Most of My Family

Here we are, another happy family at a happy family get together!   My oldest brother Nick (43) on the left - no he's not autistic, just momentarily distracted - middle brother Robert (41), mother and myself (39).   We're at a barbecue at Nick's house which he's kindly put on in my honour during my first trip back to New Zealand in five years, at the beginning of 2003.   I seem to recall that the frivolity in this photo was primarily due to a heartfelt desire on all of our parts for Margaret, my mother's sister, to get this photo over and done with!

And here's Margaret!   She couldn't understand why it took me until October to get these family photos up on my website.   Well, Margaret, here's the reason - hardly any of them turned out!   Somehow my ultra fancy digital cameras did an extraordinarily bad job of handling something any $10 point and shoot camera can do with ease!

Unfortunately I didn't get a photo of mum's other sister who lives in New Zealand, Jenny, or her husband Laurie, nor of Margaret's husband Grant.   And as for Margaret's more or less adult sons - well, they're far too cool to waste time with their ancient cousin.  I'd guess that in ten more years their coolness will have strengthened enough to survive getting into close proximity with me for more than two minutes!

When I got back to Chicago and saw how awful the photos were, I thought for sure that I must have had the shutter speed set too low, and so all the blurriness was caused by camera shake; but no, the camera records the shutter speed and all the other settings, and everything was fine.

Turns out that the fancy low-light lens which I bought especially for indoor shots was a dud and didn't focus properly.

So here all the photos are, fixed up as best as I could get them, but looking like a three year old's efforts.

This vision of loveliness is Kate, sister to Robert's partner Sue.

And here's Sue herself, with son Charles.   Sue also expressed some degree of surprise that I had been so active adding insects to my website, but not family.   Well, Sue, now you know why, and my apologies for somehow giving your hair a blue rinse, and having you end up with strange green marks on your hand and arm.

Charles was singularly unimpressed by the presence of his Uncle Richard from the far off land of America, even though I did bring him a present from Australia.

I did manage to get the attention of Charles' baby sister Frances, even if only momentarily, and even if only by bribery!

I'm sure that Frances was really more comfortable with grandma - this is Mary, Sue and Kate's mother.

And here's husband Reg, with those mysterious green things again.   This would have been a very good photo, except for those ghostly blobs - and the blurriness, and the blown-out background.

My mother gave up the glamorous world of movie stardom and international trend-setting to raise us boys - but as you can see that sense of style and poise stays with a person forever.

Here's my dad, with lady friend Pom, out the back of the Thai restaurant where Pom is the head chef.   Best photo on the page, made all the more embarassing by the fact that it was taken by someone else, using my cheapest and most amateur camera!

Robert again, taking very seriously his fatherly responsibilities to teach the children what's important in life.   Here he is at dad's place, imparting to Charles the importance of always having charge over the TV remote control.   This is a lesson which men all over the world need to master or otherwise live vapid and mocked lives.

Robert and Charles with remote controls

Frances is keeping a close eye on dad and big brother, and she too has begun learning this vital life skill...