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ISSUE 2 2012

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FORGIVENESS: Healing the hurts we don’t deserve

coping with the ex factor (parenting after divorce)

• what women want in a man • Norm Hewitt: family man • kayak-fishing: paddling for dinner • fairytale castles of the Rhine

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contents

14  Coping With The Ex Factor Many people emerge from separation and divorce feeling scarred, bitter and broken. And the toxic fallout does lasting damage to kids. But there is a better way, claims Jill Darcey. Having survived her own divorce, she now teaches divorcees to “stop drinking poison” and build a more positive parenting style.

38 Forgiveness Have you suffered unfairly, undeservedly, cruelly, at the hands of someone who should have known better? A wrong was done and someone ought to pay? Trouble is, revenge doesn’t work – you never get even. But there is a way to break its power over you. You can begin to write a new chapter … 4 Gra p e v i ne – I S S U E 2 / 2012


26 Kayak Fishing For Dinner The word is out. A ‘yak’ is cheap to run (no fuel costs), quiet (like a stealth bomber), easy to launch and clean, and heaps of fun – especially when hooked up to a big fish!

54  Norm Hewitt: Family Man Our All Black veteran & Dancing with the Stars winner chats about his heroes … his wife and kids … and his dream for New Zealand.

58 Fairytale Castles Of The Rhine There’s a gorgeous stretch of river running through the middle of Germany that’s strewn with fairytale castles, postcard-pretty villages, and landscapes that ache your eyeballs.

Teriyaki Beef Stir-Fry & Pear Crumble Muffins – Page 32

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Pick of the Bunch............................ 6 You Ain’t Gonna Believe This.............. 10 From Where I Sit............................. 11 Sherman’s Lagoon........................... 13 Grapepuzzles ................................ 24 Scrubcutters...........................25 & 57 Home-Sweet-Home.......................... 36 Stillpoint..................................... 48 Spot the Difference ....................... 52 Families Unlimited........................... 62

Managing Editor: John Cooney Associate Editors: Mike Cooney Paul Freedman Promotions Manager: Frances Coventry Distribution Manager: Brent Curtis Design: Craig Haythornthwaite CCL Communications Group Print: PMP Print Delivery: PMP Distribution Website: www.grapevine.org.nz Published by Grapevine Communications Society Ltd. All correspondence to Private Bag 92124, Victoria Street West, Auckland 1142, New Zealand. Phone: 09 813 4956 Fax: 09 813 4957 Email: info@grapevine.org.nz Our mission: To promote stable, loving relationships ... to tackle family hurts and headaches in a positive, helpful way ... to inject fun, hope and wholeness into homes all over the country. Copyright: The entire contents of this issue are copyright © June 2012. Permission to reprint must be obtained in advance. ISSN 1170-392X (Print) ISSN 2230-4126 (Online) Published four times a year to give New Zealand families a lift – 100% independent, communitybased, not-for-profit.


SPARE TYRES & DRESS CODES

I’m going crazy. Wanna come along?

TILL DEATH US DO PART?

Brother Thomas Epstein, who pioneered drive-in churches in Puerto Rico, recently took another step in his campaign to uplift human/auto relations. He became the first known minister to marry a man and his car. In a Detroit parking lot, Brother Epstein officiated a four-hubcap ceremony as Benny Hugo married his Honda Civic. Hugo promised to love, cherish and obey all traffic signals, till death or 50,000 miles (whichever comes first) do they part. The bride pledged her three-year warranty. “I’m happy for my Benny,” said Hugo’s mother. “My only concern is that, if they should ever get divorced, who will get custody of the spare tyre?” HEAR ABOUT …

… this guy who walked into a restaurant and asked the maitre d’, “Can you please tell me how you prepare your chicken?” The maitre d’ replied, “Well, we let them know right up-front they’re not going to make it.” HEAR ABOUT …

… the thieves who stole corn from a council garden? They’ve been charged with stalking. 6 Gra p e v i ne – I S S U E 2 / 2012

UNITED NATIONS:

An Englishman, a Scotsman, an Irishman, a Welshman, a Latvian, a Turk, a German, an Indian, some Americans (including a southerner, a New Englander, and a Californian), an Argentinean, a Dane, an Australian, a Slovakian, an Egyptian, a Japanese, a Moroccan, a Frenchman, a New Zealander, a Spaniard, a Russian, a Guatemalan, a Colombian, a Pakistani, a Malaysian, a Croatian, an Uzbek, a Cypriot, a Pole, a Lithuanian, a Chinese, a Sri Lankan, a Lebanese, a Cayman Islander, a Ugandan, a Vietnamese, a Korean, a Uruguayan, a Czech, an Icelander, a Mexican, a Finn, a


Sometimes I want to be a kid again. I want to go back to the time when: • decisions were made by going “eeny-meeny-miney-mo” • money-issues were handled by whoever was the banker in Monopoly • being old referred to anyone over 20 • the worst thing you could catch from the opposite sex was cooties • Dad could perform magic by ‘removing’ his thumb or taking my nose off my face • having a weapon in school meant being caught with a shanghai (sling-shot) • nobody was prettier than Mum. SIGNZ #1:

At a car-wash: “Our vacuums really suck!”

KWIK KWIZZ:

Answer the following without using a calculator: • You’re driving a bus from Auckland to Wellington. • In Auckland, 17 people get on the bus. • In Hamilton, six people get off the bus and nine people get on. • In Tirau, two people get off and four get on. • In Taupo, 11 people get off and 16 people get on. • In Taihape, three people get off and five people get on. • In Palmerston North, six people get off and three get on. • You eventually arrive in Wellington. What was the name of the bus driver? Answer: Oh, don’t you remember? It was you!

MEMORY-LANE #1:

CHUCK NORRIS FACTS #1: Google won’t search for Chuck Norris because it knows you don’t find Chuck Norris – he finds you.

SIGNZ #2:

In a salon window: “Nice face … shame about the hair.” FISHING FAUX PAS:

A wife, returning from a fishing trip with her husband, was telling her troubles to a neighbour. “I did everything all wrong again today,” she said. “I talked too loud, I used the wrong bait, I reeled in too soon, and I caught more fish than he did …” IS S U E 2/2012– Gra pevine 7

M y e l e c t r i c it y we n t o ff , a n d I fe l t p o we r l ess t o d o a n y t h i n g a b o ut it .

Honduran, a Panamanian, an Andorran, an Israeli, a Venezuelan, a Fijian, a Peruvian, an Estonian, a Brazilian, a Portuguese, a Liechtensteiner, a Mongolian, a Hungarian, a Canadian, a Moldovan, a Haitian, a Norfolk Islander, a Macedonian, a Bolivian, a Cook Islander, a Tajikistani, a Samoan, an Armenian, an Aruban, an Albanian, a Greenlander, a Micronesian, a Virgin Islander, a Georgian, a Bahaman, a Belarusian, a Cuban, a Tongan, a Cambodian, a Qatari, an Azerbaijani, a Romanian, a Chilean, a Kyrgyzstani, a Jamaican, a Filipino, a Ukrainian, a Dutchman, an Ecuadorian, a Costa Rican, a Swede, a Bulgarian, a Serb, a Swiss, a Greek, a Belgian, a Singaporean, an Italian, a Norwegian and 47 Africans walk into a fine restaurant ... “I’m sorry,” said the manager, as he scrutinized the group one by one, and then barred their entrance. “Sorry, but you can’t come in here without a Thai.”


A r tifi c i a l i n te l l i g e n c e is n o m a t c h f o r n a tu r a l stu p idit y .

YOU KNOW YOU’VE HAD TOO MUCH COFFEE WHEN ...

• You can type 60 words a minute … with your feet. • Instant coffee takes too long. • You chew on other people’s fingernails. • You answer the door … before people knock. • You sleep with your eyes open. • You’re so wired you pick up FM radio. GOOD QUESTION:

Q: What is the longest railway-station name in Britain? A: It’s found in Anglesey, Wales, and it’s called Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch. (Bet you can’t say that!) MEMORY-LANE #2:

Sometimes I want to be a kid again. I want to go back to the time when: • Saturday morning cartoons weren’t 30-minute ads for action figures • spinning around, getting dizzy and falling down was cause for giggles • water balloons were the ultimate weapon • cards in the spokes transformed a pushbike into a motorcycle • mistakes were corrected by simply saying, “Do it again!” • older siblings were your worst tormentors but also your fiercest protectors • scrapes and bruises were kissed and made better. CHUCK NORRIS FACTS #2: When Alexander Bell invented the telephone, he had three missed calls from Chuck Norris. 8 Gra p e v i ne – I S S U E 2 / 2012

CHUCK NORRIS FACTS #3: There used to be a street named after Chuck Norris, but it was changed because nobody crosses Chuck Norris and lives. 10 REASONS WHY SOME MEN HAVE DOGS & NOT WIVES:

1. The later you are, the more excited your dogs are to see you. 2. Dogs like it if you leave lots of things on the floor. 3. A dog’s parents never visit. 4. Dogs agree that you have to raise your voice to get your point across. 5. You never have to wait for a dog; they’re ready to go 24 hours a day. 6. Dogs enjoy hunting and fishing. 7. A dog will never wake you up at night to ask, “If I died, would you get another dog?” 8. If a dog has babies, you can put an ad in the paper and give them away. 9. Dogs like to ride in the back of a ute. 10. If a dog leaves, it won’t take half of your stuff. HEAR ABOUT …

… the man who rushed into his doctor’s rooms shouting, “Doctor! I think I’m shrinking!”? The doctor calmly responded, “Now, settle down. You’ll just have to be a little patient.” LEAST SUCCESSFUL EXPLORER:

Thomas Nuttall (1789-1859) was a pioneer explorer-botanist who specialised in studying the flora of remote parts of Northwest America. His work, however,


SHEER BRILLIANCE

The following are the answers of a student, who got 0% in the test. (We would’ve given him 100%!) 1. In which battle did Napoleon die? A: His last battle. 2. Where was the Treaty of Waitangi signed? A: At the bottom of the page. 3. The Murray River flows in which state? A: Liquid.

4. What is the main reason for failure at school? A: Exams. 5. What can you never eat for breakfast? A: Lunch & dinner. 6. What looks like half an apple? A: The other half. 7. If you throw a red stone into the blue sea what will it become? A: Wet. 8. How can a man go eight days without sleeping? A: By sleeping at night. 9. How can you lift an elephant with one hand? A: There’s no such thing as an elephant with only one hand. 10. How can you drop a raw egg onto a concrete floor without cracking it? A: Concrete floors are very hard to crack. Chuck Norris Facts #4: Chuck Norris died 20 years ago. Death just hasn’t found the courage to tell him yet. SIGNZ #3:

In for-sale column: “Antique desk. Suitable for lady with thick legs and large drawers.” IS S U E 2/2012– Gra pevine 9

D o p ie c o m p a n ies h a v e l o ts o f tu r n o v e r s ?

was characterised by the fact that he was almost always permanently lost. During his expedition of 1812 his colleagues frequently had to light beacons in the evening to help him find his way back to camp. One night he completely failed to return and a search party was sent out. As they approached him in the darkness, Nuttall assumed they were Indians – and tried to escape. His annoyed rescuers pursued him for three days through bush and river until, finally, he accidently wandered back into the camp. On another occasion, Nuttall was lost again and lay down exhausted. He looked so pathetic that a passing Indian, instead of scalping him, picked him up, carried him five kilometres to the river, and paddled him home in a canoe.


Ain’t u o h i s! Y Go T e nn v a Belie

• Due to gravitational effects, you actually weigh less when the moon is directly overhead.

• The average bloke spends 2,965 hours shaving during his lifetime – that’s a total of four months, going at it 24/7!

• In Las Vegas, casinos don’t have any clocks.

• Ostrich-racing is a popular sport in South Africa. (Although it’s not too popular with ostriches!)

• Humans shed and re-grow outer skin cells about every 27 days – almost 1,000 new skins in a lifetime.

• That little dent under your nose is called a philtrum.

• The average llama weighs 170 kilos. Please remember this.

• Every day more money is printed for the game of Monopoly

than for the US Treasury.

