I make it back home a couple of times a year. To get there is a one hour flight and about the same again by car, or about nine hours if I have time to drive the whole way. It’s ‘home’ because that’s a convenient label to give the area where I grew up and where my parents still live.
These days they live in a small town at the head of the Kaipara Harbour and my grandmother lives with them. We used to live further out in the country, my brother and I going to a small rural primary school (which is still going strong) and then the high school in town.
In February I made a weekend trip back as I didn’t go up for Christmas and two birthdays were about to be celebrated, including Gran’s 96th.
As well as spending time with the family I got out around my old stomping ground. I’ve posted separately the old dairy factory and cemetery. Below is a picture summary of the remainder and I’ve delved into old photo albums for a trippy flashback or two.
Dad waits to get picked up for golf
Mum and Gran at the local market
Me and Gran in 2013…
…and in 1973
Gran on her wedding day in 1943. She still has the dress and it’s in pretty good nick – I tried it on, at Mum’s insistence!, and it sort of almost fitted but I ain’t the little thing that Gran was
Gran’s mother’s 100yo engagement ring which was very kindly given to me during my visit (not in the proposal kind of way!!)
My old doll Tammy, missing a row or two of hair due to a classic maim-doll-with-scissors incident
With my brother Kyle: fun times in 2013…
…and fun times in 1974
My brother at his place
The Kaipara River which runs from the Waitakere Ranges to the Kaipara Harbour. It’s always a delightful brown due to the sediments which run into it
A weeny fishing boat puttering out to the harbour
I used to play netball on what is now the high school carpark and back then we sure as heck didn’t have security fencing around the perimeter
In 1998, yours truly attempting a shot at goal
A derelict house beside what used to be the movie theatre
Freight trains still go through here but passenger services only run on special occasions
It’s good to have a place like this from your past to periodically revisit. It’s also good to be able to leave it behind each time as well.