A few of my favourite things – part 2

Now that you know I love children’s books and art, the next couple of things that shine out for me are some black and white photographs of my childhood and family. When I look at these I do feel joy and pride, love and warmth. Sometimes the camera captures the essence of you and my Scottish father who shares the name of Alexander Calder who often shied away from having his picture taken. Nevertheless, here he is with the 3 of us kids taken at home in Graceville many many years ago. I love it.


Look at my father’s knitted sweater and the old tricycle in the background. There’s me in the middle, head tilted because of the sunlight with my lovely head band on. My brother Jim next to me – are we wearing matching tops? And my little sister Kim who is a mere baby propped up near Dad. It’s a favourite because of the intimacy and naturalness, reminding me where I grew up and who my family is.


A few years later we are dressed for Sunday school and looking sweet, especially now Kim can boast of her curls and cuteness, a handmade dress and a mini at that. Jim looks handsome in his striped shirt and slick haircut. I look like a princess with a new fringe!

When I look more closely I can also see the images of my mother and father in our faces.

Nostalgic memories, loving kindness in our clothes and the ” sisterhood” – “brotherhood” companionship, my brother being the middle child.

Another black and white photo that is precious to me is this one of my Aunty Maggie, who shows flair, fashion and feminine beauty.


Women back then took such pride in themselves even though poverty was a reality for the large family. Today Mag is almost 97 in a nursing home frail yet alive. Her stories have touch generations with their courage, humour and wisdom. Mag and my mother who shares a famous song Matilda made all their own clothes and enjoyed the dances, meeting all the war time soldiers. Mag’s dresses and wardrobe would make another great story.


Here is Mag on the left in her swim suit and my mother on the right – both slim and attractive, close sisters. And lastly my father holding me in his arms. He didn’t pick me up for 6 weeks because of fear; however this photo shows he is nervous but ready and able.

Moving away from black and white or sepia, is my next favourite thing – my garden.

The beauty and colours in the sky up at Mapleton give me an artist’s eye for appreciation and gratitude. Clouds float past, black cockatoos screeching, mist enveloping, sun setting.

Truly awesome to behold.

The seasons bring new colours in the flowers and shrubs, scents wafting in the breeze.

The lavender, frangipani, hydrangeas, roses, gardenias and herbs – all favourite.

And in my garden the fruits, sculpture and greenery all blending harmoniously to add enjoyment and serenity.

Have you ever found something on the road or footpath that you have picked up? Well, not so long ago, I stopped to haul up an old rusty folding steel bed – it spoke to me immediately to STOP and grab it. I didn’t know what it’s purpose was yet I believed that it could be adapted into something in the garden. Now it sits at the top of the driveway surrounded by natives with its characteristic country charm, lantern, as a creation of recycled bits and pieces, a touch of the “cheap shop” with its taps and planters. It’s quite unique and cost me almost nothing.


I hope you can share with me some of your favourite things in the garden or photo keepsakes.

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1 Comment

March 31, 2017 at 6:46 am

I have a photo of you and I on my swing in the backyard at Graceville. It was taken in about 1959. I’m not sure if its black and white or coloured. You were 2 and I was 41/2 years old. I treasure that photo as it says we have know each other for 58 years!

M.J. Gibbs
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