One of the things I've been busy doing is helping my Mum and Dad clear their house out as they finally sold it. It's been the family home since 1968, despite various stints overseas (Petersfield in Hampshire, England from 1972 - 1975; Ossining, New York 1982 to 1984 and Holland after that).
They actually moved two years ago - but Mum wanted to be sure she liked her new digs before they gave up the house. Needless to say it was a big job - so Mum and I swapped several days - she went to play lady-in-the-shop and I went and got really ruthless with the stuff. Some got flogged on ebay - others went to the Salvation Army - books went to Lifeline for their annual book fair. Mum has an extensive collection of clothes from the 1950s - they went to Cavalcade of Fashion - where they will be properly curated and looked after which is nice to think. Anyway the last night the four of us (Mum, Dad, Kylie and I) had a "last supper" around the kitchen table. My older sister Ann was missing (gadding about in Bali for a month - smart girl!) But it was just like old times. It's kind of funny to think of it not being in our family anymore - lots of memories that's for sure. The best ones are always family dinners - where we'd sit around the dining table and laugh uproariously at something - you know the sort of laughing that brings tears to the eyes mixed with an inability to speak? Eventually Grandma would sob "oh stop, stop - before I wet my pants" and that, of course, would set all of us off again.
Here is one such scene - I am obscured by Dad's finger - and am wearing the floral circle skirt that I made as part of Home Science (mandatory in Year 7). That was the sum total of my learning to sew really.
Then it's Grandpa, my younger sister Kylie, Grandma, Mum, Nanna and my older sister Ann. This was taken Christmas 1978. Mum is about to cut Grandma's pudding (done the old fashioned way in a cloth (no basin) so it formed a floured sort of a skin). Ann and I had both made Christmas Cakes at school at the end of year activities week. The icing was as hard as hard but the cake turned out great! We only had one more Christmas altogether before Grandpa died in 1981. Each year someone would say, "this might be a Last Supper you know" - bummer when it turns out to be true. The most scary thing about this is that my mother's hair is a lot darker than mine is and I just worked out she is the same age in the photo as I now am (42 this year). Tempus Fugit.