Sunday, September 24, 2006

Home and Away

Today we took part in two church services. We had a family service at Knox which Luke read at and I did the talk, then 12 hours later we were able to be heard albeit briefly by live link at the morning service at Davidsons Mains. There was a bit of a time delay on the feed so I said hello 3 times in the telephone before I heard the first one on the computer. We were able to listen to the whole service over the internet which was good fun. Ailsa asked if it made me feel nearer or further away and I think the answer is both.

Our car finally arrived from Scotland. We were starting to wonder if it had befallen the fate in the poster but it had only taken the scenic route. Friends in church lent us a car for what turned out to be 8 months which was great. That kind of generosity makes you feel at home. Clearing customs, MAF, registering the vehicle, getting a WOF and buying kilometers make you feel far away from what you know. Just after I collected it the battery died but an AA van happened to drive past and I was rescued. It is strange driving a car which we drove in Scotland. Fortunately the mileage it has travelled do not all show on the speedo.

Sophie, Alastair and Matthew left today after their three week visit. It was great having them here and they made us feel very much at home!!! It was interesting watching the boys get out old photo albums to look for pictures of Sophie and to spend some time reminiscing. It is hard to talk about old times with people here - since we don't have shared experiences to look back to. Saying goodbye again made us feel home and away.

The Macdonalds were also able to share such family milestones as Luke getting braces fitted to his teeth, Craig going to a birthday party at LaserQuest and Jamie's team winning the Miniball league. They were also able to attend the year 7 and 8 show.

The show was appropriately called "Home and Away". The play covered events at the front and in NZ during WW2. A group of children wrote the script and each class performed an act. Luke had a speaking part as one of the soldiers and was also part of a few song and dance numbers.

The play was quite moving in places and underlined how significant both World Wars are in shaping Kiwi identity.

We continue to learn about Kiwi culture. New Zealand is a land of contradictions and extremes. This typically Kiwi poster is on a billboard at the Domestic Terminal in Auckland.

Not sure if that makes me feel more home or away. But it does make me smile, which is maybe an indication that, for better or worse, I am becoming more at home here!


Alex McLellan said...


Got a chance to catch up on your news today and delighted to hear of progress (by you) and appreciation (for you). I prayed for you and Ailsa today and look forward to catching up with you on your next trip.

Alex McL :)

Nigel Pollock said...

Thanks Alex - I will be all set for our usual breakfast at Ikea!

Anonymous said...

church is broadcasting this morning

Anonymous said...

I don't think you are anonymous - I know who you are!

Andrew said...

Thanks Nigel. As one who has just been away and now returned home I can appreciate much of what you said - they're funny feelings, being both home and away, present and distance, connected and isolated... yet, really importantly two sides of the same coin. I guess you can't appreciate one without the other. Hope that in some ways New Zealand becomes more of a home feeling for you and your family.

the Becrofts said...

Dear Nigel,
We have just got round to reading your blog in full, having had to survive on real human contact with you for the last 10 months, and get our news from face to face contact. Amazing how we managed to keep up to date.
While we are more than happy to keep up the contact with Ailsa, Luke, Jamie and Craig - why don't we just communicate with you by blog in future.
Hope NI and the trip home is going well. You beat the All Blacks to Heathrow by about 3 days.
And, you have certainly left behind continuing awful weather, which, believe me, you will be glad to miss.
All our love, Andrew and Pip.