I have called this post 'roots and branches ' thinking I would post some photos of the incredible trees I have fallen in love with , both here in NZ and in Australia. However, I have decided that post can wait until I get home and really go through all the photos. It is the family roots and branches that I want to waffle on about a little here.
In Melbourne I met up with one cousin and his brilliant wife ( J and N ). I met them the last time I was here. We visited them this time at a coast side cabin they had rented for a couple of weeks, then we visited a gorgeous winery with them.... And honestly, I thought I was back in the Languedoc..... The scenery of the wine region outside Melbourne was very French.
I then met a second cousin ( Linda ) for the first time. We found each other through family history research..... Just as I had found J. J and I actually share a grandfather ( the bigamist)..... Linda's grandfather was my grandfather's youngest brother. He went to Australia in WW1 and married and settled there in 1920.
( technical issues mean I haven't been able to transfer a photo of my gorgeous.....and she is really gorgeous, cousin Linda here ! )
Linda and I hit it off immediately..... I know our friendship is just going to develop further in the coming months. She shared information about her parents and grandparents with me, including a stunning WW1 diary kept by her grandfather, my great uncle, as his ship was involved in the sinking of the Emden during the battles at sea during the war.
Then, after a wonderful family filled stay in Melbourne ( I also met up with 2 of my NZ cousin's daughters while I was in the city), we arrived in Wellington, where I completed the set, meeting Bill, J's brother.... With whom I also share a grandfather.
This is Bill and I with his eldest daughter Claire,
Bill has lived in various parts of NZ, and generously shared his time with us, helping us decide where we wanted to go while we were here. He currently works as a guide at Te Papa, the amazing museum in Wellington, and we had a wonderful personal tour.
I could go on and on about these wonderful people that I can now count as part of my family. I am so happy to have found them.
The trip has been amazing.........and I am sure I will be blogging about various aspects of it in the next few months......but having these branches of my family, with shared, but spread roots, has enriched my life, not just this holiday .