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photoboothJacqMelWesley

Here is another of the rarer polaroid photobooth photos. Although the quality of the image isn’t great, I like the effect of the faces emerging through the darkened space.

I am betting that this photo belonged to Wesley and that he wrote the names on the front of the photo, misspelling Jaqueline’s. Yeah, typical boy. Yeah, sexist comment. Oh me, oh my.

photoboothPolaroidMaKid

This is an unusual polaroid photobooth set. It isn’t in the greatest of conditions but due to its rarity it is worth documenting.

I am not sure if polaroid photobooths still exist. They were certainly never common. This photo is from the USA and has no identifying information. I guess it dates from the 1990s.

May 1995, Hamilton, New Zealand

On any visit to NZ, visiting relations is my first priority. I stayed first with my Aunty Cecilie and Uncle Gregor in Hamilton where their magnificent hospitality was laid on, as usual.  After a few days with them, for the first time in my life, I hired a car to go out and about on my own. Unable to sleep due to nerves and excitement, I took off at 2.30 am one morning to drive to Wanganui to see my mate, Moana. I only managed to complete the journey without an accident, due to three catnaps at various points along the way. Moana and I then did a week-long driving tour of the South Island. We then drove back up north, to Rotorua to meet up with Cecilie and Gregor, where we took advantage of the many thermal bath opportunities on offer.  This visit was the last time I saw my Uncle Gregor, who had inspired my first international travel adventure. He died in May the following year.

I have been to New Zealand many times but this was the first, and so far only time, I ever found a photobooth machine there. Not my favourite type of booth, having only a single shot option, with a polaroid product, but to my mind better than nothing.This was taken in a store on Hamilton’s main shopping street on the 18th of May, 1995.

Aunty Cecilie

Part of my passion for travelling came about at least in part through the fact that my mum’s sister, Cecilie, had moved to New Zealand soon after I was born. She and her husband Gregor made regular visits to Melbourne with my cousin Kristine and later with her younger sister Rachel. I was always incredibly excited that they were coming and immensely envious of their “jet-set” lifestyle, for we never flew anywhere. The free toys my cousins received in-flight were better than anything they might have brought us for presents, their stories of what happened during a flight more riveting than any others and airports were the most exotic of locations, even if you were not the one who got to go on a plane.

During one of their visits to Australia, when I was approaching the age of 15, I remember moaning on to my uncle about the fact we never went to visit them in Hamilton. He was totally unsympathetic. Why should I feel that I needed to wait until my parents had the money to bring the whole family along? He said I should come on my own. Initially I thought he was mad or joking, as I protested that my pocket-money, even if diligently saved wouldn’t be sufficient to get me there until the next century, which was then 23 years away. “Well get a job” he said,”You save up enough for the airfare and we will look after the rest”.

So I did. Three months before I turned 15 I got a weekend job at The Bake-Inn Hot Bread Kitchen in Bentleigh and just days after my 16th birthday, I took all the money I had saved, bought a ticket and flew to New Zealand. Mum and Dad gave me enough to top up my spending money to $100.00 for a one month tour of the North Island with the rellies. I still have my best souvenir, a stuffed toy kiwi made out of possum skin, that was named Rewi by Krissie.

I have lost count of how many times I have since visited Cecilie in New Zealand, my Uncle Gregor now, sadly, deceased. She always encourages me to return and is a very generous and inexhaustible host, always taking me on an adventure to places I’ve not visited previously. We once also met up in the UK to be tourists together and a very happy pair we made, too.

Like my mother and both my grandparents on her side, Cecilie has been a professional musician all her life, having trained as a pianist from her earliest years. She has a wonderfully optimistic outlook which is helped along by another very important passion in her life, which she shares with me and my mum. She is a madly dedicated, dog lover. Having recently bid farewell to one of her much-loved rescue-pooches, Mia, she last week welcomed Ellie the kelpie-cross into her life. It is my dedicated intention to get her and her new baby into a photobooth one day, my Snowy-Dawg having suffered the experience only recently. One has to admit it is not a dog’s favourite of pass-times.

This is an undated Polaroid booth pic taken several years ago, presumably in Hamilton, New Zealand.

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