Adagio lives in the green foothills of Auckland’s Waitakere Ranges (NZ), perceiving life through an ever-changing lens and peeling the layers off her own onion.
I am from…
I am from home-delivered milk in glass bottles; from Jungle Juice, Eskimo Pies, homemade orange iceblocks, the Edmonds Cookbook; from the irresistible smell of just-baked bread.
I am from the three bedroom bungalow on the slopes of Mt Hobson; from the big goldfish pond in the back lawn, the tree house in the monkey apple tree; from the much played-on Rogers’ tennis court next door.
I am from the grapefruit tree that provided breakfasts when in season; from blue hydrangeas, giant acanthus and the wonderful ‘Chinese garden’.
I am from fish and chips with the next door neighbours on Friday nights and gratefully accepted slender genes; from Hannah, who preferred her middle name and was known as Vi; from Neil, who took my brother and me tramping and ‘protected’ us from Rover; from Pa, of the bottomless Minties bag.
I am from internalised anger and understated emotion; from the Santa Claus who liked a bottle of Leopard Lager and a few biscuits before flying to the next house; from a mother who would get sent to jail if we didn’t go to school.
I am from St Aidan’s Anglican Church, where I was christened and sent to Sunday School; from satsang at the Divine Light Mission in Parnell; from charismatic Christian experiences, entered into as an adult and pursued for eighteen years before being abandoned in favour of reality.
I am from New Zealand, Sweden, Denmark, The Netherlands, England; exotic raw mushroom salad and creamy fish soup, flecked with parsley and served with hot buttered toast; from the sugar-dusted cream-filled sponge cake and Mellowpuffs, served at weekly Sunday afternoon teas in the house overlooking the Tamaki estuary.
From Nana and Pa, who were not next in line to marry but married secretly until it was their ‘turn’ and they could safely let the cat out of the bag; from the mysterious siblings who preceded and followed me in the womb but miscarried before their time; from Poppa who, at the age of eight, drove a herd of cattle through the King Country backblocks single-handed.
I am from black and white ancestors collected between the pages of family albums and viewed with the eyes and fascination of a child; from the little 19th century birthday book, passed down through the paternal female line; from the Venetian glass vase filled with proteas; from snippets of long-past events, relayed via fragile memories; from people, unknown but no less influential for just having been.