cousins

snippet #2

Who’d have guessed that a desire to meet my British cousins would lead to an overland trip from Kathmandu to London. I’d worked two jobs whilst at school to pay board since 15 yo. So after school I took on three jobs and had my savings topped up by an insurance pay out. A drunk had sent me flying from my motorbike into another car.

My paternal grandmother came from Dudley in UK. She nursed my grandfather when he was wounded in WWI. He told that he had nothing and lived in the middle of nowhere. She was well educated from a strong line of female high achievers.

Unable to comprehend his situation she caught an ocean liner down under to marry her ex-patient. Accompanied by another nurse, Lillie, who married a NZ soldier met under similar circumstances. When she realized the severity of his situation, he was widowed with adult children from his first marriage. She insisted on travelling back to UK by sea – afraid of flying – every two years to visit her family. Each time she took her daughter, my aunt Beryl, father felt abandoned … more on this later.

The freight ship I’d booked my passage with informed that they had an all male crew and passengers. They gave me a full refund suggesting that I take another mode of transport. Cousin John inspired me to take his dream overland trip, I had no idea or expectations. But I did want to see the Taj and Venice.

Having grown up in Australia with long family road trips and frequent camping, it was a lifestyle I was more familiar with. The ship passage had been my grandmother, Nancy’s, preferred mode of travel and I had wanted to travel in her footsteps. But like most of my life when handed a lemon I made lemonade!

38 comments

  1. I have cousins I met after my 20s – it’s like finding something important that you didn’t know you’d lost. That said, the last time I got into a boat for 1 hour, I turned this light shade of green. It’s when I learned that the expression “green face” is actually true.
    I also believe that the older generation had more gumption than today’s. Yes, they lived harder, but they lived their life, as opposed to today’s generation who live a virtual life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • you could be right there Jina … I’ve been at sea during a hurricane so I’ve seen those green faces and copious vomiting. But I loved the sheer wildness of it all 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Catching up with distant cousins, can be fun and definitely adventurous, as I found out two and half years ago when I traveled to New York and Philadelphia to see my cousins for the first time … it was such an exciting and wonderfully satisfying trip …

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, sounds like quite an adventure Kate. It’s interesting to read these snippets, as they are insight into what shaped you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What great adventures! And not surprised you made lemonade from the lemons. 🙂
    Your grandmother sounds like a such an amazing and special lady! I love when we have women like her in our lives to help us figure out that we can find our way in the world. 🙂
    I look forward to hearing more!
    (((HUGS))) 🙂
    PS…gorgeous photo…layers of Nature with the sun being the star of the show! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. This sounds like the beginning of an exciting tale, Kate…

    Speaking of cousins, I was reunited with one of mine on Saturday after 25 years! It seemed like only yesterday 😅

    Liked by 1 person

    • lol I try to do it with eyes open, she really had no idea what she was coming out to … will have to describe my grandfathers living arrangements, offgrid in the middle of wild aussie bush with all those dangerous deadly snakes and spiders lurking …

      Liked by 1 person

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