Jilly Martin

My favorite saying: I Told You I Was SickSpike Milligan’s grave headstone

I predate plastic, push button washing machines, dishwashers and television. Therefore I have experienced the invention of the computer, sun roofs in cars, global marketing and communication and texting. All worth mentioning because I began in a teeny village on the edge of an island at the bottom of the world.

When learning to drive, my father made me learn to change a tire because they were subject to many punctures and I might have to change it all alone, there was not much traffic on bad country roads! The same guy stated I did not need educating, I was a girl … I would be taken care of. The word divorce had not been invented yet. I annoyed him constantly, I asked questions when girls ought to be seen and not heard.

Ah … it sounds as though I am so old I built the pyramids, current 6 year olds are quite sure we did. I belong to the ‘rebel’ women of the fifties and sixties…we embraced mini skirts, Elvis and neon colors. We demanded equal pay, almost successfully really, but not quite. Men still got senior jobs ahead of us. I did get myself to teacher’s college … amazing upon reflection.

I learned to fly while teaching in a two teacher school half way up a mountain and saving to travel. My husband found me at an aero club meet … he was very persistent and talked me out of traveling. The money I had put aside to complete the hours necessary for a full flying license…and the all important travel … was used as part of a down payment on a very tiny house on a windy hillside in the capital city. No traveling … a decision I regretted for years. My fault, I was a feisty dame but he beat me! However, I am certainly not sorry 49 years later. He was right all the time … dammit! And I did travel … later.

Our marriage summarized has achieved:

Two fabulous boys … still called boys despite both being older than the British PM. 25 years teaching before ‘he who talked me into marriage’ ... was the first to travel, licensing the baby incubator he had developed, for manufacture overseas. Atlanta, GA won that search and we were bought to oversee such. 1981 found us enrolling a 14 year old into high school and leaving a 17 years old behind where we felt he was best suited getting an out door education in NZ.

25 years later, no incubator manufactured, many great experiences … enough to fill a book really and very little money later, found ourselves ruined by 9/11 aftermath. Being of pension age, but no health insurance with both available in New Zealand we took the sensible step and returned.

Believe me … counter-culture shock is much worse than initial culture shock. It has taken us more time than we would like not to feel really foreign in the country of our birth. Both our ‘boys’ remain in the states, successful, extremely busy and still truly wonderful. We consider ourselves very lucky indeed. Forty nine years later we have managed to remain great friends, with a very similar sense of humor … a vital ingredient … not always agreeing, but that is the spice of any relationship. Being able to say ‘turned out nice again’ after employing your right to disagree, having to make a substantial argument for or against is the jalapeno!

I am happy to answer any questions, fill in any gaps etc., otherwise I’ll write a brochure here and nobody has time for that!  We are political junkies keeping abreast of the world … thank you technology. I am happy to answer any questions regarding this part of the world also of course.

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