Yvonne and Carl

“Last December, Carl came into the store, looking at the Christmas lights, and I was tidying them up. We talked for about half an hour.

My grandchildren came up from Queenstown and I took them out to the Christmas lights. I talked to him and invited him out for a coffee. I wasn’t sure where he was at emotionally, as his wife had passed away. But I thought, even as friends, that would be nice. And it just sort of went from there.

I talked to his daughter first, and she said, Well, I just want Carl to be happy. He’s been an amazing father and husband; looked after my mum.

It’s the first time in my life that I’ve met someone that I can be myself with, and actually not be scared of …doing or saying something that he doesn’t like.

Yeah, he’s infuriating sometimes. I’m sure I am too. We love each other very much.”

– Yvonne

“With Chook – it was motor neuron disease. And with motor neuron disease when you get that diagnosis, you know, you’re gonna die. There’s no reversal, no treatment. So we were prepared for her passing, my daughter Odette and myself. We’d basically done our grieving because she was only a shadow of what she had been in the past. So when she died it was… now’s the time for the new chapter, now’s the time to move on.

Chook she always used to say to me, when I die you’re going to go and find somebody new and you’re going to do it straight away and I used to go; ‘no I won’t’! And yeah, it was a month after she passed that I met Yvonne.

You’ve got to live life and enjoy life. I say to people look – life’s about living now! Experience life; enjoy the people around you. A measure of a person’s success has nothing to do with how much money they’ve got or how flash their house is, their car. A measure of a person’s success is how happy they are with the people around them. And I just have fun. I love life!

And how can you really take life seriously when you’re dressing up like this!”

– Carl

Charity registration number: CC57701