New Zealand

I failed to realise that Margo and her partner had a homosexual relationship: something I had never come across before in women. I was astonished. I know that some people believe that everyone is capable of being bi-sexual, given certain conditions. I had no idea that this was the case. I believe that it is impossible for anyone to understand something of which they have had no experience. I could not imagine in my wildest dreams what it could be like to fall in love with someone of the same sex as myself. Nevertheless, as a psychotherapist, I needed to know something about all kinds of relationships. My gay book-seller enlightened me about the differences of the nature of a male homosexual relationship and a strong friendship between two “straight” men. He helped me to realise that this is something we are born with and not something that could be “cured” by psychotherapy. Now, I could at least have some idea about the differences between what are called “straight” and “gay” couples.

I have collected enough information to write a book about the nature of friendship and the nature of sexual relationships. Another book that is waiting to be written is “Lib for Women and Men”. I am disgusted by some of the ridiculous beliefs and attitudes in general that have emanated from books in the ‘sixties written by women writers of strong, badly written and prejudiced ideas.

Enough for now. Later! Margo and her friends were very kind to me and I learned a lot from them. They fed and watered me for six weeks. Then I went to Aukland in New Zealand. My daughter-in-law’s brother, Chris, is an entrepreneur and a good businessman. He has also spent many years as an air steward. He and his sister had parents who emigrated to England from Cyprus. The whole family is very hospitable and lively. I went from a rough life in the outbacks of Australia to a luxurious flat in a grand new building. I had a room and shower to myself and he cooked delicious meals for his partner and me every evening.

I was there for a week. Not only did he take me out to all the centres associated with Maori histories and the hot springs, but he also planned an itinerary for me for my second week in the South Island by ‘plane, train and bus to wherever I wanted to go. He thoughtfully provided me with some of his partner’s warm clothing as I had not realised it would be so cold, especially in the south where I took a trip by ship down two of the fiords and when I enjoyed a train journey up over the mountains on the west side of the island.

It wasn’t cold everywhere. On my journey back to the North by bus over the central plane it was warm and sunny. There were many well-kept small villages and the people were very hospitable. I also visited some of the best known cities. I particularly liked Christchurch. I was very sorry to hear recently about the earthquake there. My host had done his best to make sure that I saw most of the many beauties of both nature and towns.

I can understand why the South island of New Zealand is so popular. It has all kinds of different things to do and places to visit. Everywhere I found helpful people who took their time and were enjoying themselves. I liked it very much.

I flew back to the North island, stayed over with Chris in his flat and the next day I went to the airport to make the long journey to Texas, stopping briefly at Honolulu on the way. Once in America I made the long journey from the east to the west coast and San Francisco. I have never seen such an endless expanse of brown mountain tops. It seemed that they would never end. I thought about what I had read of the lives of the hill-billies and how easy it could be for them to get lost and cut off , by intention, from the noise and bustle of big cities and live out their lives in a primitive way.