Times Change

The lady with the gun and wearing the apron is my Grandmother Lily Smith.  The photo was taken in around 1943 and my mother, who is the one to the right of my grandmother, is the only one left alive.

The lady on her knees is my grandmother’s sister, May and the girl at the front right is my aunty Nancy.

The menfolk were at war.  Grandad was besieged in Tobruk and Uncle Phil in Papua New Guinea.   Two of my Nana’s brothers were POW’s, one at Changi and the other on the Burma Railway.   One brother in law, Laurie Mayhew, after whom I was named, was already dead in Rabaul, killed by the Japanese within hours of their invasion.

And yet for all that, the picture is a happy one.   They’ve probably been out rabbiting, something we also did as kids, and then finished off the day with a picnic on the beach.   It looks a bit like the beach around Cape Schanck but I can’t be sure, and that would have been a major day trip back in those days.

Things were oh so much simpler then.  The world was on fire and yet there were times of normality, and the courage of ordinary people is something to be admired.   I am very proud of my family.   All of the men went to that War, those who were old enough.  Some didn’t come back, but those who did returned to their womenfolk, knowing they had kept things going, taken the rifles and shot rabbits to put food on the table, hunted fields for mushrooms and dangled string in farm dams for a feed of yabbies.  And despite the worry found the time to laugh and joke, and live life to the fullest.

Times Change

The lady with the gun and wearing the apron is my Grandmother Lily Smith.  The photo was taken in around 1943 and my mother, who is the one to the right of my grandmother, is the only one left alive.

The lady on her knees is my grandmother’s sister, May and the girl at the front right is my aunty Nancy.

The menfolk were at war.  Grandad was besieged in Tobruk and Uncle Phil in Papua New Guinea.   Two of my Nana’s brothers were POW’s, one at Changi and the other on the Burma Railway.   One brother in law, Laurie Mayhew, after whom I was named, was already dead in Rabaul, killed by the Japanese within hours of their invasion.

And yet for all that, the picture is a happy one.   They’ve probably been out rabbiting, something we also did as kids, and then finished off the day with a picnic on the beach.   It looks a bit like the beach around Cape Schanck but I can’t be sure, and that would have been a major day trip back in those days.

Things were oh so much simpler then.  The world was on fire and yet there were times of normality, and the courage of ordinary people is something to be admired.   I am very proud of my family.   All of the men went to that War, those who were old enough.  Some didn’t come back, but those who did returned to their womenfolk, knowing they had kept things going, taken the rifles and shot rabbits to put food on the table, hunted fields for mushrooms and dangled string in farm dams for a feed of yabbies.  And despite the worry found the time to laugh and joke, and live life to the fullest.

An interpretation


I think I have worked out the beach dream. Every year of my daughter’s life we have spent Christmas holidays at the beach. Last year, the first of separation, I spent the first week away with them and came home when their mother went up and spent the final two weeks with them. This past holiday their Mum only booked two weeks and so I wasn’t given the option of going away with them. Now let me say that I understand the reasons why and I do not place any blame or harbour any ill-feelings about the situation, but it meant that for the first time I didn’t have Christmas holidays with my kids.

The holiday has always been with a group of other family and friends and whilst the faces have changed over the years, the actual feeling of the holiday as a relaxing time that set us up for the year ahead had remained unchanged.

When I took my daughter out last Thursday night she asked me if I would book the third week next year so that she could stay up there longer with me. Now the cynic in me says that this is as much because she enjoys the location and the friends as it is a desire to spend a holiday with her Dad, but I also believe that she missed me a little bit this year.

So in the dream the beach represented our holidays as a family, the rising waters the splitting of the family and me being in the rear seat a sign of my lack of control over the holiday situation. I have thought about contacting the camping ground but I suspect that the site will have been given to someone else now and given the popularity of the spot it will be very difficult to get a site for that time of year.

An interpretation


I think I have worked out the beach dream. Every year of my daughter’s life we have spent Christmas holidays at the beach. Last year, the first of separation, I spent the first week away with them and came home when their mother went up and spent the final two weeks with them. This past holiday their Mum only booked two weeks and so I wasn’t given the option of going away with them. Now let me say that I understand the reasons why and I do not place any blame or harbour any ill-feelings about the situation, but it meant that for the first time I didn’t have Christmas holidays with my kids.

