|Early years in Claudelands : 1920s - 1930s|
Helped with the household pets; dogs, cats, canaries, fish. Helped her mother who did a lot of cooking. Prepared church flowers at St. Aidan's, discusses fundraising for the development of the church.
"I was the youngest so that I was probably let off fairly lightly"
Elder sister did more. Always had books, she and Joan Cumming (nee Sergel) swapped Mary Grant Bruce and Isabel Maude Peacock books in the library, Billabong books. Good food, sister made steam puddings when visitors came, called it the `weekly horror'. Father had vegetable garden, recalls `bean tent', remembers her father sowing cress in their initials, the children labelled the passionfruit, father grew peanuts, tomatoes. Chinese man sold fresh vegetables door to door. Maori sold kits of blackberries and fruit, exchanged for clothes. Mother got fruit from Alports and Scott, rang if a certain fruit was in season. Neighbours had plums (describes collecting them and making jam). Always had a lot of fruit (describes the different places they bought fruit). Father taught her brother to garden. Strawberries and cream at Christmas was a treat, gingerbeer and lemonade (describes how they bought the gingerbeer and lemonade). Another treat was plum pudding with the 3pence in. Icecream was another treat.
Dr. Douglas was her father's doctor, Dr. Waddell was her mother's, mother did not have good health, was a diabetic but not as much was known about it. Father lived till 90; did a lot of walking and gardening, heavy smoker, enjoyed whiskey at half past five.
She and her siblings had the usual illnesses; measles, chicken pox, she missed a term of school because of a rheumatic illness. She didn't like going to the doctor; "Dr. Waddell had great big bushy eyebrows and they absolutely terrified me." Later had Dr. Mary Douglas.
Religion was important, went to a church school, parents went to St. Aidan's, went to Sunday school and bible class, confirmed in the cathedral. Religion was important to other young people, often a focal point for socialising, comments on cathedral being less so. Discusses the difference today.
Grandparents had died before she was born, envied other peoples grandparents, given a golliwog by a grandmother that she was very happy about, there were a couple of elderly women who lived near by who acted as grandmothers. Mother's sister was very close but she lived in Palmerston so she didn't see her often.