• In 1958, the Crayola crayon colour ‘Prussian Blue’ was changed to ‘Midnight Blue’ at the request of teachers, as kids could not relate to Prussian history.

• Kermit the Frog has 11 points on his collar. • Just 3% of the men who read this list will time themselves shaving to calculate how long they spend on this activity over their lifetime.

10 Grap e v i ne – I S S U E 2/2012


My Dog Has Fleas

P

laying a musical instrument’s a bit like riding a bike, I suppose. You never really forget. And I proved that true, several months back, when a couple of grandkids got ukuleles for Christmas. They brought them out when we came to visit, and (to my grandkids’ amusement) I lost myself briefly in a little nostalgia-session – reliving some longforgotten memories, recalling chords I had last played half a century ago, and strumming along on those four nylon strings like it was only yesterday. I even remembered how to tune the thing, with that famous, never-fail “my-dog-has-fleas” ditty. The grandkids couldn’t believe it – and I was mildly amazed myself! In the weeks that followed our visit, our youngsters got pretty good on their ‘ukes’. With the help of their parents, they found websites that gave easy-to-follow lessons … they practised chords that I’d never dreamed of … and they mastered

songs like Somewhere Over The Rainbow (as popularised by that ukulele-playing Hawaiian with the catchy name: Israel Kamakawiwo’ole). In fact, the next time we called in, we were treated to a sit-down ukulele concert that soon had us standing up and applauding. But the next chapter (which you’ve simply gotta hear) was told by their father … ll four kids were in the car that particular afternoon when he popped in to the local supermarket.

A

IS S U E 2/2012– Grapevine 11

T i m e is a g r e a t h e a l e r , b ut a l o us y b e a uti c i a n .

I come from a musical family. And, though singing was never my strong suit (I’d rather be run over by a truck than attempt a solo), I did feel obliged, as a small conscientious boy, to do my tuneful best with a musical instrument. Any musical instrument. I avoided my dad’s ancient violin, but could often be found plonking away on our old piano … clanking away on the spoons (my sisters were always better at this) … wheezing away on a borrowed piano-accordion … or strumming away on one of several ukuleles that lived at our place.


THORT

A de r m a t o l o g ist ’ s k n o w l ed g e is o n l y ski n dee p .

He found a park right near the main entrance. He explained that he would be gone “no more than a few minutes” – and lectured them (as you do) to “stay in car – or else!” and “under no circumstances get out!” They smiled in agreement and promised to be good, and he left them – venturing forth down the aisles in search of the required items. While at the check-out counter, he happened to glance up – and spotted some small heads through the shop window. He immediately identified those small heads as belonging to his children, and, completing his purchase, he headed for the exit with grim thoughts of punishment and torture running through his mind. As he stormed through the self-opening door, ready to bite some small heads off, he stopped, struggling momentarily to take in the scene that greeted him … His kids were lined up on the footpath, like the Von Trapp family from Sound of Music. Ably backed by big brother on his ukulele, they were singing Somewhere Over The Rainbow to a small crowd of appreciative shoppers. They were BUSKING!

12 Grap e v i ne – I S S U E 2/2012

And (wait – there’s more!) coins were being tossed into the upturned cap which the oldest boy had thoughtfully placed on the ground in front of them! Their poor father didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. And, more than a little embarrassed, he bundled them and the ukulele back into the car as soon as the song came to an end. o cut a long story short, my grandkids made $6.30 that afternoon – $6.30 in five minutes! Not bad, eh? And on the way home they discussed how the proceeds would be split. $1.50 each seemed fair … with the extra 30 cents going to the littlest one, their five-yearold sister, because (they decided) “she’d looked so cute!” Upon hearing the story, their grandfather’s heart swelled with pride. My grandkids aren’t just musical – they’re entrepreneurial, too! Beat that!

T

GRAPEVINE’S FOUNDER/EDITOR IS PLEASED TO REPORT THAT HIS GRANDKIDS HAVE GONE ON SINCE TO RAISE $100, BUSKING FOR THE LOCAL SPCA. LOOK FOR THEM ON A FOOTPATH NEAR YOU …

My neighbour knocked on my door at 2:30am this morning. Can you believe that – 2:30am?! Luckily for him I was still up playing my bagpipes.


T h e t h i n g s t h a t c o m e t o t h o se w h o w a it a r e t h e t h i n g s l eft b y t h o se w h o g o t t h e r e fi r st .

IS S U E 2/2012– Grapevine 13


by Paul Freedman

coping with the ex factor (parenting after divorce)


a

con v e rsation

with

J I L L

D A R C E Y

photographY: IStock/dreamstime

GRAPEVINE: Many people regard life-after-divorce as a sort of prisonsentence, without hope or happiness, don’t they? JILL DARCEY: Sadly, that’s true. The one who leaves (the ‘leaver’) often has someone waiting outside the relationship – so has lots of hope. But the ‘leavee’ is shattered and hope has gone. There’s a lot of judgement about divorce, and when it happens the leavee often feels condemned – and convinced that they’ll never find another partner. GRAPEVINE: Are they right to feel that? JILL: No, I believe there IS hope. I too went through that deep, dark nightmare. It’s very real and overwhelming. But in

the end, divorce is an event, not a lifesentence. And it’s how you deal with it that makes the difference. GRAPEVINE: You suggest it mostly comes down to taking a positive view – giving yourself a talking-to: “I’m going to be civil. I’m not going to degenerate into bitterness and fighting!” But isn’t that very hard to do? JILL: Phenomenally hard! That’s why so many don’t. The fact is, you can’t hold a marriage together if one party wants to leave. I felt initially that, somehow, I could. But if the other person decides, “That’s it – it’s over!” – there’s nothing you can do about it. They’re gone. However, the leaver is still a parent. IS S U E 2/2012– Grapevine 15

M a c h o L a w f o r b ids m e f r o m a d m itti n g I ’ m w r o n g .

Many people emerge from separation and divorce feeling scarred, bitter and broken. But there are exceptions. Jill Darcey found her divorce just as soul-destroying and heart-breaking – but, far from having her life ruined, she discovered new strength and new life. And, today, she’s busy helping others come through with flying colours. What made the difference? In a word: ATTITUDE! Jill decided, even in the cauldron of the white hot moment, that she would NOT allow what was happening to ruin her life – or the lives of her three kids. Inspired by her success, she then went on to establish the Complex Family Foundation … coaching and counselling other ‘leavees’ and ‘leavers’ (as she calls them) to survive the storm and chart a new course with hope and courage. Plus she’s authored a new book, Parenting with the Ex Factor … urging divorced mums and dads to “stop drinking poison” and, instead, build a better parenting style. We caught up with Jill in the middle of one of her seminars and asked her where all this new hope comes from …


QUITTING AS A MUM OR DAD?

I ’ v e h a d a m n esi a f o r a s l o n g a s I c a n r e m e m b e r .

Often the person left behind believes that their “ex” is not only saying “I don’t want to be with you,” but also, “I don’t want to be a PARENT!” But that couldn’t be further from the truth. They’re not leaving their children – they’re leaving the marriage!

So we have to say, “Okay, we made babies together … how can we protect the children we made?” And that’s not easy. You’ve got to put aside your own hurt feelings. I don’t mean you ignore stuff – you’ve got to deal with that hurt eventually. But, when it comes to the children, we have to look very dispassionately at things … we have to disassociate ourselves from those bruised feelings. GRAPEVINE: Do many people mix those things up? JILL: Oh yes – it’s often a complete shambles! There’s not much positive structure around divorce. The preconceptions are nearly all negative. The standard reaction is: you talk to your lawyers; you go to court; you set in motion a whole chain of processes that end up being not helpful at all. GRAPEVINE: So it’s important, right, to resist the urge to vent your rage and punish the other partner? JILL: Yes, very important. And St Augustine explained why: “Resentment is like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies.” Through the early stages of my separation, I had to concentrate not on what my ex-husband was doing, but on what I was choosing to be and do. Even though I was really hurt, shocked, 16 Grap e v i ne – I S S U E 2/2012

stunned, upset … I had just enough character and, I guess, enough courage, to know that there had to be a better way than descending into recriminations and revenge. I had to ask myself, “Who do I want to be in all this?” And who I wanted to be was still a lovely person. GRAPEVINE: So what’s your message to people who are stuck, wallowing in anger and self-pity – poisoning themselves without realising it? JILL: Well, it’s about gaining your own healing. First, you must acknowledge what’s happened. You must validate the feelings you have. And then, odd as it sounds, you have to actually feel the feelings. But, finally, you need to positively choose that you aren’t going to wallow any longer. Then you have to learn to forgive – even though it may not seem a sensible thing to do. Forgiving is actually letting go of all that negative energy. Once you can do that, you find it’s easier to cope with all the day-to-day things – because that anger’s no longer draining you. GRAPEVINE: But some people would say, “Well, I just can’t forgive! What my partner did to me was so hurtful that to even suggest forgiveness is like saying what they did is okay!” JILL: Forgiveness isn’t saying what happened is okay. It’s about surrendering … accepting that it has happened and there’s nothing more you can do about it … and then making a positive choice for yourself. Forgiveness isn’t a feeling – it’s an act of the will. And it takes a lot of effort. That’s why I talk about it as an attitude. GRAPEVINE: Sometimes a divorce is inevitable. But, other times, reconciliation


THE GRASS IS ALWAYS GREENER?

Many people believe that all their problems will be solved when they step outside the relationship. It’s not true. It’s just as hard outside as it is in. So don’t abandon the relationship to “make life easier”. We’re too quick to walk away nowadays.

Obviously, if there’s violence and abuse, then that relationship’s got to a point where it’ll be affecting children terribly. But if things are moving … if the gaps between the ‘downs’ are getting longer, and the ‘downs’ aren’t quite so deep … then you’re making progress. And if you are – stick it out. GRAPEVINE: If someone says “I don’t want to be married to you!” then you can’t make the person stay. But is there anything a husband or wife can do to help the relationship survive? JILL: We’re always looking for that ‘golden key’ that’s going to turn our spouse’s heart back to us again. But, all too often, there’s someone else in the picture … the ‘other woman’ … the ‘new man’. And once there’s someone else in the picture, there’s no golden key that will work. It’s not that there’s necessarily an affair

going on. The relationship could be threatened by nothing more than some idealised picture of life with this other, wonderful person. The best thing the husband or wife can do here is dig deep and learn what real love is … and that sometimes means letting someone go. That’s what I had to do, heart-breaking as it was. GRAPEVINE: You refer in your book to a wife where divorce has happened. And she decides that, since her children are going to be exposed to this ‘other woman’ who’ll be involved in bringing them up, then it’ll be better for the kids if she’s friendly and co-operative – even welcoming the new woman into the wider family arrangement. Was that you? JILL: Yes, that was me! And it was very hard! I had to wrestle. I cried – every night. I’d go to bed and lie awake – but I knew that I just had to do this for the good of the children. GRAPEVINE: So if a divorce or separation is unavoidable, you obviously believe there are things you can do to make the best of the situation? JILL: Definitely! For a start, you can watch your labels. We usually call this a ‘broken home’ and a ‘split family’ – which is terribly negative. We’re immediately disadvantaging our children with a label like that, saddling them with this handicap for life – almost like they’re damaged goods. I tried to come up with a term that describes the reality, but avoids the negativity – one that could make things whole again. Because that’s what kids long for. I came up with the ‘complex family’. It’s neutral. There’s nothing wrong with ‘complex’ … it just explains what the family’s situation really is: complicated. IS S U E 2/2012– Grapevine 17

I h a d t o q uit m y j o b c r us h i n g C o ke c a n s . I t w a s s o d a p r essi n g .

might still work. How can people know if their marriage is worth saving? JILL: I try not to do too much in the way of relationship counselling. I mainly focus on helping people whose divorce has happened. But, in a nutshell, my tests are these: if there’s still progress, even very slight progress … if the partners are still willing to talk and to work … then hang in there.


18 Grap e v i ne – I S S U E 2/2012

Me n t a l f l o ss p r e v e n ts m o r a l de c a y .


