Here the wedding photo of my parents. They look happy and my mother’s pose is suitably coy and modest. Modesty was the norm then. I remember Princess Diane striking similar stances. The eyes heaven-bound and face slightly askew. My mother looks ravishing and dad wishing to get to that. Their lives at the very beginning. It was love after dad walked into a tram while looking at the sky and mum helped him with some kind words afterwards. It was destined to happen. It was true love. Dad never gave up looking at the stars and heavens. Mum never gave up caring for him and her brood.
Perhaps a gift to the couple was a vacuum cleaner. The machine was packed in one of the cases and I remember dad on board forever getting the crew to lug up the cases from the ship’s hold so he could do yet another inventory and precious allocation of what was in each case. The cases were numbered and in my previous post some of those numbers on cases are visible on the photo where we are all horizontal. The vacuum cleaner was a Hoover and the pride of our early home life. Here my mum in action still in The Hague. You could never get dad to vacuum. As in my own house-hold, suffice Helvi would not know how to switch it on! Show me dust and let me loose. Not a corner or nook will escape the wrath of our Niffisk ‘meteor’ even without cyclonic power.
The photo of mum vacuuming is a charming insight in their domestic life but even more so the next picture of both of them in utter contentment. Both are shining with happiness and nothing is indicated yet of any future drama, let alone chuck it all in for a chance to a better life down under to Australia. Surely owning a Hoover would not be regarded as slumming it as it was some years before during the war. They were bad times but things were looking up. However, as the number of children grew almost yearly, the income of dad became sparser as it had to be spread between increasing numbers of stomachs to be filled and bodies to be clad.
You can tell that with the flowers on the little table (Now residing with my brother in Brisbane) that life must have been so fulfilling. Just look at my dad’s face and the confidence of mum reading with him the paper.
I never forget my mother’s pragmatism. Some years later when I was about 12, she made me go to a shop called Vroom & Dreesman. A bit like DJ’s here. Thursdays were ‘special’ days. The Newspaper would advertise a few days before all the ‘specials’ in fashion or other domestic items. This certain Thursday it was the turn for Women’s underwear. I was to be sent and get women underpants that were apparently a bargain. I duly walked to this store with my mother’s money and order for a normal size medium underpants. Two pairs, she reminded me.
On arrival at the underwear section there was a windmill of flailing mother arms digging into a huge pile of underpants. I managed to get two pairs with the help of a kind lady. My mother was happy. Good boy, Gerard. I am so proud of you!
I have often wondered why in the building of my future considerable inventory of erotic phantasies, female lingerie loomed and still does,large. Was Miss Oedipus already knocking on my pre-teen sexual doors? Onanism had not occurred as yet.
It will take years on a large couch to unravel this one.
It’s all so mysterious.