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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Another milestone birthday...

Tomorrow I turn 60 and for the life of me I can't work out 'where all those years have gone!' When I was in my 20s and 30s, to be 60 seemed so old! But it's not, I can assure

I was born in the early hours of the morning at a time when men did not stay to see their children born. Nope! Dad took mum to hospital and then came home to wait. Home then was a serviced room in a boarding house in central Brisbane. My parents weren't exceptionally poor, it was just quite common after the war for people to live in such accomodation. My dad worked in a fruit shop in the centre of the city so he was close to his work by living in the city. Now about my parents...

My dad was Paolo, but preferred Paul. He had come to Australia from Sicily as a 16 year old to cut cane in North Queensland. After 'making his money in the north, he moved south and at first farmed in the Stanthorpe district, growing grapes, apples and stonefruit. By the late 1940s he moved to Brisbane. My Australian-born mother was from Victoria and had been a penfriend of my dad and eventually he convinced her to move to Queensland. There was a bit of an age difference; dad was 42 when I was born, mum was 27 and both had been married before. When I was about 5 months old my mother was hospitalised and my dad took over the job of weaning me...with a cup and spoon. ( By the time I was 5 we finally found out why she was so ill...she had MS and pregnancy exacerbates the symptoms) dad was always a 'hands-on' father which was unusual for those times.
 When I was 1 year old we moved into a flat in the suburbs (Paddington). The owner of the shop where dad worked owned a block of flats behind an electrician's shop and we rented the ground floor flat. Then when I was 3, my dad bought a house at Newmarket where I lived until I got married. The family dad worked for were Greek and treated us all as though we were family. In fact my mother used to tell the story of how when I started to talk I used a mixture of English, Sicilian dialect and Greek. I don't remember much these days which is sad...but you have to use language.

Taken on my second birthday in the garden of our Paddington flat

3 years old here

5 years old here

10 years old here The pup is a neighbour's; my parents didn't want a dog but I had a pet cat!
The year I turned 6, I started school which was just a short walk from home. I loved school because of all the other children; home was a bit lonely for an only child... I learned to read pretty quickly and was soon reading anything and everything at home. My parents bought me lots of children's books which I 'devoured'.

10 years old here...can you find me in my striped dress?


Claud said...

Aaahhh...look at you! HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY Maria! I love this post and all your pictures. It's funny how a certain age or ages are just relative. I used to think 40 was old when I was in my 20's and now that I'm 40 I don't feel any different.

I hope you have a wonderful birthday and send many blessing and well wishes your way.

Big hug,


Maria said...

Thank you Claud!:-)
It's certainly shaping up to be a wonderful day...and on the weekend I have 2 parties! A family one on Saturday and a 'High Tea' with a number of female friends. And DH is taking me out for lunch today as lucky can I be!

Claud said...

Enjoy my friend and Happy Birthday!

Big hug,

Claud :-)