Meet our New Zealand reader
Published on: 03 Mar 2014
SHE may live nearly 12,000 miles away but Patricia Pye certainly knows what’s going on in Downend.
The 53-year-old is an avid reader of Downend Voice after moving to the island five years ago.
She regularly logs on to the online version of the news magazine to find out what’s been happening in the area she grew up in.
Patricia, an artist, was born in Bromley Heath, and in those days was known by her maiden name, Pat Norman.
Even though she lives on the other side of the world, Patricia describes herself as a “Bristolian through and through”.
As a youngster, Patricia attended the old Stockwell Hill School and remembers wearing a lime green uniform for the summer months and a bottle green one for the winter.
After getting married when she was 19 she moved out of the area and has lived in various parts of the UK, including Kingswood, Temple Cloud, Wiltshire and Yorkshire. She also spent a year in Holland where she picked up the Dutch language.
She moved to the south of North Island in New Zealand in March 2009 and currently lives with her second husband Stewart on a five-acre farm complete with cows, chickens, sheep, cats and dogs.
The emergence of social media has meant Patricia is able to stay in touch with old pals and family and keep tabs on news from her old stomping ground.
Patricia said: “Just before I came out to New Zealand I met up with all my school friends I was still in contact with and was surprised to realise just how many I had, and have since made contact with more via social media.
“When I lived in Holland the internet was non-existent as computers were the size of wardrobes in those days. So I existed with only a portable am radio that I could just pick up Radio 4 and the World Service for English speaking news of any kind. Nowadays with all the social media and Skype it is so much easier.”
Patricia has had various jobs over the years including working in supermarkets, a nanny, a silver service waitress and a paralegal. She currently works part-time as an auctioneer assistant which allows her to spend time doing what she loves – drawing and painting. She also has a penchant for photography, crafts and writing children’s stories and poems.
Patricia said: “All my nuclear family still live in the Bristol area and as I have good contact with my friends I take a big interest in what is going on in Downend and the Bristol area.
“I came across Downend Voice on the internet when researching pictures to use for my art as I particularly like drawing the old buildings of Bristol in pen and ink.
“I like Downend Voice because it keeps me up with local events my friends may be attending and places where I grew up as well as current issues.”