My ScrapBlogging Journey – Part 1

Family Background and the Air Force Years

My back ground is a bit United Nations-esque. My Father was an Irishman who met and married my Mother whilst on a tour of duty in Malta with the British Royal Air Force. They had to fight beaurocracy to get married but fortunately for me, they succeeded.

I was born in Malta and at 3 months old we returned to Britain where we lived for the next ten years with a year’s interlude in Ireland whilst my Father did a tour of duty on Christmas Island as part of Britain’s Nuclear Program.

We then spent three years living in Cyprus. Great years from my memories although shortly after we arrived a civil war broke out between the Greek and Turkish population of the island and that seemed to put my parents off a bit.

My siblings were all born in different places with a brother and sister born in different parts of England and my youngest brother born in Cyprus. You’d think with that much variety in my childhood years I’d be swimming in photographic memorabilia, wouldn’t you? Unfortunately not so.

My parents weren’t the snap happy type and the photos I do have are few and largely of very ordinary quality. I think longingly of the missed opportunities to capture those memories on film.

We returned from Cyprus when I was fourteen, and we were based in Lincolnshire, England. I attended my sixth and final school and completed my High School education there.

My parents had long held plans to emigrate to Australia, and they decided that as soon as my Father’s current contracted term with the Air Force was completed they had better make their move in case my sister or I, who were in our teens, started a long term serious relationship with someone and there was a danger of the family splitting up.

Next Stop, Australia

So at seventeen I stepped out onto the tarmac of Tullamarine Airport, Melbourne for the first time and took my first look at Australia. I have to say that I was disappointed. I was expecting dirt roads and kangaroos all over the place so the bitumened roads and brick buildings were a severe shock.

We quickly settled in to life in Australia, I married and eventually had my beautiful daughter Seona. We did actually take a few photos when Seona was born. I must confess, I had followed in my parents footsteps as far as the lack of interest in cameras and taking photos went. But Seona’s birth sparked an interest to capture some pictorial record of her early days. Sadly this photographic burst didn’t last very long. By comparison with the amount of photos that I take today they were still a rarity. It would take almost a year to complete a single film of 24 pictures!

When Seona’s father and I went our separate ways my life changed again as I was now a single Mum needing to provide for my daughter. I worked full time and started studying for my Bachelor of Business degree at night for the next six years; through Seona’s primary school years. Thank God for my wonderful Mother. She held everything together and was a second Mother to Seona.

Harry Chapin’s Cat’s in the Cradle was the most influential song for me at this time. I used it to remind myself of what my priorities were when pressures from work and study were gobbling up my time. I didn’t want to be like the guy in that song. As a result Seona and I have always had a fantastic relationship, even through the ‘turbulent teens’ and it’s the most valuable treasure I own.

Part 2 of the story to follow.

Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4


13 Responses to My ScrapBlogging Journey – Part 1

  1. Tink September 25, 2007 at 12:25 am #

    Interesting that, even a world apart, so many things in our lives are the same. AF brat, moved all over the world, separated, single mom relying on parents and on it goes. Great to hear all about you.

  2. Kahshe Cottager aka Jen September 25, 2007 at 6:09 am #

    My Mom was a single Mom as well (my Dad died when I was 3). We had a wonderful bond especially when I was in my late teens. I moved to the city to continue my education and then began my teaching career there as I had met the man I eventually married. Once the first baby arrived, my Mom moved here too to be near me. Sadly we didn’t have enough time together – cancer took her when she was only 59. But I believe that not only is she still with me in spirit, she has set the example for me to continue that special bonding with my own children and grandchildren. A mother’s bond with her children is unique and strong! I am sure that the three generations of women in your own family feel it too!

  3. Janine September 25, 2007 at 6:59 am #

    wow I enjoyed reading that and here I was thinking you were Australian. What an intreresting family life you had.

  4. Antoinette September 25, 2007 at 7:45 am #

    What a wonderful story Karen – you know I love these personal things, getting to know the woman behind the website. I guess we all assume too much. I too thought you were Australian, but you’re Maltese!
    Sweet pics of 3 years old Karen and two days old Seona!

  5. Seona September 25, 2007 at 8:43 am #

    I have to say, the friendship that Mum and I have has always been really important to me too. Especially when I was in High School and looked at some of the really strained relationships most of my friends had with their parents! I always felt a lot of it also had to do with the fact that Granny was the one who did all of the “Mother” things when I was growing up: making sure I got to school on time, taking me shopping or to the doctors, nagging me to do my chores around the house, that sort of thing. It meant that Mum and I were always a lot more relaxed in our relationship.

    (Although that said, I also had a very close relationship with Granny even if it was occasionally peppered with grumpiness because she was nagging me…)

  6. eje September 25, 2007 at 1:20 pm #

    Well, there’s no show without Punch so I’m going to add my 2 cents worth!! Not only is she a great mum, but as sisters go, she’s pretty damn good too! Karen and I are great friends, similar in many ways and vastly different in others. The older we get, the closer we get.

  7. karooch September 26, 2007 at 1:45 am #

    I am sitting in an Italian Internet cafe and getting all teary just reading all these comments. thank you everyone. Episode two comes out next week.

  8. June.S September 27, 2007 at 5:23 am #

    I loved the post Karen. What an interesting tour of countries you have had! I must admit as a family historian yours will be an interesting line for future generations to trace as you moved around so much.
    Your right, the bond between a mother and child is formed early on in life, sadly many people never make this bond in the early days and then it’s so much hard to achieve. You have done a great job on the post and on your life!
    PS Love the new blog look.

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