Sunday, September 16, 2012

Monday. Tales from Never Land

I mentioned last week that I would be doing a posting feature based around the life stories given to me by my Grandfather, this is the first item in the series and tells of how my Grandparents met.

It's an incredibly beautiful story right out of the pages of a romance novel and 'Tales from Never Land' is the name he gave to the collection, an amalgamation of their two names. 

My Grandparents on their wedding day (on the left of course!) 

'Horse Sense' 
The only horse-power I have ever owned has run on either two or four wheels and my few attempts to make use of the other variety have usually left me red-cheeked - the butt of jokes or sore butted.  So naturally on the morning of the 29th July 1951, I was astride my trusty two-wheeled iron steed - a truly beautiful Ariel Deluxe.

It was different from other days. Not only was it Sunday - it was a day of destiny.

As the Methodist minister in Innisfail I had on the previous evening been host to a group of interstate visitors for a special youth celebration. Today the celebration was moving to Etty Bay where I would join them for lunch when my parish duties were completed.

Etty Bay
And so I was sitting easily in the saddle moving towards the shade of the trees that skirted the beach, when I became aware of another rider bearing down upon me. From her superior position, the stranger gave the impression of competence born from long practise. Alas it was not so - the bay was not entirely under control. In fact had it not been for my brave steed blocking the way she may well have found herself astride a runaway.

No shrinking violet, she identified herself and allowed her obvious charm and striking looks to impact upon this startled and hapless male. My first impression was of a vision in brown shorts lemon tee-shirt and Grecian sandals exquisitely complemented by the golden tan of her limbs and the beauty of her face.

I truly do not remember another thing about that afternoon except that her horse and my “horse-power” returned to their respective places under other hands while she and I travelled back to Innisfail together. Now, that’s horse sense!

In the evening she appeared in a pink gown embroidered with pearls and in the fashion of the day a grosgrain hat to match. I was dazzled. Six weeks later Esme had her twentieth birthday and I bought her a very special gold watch. We got to know each other much better during those days but it was not until the banana cake that I proposed.

Actually I was recovering from a motor-cycle accident and so may have been particularly vulnerable but I always have said, it really was the banana cake. Subsequently I had doubts that she had really made it as it was many years before another banana cake appeared.

We married five months later on 20 March 1952. But that is part of another story and will have to wait for another time.

an Ariel motorcycle the twin of the bike ridden on the fateful day

This is the first Tale in the series and it actually did happen as it is told. I do not recall ever having seen Esme before though I had been to the bank where she worked.
Esme was at the beach that day because she was upset with her boyfriend and her father had suggested a visit to the beach instead of staying at home.
The horse belonged to her brother. He suggested she have a ride.
The horse really was in control. He had a hard mouth and she couldn’t hold him. So half a second either way and we might never have met.

I hope you enjoyed that first one as much as I did! I wish Joel and I had a more romantic story than 'we met at the uni bar' but speaking of next Monday marks our one year wedding anniversary I am hopping to put together a fun little photo shoot but we will see how we go ;)  


  1. That is sooooooooo beautiful Em.
    My hubby was my 19th Birthday present!!!
    Have a great day......
    Tania xx

    1. that sounds like an interesting story Tania! do tell :)

  2. Oh my gosh, this is so cute and romantic! the way he describes her, swoooon!
    such a cool idea for a series!

    Angie ||

    1. I know! and they are still very much in love after 60+ years AMAZING! :)