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.