April birthdays

April is the month when we have lots of birthdays to celebrate from the England branch of my tree.

Henry Lewis England (my grandfather) had three daughters – two had birthdays in April – my mother Phyllis and her sister Margaret. Sadly the sisters have now passed away.

I also have my birthday in April and so does my cousin Leigh, the son of Margaret.

Rae, who lives in Melbourne often visited in April, to meet us all as well. She also has an April birthday. Rae’s grandmother was Gladys, the sister of Henry Lewis England. I have just had morning tea with Raelene while she was visiting Hobart this week.

So we have two siblings and three cousins as April babes, but when I checked my database there was actually over 220 April birthdays.

Sue Leigh Raelene Bronwyn Philip at beach


Three birthday girls
Phyllis, Sue and Margaret lunching at Lachlan

Readers: Do you have one special  month where many birthdays are celebrated?

Holidays with friends

As mentioned in yesterdays post about camping holidays, my brother or I would often take a school friend with us on our longer holidays here in Tasmania.

We would go to unusual places, sometimes do things our friends might not have done before and when tired from a long day of physical activities, we would play board games on the picnic table.

Go fishing at Devonport with Robin


Robin is wondering where we are


Steven beating us at Stockmarket while camping at Coles Bay

But the biggest holiday we went on was our family, Margaret (mum’s sister) and her family when we took off around Australia for three months in 1965.

Margaret and Norm PHILLIPS with their children Bronwyn and Leigh getting ready to travel around Australia

Our family used a converted Kombi van, side awning and tent, while Margaret’s husband Norman pulled a caravan behind their car. We went over on the boat to Melbourne, up the east coast to Cairns, then across outback Queensland to the junction of the Barkly and Stuart Highways in Northern Territory, north to Darwin, then back south to Alice Springs.

The Mob at the entrance to Lone Pine Sanctuary Brisbane

It was here where the families parted as Marg’s family put their car and caravan on the Ghan to head back to Marree and onward to Melbourne. Our family went to Uluru then back to Alice and the Ghan to Marree where we then spent more time around South Australia before heading back to Melbourne and the boat trip home to Tasmania.

Map of the complete trip Around Australia 1965 11000 miles

Readers: Did you ever go on holidays with other family members or school friends? What was your most memorable holiday?

Mum and her teddy bears

Mum and her sister Margaret would put together some Christmas boxes for Samaritans Purse each year. These boxes would include soap, washer, pencils, notepad, a toy and a piece of clothing as well as other things useful for children overseas.

Aunty Marg would make girls skirts while mum would knit teddy bears. But after mum had her stroke and aneurysm, she couldn’t follow patterns or recipes any more, so she would knit headbands and marble bags instead.

We had a friend Margaret Mead who worked with children in Africa as part of her nursing, so mum adapted her knitted bears pattern to make children who were brown for her to take with her, next time she headed to Africa.

Also when the fires burnt down a lot of Dunalley here in Tasmania, mum knitted teddy bears to give to affected students as something for them to keep and play with.

Mum thoroughly enjoyed knitting her teddy bears whilst watching the TV and checking out the window who might be visiting.

Readers: Do you have an interest that keeps you occupied when you are ill?