to go back to!?!

I have MANY fond memories of people I met throughout those years and I'm actually going to mention a few names here so you can skip this bit if you want to ... Susan Woollaston (hereinafter referred to as Susie), she was born on the day that I was adopted (September 11th) and we have been friends ever since - we've had our ups and downs, but we're still friends and that says something after 40 plus years!

Vanessa Kreegher - she was there, literally, when my father died and is still there for me.

Jan Gill - we met when I was fifteen and I had just lost my father. I was plunging headlong into my 'difficult' years, yet she stuck by me and still does - warts and all! She has been my tower of strength throughout the years!

Joanna Shaw - she lived just down the road from me in Kerikeri and from the first time I saw her sitting underneath a tree at my neighbours I knew I wanted her as my friend, she's still my friend and has been with me through so much as well.

Graeme Scroggie - I met Graeme on one of my flights to England. I still vividly recall the first time I saw his face. He was on the opposite side of the plane from where I was sitting, I looked over and he caught my eye (he was tending to someone at the time). He smiled at me and I remember thinking that the whole plane lit up with his beautiful smile. We became (and remain) firm friends and he has gotten me through many dark times with his love and support.

Bosie & F, an amazing couple I met on my second trip to England. They would come in to the pub that I worked in at the time for their daily drink and we just hit it off straight away. I am still in contact with them and hopefully one of these days I'll get to see them again when they visit their family that live in California.

Caroline - a lovely lady I met during my time in Kerikeri. We were 'casual' friends at first, but eventually we got to know each other well and she has become a close and reliable friend and confidente, and someone I know I can count on, like so many of my other friends.

I also want to mention Richard ... my 'first love'. I am privileged that he was my first love - we were far too young, but he was a gentleman when I was less than a lady.

There are obviously many others but these guys definitely rate a separate mention. Thanks SO much, in your own ways you have shaped my life.

When I was 19 years old (I think) Susie said "Let's go to Australia on a cruise ship" - so off we went! We didn't do the usual 3 hour flight from Auckland to Sydney - we got on the Oriana and did a three day cruise - definitely a great way to do your first overseas travel. Once we got to Australia she went her way and I went mine. That was the beginning of my travel bug.

As a child I had always dreamed of travelling. Other people talked about going to college/university, all I wanted to do was travel! I ended up staying in Australia for a year and then returned to New Zealand. I worked for another year in a town called Dannevirke in a bank until my next beckoning. Jan phoned me to say that she'd booked herself onto a Contiki Tour and did I want to go with her. Well, hell yes!! I chucked my job in, and in a few short months I was back in Kerikeri getting ready for my trip to Europe with Jan!

That was back in 1985 but I still recall it with MANY fond memories. GE502 was a GREAT bunch of people and I'm only sorry I lost contact with them. Rosie was special to Jan and I - so if anyone knows where Rosie is these days, give her my email address will you?! Recently (2004) I managed to get in contact with our old tour operator and it was so great catching up with him and what he's been doing with his life since our tour.

At the end of the tour Jan headed off on another tour of Britain and I found myself a bar job. Jan returned to NZ but I stayed on for another 10 or so months. I returned to New Zealand in time for Christmas and ended up going to Auckland and finding a job (or three) there for a few years. Just enough time to save up money to go back to Europe.

During those years back in New Zealand a friend that I'd met in England travelled to NZ and he came to stay with me, where he met and promptly fell-in-love with Jan. They married soon after that and to this day are still very happily married and living in Kerikeri with their two children, they are also Timothy's New Zealand God Parents (he has two sets).

In 1989 I managed to return to England. During that trip I met many people, however the one that is most dear to me is Graeme. To this day, he and Jan have been there for me through thick and thin, good and (lots of) bad yet they still love me for who I am and have repeatedly picked me up and hugged me when I needed it (and was within hugging distance) and slapped me into sanity when I needed it as well. My life has been blessed because of these amazing people.

I also met an amazing couple (Bosie & Felicity) who I'm still in touch with to this day. F (Felicity) has given me countless hours of love and support over the phone over the years. They are Timothy's English God Parents.

When I returned to New Zealand I found out that I was pregnant. Bit of a shock really as it was not planned. The donor of the genes is not important, and in fact turned out to be a bit of a cad (or schiite as we say in my circle of friends). I definitely got the better end of the deal as I got my son, Timothy, out of it. That put my future travel plans on hold for a bit. I found myself back in Taihape surrounded by people who helped me through the next four years. Not only coming to terms with becoming a mother, but a single mother to boot. There were many ups and downs, as there is with any child, but in the end we made it through together.

When Timothy was just over three years old I moved us to Kerikeri in order to be closer to my family. I found a job in a local real estate office where I worked for just a little over a year before moving onto a job with the local power company. This is where my life turned around.

Here's an insight into 'me'. I am an incurable romantic! Oh yeah! As a child I dreamed of marrying some prince on a white horse and living in perfect harmony for the rest of our lives. Throughout the years I had met a few 'princes' but I'd met a lot more 'toads'. My fault. I'd been called a 'bastard magnet' and I'd come to think that that was an accurate description. If you want to read 101 Things About me just click here, or if you want to do the whole A to Z thing, then click here. These were sent to me via email and I thought they might be worth saving and putting in here. No harm, right?

I had made a comfortable home for Timothy and myself and life was going well. A rather startling conclusion I had come to was that I was content with my life as a single mother and that I could handle loneliness a lot easier than I could handle heartbreak. It took me a few years to figure this out, but finally I was content with where I was with the world and my life.

That is, of course, when it all happened!

Now - if you want to read more about that part of my life ... get yourself another cup of REALLY strong coffee and click onto the next page!!

Good luck and may the force be with you!

Check out my family's 2007 review in photos!

Onto Catinkeri & Sun Devil's Part of the Story

Thanks to Cute Colors for the wonderful graphics!!