|Dad (right) and his friend John Harwood on the Heafy Track. Like his beret!
|Dad (left) with his friends from the bank. Like his cravat!
|Dad and Mum at opening of Wellington Airport, 1959. Mum made her dress
|Dad (middle) at age 17 with his siblings, Leo, Mary, Gabriel, Chris and Paula.
|My sister Sharon and Dad in the back yard
|My brother Tony and I went as tourists off a cruise boat. Very fun costume to wear for dancing
|Lead me to the buffet, baby!
|Mum with grandkids, Leah and Finn. They wore t-shirts with pic of Dad roller blading
|Reece, Kerry and other sister Pietra came as Edwardian bathers.
|Not sure what's going on here but involving speeches
|The day came good
You know my technique by now: I stayed off the booze for a couple of hours, so as not to blow my arse. Then tried to be vigilant about not being "over-served" by the bartender.
Not so with the tuis outside who kept sipping on the blooms from the Fire Tree: they get drunk on it and fall out of the tree!
|Drunken Tuis outside celebrating Dad's 80th
Dad spent most of the winter months last year in the old toy room writing a book about the first years of his life. (He published 1000 copies for $1,000 through the local Whakatane Beacon newspaper, which I thought was jolly good value.) His family moved from Manchester, England to Bahrein and then to NZ. At age 16, he did not do well in his exams and his parents were very short of money, so he was sent to work on the Cobb Dam for a year. It was extremely hard yakka, as they say, but it sorted him out. He saved money and returned to school, determined to pass his exams.
|The cover photo from when Dad's family was in Eqypt
Dad is pretty hale and hearty, still doing his walk over the hill bike rides, and golf I asked him what kept him so fit.
"Doing exercise every day."
He thought more.
"Not eating or drinking too much."
Thought some more.
"Cutting back on food and drink now and again."
"Honestly, I think it's genes."