May 14, 2023 · 5:33 pm
This old photo is pretty faded and scratched but the main reason I chose to share it with you on Mother’s Day is that it’s a rare one showing together in a row three generations of women in my family who were mothers to me – Mum, Nanna Francesca and Great-Granny Maddalena.
I’m showing my age here but some may know what this photo is about – taken on the day of my Holy Communion. (I’m not sure kids would dress like this now but we did then, 40+ years ago!!) 😊 This is at my parents’ Red Hill worker’s cottage in Brisbane and the rest of the relatives joined us afterwards for a big lunch at trestle tables underneath the house.
For me, looking at this photo it’s great to see the old picket fence, the pawpaw trees and that the Hills Hoist again made its way into one of our family photos, this time with pegs! And I love Nanna and Granny’s handbags and Dad’s 1970s style suit.
Most of all, I feel fortunate to have had behind me, in every sense of those words, these three strong, beautiful women, all feisty, all characters, and all who gave me so much in the time I had with them. (Grandma Lorna too, Mum’s mum, another strong woman in my life, who happily made this dress for me, though she wasn’t Catholic.) I’m so grateful for them all, Dad and Nonno Anni too. And while it has been such a very long time since I’ve been able to share a Mother’s day with any of them, each year I think of them all with much love. Grazie di cuore. ❤️ Zoe xx
Filed under inspiration + history
Tagged as family history, grandmothers and granddaughters, grandmothers and great grandmothers, growing up Italian Australian, Holy Communion, Italian family history, Italian-Australian, mother's day stories, mothers and grandmothers, my Italian Australian life, Nonni
Dec 23, 2019 · 4:16 pm
Thinking of all those volunteering and working over this time when many get to take a break. It still amazes me how my grandparents opened their milk bar and fruit shop 7 days a week from early morning ‘til late at night with only two days a year off – for 20 years straight! And then ‘scaled back’ to 5 days a week for the following years.
Nonno Anni worked for 36 years before his first holiday and Nanna Francesca wasn’t far behind. It makes me feel blessed and so grateful to write for a living, something I dreamed of from when I was 7 and found out the stories that I loved writing could actually be a job.
Thank you for your lovely comments and messages throughout the year. It is always wonderful to hear from you. Fingers crossed I have some book news I can share with you in 2020! In the meantime, whether you are working, volunteering or taking time out over this time, please stay safe and all the very best for the coming year. Tante belle cose! Zoë xx
Filed under inspiration + history
Tagged as Australian history, Australian landscape, Australian migrants, family stories, Italian family history, Italian family life, Italian migrants, Italian-Australian, migrant families, migrant life, migrant stories, migrants, milk bar, Nonni, working during holidays, working over Christmas
Jun 17, 2019 · 11:35 am
My grandparents, circa 1950.
…small moments of beauty.
Filed under art + photographs
Tagged as 1950s, 1950s Australia, Australian life, candid photos, family history, Italian Australia, Italian migrants Australia, migrant stories, Nonni, old family photos, old photographs Brisbane, picnics, playing cards, small moments of beauty
Apr 23, 2019 · 12:14 pm
Came across this in an old, cardboard box of photographs of my grandmother’s:
Fossa, 1975 – Nonno Anni looking melancholy (his first time there again since 1939), and Nanna Francesca, sleeves rolled, her usual harried look when about to get back to a pot on the stove or the washing or something. So very them.
Have kept it in a frame on my wall and whenever I wish I could seek their advice or miss just having a chat, it’s a comfort to remember how they were at times. (I think Nanna Francesca had almost this same look peering from the doorway when I arrived in Fossa for the first time 20 years later!!) xx
Filed under art + photographs, italy
Tagged as family histories, family stories, Fossa Abruzzo, influence of grandparents, Italian family stories, Italian migrant families, migrant stories, Nonni, Nonni Abruzzo, Nonni Italia