Merville’s Life

Further Musings Of Merville’s Life

It’s going to feel strange copying Mum’s writing now that she has left us, but I undertook to share her words way back when I asked her to write them. My intention was always to write a book about her. Whether I ever succeed in doing that or not, I feel I am honouring Merville’s life now by continuing her story here at least until the end of her musings. I’m hoping with the help of my sister and brother’s memories I can continue chronicalling so much more of her life.

I wasn’t surprised to notice my arrival into the world was scarcely mentioned in her journal. “Anne was born 1953. Janet was 6, Kevin 4 1/2. Mrs Driscol kept house while I was in the home.”

But how can I take any umbrage at her for that? Mum wasn’t the type to wax lyrical about anything. She was much too pragmatic and down to earth. I’m thinking back now, trying to remember a time when she expressed much emotion, and can’t. That makes me wonder if she’d learned as a child to keep emotion tightly inside her least she be berated by older siblings. If this was the case, as I suspect, at least they never destroyed her ability to laugh and enjoy life. Those who loved her didn’t need displays of affection. Love from Merville shone through everything she did for us.

“In the summer we went along the road to the Waimumu Stream which was lovely clear water.

Waimumu Stream - still clear running water but no dams visible today

Waimumu Stream – still clear running water but no dams visible today

The bigger boys (of the neighbourhood) would build a dam and make a nice pool for them to play in and they did have lots of fun. One night Ken Malcolm was staying with us and he went fishing and caught an eel. The kids were quite excited about it. We took it home and cooked it and gave it to the hens to eat.”

“The grocer van came round once a week but we had to go to the butcher shop for our meat. We had to walk or bike in those days but 1 1/2 miles didnt seem far as we were used to it. I pushed the pram when kids were small going to Plunket. I also went to Gore sometimes by train and just put the pram in guards van and could get back to Mataura in another later. Could also go to Invercargill by train in the morning and back again at night. Hard to believe now that trains ran so often.”


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