Gyp-Zine, Stories


Lately I have been thinking of ways to stall time with my folks, ways to capture their story and their voices. Mostly when I ask about things from their past my mother says she can’t remember which now, only as I start to not remember a bloody thing, I actually believe her. She is a wise, down to earth, matter of fact old bird and on this rare occasion she actually let me interview her. Let me proudly introduce you to Nancy.

How hard was it raising a family and working the land?

In hindsight very hard, but at the time didn’t we think about it …

What role did you each play as parents? Were they more traditional roles and how did that come about?

Dad not only worked the farm but had to have another job to pay for the farm so I helped run the land and did the paper work while looking after you children, but to me that was no chore. I loved it. Dad of course loved spending time with you all when he could.

Would you say raising a family today is more stressful, or does it seem easier?

More pressures today. Life was a lot simpler in our day and of course a lot safer, although you have so many mod cons but you also work so much more. The father was the bread winner in our day and the Mother’s work was in the home.

What advice would you give new grandparents?

My advice to new grandparents is to spend as much time as you can with your grandchildren when they are young. We learn a lot from them especially about technology .

What was it that your parents taught you about life that you have carried with you?

Growing up our parents were hard workers and instilled in us that if we wanted something we had to work for it but anything was possible if we worked hard enough. That you needed to take the good with the bad. That life is not easy.

You have been married for over 40 years now, how the hell is that possible?

Just lucky I guess, all marriages have their ups and downs ….and we made a vow for better or worse and the bottom line is we cannot imagine life without each other.

You have frozen in time around the age of fifty to me, it’s only every now and then I look at you both and go wow they are OLD. Jokes. You will always be fifty in my eyes. I’m not sure why that is. You must feel the same way when you are looking at us. If you could freeze time would you? What would that moment be?

It would be the time with you children when you were all about three, five, and seven. You were all so damn cute. Julene being the little mother to you and Craig.

As parents you really have shaped who we are. How we approach life, how we treat others and ourselves. What have your children and or grandchildren taught you?

Our grandchildren have taught us to feel young again. The three of you have broadened our horizons with all your travels and experiences and your love for one another never ceases to amaze us.

Love ya mum xx

Photographer Sam Elsom 
Farm threads from One Teaspoon, Akubra, Isabel Marant, RM Williams, Blundstone