Monday, 19 December 2011

Long ago in New Zealand

It's been a while since I've looked at any photos. I still don't want to look through the big box of family photos on the shelf in the lounge room. The ones of my daughter growing up and with my wife. There's so much pain involved I dunno if I've ever want to go back and look at those ones. I walked into my daughters room the other day to close the window she'd left open, and even after all this time I still felt pain. Not intense pain, but an indication of what I might feel if I went deeper. She's got the odd picture on the wall from the box in the lounge room. It's part of Post Traumatic Stress to avoid things that will induce pain like that.

I did however get a bit involved in very early photos from New Zealand. As I recently got into contact with a sister over there via email, she was interested in any early pics I had that included our mother. So I scanned the odd one or two that I thought she might like and emailed them to her. She was very appreciative as she'd lost most of any early pics of mum. Long story. Of course they're way back in yesteryear. This one was Dad and Mum on their wedding, at the local community hall I think it was, in rural New Zealand. Obviously before I was born:

Amazingly I was able to lighten up the picture, sharpen it, etc on the computer to bring out a lot of the half tones that weren't even visible in the pre-scanned original. It was both of theirs second marriage, Dad's first wife had died giving birth to my older brother, and mum had been divorced. I think they were very much in love, but the family situation became very complicated when I and my younger brother were born. Mum also bought her daughter from her previous marriage to add to the mix (she's the one I'm emailing now in New Zealand). That pic would have been around 1960 I suppose. 

This one is me. Yes, it's the first pic of me that I've posted on the blog. Of course I'm completely unrecognisable from that now. It's in the back yard of the house on the farm, the paddock is behind the fence. We used to have cows and sheep. It looks like I had a toy lawn mower in my hands:

It looks lovely doesn't it. I guess it could have been worse, but my first memory of dad was very near where that pic was taken. I'd done something wrong, can't remember what, and dad was coming after me. I was absolutely terrified of him and was screaming and running away. Went and hid under the water tank. In hindsight he knew I was there but I think he was surprised at how scared of him I was, I mean I was really screaming, and so he left me alone there. I stayed a while there before coming out.

This one is much later, at one of dad's brother's places who was also a farmer. They had a huge backyard with trees and plants everywhere. Lived near the mountain, much closer than we did. The far left is mum, and second from right is dad. Grandad far right. 

I cringed when I scanned that one. I do miss mum sometimes (both dad and mum are long dead now) but the sight of dad made the hairs stand up on my neck. He never understood me at all. It was hard growing up in New Zealand, well for me anyway. As a boy I was expected to be tough and unemotional. I was in fact the complete opposite, very sensitive and very emotional at times. It seemed like such a narrow minded, even closed minded, community. I certainly felt far from belonging there.  

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