Saturday, December 24, 2005

And Calling by Cockatoo

The last few days we have spent up at my mothers at Gembrook doing an early Christmas, see the photo below. Of course here in the southern hemisphere it is hot and Christmas is a summer affair. My mothers garden was a riot of colour and vegetables- her vegetables come into season sooner than ours as we are slightly colder.

We passed by my father-in-laws little farm on the way up to my mothers. The farm belonged to Uncle Bill who died years ago but was given the property by the Australian government in gratefulness for his contribution to the ally effort in World WarI. On the face of it this may seem a really generous gift from the government but the harsh reality was that the many returned soldiers and their families lived in poverty because the farms weren't big enough to support a man with a growing family. And the farms were not worth much so selling them wasn't an option. The same thing happened after World WarII. Uncle Bill was required as part of the gift to grow potatoes for the soldiers during World War II.Uncle Bill fared better than most though as he never married so did not have little mouths to feed.

The little cottage is pretty well still in original state and I sometimes think this little property would make a wonderful little museum showing hard times and the Australian ethos of making do. We used to have Christmas here but modern times require modern conveniences for some people and alas this little cotage has few of those- I miss having Christmas here. We used to build a great fire at night and BBQ our prawns and sit and eat them around the fire drinking champagne and crawl into our tents after midnight. Collin would play his guitar and we would all sing along and Collin's dad a yarn spinner from way back would tell stories tall and small. My family used to come too, as it was only just down the road from where they live..

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