Colin Arthur Bryant and the third child.

Jo Bryant:

I don’t do this. Reblogging I mean. At least NOT my own posts…but you see today is Dad’s 105th birthday.

Three years ago I awoke early on the 13th of April and words poured out of me. Like the molten steel you see running down in to a mould, burning, shining, a completely unstoppable river that once cooled within will form a weapon. That post became my weapon you see. After a lifetime, it sliced effortlessly through the things that guarded my past and held me captive behind a solid door of emotion.

I love my Dad. I loved him growing up. But ours was a tumultuous relationship. Because as deep as my loving was, my understanding of him was shallow. Colin Arthur Bryant was not a sharer. I know that. Yet I was luckier than most in our family. I saw more than the others, but even with that I grew up knowing that I would never be able to say I really knew my Dad.

It has become important to me that my children will never think that of me. Some may say that I over share. I understand their view. I also disagree. Through the circumstances of my life I grew up knowing neither my Dad or my Mum well. I can’t tell you their favourite colour, what smells reminded them of moments they had lived, what their joys were or what their sorrows were. I know nothing of why they once loved each other or why their love became so twisted and full of emotions that drove them to acts I neither know if they regretted or were glad of their doing.

So words have become my path to a future for my children that will enable then to say…this was my Mum. I knew her well !

Again I digress. A habit I am not sure I want to break as it often leads me in to places I had forgotten existed. As I age I feel a growing fondness for finding places that lay hidden in the recesses of my mind and my memories, if only for the lessons that each journey has had, and possibly still has for me.

Time though to revisit Colin. I had thought to write a post today for the celebration of the day he was born. Instead I found myself drawn back three years to this post. I realised that this post had said everything I want to say about the man I called Dad and the years in which he graced my life.

I cried today reading it as much as I did the day I wrote it. Both for the possibilities that were grasped and for the ones abandoned and lost between us over the years. Those tears are good tears…the healing kind.

With all this…I still feel an ache that has never diminished.

So to Colin I say this:

“Happy birthday Dad. I know that you did the best you could with what you had. I am grateful for that. I am grateful for you. I miss you no less with each passing year. I will love you no less on the day I die than I did on the day you passed from my life. I feel you in each step I take forward.
Your loving daughter,
Jo.”

I hope you will have the time to visit fully with my Dad. Get to know him as much…or as little…as I did…in my post from three years ago. That is of course if you haven’t seen it before.

Originally posted on Chronicles of Illusions:

One hundred and two years ago Caroline Ada Bryant had a baby boy on this day. Her second child, also her second son.

She named him Colin Arthur Bryant.

As a young boy Colin had hydatids. Maybe that’s why he was a little iffy around animals. His body bore scars from where they had operated to get the small sacs off, and save his life.

He married twice.

His first wife died after they had a son and a daughter.

Colin & Mary Bryant (c) Jo Bryant
Colin & the run away wife

His second ran off with a no-hoper from the circus after she had a daughter.

He carried that scar with him for the rest of his life as well.

Once a month until the third child was twelve he came to wherever she lived for his visit. He was always dressed in grey pants with a crease down the legs, a grey jacket, white long sleeved shirt and tie.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Monument

The Untidy Soldier
The Untidy Soldier

This memorial which is located in Devonport, on the North Shore of Auckland, is the work of Frank Lynch. Frank was an ex-digger. He has described the work as an ANZAC digger ready to leave Gallipoli who is saluting his dead friends by taking off his hat. This figure has become known as ‘the untidy soldier’.

It is said that the untidy soldier shows that Kiwi soldiers were not concerned so much about how they looked, but about how they performed on the battlefield. The untied boot laces and the shabby clothing are what gave the sculpture its nickname.

Many New Zealand First World War monuments of soldiers were carved in Italy. The ones that were done by New Zealand artists are considered to have better captured the Kiwi soldiers’ quite distinctive characteristics.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Monument

Some thoughts on monuments.

“I had a monumental idea this morning, but I didn’t like it.” – Samuel Goldwyn

“Death comes to all, but great achievements build a monument which shall endure until the sun grows cold.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“I don’t mind being a symbol but I don’t want to become a monument. There are monuments all over the Parliament Buildings and I’ve seen what the pidgeons do to them.” – Tommy Douglas

“There is great incongruity in this idea of monuments, since those to whom they are usually dedicated need no such recognition to embalm their memory; and any man who does, is not worthy of one.”  – Nathaniel Hawthorne

 

 

Wait for it…

It is Dog Farting Awareness Day !!

