Southerly by David Haywood

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Southerly: Bubbles Over Blockhouse Bay

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  • David Haywood,

    'Discuss' button now fixed -- sorry about that...

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 971 posts Report Reply

  • Jono,

    Ah thats just lovely David. Three of my grandparents were dead before I knew them, and the fourth died before I was ten. My memories of him are of his bachelor pad at Pahi and strong smell of his wee in an unflushed toilet. That, and a ocean liner-shaped shot glass caddy.

    My dad died five years ago so all I have of his popa for wee Charlie are memories and photos, the ring on my finger which he likes to gum, and the old Laz-E-Boy which he is currently nursed in, bright orange polar fleece over tatty brown velvet.

    "Mares eat oats
    and Does eat oats
    and little lambs eat ivy
    A Kid'l eat ivy too, wouldn't you?"

    Whangarei • Since Oct 2008 • 19 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Yeah, what Jono said. What a lovely way to delaying starting one's working day. And...

    They both made a pleasing fuss of Bob-the-baby; declaring that their ninth great-grandchild (of ten) was even handsomer than they'd remembered.

    Dear lord! I hope they keep a thesaurus handy to help with complimenting all these children in suitably different ways.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7351 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Another thing: you and Bob are identical! Those photos are quite priceless.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7351 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    Indeed, is anyone else increasingly suspicious that David is in fact a mad scientist who somehow cloned himself, and this so-called "Bob-the-Baby" is actually "David 2.0"?

    Worse still, I fear David 2.0's mother may be an entirely unsuspecting collaborator in all this malarkey...

    Liked the bit about the Brethren, too.

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Another thing: you and Bob are identical!

    Word. At first glance I thought that top photo was an aged shot of Bob.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4340 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    The identical photos are freaking me out!

    You have to be fully inducted into their secret society to understand how 'Cecilia' could be shortened to 'Mickey', or 'Robert' could be abbreviated as 'Meggs'.

    My family also suffers from this... affliction? Idiosyncrasy? My grandmother's name was Mira, yet she was called Bonnie; my great-aunt's name was Lyla, yet she is called Bet; my great-uncle's name was Nugent, yet everyone called him Boy. My grandfather is Christopher yet has been known as Jack for nigh on 91 years. On the other side, Uncle Rodney is Uncle Joe for no apparent reason. It's a mystery.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3628 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    My sister calls me Sebastian but I actually know why (it's not impossible to work out).

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7351 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Dear lord! I hope they keep a thesaurus handy to help with complimenting all these children in suitably different ways.

    It's more that Bob is 'specially handsome.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18709 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Gschwendtner,

    David, what a talent to write so beautifully about something ordinary.

    I also support dc_red's theory on the mad scientist. Apart from cloning, your stories make time stand still.

    Bavaria • Since Jun 2009 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    It's more that Bob is 'specially handsome.

    And, we have established, looks like David. I'm just sayin'

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4340 posts Report Reply

  • ChrisW,

    Indeed, the photos and the writing beautiful evocations of the best bits of family through generations. And your grandfather seems a blend of my father and grandfather; his writing will be precious.

    My father died last year aged 90 having written many stories and memoirs, mostly on a Commodore 64. He ran out of oomph for writing over the last 5 years or so, so there are gaps. His father built stuff that lasts, but said little and wrote nothing, leaving many questions unanswered.

    So you'll be encouraging your grandfather to work on volume 2? The whys and wherefores of the transition to NZ and how he found the ongoing changes ...

    Gisborne • Since Apr 2009 • 820 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Rowe,

    And here's me thinking your title was particularly prescient in light of the Jacko news this morning - I had visions of a chimpanzee in a hot air balloon

    Lake Roxburgh, Central Ot… • Since Nov 2006 • 558 posts Report Reply

  • Ian MacKay,

    David's writing is at once serious and full of warmth. Sigh.
    We kept saying we should write the things that our mum and dad told us about their lives, but little was ever done. Mum died last year at the age of 97 and the age that she and dad survived in was remarkable like all those who were their peers. Wars, influenza, flight, TV, depression and so on. Boy do we have it easy!

    Bleheim • Since Nov 2006 • 498 posts Report Reply

  • Elizabeth Sivakumar,

    I really enjoyed reading your post, I personally think Bob takes after his Aunty.

    Auckland • Since Jul 2008 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood,

    Very glad that people have enjoyed this piece. And it's great to hear about other families and grandparents.

    I'm willing to sign an affidavit to the effect that Bob is not the result of a cloning experiment on my part. But, I admit, there is a resemblance -- although, unlike me, Bob will hopefully retain his good looks into adulthood (a kind-hearted comment, though, Emma). My mother said it gave her quite a turn the first time she saw Bob after we'd returned to New Zealand.

    Ian MacKay wrote:

    ... and the age that she and dad survived in was remarkable like all those who were their peers. Wars, influenza, flight, TV, depression and so on. Boy do we have it easy!

    Yeah, that rather ran through my mind as I was reading my grandfather's memoirs...

    ChrisW wrote:

    So you'll be encouraging your grandfather to work on volume 2?

    Doing my best -- but my grandfather isn't too keen right at the moment. Says he needs a good long break from writing.

    Jono wrote:

    My dad died five years ago so all I have of his popa for wee Charlie are memories and photos, the ring on my finger which he likes to gum, and the old Laz-E-Boy which he is currently nursed in, bright orange polar fleece over tatty brown velvet.

    Nice to think of that same chair giving comfy-ness to three generations...

    giovanni tiso wrote:

    My sister calls me Sebastian but I actually know why (it's not impossible to work out).

    Hopefully not a reference to Brideshead Revisited...

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 971 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    although, unlike me, Bob will hopefully retain his good looks into adulthood (a kind-hearted comment, though, Emma).

    Self-criticism is always the best sort.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18709 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    although, unlike me, Bob will hopefully retain his good looks into adulthood (a kind-hearted comment, though, Emma).

    Self-criticism is always the best sort.

    Hey, you should see (snerk) how much better looking I've got since my eyesight started going.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4340 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    You also made me think about my Grandpa story again.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18709 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood,

    You also made me think about my Grandpa story again.

    Yep, that particular essay of yours is a favourite of mine. And, by the way, I reckon it'd make a good opening piece for your book.

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 971 posts Report Reply

  • Kiwiiano,

    ChrisW wrote:
    So you'll be encouraging your grandfather to work on volume 2?

    ....Doing my best -- but my grandfather isn't too keen right at the moment. Says he needs a good long break from writing.

    So grab a recorder and sit down to chew the fat and talk over past times. He could be gone by tomorrow evening. I deeply regret never having had or taken the opportunity to talk to my Grandpa, or even my Grandma, although she lived for another 20-odd years.
    "You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone...."

    ChCh • Since Nov 2006 • 22 posts Report Reply

  • Anita Easton,

    My grandmother's family was also originally Brethren, and also had a lot of less than obvious nicknames (Evelyn became Sally, for example). I've always assumed it was a sign of the times, but I now wonder if it was a Brethen tradition.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Who got to give the nicknames?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16491 posts Report Reply

  • Anita Easton,

    My grandmother and her brothers and sisters got to choose their "name" about the age they started high school. This replaced all nicknames and was their name for life. Only one of them picked their legal name.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • Tim Michie,

    Whenever I encounter these family names, whether relevant or not, I often remember: "Sally, or rather Sarah (for what young lady of common gentility will reach the age of sixteen without altering her name as far as she can?)" Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey.

    Auckward • Since Nov 2006 • 547 posts Report Reply

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