Weekly Gratitudes

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A lovely book I’ve owned for a while, The Creative Family, recommends making gratitude a regular part of our days as a way to fill our creative cups. Although I totally agree with the concept (in fact, there’s more than enough research linking happiness and gratitude – this guy reckons sending 5 emails will do the trick), I just haven’t gotten around to implementing this in a concrete way in my life until now.

In undertaking this bus project though, we have been utterly drenched in the generosity of others. As a New Zealander, I’ve always felt that people do harp on a bit about the good old kiwi “Can Do” attitude, and about how friendly and generous we are. In coming back from living in Germany, however, I’ve been able to look at these adages afresh, and you know what? They’re true! They’re absolutely true. Given the chance, kiwis will more often go out of their way to help you than not.

In fact, we have received so much kindness from family, friends and relative strangers, that I’ve decided to post once a week about the people to whom we are grateful.

Gratitude #1: Grum

Graeme Frith, or Grummy, as he’s usually called, is a long time friend of my family. I’ve acted alongside him in the local plays here in Hanmer, he’s the father of my school friend and first pre-teen crush, Paul, but to be honest, in recent years I haven’t personally had much to do with him at all.

So when we decided to buy Liberty, sight unseen, from Whakatane, without the appropriate drivers license to get her the 15 hours and a ferry crossing back to Hanmer, I thought it a bit of a stretch of Mum to say that Grummy probably wouldn’t mind picking her up for us.

I made the phone call however, and sure enough Grum came back with “yeah, no worries”, as if I’d just asked him to pass the peas, please. He does enjoy an adventure though (he’s just about to spend a couple of years cycling round the world), and brought her down for us in one, glorious (if a little bouncy without seats to weigh her down) piece.

Since then, he’s also driven her to Christchurch for water tanks, and back to Amberley for electrics. Now Thomas and I have our heavy vehicle licences, so we won’t need Grum’s driving expertise anymore. His extensive knowledge of New Zealand, and all the wonderful, secret places to discover however… I think we’ll be calling on this man again before we hit the road.

Thanks Grummy for being such a generous, friendly, helpful, all round great guy!

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