VALUABLE LIFESKILLS

If we can teach kids how to handle what’s happened, then we’re giving them a gift for life. I mean, in the future they’re going to have difficult bosses, difficult friends, difficult relationships – so they might as well learn about getting on with difficult people now. GRAPEVINE: How did you prepare your kids, especially the very little ones, for their new ‘complex’ family? JILL: Well, I actually told them very little, because they don’t need to understand a lot. We did a few days out – me, my ex-husband, the new lady and the kids. We’d do things like family picnics, where she was “just a IS S U E 2/2012– Grapevine 19

S a w it … W a n ted it … T h r ew a fit … G o t it !

GRAPEVINE: When you’re counselling people in that tempestuous, early stage of separating, what do you encourage them to do? JILL: Talk! I say, “You’ve got to draw a line in the sand. Your relationship has ended. Don’t keep looking at all the problems that need to be fixed – because that’s finished. What we now have to concentrate on is just being parents.” So we need to talk – about how we tell the children, how we organise our daily routines, all those nitty-gritty details. If you go to professionals, they’ll tell you things like, “Make sure you’ve got the same routine in each home so you’re not confusing the children.” But the kids don’t want that – and I don’t want that. I don’t want to live as though their Dad and I are still together. I say: don’t try and make the two households identical, but give your children ways to handle the differences.


I st a r t a n ew j o b i n S e o u l n e x t week . I t h i n k it ’ l l b e a g o o d K o r e a m o v e .

friend” coming along … so, no biggie. The kids got used to her as a friend. We then had a conversation about how Daddy’s going to live in another house, and he’ll come and see us all – frequently. There was no tension between the adults, and no big drama – and the children never realised that there ‘should’ve been’. It was really that simple. They didn’t know about divorce. They didn’t know whether divorce was good or bad. It was just that Daddy was going to live in this other place … all treated very normally. Of course, if a kid is older you need to say more. But you never need to go into all the morbid details. Kids aren’t helped by that. GRAPEVINE: How about if your kids are teenagers? JILL: Teenagers are the hardest. They’ve had time to gain their own opinions about divorce, and they’ve got friends who’ve been through it. That helps frame their questions. You tell them, “Kids, it’s different between me and your Dad than what your experience is. It can be hurtful, but this is what Dad’s chosen. Dad’s decided that he’d like to live with … (whoever).” And you add, “While I’m upset about that, I respect your father’s choice.” And leave it at that. Just focus on being the best mum you can possibly be, and answer their questions as honestly and fully as you can – remembering: we don’t air the dirty laundry! GRAPEVINE: Now that your children are older, have they questioned you about what happened? JILL: Yes – a lot. And they wanted to know why it happened. So I’d talk to them in the context of their own playground relationships: “You know how you were 20 Grap e v i ne – I S S U E 2/2012

very friendly with Jimmy so-and-so – and now you don’t see him at all? Well, that’s sort of what happened with Dad and me.” They get that. And that’s all they needed to help them understand. Once they’re teenagers and they’ve had a boyfriend or a girlfriend (and a broken heart), then they’d go, “This is crap, Mum.” And I’d reply, “I know it hurts, sweetie! I really understand!” And you’re able to tell more of your story. They’ll say things like. “I don’t know why you like her!” They went through a stage of real anger towards their step-mum, and we just had to get over it. GRAPEVINE: Is it ever worth ‘staying together for the sake of the children’? JILL: I don’t think so. I neither condone nor condemn divorce. It’s just an event that happens. It’s like the Christchurch earthquake. Bang! What are you going to do with it? And there are things you can do. The step-parent will be able to show the children how much their father (or mother) can be loved. Much more, perhaps, than the mum and dad could while they were together. That, to me, is a positive thing for children – provided, of course, there’s no toxic interchange between the birth parents. If there’s toxic stuff, then, divorce or no divorce, it’s going to screw up the kids.

STIRRING THE POT

Some mothers will say things to their kids like, “Just remember, she’s not your REAL mother!” But I think, well, it takes a VILLAGE to raise your kids – so let’s share it around! Be my guest (I say to her, mentally) and help with running this family!


it comes from, is: “Hurting people hurt other people.” And it’s sometimes helpful to say, “They obviously don’t feel good about themselves or they wouldn’t say such horrible things …” That can defuse the situation – and it helps the kids realise: “Oh, Dad can’t be feeling very good about himself.” I also encourage outside parties, like grandparents, to get creative. There are so many different ways to stay in contact – mobiles, internet, emails, Skype. There’s all sorts of things you can do. GRAPEVINE: Parent/teacher evenings can be troublesome for complex families. But your solution is to attend with your ex-husband, and his new partner, and presumably your new partner too – you’re all there! How do you encourage people who’re locked in bitterness to move towards openness like that? JILL: Firstly by assuring them that yes, it is possible. I know how painful it is to contemplate actually doing it. But this is not about you and your hurt. This is about your child’s education, and you’ve got to focus on that. It’s wonderful for kids to realise that their education is important enough that mum and dad will both turn up. GRAPEVINE: It’s usual for the leaver to be in a new relationship if not before the divorce, certainly soon after. But, often, the leavee also eventually gets to the stage of being ready for a new partner. How do you tell the children that? JILL: If you handled the original split well, it’s easier when the next relationship comes along. But if you’ve been a really toxic ‘ex’ … well, you can hardly expect it to all go swimmingly! For me, having a IS S U E 2/2012– Grapevine 21

S t a tisti c a l l y , si x o ut o f se v e n dw a r fs a r e n o t H a p p y .

GRAPEVINE: We’re tempted to think that the partner who leaves doesn’t have to cope with the same stresses and shocks that the leavee does – but that’s not always true is it? JILL: It all depends why they’ve left. In 65% of ended relationships, it’s the woman who’s pulled the plug. Of course, many of them felt they had to end the relationship. Other leavers might be facing abuse … secret affairs by the partner … dysfunctions like alcoholism, gambling, you name it. The one who leaves isn’t always the man flitting off with a new woman. I look at it this way: the leaver often grieves before they leave. The leavee grieves once they’ve gone. GRAPEVINE: What about the wider family dynamics that a bitter divorce can trigger – like where grandparents are prevented from seeing and interacting with their grandchildren? JILL: Oh, those situations can become really ugly. And what’s paramount here is the good of the children. Both parents need to recognise that grandparents are vital in a child’s life, and it’s a massive bonus if you’ve got grandparents still wanting to be involved. To the grandparents I would say: be the best grandparent you can be, and prove the value of the relationship. If either parent is afraid you might take sides, overcome those fears by the way you spend that time with the child. Don’t try and correct the parents. Don’t say anything that might make tensions worse. If you’re hearing negative things about mum or dad or one of the new stepparents, the thing to remember about this kind of poison, regardless of who


new man come into my life wasn’t threatening for my children because they’d watched how well it worked for their dad. But – that said – how will the new arrangement impact on the kids? They’re about to have someone new in their home, someone they’ve had no choice about.

Y o u ’ r e n e v e r t o o o l d t o l e a r n s o m et h i n g stu p id .

SO, HOW DID I HANDLE IT?

Very carefully! He and I dated for a year before he had any interaction with the wider family. I’d only date him on Wednesday nights, and every second weekend, because that fitted our family routine. If he couldn’t cope with that then he wasn’t going to cut the mustard!

Then we had a year where we’d bring him into family activities – like picnics and outings – so the children were getting used to him. I told them that they weren’t losing me, but that there was a ‘special someone’. And then, when we decided to move in together, he didn’t move into my house and I didn’t move into his – we all moved to a new location and set up home as a family in “Our House”. GRAPEVINE: And how long was it before you introduced the new man to your ‘ex’? JILL: Straight away. There was five years between our separation and my meeting someone new. But once we moved in together I made sure they knew each other. I had to say, out of respect, “This is the man who’s going to be living with your children. Here’s how it works …” And that gave them both a bit of breathing space. GRAPEVINE: Is it ever too late to move 22 Grap e v i ne – I S S U E 2/2012

from a ‘broken’ family to your ‘complex’ model? I can imagine people thinking, “If only I’d read something like this before it all went toxic …!” JILL: Well, I’m working with people who are 28 years into the process! The truth is, it only takes one person to change – and then, by the laws of nature, the whole relationship changes. If you’re willing to work on yourself and your own attitudes – the way you relate to your ‘ex’ and his/her partner – you can start making a difference. The power is with the individual. If you’re always supportive of your children … if you’re always trying to think constructively and speak positively … if you’re happy to go out of your way to just smooth the waters – then that’ll have a beneficial effect, and you will change the dynamic forever. GRAPEVINE: Which brings us back to what you said about forgiveness – right? JILL: Yes. And gratitude. Gratitude’s a big one. People often wish that their ex-partners were dead! But when you think of the effects on the children – the death of a parent is monumental! The effects of a divorce aren’t as bad. In most cases, the kids still see that parent – they’re not gone. So what I say is, “Everything positive that you achieve, be grateful for it instead of ignoring it.” Sadly, when we’re married we overlook all the crap – but when we’re divorced we overlook all the good! GRAPEVINE: You counsel people to talk not just to those who sympathise, don’t you? JILL: Sure. Go to wise people, and talk to them about the grief and stress and anger. If you feel better from having spoken to


them, then chances are you’ll feel more loving towards your children – and more relaxed about their on-going relationship with your ‘ex’. If that’s happening, then carry on talking to that support person …

BUT DON’T SPREAD THE POISON

GRAPEVINE: The trouble is, most of us prefer talking to people who’re going to say, “Oh, you poor, poor thing!” JILL: Absolutely! Because we like that! But we need to understand that this is just encouraging the lonely ‘victimmentality’. Sure, you can have your tears with your girlfriends and pour it all out – but as soon as they start belittling your ‘ex’, that’s when you should say, “No, I can’t take that from you. I need you on my team to help, thanks!” GRAPEVINE: Do you see many toxic situations that are turned around? JILL: Yes, lots! I’ve had lots of people who’ve been in and out of Court for 8, 10, 12 years. They come to me, and after a while I hear, “You’ve transformed my life!” I get beautiful emails most mornings about how well it’s working – which is so lovely. But I also get others that say, “Crap – it’s not working and I’m crying!” That’s the reality of how hard it can be! But, on the whole, people do start getting their lives back on track. A lot of them end up in better relationships

CHECK OUT WWW.COMPLEXFAMILY.COM FOR SEMINARS, IDEAS AND HELPFUL RESOURCES. JILL DARCEY’S BOOK ‘PARENTING WITH THE EX FACTOR’ IS AVAILABLE FROM HER WEBSITE AND ALL GOOD BOOKSHOPS.

WHAT DO YOU THINK? HAVE YOUR SAY! GO TO grapevine’s facebook page. Share YOUR POINT-OF-VIEW AND READ WHAT OTHERS RECKON. IS S U E 2/2012– Grapevine 23

Re m e m b e r , st r essed s p e l l ed b a c kw a r ds is desse r ts !

If your supporter is saying hostile and excluding things like, “Don’t trust your ‘ex’!” and “Don’t let them near the kids!”– then stop talking to that person. Those conversations will poison the dynamic between the two of you and hamper any real progress.

and are able to make contact with more appropriate people – because they’re no longer consumed with vindictiveness or bitterness. The kids are more relaxed and can start doing normal-kids’ things. (Whether they do better at school or not isn’t one of my measuring sticks, because some kids are never going to do all that well at school.) But what I do see is kids becoming more content and happy in the home. And that’s what’s most important. The over-riding encouragement I’d offer to those struggling with divorce is … “It’s worth the effort!” The fact that you made babies with this person is the connection that you’ve got to acknowledge. I was always told, “Marriage is the biggest decision you’ll ever make in your life!” But now I tell everyone, “No it’s not! Who you make babies with is the biggest decision you’ll ever make … so be very careful.” Who you make babies with is with you forever.


Grapevine 2/2012 – Grapepuzzles

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BUMPER STICKER: HONK IF ANYTHING FALLS OFF.

