This piece appeared in today’s Border Mail feature – Happiness. Part 3 KIDS
I am two and in my father’s arms. He holds me above the smells and cacophony of Sydney’s Paddy’s Market. I am safe and I am happy.
I am still the only child, six months away from welcoming my brother.
The photographic record also shows a little girl perched on a chair in her full-skirted
dress; on a too-big bike, practically dressed in corduroy overalls and blouse, her favourite ‘tea-hat’ on her head and digging in the dirt with a little shovel. Always smiling.
What isn’t seen is the music that fills my world and makes me happy. The songs that drift from the radiogram; mostly the 78 records my father collects and plays. The deep resonance of Paul Robeson through to the warm tones of Vera Lynn, and the riffs and finger-clicking of the original Ink Spots.
And there is my father’s voice as he sings Lanza, Crosby and in the year my brother arrives Mancini and Mercer’s, Moon River, and I wonder if it is this that has given me my love for all things Audrey Hepburn.
I hear that song now. It wraps around me lightly but as warmly as my father’s arms when he held me safe. I am happy.