Tuesday, March 27


This wonderful old photo is of my Grandmother & Grandfather on their Honeymoon. They stayed at this wonderful Maori Marae & while we love the photo, we have always laughed at the body language of the two of them. Standing so far apart, with hands tucked behind their backs. The lady on the right in the picture is their Guide or hostess.

My Grandmother was from Yorkshire, England, & my Grandfather was from Eden, Australia. They had both arrived in New Zealand for differing reasons. My Grandmother had come with her family when she was 18 years old. Supposedly the family had emigrated for the benefit of her mother's health, as she suffered dreadful arthritis. New Zealand is not a kindly climate for Arthritis.
My Grandfather had come to New Zealand to seek work, as there was very little to be had in Australia, & Eden was a fishing village, & if you were not a fisherman, you were a forestry worker, felling timber.

Their different backgrounds were a fascinating contrast for us to learn about. Our Grandmother had been raised 'High' Anglican, our Grandfather came from a Catholic family, & even had a sister who was a Nun.

For some reason, they chose to be married in a Methodist Church! No one is quite sure why, since my Grandmother has been employed as a cook & Nanny for an Anglican Minister. Perhaps it was a compromise, but neither of them really bothered much with religion, though my Grandmother read her bible most nights before sleep. My Grandfather seemed happy to forget all about it, though I think my brother still has letters from his mother, hoping he is 'going to Mass regularly'. I dont think he ever did!

Three of his brothers emigrated to New Zealand too, & married & had families there, but a lot of them drifted back over the Tasman to Australia, so there are plenty of relatives both sides of the Tasman now.

When GOM & I married we never had a honeymoon. We had our health & about $25 between us! We had a few days off to get our flat into order, & then returned to work. We used to promise ourselves a honeymoon 'one day'.

We had a disastrous little trip to Timaru, once after our daughter was about 2. We went & stayed with a friend who was a publican. I have never had such a terrible hangover in my life, & it taught me never to drink 'Harvey Wallbangers' again!! Lying with your arms around a porcelain bowl is not conducive to romance! So much for Honeymoon!

Probably our next attempt, at an "Official" honeymoon, was our first trip to Sydney, & I must say, though we came with another couple, we did have a magic holiday, & enjoyed every single minute of it.

And we had a magical trip to Thailand & Phuket, which could have passed for 'honeymoon.' After all, Honeymoon is just a word. Perhaps our honeymoon has been our life together, with all it's ups & downs.

When we first bought our little cottage, I used to think, when things got ugly, "Never mind, I can always take the kids & go home". It was 8 years before I thought that 'home' was living with GOM!

And that was brought about on a trip into the city of Auckland to visit friends, who lived in a flat at the top of a multistorey building, which looked out over the Park. Accross the Park, there was the High Court, visible among the trees.

My mother took us into the city, & we went up to visist our friends. It was one of the trips home to visit my mother, that GOM used to give me each year, because he knew how much I loved & missed my mother, so it was usually just me & the kids who went.

These friends had a rooftop patio area they used for their 'backyard'. They told the kids they could go out but 'be careful.' While we were sitting having coffee & catching up, there came a knock on the door. Jean went to the door & came back alarmed with a large policeman. The policeman wanted to know who was in charge of the "the two children dangling over the edge of the parapet on the top of the building, hurling things into the street below!"

They 'Were in immenent danger of falling off" and a "Judge had been sitting in court watching them, and having a near heart attack"m & had sent the policeman to "deal with it immediately."

I cant begin to tell you the horror I felt, the shame, the guilt! I was stricken! My mother was equally horrified & guilty. We had no idea the children had gone anywhere near the edge of the rooftop, & were aghast, as indeed had the Judge been.

I couldnt wait to get the kids out of there, & once my legs had returned from jelly, I just shook & shook. I phoned GOM, in tears once we got home to Mum's. GOM laughed, which I didnt find appropriate at all.

The children were punished by being denied any money to buy me a mother's Day present, & they lost a lot of other priveledges too. It was a lot of years before I could laugh about that, & I am still terrified when I see children near edges of heights.

And I was so glad to get 'HOME' to GOM, & my comfortable house.


h&b said...

I actually grew up in one of the townships you mentioned ;)


joyce said...

I really enjoyed your story and the picture of your grandparents honeymoon. I remember when we first got married I felt like I was playing house. Lol. A few kids took care of that illusion!

Helen said...

Harvey Wallbangers - now there is a 'blast from the past'!

h&b said...

My first drink was a Harvey Wallbanger. I thought it was delicious ! :)

Henri said...

Meggie ,
Wedding Anniversary indeed .
On our short honeymoon your SIL , my beloved ,wanted a divorce after about three days haha --- 32 years & three sons later I'm not sure if she still does , if she does she doesn't mention it
By the way , I'm with joyce on the Rhubarb Pie , I would love one !

Penless Thoughts said...

Dropped by from your comment on Linds blog. Hope that's okay. I loved your story and the old photo. I'm going through a lifetime of photos at the present time and loving every minute of it. Such a history in photos. Have a blessed day.

jellyhead said...

Your posts are always a joy to read, Meggie.

The body language sure is funny in that photo - wonder if your grandparents were feeling shy or if they'd just had a blue?! I remember soooo many arguments in the first 6 months or so of being married! (things have settled down somewhat now!)

Stomper Girl said...

I loved that you call your whole married life your honeymoon. What a great way to look at it.

I was having palpitations when my Cherub stood near the edge of the pier yesterday. Kids near dangerous edges are a bad, bad thing for grown-ups to see!

Mrs. Goodneedle said...

I hadn't thought of a Harvey Wallbanger in decades! Now Meggie, what kind of a punishment was it for THEM to be forced to deny YOU a gift? What a frightful time that must have been...

Molly said...

How did the folks in those old photos ever unbend enough to produce offspring?!

Jane Ann said...

My very first thought of the honeymoon picture was the body language. Then I enlarged it and saw wonderful smiles on their faces. That's the best body language! People didn't usually smile much in photographs in those days.

Love your commentary on marriage. I told one of my daughters recently that love is feeling that the other person is "home." I resisted for a while feeling that my marriage (my second) is home. But I guess I have finally accepted it, after 20 years with my GOM.

Lisa said...

What a fabulous photo, how special to have it. I agree with Jane Ann, it is great that they are smiling because photos where such serious things weren't they. Thanks for sharing it.

My float said...

Your whole life has been your honeymoon - that's one of the most wonderful things I've ever read. What a beautiful concept.

We live on the third floor of a unit block. We have a balcony. When the child was very very small as in crawling, he was never allowed out there on his own. Now i let him play out there but ALWAYS keep an eagle eye on him. Shudder.

h&b said...

Like Stomper and MF, I have massive palpitations when I see child up against railings etc ... arrghhh !!

And yes, your guess was correct ;)