Recently my younger brother, Brian, came to visit us in Tasmania. We last met in person six years ago. We regularly enjoy video calls and share text/chats online, however, nothing replaces meeting in person.

Ken, Brian & Bron take a break walking up the Hazards to view Wineglass Bay

Covid-19 and all the travel restrictions are partly to blame for us not being able to get together. However, prior to Covid my partner Ken, and I explored the east coast of Australia and enjoyed cruising the South Pacific on our 10m sailing vessel Nichola. Life often gets in the way of good intentions.

Remembering when

Brian and I enjoyed some alone time when I drove him from George Town to Hobart. Our parents and older brother, Robin have all died. We need no reminder about how finite life is.
We talked of old family friends, places we had visited and oh, so many things we had enjoyed together.

Later that evening, as we enjoyed a glass of wine with my family in Hobart we continued to share more of the funny memories. My daughter, Karyn, remarked that she wished she had recorded our stories so that my one-year-old granddaughter, Isabelle could enjoy them later.

Brian recalls giving up smoking at 5

One of the stories that always gets a laugh is when Brian recalls visiting a Mrs Castle on the occasion of her 90th birthday. Our mother, Joan Hosie, was a Reuters correspondent/news reporter and had gone to do the story of the lady’s life.

Brian, who was five years old at the time, asked her how come she had lived so long. Her reply was that she had never smoked in her life.
Brian declared to everyone present that he would give up smoking then.

It turned out that Robin, our older brother, and Brian had been sneaking our parent’s cigarettes and smoking them behind the old outside toilet.

My 17-year-old granddaughter, Taylah, was horrified to think of a five-year-old child smoking.

Children copy their parents.

In the 1950s almost everyone smoked.

We were unaware of the implications of smoking.

I, personally, never smoked because I couldn’t stand the smell.

Children copy adults

Here is the worrying thing:

If, at five years old my brother was copying our parents smoking, what about today’s generation who copy their parent’s addiction to electronic devices?

Make time for your older family members

Most people live full lives, especially when they are trying to juggle raising a family and earning enough money to live comfortably. Catching up with older relatives tends to be at the bottom of the list, Christmas family get-togethers tend to be alternated with ‘his’ and ‘her’ relatives.

Video calls are great, grandparents, uncles and aunts really enjoy watching kids grow up.

Better than the phone calls and texts is being able to hug the ones you love.
Make time for your children to really get to know their older relatives. Most of us have lived lives very different to children of today. Don’t let those stories get lost.

Families in Ukraine

In Ukraine images of empty prams & strollers signify children lost in the war

Russia’s war on Ukraine fills me with unbelievable horror. That one man is able to cause so much suffering is beyond my reasoning.

My heart breaks for all the families who have lost loved ones, their homes and livelihoods.

share your love

Pick up the phone, no, wait, you don’t even have to pick it up – chances are you are reading this on your phone!

Contact those family members that you love and care about. Don’t leave it too late.