Saturday, 22 October 2011

Rolling Hills 1

I was born and brought up in Dunedin. A city that will always hold a special place in my heart!

From Left to Right [Catherine, Margaret, Bernard, Vincent, Paul]
 The oldest of 5 I often felt an over burdening responsibility as peacemaker in a troubled household. Our dad was the rock in a tumultuous relationship and sadly due to my mum's ill health was the brunt of verbal and at times physical attacks. Having said this though there are many happy memories and experiences I look back on during my growing years.

A fond early memory is when my sister and I got our first bikes and dad taught us how to ride them. We would often go out around the neighbourhood and at the local park to work on our riding skills.

I was most fortunate as a young lad to be given opportunities in music and speech that would ultimately shape my life. It was a regular school holiday event to be involved in local competitions for speech, singing and piano. I was extremely talented and hard working and won countless cups. There were so many that my parents finally gave up replacing them with miniature trophies on their yearly return. My sister and I were that good we invariably won everything we entered. We were especially good together singing duets that you will get to hear on another occasion.

One of the most memorable successes was when I had the lead part of Hansel and the girl I had a crush on got the part of Gretel. They were happy but somewhat scary times on stage in front of hundreds in the old Mayfair Theatre. The gingerbread house with real lollies that Hansel and Gretel got to nibble on sticks out as a highlight of the show. Also cuddling up to Gretel in the song Evening Prayer has special significance. I mean to say I was a normal hot blooded young boy. Trying to hit the high note in Rice Blamange mostly unsuccessfully caused some worries and upsets and in the end it was decided to speak it instead.

Thanks to our mother us children had been given opportunities to perform and develop our musical talents. She instilled a passion that has remained with me all my life. Music is an essential part of who I am and has impacted in countless ways to shape decisions I've made and directions I've taken. To you mum I will be eternally grateful!

Click here to listen to Rolling Hills from my musical Seems Only Yesterday


Lea said...

What a lovely post! I'm sorry to hear of the troubled times, but thankfully you also have lots of happy memories. And what great opportunities you have had to develop the passion that you now share with so many! So how old were you when you were Hansel and your school crush was Gretel? I don't think I ever did anything alongside my school crushes...

Paul said...

I think I was about 12 years old. The show was a lot of work but an amazing experience! I have been fortunate to find a job with a ready audience to share my love for music!

Becky said...

I went through several years in my late 20's-early 30's where I got so focused on the negative things in my childhood that I felt I was never happy. Then one days I decided to just forget them and put my focus back on the here and now and the happy memories of the past... makes for a much happier me now. I love reading your stories of your family and life experiences.

Don't unplug your hub said...

A nice tribute to both your parents Paul.

Ron aka TheOldGeezer said...

Your blessed to have such positive memories about your childhood and family. Many are not so fortunate.

God bless and have a wonderful week :-)

*The Old Geezer Blog