Thursday, 11 April 2013

Rolling Hills 1

A short time ago I did a post Getting To Know You and had some great feedback. On this theme I thought I should dig up a post from my last blog as it gives more insight into my beginnings and what makes me who I am. When I looked it up I discovered that of my current followers only Becky has seen it or commented on it. Hope you find it interesting. Please comment with any of your own early experiences that came to mind when reading the following entry.

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


  1. Sunday afternoons...Mum was an excellent piano player,playing things I could only dream about playing...I would turn the pages of her music and listen in awe.However, I could sing,so Mum would play and I would sing....I loved it!
    Jane x

  2. smiles...learning to ride a bike is earn so much in the way of too on the opportunities you had as well...they def played into who you became....

  3. They say that music is the food of love, I also think it is the food of life. It is good that you were given opportunities to do what you love best, be it cycling or music.

  4. What a lovely lot of memories :-)

  5. What a beautiful retrospective piece...ah memories.

  6. Just this morning, I read a quote in a paper: "The childhood makes the man, as the morning makes the day". You certainly are living proof of that. It is good that you have such a lot to be grateful for, even though your childhood wasn't a bed of roses.

  7. Our memories are our bedrock and the center we go back to. It is good to remember and even better to focus on the nice ones! Loved the song, the music really is your voice, hope you are writing lots of new ones, as you can't run just yet!

  8. Hi Paul! I enjoyed your post very much. I love hearing people's stories, and I am convinced that everyone has a unique and meanigful story. Your song was beautiful ~ I hope you can post the lyrics soon. Your memories and love of music made me wonder again about a road I didn't take. Twice, when I entered universities in different countries, on opposite coasts, and eleven years apart, I had to take an interest inventory test. Both times I came out with one of the highest scores in solo, performance, musical interest that the university advisors had ever seen! Unfortunately theses tests measured interest and not talent! I often wonder how my life would have gone, if I had grown up with musical opportunities like your. Not that I don't love my life ~ I absolutely do! Learning to play an instrument is on my long list of things to do in retirement! I hope you are recovering more and more every day!

  9. Hi Paul! Well, I know this is the positive twist to the story here. But I do think it is important to find high points and very happy moments to embrace and remember, like you do.

    :-) Marion

  10. I enjoy reading of your development. You were lucky to have parents willing to help you find focus and develop things you enjoyed doing.

  11. I love your music, Paul. It was wonderful getting to know you better with this post. You've had tough times, but you are strong, resilient, talented and loving. We were in Dunedin when we traveled through the north and south islands several years ago. NZ is just so gorgeous!

  12. What lovely memories you have despite the hard times. It is amazing how your childhood experiences can affect your adult life.
    Hope your recovery is not to hard on you. Take care :)