The woman behind Aunt Jenny...

by Rewa Nolan May 18, 2022

The woman behind Aunt Jenny...

I grew up with a monkey on my back. A true story his name was "Pepe".

I would cut a hole in his nappies for his tail to slide through and he would ride on my back as I scooted my tricycle around the furniture in our high rise apartment in Hong Kong.

It all sounds so far from wool and textiles. It was, Hong Kong was no place for wool, infact the only sheep in Hong Kong were on a menu and very little room for green grass.

I had never heard of grass stains. Our school playground was made from synthetic grass and burnt your knees when you skinned them playing leap frog.

Leap frog was fun I was good at launching myself into the air with not a single thought on how to land. Scabs on top of scabs built up on my knees, cleansed with the salt water of the ocean each day after school, it was all part of being a kid in Hong Kong.

Our home was half way up Stanley Beach Road, typhoons came and went, air conditioning units sucked from their fastenings. Monopoly was played continuously for weeks and we drank more coke and 7up than water. 

My claim to fame was being the girl that ate the Filet-o-fish in the Mcdonalds commercial.

What a funny experience.

I sit here now in a rust coloured woollen jersey, hand knitted socks, a woolen scarf I picked up at Bendigo a few years ago. A prized beanie I had to elbow someone in the nose for during the annual Beanie Fest Frenzy in Alice Springs a few years ago. The grass grows very green outside my window and the smell of sheep manure feeds my garden as it goes to sleep for winter.

That's me and I'm forever grateful that you have read these words this far.

I followed the Greater Love story back to New Zealand. Both my parents still live in Akaroa and have now left the vineyard and care for each other with greater love than imagined. I watch my father deconstruct as fragments of his mind are lost to dementia, reminded that without story who are we.

Family has become more important than ever, connecting with the past to make sense of the present. I look to Jennifers words for advice on how to navigate the world that is in front of me. Her perspective is refreshing and I admire her courage to do what she loved and share this with an audience. She wasn't someone who waited for her ship to come in. She rowed out to meet it.

Covid has changed our worlds and with that many good changes are being made. I compete with tik tok to spend time with my children, they laugh and wonder how I live without it. 

Perhaps I will have to give it a go.

Yours til the kettle whistles, 

Rewa

Rewa Nolan
Rewa Nolan



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