Yes…it is a DAY !! So Chevvy thought we should acknowledge it…though she thinks that every day is Dog Farting Awareness Day.

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However…I actually think it should be ANIMAL FARTING AWARENESS DAY, as we have a couple of other wee stinkies in the house !!!

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Charlie’s favourite place to fart is right by me…on the bed, in the middle of the night.

Jackie is much more ladylike about it…she does the sneaky kind.

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All poor Crash can do is look on in horror as the only family member who doesn’t fart…well that we notice anywho !!!

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Even I have been known to drop the odd one occasionally.  Just ask my kids !!! I may look all innocent and sweet…but there is a reason I drive with the window down.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Threshold

As we see summer disappear here [though you wouldn't know it today with the sun shining and the temperature hovering at 24%], my thoughts drift back to when the warmer weather heralded the crossing of a threshold in to the budding spring.

When the agapanthus begin to peek out from their buds I know the door is opening to warmth and new life.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Threshold

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25 years ago today…

12-11-2011_013 2 copyOf all the cliches in the world ‘time flies when your having fun’, actually appears to be true !!

P1090706I have forgotten the extent of the pain I went through [actually - NO - I haven't] that afternoon. What I know is that it was worth every minute of it.

th_wow_rotatesDid I really just say that ????

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The Daughter is in America today. It was a quarter of a century ago that I met her for the first time, and tonight I will raise a glass to her across the sea.

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I will whisper to her that…

you are a new delight each time I have the sight of you,

and in the darkness you comfort me in the knowing

of your existence,

there is not enough laughter

that your voice can’t bring more,

there are not enough tears

that your absence doesn’t

wash over me in a flood,

there is not enough music

to carry the soft lilt of your tones

to my ears,

travel well through life

knowing your first steps

left little footprints

on my heart

 

No mother has ever burst with pride the way I have with you. You are my laughter, my tears, my joy, my fears…you are a precious gift that lightens my soul.

If life ever takes it toll…remember beautiful girl…let the world hear you ROAR !!!!

I dare you NOT to laugh !

And on a cute note…

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And on a completely self serving note…Chronicles is in the Australian Best blogs Competition this year. If you want to vote for me and the blog in the PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARDS…click on the badge below and go nuts !!! The link will take you to the page…scroll down in until you hit ‘C’ and we are listed under CHRONICLES OF ILLUSIONS. Click the box…then [and I am sorry about this] you have to scroll down and keep clicking next until you get to the page where you fill in your name and e-mail address.

The fur babies and I would like to say thanks in advance !!!!

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Travel Theme: Statues

For more Statues…visit Ailsa’s Travel Theme for this week.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life

Waihi is a small town about 20 minutes drive north of where I live. In March every year the main street comes alive with the people of Waihi and surrounding areas, as well as a few from afar. It is the eclectic mix that always fascinates me.

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Even the Police enjoy a sausage or two.
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The man in gumboots had such fun dancing by himself…I almost joined him.

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Share Your World – 2014 Week 12

I thought it might be fun to play along with Cee’s Share Your World this week after seeing Gemma’s post, so here goes.

What is your most favorite smell/scent?

That is hard because it changes. I love the smell of Chevvy’s belly, and Charlie and Jack’s.

Coffee always makes me feel good, but so does fresh bread.

How do you write: computer, longhand or other?

Computer mostly these days, but I have books that are always there to help me play around with words and fitting them together.

Your favorite blog post that you have written? (add link)

Being someone who never follows the rules…I have to say there is more than 1 at equal favourite. So in that case, in no particular order:

  1. The Pussies Are Taking Over [and from the comments it seems I am not the only one who has pussy trouble !!!!]
  2. So it’s Valentine’s Day [which was also my one year anniversary of blogging - please scroll down to the comments...they are probably the best part of the post !!!].

Maybe you can tell me which one of these two posts you prefer !! I would appreciate it !!

What’s one of your favorite books from childhood?

A Child’s Garden of Verse. I still have it.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Last week: For my friends, who constantly amaze me with the generosity of spirit and their willingness to put up with my shenanigans.