Word Search ––WINTER’S Winter’sARRIVED Arrived WORDSEARCH

S E S K W R T Z W W H N

E N D Q L W Q K R K O C

L S O E J B E A N I E C

D K O W I O J J T W J N

BEANIE COLD SOLUTION CONDENSATION FIREWOOD

D I W N B U W A V J J I

U I E I Y R S G Q Q M H

P N R A I N J J R C Z G

W G I W E B N G P Z M W

X V F D K X W U A V N D

FROST GUMBOOTS MUD PARKA

G R N S I K W M R E U V

I O J R I G U B K Z V D

(solutions page 67)67) (SOLUTION PAGE

C S Z L F D F O A W P E

P C I T A R C O X Q K Q

PUDDLES RAIN RUNNY NOSE SCARF

N A G G O B O T J Q R F

S R E P P I L S S G A J

M F Y T X J D Z T J X O

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S D K6 Q W L R W T7 Q Z K W R W K H5 O N C

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E N S Medium K I I N G V R O (solutions S C Apage R 67) F Sudoku O E J B 2 E A N 1I E C

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How To Play: Fill in the grid so that every row, every column, and every 3x3 box contains the numbers 1 through 9.


I

WAS AT AN EVENT FOR THE disabled a few months ago, and had an amazing time. I’m not disabled myself, but I met some incredible people, and came away feeling very inspired. One young girl in particular stood out to me. She appeared to be very able-bodied so I wasn’t sure what her connection was with the event. But, as I was eating lunch, I caught a glimpse of her again and had a random thought come in to my head: the thought was to give her my bangle. Now, my bangle wasn’t ultra-flash. But I loved it – I wore it almost every day, and had done for a couple of years. It had a Bible verse engraved on the inside: ‘He will charge his angels concerning you to watch over you.’ It wasn’t something I wanted to give up … but the urge to do so was pretty strong.

So I sought the girl out and introduced myself. I still couldn’t work out what her disability was, but she did explain that she’d been sick as a child – and the sickness had had a lasting effect. I’m not entirely sure how I transitioned the conversation into giving her the bangle. All I remember was that it was pretty awkward: “Hey, I’ve only just met you – but here, have my favourite piece of jewellery!” As I handed it to her, she didn’t look at it. Instead, she felt the engraving with her fingers … and smiled. At this point I realised what her disability was. That bangle was perfect! JULIA BLOORE IS A PRESENTER FOR CHRISTIAN BROADCASTING. ‘SCRUBCUTTERS’ ARE RADIO SPOTS – PRODUCED BY CBA, AND HEARD BY 180,000 PEOPLE EACH WEEKDAY, ON THE NEWSTALKZB NETWORK.

IS S U E 2/2012 – Gra pevine 25

BUMPER STICKER: HONK IF ANYTHING FALLS OFF.

illustration by Vasanti

THE BANGLE


paddling for dinner

(kayak-fishing in the Coromandel)

The peace and solitude was rudely interrupted by an almighty SPLASH just behind me. Thinking a giant fish (maybe a broaching Great White?) had leapt out of the water, I quickly turned to see Elliot swimming around, desperately trying to get his 115kg frame back in his kayak. Seems he’d overturned while throwing a fish into the storage well behind his seat. I ended up laughing so hard I nearly joined him! 26 Grap e v i ne – I S S U E 2/2012


by Mike Cooney

A

ccording to bumper stickers I’ve seen, 1.4 million Kiwis fish, hunt and vote. Now thankfully, we’re not here to discuss politics (“Phew!” I hear you say!) However, that’s a pretty impressive number – and it says a lot about how many of us enjoy these recreational pursuits. For those who fancy the idea of providing a fishy dinner for the family now-and-then, there are several methods you can use. Boat fishing’s a pretty Kiwi way to get your line wet; but it’s also the most expensive – unless you’ve got a mate with a boat! Then there’s surfcasting, which is accessible to virtually anyone

with the appropriate rod and reel – and a great alternative for those who get seasick! Another simpler solution is to go out and hook a fish by kayak. Over the last few years, word’s got out just how successful ‘yak’ fishing can be. In fact, it’s become so popular that most canoe manufacturers now include specialty fishing-kayaks in their line-up. The majority are ‘sit-ontop’ types, which are much more practical (and safer) than ‘sit-insides’. They sport various numbers of rod holders, storage areas and other fishing practicalities – and are generally pretty stable, with the most popular ones ranging in length from 4 to 4.7 metres. IS S U E 2/2012– Grapevine 27


Out o f m y m i n d . B a c k i n fi v e m i n utes .

Yak fishing (not to be confused with the hairy Himalayan native) has a number of advantages over its motorboat cousin. For example: kayaks are cheaper to buy; there’s no fuel costs; and you can safely fish in shallower, more ‘reefy’ areas. They’re also quiet and a little like a stealth bomber – able to sneak up unawares on their prey. They’re easy to launch by yourself, quick to clean, and are a heap of fun – especially when hooked up to a big fish! With all these benefits being promised, you can understand why, a few months ago, I bit the bullet and bought one myself … ne of the attractive things about fishing from a kayak, for me at least, is the simplicity. While lots of guys set their yaks up with every piece of fishing paraphernalia under the sun, I just take a couple of rods, a few softbaits and not much else. A little local knowledge also helps when finding the fish.

O

28 Grap e v i ne – I S S U E 2/2012

(I have friends, on the other hand, who take three or four rods, fancy electronic equipment, bait, lures, nets and gaffs – and some guys even have live-bait tanks installed! So while it can be simple – it doesn’t have to be if you’re that way inclined!) A few weeks ago, after some great fishing locally, a few of us planned a trip up the coast for a change of scenery – and to see if we could bag a few bigger fish out of our yaks. Keen kayaker and cuzzy, Bryce, was a starter – and he invited his friend and well-known kayak fisherman, Stephen Tapp, to join us. Local mates of mine, Nigel (owner of Bubba’s Fishing & Outdoor) and Elliot, completed the crew. Our destination was Papa Aroha – a few minutes north of Coromandel township and a well-known fishing spot. After meeting at Bubba’s for last minute supplies, we loaded the kayaks and piled


into the vehicle. Bryce and Stephen were meeting us up there, so the rest of us headed off – stopping for a compulsory feed of KFC on the way up. (We don’t get fine dining like this at home!) We made Papa Aroha and the campground midafternoon, and, after wrestling for the best bed in the single-room cabin, got our kit together for an evening fish. Stephen still hadn’t arrived, so the four of us headed out into the glassy conditions – ever hopeful of landing a few fish. And sure enough, it didn’t take long before we started hooking up – small ones at first, and then some bigger, nicer-eating snapper. Bryce and I were solely using softbaits – a flexible lure made of soft plastic which can be

fished in a variety of ways. It’s become very popular – and means you don’t need to worry about stinky bait, or making a mess in your kayak! The softbaits come in a multitude of colours, and have cool names, like ‘Nuclear Chicken’ and ‘Lime Tiger’ – so they gotta be good! After Elliot’s swim, we headed a little deeper to around the 15-metre mark, where there was a bit more action showing on Bryce’s fish-finder. We were all hooking up now – and, just as the sun began to dip below the horizon, I swapped my ‘New-Penny’ colour for one that glowed in the dark. I cast, waited for the lure to sink, and then started my retrieve … when, WHAM! It was hit hard! I felt the typical ‘knock-knock’ of IS S U E 2/2012– Grapevine 29


P r o c r a sti n a ti o n is t h e a r t o f kee p i n g u p wit h y este r d a y .

Will, showing the local produce on an earlier trip.

a snapper as line tore off the reel, and, after a quick fight, I landed a nice eightpounder– which, importantly, was bigger than anyone else’s! addling home after dark was an adventure in itself. Nigel led us into some rocks, swearing it was the channel back into the campsite – but, after a bit of rock-crawling, we finally made it. Stephen was there to greet us, and we lost no time filleting some fish for dinner and putting the others on ice.

P

T

30 Grap e v i ne – I S S U E 2/2012

Photo: Stephen Tapp

After a great feed of fresh snapper, we spent the rest of the evening yarning about ones that had got away, and looking through Stephen’s impressive collection of lures and fishing tackle. As the GM of Viking Kayaks, he has plenty of fishing knowledge and spends a large amount of time on the water. (He calls it producttesting, but we know better!) As the three Whanga boys use Ocean Kayaks (Viking’s main competition), there was plenty of banter as to which was better! Fortunately, majority ruled – but the proof would be in tomorrow’s fishing … he next morning dawned with a strong southerly blowing, so the call was made to head further north to a little cove near the tip of the peninsula – named ‘Goat Bay’. This was hopefully more sheltered … and full of giant fish! The water looked calm and real ‘fishy’ as we hurriedly got our gear sorted and into the water. The plan was to fish the


Photo: Stephen Tapp

the shallows resulted in a hard hit, with line screaming from my reel. (It would’ve helped if my drag was done up tighter!) Some hard knocks had us thinking I had a big snapper on, but, after a couple of minutes, a large ocean kahawai surfaced instead. Bryce was keen to use it as a livebait for a big kingie. So he paddled over to get it. But as he took the fish, it gave a little wiggle and Bryce (the wuss!) dropped it over the side! As it turned out, that was the biggest fish we caught for the day. We added a few more nice pan-sized snapper to the icebox, but the big one had eluded us … for now! Heading home, we all agreed it had been a great couple of days. We’d got to hang out with some good mates … in a beautiful place … … and go fishing!

IS S U E 2/2012– Grapevine 31

O n e - se v e n t h o f y o u r l ife is s p e n t o n M o n d a y s .

drop-off at around the 25-30 metre mark and see what was around – my plan was to follow Stephen and his fish-finder! The going, however, was slow and hard. The guys using bait were pulling in plenty of little ones, but nothing of any size, and there wasn’t much action with the softbaits either. So I decided to paddle south, towards the tip of Fantail Bay, and let the wind drift me north. By now the southerly had got up, and with the current flowing opposite to the wind, some pretty impressive chop was created. Somehow, Nigel and Elliot (who both have reputations for falling out … in calm water!) managed to stay upright. Hugging the coastline to avoid the strong winds, we continued searching for something bigger than the ‘pannies’ we’d been catching. The most excitement I had all day came after changing my softbait to a ‘Black Catalpa’. My first cast in


32 Grap e v i ne – I S S U E 2/2012

BUMPER STICKER: HONK IF ANYTHING FALLS OFF.


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ISISSSUUEE2/2012 2/2012– – Grapevine 33

BUMPER STICKER: HONK IF ANYTHING FALLS OFF.

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TERIYAKI BEEF STIR-FRY


TERIYAKI BEEF STIR-FRY

W h y a r e p i r a tes c a l l ed p i r a tes ? Be c a use t h e y a a a r r r g g g h h h !

Here’s a stir-fry with crunch! Enjoy the contrasting textures of the toasted seeds and the shelled edamame beans, all held together with a flavoursome teriyaki sauce. (Tip: Replace beef with chicken if preferred.) 1 tbsp sesame seeds 2 tbsp sunflower seeds 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds 500g rump steak, cut into strips 1 red capsicum, deseeded and sliced 1 chilli, deseeded and sliced (optional)

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be sent to the first 5 readers who write and request one from Grapevine, Private Bag 92124, Victoria St West, Auckland 1142. So act now! (previous winners not eligible) IS S U E 2/2012– Grapevine 35

S o m e p e o p l e w o n ’ t suffe r i n si l e n c e . T h a t w o u l d t a ke a l l t h e p l e a su r e o ut o f it .

together, being careful not to overmix. Fill paper cases with the muffin mixture. 5. For topping: mix sugar and oats together in a small bowl. Sprinkle a little over each muffin. 6. Bake for 12–15 minutes, until muffins are golden and spring back when pressed. Makes 12


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what women want in a man Original List: age 20 Women want a man who: 1. is handsome 2. is charming 3. is financially successful 4. is a caring listener 5. is witty 6. is in good shape 7. dresses with style 8. appreciates finer things 9. is full of thoughtful surprises 10. is an imaginative, romantic lover

Revised List: age 30 Women want a man who: 1. is nice looking 2. opens car doors and holds chairs 3. can afford a nice dinner 4. listens more than talks 5. laughs at her jokes 6. carries supermarket bags with ease 7. owns at least one tie 8. appreciates a good home-cooked meal 9. remembers birthdays and anniversaries 10. seeks romance at least once a week 36 Grap 3 6eG v irne a p e–vIiSne S U E– 2/2012 IS S U E 2/2012

Revised List: age 40 Women want a man who: 1. is not too ugly 2. doesn’t drive off until she’s in the car 3. will splurge occasionally on dinner-out 4. nods his head when she’s talking 5. remembers the punch line of jokes 6. is in good enough shape to rearrange the furniture 7. wears a shirt that covers his stomach 8. knows not to buy cask wine 9. remembers to put the toilet seat down 10. shaves most weekends


Revised List: age 60 Women want a man who: 1. doesn’t scare small children 2. remembers where the bathroom is 3. doesn’t require much pocket-money 4. only snores lightly when asleep 5. can remember why he’s laughing 6. is in good enough shape to stand up by himself 7. usually wears clothes 8. likes soft foods 9. is aware that it’s the weekend 10. remembers where he left his teeth Revised List: age 70 Women want a man who: 1. is breathing 2. doesn’t miss the toilet.

