Sunday, September 7, 2008

Virtual visit of places of my youth

It's fascinating to be able to use Google Maps while sitting here in Choranche, on the edge of the French Alps, to visit virtually various places in the Australian town of Grafton where I was born. I must warn you now that the rest of this blog post is likely to be more boring than watching your neighbors' color slides of their latest vacation.

Here's the house in Waterview, South Grafton, where I spent the first dozen years of my life:

My Walker grandmother and uncles lived just across the road in this charming house surrounded by wide verandas:

One of my sisters said quite rightly that it was as if our mother, in marrying our father, had never really left home, because she could return to her mother, whenever she had a problem, simply by crossing the road.

This little grocery shop was already there when we were kids, just a couple of hundred meters down the road:

It sold us basic survival food such as peanut butter. And here's a second shop, closer to South Grafton:

It was run by a friendly young woman named Shirley Zietsch. Just opposite her shop, the Royal Hotel was the starting-point for Saturday afternoon cycling races:

On the other side of the Clarence River, this is the house of my paternal grandparents:

I would stay with them every Monday night, so that I could attend the Cub Scout meetings. Later my grandparents built a new house in Robinson Avenue:

Etc, etc, etc... I warned you it would be boring! But don't you agree that it's fabulous to be able to use computers, satellites and a planetary network to waste time looking nostalgically at childhood places?

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