Posted by: Joan Spiller | July 9, 2015

Bidding a new (but dear) friend “farewell”

You know when you meet someone and realise that they’re something kinda special? I was fortunate enough to experience this recently and, while so very sad that they’re gone, I’m also so delighted they were here!

As I drove home from Wellington this morning, I found myself thinking about various quotes I have read regarding friendship and this one I particularly liked:

You see, in this instance the person who I now consider to be a lovely friend (or maybe the other daughter I didn’t know I needed!) was once a complete stranger who came to wwoof at my house some .. gosh, many many weeks ago, now.

I still recall when I got the email request from Izzy & her friend Lisa, to be hosted here at the funny farm.

The email read “we are two lovely girls” and I chuckled (as I later explained to Izzy, one doesn’t tend to use those words to describe oneself.. for all the words were very apt!)

Anyway, I got such a good vibe I replied immediately saying please do come and stay.

And I am so thankful I did, for what “lovely” girls they were!

Oh and before you think I am mean: Izzy asked me to correct her English anytime I heard anything overly inaccurate. Have to say: It wasn’t needed often, she was amazing (I cannot get over how someone can come to our country where we speak the most confusing language and survive, let alone thrive and communicate well!?) her grasp of English is incredible.

But do watch out for those humanitarians!!

As the girls headed off on their next adventure, Izzy said to me: “I would love to come back” to which I replied “you are welcome to”.

Now trust me: I do not say this to all my wwoofers! Next thing you know, I have this lovely girl back in my home staying for a couple of weeks.

I also feel it’s important to set the scene here .. Because I truly think she got a bad deal!

It’s winter in NZ. And it’s a hideously rainy, cold and vile winter. And I have dogs.. Lots of dogs. And then there was the horny disgusting goat, I may blog about that separately. Suffice to say he was horrid..

For Izzy I suspect her (Linton) winter experience will have shades of ground hog day happening as each day her job was to walk the dogs in between rain showers, then clean the mess this generated.

You see, every day that poor girl had to wash couches, floors, windows, dogs, dishes .. I felt so awful dispensing the same old same old: every single day she was here, but (lovely girl, remember) she assured me she was OK.

I like to hope she was, but yeah .. I would have been miserable. And I know this, because normally it is my job to do all the chores I was lucky enough to ask her to take care of for me 😉

Did she EVER complain? No.
Did she always volunteer to walk the dogs at 10pm in the rain (pre-bed) – yes.
She was just one of those people who got it. Who fitted in and was “lovely” to have around.
She’s my female “Will”.. A rare accolade indeed.

Fast forward from her drudgery of life in Linton and being rained-in with assorted animals, Izzy kidnapped my little rescue mutt and headed to stay with friends of mine in Wellington. A good time was had by all.

Surprisingly, she bought Roxy back and we shared a lovely evening making pasta but then she left again (rotten girl .. ) to go off and do other things .. (Why wouldn’t she want to be here cleaning couches and sitting in a rainy / cold house??)

But I was delighted she came back and spent the day last weekend and then of course .. we finally had to face up to the fact that her time in NZ was nearing an end and she had to head to the big (ghastly) city of Auckland, to fly home to Germany.

Sad times.

However we hatched a plan!

And so it was that some 19 hours ago I drove to Wellington and met up with Izzy to show her “my Wellington”.

We took a tiki tour, around the many (wind swept and rugged) bays, had a “mocha” at the hip Maranui café, watched stormy weather crossing the cook straight from the South Island to Wellington, before we entered (and how!) the tootie tunnel. Twice, as the first time was no good. Useless evening commuters!


After a cocktail at one of my favourite bars, we headed off to dinner at the place I would say makes the best pizzas I have ever eaten: Scopa.

If you ever come to Wellington, try this place out – it is great. And good people watching to boot!

Sadly, eventually, the time came where I was to pick Izzy up (this morning) and “dump” her at the bus stop..

Auckland bound, as I type this, she’s on her last 12 hours in NZ, some 1 hour from the airport where she will spend the night before flying “home” tomorrow.

One of the things I love about the way some wwoofers get NZ is that they feel they’re LEAVING home when they depart NZ. I suspect Izzy will be that wwoofer.

I know I felt so incredibly sad when I hugged her goodbye at the bus stop this morning. If I could have? I would have done what she asked and gone with her.

How cool is that though??

How some people can become such a wonderful part of your life and you know you will miss them so much when they’re gone.

I believe the French have a saying for this:

From where I sit, having hosted Izzy, I am by far richer. While she was here I knew my dogs were safe and happy (as well as much loved), my home was tended to far more than is normal, and we had so much fun and laughter .. what a fantastic combination.

What a fantastic human being.

Izzy we will meet again. You are missing from  me, but it is not forever. Whether you come here, or I come visit you (or both!) we have that to look forward to.

Thank you, for being such a vunderbar person / lovely wwoofer to host, but most of all – danke for becoming a friend.

We miss you already.Travel safe and see you again, soon.

Much love,

Joan, Roxy and everyone else here.




  1. You ol’ softy!!! I knew you were a sweetheart, but you’re not supposed to let on to the unsuspecting!! 😉 But I know she feels just as honored to have met you, and to have you as a part of her life. You’re pretty stinkin’ amazing. But don’t tell anyone I said that, k?


  2. You sold me.! Knowing you, she has to be one of the best. I’ll add meeting her to my wish list right after going back to NZ

    Liked by 1 person

  3. BTW this is one of the first “happy” pictures I got of Roxy when I first ” had her” 🙂


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