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Posts tagged ‘flashback’

School days time warp

In the middle of June I returned to my old neck of the woods, South Kaipara Head, the rural district north-west of Auckland where I grew up. Mum had timed my visit with an errand out to my old primary school and so on Saturday afternoon we bundled Gran in the car and took off on the 15 minute drive out there.

The errand was donating a book to the school library, a book written by my aunt. Taketakerau: The Millenium Tree has been received fantastically well since being published about 18 months ago, and was a finalist in a recent childrens’ book awards held in NZ.

Taketakerau, The Millenium Tree

She has loads of creative talent and one of my cousins inherited a supercharged dose of that too. Check this out.

But I digress… once at Waioneke School, Mum and I left Gran perusing a magazine in the car and we went to meet Merril, the school librarian.

We used to file off the school bus and up that footpath

We used to file off the school bus and up that footpath

This was the whole school in 1978, photo taken just off to the side of the footpath. 6yo Hayley is in the middle of the back row

This was the whole school in 1978, photo taken just off to the side of the footpath. 5-6yo Hayley is in the middle of the back row

When I first started there were two classrooms: the Junior Room and the Senior Room. Along the way we acquired a third, which was duly called (and I’m sure you will be shocked) the Middle Room.

The old Senior Room

The old Senior Room, now the library

With Merril and book

With Merril and book

Being here provided a great opportunity to look around the rest of school. I was last here in 2005 for the 75th jubilee. This time it was getting late in the day with light fading fast so it was a quick blat around.

The school has changed SO much since my day but a lot is still familiar.

One of the old cloak rooms where we used to hang our bags. It looked like they are used as storage these days

One of the old cloak rooms where we used to hang our bags. It looked like they are used as storage these days

The old Junior Room, where I first began my school life

The old Junior Room, where I first began my school life

Today the library is in the old Senior Room. The old library is gone, and the Junior Room has several of these new fangled electric boxes called Computers. The Middle Room, like the other classrooms, is full of colour and creative stimuli and a vast contrast to how I remember it three decades (sounds better than 30 years) ago. New classrooms have sprung up to cater for the 30-odd additional pupils – the roll now hovers around 90 – and there’s even a school hall.

I remember this door ripping back one of my toenails, and I remember trying to capture boys with another friend to take them into the girls' toilets (can't recall if we were successful)

I remember this door ripping back one of my toenails, and I remember trying to capture boys with another friend to take them into the girls’ toilets (can’t recall if we were successful but I’m pretty sure we got into trouble)

Arty things by a courtyard where the old library once stood

Arty things by a courtyard where the old library once stood

The Middle Room in 1981 - photo taken in the old library

The Middle Room in 1981 – photo taken in the old library

A modern 'safe' playground has replaced the old two-level wooden structure

A modern ‘safe’ playground has replaced the old two-level wooden structure

The pool opened in 1972 which makes it as old as me! Gawd

The pool opened in 1972 which makes it as old as me! Gawd

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We left Waioneke. As a spur of the moment thing, a few minutes away we swung up Wilson Road where we lived when my brother and I went to high school in Helensville. Up the metal road a ways, then left into a right-of-way.

Rural road, South Kaipara Head

Farm, South Kaipara Head

This was (maybe still is) a deer farm and a beautiful place to live.

The fences are for deer, not bionic cows

The fences are for deer, not bionic cows

Deer shed and yards

Deer shed and yards

Flashback from the mid 1980s

Flashback from the mid 1980s

Past our house and onto the airstrip where we turned around in front of a guy holding a gun. (He was target shooting.) (I don’t think at us.)

Ah yes... the corner where I may once have ridden round it on mum's farm bike and crashed into my father on his farm bike

Ah yes… the corner (no trees back then) where I may once have ridden round it on mum’s farm bike and crashed into my father on his farm bike

Flashback: My brother and I at the end of the right-of-way outside our old house. We would often grab one of the bikes and head across the farm or up the road

Flashback: My brother and I at the end of the right-of-way outside our old house. We would often grab one of the bikes and head across the farm or up the road

Time to end the nostalgia and get back – Dad was cooking a roast!

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A visit home (and some flashbacks)

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

Dad waits to get picked up for golf

Mum and Gran at the local market

Mum and Gran at the local market

Me and Gran 2013...

Me and Gran in 2013…

...and in 1973

…and in 1973

Gran on her wedding day in 1943. Her dress is still around and in great condition - I tried it on, at Mum's insistence!, and it kind of just fitted but I ain't the little thing that Gran was!

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!!)

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)

My old doll Tammy, missing a row or two of hair due to a classic maim-doll-with-scissors incident

Fun times in 2013...

With my brother Kyle: fun times in 2013…

...and fun times in 1974

…and fun times in 1974

My brother at his place

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

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 heads out to the harbour

A weeny fishing boat puttering out to the harbour

Kaipara River

Flower-diving bee

I used to play netball on what is now a carpark, and we sure as heck didn't have security fencing around the perimeter

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 back when they were netball courts

In 1998, yours truly attempting a shot at goal

A derelict house beside what used to be the movie theatre

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

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.

Fox Glacier (and a look back to 1995)

Summer 12/13 roadie, day 3, part 1

The day dawned wet and grey. Damn. But the rain wasn’t by any means beating down on the roof so Operation Fox was still on.

Glacier Country is a compulsory stop on any trip down the West Coast. Many people ‘do’ both glaciers but we just did a drive by of Franz yesterday with the intention of making a bit more of an effort with Fox today.

Not much would be happening without coffee though so upon checking out we went to see what was open in town. It was only around 7.30am but when we walked into the cafe adjoining the main glacier tour booking office the place was pumping. The many different kinds of tour were in hot demand and the evening before we overheard that everything was fully booked for that day including $400/seat heli tours. Maybe the weather had scuttled those though.

Anyhow, no problem for us as we were doing the budget version: walk as far as we could without a guide. I did this once before, almost 18 years ago, and I was really interested to see how much had changed since then. My memory from then was not crystal clear and I didn’t locate my photos before the trip but they did materialise in time for this post.

One flat white and one soy mocha acquired, we drove the few k’s to the carpark.

We checked the Dept of Conservation information boards

We checked the Dept of Conservation information boards

Fox Glacier

Off we go…

Fox Glacier valley

A long time ago the glacier flowed through here. To appreciate the size of those cliffs, look at the little human ants on the river bed

Rocks, Fox Glacier

Moss, Fox Glacier

Fox Glacier

Us

Fox Glacier

Flower, Fox Glacier

Flowers, Fox Glacier

Glacial ice in the Fox River

This was as far as we could go on our own - you need a guide to further

This was as far as we could go on our own – you need a guide to further

Us

And now for the flashback…

Fox Glacier 1995

Me in front of Fox Glacier in 1995. Compare the vegetation line here with the previous photos to get a feel for how the glacier has receded over the last 18 years

Fox Glacier 1995

You could get pretty close back in 1995. A few incidents and a couple of deaths put paid to that

Drizzing rain returned for the 20ish minute walk back, where we found this guy darting about the carpark.

Kea, Fox Glacier

A kea, the world’s only alpine parrot and renowned for their intelligence and curiosity

Happy with that expedition, we rejoined the highway and continued south.

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