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March 18, 2010

Chapter 79 - A Long Meal In Bologna

...All the food was delicious. We, and actually more probably me, ate more than I should have because by the time the seventh bowl had appeared I was full to the brim. It was so embarrassing for us because the chef appeared. “You don’t like?” he asked...

Gayle Woodward concludes her entertaining account of a whistle stop tour of Europe.

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March 11, 2010

Chapter 78 - Peat Man

Gayle Woodward goes exploring in London and Paris, then travels on to Italy.

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March 04, 2010

Chapter 77 - Some Australian Bird

...A few minutes later, I met Farmer Brown, complete with floppy hat and a piece of corn sticking out from between his lips, coming towards me on his tractor. He didn’t look pleased to see me...

Driving in England's towns and cities was a stressful experience for New Zealander Gayle Woodward.

To read earlier chapters of Gayle's engaging autobiography do visit http://www.openwriting.com/archives/life_is_too_short_to_drink_bad_wine/

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February 25, 2010

Chapter 76 - Unfamiliar Sheep

Gayle Woodward continues her account of her first trip to England.

To read earlier chapters of Gayle's autobiography-in-progress please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/life_is_too_short_to_drink_bad_wine/

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February 18, 2010

Chapter 75 - Off To England

...We soon found ourselves travelling much smaller roads and lanes, which in mid summer were alive with flowers on the sides of the roads and in the villages we past, we noticed hanging baskets aglow with colour. I was delighted and amazed to see the very greenness of England...

Gayle Woodward pays her first visit to the Old Country.

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November 12, 2008

74 – Emergency Renovations

…One winter afternoon I had put some meat for the night’s meal inside the microwave on its polystyrene supermarket plate to thaw from frozen. I turned the microwave on expecting the job to be finished in ten minutes and ready when we returned from shopping. However, when we did return, we found to our utter horror, the house filled with acrid, choking smoke. Koko the cat raced outside and we found the microwave billowing toxic fumes and smoke…

Gayle Woodward continues her engaging account of family life in New Zealand.

To read earlier chapters of Gayle’s story please click on

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October 29, 2008

73 – Teenage Ups and Downs

Gayle Woodward writes of the worries and delights of being the mother of teenage children.

To read earlier chapters of Gayle’s engaging life swtory please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/life_is_too_short_to_drink_bad_wine/

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October 15, 2008

72 – A Shy New Family Member

…There in a cage was a tiny, scared black kitten with white paws and green eyes. She was the runt of the litter, and she looked so frightened that I fell in love with this little cat…

Gayle Woodward tells of welcoming a small shy cat into her family.

To read earlier chapters of Gayle’s heart-warming autobiography please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/life_is_too_short_to_drink_bad_wine/

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March 22, 2007

71 - The Saddest Day

...At home, Mum could no longer speak coherently and was using a typewriter which vocalised her words in a hollow alien manner. I was appalled at the speed this disease was taking away her livingness. Brain and mind intact, she could not walk or talk, had very little control over her hands and her swallowing and even breathing was being affected. She looked like the mother we knew but was not....

Gayle Woodward, in this deeply moving chapter of her life story, tells of days of sadness and loss.

For more of Gayle's autobiography, which has won an enthusaistic world-wide readership, please click on Life Is Too Short To Drink Bad Wine in the menu on this page.

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January 06, 2007

70 - Chateau du Brac

Gayle Woodward and her family enjoy another camping holiday - but not Chateau du Brac, local hooch sold by a crafty shopkeeper.

To read more vivid chapters of Gayle's popular autobiogrpahy - a work still in progress - please click on Life Is Too Short To Drink Bad wine in the menu on this page.

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November 18, 2006

69 - Lurching To Disasters

Gayle Woodward’s mother is fighting a losing battle with motor neurone disease. Her 13-year-old daughter places a hand on a hot cooking element…

“I had a feeling that my life was lurching from one disaster to another. I did not feel in control and I did not like the feeling…’’

Small wonder that Gayle’s account of her domestic life in New Zealand has won such an enthusiastic audience. She has the ability to make readers as involved in everyday events as they would be when reading a letter from a close relative.

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November 11, 2006

68 - The Speech Contest

…Karyn was now in Standard Four. At school it was time for the dreaded annual Speech Contest. This quaint custom of having every child in New Zealand schools give a prepared speech each year to their classmates is hated by all but the most literate of children. It was, and still is, hated by generations of parents who have to assist their offspring to find speech topics and then listen ad nauseam as the speeches are practised and timed and fine tuned…

Gayle Woodward continues her well-read and enjoyable account of family life in New Zealand. To read earlier chapters of Gayle’s story please click on Life Is Too Short to Drink Bad Wine in the menu on this page.