Coming week: That it is still coming, and if the past is my measure, then it will be as it has been…full of surprises.

One Trip Every Month

This month I went somewhere I had not been in years. Katikati Bird Gardens. I took with me my Japanese student Yuseke. He had told me that they did not have birds like we do here. I think the most wonderful moment happened just after we arrived. We walked outside and two doves landed on Yuseke, both trying to get their heads in his bag of bird feed. It was the only time I got him to smile for the camera. Which is kind of sad, as he had the most beautiful smile.

And here are a few more of the feathered friends we met that day.

Now I am off to make dinner for the two new students I have for about three weeks. Two, so far lovely, young girls from Thailand.

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Ever thought of becoming a vegetarian ? Do you have a friend that is looking in to becoming a vegetarian ? Well, here is a great little book written by Fea O’Shea [a lovely Kiwi lady who happens to be a vegetarian] that will help you make the decision. There are some great tips in it. If it isn’t for you maybe this would make a great gift !!!

“Why be a Vegetarian: Debunking Your Excuses” is available now at Amazon. Just click the link. And for the first 48 hours you can get it for $0.99 US.

Now I realize that the topic of this book: “Why be Vegetarian” may not be to your thought pattern, please, rest assured I’m not trying to convert you to vegetarianism. This book is targeted to those who want to be Vegetarian, but have, what they feel is, a valid excuse, so the sub-title is “Debunking your excuses”. – Fee O’Shea

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Texture

Texture – according to Cee this week is about: “This first week is texture which is a touchy feely type sensation to me.”

There is nothing more touchy feely to me than an animals coat. So here are a few textures I love to feel under my fingers.

And a few other textures I found while roaming around Katikati on my walks with Chevvy.

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Ever thought of becoming a vegetarian ? Do you have a friend that is looking in to becoming a vegetarian ? Well, here is a great little book written by Fea O’Shea [a lovely Kiwi lady who happens to be a vegetarian] that will help you make the decision. There are some great tips in it. If it isn’t for you maybe this would make a great gift !!!

“Why be a Vegetarian: Debunking Your Excuses” is available now at Amazon. Just click the link. And for the first 48 hours you can get it for $0.99 US.

Now I realize that the topic of this book: “Why be Vegetarian” may not be to your thought pattern, please, rest assured I’m not trying to convert you to vegetarianism. This book is targeted to those who want to be Vegetarian, but have, what they feel is, a valid excuse, so the sub-title is “Debunking your excuses”. – Fee O’Shea

“We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.” —Ernest Hemingway

 

P1060701Writing for me developed from a love of reading. There were not enough books in the universe for me to devour. Winnie The Pooh, Daktari, A Child’s Garden of Verses, Rebecca, and Wuthering Heights were all beloved favourites. They taught me so much. They taught me that there are all kinds of stories to be told, in all kinds of ways.

The first thing I remember writing was a poem. I used to love writing poetry, but sadly all those pieces are gone. Everything I wrote was contained in one book, and that book is lost forever to me. Yet I still feel those stories surrounding me. Changing form perhaps, but never completely abandoning me.

Those stories were a way to escape for me. I could dive in to other places than the one I lived in. But they were only for me, at least until I met a childhood friend and for the first time trusted the stories to another. There was only one person who ever got to read anything I wrote. I wonder if that was because I had such little self worth as a child. Was I too afraid I would be mocked for what I said in those first efforts? I think so. I still sometimes feel like that today. It is very hard to put out anything I write, especially my stories.

Poetry…now that is different, and I am not sure why that is. That I can and do share, but my short stories and longer works are difficult to put out there. I try not to let that stop me writing them though. Still, like everyone else who writes, sometimes it is hard to get one word out. At those times it is as if I am wearing gloves. Those gloves cut off the flow from me to the outside world. And I can’t get then off me…no matter how hard I try.

I look in awe upon writers like JK Rowling, who have enough belief in themselves to actually not only finish their projects but to publish them for the wider world to read. I am not sure I will ever be confident enough to contemplate approaching a publisher.

In this moment I shall just put down the stories as they come to me. They come from so many places, and until I have them out and on screen, a little niggle makes itself felt. Write it down, write it down, write it down it says to me. Is it possible I have my own Jiminy Cricket sitting on my shoulder ? I should like to think it is possible, just like I believe in the fairies in my garden, who weave their lives in and out of mine.

