Letters to a Friend: One Year On

One year ago, Katharine and I took time out from real life: Kath spent three months in Wanaka with her family, and I travelled to Hong Kong, France and Spain over two months, with mine. We exchanged letters, posted here under ‘Letters to a Friend’. We promised each other we’d retain the sense of peace and clear direction we garnered from our time away.

A year on we rekindle our letters to examine what remains from last year’s discoveries. Katharine is in Bali for a two-week holiday and I’m…I’m at home, sweet home.


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Letters to a Friend: One Year On

One year ago, Katharine and I took time out from real life: Kath spent three months in Wanaka with her family, and I travelled to Hong Kong, France and Spain over two months, with mine. We exchanged letters, posted here under ‘Letters to a Friend’. We promised each other we’d retain the sense of peace and clear direction we’d garnered from our time away.

A year on we rekindle our letters to examine what remains from last year’s discoveries. Katharine is in Bali for a two-week holiday and I’m…I’m at home, sweet home. 


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Letters to a Friend: The End of (this) Road

30.09.14: Wanaka, New Zealand (Katharine to Caroline)

Dear Caroline,

It’s been great to hear your voice again over the last few days. I’m so looking forward to our Wednesdays recounting adventures, alongside the laughter of our children and a glass of pinot. We’re homeward bound, and yes I am happy we’ve had such a wonderful adventure. As Hanz sums it up: “We’ve had a summer holiday and we’ve skied!”

Working out the work-life balance has seen me find a calm place where I’ve been noticeably more engaged. It’s an unfamiliar pace of life yet one that is without an anxious panic and increased heart rate. I sleep eight hours a night and feel less rushed; there are no lists to complete. Ironically as I reluctantly prepare for our journey home life here has also become more cemented; Coco has found her groove at day-care and tells me with tears she’ll miss her friends, my heart skips a beat. We’ve started to meet people, who I know if we lived here, I could easily become friends with, and we’ve established routines.

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Letters to a Friend: Mama I’m Coming Home

Thursday 18th September, 2014: Pt Chevalier, Auckland, New Zealand (Caroline to Katharine)

The green, green grass of home

The green, green grass of home

Dear Friend,

I’m home. Just to say it feels good. But here’s the thing: both Jez and I feel completely weighed down by things. We have so much stuff. After living out of two suitcases between four of us for two months, every bulging bookcase, every box of toys and every pile of fluffy towels feels heavy and, well, excessive. Everywhere I look there are things to put away, to mend, to take to the hospice shop, to get the tradey back to fix. How can even our most precious things – our paintings, our mementos, even books – feel so heavy?

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Letters to a Friend: Gucci Scarf and Gumboots

4.09.14: Wanaka, New Zealand (Katharine to Caroline)

Dearest Caroline,

I was saddened to read about Aunt Gloria’s passing, I know how much the journey unravelling your family history has meant to you and to lose another link must have been heart-wrenching.  I wish I could hug you, I have in my heart.

We are nearing the end of our adventures friend, so many stories to tell. Spring has arrived in Wanaka; daffodils, pink blossoms, baby calves and lambs. We’ve hardly had a winter though, with today being the 20th day of clear blue sky and sunshine. Some days it feels like mid-summer, the only hint of winter being a light coating of Jack Frost in the mornings. Locals are calling for rain; the land is hard and dry, the mountain road’s a dust bowl, while the Lake is low and water reserves are drying up.

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Letters to a Friend: Lassoing Time Through Sliding Doors

Monday 25th August, 2014: Mas Gatell, Altafulla, Spain (Caroline to Katharine)

Rocking 80s jacket

Still smiling, despite the jacket

Dearest Kath,

How frightened I was when I heard about the heli-skiing accident. It was the strangest thing – for a brief moment, before I’d received your email, I experienced what I can only describe as a tear in the fabric of reality, when it was just as possible it was you in that helicopter, as not. How close you came; so close that the man who died was a fellow Aucklander from just two suburbs away. So sad. I’m so thankful you’re ok. Do these close calls, these sliding door moments, define us? If we’re lucky they pour a resolute glaze over life and have us swinging from the chandeliers shouting “I’m alive!”

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Hurrah! Your weekly dose of ‘Letters to a Friend’ is now in post format

Hi lovewordsmusic followers. Some of you have emailed me asking for ‘Letters to a Friend’ as blog posts rather than a static page so you receive them as updates. Your wish is my command! You will now receive an email each time there is a new letter between Katharine and I. This post is a bit of an admin catch-up, with three new letters at the top, and all the previous letters below, so that I can delete the old page. Bear with me.`

Some of you have written asking how Kath and I became friends. We met at the very first New Zealand Fashion Week in 2001. She was there doing PR for her fabulous fashion clients and I was there managing my runway models (oh, and trying to sort out the drama of glued-on sequins tearing the skin of one of my top model’s faces…but that’s another story). My, how times change in thirteen years.

And Kath, darling, I SO owe you a long letter…

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