I am from a state house, from school milk and Sunday night comedy programmes on the radio.
I am from strong working-class women, who toiled endlessly to feed and clothe their families, who grew gardens from cuttings and gifted plants, who knitted and sewed and made do.
I am from Irish farmers who fled to Scotland during the potato famine, and ancestors who emigrated for a better life in the colonies.
I am from the pointsettia that grew by the back door, the peas that my grandmother grew that we had to shell before eating, the freesias that grew along the front path, and the mushrooms that sometimes grew in a fairy ring on the back lawn.
I am from rolling Jaffas down the aisles at the pictures (you have to be a Kiwi to understand that) and standing up for "God Save the Queen".
I am from the long bus trips up north to visit my grandparents which were the only holidays we had. I'm from the estuary where we caught eels, carrying blackberries wrapped up in my cardigan, cycling around with my brother, and climbing trees.
I am from austere Presbyterians who eschewed extravagance. I am from Auckland, where my throat still catches when I see One Tree Hill, now without its tree. I am from Christmas in summer, the fountain at Mission Bay, wee pots of homemade jam from the church fair, and Rangitoto Island.
I am from a school where we wore hats, ties and gloves, and heard the broadcast of man landing on the moon in German class.
These are the things of my childhood that have shaped my life.