Sometimes they come when the night is at its darkest. They push open the kitchen screen enough to scramble through before making their way to my room. From behind my closed eyelids I see their bright, shiny sparks and hear their chatter. They run amok over the covers of my bed. One has a tendency to pull the duvet back, until I shiver and sit up in search of it.

Opening my eyes sees then scatter and with their gentle laughter they leave my awake and staring in to the darkness until an idea begins to form. My slumber is lost to me, but the loss is not felt too keenly as the ideas that hovered in my dreams begin to take a more solid form, and I write them down, I write them down, I write them down.

Related Posts

 

Because they loved me…

Isobel is holding a Pet Remembrance Day at her blog in memory of Cat, her beloved moggie that she lost three years ago. She has inspired me to tell you about some of my dearly missed and always loved pets.

The first pet I remember was a budgie. When he died I horrified my mother when she came home to find the kitchen smelling rather funny. I was eight at the time and I put his cold wee body in the oven. No…not a cremation, I was praying that if I warmed him up he would stop being cold and still.

The next pet was a puppy named Penny. She died way too young when she fell asleep under my brother’s car and he ran her over.

Penny and I
Penny and I

Then there was Tiny. I came home one day to find Tiny gone. After my mother died I was living with my brother, who took an intense dislike to her…I heard from family friends that he took her on a trip and dumped her.

Tiny
Tiny

It wasn’t until I grew up that there was another dog. Her name was Tia. A staffordshire terrier I rescued from the pound. She had distemper, and it was a long battle to save her but we did. When I went overseas Tia went to live with another brother. A much kinder one.

Me with Tia on a road trip to Queensland. She loved ice cream.
Me with Tia on a road trip to Queensland. She loved ice cream.

While living in Holland my ex and I had Jab. He had a funny habit. No male could put his hand in Jab’s cage. He attacked every time. But females were always welcome.

Jab and I checking out the camera together.
Jab and I checking out the camera together.

It wasn’t until I was married and living back in Australia that I had another dog. While living in Queensland the ex and I went to a Jack Russell breeder and both fell in love with one puppy. We were sadly told he had already been picked by someone else. So we decided to wait. One day I spotted and ad in the Courier Mail for a male Jack Russell puppy that someone was selling because they were moving.

Sep and Tia
Sep and Tia

Turned out that puppy was the same little male we had seen at the breeder. The ex was in hospital at the time, so I arranged to have the breeder pick him up and put him on a plane to Bundaberg and me. The ex was a bit put out, but I had Sep, and that was just meant to be.

Sep was my Houdini puppy. When we moved to Napier, he escaped once and the lady we got him back from was full of stories about how he took on her rottweiler and refused to back down.

One day this trait he had of wandering would end his life. I found him after another escape laying on the road. When I picked him up he folded like a book in my arms. My only consolation was that it would have been quick. When I buried him under a rose bush our other dog took to sleeping on his grave.

Sep and Tia
Sep and Tia

Our other dog was Tia. A kelpie cross, she had had a hard few weeks of life when we got her. Raised in a cow barn, she was a tiny ball of fleas. Tia was with me for 17 years. She had such a wonderful temperament. When her time came it was the hardest thing I have ever had to do.

Sep and Tia
Sep and Tia

Not long before Tia passed I also had to make a similar decision for Katie. Katie was a maltese terrier. But she was so inbred that her life was short. Just 18 months. She had Cushing’s Disease. My post ‘The Capacity of Katie’ is about all the things this wee darling taught me in those scant 18 months, and the legacy she left me with.

Katie and the daughter
Katie and the daughter

So…to these beautiful souls, I say thank you. Thank you for being part of my life, Thank you for your love, your joy, your being. Each one of you have left your mark on my heart and in my soul. I will forever be grateful I knew you, that I loved you, but most importantly…that you loved me.

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CBBH Photo Challenge: AFTER THE RAIN

To put you in the mood…we have The Doors !!!

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My two blogs are…

  1. Brynne’s Presence of Magic is an old, old favourite of mine. I probably have mentioned her before, but good things should be shared around. Her posts are the substance of fairy dust and flying horses. They make you feel good.
  2. Truth Theory is where I go to read when I want to know more about my world, what we are doing to it and what might work to make it better.

Conejo Blanco

When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. – Lao Tzu

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