they're very d - i - s - t - a - n - t cousins - from
another branch of the family
and I don't remember
ever having got an email back from them either.
But then as you all know
- we write to a lot of people - that never
So don't be a 'Clampett'
As I told you in the last
letter - I've had a couple of days this week - with running about.
Of course there was the Wednesday shopping - and especially Penny's new heater
to be bought. But the day before - on Tuesday - I made an early run
up to Penrith and St Marys for some appointments and to drop in on a few people - I owed a visit - and
I had an appointment at
the Dentist for 830am - so that meant a very early start from here - to allow
for all the peak hour traffic. Up at 530 - I gave Penny a
farewell hug and patting - and then pointed for her to stay just where she
was on her pillows (there were too many uncertainties to chance taking her - and
then having to leave her for long periods in the car - better she stayed warm
and snug at home. I took the runabout ashore - still in darkness and
Driving out the gate of
the shipyard at 620am - I decided to stick to the motorways - and headed along
King Georges Road all the way to the M4 - at the Homebush Olympic Park - then
heading westward - and a straight run out the Motorway to St Marys and
Well unbelievably - I
drove out the gate at Taren Point at 620am - and into the McDonalds at hometown
St Marys at precisely 720am (the same
day!) - an incredible 1 hour
only for a trip in the morning peak hour that on
even the best of any times and days has taken me much more than
Perhaps I can thank the Pope a little for closing down the
city to traffic - and people being encouraged to use public transport - while
this International Youth Rally is on - and maybe you'll say I was going 'against
the traffic'. But I was only going 'out' of the city - AFTER - I got
to the M4 - for the first half of the trip - I was heading straight in - with
all the commuters - but still moving along nicely.
Anyway - there you go -
and just because I know that probably none of you have ever seen a
McDonalds before - I took some photos - HA! They're sign looks like
carriage you see in the distance - is only a display - in a small
They weren't very busy
And in fact it was so
quiet - one of the original McDonald's U.S. founders
was able to personally
serve me breakfast McMuffins
A couple of hours later -
in a carpark - an unknown couple gave me a 'G'day How are you?' -
and I buoyantly replied - 'I'm doin pretty well - I've already been to the
Dentist, the doctor, and the x-ray - and it's barely gone 930 in the morning' -
and they said - 'You are doing well'.
And it was while waiting
at the Doctor's newly rebuilt - and very flash looking - Renshaw Medical Centre
just off Queen Street St Marys - that I decided to snap a shot of 'Old Doc
Renshaw' himself on the wall - now passed on of course - who while no doubt
having been admitted to Heaven with a good report - may well have had to explain
to the Almighty - that he was the one responsible for 'delivering Rodney Field
into the world' - and all the problems that's caused.
That's right - he
delivered me - 56 years ago.
And it was a good 20
years ago too
with that little baby having grown to become Mayor of the
that I was able to
honour him with a Civic Reception and Dinner on his retirement,
and I recall the
enjoyment and pride of that great evening - he and his wife
It was while chatting with
the doctor's receptionist - who's name I abysmally forgot (well I haven't been
there for a while) - that she said - 'You knew that Beryl Brangwin had passed
Well I was
shocked. I did NOT know that Aunty Beryl Brangwin (just turned
90) had passed away - no-one had told me - and I had no idea - and had driven
past her house that morning - and looked for anyone there. I
was very disturbed to hear this - and at not having attended the funeral - and
resolved immediately to go straight up to see Victor Brangwin her son (our 2nd
cousin) in his Studio shop in Queen Street. Here is a photo of Aunty
Beryl with Victor - taken at last years Spring Festival.
The entire Spring
Festival Album with other photos of them as well - can be viewed
So following on from the
appointments - I walked the distance along Queen Street - and saw Victor - and
partner Jon - at their Birdswood Studio - to say hello and convey my
condolences. Only to find that just a few minutes before they had
sent off an email to me.
A sad purpose initially
- but an uplifting visit for us all -- nonetheless.
And so it was back out
onto Queen Street for a few other 'surprise drop ins'.
And who should I
call in to see next - but old friend Patsy
in her 2nd Hand Clothing
and Collectibles Shop.
I haven't seen or
even spoken to her - this year - since the yacht was launched
and it was good to see
her looking so well - and the shop very vibrant too.
(this photo was taken by
a woman in the shop - that I asked to take a shot for me
and judging on the way
it turned out - I should have gotten her to take ALL my photos for
Here's a nice panorama
of half of her shop - taken with the flash - which turned out OK.
(even despite the
fact I took it myself)
After talking with Patsy
for a while I told her that I still had the last of some boxes of things from
Mum's - like crystal and old silverware that I'd bought back myself from the
Auction years ago - rather than give it away to 'rough scroungers' for
pennies. So she offered to take the things - (including a couple of
vintage 50 year old Underwood Typewriters) and see if she could sell them - but
if she does or doesn't it isn't important - because they were probably bound for
the scrap bin anyway.
So I later went out to
Uncle Maurice's factory - and got a couple of remaining boxes and the
typewriters and dropped them back off at her shop - on my way out of
town. There's also a couple of big 'stuffed Goat's Heads' there too
(you know museum - wall trophy types) - if anyone's interested - but she said
she'd put them in the shop too - if I dropped them in one day.
Well - that left - still
another call to make - and that was to see Paul Mills - at Mills Menswear - to
drop off some stuff for the High School Re-union - that he's going to use in a
presentation - AND - to pick up a brand
new pair of binoculars - he'd told me I could have.
You'll recall - I was
asking around for some old ones - following on from my 'binocular pictures' a
few letters ago. Well he wrote straight back and offered me a
pair. How good is that!!
They are a pair of
Hanimex 7x50's - and just perfect to use on a yacht.
And as you can see Paul
is looking pretty happy and prosperous too.
Of course the first
words out of everybody's mouths when they see me
are always - 'Where's Penny?'
And I have to make all
the excuses as to why I left her at home on the yacht.
But the day was just a
little too uncertain to be bringing her along.
But you try explaining
that to her - and no matter how many new heaters you get
she still doesn't like
being left behind - and missing out on the adventure.
So that was the visit to
St Marys - this time.
Lot's of people to see -
and lot's more we should have seen but didn't,
but we'll go back up
again soon - and catch up on our other friends
and Penny will probably
go to - if she has any say in it.
So bye for now - until
(maybe on you)