Thursday, October 12, 2006

My ageing northshore aunt refers to me as Newtown Trash

First thing on Thursday I had an astoundingly quick trip to the dentist for a porcelain filling (hastened by declining the local anaesthesia). Something large and rubbery was positioned in my mouth, and my dentist asked if I'd seen one of these things before, to which I could only say "I an 'arely ee ot's air ouw".

Later that morning I had an appointment with the local studies librarian at Waverley Library to see if I could unearth any additional material about my great-grandparents. Earlier, the librarian had sent me some photocopies of my great-grandfather when he was on Waverley Council, and she will follow that up with proper digitized versions. The only other piece of information found directly linked to him was a note regarding the council passing a resolution to name a park after him.

With respect to my great-grandmother, I was looking for evidence of participation in swimming or beach-related events, so the librarian had prepared some folders of material pertaining to this. I didn't find anything on her, but the accounts of beachwear and the council's attempts to control it over the years was very interesting. At one point bathers were forbidden to talk to those staying on the shore, prompting a cartoonist to portray a policeman in a rowboat addressing a drowning man: "I'm too busy to rescue you, but if you keep shouting like this, I'll be forced to book you for communicating with those on shore".

I also discovered that I had looked up the wrong bathing suit creator last week: Janson rather than Jantzen. This page shows the Jantzen diving girl logo that my great-grandmother claimed was based on images of her own diving exploits.

With only a few days to go before flying off, friends and family are panicking that I may not get around to fixing all their computer and multimedia issues trying to see me one last time.
Tonight I was heading to see family up towards Sydney's northern beaches, and knowing that my aunt Lana would be cooking for me, had breakfasted lightly and skipped lunch. If I'd known that my uncle Llyn was going to open his exotic liqueur cupboard I might have teetotalled for a week as well: tonight I was offered some Safari, a clear but powerful concoction which looked like it should be loaded into a syringe and fired at an elephant. I don't remember what happened after that.

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