What follows is a short story from Rosemary’s past. After talking with her, I have taken our discussion and turned it into a series of small stories highlighting the incredible life that she has led. Direct quotes from our discussion are highlighted in quotation marks. All else is a retelling written by yours truly.
Three weeks is a long time to be on the water, especially for someone who hasn’t ever really been on a cruise before.
Sure it was relaxing. And not having to deal with the children every second of every day was nice. But for a farm girl used to action, the journey by boat from England to Australia was a luxury that could be lived without.
Cocktail parties with the other first-class passengers meant needing to dress up. The illustrious opportunity to dine at the captain’s table – an opportunity, it seemed, given to each first-class passenger once – was an honour, but it was also a bit of a faff. It was an experience to be had, to enjoy, to soak up, and then from which to move on. It was not an experience Rosemary particularly desired to relive. Rosemary was a woman of action, who preferred travelling and exploring to relaxing in the sun.
But there was one party Rosemary remembered with fondness. It was a party for the children in the day-care. Though the time with just her and Bill was nice, she still loved the moments when she got to play with her children. In this particular party Rosemary remembered that the kids had to dress up in costumes for a competition. Well, on a boat, heading to a new home with nothing but what they needed, Rosemary and Bill weren’t exactly prepared for arts and crafts.
It was time to be creative. A visit to the shop on boat brought in the necessary tools. It might have been Bill’s idea but Rosemary assured me she thought it was hers. Either way, Rosemary got to creating. A wearable billboard for each child.
One spelled R E A D I N G.
One spelled R I T I N G.
One spelled R I T H M A T I C.
The three R’s.
It was a hit and Rosemary – or more appropriately, Rosemary’s children – won second prize. Who came first, she couldn’t remember. What they won, she couldn’t remember. Probably sweets or something, she tells me.
Just another clue that Rosemary cared little for the pomp and ceremony. It was about the creativity, the spending time with the children, the building of something with your own hands.
Other than that, few memories stood out too much for Rosemary. After passing the Suez Canal – the significance of which she only realised after the fact – the journey sped up and got a bit bumpier. Bill got a little more seasick. Rosemary continued to relax and read and keep herself busy.
They made their way to Peth and after a short stop off for a few hours (little did they know at the time that Perth would be yet another destination on their laundry list of homes), Rosemary and Bill got back on the boat.
A couple of days later they arrived in Melbourne.
Stay tuned for more stories from the life of Rosemary. Please note: these stories will not necessarily hold any chronological grounding. They are designed as snippets of understanding into the life of Rosemary and while some will hold chronology, others may not.
Photo Credit: The photo in the logo was provided by Matt Hardy on Unsplash. It is an image of the waters off of Bondi Beach, which I suppose is appropriate given Bill and Rosemary’s destination. Anyway, if you would like to see more of their work, click here.