Saturday, October 6, 2012


On Wednesday my Pampa died. Pampa was my dad's dad, 86 years old. He had the biggest ears and the deepest crevasse-like wrinkles I've ever seen. He could wiggle his ears by themselves, not just at the hairline either. When I was little he wiggled his ears at me when my parents weren't looking, usually over dinner. It was fascinating and hilarious and I choked on many a pea, potato, and sausage, giggling at him from across the table.

Later in life he hooked up with his partner Joy. They met at ballroom dancing, which he was very good at. Once at Sequoia 88 (very classy chch restaurant) my dad got me a tequila sunrise (no tequila) and I thought I was drunk and Pampa flung me around the dance floor leading waltz', foxtrots, swing dances that at the time I figured I ruled at, yet in retrospective he was just a very good lead. 

Pampa moved in with Joy and helped her in her garden. He had two worm farms that churned up the compost and green waste, giving it lots of nutrients to put back in the garden. Their property backed onto a little brook, and the land was the most perfect balance of manicured garden and natural wild shrubbery. It was huge and extensive, with multiple little tracks petering off in different directions to the vegetable patch, the washing line, or the shed. Flowers and fruit bloomed and fell everywhere; it was something out of a Beatrix Potter book.

Those aren't the only hobbies he had; he played tennis right up until his late 70s I think, and snooker. He was fit and had lots of friends. He had a really deep voice, in a strange accent I couldn't place which I think was a mixture of English, Irish, and Bluff. He placed emphases on odd syllables, or just on everything, like: HEl-LO HOW are YOUUU. 

Pampa was a pretty choice dude, it would have been cool for me if he didn't live in Auckland my whole life, but it seemed to work out pretty well for him.

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