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Wednesday, 22 January 2014

What's that funny white stuff?

We don't get a lot of snow in Australia, and here in the heat of summer the thought of snow is really quite refreshing!  We have some mountainous ski areas of course, but for snow to fall and settle outside those regions is quite unusual. Neither Sydney nor Melbourne ever experience it, but occasionally Canberra does, and Hobart in Tasmania has even been known to have it fall on Christmas Day. I've been looking through my mother's old albums and have discovered the following few photographs of snowy days from her childhood in Christchurch NZ in the 1930s, showing Mum and her five siblings having fun after a snowfall at their family home there at 2 Aylmer St. 

Ken on his bike, ready to ride to school. Apparently little brother Derek in the background had the mumps at the time.
The Morrison children posing in the snow. My mother stands ready for action with a large snowball in her hand.
 Peter born 1937 in the family pram, parked in the snow
Graeme and Peter on another snowy day
On to the 1950s, and I had to go to Cambridge to experience my first snowfall, as documented by my mother in her trip scrapbook, complete with an added poem and wisps of cotton wool for visual effect.

Here's a group of New Zealanders, including my parents and yours truly, well rugged-up for the Cambridge winter of 1954

The next photo is a sweet one of my sister in about 1960, looking rather nonplussed by the snowy scene confronting her around our home in the Canberra suburb of O'Connor.

Fast forward 20 years to 1982, and here's our first daughter enjoying her first taste of snow when visiting her grandparents in Canberra. I lived there for 25 years and can only remember snowing falling on a handful of occasions, so naturally they were captured on camera! My mother had brought back that sweet little duffle coat from England for her, but it only got warn rarely, as Sydney wasn't cold enough to need it, and it must have been given away when outgrown which is rather a shame, because the wearer now lives in England and is expecting her first child soon, and it could have had a lot more use over there.

Right on cue, Google+ adds the snowy effect to the outlook across the street from my parents' house

Over the years we were lucky enough to be able to take the children on various skiing holidays in Australia, NZ and overseas. Their father learnt to ski as a child in Austria and they have all became competent skiers. but I must confess it's not for me. I'm happy just to watch and take photos or sip hot chocolate in front of a warm fire!

Our younger daughter learning to ski on the 'pulli' in Wengen, Switzerland, 1993.

Plenty of snowy peaks in NZ, and here is a recent photo of Mt Cook, the highest at 3754 metres.

Now for more snow, no doubt a lot more than you can see here, just ski on over to Sepia Saturday 212

Late final extra: More snow photos discovered, 7 February 2014!

While searching for other things, I came across a few more snow photos in my mother's albums. Clearly I should have checked them more thoroughly. Firstly here are a series of three from a good snowfall in Christchurch NZ  on 6 June 1955, when I was two and a half. In the middle picture it looks like I'm talking to that snowman! Interesting to see that I'm wearing a duffle coat here, just like my daughter in the photos of her around the same age that were taken about 27 years later. I imagine my mother had not forgotten that first coat of mine when she bought the second coat for her granddaughter. Maybe in a couple more years we'll have a matching photo of the next generation.

The other set of appropriate photos I should have discovered relate to a snowfall in Canberra in August 1965, which I believe was quite substantial by Australian standards at least, and shows my brother, my sister and myself playing on the snow up a nearby hill, and with the snow people we made then. Clearly they were friendly folk, as they hung around for a while after the snow had gone.

That's it, no more additions here, I promise!