We have been reading Dave’s entry about his trip to Big Bay – Over the Hills and Far Away. Dianne Woodward (Dave’s sister) put together the following memories;
We were always carsick on the way due to the condition of the road, but, after a couple of hours sleep I would wake up feeling good and ready for adventure.
Of course I was only 2 years old in 1948 when Dad bought the batch.
Dad still took me fishing in the boat and he tied a rope around the seat of the dingy and the other end around my waist.
Dad threw me over board and I dog paddled to the surface, that was my first swimming lesson.
Both Mum and Carol were not good swimmers.
One fishing trip I remember Dad catching a beautiful fish, I told him not to kill it as it was too pretty. It was a gurnard with its orange body and beautiful wings, Dad just laughed at me.
When Dad wasn’t at Big Bay we used to catch sand piper off the wharf, we had to pull the lines in when the ferry arrived.
One day near Christmas the ferry from Onehunga brought Mum a Christmas gift, a little dog, (Pekinese) it smelt awful.
Mum asked what we should call him; I said Boof and the name stuck.
After he was washed he was a really great little dog.
Another pass time was sitting for hours, while the tide was out looking at the different life in the rock pools.
This was a change from picking pipis and cockles, which were always put into fresh water for a couple of hours, so they would spit out any sand.
There were always numerous relatives and friends around, the batch was always full of people and tents were used as well.
There were also beach parties, with a huge bonfire and Mrs. Langton would dress up as a witch and told us spooky stories.
We also rode on a ski board which Dad towed behind the boat, this was so much fun.
Dave kept teasing me about the fairies and said they lived in a hollow in the side of the cliff by the path that led to the wharf. There was ferns and dripping water in this hollow.
I remember getting old enough to go along the beach at night with Carol and David my big sister and brother,
And the fairies had their lights on, this was so magic, I will never forget it.
Of course they were glow- worms.
Dad also had us collecting “cats eyes” and picked out the most even in size and had a necklace made for Aunt Rachel (Rachel Hogg / Gillis)
Christmas was magic and we had crepe paper to make streamers to decorate the tree and the batch.
I remember putting crepe paper in water to make dye, and dipping the fluffy rabbit’s ear seed pods to make a pretty bouquet for Mum, and tied them up with a hair ribbon.
Dad made wooden planter boxes and we would collect shells and decorate them. There were many hours of fun collecting the shells washing them and gluing them on in different patterns.
We also had fun playing hide and seek in the lupins.
Dragging the net for flounder was really neat.
Mum was always busy baking scones, cakes and bread, or making sandwiches, keeping the numerous people fed, patching up various cuts and scrapes with a smile and a hug.
Everything had a really great flavour from Mum’s basking to the pipis and cockles opened on a piece of corrugated iron over a fire and the fish that were caught, even the sandpiper were delicious.
On rainy days we had numerous board games and colouring books to keep us occupied,
Games like charades were also fun.
Big Bay was a truly magic place to have holiday.
We are so very lucky to have memories of these wonderful times.