Saturday 30 January 2021

Saturday Story

 Last Saturday I talked about storytelling.  So here I am with the first Saturday Story.

A for Australia.  Not K for Koala

I am very aware that I live a highly privileged life.  For most people a trip to somewhere 11,000+ miles away would be a once in a lifetime trip.  We have visited six times between 2006 and 2020.

Some of you may know that my son went to Sydney in 2006 to study at Hillsong College.  He met his wife there who was also a college student.  She comes from Florida but they are both Australian citizens now.  

To be honest Australia wasn't on our list of places in the world to visit.  However we have enjoyed every trip we have made.  We have visited Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Tasmania, Ingham, the WhitSunday islands and various bits of countryside around these towns and cities.   Having three grandchildren in Sydney is a considerable draw to visiting again.  2022 perhaps?  I don't think travel will be available in 2021.

But my connection with Australia goes way back before 2006.

My father's parents went from Birmingham (UK) to live in Brisbane in the early 1920s - I'm not sure exactly when.  My Dad was born there in 1924.  He came to England when he was 7.  My mother and I used to tease him about being born in the street.  For Place of Birth on his birth certificate it said High Street, Bulimba.  We imagined Grandma walking down the street, crouching down and giving birth!

Anyway, in 2008 we took my Dad to Australia.  He had never been on a plane.  When he came from Australia it was on a ship, and the journey took 6 weeks. Once he arrived in the UK he never went outside of the country again.  He didn't get a passport until 2008.

So his first ever trip abroad was London to Singapore, Singapore to Melbourne, Melbourne to Brisbane, Brisbane to Sydney, Sydney to Singapore and lastly Singapore to London.  It took him several months to recover!  Not surprsing since he was 84.

In Brisbane we went to find the High Street in Bulimba.  We took the ferry down the Brisbane River.  The road is now called Oxford Street.

He could remember where the house was that he had lived in and we found it.  I doubt it looked like this in the 1920s.

We went back to Oxford Street and sat outside a cafe.  Dad suddenly said: There used to be a cinema here somewhere!  We looked up and it turned out we were sitting outside the building that had been the cinema.

A is also for Administrator.  I worked as the church administrator for 12 years.

And after administration there is art - both in life and in the dictionary.  (Sorry, I couldn't resist.)

According to my grammar school I was no good at art.  Well in terms of fine art, they were right and they would still be right.  But I think art is anything creative involving a variety of media.  However when it came to choosing what GCSE subjects I was to take, I wasn't allowed to take art.  I wasn't allowed to take Physics or Chemistry either.  So I ended up doing Cookery and Needlework.  And many of you will know what I think of cooking these days!

In the Sixth Form, because I wasn't allowed to do 3 'A' levels (I only did two), I had too many free lessons so I was made to do General Art.  The only valuable thing I learned in those lessons was a form of calligraphy.  And if I remember rightly I was kept in Detention to really master the art!!!

Of course the biggest A in my life is my son Andy.  His name is Andrew you understand.  We kept to calling him Andrew right up until he was about 15 when all the teachers at his school parents' evening called him Andy, so we gave in.  My parents never did!  Even for his wedding vows he said 'I, Andy ...'  Harrumph!

That's all for now! 

Thanks for joining me today.


  1. What a wonderful trip for you and your Dad to have taken together, a treasured memory I should think, for both of you


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