The holiday has always been with a group of other family and friends and whilst the faces have changed over the years, the actual feeling of the holiday as a relaxing time that set us up for the year ahead had remained unchanged.

When I took my daughter out last Thursday night she asked me if I would book the third week next year so that she could stay up there longer with me. Now the cynic in me says that this is as much because she enjoys the location and the friends as it is a desire to spend a holiday with her Dad, but I also believe that she missed me a little bit this year.

So in the dream the beach represented our holidays as a family, the rising waters the splitting of the family and me being in the rear seat a sign of my lack of control over the holiday situation. I have thought about contacting the camping ground but I suspect that the site will have been given to someone else now and given the popularity of the spot it will be very difficult to get a site for that time of year.

An interpretation


I think I have worked out the beach dream. Every year of my daughter’s life we have spent Christmas holidays at the beach. Last year, the first of separation, I spent the first week away with them and came home when their mother went up and spent the final two weeks with them. This past holiday their Mum only booked two weeks and so I wasn’t given the option of going away with them. Now let me say that I understand the reasons why and I do not place any blame or harbour any ill-feelings about the situation, but it meant that for the first time I didn’t have Christmas holidays with my kids.

The holiday has always been with a group of other family and friends and whilst the faces have changed over the years, the actual feeling of the holiday as a relaxing time that set us up for the year ahead had remained unchanged.

When I took my daughter out last Thursday night she asked me if I would book the third week next year so that she could stay up there longer with me. Now the cynic in me says that this is as much because she enjoys the location and the friends as it is a desire to spend a holiday with her Dad, but I also believe that she missed me a little bit this year.

So in the dream the beach represented our holidays as a family, the rising waters the splitting of the family and me being in the rear seat a sign of my lack of control over the holiday situation. I have thought about contacting the camping ground but I suspect that the site will have been given to someone else now and given the popularity of the spot it will be very difficult to get a site for that time of year.

There is a beach


In my dreams is a beach. It is both familiar and totally unseen before. But it keeps recurring. I have arrived there on a bicycle along a path on the top of sand dunes. I have driven there down a long hill past buildings covered with scaffold. I have swum to it, from it and around it. It has a narrow spit of land that leads to an island in some dreams and a causeway that gets covered in water as the tide rises.

There has never been anyone in my dreams who I know, until last night. Last night my youngest daughter was with me. She is 14 but in this dream she was driving a van and I was in the back in the furthestmost seat from her. She drive down a hill and was excited looking at the water and somehow she and I both knew it was higher than it should have been. Still we went straight across a bridge covered by the high tide and then I woke up.

There is a beach


In my dreams is a beach. It is both familiar and totally unseen before. But it keeps recurring. I have arrived there on a bicycle along a path on the top of sand dunes. I have driven there down a long hill past buildings covered with scaffold. I have swum to it, from it and around it. It has a narrow spit of land that leads to an island in some dreams and a causeway that gets covered in water as the tide rises.

There has never been anyone in my dreams who I know, until last night. Last night my youngest daughter was with me. She is 14 but in this dream she was driving a van and I was in the back in the furthestmost seat from her. She drive down a hill and was excited looking at the water and somehow she and I both knew it was higher than it should have been. Still we went straight across a bridge covered by the high tide and then I woke up.

There is a beach


In my dreams is a beach. It is both familiar and totally unseen before. But it keeps recurring. I have arrived there on a bicycle along a path on the top of sand dunes. I have driven there down a long hill past buildings covered with scaffold. I have swum to it, from it and around it. It has a narrow spit of land that leads to an island in some dreams and a causeway that gets covered in water as the tide rises.

There has never been anyone in my dreams who I know, until last night. Last night my youngest daughter was with me. She is 14 but in this dream she was driving a van and I was in the back in the furthestmost seat from her. She drive down a hill and was excited looking at the water and somehow she and I both knew it was higher than it should have been. Still we went straight across a bridge covered by the high tide and then I woke up.