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November 04, 2006

67 - On The Beach

“I found a note to myself written in a diary for that year. It said, “No car for Jeff. Wet clothes on floor, food rotting in bags and bins”…

Gayle Woodward, continuing her wonderfully readable account of family life in New Zealand, tells of the delights of bringing up teenagers.

To read earlier chapters of Gayle’s story click on Life Is Too Short To Drink Bad Wine in the menu on this page.

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October 28, 2006

66 - Renovations

Gayle Woodward settles happily into her new job, her children thrive – then her father-in-law dies after a stroke.

Gayle’s account of family life in New Zealand has delighted readers around the world. For earlier chapters please click on Life Is Too Short To Drink Bad Wine. Hey, this is the real thing, not some fictional soap opera!

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October 21, 2006

65 - A Full Time Worker

Gayle Woodward was getting ready for her first day of full time work when… Disaster! A wasp flew into the ear of one of her son’s and stung him!

Gayle continues her story of domestic life in New Zealand – a story which is delighting readers world-wide.

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September 16, 2006

64 - A Proud Announcement

Gayle Woodward lands a new job within three days of moving into a new home.

To read earlier chapters off Gayle’s engaging story of family life in New Zealand click on Life Is Too Short To Drink Bad Wine in the menu on this page.

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September 09, 2006

63 - Eager To Start

"There was no time to be sad. In fact I was feeling rather excited when I thought of the future. I realized that as one part of my life was coming to an end another full of possibilities was just ahead…''

Gayle Woodward and her family move to the big city, Auckland. To read Gayle's story of family life in New Zealand from the beginning click on Life Is Too Short To Drink Bad Wine in the menu on this page.

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September 02, 2006

62 - Final Arrangements

…One day when Mark was home alone, the Auckland estate agent phoned to say that the price we had wanted had been offered. Mark, with all his twelve year old aplomb, accepted on our behalf. When we arrived home, he announced “Your house is sold”…

The Woodwards prepare for the big move to another city.

To read earlier chapters of Gayle Woodward's engaging story about family life in New Zealand click on Life Is Too Short To Drink Bad Wine in the menu on this page.

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August 26, 2006

61 - Our Leafy Suburb

…When I reached the top floor I saw sunshine flooding in through floor to ceiling windows…

Gayle Woodward and her family decide to buy a house in a leafy suburb of Auckland.

To read more of Gayle's engaging story of family life in New Zealand click on Life Is Too Short To Drink Bad Wine in the menu on this page.

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August 19, 2006

60 - An Exciting Challenge

…It seemed that as our children grew older, all the women were questioning their roles at home with the kids. I was the only one among us who had a part time job with no chance of promotion and study that had come to a shuddering stop. It seemed that while I had lit the candles and all my friends had followed the inspiring light to better their lives, I had been blinded by the candle glare. But up ahead, all at once, I could see another possibility…

A move back to Auckland opens up new opportunities for Gayle Woodward.

To read Gayle's wonderfully frank account of family life in New Zealand from the beginning click on Life Is Too Short To Drink Bad Wine in the menu on this page.

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August 12, 2006

59 - A Constant Worry

…Karyn’s face was swelling alarmingly. She began to erupt in giant hives and her eyes swelled so much that they looked like slits in her face. I took her at once to the doctor and was told that she most likely had an allergy to something in the sausage roll she had eaten and was given antihistamine medicine…

Gayle Woodward has good cause to worry about her young daughter, and also to be disturbed by a peculiar phone call from Massey University Library.

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August 05, 2006

58 - Busier And Busier

…I had secretarial work to do for the Kindergarten Committee and this took a few days a week of my time. There was rugby in the weekends and this often meant whole team - lots of jerseys to wash plus muddy socks and white shorts for two which had to be scrubbed and bleached. But I took it in my stride…

With two rugby-playing sons and a lively daughter, Gayle Woodward finds that her life becomes ever busier. Then the Cub Pack needs more leaders…

To read Gayle's engaging family story from the beginning click on Life Is Too Short To Drink Bad Wine in the menu on this page.

