My brother recently sold his house, so he & family have temporarily moved in with Mum while they find a new house. He & SIL are sleeping in the room I used to share with my sister, so Mum has cleared all the crap out of the top of the wardrobe. Now, I thought I had taken all of my stuff over the years but apparently not - all my teaching stuff has now gone into the recycling bin (I see I habitually handed in assignments late) and I'm now ploughing my way through a box of old letters.
Back in 1983, I was doing my second year of a teaching degree (Early Childhood Education) and Dad was transferred to the Perth office. So Mum and my younger brother went West with him, and I moved into The Granny Flat. The Granny Flat belonged to my aunt's SIL (so known to the family but not actually related to me) and it was probably one of the best year's of my life. I was just developing a circle of friends and a social life, had a little bit of independence but was still being supported by Dad. Most of the letters in the box date back to that time - many of them from my parents....seperate letters as Dad would send me the fortnightly rent & living expenses cheques, and Mum would give me the lowdown on what was happening over there. What a hoot some of them are to read! Dad was only there for the one year in the end; he was sent temporarily to Sydney in 1984 so Mum & bro came back home and so did I, so no more letters from Dad. He passed away very unexpectedly about 5 years ago.....I think I'll be keeping those letters.
There's also heaps of letters from various penpals I had over the years. Now I know the idea of having an overseas penpal is to learn more about their culture, but I just found it incredibly difficult to relate to them, so none lasted very long. But I can see that I wrote to a girl in Barbados for a while (must have sounded very exotic!!), a boy in Scotland, a girl in the US (booooring) and a girl from Malaysia. I've dipped into some of those but will definitely chuck most of them. But the ones I'm enoying the most are from a girl in Melbourne that I wrote to from when we were 13 until we tailed off sometime around 20......I met her in 1983 when she came and stayed with me in The Granny Flat. Re-reading some of those letters has been hilarious - I would LOVE to know what I wrote back to her b/c I lived the most boring life imaginable back then (still do, really) and she seemed so much more sophisticated. It was probably all made up though..... I definitely think I'll hang on to those letters too.
Oh, and I googled her name and the only one I could find was an architect in Sydney. Wonder if that's her? She doesn't strike me as the type to change her name if she married.
And Dad's "temporary" move to Sydney? Lasted about 20 years.