Saturday, 15 February 2014

Roots and branches

Our trip to Australia and New Zealand is nearly over. I have failed to blog as I have travelled along, not because of technical problems with I pads, photo transfers and fragile Internet connections ( although all have featured ), but because we have been too busy doing things. We all know that living gets in the way of blogging sometimes, and I feel that we have done so much living in the last few weeks, I will be forgiven by the blogging gods for not doing much reading, commenting or writing. I am looking forward to catching up with what everyone has been up to, when I get back to England at the end of this week.

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.

J and N, such kind and generous people...... Wonderful to spend time with them again.

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. 

Bill and Mark at Te Papa

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 .


  1. Amazing! We really should pluck up the courage to do this too - so far all our far flung cousins have come to visit us. I remember when I started searching the world for them, quite often Mr N would go out on a bike ride or to the shops for a paper and when he arrived home there would be yet another stranger sitting on the sofa!
    Perhaps it's our turn now.

  2. What a fabulous holiday you have obviously had! Visiting such beautiful surroundings and meeting up with far-flung family members would definitely be my kind of holiday too!

  3. Janice you look amazing, so the trip is clearly agreeing with you. Love the idea of the trees and branches, and I am glad it has been such an enriching experience meeting new family. Great tree photos! Hi to cousin Bill, a tour guide like me with a similar ID tag :) Looking forward to future posts about your fantastic trip to the Antipodes! x

  4. Glad you have had such a successful and memorable trip Janice - safe travels home and look forward to more antipodean posts on your return.

  5. How wonderful, Janice. I know just how special it will have been for you to meet again and discover family members and the stories they have to tell. I bet it has been a most incredible holiday for you which, as you say, will continue to add yet more depth to your life's journey. He might not have been the best of husbands, but you have a lot to thank your naughty bigamist (trigamist?) grandfather for!
    Safe journey back - looking forward to more of those fantastic photos!

  6. I can see how you have loved all this discovery.What a fun thing to do.You will be curious to see how much further your roots spread.Looking forward to seeing more magnificent photos of trees,branches and roots.

  7. You've packed in so much in a relatively short space of time Janice. I've thoroughly enjoyed seeing the photos you've posted so far, and look forward to seeing more. It really is a beautiful part of the world.

    So glad you have had a good time and the chance to meet up with family. Safe journey home xxx

  8. I'm not surprised that you had no time to blog! It's a wonder that you had time to breathe!
    Very much looking forward to the photographs in due course.

  9. Janice , you have to write a book about this bigamist grandfather and your discovery of far flung cousins.

  10. I think we get to a stage in life where family in it's widest sense becomes more and more important. I think there are very people around now who fully know our roots and we have a need to share and find out more.

    You seem to be having a wonderful time which after the last year plus you really deserve. X

  11. Wonderful, Janice; the photos, the sentiments, the words, the family ties you have found and the ones you have tied a bit tighter. I'll look forward to hearing and seeing more once you have unpacked and unravelled your adventures. Stay safe.

  12. Sightseeing is a marvellous occupation and a good reason to visit a place, but the family links you have been making and strengthening during your trip are far more wonderful, Janice. I love the fact you feel this immediate bond with your far-flung and, sometimes, as yet unknown relatives.

    Such a heart warming post and I see just what you mean about the wine country outside Melbourne. :-)

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