Another Birthday and a Road Trip


Having a birthday in January is both a blessing and a curse.  A blessing because the weather is generally great, but a curse because it is just after Christmas and people are either broke, on holiday, partied out or all three.  So as a consequence I never mind acknowledging I am turning a year old, and try to make sure as many people know about it as possible.  Brett refers to it as Birthday month.  But hey if it is good enough for Queen Liz it is good enough for me.

So this year I turned 47, not an especially auspicious number.  Certainly closer to 50 than 40.  But nothing too scary.  The last time I had a bit of a melt down about turning a number was when I was 29, which frankly seems ridiculous now.  I would take back my 29 body in a heart beat.  But I wouldn’t swap my 47 year old life and wisdom (some of it definitely acquired the hard way) for anything.

Anyway I had a lovely birthday celebration with my friends.  I know how lucky I am when I can also count the people I work with as my friends.  I did seem to get a lot of alcohol related presents – no idea why.  But it would be churlish of me to not enjoy them 🙂

Another highlight of my birthday weekend was going on a Road Trip with Mum down to the Te Awamutu region where her Mother’s family came from.  My navigation was absolutely appalling – sorry Mum.  But we managed to…

  • Find the location of a couple of family farms, one in Te Mawhai, one in Wharepuhunga
  • have a beer at the Alpha Tavern at Kihikihi which has a huge photo of the Thomson family coaches on the outside
  • find our Marae – that was a mission- but well worth the hunt.  Te Kopua Marae is certainly in a beautiful spot
  • drive around our Mountain Kakepuku.  Which while is not as big as Pirongia is far prettier – just saying
  • Visit cemeteries – which I know can sound a bit morbid but is actually quite fascinating
  • Visit Uncle Bill and copy some great photos
  • And get lost a few times.  Did I mention I am a crap navigator

I know it shouldn’t but it made me feel quite good to find out that my great grand father, 2 of his brothers and 1 of his sisters had let us say interesting marital situations. I am not the only naughty one in this family.

It was also amazing to see how large some of the families were, and how it would have been crucial for them all to work together to survive.  I am pretty sure I wouldn’t have lasted too long – despite being able to do well in the naughty stakes 🙂

Here are some photos I got on the road trip.  Probably of no interest to anyone who is not from my family – but some of them just so darn cute.

Kopua Marae Cemetery GatesGates to the Te Kopua Marae Cemetery

Image

Thomson Family wearing party hats.  My great grand dad is the dark one in the middle and my great grand mother is standing behind him.  My Grand Dad Tom is there too, I don’t think he is quite so excited to be wearing his hat

Tom Fulton

My Grand Father Tom Fulton – I can see a real family resemblance with my brother Dan

Tom and Dolly Wedding Day

Tom and Rea (Dolly) on their wedding day.  They don’t look very happy do they?  Apparently Tom wasn’t happy he had to get changed out of his work clothes into a suit.  May and Dinah at a 21st

My Great Grand Parents May and Dinah at one of their Grand Daughters 21st.  May looks very happy – Dinah not so sure

Dinah

Dinah – don’t think I need to say much more

Mum

My Mum rocking the Shirley Temple look

And I suppose if I was to get a bit philosophical (perish the thought) the birthday weekend brought home to me that we get older, that families and friends all over deal with the same stuff and always have, but we go on.  And that a party hat can really make a celebration.

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