A friend called in this morning. She and her husband live most of the time in New Zealand - their daughter and her then boyfriend took a trip round the world and ended up there, where they now live, married, with their three daughters. Sandra and Graham loved it so much that they spent more and more time there; a couple of years ago their respective mothers died and now they live there and visit here, rather than the other way round. The Sage and Graham are great friends and still have long conversations on the phone. Graham always used to help on sale nights, showing the china (holding each lot up as it's auctioned) and giving it out to the buyers once they've paid. Alex does this now.
Anyway, Sandra will be leaving again in another ten days - the Sage has promised to drop a catalogue in to her in a week's time when they are back from the printer but I won't see her for a couple of years, probably. She's become very integrated into New Zealand life, even having gained the accent.
It's funny, isn't it, how some people adapt their accent to where they are living and others never do. I wonder if there's a connection with how good you are at picking up other languages? Or maybe it's if you are, in the rather old-fashioned phrase, a people person. Sandra spends a lot of time with her granddaughters and they were born in NZ. It's natural that she should adapt her speaking to theirs, in the circumstances (that she's living in their country, I mean).