Great Grandmother, Grandmother and Mother

I woke up this morning thinking about my mother and her mother. I don’t know who my grandmother’s mother was. I vaguely remember Granny telling me that her father took her and her sister away from South Africa to New Zealand when she was a small child. Her mother (my great grandmother) didn’t want to leave her family; her country, so great grandfather snatched the children and went anyway. His sister went with him to care for the children. He was in the British army – or so the story goes. There has been some discussion on how important he was in the army. My research shows he was simply the aide de comp and not the main player. No matter. Great grandfather never returned to South Africa from New Zealand because he suffered such terrible seasickness on the trip over there. Granny eventually went back to her homeland as an adult. She married a South African man and my mother was their oldest child. Because she was a girl, but was meant to be a boy, my mother’s nickname was Bobby. This had no relation to her real name at all.

My mother had four siblings: three boys and a girl. One of her brothers was a pilot in the South African Air Force. He was killed in the Second World War. I believe he was a rear-gunner as he was quite tiny in stature and I’ve always heard him referred to as ‘Uncle Stumps’ because of it. I have a photo of him. My second brother looks a lot like him.

My mother was an artist. She studied art at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa. Some of her botanical studies are beautifully executed. I don’t have them but my oldest brother managed to get them to Australia when he migrated here some years ago. He has them in his keeping and they will, no doubt, be passed on to his children eventually.

I have started writing a novel, part fact and part fiction (the bits I don’t know I make up) about my granny but I’ve bogged myself down in the research so have stopped. Actually, I stopped a couple of years ago, maybe three years ago!

Sometimes I wish I knew more about my ancestors. I’d like to know so that I can tell my grand daughters if they show any interest.

Great Grandmother, Grandmother and Mother

Senggigi, Lombok holiday

Waiting to fly!

A different kind of holiday (for me)!

Kath, Dean, Lily and I fly from Perth to Praya (Lombok) on Jetstar, an Airbus A320 – packed to the last seat. The flight takes just over 3 hours. I think Roland and Rosie may be regretting not coming with us. I am enjoying reading Robin Hobb’s Assassin’s Quest and have to limit myself to a couple of chapters at a time so as to savour the tale. This fits in well with the flight time to Lombok.

My first impression of Lombok is the similarity to Bali, but not nearly so busy. The weather is warm and humid – delightful after the cool weather in Perth. I took this screen shot to post on my Facebook and Instagram pages.

Our driver, Jamie, collects us at Praya and we travel to Senggigi in just over an hour. The countryside is lush and now I can see many differences to Bali. There are many Mosques and the sound of the call to prayer is everywhere. On the car radio we listen to the Rolling Stones (Angie) while the voice of the Muezzin rings from the minarets. I am immediately in love with Lombok! I notice there are not as many dogs on the roads as in Bali but Jamie assures me there are many dogs on the island.

There are many pony carts. Single, small ponies pull this traditional form of transport along the highways and byways. These are called cidomo. Most of the ponies I see during the week in Lombok seem well cared for but a couple look thin and wretched.

Lombok has not yet been discovered by the tourist hoards. I only spot one fast food outlet on the trip.

The Sheraton, Senggigi, is a lovely place to stay. The gardens are beautiful and the staff are friendly and courteous.  The power supply is a bit dicey. The lights flicker and go out fairly frequently! The air-conditioner is turned up to the max so I have to figure out how to turn it down. I am loving the warmth and humidity.

 The gardens abut the Senggigi beach. Colourful fishing boats often draw up on the sand. The sea is quite dirty and the incoming tide brings in a variety of rubbish – such as plastic bags.

There are some mosquitoes, we are well prepared with insect repellent. Early each morning I anoint myself with repellent before beginning Yoga practice on the balcony. The warm, humid climate allows me to bend and flex easily. Each day, after Yoga, I swim for a while and then breakfast at the buffet.

More to follow … including airport stories; searching for the perfect massage and a tropical thunder storm.

Senggigi, Lombok holiday