Sunday, June 17, 2012

Feeling a bit like an orphan...

It's been a bit weird the past few weeks with both parents tripping around, Mum visiting Gypsy Sister in Tasmania and Dad in the UK dealing with a few matters relating to his mother's estate (only 2 years after her death). He said it was strange walking around the family property again, perhaps for the last time. I dug out a few pics from my stash for an indulgent reminise (as Mum has moved the photo albums again) and I swiped a few (3,4,5,6,7) from the website.
 Daughter no1 in the front garden playing with her cousin.1999

Dad grew up in this pretty house which is between 600 and 800 years old, surrounded by apple and cherry trees. A well-to-do (somewhat snobby) middle class family - pool, tennis court with summer house, 1930's rolls royce, caravan, housekeeper (a darling), six cottages etc...  Now a multi-squillion dollar property, part working farm, part tourism. After being in the family for a number of generations it would be sad to see it broken up and sold off esp. T----- House.
The farm below 1959-60.

 Unlike the rest of my family I haven't been at the farm since I was eight. Despite that, the memories are still vivid and varied. Seeing snow for the first time, tobogganing and snowball fights with my Canadian cousin, seeing and eating icicles for the first time and being scared to walk under them after my cousin told me someone in Canada had died after one fell on her head(?) Visiting Kim, Bud and Donna in the nursery and watching them plant seedlings. Getting chased by the black rooster collecting the eggs. Going walking in the Big Wood and seeing a half submerged row boat frozen the the stream. The secret door in the panelling in a playmates bedroom (what kid wouldn't remember that). Wondering why my aunt and uncle bought me a jar of brown, black, grey, white pebbles ?(rock sweets). A dead robin with it's bright red feathers. The attic! The butterfly collections in a drawer set in my Dad's room. The snowy view up the lane of the bare hedges (with empty bird nests) out my frosted window. Seeing The Wizard of Oz pantomime esp. the witches legs sticking out from under the Dorothy's house. Staying in a hotel in London to see the Nutcracker suite, don't remember much of the ballet but I do remember how much I liked the wrought iron balcony from the hotel room covered in a thick layer of snow, kind of French.

  The Oast cottage house.
 Oast cottages are only found in Kent, used for drying hops and was in use until the late 1920's.

 Farrier working on the farm Shires.

 Bluebell wood. Dad just missed them this time, said there were only a few left in bloom.
 Toby, Queenie and Heather.

 Found this pic of the boarding school my Dad went to in Devon. Seventeeth century Battisborough House, now known as Hall Grove.
  Not a bad view to the sea for a school.

 Can't believe how different Dad's childhood home was from my Mum's, this pic of my Mum's childhood home (before she was born) found in my uncle's belongings after he died.

Had to check on the farm and water the plants while the parents are away and get a load of firewood, these cows are part of the new stock, they have stripy ears and fleshies. 
  Seems like a return to horned cattle after years of breeding out horns from the Droughtmasters and Murray-greys. Aren't they beautiful?

The boys took the kite landboard out for a ride down the slopes between the dams.


Our other Mum has been off to Brisbane for the past week with little miss H and mum and dad to see about getting her trachea tube out. Oxygen levels get monitored and they pull the tube out, stick a bandaid over the hole and it usually just closes over. There is no treatment working for her lymph and tongue problems (only one doctor in Aust in Sydney has had success with this condition). But it will be nice for her to be able to go swimming,and get messy with her cousins and have a spashy bath like most kids do. And it will be interesting to hear her talk and laugh like a normal three year old.

Back to renovations next time.


  1. What sweet pictures and memories, I needed a bit of UK, in my day!
    All the best to the little sweetie, I hope all goes well and yes those cows are beautiful, all in the eyes.

  2. Great memories and pics! What a beautiful place where your father grew up. And further to Pippa's best wishes, hope all is well with the little one. xx

  3. I don't know...that's a hard one. Your dad's place is like stepping into a Jane Austin Book. Loved hearing about your childhood memories. It had all the components of a "proper" British fairy tale. So is your mum the Aussie, or did you guys just settle here? I will have to show Mr.MS those hops cottages...he is big into home brewing and would be interested. But I share your sentiment money does not buy happiness. Kids remember love, not tennis courts. Damn, I wish I had a housekeeper though!


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