|What are we waiting for - let's go!|
I have another snap of Doris relaxing with her husband Frank Olds, by a river somewhere, and the only relevance is that in the background you can see an anonymous woman, apparently punting her way past, wearing a dress and using a very long thin pole to propel her craft along. Perhaps there was a gentleman friend reclining in the boat, but if so he's hidden behind Doris and Frank, who look quite oblivious to her presence. Hopefully if she had overbalanced, Frank would have leapt to her aid.
|I did but see her passing by ... or not?|
|Happy 100th birthday young Doris!|
Doris Olds was a lovely lady who lived a long life, passing away at 101 in Hereford in 2004. She was mentally alert to the end, and no doubt if I'd seen these photos before she died and had thought to ask her, she could have told me so much more about them, and about her life experiences in general. If only! She wasn't able to come to Australia for her daughter's wedding as a war bride in 1947, but she did visit her Australian family subsequently, on about 5 occasions, her first trip being for our wedding when she was 70, and the last when she was 95, which was pretty amazing. She came by air, not by sea :-)
Thinking of sea voyages and women on the water in small craft in the middle of nowhere also brings to mind this photograph of Little Boat, a wooden boat so named because it only measured 29 foot from bow to stern. Nevertheless this was the vessel aboard which which my fearless sister and her husband voyaged from Darwin, Australia to Florida USA, via South Africa. He was an experienced yachtie, who had built Little Boat himself and had taught my sister how to sail after they met. Several years later they made the return voyage with their two young daughters, who were born in the States, aboard a slightly larger boat, (Cytherea, 36 foot, from which the photograph was taken), weathering storms and wild weather, becalmings and even the occasional whale passing beneath them, and homeschooling the girls along the way.
|Little Boat, Bay of Islands, 1994|
And here are some real-life 'Swallows and Amazons' - my nieces and their friends, sailing off Pohnpei, Micronesia in 1991, en route to NZ.
Apart from this, I can only refer you back to the photograph of my own grandmother Mona Forbes in my first blog, posted under the heading Boating on the Avon, in Christchurch NZ, which I really love. Punting on the river is also popular there, but I doubt if my grandmother engaged in it herself. Her father Charles however was known to be handy with a long pole of another kind - according to his obituary, he excelled at pole-vaulting!