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I was 7 years old when the war broke out.   I don't remember much of those years except they just rolled along  but I do remember when the American Soldiers arrived in Auckland and a very fancy ice cream shop was opened in New Market  and sold ice cream in a cone and  with all  sorts of fancy  toppings.   

The very first ice cream I  had ever seen or tasted.  

The other memory was when the war ended in Europe we all stood after the announcement and banged up and down our desk lids  and cheered  loudly.    That lid banging was repeated several months later when Japan surrendered.    We had rationing , but it couldn't have been too bad because I do not remember any hardships or changes in food supply .   I went to ballet classes even danced at his Majesty's Theatre , music lessons playing the piano , which later on in life meant that I could accompany my husband singing and entertain the  people in Nursing  and Retirement homes, which we did for nearly 10 years .

The schools still had retired teachers brought back to help because  the younger ones had gone to  War.   In 1946 I went off to Auckland Girls Grammar School.  But in 1948 the Polio  epidemic closed all the schools.   We all went on to correspondence lessons.    

The New Zealand Herald reported at that time

newspaperpolio

Now you might manage most subjects but I could not get the  French lessons to  sit comfortably with me.   With a number of other girls I decided to leave and go to Business College instead.

During that time  the New Zealand Navy purchased 6 Frigates from the UK.    Some of the crew were NZ sailors but the majority were ex Royal Naval men.     My Uncle owned a farm  and the local people  invited the UK Naval men to a weekend of Country life.   Saturday night in the local hall was the  Entertainment venue.    A girl friend and I were invited to join the fun.   That was where I met my future husband  .   We were married for 65 years    and he used to laugh and say ,  can you believe...   my girl friend  plays Hockey on Saturday mornings.   I later played competitive tennis and golf before returning to the piano and music .

HMS Loch Achray

When my husband retired  we moved to Queensland.    Noosa, where we had spent many lovely holiday visits  over the years.   For example when we first visited the area in the middle 60's  the David Low Way was still a gravel road and  we saw Kangaroos , Hastings street  had a bait and tackle shop where the Surf Club now is.   Just sand dunes and  no buildings.   Of course after a few years it changed ,  but it   has never lost its appeal .  Very  lucky are we folk who are fortunate enough to live and enjoy this lovely  area.  

Now another Health issue has invaded our Country  not Polio this time but the Coronavirus.    Until this  awful time has passed I think I will   say "No visitors"   especially as the over 80's are a great risk   and I still have a few responsibilities on this earth .   Unfortunately people who have travelled on Public transport do not know who has been there before them  .    And a lot of  people are saying they are using skype to keep in touch with the elderly relations   but are not going to subject them to  the chance of infection.   Lets hope that  it will soon be back to  normal  and the risk of infection  will be a thing of the Past.

skype

I must admit that I think we had more resilience back when I was young.   Our ability to cope with things if they went a bit haywire was much less panicked.   It is laughable to see people racing around grabbing huge bundles of toilet paper I don’t know quite what they intend to do with it all.   I wonder how people today would cope with the polio epidemic or rationing.

For me it is a matter of being sensible and staying away from people until I have a better idea of what is going on.   Just using common sense really.   But I think that skype will be a great salvation for me and many other older people in the months ahead.   Stay in touch with your relatives but do it from a distance.  

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