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Edition 57 – 25

It’s funny how a family commences its being, don’t you think? For us, it was Christmas Eve, 1990 in a suburban backyard in South Western Sydney. I’d been invited to a barbecue and I rocked up, hair moussed to the max, and sat myself down next to this nice young blonde lady who was sitting next to her father. Kind of hard to chat someone up when the chaperone is on the case, but I’m up for a challenge.

The evening went well. It turned out this young lady was visiting from the UK. Her sister, who I knew vaguely, was Mum to her second child and the family were visiting over Christmas.

Back then, there was no text messaging or Facebook. You had to do things the old way, like phone the house of the family of where the young lady was staying, work your way through the gatekeepers on the other end (given that the guest never usually answers the phone in the house anyway), and pluck up the courage to invite the young lady out on a date.

When you did turn up for the first date, you were greeted at the door by the young lady’s mother who, embarrassingly for her and disturbingly for me, greeted me by some other gentlemen’s name, only to do a 180 degree turn and run back into the house. Was that a faux par on her part, or a reflection of the fact that my date was enjoying the company of other gentlemen? I hoped the former.

A couple of dates later, the holiday ended for the young blonde and she was soon heading back to cold and snowy London. We promised to keep in touch, you know, the old way – by writing letters and making sure you sent them air mail so they arrived in, maybe, 10 days. We agreed to meet halfway to see how things were travelling. It’s why I have a fondness for Los Angeles, where big decisions are made, not just in the movie game.

In November 1991, the young lady arrived in Australia and on Sunday the 16th of February, 1992, Trish and I were married at Roslyn Gardens in Peakhurst, New South Wales.

In 1996, we welcomed Callum into the world – he was late and even then took his time. Later that year, we very suddenly lost Trish’s Dad, Wal, who had emigrated in 1993 along with his wife Peggy. Peggy came and lived with our family from that night for more than 11 years.

In late 1999, we were blessed when Fraser came along – he of the early and determined birth. We welcomed dogs, mostly Boxers, the most playful of the canine world. We moved houses and even built one.

The boys grew up, my hair departed, and the young blonde bloomed into a beautiful, loving, caring Mum who devoted her time and energies to her two boys and to looking after her own Mum, who was slowly losing the battle against the longest of goodbyes. In 2012, Peggy left us and the boys experienced their first real sense of loss. Growing up with their grandmother, our two sons experienced the kind of family life that very few others have the privilege of enjoying.

To today. 2017. This week, we are celebrating our 25th anniversary by cruising the Caribbean. Callum will be 21 in April and is part way through his degree at the University of Wollongong. Fraser has commenced his final year of High School and is enjoying the possibilities of what post school life might look like. I’m revelling in the new chapter in my business life as I continue to immerse myself in the Families and the Businesses that I have come to know and enjoy the company of.

And Trish is there, beside me. Supporting me. Providing the love and guidance that helps me through every day and has done for 25 years.

This Week’s Tip

Happy Anniversary Baby, got you on my mind
– Little River Band..