Friday, March 07, 2008

I am from...

I have seen these on several sites (like Susie Monday's ,and Kirsty Duncan's) and love them. These sites go into more detail about where this came from. I just about cried after reading Kirsty's, as she is a transplanted Kiwi in Australia, and I have a huge capacity for emotion about my country. Annnnnnnnyway.....I decided to write my own, so here goes:


I am from a state house, from school milk and Sunday night comedy programmes on the radio.

I am from strong working-class women, who toiled endlessly to feed and clothe their families, who grew gardens from cuttings and gifted plants, who knitted and sewed and made do.

I am from Irish farmers who fled to Scotland during the potato famine, and ancestors who emigrated for a better life in the colonies.

I am from the pointsettia that grew by the back door, the peas that my grandmother grew that we had to shell before eating, the freesias that grew along the front path, and the mushrooms that sometimes grew in a fairy ring on the back lawn.

I am from rolling Jaffas down the aisles at the pictures (you have to be a Kiwi to understand that) and standing up for "God Save the Queen".

I am from the long bus trips up north to visit my grandparents which were the only holidays we had. I'm from the estuary where we caught eels, carrying blackberries wrapped up in my cardigan, cycling around with my brother, and climbing trees.

I am from austere Presbyterians who eschewed extravagance. I am from Auckland, where my throat still catches when I see One Tree Hill, now without its tree. I am from Christmas in summer, the fountain at Mission Bay, wee pots of homemade jam from the church fair, and Rangitoto Island.

I am from a school where we wore hats, ties and gloves, and heard the broadcast of man landing on the moon in German class.

These are the things of my childhood that have shaped my life.

12 comments:

Doreen G said...

Here in Oz the boys rolled the Jaffas down the aisle at the movies --me I always ate mine.

Karen said...

Such a picture your words paint! I am enjoying all these posts on the various blogs.

Anonymous said...

As Shirley's brother, I am from a lot of that too, and well remember getting told off for using my sister's nice new cardigan to bring home the blackberries in. Nice one, Shirley. Ross

Ali Honey said...

Oh yes Shirley, You are certainly a Kiwi. I relate to many of those things and memories too. Especially the freesias blackberries, mushrooms and shelling the peas.In fact I still do all of those except the blackberries which aren't PC to have any more.

Like Doreen I always ate the Jaffas if I had some.

Pixie said...

ohh, the fresias. I forgot about them. My hard working gradmas both had fresias. nice one indeed!

Sheila said...

Very lyrical and beautiful. A wonderful description of your childhood memories.

twolimeleaves said...

Shirley this is superb! I went to the movies on Saturday and we ate jaffas :) (no rolling, though - that would be waste!)

MargaretR said...

I loved that Shirley and must try and do my own one day. It shocked me though to realise how much older than you I am :)) I took my sons outside to see the moon and told them there was a man on it.

brdhsbldr said...

And I was 19 and working at a summer camp after 2 years of college. We watched it on a little B&W TV in the cafeteria.
I take it that a Jaffa is some sort of fruit?
Here in British Columbia blackberries are still PC and grow naturally rampant at the coast and the real conossieurs would claim the thorny wild ones taste better than the kinder, gentler thornless variety we grow in the garden.
Nora

brdhsbldr said...

She said "take an hour" but I've spent longer than that going from blog to blog reading all the lovely entries.
Nora

Susie Monday said...

Great Shirley. I love yours, too. I've put a link to you. Susie

Suzi-k said...

wonderful post, nice to meet you!