Wednesday, November 4, 2015


HVAGDY is the abbreviation which had been painted on signs hung up all over my place of work. I honestly thought it was the lady's last name - the woman who'd painted the signs. She was the gardener at school and by far the happiest and most colourful woman I'd ever met. Was it her last name? Some sort of Baltic State heritage?

It wasn't. It was the abbreviation which had become a sort of logo of the woman herself. HVAGDY was "Have a Good Day!" and it was the numberplate on her car, at the bottom of every wooden 'Please put your rubbish in the bin' sign, and something that has stayed with me ever since.

Sometimes this woman is the only person to say hello with a smile, and she is an absolute legend - and someone who has become a friend of mine. Not just a gardener at all - she also cultivates happiness and positivity everywhere she goes, installing up-cycled garden sculptures, colourful murals, new planting ideas and positive affirmations all over the place.

Leanne has become an icon for everything creative and happy - and when it was my Year 12 students' last day this year I wanted to throw them a music festival - and I knew just who to ask to help. I waved her down as she was rocketing along on her ride-on mower on the top oval, pink RayBans, faux flower headband and all. I heard the classic rock blaring from her headphones long before I got to her, as usual.

She instantly wanted to help. That Friday after school she helped me lop branches off unwanted trees, make bunting to hang, and the following Monday morning before school helped me set up the rest of the room. Unbeknownst to me she had also made cupcakes the night before for the students to have. I honestly can't thank this woman enough for all of the positivity and light she beams, everyday.

Here are a few photos of the end result. Thanks Leanne for all of your help - not just for my 'music festival' but for every 'have a good day' you yelled across the quadrangle, even when I seemed grumpy or stressed. We all love you more than you know.

So to you, dear reader: HVAGDY