The Locksmith turns 28


On the 29th December 1984  a boy was born.   My first born; the locksmith.

This was a couple of weeks before he entered the world.  I was 27 years old.   The “wardrobe”  was an old thing we’d either inherited or picked up from the footpath on a council rubbish day.  It had funky old drawers on one side and a dowling rod and shelf on the other & it was so heavy it needed 2 men to move it!   I  tried to brighten it up a bit –  I drew everything in pencil first & then used sample pots of paint (which used to be free)  with a tiny little paintbrush.  I remember being especially pleased with the rooster.  .. Emjay pregnant 1984

At 2 months with Grandad (Max)  – the first grandchild:   A year later my brother’s son was born – they are the only two who knew a fully functional grandad.  By the time I had the Economist another year later, dad had had his stroke and was very limited in what he could do.  (As this was still summer I have no idea why my father has that hefty sweater on!)8 weeks

One year old:  (with a little bit of his father)1 year old

March 1987 –  I knitted that sweater!   God, I can’t believe how talented I used to be   🙂      March 87

School Christmas concert  December 1990 (I probably made this intricate outfit too).  –  he looks so angelic….   appearances can be deceiving.Dec 90

Big brother  – December 1992.  Towering above his siblings.  1992

The siblings grew!   The Locksmith, the Princess & the Economist  (taken at a wedding recently – 2012) . The kids (1)

See –  I’m already enjoying my scanning project.



26 responses

  1. I was going to say …

    “Wow, you must have made the headlines in Australia at age two (since you’re only 30 now …)” but you spoiled it by posting your age at that time. See, even when I try to be nice it doesn’t work.

    He must have hated having his birthday right after Christmas.

    • Oh, yeah it must’ve sucked for him (probably still does). I don’t think he ever had a party near the 29th as he was growing up. We’d be exhausted after Christmas and planning New Year celebrations and it always seemed to surprise us that his birthday was there in the middle.

      In my Christmas letter to people this year I wrote that it was hard to believe I had a 28 year old son given that I was pretty sure I was stil only 18…

    • Thank you AB. When I look back at the cupboard now I see so much space that could’ve been filled in! It was so hot that December and, like most Australian households then, we didn’t have air conditioning so it wasn’t as much fun doing it as I thought it was going to be.

  2. Great looking kids you produced! Thanks for sharing the walk through history cos it’s a NICE one! I’m happy to see Pa Aussie in his prime, too. What a looker, bright blue eyes and all.

    • Thanks Lily. The kids look like their father so it’s a good thing I have photos of myself pregnant to prove I had some input! 🙂 Pa Aussie – I like that – it’s nice to find I have so many photos of him with the kids.

    • 20 years makes a difference doesn’t it! The Economist & Princess are dark like their father (he had jet black hair) , the Locksmith is fairer – it’s a bit hard to tell with it being so short and “gelled” here – and he has ginger in his beard (my brother is a red head). The boys are 6’3″ and 6’2″ and the Princess is about 5’10” – she was so small as a youngster.

  3. Awww! It’s always fun to see pics of the peeps’ families! Gorgeous kids and adults! I had my first at age 27, also, but he turned 29 this year! Those childhood years passed way too quickly and I always feel a bit nostalgic and sad that they are over. But…..I am delighted that I have three independent amazing adult children!
    The artwork on the wall is SO cute! I always thought of doing that, but never did!

    • Looking at all these photos I have makes me nostalgic and sad too that the years passed so quickly. The years seem to be over before you can be “in” them. But, as you say, my kids are also independent and amazing and I have to think we mothers had a lot to do with that.

  4. Happy birthday to the locksmith…….I’m assuming he had no difficulty with his entry into the world. 🙂
    How wonderful that you are restoring and saving these photographs. For the children and for us. Looking forward to many more.

    • LOL @ your little joke GOF …. Last night I sorted the albums into “child order” – it’s amazing how many more photos I have of the Locksmith than I do of the other two (even though I thought I was taking a lot of them also!). The Locksmith was the first grandchild on both sides and we lived away from family so lots of photos were requested.

      • That’s typical.

        My oldest sister’s growing up is well documented.

        When my 2nd sister came along 2 years later, there are fewer photos of her, but still plenty to fill a couple of albums.

        Six years after that, when I was born, the novelty had worn off (and the finances were higher) so there are some photos of me at holidays and other major events … with my sisters.

    • Thank you FD. It used to be cheaper to sew & knit than to buy but that changed when Target & K-Mart opened; their prices were low and the poor child didn’t have to wait months while I knitted or sewed. I have a friend who keeps promising to knit me a pair of socks …. in the meantime I flew to Australia, had a trip out west and bought a pair of Alpaca socks in Dubbo!

  5. Happy Birthday to the Locksmith! Your father must have loved being a grandpa. My father wasn’t comfortable holding babies, so we don’t have many photos of him with my kids as infants.

    With the first child, you still have a lot more energy to lavish on things like homemade sweaters and costumes. By #3, you’re so drained the last child is lucky to get the hand-me-downs. I felt a bit bad that my son couldn’t even get those, since he’d been preceded by two sisters: but he did get the advantage of them making things for him. He still gets hand-knitted caps and scarves from his older sister.

    • Yeah dad really did love being a grandad – he was so proud of all the grandchildren (11). I’m sorry that he didn’t live to see his first great grandchild due in March (my brother’s son & wife).

      It surprises me how crafty I was as I can barely sew a button on now! I not only knitted but I also sewed little boys outfits, shirts & trousers (that amazes me!). The Princess did get some hand me downs from the boys – tee shirts, jumpers etc. but I was lucky to have a friend who’d had a girl the same time I’d had the Locksmith and she gave me her daughter’s cast offs until the Princess grew bigger than her daughter!

  6. You have a lovely trio of offspring, Emjay! Happy birthday to the Locksmith; it’s a bit unsettling how fast they grow up (my eldest will be 30 in March(!) I too, have been sorting photos for about 1.5 years now. Sorting, scanning, cleaning them up and sharing. Some cherished memories to revisit. Quite a task but also quite satisfying.

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