Meet Merle & Keith. My Grandparents.
They are two completely opposite people, but both seem to balance each other out perfectly. My Pa is super sweet and the most humble person you will ever meet. He spends his days taking Nanna out to the shops and having their daily coffee, meeting up with people they have befriended over the years. We used to often joke about how much our Pa loves a chat (and by chat I mean, he loves to get to know complete strangers). So much so, he often knows each doorman at Big W & Target by name and be able to rattle off random facts about each of them. He is a real gentleman and is always looking after our Nanna, forever doing things with a smile on his face and would go out of his way to make someones day.
My Nanna is quite the Queen (and I don’t just mean the kind full of elegance and grace). My Nanna is truly the most doted on person in our family…and rightfully so. I mean none of us would be here if it wasn’t for her, right? She is also a massive prankster. I remember one Christmas at their place as kids, my Nanna, Mum and Aunties had all taken over the spare room to wrap the presents. On the door Nan had put up a sign that read, “Do not enter, anyone who enters will be shot!” Haha! That’s one way to keep us out!
Another trait of Nan’s is that she doesn’t mind a wine or two….Catch is, she won’t ever get off her throne and to get it herself. Often calling out for one of us grandkids for “wine please”. She is quite the character! Nan has a massive green thumb and has also been labelled the bird whisperer, happily taking in all of the pet birds that we have all acquired over the years.
Last month I made the trip up to their Sydney home of the last 5 decades taking them on an adventure down to the park for a few photos. They were lucky enough to share their 63rd Wedding Anniversary together recently. How bloody cool is that! These are two of my most treasured people on the planet and I really wanted to share their love and their story. Love like this doesn’t come around everyday, like I mean, just look how cute they are!
I thought about what I was going to do to make them really open up and show me how they feel about each other. I started off by just getting them to cuddle and chat to each other about their day and what they had planned for their anniversary – but it wasn’t enough. I really wanted to get to know the ‘how’ behind 63 years of marriage. I decided to ask Pa what it was about Nanna that made him want to marry her. He had said “she was a good looking bird” haha! And Nan being her true joking self answered my question with “he had money and he wasn’t bad looking”. Ultimately the how is being able to still have fun, enjoy each others company and truly love each other no matter what.
All jokes aside, I am truly blessed to be able to photograph such an amazing, hilarious and genuine love.
Fun fact : They met as teenagers in a Cafe in Lithgow and Pa spent his last 10 shillings taking Nanna on a date to the cinemas.