In case it isn’t obvious on my blog, Ben is a genius, so I’m going to dedicate this next post to him. After all, who knows all the poems in Lord of the Rings off by heart?

Something I haven’t mentioned before is that Ben is an International Chess Master. He’s been playing chess, and winning, since he was younger than Daniel. When he was 9 or 10 he sometimes played against Russians on Russian ships that pulled into the port in Dunedin. This was in the late 70s in the middle of the cold war. We’ve got these two photos of him playing against the Russians:


He’s third from the right in the second photo.

He played for New Zealand in international tournaments too, going to Manila in 1987 as a 17-year-old and then Colombia in 1989 as a 19-year-old.



Something I love about Ben is the way he thinks. As a mathematician he’s a very logical thinker and so I’m forever bouncing my ideas off him and asking him to find flaws. He’s very good at this. He also listens to my rants but doesn’t fuel them, which is probably a good thing!

Another thing I love about Ben is how kind he is. Indeed there’s no better quality in a human than kindness. Ben never says anything bad about anyone. Never. He’s not at all manipulative and never plays silly games and is very considerate of others. He’s also a fantastic Dad and always has time to play with the children and has never, ever, not a single time, hit them. We don’t think hitting children – or adults or animals for that matter – is an acceptable thing to do.

He also taught me to be a feminist. I realise now that all of us who believe in the right to vote and the right to equal pay for women are feminist. But it’s not something I would have called myself before I met Ben.

And lastly, Ben likes chickens just as much as I do, but not to eat! His family had chooks when they were little and we’ve got a photo of the each of us holding a chicken when we were kids.


In case it isn’t obvious, I love my husband very much and dedicate this post to him. He makes me a better person.

14 Replies to “Ben”

  1. Awww, this is so amazing. I think you are so well matched and both lovely people.
    Chess is a very difficult game to be good at. It’s the levels ahead you have to think in and I just can’t hold that many possibilities in my head, beyond one or at a stretch two levels. Ben must have an enormous brain to hold all that information.

    1. Yes, I’m not very good at chess. I think you have to be able to think strategically and also be competitive which I am not but Ben is 🙂

  2. You are lucky to find such a kind, intelligent man. I love that you both have photos of you holding chickens as kids. Definitely meant for each other 🙂

  3. I agree that Ben’s a genius. You forgot to mention that he’s also incredibly humble (in that he doesn’t go around blowing his own trumpet).
    He’s one of the nicest and kindest people I’ve ever met. Just so thoughtful and considerate. An incredibly devoted dad.
    I could go on and on but I won’t other than to say that I love the photos. 🙂
    And, yes, how lucky you are that you found each other!

  4. What a great post and photos.

    He looks very cool in the parade photos; just a miniature version of how he is now.

    Love both of your photos holding the chooks. He seems more concerned about the chicken than you are. His kindness shows up in the photo. Your photo and chicken are impressive too. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Ben is looking very concerned because his hen, Anastasia, is on death’s door in that photograph and apparently died not long after.

  5. Yeah, he is a great guy- Looks like he met his match, so to speak- His sisters used to say ‘Ben the Hen is ten’- Much to his annoyance- There is a beer in UK called ‘Old speckled Hen’ and it made me think ‘Old speckled Ben’, lol

      1. Or the time he pretended to be a cat at the bank and his dad said ‘Don’t worry, I’ll take you home and give you a saucer of milk’? lol!

  6. Oh Rachel, what a lovely post for your wonderful hubby. I agree, kindness is tops. I love playing chess, but haven’t done for years. How fantastic that Ben is an International Chess Master….wow! But I have to say what really amazes me is that he knows all the LOTR poems by heart (love those films and the books…)!! What a fantastic husband and father you have there. My hubby also taught me what being a feminist meant, as like you, once upon a time, I would never have called myself one, because I didn’t understand what it meant 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s