'I'm always looking for the Hows and the Whys and the Whats,' said Muskrat, 'That is why I speak as I do. You've heard of Muskrat's Much-in-Little, of course?'
'No,' said the child. 'What is it?'
- The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban.

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Wednesday, 14 January 2009

My Uncle


There is a very special man in my life. He is gentle, kind, and although I've not seen him for a long time, he still means so much to me. My uncle.
I grew up as the oldest grandchild of two sets of grandparents. It seemed I had Greats and Grands galore, all older and rather Victorian, and many putting pressure upon me to conform to a "good little girl" mould that, to a large extent, I obeyed.
But my uncle was wonderful. He accepted me, was kind to me, and made me laugh. I remember when he was still at high school, and showed me how to pull up your socks and then put your knees together to check the tops were the same height. He did neat things like showing me the trick of the broken finger illusion, and told me never to swallow chewing gum or it would wrap itself around your heart (I wasn't even allowed chewing gum!). He made a pull-down desk for himself, with a chain that stopped it going too far, and he let me read his MAD magazines. Wow!
It was a bit like having a brother.
Later he went flatting and sent lots of photos of himself and his flatmates doing funny things, and with comments on the back of each one like "Now, if I stand here, the fence won't fall down". He had a motorbike, and learnt to play the guitar, and formed his own band, playing in pubs. He traveled overseas for a long time.

He was, and is still, my hero.


8 comments:

  1. Lovely post. I love the pictures.

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  2. To live life so as to be remembered fondly and cherished by those whose lives you've touched is to live well indeed, as your uncle has.

    Your remembrance of your uncle reminds us to take care to show special attention.

    Thank you for this post.

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  3. wow - that is an amazing post. I hope when my nephews and nieces grow up they have fond memories of me like that - I have to work on it now - thanks for sharing this.

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  4. Katherine, this is such a touching,heartfelt post. Your uncle sounds like a wonderful man!

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  5. Aw .. ! He sounds like a great Uncle, and yes, perhaps more like a brother, but (speaking as someone who grew up with two of those) without the bad bits.

    Sounds like you need to go visit someone. ;)

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  6. You haven't seen him in a long time? If he is in NZ I think you should make a point of meeting up with him again some time soon. Naughty Katherine for leaving it so long!

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  7. What a nice uncle you have. Most of my uncles are strict and a bit boring. But still I have learned a lot from them.Great post!

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  8. I think it is the influence of so many good people in our lives, especially when we are young that help us become the people we are, their help along the way is precious, character building and life enhancing - we should pass it on - as the saying goes 'he (she) aint heavy he (shes) my brother (sister, daughter, son, neice etc) - what a lovely post.

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