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July 29, 2006

57 - Sleepless In New Zealand

…“Oh I’m sorry, but I’m taking my daughter to the child and family clinic because she won’t sleep and I haven’t had proper sleep for months and I’m trying to keep up with my husband and I haven’t been driving very long and I don’t know the way into the city and I need to keep him in sight and oh I am so tired!”…

After hearing Gayle Woodward’s outburst, the traffic policeman gave her a mild warning and returned to his car. And Gayle was left feeling annoyed with herself for re-acting in a female way.

Gayle's wonderfully frank story of family life in New Zealand is a reading treat. Click on Life Is Too Short To Drink Bad Wine in the menu on this page to read earlier chapters.

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July 22, 2006

56 - New Shoes

Two-year-old Karyn tries on a new pair of shoes. The shop assistant tells her to walk around the shop to try them out. “She did, but did not stop. She ran out of the shop and down the street as fast as she could, unpaid for shoes still on her twinkling feet…’’

Gayle Woodward continues her wonderfully engaging family saga.

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July 08, 2006

54 - An Independent Daughter

Gayle Woodward faces up to the daily demands of looking after lively young children.

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July 01, 2006

53 - Precious Life

…Now life itself was precious to me. I no longer wanted trappings of glamour and success. I thought that love of family was the only thing that was important in life. My new friends gathered around me and I began to feel happy again. I was, I believe, a different person from this point on…

After the trials and pains following the removal of a cancerous mole, Gayle Woodward is a changed person when she leaves the hospital and goes home to resume life with her family.

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June 24, 2006

52 - A Closed In World

…In the supermarket she had quickly shot out an arm as they passed a display of saucepans, causing the whole pile to tumble noisily to the floor…

Gayle Woodward hears news of her lively 15-months-old daughter Karyn while lying in a hospital bed.

Gayle has just had a cancerous mole removed from her leg. “My world had closed in to the ward I was living in and the three other women I shared it with.’’

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June 17, 2006

51 - Shocking News

…“What is it?” I asked. “Melanoma,” he said “cancer.” I would need urgent surgery to remove it and my prognosis was not very good. I stared at him. I could not speak. I’m too young, I thought….

Gayle Woodward hears dreaded words after finding a mole on her leg.

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June 10, 2006

50 - Lively Karen

“We put a make-ship gate across the open entrance to our lounge to keep her safe, but as we lay in bed at night and heard her rattling the bars of her cot as she tried to climb out, there were signs that she was not going to be an easy child to manage…’’ Bringing up baby Karyn was a demanding task, as Gayle Woodward reveals in this episode of her autobiography.

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June 03, 2006

49 - The Day The House Shook

“Suddenly there was an ominous rumble and the house began to shake. I snatched Karyn from the floor and clutched her tightly while Woody ran to the wall unit to stop the television set from falling. A macramé pot plant holder and plant were swinging violently from the ceiling.’’

Gayle Woodward and her family move to a new home in the Hutt Valley near Wellington, and there they experience their first earthquake.

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May 27, 2006

48 - An Unwelcomed Surprise

“In fact, these were some of the happiest months of my life. I was content and felt fulfilled as a mother. I enjoyed the mornings particularly. I would get Jeff off to school, lunchbox, homework and drink in his satchel, bath, and play and feed baby Karyn and then have the quiet mornings as she slept…’’

Gayle Woodward is more than content with her domestic life – then husband Woody arrives home with a shock announcement.

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May 20, 2006

47 - A Baby Daughter

…Woody arrived in gown, bootees and mask, looking sheepish and scared. He was told to stand by my head out of the way. I was efficiently gasping with the gas mask and was rather grumpy with Woody who wanted me to be quieter with the pains before the gas took control at each wave of pain. At one of the last huge contractions I groaned so loudly that Woody took fright and rushed from the theatre leaping right over a gas bottle in his efforts to get out of there quickly…

Gayle Woodward gives birth to baby Karyn.

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May 13, 2006

46 - Crossroads

Gayle and Woody Woodward find it difficult to get their marriage back on track after he returns from a study course in England.

Gayle writes with refreshing frankness about her domestic life in New Zealand.

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May 06, 2006

45 - Apart

“I was distraught as I hugged him goodbye. I had not imagined that we would ever be away from each other for long. Six weeks seemed like a lifetime to me. I sobbed uncontrollably…’’ Gayle Woodward is distraught when her husband Woody flies off to attend a course in England.

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April 29, 2006

44 - Rain, Rain (Part Three)

…. I replayed the sound and sight of the wall of water coming at us over and over in my mind at night in the small sleepless hours for many months to come…

Gayle Woodward and her family pick themselves up and dry themselves out after the National Park site where they were camping was flooded – a disaster which made the national news..

