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The Day Before Yesterday: 137 - Crocodile Tears

...The children were very excited, especially the two younger girls. Linda had the habit of biting her nails. No amount of coaxing or threatening seemed to stop this child who had had this problem for years. Cliff was watching her this day and she quickly hid her hand behind her back. "You know" he began, "the Captain always stands at the gang plank to welcome everyone on board. He inspects everyone's hands and if he sees anyone who bites their nails, they aren't allowed on board.''...

Gladys Schofield and her family prepare for the move to New Zealand.

Susan had been a great help to me during this year. She would take her little brother for walks and even take him on the bus with her to visit her friends.

The Picture Houses were having a hard time now everyone watched TV. We had coloured television now. Some Picture Houses were turned into Bingo Halls as this was very popular, everyone went at that time. Cliff and I went a time or two on Saturday evening, Susan caring for Mark. We were only away about two hours but it was a nice change and a bit of excitement, especially if you got a small win.

We had the chance to try Australia also and with my family making their way to that part of the world, I wondered if we had chosen wisely. The reason I changed my mind was a letter from my brother Alan. He had gone to Australia twelve months ago and they were still living in a transit camp with their family. They had found this very uncomfortable, Alan not being able to find a job in his profession. He had flown to Auckland to see if they had better prospects, leaving Mary and the children in the camp for the present. He had found a good job straight away and was now getting a home together, so that he could send for his wife and family. Alan begged us to try New Zealand, saying it was better than Australia, so I felt easier knowing my brother would be there, even though he was at the other end of the country.

Some of my family who had emigrated had had a sea journey, while others were flown to their destination. I had been wondering just when and how we would travel. It was all planned by the Emigration Office. The time and way you travel is planned months ahead to give you plenty of time to sort out all the things you need to do when leaving a country. We would have to sell the house that had brought so much pleasure. Information about our travel came about the time our youngest son was one. We were booked on a large liner, its name was the 'Canberra'. We were to sail on the thirty first of May, the following year. That gave us six months to sell the house and most of the contents. We were allowed a certain amount of luggage travelling by sea, so most of our personal possessions went with us.

The children were very excited, especially the two younger girls. Linda had the habit of biting her nails. No amount of coaxing or threatening seemed to stop this child who had had this problem for years. Cliff was watching her this day and she quickly hid her hand behind her back. "You know" he began, "the Captain always stands at the gang plank to welcome everyone on board. He inspects everyone's hands and if he sees anyone who bites their nails, they aren't allowed on board.''

Linda must have given this a lot of thought, she had grown lovely long nails by the day we did sail and although she found the threat to be untrue, she never again bit her nails.

She would sometimes try to get the better of her dad and could switch the tears off and on very quickly. We called them 'Crocodile Tears'. This day she saw her dad about to go to town, as he drove the car down the drive, "Can I go with you?" she called. "Hurry up and get ready quickly. I have not got all day" her dad replied. "I'm not going with you for saying that", Linda said and ran into the house thinking Dad would come after her but he didn't. "Alright then" he said and continued on his journey, as she gazed after him in a flood of tears.

Our youngest child was proving to be very bright. Whether we should thank the electric shock or had we been very lucky with our brood. Whatever the reason, he was very independent at an early stage. At twelve months he had the habit of climbing the steps on his own, then turning around and holding the banister with one hand, walking forward down each step. He hated anyone to put a restraining hand out saying "I can do it, mine self, (his talking like the others was very early). We placed a rug at the foot of the stairs as he could have had a nasty fall but he didn't.

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