Kevin | Mairangi Bay

“I wasn’t born in Auckland, but I’ve lived here for the last 20 years and come and gone over many years. So, yeah that’s, this is my home now. I live on the North Shore in Mairangi Bay. A random act of kindness… yeah being put on the spot there. I’m not quite sure. Um, I’m always doing things for my mother-in-law. I’m not quite sure if that’s a random act of kindness or, whether it’s a social obligation.

Connecting with someone you don’t know

Connecting with a stranger; that’s also quite a difficult one to answer, because I have a job where it’s quite demanding and I sort of, it’s only during my annual leave where I go out of the space that I’m in and, and maybe go abroad. I went to Japan for two weeks last year, and there were many encounters with complete strangers, and I felt that, yeah that was very rewarding, but they didn’t really develop. As soon as I left Japan I came back here to New Zealand and I haven’t seen them again. Maybe this summer I’ll meet someone who I haven’t met before, and something will become of it.

Heart to heart

Ah, I guess my last heart to heart would have been yesterday with my wife. I shouted at her. I lost my temper. I have a tendency to be a little bit impatient, so I shouted at her, and ah, yeah it wasn’t a noble thing to do. I’d done something I shouldn’t have done, and had to apologise, and did the right thing by buying some flowers and sat down and talked it over. I think in a relationship that needs to occur.

I’ve been with my wife for about 15 years, I think. Yes and this relationship has been a good relationship, because we more or less are on the same wavelength. We’re both roughly the same age, and grew up at a time, well we both grew up in New Zealand at a time when, in the ‘70s I suppose, and so share many of those memories. We’re quite different people. Very different people, in fact, but always trying to see the other person’s point of view. Listening certainly helps. We can often accuse our partners of not listening to us, and maybe they’re right at times, we tune out and don’t really listen to what they’re saying. Ah, but just talking, you know? Talking things over, not being too proud to admit that you’re wrong, and just sharing the good times. Finding things that you can share.

We both are still working, and we have busy jobs, but during the downtime we do things together. Yeah, we both have a love of nature, and so we often go to wilderness areas and just forget about our work and just enjoy each other, and enjoy the wilderness space and that kind of brings us together.

Connected with your culture

That’s kind of a tricky one. I guess my culture, I consider myself… I was born in New Zealand, and I grew up here as a, I’m a baby boomer, so I grew up in the ‘50s and ‘60s when ah, I guess Weet-Bix and Marmite, and ah, and jandals, and a certain attitude that you could fix anything with Number 8 wire, when that kind of thinking was prevalent. So I identify with that kind of culture, although I’ve lived abroad for many years, and now if you look around Auckland, we live in a super-diverse sort of environment, but when you, when you leave New Zealand, as I said, I went to Japan for two weeks last year, and ah, being somewhere that was very different to what I’m used to helped remind me of my own roots and my own culture. So, I guess that was the last time that I felt really connected.

Sometimes when I watch the All Blacks and see the haka, I feel a sort of connectedness, but ah yeah. I grew up in the Bay of Islands and went to school in Whangarei, and then I sort of went on a, sort of a long journey, I suppose, and that took me overseas, like a lot of Kiwis. They go overseas for a gap year, except my gap year was about 10 years, but I eventually became an academic in a university, and ah, I find my identity in the work that I do.”

 

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