2 Minutes with ...


Barbara Adams is one of those humble Tawa people who wonders why on earth she should be 'chosen' to be the subject of an interview for this series. The simple answer is that she lives in Tawa. That's reason enough, 'famous' or otherwise.

However Barbara does have a claim to fame, although she would probably deny it. She has authored a number of short stories, as well as a book here and there. Two examples are "I Remember Tawa - A Collection of Memories" featuring more than 40 different Tawa folks, published in 2002. This year she and her husband Jim compiled "Tawa Bowling Club - Fiftieth Anniversary". And a short story of hers appears in "Home", described as new short, short stories by New Zealand writers, published in 2005.

Where were you born, Barbara?

Where did you grow up?
My family moved to Lower Hutt when I was three. My father was transferred with the Customs Department to Wellington. Housing was difficult to get as the war had just started.

Where were you educated?
Hutt Valley High School, then went to Wellington Teachers' College, two years at teachers' college, then one probationary year, actually teaching. At a later stage gained a B.Ed (Bachelor of Education) at Massey.
[The Editor was also able to ascertain that Barbara has a diploma in guidance & counselling and an advanced diploma in applied arts (writing)].

What is your line of work?
"Just a teacher", as well as bringing up a family. I've done primary teaching, had a few years at Brandon Intermediate, Porirua in the Guidance & Learning Unit, and part-time teaching at Tawa College.

What about family?
Married to Jim with four adult daughters (Upper Hutt, Lower Hutt, Christchurch and Auckland) and five grandchildren.

What are your interests/hobbies?
The computer, I guess, mainly for communication. U3A Tawa, Probus, but mainly bowling. "They're the main things. I love [outdoor] bowling."

How long have you lived in Tawa?
Nearly 41 years. "First in St Johns Tce, then here - a very nice bush setting. I would hate to move."

What do you think is great about Tawa?
What I like - "I know it's old hat" - is the sense of community. When you go to do your shopping you need an extra half hour to talk to (or nod to) people. Everybody seems to know everybody. "Nobody needs to be lonely here. There's provision for all sorts of things happening."

What, if anything, would improve Tawa?
I'd like to see more shops or a department store if we could handle it. [On refection ...] I think that might be a bit ambitious! We're pretty good the way we are. There's not much we have to go out of the district for.

What is your favourite dessert?
Anything with chocolate, like chocolate fudge pudding. "I'm actually known to like chocolate" [Cadbury's dark Energy chocolate - Ed].

Favourite sports team or sportsperson?
I don't follow sport that much. "I like watching [the All Black] Rokocoko running out on the wing." But I don't really watch a lot.

Favourite style of music?
I quite like country and western, songs with words you can hear, ones with a message probably.

Favourite holiday destination in New Zealand?
I quite like the West Coast of the South Island. We don't often get there, with daughters in Auckland and Christchurch. We usually go in "family directions".

Favourite quote or saying?
Don't really have one, but my mother used to say, if we were looking through the sales pages, "A bargain still costs money."

If you could meet any two or three people (alive or dead), who would they be?
I think mine will be ones who are still alive, like Hillary Clinton. And I like Barbara Walters who's quite a 'serious' interviewer ... compared with Jeremy Pyne [on the TV]. I've started having my lunch watching him. "He's so brutally honest, quite shocking. It's like a soap." Quite different sides to the spectrum really.

What three things would you take with you if you were stuck on a desert island?
"Put chocolate first of all. I'd miss that if I didn"t have it."
Lots of books for light reading.
And I'd probably take a flagon of lemon and barley water.

What is one talent you would like that you do not have?
I'd love to be able to sing in tune. I belonged to a group Singing for Non-Singers a couple of years back, run through U3A Tawa. That was fun.

What is one talent you have that you could not do without?
I don't know if these are talents, but I've got a quirky sense of humour and a vivid imagination.

What accomplishments/achievements in your life give you much satisfaction/pride?
Raising a family and keeping them on the straight and narrow through the years.
Also my teaching years, I guess.
I've had a lot of satisfaction from my writing and from my bowling. "I like to do things reasonably well if I can."

What is something "interesting" about you that local people might not know?
I've written a couple of novels that have been e-published. I've had several short stories published and a couple of others have been broadcast.
I climbed Ayres Rock not that long ago. "That was a real sense of achievement."
I think I'm one of Tawa's biggest ice cream eaters. I eat ice cream every day. My favourite flavour is Tip Top cookies & cream. It used to be hokey pokey.

What are two or three things you would like to do before you die?
I think that most of the things I've really wanted to do, I've done.
I'd like to improve on my photography.
I'd like to master hard Sudoku.

Compiled December 2010.

Other Tawa people