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April 22, 2006

43 - Rain, Rain (Part Two)

“I was met by a scene of destruction. The tent was still standing but silt covered everything at ground level…’’ Gayle Woodward continues the story of a New Year’s camping trip that ended in disaster.

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April 15, 2006

42 - Rain, Rain (Part One)

…I opened the flap of the tent and walked outside. To my utmost horror, above the campsite I could see the whole hillside moving towards us as water. It was towering above me and roaring…

Gayle Woodward tells of a New Year’s camping trip which ended horrifically.

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April 08, 2006

41 - Making Progress

…Finally Woody had a solution. He declared, “You can have another baby OR a cat!”…

No prizes for guessing which of these Gayle Woodward chose.

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April 01, 2006

40 - An Unwelcomed Visitor

Gayle Woodward continues her engaging story of family life in New Zealand. This episode involves a rat, a cat and a gun.

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March 25, 2006

39 - Frightening Love

Gayle Woodward enjoyed listening to the stories that her husband Wood brought home. “Another day he was working in the tuck shop at Epsom Girls Grammar. As he worked he was surreptitiously eating handfuls of roasted peanuts from a bin under the counter. When the Tuck Shop Ladies came in to work, one said to the other, “These peanuts are filled with weevils, shall we throw them out?” They turned to show Woody. I giggled when he told me at home but he did not think it was at all funny.’’

Gayle continues her engaging account of domestic life in New Zealand.

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March 18, 2006

38 - Mum, Dad And Two Kids

…The pressure was immense and I did not see how I could do this. The baby finally was born and I knew now why they call it labour! “A boy!” they said. “Oh,” puffed I, “Is he alright?” “He is wonderful,”…

Gayle Woodward recalls the birth of her second son, Mark.

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March 11, 2006

37 - Not The Only Apple

Gayle Woodward is expecting a second child – and her husband Woody begins building a home for his family.

Read all of Gayle’s wonderfully direct and involving story of family life in New Zealand. Click on Life Is Too Short To Drink Bad Wine in the menu on this page.

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March 04, 2006

36 - Neighbours

Gayle Woodward experiences for the first time what it is like to be the mother of a child in trouble.

Do read Gayle’s delightful story of family life in New Zealand. Click on Life Is Too Short To Drink Bad Wine in the menu on this page.

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February 25, 2006

35 - A Time For Tears

…Mum was often beside me in the night as I cried. I knew the baby was lost… Gayle Woodward experiences the worst of all domestic nightmares.

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February 18, 2006

34 - A Terrible Shock

“”All at once, and without any sound from him, the window catch gave way and Jeff toppled backwards out of the double storey window and disappeared from view. We heard no cry from him. There was a wild dash to the door as we all tried to get to him at once…’’

Dreadful consequences result from two-year-old Jeff’s fall, as Gayle Woodward reveals.

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February 11, 2006

33 - Fulfilled

…We could not believe how much we loved this little boy. He was a delight and so interested in all around him. We took him on outings in the weekends to the zoo, the wharves and the airport and for picnics in the country. I got immense pleasure out of watching him play… Gayle Woodward and her husband Woody experience the full joys of parenthood as they care for their lively and inquisitive first-born son Jeffrey.

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February 04, 2006

32 - The Plunket Way

…It was so nice to get home to our little house and put baby Jeffrey into his beautiful bassinet. We had decided on this name coming home from the hospital. It was one of the names we had picked out and just seemed right for him… Gayle Woodward and her husband Woody experience the delights and frights of looking after their first child.

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January 28, 2006

31 - Baby Woodward

…I suddenly felt frightened. How could I look after this baby, I thought? I know nothing about baby care.
I quietly said, “I don’t want to go through with this, Woody.” “It’s a bit bloody late now girl”, he answered. As always, pragmatic…

Gayle Woodward tells of the pain, wonder and delight of childbirth.

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January 21, 2006

30 - Our Own Home

Gayle Woodward and husband Woody share the excitement of moving into their very own home and prepare for the arrival of a baby.

To read earlier chapters of Gayle's delightful life story click on Life Is Too Short To Drink Bad Wine in the menu on this page.