CARTOONZ

“So what did my father say when you asked if you could marry me?”

“You’re such a good listener, Rodney. I like that in a man.”

“Our son’s school is so private we don’t even know where it is.” IS S U E 2/2012 – Gra pevine 37

If you really want to make a long story short, don’t tell it.

Revised List: age 50 Women want a man who: 1. keeps his nose and ear-hair trimmed 2. doesn’t belch or scratch in public 3. doesn’t borrow money too often 4. doesn’t nod off to sleep when she’s venting 5. doesn’t retell the same jokes all the time 6. is in good enough shape to get off the couch 7. wears matching socks and fresh underwear 8. appreciates a good TV dinner 9. remembers her name when meeting others 10. shaves some weekends


BUMPER STICKER: HONK IF ANYTHING FALLS OFF.

Forgiveness

e don’t deserve w s rt u h e th g n li a he 38 Grap e v i ne – I S S U E 2/2012


This article first appeared in Grapevine back in 1990. We felt it was worth reprinting.

A photographER: TAMMY COONEY. MODEL: ALYSHA

s the youngest of three children, Tracey always wanted the attention of her brother and sister. But she was too young to join in the games. “I was the baby of the family, so they wouldn’t play with me.” Then, “somewhere around the age of five,” it happened. Tracey’s father began giving her the affection she wanted so much – and she was too young to realise what he was doing. “It didn’t seem wrong at first. He told me it was private, special, between the two of us. And if I told anyone I would break that special love.” But just before her 10th birthday Tracey discovered that something was desperately wrong. One evening as she rode her bicycle around the streets near her house, she smiled innocently at a passerby. He followed her, grabbed her from behind and, with a knife held to Tracey’s throat, carried her to a deserted property nearby. “He taught me what rape was … and while it was happening I was thinking, ‘But this is what my Dad does.’ I just couldn’t understand it.” Tracey ran home after the rape, crying, and told her parents what the man had

done. The police were called, and Tracey went through all the questioning and medical examinations. “I was thinking to myself, ‘How come the police are after this guy for doing something my father does to me all the time?’ It was at that point I realised something was wrong – but I wasn’t strong enough to tell anyone about it.” fter the rape, Tracey’s life returned to normal – or what was normal for her. “However, now I knew that what I was taking part in was not right.” She would hide in wardrobes and cupboards to avoid her father when she heard his footsteps on the stairs. But it didn’t stop him. Over the years that followed, he continued to use her sexually. As a teenager she became more and more desperate, but still she felt trapped, unable to tell anyone about her horrible secret. “I thought about suicide … drugs … And at one stage I very seriously considered a career in prostitution. I thought I might as well get money for what I was doing. I guess I just accepted that this was it for me. I didn’t feel strong enough to do anything about it.”

A

IS S U E 2/2012 – Gra pevine 39

T h e s h i n b o n e i s a d e v ic e f o r f i n d i n g f u r n i t u r e i n t h e d a r k .

Few of us have as much reason to hate someone as Tracey, a 24-year-old Aucklander. She still vividly recalls scenes from her childhood. The sound of those early-morning footsteps coming toward her bedroom. And the fear that used to send her flying to the toy cupboard. But these days there’s little sign of the bitterness she carried for more than half her young life …


Torch: A case for holding dead batteries.

Tracey was nearly 18 now, and her father could sense she was going to crack. He kept telling Tracey not to say anything … “but I just couldn’t handle it anymore. I ran off crying one day, and Mum came to find me. When she asked me what was wrong, I said, ‘You’re so blind you don’t even know!’ And I told her what Dad had been doing to me all those years.” Tracey remembers her mother going back to confront her father. And then the two of them walking towards her along the path. The first thought that ran through her mind was that her father was coming to kill her. But then she saw the look on his face … “His head was drooping, and he was crying. It was the first time I’d seen him look guilty like that.” Tracey felt a great weight lift from her shoulders. Her secret was out at last. But what was she to do now? She had once dreamed of ruining her father’s career, hurting him as much as she could, and dragging his name through the mud in front of all his friends. But now that the truth was known, she couldn’t bring herself to make either her mother or herself suffer anymore. “Mum was too weak to go to the police. And I knew if I reported it, that would split up the family and cost me the only things I had left.” There was also the rape incident. “I remembered what it had been like, when people found out it was me. You feel really dirty and grubby after the court-case – like you’re someone’s dirty laundry that’s been hung on the line for everyone to see. I didn’t want that to happen all over again. People forget that the victim suffers a second time in court. 40 Grap e v i ne – I S S U E 2/2012

“Eventually it came down to the personal price I would have to pay. If people found out about Dad, they would find out about me …” So Tracey made her decision: she would not take the matter to the police.

W

WHERE TO NEXT?

hat now? How was Tracey to cope? Was she just to forget the whole thing? Brush it aside and let bygones be bygones? What about the memories? How could she stop feeling used and worthless? What about those bruised emotions, that pain, the feeling of being forever unclean? How would she handle relationships with boyfriends? How could she live with a father who had hurt her for so many years – and was now getting off scot-free? What about the part of her that cried out for revenge? Surely someone should pay for her lost childhood? More than a decade of sexual abuse can’t simply be put aside. Although Tracey’s father had stopped his behaviour and there was an uneasy truce, the damage from those years of selfish betrayal didn’t just disappear. It now seemed that Tracey had escaped one awful trap only to get caught in another – with her resentments all bottled up inside. “The more bitter and angry I felt about my father, the more stressed I got.” It showed in various ways. She was obsessed with keeping her body clean – but, on the other hand, she dressed as scruffy as she could to stop herself being attractive to men. She was obsessed, too, with a belief that marriage and children could never


M

A WAY OF ESCAPE?

“An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth – it makes sense, in a gruesome sort of way. Trouble is, it doesn’t work. You never get even.”

happen for her. “I couldn’t get close to any guy without feeling repulsed. Pictures of my father would flash through my mind, and all my little-girl dreams would just fly out the window. My future was gone.” Tracey cut herself off from her father as much as possible. “We lived in the same house, but that was it. I would go to extremes to avoid being anywhere near him, and I was always on guard.” In spite of her decision not to report him, she found herself driven to pay her father back. “I lived for years trying to get revenge. If there was an opportunity to do or say something to hurt him, I would.”

is long since dead – but the hate itself won’t lie down and die. The unfairness is what hurts. A wrong was done and someone ought to pay. Someone deserves our scorn, our contempt, our hatred. That’s how Tracey felt about her father. And it seemed as if she was doomed to stay caught in this resentment-trap for the rest of her life. That’s when Tracey found her way of escape … an exit from her personal hell. It’s a way that – at first sight – makes no sense at all. Tracey decided to forgive her father. IS S U E 2/2012 – Gra pevine 41

W h a t h a p p e n s i f y o u g e t s c a r e d h a l f t o d e a t h t w ic e ?

ost of us haven’t been as cruelly treated as Tracey. Yet many of us nurse memories of hurts and injustices that eat away at us. Unfair things that we can’t forget, that we didn’t deserve, that keep on hurting and can’t just be ignored or shrugged off. Remember what it’s like to be stung by the words or actions of someone close to you? Remember when a friend betrayed you, or spoke poison about you? Or a parent blamed you unfairly? Maybe you know what it’s like to be deserted by a husband or wife. At some time or other, many of us have been let down badly … cheated … humiliated … made to feel rejected or unloved or unlovable. Some of us have suffered at the hands of a stranger, someone we’ll never know. Or maybe the person we hate


WHY SHOULD ANYONE FORGIVE?

Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.

F

orgive? Why should she forgive? There’s every good reason why she shouldn’t! What her father did to a helpless, trusting child is UNforgivable! And yet … maybe not forgiving is too awful to live with? The desire for revenge is natural enough. “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth!” makes sense, in a gruesome sort of way. And the world is full of people – and nations – who are battling to get even. Trouble is, it doesn’t work. You never get even. It’s a chain reaction that just goes on and on – and the hurt and anger and bitterness on both sides simply increase. Two people trapped in an elevator that takes them down into more and more hatred. Sure – a savage pleasure can come from nursing the memory, from stoking the fires of your resentment. But that resentment is like a tape-recorder in your head, playing re-runs of the rotten things that were done to you. And you get so hooked into it that you can’t leave it alone. Maybe you just want to bury the memory? That’s understandable. Some experiences – like incest – are so ugly that you try to block them out, stuff them deep into the dark pit of your subconscious mind. Trouble is, they’re still there. And you can find yourself plunged again and again into deep depression. One day, out of the blue, something can trigger it off – and that memory can come back to haunt you, like a ghost from the past. What forgiveness does is put the hurt in a grave. It buries it dead – so it can’t 42 Grap e v i ne – I S S U E 2/2012

break out and haunt anyone again. And forgiveness can sometimes bring double healing, restoring a relationship that’s been ruined by some past wrong. Why forgive? Because we need to escape. The anger we’re directing against someone else – even though it may be fully deserved – is destroying us. We’re the victim twice-over: once, when we suffered the wrong … and now, again, as we dwell on the injustice. Hate is a parasite … but the blood it’s sucking is ours. As Tracey now realises, “I no longer need to look back and say, ‘Poor me!’ Now I can say, ‘Okay, this happened to me – but it’s over with’.”

1

WHAT FORGIVENESS IS:

Forgiveness is letting go of the past. That betrayal, that unkindness, that suffering is done with. We realise we can’t change it or rewrite that chapter. But we can stop clinging to it. We can turn off the tape-recorder, put an end to those memory re-runs, break the power that the past has had over us. And then we can begin to write a new chapter … 2. Forgiveness is separating the deed from the doer. It’s choosing to be angry at the offence rather than at the offender. This is more difficult in extreme cases of cruelty or abuse. But, in other situations, it’s realising that a husband, a wife, a parent, a friend was weak more than wicked. And maybe it’s realising that there are things we all do that are worth forgiving. That’s easier when we’ve been forgiven a few times ourselves. When we realise that we make mistakes too, and are capable of hurting others as much as they hurt us.


“We can’t change the past. We can’t rewrite that chapter. But we can break its power over us, and begin to write a new chapter in our lives …”

1

WHAT FORGIVENESS ISN’T:

Forgiveness isn’t saying it doesn’t matter. It does matter! What Tracey’s father did to her was cruel and horrible And forgiveness is not saying, “Oh, it’s all right.” Forgiveness doesn’t mean excusing what was done. In fact, we forgive people only because we refuse to excuse them. Forgiveness is saying, “It was wrong – full stop! But the time has come to put that wrong aside.” Forgiving people doesn’t mean we tolerate what they do. And it doesn’t mean letting them off the hook, either. When Pope John Paul visited the cell of the man who shot him, Mehmet Ali Agca didn’t walk free from his prison. Tracey had chosen not to expose

in the cupboard. One day the pile will all spill out. “It always comes up eventually,” says Tracey. “You can guarantee something WILL trigger it off in the future.” Forgiveness isn’t forgetting. You can’t wipe out the past. But what you can do is ease the pain. If you want to test whether forgiveness works, don’t ask if the past has been forgotten. Ask if the ache that those memories arouse in you is finally starting to fade. 3. Forgiveness doesn’t mean being weak. When you’re on the receiving end of ugly behaviour, you may ‘shut up and put up’ – but that isn’t forgiveness. Nor is thinking up a bunch of excuses for somebody. Forgiveness sounds passive, but in fact IS S U E 2/2012 – Gra pevine 43

If I agreed with you, we’d both be wrong.

her father to the police. But that wasn’t forgiveness. It was her way of coping with the pain her family faced. It allowed her to continue her life, and her mother likewise. But Tracey’s decision to forgive her father was something quite separate … 2. Forgiveness isn’t forgetting. It’s easy to forget little annoyances, things that don’t matter very much. And so we should! In a world full of people, we’re going to have our toes stood on occasionally. And we can’t go through life fussing over those small hurts. But forgiveness is about the real hurts. The things you can’t forget. Forgiveness is remembering … and still forgiving. Dealing with deep hurt by simply trying to forget it is like hiding it away


it’s exactly the opposite. It takes strength to forgive. Forgiveness is a deliberate decision and, as Tracey puts it, “it takes a lot of guts.”

