Letter to my WA grandson (iii)

You’ve returned with your mum and dad to Port Hedland after spending your last week with us and your departure is, naturally, the source of great sadness. We see your cousin nearly every day and perhaps do not notice the changes as he grows older quite as much as we do when we see you.

Here are two photographs of the two of you together with Nana Di . The one on the left was taken on this visit and is probably the last one we will get of Nana Di holding both of you. The one on the right was taken on your last visit nearly 10 months ago.

Here is a picture of Nana Di , when she was pregnant with Nick, with your dads taken over 40 years ago.

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And here is another of Nana Di  with you dad  when he was about your age.

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I was too young to remember this photographing of another family outing taken nearly 70 years ago. It a family photograph of a Christmas at the family farm at Holcombe in New Zealand.

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In the back row is my great Aunt Bertha, next to her is her daughter Nola and next to her as my Grandmother Edith ( she is your great great grandmother). In the front row is my cousin Jeffrey and his mother, Nola’s sister, Marge holding the golliwogs. I am at the end of the row with my mum, your great-grandmother who would have been about 22 at the time.

We didn’t have many outings together unfortunately but we did manage two trips to the  Richmond Union Bowling Club.  Like most small children, you enjoy open spaces.

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You kicked a few bowling balls around but your major fascination was with the flags around the edge of the green.  You worked your way systematically around the green removing each one from its holder, inspecting it and replacing it.

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Despite my best efforts, the fundamentals of bowling seemed to elude you.

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You like to make your own fun and this is my favourite photograph of you from that day.

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There is an old photograph of an outing taken nearly 45 years ago in Armidale in NSW when my sister and my parents came to visit from New Zealand. It’s a picture of your dad standing in front of his Auntie Claire with your Great Grandma Kay and your Great Grandpa Jack.

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Here is another photo of a later visit taken on the front lawn at Finlay Street.

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You didn’t get to spend a lot of time with your cousin Winton but when you did it was pretty amazing. These are photographs of Nana Di and you two boys dancing to Teddy bears love to tango.

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And here is another two  photographs of the two of you sitting in my big chair which fascinated you both because it has buttons which you can both press to raise and lower the foot rest on the back of the chair, to your considerable entertainment.

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Despite the fact you didn’t spend a lot of time together, you are beginning to develop the kind of relationship that close family members create. When you were here last, the two of you began moving around together, not all the time, but often. On this visit, you were very rarely very far from each other.

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When your dad was little boy, we lived in a quite different place in Frankston.  The first shot is of the front yard with the native garden which has probably now turned into a huge forest.

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This of the photos of the backyard and the veggie garden. There is also a sandpit, a barbecue, a clothesline and a swing.

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This a picture of your two dads in the swimming pool at Finlay Street.

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The two of you began some joint ventures. I suspect you have both worked out the connection between keys, locks and escaping and decided to put in a little bit of practice together.

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You are clearly going to be a dangerous combination.

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