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‘No. 4’

I lost my grandfather when I was 9 years of age. But what is lost is not a person, but the sudden sense of your parents as you witness their fragility. I never really recovered my trust in authority again after this. My grandfather however was a remarkable character. He would attend with my grandmother at Christmas, crossing Cook Strait on the ferry and driving down the eastern coast of the south island pulling behind him an extended caravan AND a smallish jet boat. He would spend his time driving me and my twin brother around rural New Zealand in his enormous dirty gold coloured Holden with its red pleather interior, us in the back, no seatbelts of course, sucking on pink lollies that tasted of a grainy mixture made from aniseed and sunburn.

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