L

I have a high opinion of my opinion.

FAKE FORGIVENESS

et’s be honest here: forgiveness isn’t something we humans find easy. What many of us are better at is ‘imitation forgiveness’ … • “I’m not angry. I’m just disappointed that you could lower yourself to do such a thing …” A put-down is not forgiveness. • “I forgave you for embarrassing me in front of all those people – but I still can’t believe you said those horrible things …” When you drag up the past, that’s not forgiveness. • “I’ve forgiven YOU for your foul temper. Why can’t you forgive ME for that harmless flirting at the party?” When you use it to make a deal, that’s not forgiveness. • “Of course I forgive you! It was nothing anyway …” When it doesn’t cost much, it’s not forgiveness. If you were hurt, then it was something – and you can’t just toss those feelings aside.

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HOW TO FORGIVE

ell, okay. Assuming that you want to forgive, how do you go about it? How can you wipe out what seems to be a terrible hurt? There’s no money-back formula for making forgiveness happen. And it’s doubly-difficult where there’s no admission, no apology, no remorse from the offender. But here are some steps you might find helpful. They may take you a few minutes to work through – or several 44 Grap e v i ne – I S S U E 2/2012

months. It depends on how deeply the hurt has been carved into your heart. So don’t rush it. But don’t wait forever either! There’ll come a time when, for your own sake, you’ll need to begin the process – even if you still don’t feel like it. 1. Begin by facing up to your hurt and hate. Be honest. Admit to yourself just how angry you are, how much you dislike that person. Face up to all that it means to you. Sometimes the anger is hidden. We refuse to admit we’re hurt, and pretend that we don’t care. Being honest about our need to forgive is the most powerful first step we can take. 2. Separate the hurt from the person who did it. Tracey was cruelly abused. No question of that. What was done to her is not forgivable. But she finally decided that her father was! Forgiving is finding a new way of looking at the person who has wronged you. It may help if you can list things


personal way to make it easier: “I kneel with my fists clenched and hold them hard against my chest (like clutching the hurt to myself) while I think through the pain it has brought me. Then, when I’m ready, I hold out my arms and unclench my fists with palms raised, telling God that I hand the hurt to him.” That’s how, in the end, Tracey made her breakthrough. She began praying that God would somehow help her forgive her father. And a week later she realised that it was beginning to happen. “It slowly dawned on me that I no longer had such harsh feelings towards my father. I guess that it was finally working out in my own life.” 4. Behave in a forgiving way. Where possible, change the way you behave towards this person who wronged you. Decide that you’ll never bring the issue up again – and then deliberately start doing the things you’ve refused to do in the past. Be friendly. Be cheerful. Show those usual small acts of kindness.

“Forgiveness isn’t forgetting. It’s about real hurts, the things you can’t forget. Forgiveness is remembering … and still forgiving.”

IS S U E 2/2012 – Gra pevine 45

I ’ m a g a i n s t p ic k e t i n g , b u t I d o n ’ t k n o w h o w t o s h o w i t .

about this person that you appreciate. It may help to finish this sentence: “(John), I hate what you did, but I realise that you …” In some extreme cases there may be nothing left but to say: “There’s no way I’ll ever understand what drove ... (the offender) to do this thing, but I’d now like to put that behind me and start afresh …” 3. Make an ‘act of forgiveness’. It can help to make a special event of your decision – and to put your forgiveness into words. For example, write the words on paper. Read them to yourself every day for a week. Then, at the end of that week, seal the paper in an envelope and burn it. You may feel you can go to the person who wronged you and let him or her know that you are laying the resentment to rest. If that’s not possible, ask a friend to witness your decision. If the pain is buried too deep, a trained counsellor could help you understand the extent of the hurt – and guide you in leaving it behind. One counsellor we spoke to uses this


Is Marx’s tomb a communist plot?

Does it matter if your heart isn’t in it yet? No – because your feelings will learn from your behaviour. Author/counsellor Joyce Huggett claims that deciding to forgive often has nothing to do with emotions. “It has everything to do with my will,” she says. “It’s deciding with my head that I’ll let go of my anger and resentment. It’s saying, ‘I’m going to!’ “The emotions usually catch up later. At the moment it feels like hell, but I know that later I’ll be glad about it.” “We can’t decide to feel forgiving. But we can decide, first, to be willing to forgive and, second, to act in a forgiving way. We can’t tell our emotions what they must do, but we can tell our will. And when we do, we usually find that forgiveness filters through to our feelings eventually.” 5. Keep repeating your decision to forgive. Forgiveness grows, and not many of us have the magic to make it grow quickly. Tracey was lucky. For her, when she finally got around to it, it was almost a relief. But that’s rare. Forgiveness breaks the laws of nature and fairness. And you shouldn’t expect to produce it overnight. 46 Grap e v i ne – I S S U E 2/2012

It can be a bit like giving up smoking. You may need several tries before you discover just how big a hurdle it is. Most of us, when we’re first learning to forgive, will find the old feelings re-surfacing and attacking us again. Our heads may say we forgive … but our hearts will tell us we don’t! However, that’s normal. And the trick is to make the forgiveness real in our lives by repeating it whenever necessary. Let’s face it, the hate-habit is hard to break – and the longer we’ve lived with it the harder it is. For a while at least those old feelings will return. But that doesn’t mean forgiveness “didn’t work”. It just means that negative emotions are slow to lose their power. However, take heart. One day you may be surprised to find yourself wishing your ex-wife well in her new marriage. Or genuinely wanting the friend who bad-mouthed you, or the parent who betrayed you, or the child who rebelled against you … to be happy! Gradually you’ll come to realise that you’ve actually done it. Like Tracey, you have forgiven!


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FREEDOM FROM THE PAST

Your forgiveness may be received as a welcome gift. It may be the act of love that sparks off healing in the person you’ve chosen to love again. But there are no guarantees. Maybe your abuser or false accuser is dead, or long gone out of your life. Maybe he’s unrepentant, and doesn’t want to be forgiven. Maybe she doesn’t think she’s done anything she needs to be forgiven for. Maybe they still think you’re the guilty one. You don’t have the power to heal the other person. It takes two to restore a relationship, and your forgiveness may not be enough to break down the barrier in someone else’s heart. But whatever happens, forgiving is still worth the effort. Why? Because it’s for your own good. When you forgive, you set a prisoner free … and you discover that the prisoner was you! Keepers of the Vine

WHAT DO YOU THINK? HAVE YOUR SAY!

GO TO grapevine’s facebook page. Share YOUR POINT-OF-VIEW AND READ WHAT OTHERS RECKON.

IS S U E 2/2012 – Gra pevine 47

Before God and the bus driver, we are all equal. (German proverb)

orgiveness is a miracle. And it’s for ordinary people – not just saints! Do you think you can’t forgive? Well, think again. Lots of ordinary people do manage it. And in the process they heal themselves of hurts they didn’t deserve. Forgiveness is a miracle. But it has its limits. While it can free you from your private history of pain and stop you torturing yourself, it can’t change everything. Chances are, two lives may have gone in different directions. A divorced husband or wife may have remarried. An abusing father or mother may have died. And even when two people can get their lives back together, the lost years can’t be restored. Tracey is an adult now, a 26-year-old office worker living in Auckland. She’s been freed from her hate – and she’s found her father again. But she’ll never remember him as the kind of daddy that a little girl likes to welcome home … crawl into his lap … and feel safe in his strong arms. Nothing she can do will ever rewrite the past. She can’t “make it all better”.


dreamstime.com

Wh eK e lE Rb:l uHeO,N K I I sF t aArNtY T bH r Ie N aG t hFiAnLgL Sa O gF a Fi .n . Be Un MePvEeRr SIT If C

AUTUMN LEAVES FALLING

I

LIKE TO SIT IN THE GARDEN when I’m thinking or praying And because God hears both perhaps they’re the same …

This morning I ask him to tell me something and soon seven red-brown leaves fall on me As I look at one – turning its dryness in my fingers – I’m thinking of mortality and that lately I’ve been feeling thin and worn like this too … 48 Grap e v i ne – I S S U E 2/2012

However this is a beautiful shapely thing I hold in my hand I’m also thinking that after all autumn leaves are the colours we remember autumn leaves appear most beautiful autumn leaves are the subject of paintings and poetry Just when you think they’re dying they come into their own MARK LAURENT – ‘THROW AWAY THE STONES’


HUG A BOD A DAY:

MISSING THE POINT

I have a lot of faith. But I am also afraid a lot, and have no real certainty about anything. I remembered something Father Tom had told me – that the opposite of faith is not doubt, but certainty. Certainty is missing the point entirely.

ALL OR NOTHING!

If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.

Faith includes noticing the mess, the emptiness and discomfort, and letting it be there until some light returns. ANNE LAMOTT – ‘PLAN B: FURTHER THOUGHTS ON FAITH’

A WEEKDAY BLESSING …

May your hair, your teeth, your face-lift, your abs, and your share-values not fall – and may your blood pressure, your triglycerides, your cholesterol, your white blood count and your mortgage-interest not rise. May you get a clean bill of health from your dentist, your cardiologist, your gastroenterologist, your urologist, your proctologist, your podiatrist, your psychiatrist, your plumber and the IRD. May you find a way to travel from anywhere to anywhere during rush hour in less than an hour – and when you get there may you find a parking space. May what you see in the mirror delight you – and what others see in YOU delight them. May you remember to say ‘I love you’ at least once a day to your spouse, your child, and your parents. You can say it to your secretary, your nurse, your butcher, your photographer, your masseuse, your hairdresser or your gym instructor – but not with a ‘twinkle’ in your eye. May you live as intended, in a world at peace, aware of the beauty in every sunset, every flower’s unfolding petals, every baby’s smile and every wonderful, astonishing, miraculous beat of your heart. (AUTHOR UNKNOWN)

IS S U E 2/2012 – Gra pevine 49

J u s t b e cB aU uM s eP EIR’ mS TmIoCoKdE yR :d H oO e sNnK’ tI Fm A eN aY n T yHoI u e AnL o iF r Fr.i t a t i n g . N ’Gr F L St O

Hugging is an effective cure for the blues. Our skin-pores are places for messages of love. FOUR hugs a day are needed for survival … EIGHT hugs a day are needed for maintenance … TWELVE hugs a day are needed for growth. So go on: hug somebody, and watch ‘em grow!


q EuRi zSzTeIsC a e : qHuOi N zz B IUfM P Kr ER K ic I Fa lA,N w Y ThHaItN a G rFeA t L LeSs tOsF?F .

BAD-HAIR DAY

Next time you’re tempted to complain about getting old, remember: some people are denied the opportunity!

UNLIMITED

Listen to the MUSTN’TS, child, Listen to the DON’TS Listen to the SHOULDN’TS The IMPOSSIBLES, the WON’TS Listen to the NEVER HAVES Then listen close to me – ANYTHING can happen, child, ANYTHING can be. SHEL SILVERSTEIN

STALEMATE:

A man who makes no mistakes often ends up making nothing.

FILED AWAY

Your brain is like a filing cabinet with a positive drawer and a negative one. You choose how you do your filing. If you put something in the negative one, it will be stuck in your head …

ELSIE WALKINSHAW – CHRISTCHURCH EARTHQUAKE SURVIVOR

WHY ME?

LONGEVITY?

Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing.

