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My Past!

I do have a past yes....

I was born in Holland in 1965 at the early age of exactly 0 years old. See picture of mum after I was born! I was always a sickly child with a diarrhea. All the childhood diseases you could imagine I probably had at least once.

My parents took me from doctor to doctor to doctor, till finally at age ten I was put into hospital by Dr. Hugo Heymans who was the brother in law of my dad's best man (Walter Sonnefeld)! He checked everything going in and out of me and established I had Cystic Fibrosis. He since became a well known Professor and now heads the Emma Kinderziekenhuis AMC (Children's Hospital at the Amsterdam Medical Centre). As soon as I was on the right medication I immediately gained weight. I had been stuck on 25kg for a few years by now!

Born in a flat, where I gained a little brother, moved to a 'twee-onder-een-kap' house and then to a much nicer house in the dutch dunes of Noordwijk. Dad was a little over committed with this house, so after 5 years we had to move to a smaller house, or get out of town all together. The latter it was. We moved to Australia.

Immigrating was not easy, so before starting the process mum and dad went on an exploratory trip. They told us kids they were off to England and a little bit 'further South of London' for 10 days. The immigration was still a secret for us kids. On their return we found out, and dad gave us a little Qantas Jumbo Jet model. We were the last dutch immigrants to qualify for immigration before they brought out the point system. We would not have had many points as we had no job in Australia, were not millionaires, we all had an illness of sorts (brother Frank at the time was diagnosed with a million allergies which he grew out of fortunately), mum had a history of bad knees and dad just had a hernia operated on...

Within the year we had to move, and so we did! We were forced to move to Melbourne for the first year for some bureaucratic reason. We were met by an official when we arrived and brought to an arranged flat. This was not to my dad's satisfaction, and as soon as we woke up (we were jet lagged) we took the first plane to Canberra.

The first two weeks we staid in a hotel on Northbourne Avenue, before finding a rental flat in Red Hill. Frank and I got ESL classes to teach us english. Three months later we found our first home in Chapman and went to local schools. Frank to Chapman Primary, and me to Weston Creek High School. We soon got our first car, a Brady Bunch style station wagon, and a dog, as we were promised we'd get when moving to Australia. The cats found us!

The months before we bought a car we had to catch taxis everywhere and dad had to get the drivers opinion on all of them. We would hide at the taxi ranks to get in the car we wanted to get reviews on, and Frank and I would sit in the back asking the driver if this was a V8 or not - the driver often did not really understand us! The consensus was that dad liked the Kingswood, but wanted the slightly larger edition; The Vacationer. At that price he could get the Ford Falcon wagon... But he also liked the Chrysler Valiant because the big fat taxi driver told us you sit 'in' a Valiant, not 'on' it like with the others. We got the Falcon in the end.

We discovered that in Australia rentals are not very stable, and you get kicked out without mercy. With 2 kids, a dog and 2 cats it is hard to find another home for rent! Getting a mortgage was also not easy as dad was self employed. So we moved house on a regular basis, causing lots of stress for mum and dad. Eventually we bought a house.

I eventually went to Erindale College and to ANU.. by now I was Australian enough... Obviously there were a lot of skipped de tails... like how we found our first dentists etc. If anyone is keen to hear let me know and I will add more!

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