Brisbane, QLD

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


The framework is going up. It was traditional in those days for people like us, struggling with finances, to buy land, live in a tent, then build a garage to live in while building half the house to live in and then complete the house.
Dad nailed on the mahogany weatherboards. They were a rich deep red colour. Mum chose them from what little building materials were available and affordable at the time.

One wall finished. We were getting excited.

The front of the house is taking shape. Mum helps dad on her days off from nursing. I loved my new country and running bare foot everywhere.

I'm not sure but I think my parents extended their bank loan so that they could finish the whole house before we moved in. One of my Dad's friends migrated from England and built a house nearby. He  helped Dad (in the background) to add on the second half of the house, which included my bedroom. This work took all of 1951 and maybe more.

At the end of each year Mum and Dad would reward themselves with a day on the south coast on Boxing Day. It became a tradition for us to have a picnic on the beach at Austinmere.
 I loved the beach, I loved swimming, I loved my family and I loved Australia. Even though life was a struggle for my parents at this time they were happy. They made a five year plan to build and own their own house and provide a better life for their children than they could have in England.

 We found a big rock suitable for a picnic table.

Sometimes we went to the beach by train and sometimes we got a lift with neighbours. We couldn't afford a car. Every penny went into the house. I remember these neighbours, the Hudson's and their children Raymond, who I thought was cute and Dorothy, who was like a big sister to me.
My big brother, David, is on the right watching the waves break over the rocks, he is turning into a strapping teenager.

Guess from where I got my love of photography? 


  1. Well, it's hard to write a blog post when you high on drugs from pain that the doctors cause. Cut An Artery? Accidentally???? We'd like to cut their artery. Right? I'm surprised you up to pressing the computer button to on. Get better fast.

  2. Oh my goodness! You poor thing - I'm so sorry you had to go through all that yucky stuff about being sick! Hope you fell better and better and you'll be back to yourself quickly :-)

    Take care - I still love reading about your adventures!

  3. Diane,
    Medical ordeals are not pleasant and feel for you and hope your pain has subsided and the dizziness becomes a memory of the past. Once more I do enjoy the story of your family history...kindest regards with wishes of continuing improvement of your health,
    lizzie b.

  4. Hi there I hope that you feel better now as it sounds like you have some disorder in the middle ear like Meniere's syndrome - you can feel really nauseous with it. Hopefully it is getting better.
    Your photos of your life in the early years in Australia continue to fascinate. I love them, and your other post on the trip to Townsville is lovely.
    Take care, Catherine.

  5. Your hosp. adventure sounds a bit like mine...went in for day surgery and, two hospitals and 10 days later, I got home.
    Those od us who came here in the 40's and 50's have pretty similar stories. You at least had the advantage of speaking the language.

  6. Hello Dianne
    First time here and really enjoying the story of your first years in Australia
    Concentrate on getting over the surgery and the after effects as well as the new ear problem - seems like it never rains but it pours and there's certainly a lot of the wet stuff coming down up your way at the moment lol
    Take care

  7. You love your home, your family, and Australia and reading all your writings, makes me love you too. What a tender loving write about your family history Ma'am Diane. The beauty of the house and the home your parents built is ... they did it from the strength of their torso. Very fortunate little girl Ma'am Joan when I was still 1 year old. I also love the photo header. Everything lovely about England and Australia....Cheers to you Ma'am.

  8. Vertigo sucks have had it been through that test the Dr does also thought I was going to threw up everywhere.

    Hope you continue to improve..............

  9. Oh my, so sorry to hear of your operation plus your dizziness. I do hope you are soon feeling well again. Enjoying reading your details and photos of life in 'our land'. Look after yourself.

  10. Poor Mummy! You are always so fit and healthy, I know how much you enjoy your morning walks too. Wish I was there to give you a big hug! Glad Dad is looking after you.

    I'm so glad that you are back to Blogging about the early years in Australia! It's so lucky that firstly Grandma & Granddad had a camera in the 40's and 50's, and secondly that you still have all the photos!

    good luck back at work on Tuesday. Promise me you don't over do it!
    Love you

  11. It is SO good to see you blogging again. Just take it slow and easy my dear, and don't push yourself.

  12. I am very sorry to hear of your ordeal with surgery. Sounds a bit too familiar to mine when I had my surgery two and a half years ago. OUCH...recovery takes time. I'm praying for quick healing.

    I love the story Diane. It touches my heart to read your words as it is clear your memories were mostly good, even in hard times. You are a sweet woman. I love coming here.

  13. I forgot to say in my comment that in the photo of you and Grandma sitting on the steps in front of the house: I can see Sonya in you there! You look just like her, wait I mean she looks just like you then!
    Hope you are feeling better

  14. Oh dear Diane, so sorry you've had to deal with all that. What a dreadful time you've had. Glad you're feeling better and hope it won't be too long before you're 100 percent. I enjoyed this post very much.

  15. I am sorry that you had to go through a bad patch. I hope you feel soon your healthy and happy self again. You started blogging again and that is a good sign! It is great to see how your family coped well with everyday life. It was such a different time then. My home is my castle.

  16. Diane I hope you are feeling better. What a rough time you have had. I love the photo of you and your Mum at the beach sitting on the log, you can certainly tell it is you.

  17. I have been so out of the lopps these last couple weeks, I'm sorry I didn't know you were in hospital! I hope youare now feeling more well and happy.

    Fascinating about the house, I can't even imagine what is must have been like, but I suspect you didn't know any different and so you just carried on with it.

    Every time I read these I am so moved by the sacrifices your folks made.

  18. This is quite an amazing story. Your parents were very hard working, to have finished the house so quickly, a piece at a time.

  19. We are both very lucky that our parents had cameras and that they kept the photos as a record of what went on. I found a photo the other day of a school friend which I sent to her. She has no record of her early life at all, apparently all photos were just thrown out. Very sad. Diane