50 Grap e v i ne – I S S U E 2/2012

Suffering is often incomprehensible. There is no easy answer. Living through it humbles us. Makes us kinder, if we allow it to do so. It burns away the dross. Teaches us to accept and care for each other in our weakness, because one thing is sure – we will all be brought low at some time. Each of us needs consolation and support. The first thing, child, is not to judge. We cannot ever know for sure what makes people do what they do. Only God understands what we can never see.


FATHER ANDREW – ‘IN BORROWED LIGHT’ BY BARBARA & STEPHANIE KEATING

WHAT MATTERS?

Not everything that can be counted counts … and not everything that counts can be counted. ALBERT EINSTEIN

EARTHY SPIRITUALITY

The truly holy people I’ve met in my life are really interesting people. They’re a mix of the most incredible godliness and at the same time, the most unbelievable earthiness. I know a woman who curses like a sailor, but she’s the most holy woman I know. She is! I’m not kidding. We’ve created an image of what holiness looks like that’s just nonsense. Good, holy people probably drink too much sometimes, and have colourful language – and there’s plenty of room in the Bible to see people like that. We have to see life for what it is. Spirituality is not simple. It’s complicated. It gets messy sometimes. But messy disciples are exactly the kind of imperfect people Jesus came to earth for and whose

company he actually enjoyed – and still enjoys today. MIKE YACONELLI – ‘MESSY SPIRITUALITY’

THE WAY

For a long time it seems to me that life was about to begin – real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be got through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my LIFE. This perspective has helped me to see that there is no ‘way to happiness’. Happiness is the way. So treasure every moment you have, and remember that time waits for no one. Happiness is a journey, not a destination.

ALFRED SOUZA

REASON TO SMILE:

Every seven minutes of every day, someone in an aerobics class pulls a hamstring. IS S U E 2/2012 – Gra pevine 51

I t ’ s a l m o s t i m pBoUsMs P ib l e S tT o s tOiNmKa It Fe A tN hY e TuHnI iNm ER I CoKvEeRr:e H G pFoArLtL a S nOcFeF .o f m o s t t h i n g s .

Leave judgement to him. He knows how to temper it with love. And don’t judge yourself so harshly, either. Human weakness is universal. But love heals, because it draws out what is good. I am a great believer in the mercy of the Lord. Trust yourself to that mercy, and when the time comes … you will know what to do.


spot

the difference

Fun in the Hot Pools by Tim Tripp


TRY TO SPOT THE 18 differences in these two pictures. Find Grapevine on Facebook to see if you got them all!


BUMPER STICKER: HONK IF ANYTHING FALLS OFF.

t t i w e H Norm Chit-chat with All Black veteran & Dancing with the Stars winner …

54 Grap e v i ne – I S S U E 2/2012


1

A great night out for you would go like …? NORM: Getting a babysitter, then going out for a meal and a movie. Even just taking a walk and having fish’n’chips on the beach. It doesn’t have to be a big thing. It’s all about time spent together.

5

What’s your all-time favourite movie? NORM: Oh, I love The Lion King! It was 20 years ago when it first came out, but now I get to watch it again with my kids. They’re eight and six, so just the right age. It teaches them many good lessons – like the possibility of distraction, and how to deal with it. Life these days is more complicated for kids. They have so many options, and so many pressures to buy stuff that’s got no value or substance.

3

What’s the No.1 key to a great marriage? NORM: I reckon communication. Nurturing your relationship is always important. Before you get married it’s all about you two. But then you get married and have kids, and it’s not about you anymore. Twenty years later, you’re lying in bed with someone you don’t even know because you’ve forgotten to nurture the partnership with your wife. You need to beware of concentrating more on the kids than each other. It’s too easy to get complacent.

4

What music are you into at present? NORM: I like Bob Marley, jazz, blues, U2 and Elvis. I like the fact that I can listen to this music and it doesn’t have IS S U E 2/2012 – Gra pevine 55

Where do forest rangers go to “get away from it all?”

2

Who do you most admire, and why? NORM: When I was growing up I wanted to be exactly like my dad – although there were parts of him I didn’t like, especially the violence. I had All Black heroes – like Mark Shaw and Buck Shelford and Andy Dalton. But I also had the privilege of meeting Nelson Mandela and Princess Diana. Diana had such an aura. I cried when she died, and I look now at what her boys are doing and see her influence in their lives.

to be about sex and drugs. Since Dancing with the Stars, there’s now a wide range of music where I can recognise the dances that go with it. Arlene and I plan to dance again soon.


I have never let my schooling interfere with my education. (Mark Twain)

came I felt the completion. I knew that everything from now on would be all-encompassing – those first steps, those first words. All the money in the world can’t buy an “I love you Dad!”

8

What’s the hardest thing? NORM: Patience! I don’t think men have the same patience and tolerance with children. Maybe it’s because we didn’t nurture them through those first nine months. I know I have to work on it!

6

If you could be stuck on a desert island with just one person, who would that be? NORM: It would have to be my wife because we’re a good team – and she can do more one-armed push-ups than me! Seriously, if it wasn’t for Arlene I wouldn’t be in the place I’m in today. At one of the toughest moments of my life she said she believed in me enough to stay. She gave me hope. I said to her 13 years ago that I would never treat her badly again, and she trusted me enough to stick around.

7

What’s the best thing about being a dad? NORM: Everything! When my daughter came into the world and I cut her umbilical cord, I knew I had been part of the creation of life. When I got married I felt that connection – but when the kids 56 Grap e v i ne – I S S U E 2/2012

9

What’s been your all-time greatest embarrassment? NORM: Once, while in Canada with the All Blacks, I got on the wrong plane. And when I looked around I couldn’t see any of the team! Luckily, it was going to the same town. I was too embarrassed to tell the crew that I had screwed up.

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What’s one thing about New Zealand that you would change if you could? NORM: I would get rid of the poverty, child abuse and child neglect. I’d take away the performance indicators for Plunket, and have a nurse available for every home for as long as it takes each new mum to feel on top of things. And I’d encourage lots of men to go into early childhood education. Young boys are nearly always taught by women, but more men in schools would help create the role modelling boys desperately need.


DON’T PANIC!

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illustration by Vasanti

• Isaac Newton (of apple-and-gravity fame) flunked primary school. • So did Albert Einstein – who didn’t speak till he was four, couldn’t read till he was seven, was described as “mentally slow, unsociable and adrift” by his primary teachers, and was expelled from Zurich polytech. • Enrico Caruso, the famous Italian tenor, was told by his first singing teacher that he had no voice, couldn’t sing and ought to forget music as a career. • Beethoven handled the violin awkwardly – and was chastised by his teacher for playing his own compositions, which were labelled “hopeless”! • The French sculptor, Rodin, had his father once say of him, “I’ve got an idiot for a son!” Not only that, he failed three times to gain admittance to art school. • And Leo Tolstoy, author of War & Peace and one of the world’s greatest novelists, flunked high school and was criticised for being “both unable and unwilling to learn”. So go on! Get out those old school reports and read them again. You’re probably doing better than you thought! MIKE COONEY IS GRAPEVINE’S ASSOCIATE EDITOR. ‘SCRUBCUTTERS’ ARE RADIO SPOTS – PRODUCED BY CBA, AND HEARD BY 180,000 PEOPLE EACH WEEKDAY, ON THE NEWSTALKZB NETWORK.

IS S U E 2/2012 – Grapevine 57

BUMPER STICKER: HONK IF ANYTHING FALLS OFF.

O YOU THINK you’re hopeless? Useless? Can’t make it? Bound to fail? Did your report cards say things like “easily distracted” … “not achieving” … or maybe even “mentally challenged!”? Well, stop feeling sorry for yourself. Listen up – and think again: • Fred Astaire, after his first screen test, went away with an assessment which read, “Can’t act. Slightly bald. Can dance – a little.” He framed it, and put it over the mantle of his Hollywood mansion. • Walt Disney was once fired by an editor for his sorry lack of ideas. He also went bankrupt more than once before building Disneyland.


Fairytale Castles on the Rhine You may not know this, but travel is a bug. A nice bug, not a nasty bug. But a bug, nonetheless, and highly contagious. It gets under your skin and spreads tell-tale symptoms: like itchy feet, a restless curiosity, and a hankering to go somewhere … anywhere … just GO!

58 58 Grap Grapeevviine ne –– IISSSSU UEE 2/2012 2 /2012


I

Cologne Cathedral

World Heritage Site. And the best, most relaxing way to see it is from the deck of a luxury river boat. e boarded our floating hotel, the Amadeus Elegant, in Amsterdam, one lunchtime in May – and motored off next day through the tranquil flatlands of Holland. Our route bypassed Duisburg and Essen (West German industrial centres), prior to stopping in Cologne – dominated by its dark, looming Gothic Cathedral. We got chilled-to-the-bone exploring the unseasonably-cold city – and stiffnecked staring up at the Cathedral’s

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IS S U E 2/2012 – Gra pevine 59

N o t y o u r d a y ? Li s t e n , w i t h 6 , 0 0 0 , 0 0 0 , 0 0 0 p e o p l e i n t h e w o r l d , w h y o n e a r t h s h o u l d i t b e ?

t’s the GOING, exploring, discovering, dreaming, that keeps you coming back for more. And the journey IS more important than the destination. I can confirm that. However, there are some destinations that stand out from the rest. One of those, in my opinion, is a gorgeous stretch of river that runs through the middle of Germany. That river is the Rhine … and this particular stretch, the Rhine Valley, is strewn with fairytale castles, postcard-pretty villages, and landscapes that ache your eyeballs. The Rhine is not the longest river in the world, but it is one of the most romantic. It starts life high in the Swiss Alps, swoops through alpine forests and over tumbling waterfalls, and flows briefly into France ... snaking westward through grand German cities and a chain of medieval towns (with cobbled streets, pastelcoloured houses, clock-towers and window boxes) … before emptying out near the Dutch port of Rotterdam. The 65km-long Rhine Valley oozes such scenic beauty and oldeworlde history that it’s been named a


teetering towers. But, back on ship, some five-star pampering and a four-course feast soon had us warmed-up and ready to party. The morning after, while we yawned and woke up, the Elegant docked in Coblenz (where the Rhine and Moselle rivers merge). And, armed with warmlayers, we went ashore to wander the

60 Grap e v i ne – I S S U E 2/2012

Old Quarter (badly damaged in WW2). There’s history here stretching back 2000 years, plus a huge castle (the Ehrenbreitstein fortress) that overlooks the town – and we Kiwis were all agog. But our agog changed to gaga, that afternoon, as we cruised through the most famous and most spectacular stretch of the Rhine Valley. It was magical! I mean, try to picture wide green waterways squeezing through narrow, winding gorges … precipitous wooded cliffs hosting ancient Neolithic landmarks and Roman remains … high-up terraces smothered in vineyards (“winyards” say the locals, when talking to us wisitors) … neat riverside towns, ornate stately homes, domed churches with spires stabbing the skyline … and dark, dense forests punctuated (like scenes out of Beauty & the Beast) by castle after hilltop castle. From both banks of the Rhine people waved us welcome, walked their dogs, rode their bikes, tended their gardens, fished, or just stood there watching us glide slowly along their beloved waterway.

PHOTO: DREAMSTIME

Mi s e r s a r e n ’ t m u c h f u n t o l i v e w i t h , b u t t h e y m a k e g r e a t a n c e s t o r s .

