Ghosts of myself as a child. Ghosts of my grandparents. Ghosts of happy things experienced. Ghosts of friends and cousins and family. Ghosts of well-loved boats.
Memories of happy times and memories of people who are now dead. Memories of children who are now grown and not part of my life. Memories of family members who lived nearby, and who now do not.
As Anne Shirley says, I almost "expect to see the ghost of my childhood self meeting me" as I round the corner.
As we walked up this bridge I thought about my great aunt and the path to her house. I thought about my grandfather and his little chug-along boat slowly motoring underneath heading out to the Sounds. His little grey-haired dog asleep under the seat.
At the top of the bridge I looked down and saw the berth where Grandad used to pull his boat alongside while we all jumped on. I can see Nana there with the boxes of food. I can see my cousins and my brother and sister and my aunt and uncle and parents waiting there for Grandad. We would be heading down the Sounds for a little holiday at the bach. It's the same place. The same ramps. Nothing has changed. Only time. Grandad and Nana aren't there anymore. The boat has been sold. My parents live in a different part of New Zealand as do my siblings and cousins. My aunt and uncle are still here though. And I come back here. And I remember.
I look over and see this house. It has always been there. I love it. I'd love to live in it.
This war memorial has always been there too. One vivid memory finds me there after the Marlborough Walk from Blenheim to Picton with my cousin and her husband. The steep wide stairs always remind me of the Sound of Music movie where the children are singing as they jump from step to step.
Here's the Oxley where we used to buy icecreams before heading out to the Sounds. Of course, that big apartment is a fairly new addition.
And look at these characters. Mickey and Donald - a fixture in the park at Picton. There used to be a large black whale that we used to clamber over. He is long gone, but Mickey and Donald survive.
And here's that beautiful point out at the harbour head. It's where we used to turn in Grandad's boat to go around the point and head out to the bach. A bach with boat-access only. There is nothing more thrilling than that.