Wordless Wednesday: thinking of my grandad

David Leslie (23 March 1899 - 26 December 1964), with niece Anne Ford. Date unknown. Photo: Leslie family archive

David Leslie (23 March 1899 – 26 December 1964), with niece Anne Ford. Date unknown. Photo: Leslie family archive

Six word Saturday: creating some new family history stories

Su Leslie and Tom Gray, Bordeaux, March 2015

Now who’s the one giving hugs! With my boy-child in Bordeaux, March, 2015. Photo: The Big T, 2015.

Su Leslie & Tony Gray, Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria, March 2015.

With the Big T, Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria, March 2015. Photo: The Boy-Child, 2015.

Making memories … or holiday over, now the work begins

Happy Birthday! The boy-child spent his day skateboarding in Bordeaux with new friends, one of whom took this photo. Can't think of a better birthday portrait. Thanks Thomas ...

Happy Birthday! The boy-child spent his day skateboarding in Bordeaux with new friends, one of whom took this fantastic photo. Can’t think of a better birthday portrait. Thank you Thomas.

Happiness isn’t something you experience; it’s something you remember.

— Oscar Levant

I’ve been on holiday for three and a half weeks with the Big T and our boy-child. We’ve stayed in six cities, taken eight flights (four of them long-haul); ridden trains, trams, buses, street and cable cars; and visited galleries, museums, castles, skateboarding spots, monuments, relatives, friends … well you get the picture.

In the process we’ve laughed, cried, yelled at each other and wondered (sometimes aloud) what the hell made us think spending that much time in each others company might be a good idea.

It was difficult; we are very different people. Our interests (and body-clocks) don’t particularly coincide, and some of us (well ok, the kid and me) aren’t particularly gracious in compromise.

But it had to be done. The boy-child is now 17; graduated from high school and on his “gap year.” He has plans and dreams and a vision of a future that looks outward towards his friends and his own adventures. It’s unlikely we will all holiday together again (at least not until the boy-child is much older and needs a set of live-in vacation childminders), so this time together was vital.

We’re home now and beginning to retell our holiday stories to friends and neighbours. In the process, the rough edges are being smoothed off and the quality of the memories is improving. It’s already starting to feel like a great holiday — something to hold close and cherish forever as our child hurtles towards adulthood.

My boys: garden of Musee des Beaux-Arts de Bordeaux. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015.

My boys: garden of Musee des Beaux-Arts de Bordeaux. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015.

To everyone who has started following this blog while I’ve been away; many thanks. I will get over to all of your blogs to say hello and thanks properly as soon as I can.

Cheers,

Su

Six Word Saturday: out to play with their uncles

Six Word Saturday: out to play with their uncles

Am having brain fade today; posting to the “wrong’ blog. But perhaps there is crossover?

Zimmerbitch

James and George Cruden (back row) with David and May Ramsay -- their niece and nephew. Photo: Ramsay family archive. James and George Cruden (back row) with David and May Ramsay — their niece and nephew. Photo probably taken in Dysart, Scotland. c. early 1930s. From Ramsay family archive.

My maternal grandmother was the oldest of five children. She married young and had her first child at around the same time my great grandmother bore her last. I wonder if my aunt May and Uncle David (front row) referred to their playmates (standing behind) as Uncle Jim and Uncle George?

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Wordless Wednesday: the boy-child and his grandmother

My son with his grandmother, 1998. Photo: Su Leslie.

My son with his grandmother, 1998. Photo: Su Leslie.

It’s been a few years since the boy-child spent time with my mother, who now lives in the UK. Mum played a huge part in my son’s early life and both she and the boy are excited about our trip to England in a few weeks.

Travel theme: laughter

The boy-child, aged 8, shares a joke with two of his London-based cousins. He will seen them again in a few weeks when we visit the UK again as a family for the first time in nine years. Photo: Tony Gray, 2006.

The boy-child, aged 8, sharing a joke with two of his London-based cousins. Photo: Tony Gray, 2006.

In life, we travel through time as well as place, and laughter is a good companion on these journeys.

It’s been almost nine years since our little family travelled together to the UK; the place of both mine and the boy-child’s birth. But the tickets are booked, and we leave in a month for a holiday that will include San Fransisco, Munich and Bordeaux as well as England. We’re excited to be visiting friends and relatives; and though we know we will won’t have enough time with these (geographically) distant members of our whanau, we hope for lots of laughter and new memories to keep us company until the next visit.

This post was written as part of Ailsa’s Travel Theme at Where’s my Backpack. You can find out more here.