Beautiful day on 14th. The weather was pleasant and I visited the seaside town where my parents met and I was conceived. Not many people know where they were conceived and even fewer adoptees have that very personal an intimate information. I consider it a great privilege and piece of good fortune that I have that information and thank my mother for it. She was elusive and avoidant in so many ways, but in others quite willing to share what she knew and believed. I am also lucky enough to have visited the actually building where they met and she did her training for her war service. It was somewhat eerie* to stand in the empty rooms they would have stood in. It was the scene of many emotions for my mother. She enjoyed her training and the friendships she made and was proud of her contribution. She fell in love, was happy and then devastated to discover the man she loved was already married with a family. She was sent away and he was sent home on leave before being posted to the furthest place that could be found, a remote outpost on an island which could have become the front, had Japan invaded Australia. As we now know Japan had no intention of doing any such thing. It is supposed that they never saw each other again but I have my doubts. It seems she always knew where he was and they lived in the same place after her marriage for a time. About this she was rather hazy. I got nowhere and my questions began to feel intrusive. So often it seems we adoptees are stopped in our tracks when we try to discover who we are, by the need to protect others or by their need to protect someone or something. We cannot force others to give us information which may be helpful to us but painful to others, painful for us too!
The journey to the town of my conception is very pleasant and is, as we call it in my family, ‘a driver’s road’. There are pretty views, gum trees flowering abundantly, places producing quality milk, cheeses, wines, fruits and foods. It passes through rolling hills, is well graded and a joy for all those who love a manual gear-box and are lucky enough to still have one. Sadly we no longer do, for reasons of health and physical management, but still have the memories of journeys when the challenges were real and the skills were tested. We love cars of quality and style, the classics and have been lucky enough to own a few over the years – the Beetle, the Bristol, Alfas – and have a list of cars we would like to have owned and driven – the Karmann Ghia, VW camper, MGB, and so on. My nostalgia for cars probably comes from the magical night when I was about 5 years of age. I stood in the crispy Winter moonlight, waving goodbye to my afather’s friend and his lady friend, each driving a sleek silver metallic Bristol. The epitome of style and sleekness. The Bristol 400. I was taken for a run on another occasion and I was hooked, forever! I believe the daughter of my afather’s friend still has the very same Bristol in the stable of cars left to her by her father. What a fortunate woman she is and fortunate too to have inherited her father’s love of the machine, the classy vehicle, the skill of driving well with style and expertise. Lucky to, to have the money to support such a habit, these days an extravagance, a guilty pleasure and much frowned on by conservationists, greenies and environmentalists. However, many of these cars are decades old and will survive for decades more with care and are not disposable, boring vehicles that suffer recalls, faults and can’t be trusted to endure. It takes little to maintain a well made vehicle and it is always a labour of love and dedication undertaken by the true enthusiast who enjoys nothing better than getting greasy under the bonnet of a loved car.
If like me you love words and their history here’s something about ‘eerie’ – *http://www.thefreedictionary.com/eerie How many words do you know that begin with two vowels?