I am on the left with my little sister Shirley, now sadly deceased, the little blonde girl on the right. My Aunty Lill, who lived in Timaru and was visiting as she often did, is the woman by the wheelbarrow. I had many happy holidays and visits when I stayed with Uncle Jack and Aunty Lill when they lived on the farm near Temuka as a child, even if I was very apprehensive about their flock of geese who seemed to enjoy chasing me the moment they saw me. There used to be goldfish in their creeks, a huge attraction for me as a child, but running the gauntlet of those geese to get to the edge of the creek to see the beautiful orange fish was always a challenge!
Before she died in April of 2015 my sister observed to me that we'd had a magical childhood and truly in so many ways we had. It wasn't perfect but growing up with so much freedom and a close family and community was a great privilege. The world seemed a kinder, gentler place back then in our little corner of the world. We were Kiwi kids through and through, happiest when outside pursuing adventures, working or playing in the garden and in my case - playing sport or helping tend the animals. We really were young and wild and free.
Below : Here I am trying to convince Dad to be my pony! I remember him getting a bit grumpy about it funnily enough!
Below : Dad and Shirley in our back garden
Below : Shirley - famous for grazing on all the raw fruit and vegetables in the garden and orchard. As a child she was forever snacking on raw sweetcorn, berries, beans, grapes, tomatoes or whatever else she could find! Maybe she was the first real raw food guru? I remember at night Mum used to get frustrated at tea time because Shirley had eaten so much raw produce that she never wanted to eat her tea!
Below : Shirley, in the pursuit of more grapes.