Coblenz


PHOTO: DREAMSTIME

I listened hard, but couldn’t hear the ome 40 castles were built around girl – and the Elegant avoided the rocks. here in the 12th and 13th centuries (Phew!) Instead, as a highlight-finale, (fortified walls, turrets, moats, the we docked in another gorgeous works) by feudal lords trying old town – Rudesheim – where to defend their turf. Many have we rode the Winzerexpress been restored or converted into (tourist-train) up to the hotels – but others are quietly Droggelgasse (centre of town) crumbling, their dark secrets and spent a delightful hour still lurking in damp dungeons. marvelling at the audioThis region has poweringenuity of long-gone centufully influenced writers, poets, ries in a unique museum: artists, composers (not hard to Siegfried’s Mechanical Music see why). And around one bend Lorelei Rock Cabinet … upstream we came upon the Magical? You betcha! legendary 150-metre-high Lorelei Rock, where (according to one of those dark IS A LUXURY CRUISE ON THE RHINE & DANUBE secrets) a beautiful blonde maiden once SOMETHING YOU’VE ALWAYS DREAMED OF? WELL, JOIN JOHN & ROBYN COONEY ON THEIR threw herself to her death over a faithless MIDLIFE MADNESS TOUR IN JUNE 2013 – PHONE lover – and now lures sailors onto nearby 0800 277 477 OR VISIT WWW.JOHNCOONEY.CO.NZ. reefs with her hypnotic songs. Join Grapevine’s John & Robyn Cooney for 20 romantic days on this grand river-cruise Holland, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary

midlife madness on the

Danube & Rhine

June 2013 — with 5-star Amadeus Line stopovers: Amsterdam, Cologne, Wurzburg, Nuremberg, Bamberg, Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest & lots more

0800 277 477 - roger.glynan@lionworld.co.nz IS S U E 2/2012 – Gra pevine 61

F a m o u s l a s t w o r d s : I ’ m d y i n g a s I h a v e l i v e d – b e y o n d m y m e a n s ! ( O s c a r Wi l d e )

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Rudesheim


race relations:

GREAT BIG MELTING POT?

62 G r a p e v i ne – I S SU E 2/2012

GREG BROOKES

H

OW’S NEW ZEALAND DOING when it comes to race and culture? To find out, Grapevine invited itself for a cup-of-tea with highly respective Maori leader, Sam Chapman. Sam works in areas where hope and opportunity are often in short supply, and he’s uniquely qualified to comment on this subject … Grapevine: Does Maori culture have a role to play in what it means to be a New Zealander? Sam: Oh, absolutely. And it’s there now! There are many things we take for granted as New Zealanders that came out of both a Maori and a Pakeha

worldview. Our easy-going, laid-back Kiwi attitude for instance! Okay, in a world that promotes money-making and time-management as priorities, that doesn’t always fit too well – but it’s still very much a part of Kiwi culture! Hospitality’s another biggie. That’s very much a reflection of the traditional Maori approach to life. And New Zealand is a very hospitable country. I think our nation has the capacity to take on the best cultural values and beliefs found in both the Maori and the Pakeha world – and honour those things and apply them to our modern society. GV: So it works both ways? You’ve seen Pakeha culture influence Maori in positive ways? Sam: Yeah, big time! The influence of the Pakeha in the past has obviously moulded and shaped our world today – it’s what happens when two different cultures mingle. Pakeha brought with them all the richness and beauty and strength of their people. They brought elements of commerce, which enhanced and strengthened Maori. They brought literacy and their advances in science and technology. And that continues to happen today.


bird migrations, and so on. European guys like Captain Cook had developed different ways of doing it, but just as successful. And they too mastered the oceans. Maori, who were whanau-based and lived communally, believed in a Creator. But so did the Pakeha world. They had those values, too, which were moulded and shaped by their history. So what do we see today? A mix of all that … while still reflecting the authentic cultures that we have. It’s wonderful stuff to celebrate! Want to read more?

VISIT WWW.GRAPEVINE.ORG.NZ … GO TO ‘LIBRARY’ (BROWSE BY YEAR) … CHOOSE YEAR 2007, ISSUE 43 … & FIND ‘WHAT MAKES A MAORI A MAORI?’

kidz will be kidz:

WITH MILK OR WITHOUT?

O

NE AFTERNOON, WHEN I WAS maybe two-and-a-half, my dad was at home looking after me. I had a little teaset someone had given me, and, while Daddy watched the News, I brought him a little cup of ‘tea’ (which was just water). After several more cups and lots of praise for “such yummy tea,” Mum arrived home. My dad made her wait in the living room to watch me, because it was “just the cutest thing!” So Mum waited. And, sure enough, here I came with yet another cup of tea – which Daddy duly drank. Then Mummy quietly pointed out something that only a mother would know: “Did it ever occur to you that the only place she can reach to get water is the toilet?” IS S U E 2/2012 – Grapevine 63

BUMPER STICKER: HONK IF ANYTHING FALLS OFF.

But Maori brought their contribution, as well. And we’ve been able to blend the two and leverage off each other. Pakeha brought industrialisation to New Zealand, and introduced tools of iron – the axe and the gun, both good and bad! That was a huge change – from an agrarian society, living off the land, to industry. And Maori adapted to that. Today, of course, as we become more global, we’re all being influenced by the information and technology age! GV: Historically, were there similarities between the Maori and Pakeha cultures? Sam: Yes, they had lots in common. Both were pioneers, and both were explorers. Maori traversed the oceans and honed their navigation skills by reading stars and currents, observing


great brick-wall complaints:

AM I SUPPOSED TO READ YOUR MIND?

I

T’S NOT FUNNY WHEN communication breaks down … when two people who live together lose touch with each other … when angry raised voices can be heard declaring: “Talking to you is like talking to a brick wall!” We add a big fat block to that ‘wall’ when we expect our partner to be a mind-reader. But we all do it, don’t we? We’re all experts at giving cloudy, unclear, mixed-up messages – and it’s a miracle we understand each other as well as we do. He gets mad because she’s untidy and never puts things away. He doesn’t mention it to her – just grumbles to himself. But then one day, he explodes – and she’s got the cheek to look hurt! 64 G r a p e v i ne – I S SU E 2/2012

See the problem? She’s been letting him pick up after her for months, assuming it’s okay. He’s been fuming for months, assuming she’s irresponsible. Trouble is, neither knows what the other is thinking. She says, “Do you like my new dress?” He says, “I guess so – but it’s not really your colour.” She bursts into tears, vowing never to wear the stupid thing again – and he stands there wondering what he did wrong. If she’d only asked him what she really wanted to know – “Do you still find me attractive?” – his answer would most certainly have been “Yes!” If you leave your partner to guess that you’ve got a thumping headache … that you’re going to be home later than arranged … that you’ve had a rotten day with the kids … that you want to make love tonight … that you’d like to do something or go somewhere different this weekend – there’s at least a 50% chance that he or she will miss your wave-length completely: None of us are good at unscrambling codes. How much better to say it straight … clarify … and clear the table of another ‘brick’. Want to read more?

VISIT WWW.GRAPEVINE.ORG.NZ … GO TO ‘LIBRARY’ (BROWSE BY YEAR) … CHOOSE YEAR 2005, ISSUE 3 … & FIND ‘TALKING TO A BRICK WALL’


Smile … #2 I’d like to be the ideal mum, but I’m too busy raising my kids!

driving miss daisy:

YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

T

HIS AD APPEARED IN THE public notices column of the Washington News: “Caution, homeowners between Warm Beach and Stanwood. Daughter will be learning how to drive. Take

care after leaving garage or porch. Farmers advised to place hay bales around barns, farm equipment and slow-moving livestock. She will be driving blue sedan with frightened father aboard.”

Smile … #3 Money does not buy happiness, but it’s a lot more comfortable crying in a Mercedes than on a bicycle.

IS S U E 2/2012 – Grapevine 65


irritable males:

GRUMPY OLD MEN

66 G r a p e v i ne – I S SU E 2/2012

Want to read more?

VISIT WWW.GRAPEVINE.ORG.NZ. GO TO ‘LIBRARY’ (BROWSE BY YEAR). CHOOSE YEAR 2008, ISSUE 1 & FIND ‘GRUMPY OLD MEN’

tammy cooney

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E ALL KNOW GRUMPY men. (Some of us have to live with one!) But we didn’t know it was a disease – Irritable Male Syndrome. So we asked Jed Diamond, author of ‘The Male Menopause’, to explain … Jed: IMS is not a ‘disease’ so much as a ‘dis-ease’ – a sense of nagging worry. It’s warning you something’s not right in the system. If men can just understand this – that something’s out-of-balance – they can do something about it. Grapevine: How widespread is the problem? Jed: There are two age-groups where it’s almost universal: the first is young, adolescent males –when hormonal changes are interacting with the brain’s chemistry and the stress-changes of puberty. The second big spike is in the ‘male menopause’ group – between about 40 and 55. Again you find the ‘perfect storm’ of hormonal changes, brain chemistry changes, stress and identity crisis. How

badly you’re affected depends on other factors, like diet. Lots of us men are not only eating too much, but we’re eating the wrong kinds of food, and we’re not getting the right kinds of exercise. Add increased stress levels, plus changes in the economy, those identity issues that get men wondering, “What’s my role in this new world?” and you’ve got all the ingredients for that ‘perfect storm’. GV: Irritable males often take it out on their wives – right? Jed: Right. Women tell me: “I’m walking on eggshells. Any little thing’s likely to set him off. He’s withdrawn. He’s not himself. He complains our sex life is going down the tubes. But when I try to talk to him, he just yells at me and says it’s all my problem.” A guy will initially deny everything: “She’s making it up!” Then he blames the woman: “Well, of course I’m irritable! You would be, too, if you had to live with all her nagging!” GV: Ouch! It sounds like a lethal brew! Can this grumpy male be helped? Jed: Sure. There are plenty of tools to help men beat this thing – from dealing directly with the hormones and making changes in diet and exercise, right through to reducing stress and finding a more consistent identity …


Smile … #4 I understand the concept of cooking and cleaning – but not how it applies to me.

battle of the sexes:

ASKING FOR IT

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WORDSEARCH – WINTER’S ARRIVED

S E S K W R T Z W W H N

E N D Q L W Q K R K O C

L S O E J B E A N I E C

D K O W I O J J T W J N

D I W N B U W A V J J I

U I E I Y R S G Q Q M H

P N R A I N J J R C Z G

W G I W E B N G P Z M W

X V F D K X W U A V N D

G R N S I K W M R E U V

I O J R I G U B K Z V D

(SOLUTION PAGE 67)

C S Z L F D F O A W P E

P N S M HEN OUR LAWNMOWER C A R F G E wife Y refused to start, I my T G P T kept hinting I should get it A O P X B more I J fixed. But, somehow, I always Rhad C O X Q K Q

O T J Q R F

L S S G A J

D Z T J X O

5

5

4 7 on Page 8 24) GRAPEPUZZLE SOLUTIONS (See puzzles

WORD SEARCH – winter’s arrived SOLUTION S E S K W R T Z W W H N

(SOLUTION PAGE 67)

E N D Q L W Q K R K O C

L S O E J B E A N I E C

D K O W I O J J T W J N

D I W N B U W A V J J I

U I E I Y R S G Q Q M H

P N R A I N J J R C Z G

W G I W E B N G P Z M W

X V F D K X W U A V N D

G R N S I K W M R E U V

I O J R I G U B K Z V D

C S Z L F D F O A W P E

P C I T A R C O X Q K Q

N A G G O B O T J Q R F

S R E P P I L S S G A J

M F Y T X J D Z T J X O

9

2

4

6

5

7

8 4 9 1 2 7 3 6 5

3 5 1 8 6 4 2 9 7

SUDOKU medium

SOLUTION

6 8 7 9 4 5 1 2 3

8

4 3 2 6 1 8 7 5 9

1 9 5 2 7 3 6 4 8

5 6 3 4 9 1 8 7 2

2 1 8 7 5 6 9 3 4

9 7 4 3 8 2 5 1 6

7 2 6 5 3 9 4 8 1

IS S U E 2/2012 – Gra pevine 67

BUMPER STICKER: HONK IF ANYTHING FALLS OFF.

Grapevine 2/2012 – Grapepuzzles

important things to take care of first: the shed, the boat, the sports channel … She finally she thought of a clever way to make her point. When I arrived home one day, I found her seated in the long grass, busily snipping away with her hairdressing scissors. I watched silently for a moment, then went into the house, and returned with her toothGrapevine 2/2012 – Grapepuzzles SUDOKU – MEDIUM brush. I said, “When you finish 6cutting 1the grass, you might 8 as3well 1 2 4 sweep the driveway.” 7 2 5 8 The doctors say I should walk again. 4 3 8 But 1I’ll always 7 9 have a limp 3 …2


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Grapevine Issue 2, 2012  

Welcome to Issue 2, 2012 of Grapevine - a magazine aimed at helping give parents, families and almost anyone, a lift! We hope you enjoy...

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