Modern Families

If one of your late ancestors were to come back from the dead and join you for dinner, what things about your family would this person find the most shocking?

They wouldn’t be shocked but maybe amazed, excited, interested, thrilled. Not about the family but about the world and some of the things that have happened.

I’m thinking of my grandfather, Papa, world traveller and photographer (among many other things). When he left the house he always had his camera and a bag full of film with him and when he got home he’d go up to his darkroom above the garage and develop his film or he’d post them off to Kodak and have them developed into the thousands of little slides now sitting in my mothers garage.

He died in 1989 so he didn’t see the arrival of digital cameras, phone cameras, Photoshop or the internet and I know he’d get such a blast out of it. Last week I sent photos of his to France, Canada and Germany and I can just picture the look on his face and the little – well I’ll be damned – laugh he’d have if he knew.

I think he’d even get a laugh out of everyone thinking they’re a photographer these days, throwing a filter or some HDR on a shot and getting hundreds of people liking whats basically a crap photo on Instagram. I’m sure he’d have fun using some of the filters and software out there but his photos don’t need it because he had a good eye and patience and Kodachrome colour which has stood the test of time. They usually just need a bit of a clean up, scratches removed etc.

These are two of my new favourites (although that changes every week). They were taken in Aden, South Yemen (which is now The Republic of Yemen) which now seems like a strange place to go for a holiday, especially a family jaunt. I love, love the red parasol in the first one – she looks as if she just dropped in from another time and love everything about the second one, especially granny in her pink frock and the signage. These were taken in 1964.




Daily Prompt: Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)

What is the best dream you’ve ever had? Recount it for us in all its ethereal glory. If no dream stands out in your memory, recount your worst nightmare. Leave no frightening detail out.

I don’t know if I mentioned it before but I’m going on one of those sampler cruises in a few weeks. The date seems to be rushing towards me at an alarming rate; who’d have thought March would arrive so quickly.

Anyway my sister in law was visiting about a month ago and she said she was going on a three night sampler cruise as her family wants to go on a longer cruise around the Islands and she wants to make sure she won’t hate it first. She said – you should come and I said – yeah right. But then I thought about it and the next day decided we’d go because people who go on cruises seem to love them and if my mother ever does decide she wants me to go on a longer one with her I’ll know if I can hack it.

So it leaves from Sydney on a Friday night and gets back into Sydney Monday morning and it just goes up and then down the coast in between.

I was pretty excited about it and now I’ve moved into slightly freaked out about it and I’m hoping to move into pleasantly anticipating it next week. I’m not worried about getting sea sick or anything, it’s just the thought of being on a boat – out in water, I don’t really like boats or water but face your fears and all that.

Anyway last night I had this dream that we were on the boat and seriously it wasn’t much bigger than the Manly ferry – in fact it looked like something people smugglers might have sold to the cruise line. There was definitely no pool or waterslide or fancy restaurants or shopping malls on it. It makes my tummy feel a bit wobbly just thinking about it actually.

Bon Voyage – The Bergensfjord – taken by Papa in Scandanavia in 1956.


Anyone from Germany???

I give up; I can’t find any information about this picture.

Mind you it says Cologne Germany on it so I guess I can presume that’s where it was taken. Usually I can track down something from a picture and I expected to be able to with this one considering that building has so much sign writing on it but if it exists today I don’t think it looks much like that anymore.

All those stores and brand names didn’t help me at all – and it has infuriated me how that building in the background that looks as if it could be a church or cathedral doesn’t have enough showing to identify it. Actually that needs more investigating.

I can tell you that für jeden geschmack translates to for every taste in regards to Nescafe and I must say it is my preferred brand of instant coffee.


I love the picture so if anyone has been wandering about Cologne lately and this looks familiar can you tell me a bit about it please.

I believe this was taken in 1957 and it always amazes me how soon really that was after the war ended and how quickly everything was back up and running and rebuilt. Because Cologne had a terrible time during the war, the bombing that went on there was phenomenal. I remember when I was listening to the recordings my father made about his life as a child in England during the war – he said that they lived under the flight path of the bombers that used to fly out at night to Germany to drop bombs and I just remember his voice when he said – they had a terrible time over there.


Bodo Norway 1957

This is my favourite photo for the moment. I love everything about it; the clothes (especially the ladies in their white coats), the car being unpacked, the general hustle and bustle and the dog! I love that dog. I think he belongs to the little boy and has been told to sit and wait and he’s just sitting there and waiting amongst all the bustle. I also love the fact that the cafe there – Lovolds Kafeteria is still operating because often when I go looking for a shop or cafe in one of the photos I find a franchise store there instead which is always a bit sad.


So this is the ferry terminal at Bodo in Norway and I’d say Nan and Papa were heading to the Lofoten Islands from here. They got around that’s for sure.

Bodø, located just north of the Arctic Circle, is the largest urban area in Nordland county, and the second-largest in North Norway. Oh gosh, I just had a look at the weather report and it’s 2 degrees celsius there today and if you’re going  – The town is known for its powerful winds, so it would be wise to bring a wind jacket.

Løvolds Kaféteria, Tollbugata 9, is one of the most traditional diners in Bodø. Serving traditional Norwegian food, as well as a very limited selection of norwegianized international food, this is considered an institution among many of the inhabitants, but mostly elders and people in the harbour scenery. Situated close to the harbour, in a fisherman’s warehouse, the view from the inner part of the café is great. Good for lunch as well as dinner. One of the cheaper restaurants in town


Taronga Zoo wharf – fifties

This is pretty cool. It was taken by Papa at the Taronga Zoo ferry wharf back in the early fifties. I was thinking early morning (because isn’t fishing best in the morning??). The guys in suits I thought were catching the ferry into the City or to North Sydney to work but they’re holding fishing rods and then there are some guys in suits sitting fishing. So then I was thinking that maybe they were fishing on their way to work but then you wouldn’t lug dead fish about all day would you so maybe it’s the afternoon after work. Or maybe they just go fishing in suits.




The longest town name in the world I believe; llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch. It’s in Wales, Anglesey to be exact which is where Kate and William hang. Translated it means – Saint Mary’s Church in the hollow of the white hazel near a rapid whirpool and the Church of Saint Tysilio of the red cave.

I also discovered that the name was used in the 1960’s cult film Barbarella (Jane Fonda) as the password for Dildano’s headquarters and that it’s now on the Anglesey Monopoly game.

This would have been late fifties – it looks like a giant car outside a tiny building with a massive name.

Anglesey Wales

If you want to learn how to say it here are the instructions


Celebrating birthdays

Loving the old fellow I saw on tv last night who is taking part in a dementia study. 101 years old, fit and healthy and showing no signs of a wandering mind he said:

Well I don’t feel 101 but then I don’t feel 65 either

Lol, left hoping that one day I too can reminisce about my spring chicken-ish sixties.

Of course my sister emjay is nowhere near 65 yet but wishing her a happy birthday today as well. She’s in the middle here with me the little one and our sister Min. Happy beach holiday years – but just looking at these photos makes me wince a little when I think of all that sun damage!



Happy mothers day

To my Mum, who had her hands full I’d say for a few years.

I’m the baby – see I wasn’t found on the beach in Sydney. Luckily my brother looks as if he’s taking the job of holding me seriously. Thats the thing about being a fourth child – parents become very reckless with you.