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January 14, 2006

29 - Mr and Mrs

“The next morning we nervously entered the hotel dining room for breakfast. It was strange to discover that I would have tea to drink and Woody had coffee only. We tiptoed around each other finding out what the other would be like to live with. We were exceedingly polite to each other and I felt that everyone knew we were on our honeymoon; I thought it showed on my skin. Woody laughed at me and I relaxed slightly…’’ Gayle Woodward and husband sit down to their first breakfast as a married couple.

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January 07, 2006

28 - Just Married

“When my dress was finally delivered, finished, and I tried it on I felt tears swim in my eyes as I looked in the mirror. I looked so beautiful. The gauche, awkward thirteen year old that I had been had completely disappeared. Here stood a tall and stunning nineteen year old ‘swan’. In six short years a transformation had taken place….’’ Gayle Woodward recalls her wedding day.

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December 31, 2005

27 - Woody's Vital Question

“We knew we would have to tell my parents. I knew it would be a traumatic thing but knew it had to be done. Woody said he would do it. He would ask my Dad for my hand in marriage. The Saturday afternoon I knew he was doing this I thought I would faint, I felt so scared…’’ Gayle Woodward finds out that she is pregnant – and a wedding is arranged.

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December 24, 2005

26 - The Inspection

Gayle Woodward is awarded her teaching certificate and is appointed to a school.

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December 17, 2005

25- Classroom Reality

“Woody suddenly stopped, turned to face me and with a look of amazement and certainly puzzlement on his face, seriously said, “Gayle, I think I love you!” This was the moment when I realised that this could be forever, come what may…’’ Gayle Woodward writes so vividly and directly that you can almost hear her voice telling you her life story.

For earlier chapters of Life Is Too Short To Drink Bad Wine type Gayle Woodward in the search box on this page.

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December 10, 2005

24 - Student Parties

“I was astounded and awed by the protest folk music they played, the smoke in the air, the way all and sundry sat around on the floor on cushions…’’ Gayle Woodward experiences student life in the 1960s.

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December 03, 2005

23 - An Eye For An Eye

“Then it came time to take a lesson with the whole class. It was to be a Nature Study lesson about earthworms. I was to pour some Condi’s Crystals liquid onto the grass behind the infant block. This would irritate the worms which would rise to the surface to be observed and collected by the pupils. I was horrified by the thought of this but dutifully arranged my lesson and mixed the dreaded liquid….’’ Gayle Woodward takes her first tentative, though successful, steps as a teacher.

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November 26, 2005

22 - A Swan Emerges

Although only sixteen, Gayle Woodward thinks she has found the man with whom she could happily spend the rest of her life.

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November 19, 2005

21 - Dances At The Yacht Club

Gayle Woodward completes her secondary schooling and looks forward to the future with growing confidence. To read earlier chapters in Gayle’s absorbing life story click on Life Is Too Short To Drink Bad Wine the search box on this page.

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November 12, 2005

20 - Woody

“I liked the way he looked. He was tall and dark haired and had nice eyes and hands. He was interested in me too and liked the way I looked…’’ Gayle Woodward writes of her first magical encounter with Woody.

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November 05, 2005

19 - Blossoming

“I was tanned, tall and slim…and the boys of the surf club noticed me…’’ Gayle Woodward experiences her first chaste kiss. “I thought this game to be rather fun…’’

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October 29, 2005

18 - Skin And Bones

“I longed to be able to wear slacks but my mother deemed that these were not ladylike and common and would show off my bottom too much….’’ Gayle Woodward recalls shouting matches when she was 14 with her mother about what should be worn.

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October 22, 2005

17 - How To Be A Teenager

“I was still reading Seventeen magazine to try to get an idea of how a teenager should act. I was eagerly awaiting my teenage years and turned 13 a few months into my third form year. I imagined that I would be popular, be asked out on dates, have lots of boyfriends and be very happy. In actual fact, I had no idea of how to meet a boy or get a date and acne slowed me down a lot…’’ Gayle Woodward writes of those difficult early-teens years.

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October 15, 2005

16 - Metamorphosis

“It was all very exciting being in the assembly hall for the first time. The Headmaster, Mr Adams, seemed very imposing and his assistant, Mr Body, had a booming voice, and looked very scary…’’ Gayle Woodward becomes a secondary school pupil.

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October 08, 2005

15 - Fishing And Feasting

“Memories, memories. Finding fun in simple pleasures, a love of nature, respect for the ocean and the beach and a love of the sights and sounds of the beach. These are the things that I learned during the golden summers of my youth…’’ Gayle Woodward tells of more idyllic days at Pie Melon Bay.

