“Will you come for a ride?” Dad asked stuffing his pipe with some new fragrant plum tobacco, “I just want to try out my new Vellocette motorbike.”
“Oh yes”, I replied eagerly, “when are we going?”
“Soon,” he mumbled, as he checked the oil.
Thoughts of the days I held on to dad’s jumper as he rode his bike with me holding on to his shirt as we went to visit his mum and dad in Heemstede a good half-hour’s peddling on Holland’s wonderful cycle ways, yes only for bicycles, pedestrians had their own footpath beside the cycle ways with grass verges in between – but here? Nothing!
I hopped on the pillion seat holding tightly onto the sides of dad’s leather jacket and up the hill we went stopping at a bit of a grassy edged clearing indicating a track through the green clothed Waitakere bush, holding our breath as we walked marvelling at the lushness when all of a sudden as we rounded a bend a shower of shimmering white clematis blooms appeared, I was half expecting a bride to appear, no, it was impossible to describe, and even now 66 years later the image is still crystal clear in my memory.