Author Koh Lin ◦
Memories of our dad…
I am not sure when my interest in flora and fauna began, although I do have childhood memories of gardens with carnations, and cabbages and a neighbour who had a golden peasant. Whilst my memories of my childhood are few and scattered, with the advent of digital photography I have been able to capture and preserve my memories in digital format. In particular some of the wonderful sights I have seen, from landscapes and to the things contained within them. Looking back at these images, I find it easier to recall and they still stir things in my heart and soul.
So it is I recall my childhood, that appear as vignettes in my mind. My childhood may not have been a usual one, as we were always on the move every few years, which didn’t seem to matter as we grew up with loving parents and siblings that got on.
I have memories of my mother always having a green thumb, always cooking (memories of butterfly cup cakes and jam tarts) and a seamstress (although tailoress may be the more modern word). My father was always there, even when he was on a posting away from home, although that last time before he retired is another story entirely.
We must have had a good family life as I remember happiness and a childhood that always had animals in it, specifically animals in our home. I have that earliest memory of the injured crow in England, rescued from the fields behind our house, to the tortoise that escaped from its previous owners, and the huge guinea pig called Jackie (she seem to know her name when we called to her). Whilst in Germany we also adopted a dog Mitzy for a while.
As I am typing this, I hear Bread in the background, singing the song ‘Everything I Own’… Written by David Gates from the band Bread, in 1972, it was written in memory of his father who died in 1963 before achieving success with the group. Indeed the song time stamped a decade where I remember the various pets we had for however short a time.
It wasn’t till decades later as an adult, that I realised how great my parents were and in particular a father who loved me, as I went through my difficulties into adulthood. His influence was strong, caring even if I did wrong. Influencing my broad taste in music, providing the right advice when I spoke of deep secrets, knowing me better then I knew myself.
On retirement, my father took us all to Australia to live, his brother already lived here with his family. It was then that my love of flora and fauna and the natural world around us grew, and meeting my life partner to share this enjoyment.
So it is here, that I look through some digital photos left by my father. Some shared to me to use as I wish. Among these photo memories from my father, I include some of his images of wildlife in his backyard… I particularly loved his lorikeets photos and the two sitting on the post… whenever I look at this photo, I think of dad…