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October 01, 2005

14 - Names In The Sand

“We wrote our names giant-like in the sand and drew pictures of the family in descending size. We knew with certainly that when the tide returned next time our sand drawings would be lost forever. Nobody else would see them before they were obliterated because this little bay was an empty gem of a place…’’ Gayle Woodward recalls idyllic childhood days.

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September 24, 2005

13 - Screams And Bumps

"I remember too, sliding down the steep bank behind the bach and beside the toilet outhouse on nikau palm fronds. The summer grass was silky and long and the fronds slid down easily. The grass could also sometimes be sharp and cutty. It was a thrill to slide, eliciting screams of fear and joy as you whizzed and bumped to the bottom, totally out of control...'' Gayle Woodward continues her delightful story of growing up in New Zealand.

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September 17, 2005

12 - A Place In My Heart

In this chapter of her story of growing up in New Zealand Gayle Woodward writes alluringly of the excitement and fun of family holidays at Onetangi Beach, Waiheke Island.

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September 10, 2005

11 - New Sisters

"That year was their first experience of asking Santa Claus to bring presents on Christmas morning...'' The Woodwards take in two young sisters from the Salvation Army Orphanage over the Christmas holidays. For earlier chapters of Gayle Woodward's warm-hearted life story click on Life Is Too Short To Drink Bad Wine in the search box on this page.

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September 03, 2005

10 - Practical Calamities

Gayle Woodward, continuing her story of growing up in New Zealand, has fond memories of singing in a primary schools' choir - and memories of a different kind of her attempt to learn to swim.

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August 27, 2005

9 - Disappointments

"All was going well till I pointed my toe and one of the buckles flew off my ballet shoe...'' Eleven-year-old Gayle Woodward appears as a dancer on the Town Hall stage.

Gayle writes engagingly about her life and times in New Zealand.

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August 20, 2005

8 - Music And Movies

Cinema going meant a one shilling ticket on the back row, and a threepence lollipop, wrapped in cellophane, which could be made to last almost right through the show...

Gayle Woodward recalls in vivid detail her early days in New Zealand.

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July 23, 2005

7 - My Hero

"Daddy was my hero. I had absolute faith that he could make anything right, from broken toys to bee stings...'' Gayle Woodward continues her engrossing story of growing up in New Zealand. To read earlier chapters of Gayle's autobiography type her name in the search box on this page.

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July 16, 2005

6 - A Mouse In The House

Gayle Woodward, continuing her autobiographical account of family life in New Zealand, recalls the day when she, her mother and her sister sought refuge on top of a double bed until father came home after a mouse had been discovered in the the house.

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July 09, 2005

5 - Close To Death

"At last, after many months, when I was close to death with blood poisoning, our young doctor suggested we try a new drug from Russia...'' Gayle Woodward continues her story of growing up in New Zealand. To read earlier chapters of her autobiography type Gayle's name in the search box on this page.

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July 02, 2005

4 - Fairy Stories

"Mrs Hansen continued her special visits to me and told and wrote for me the most amazing fairy stories...'' Gayle Woodward, continuing her story of growing up in New Zealand, tells of her determination not to take iron after having had her tonsils removed.

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June 25, 2005

3 - Goodbyes

"He would kiss and cuddle us goodbye and board the train, which would be hissing steam and smoke. It was huge and black and fearsome-looking and extremely noisy. Daddy would lean out of the carriage window as the train began to move...'' Gayle Woodward recalls the traumatic experience as a four-year-old of seeing her father depart on Sunday evenings from Auckland station to travel on the overnight sleeper to his work in Wellington, New Zealand.

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June 18, 2005

2 - Lace Gloves And A Straw Hat

"My gloves were lace and my hat was straw, a gold locket was around my neck and a gold bracelet and signet ring completed the picture...'' In the second episode of her story of family life in New Zealand, Gayle Woodward recalls the delight of being taken on shopping trips by her grandmother.

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June 11, 2005

1 - A Sheltered Life

"I was dressed in a frilly party dress and thought I was just so pretty. Someone, perhaps my Nana, placed a fur stole around my shoulders and I stroked the fur and smiled at myself in the mirrors...''

Gayle Woodward was born in post-war New Zealand. At an early age she acquired a love of books. Writing became an important part of her life.

She was a member of a close-knit family. Her parents made wonderful toys and encouraged imaginative play.

Gayle is writing her life story - a story of a happy childhood, of an awkward teenager who became a confident young woman, of courtship, marriage and motherhood.

Week by week, her story will be featured in Open Writing.

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