When your grandmother, Andrew and I arrived in Armadale in New South Wales Australia, in 1972, we needed two things. A house to live in and motorcar.
Everybody had big cars in Armidale because they had to drive so far to get anywhere.
After you have lived in New Zealand, which is quite a small and hilly country, you are struck by how big and flat Australia is. The distances between places are huge, particularly if you live somewhere like Armidale. In Auckland, I could get to the surf club at Muriwai in half an hour and I thought that was quite a long drive
If we wanted to go to the beach for a day In Armidale, we had a 2 1/2 hours to get to a beautiful beach on the New South Wales coast called Sawtell.
Andrew and Simon would sleep in the back on the way home, so they missed the night when we hit a kangaroo coming home.
We went to Armidale so I could go to university and when I graduated, I got a job in Frankston. We all got in the car and drove to stay with some friends in Victoria while I found somewhere to live In Frankston.
When we first came to Victoria, there were no freeways, so to connecting to Frankston, I had to drive through the city and down the highway. The trip took three hours and I had to do it three or four times to arrange somewhere to rent.
When we originally decided to go to Frankston, we thought it was a little town by the seaside outside Melbourne. When we got there, we found it was a suburb 40 km south of the city.
But we found somewhere to live and we were close to the beach, much closer than we have been at Armidale. The house at 56 Finlay St isn’t there any longer but I have some photos of what it was like we were there.
This is the front fence, pathway, garden and pagoda I built and designed. The steps, which you can just see on the right-hand side of the picture, led to sliding doors into the living room.
This is a photo of Andrew and Simon in a small swimming pool in the backyard.
This is veggie garden. There was also a swing and a sand pit over on the right.
While we were there, we went for a holiday in the Grampians
The Frankston beach was a great place for the kids to grow up and the family spent a lot of time there.
Soon we had to get rid of the old Ford Falcon to buy newer and better Ford. This time a Fairmont. Gradually the cars were getting better.
The seats were getting more comfortable and the air-conditioning more efficient. It was also more comfortable for the kids in the back.
A large comfortable car made it possible to do day trips for cross-country skiing.
We also decided that it was time that we needed more than one car, so we bought a little Honda Civic.
Soon we moved house to Grosvenor St.
These are a couple of shots of Nick and Simon around the fire pit in the backyard.
This is a picture of your grandfather and your uncle Nick removing the tree from the backyard at Grosvenor St
The cars and houses were getting bigger and better as time went by. They had to. The family was growing up and there was a fair amount of driving needed to be done. There were football matches and practices, Little athletics, cricket, swimming training, swimming trips to Frankston swimming pool with the kids from Mitic Court and Grosvenor Street and Road Runners all of which required a large motorcar.