I originally wrote this a few months back, but that feeling of “how do I sum this up right now” did not go away, so I left it. Here we go again (Written on October 3rd 2013):

Why am I called Edwin?

My grandfather, or as I grew up calling him, “Pop”, was called Edwin. Eddie or Ed for short. So I was given the name as my middle name when I came into the world. And until two days ago, he was always present in my life in one way or the other. A rock to his family, always the cheeky and happy man.

At 5:45am on 1st October 2013, my grandfather left this world. I had four missed calls from my mum, when I woke at 7am. And I knew. It was expected but you never really can expect it.

He always wore a brass bracelet on his left wrist, to fight off athritus. He used to do silly little dances when he was happy and whistle a lot. He was a brilliant and talented carpenter. Three quarters of my family home he had either built or at least approved of. His phrases included “One up, all up” and “Strewth” to mention two out of many. His family came first, and if you were to learn patience of anyone, it would be him. He was a skilled builder, he started out learning to build boats on Cockatoo Island, in Sydney Harbour. He raised a family with his lovely wife Edith (I kinda think it is amazing that they were called Ed and Edie) of six children in South Sydney, and was a familiar face wherever he want. Everyone loved him.

When I began writing, and simply sharing thoughts, I began with the name “Southern Bloke” but then several years ago, changed to the name “Edwin Jones”. I told Pop about this, and he beamed. Well, I could tell he was beaming through the letter he wrote. I was inspired to write to him a few years ago, as I had never done that with him. Little did he know how much he loved it, and I eventually got a letter in return (originally was sent to the wrong address and it also took him quite a while to write it due to his lack of strength sometimes). His beautiful handwriting and his way with words shone through, and it will always be one of the most treasured letters I will ever receive in my life. He talked about the everyday things, just like I did. But that wasn’t the point, so much meaning between the lines. He was very keen to read my writing, it was just a small added extra smile that I was using his name. The fact he knew that and loved knowing what I was up to, meant a lot. Means a lot.

When I was growing up, the name “Edwin” was kinda dorky as my peers had never heard that name. You grow into your name though. And wish I smiled more when I let people know what my middle name was as a kid. I got to carry the name of Ed.

Edwin Ring


A vacant paper deer head is looking at me. Staring down. For all I know, it is staring through me. But we are focussed on one’s self these days so it is staring at me for all purposes of the gist I am going with. I was just looking through my photos from past and present in the shoeboxes we all store things in. Looking for a new set to place in frames, rotating those clicks in time where I either look my best or a moment that brought the best out in me or those around me. Otherwise its simply a great shot of my pet chicken in 1995. And every time I do this, I have the opportunity to leave some photos behind or shuffle them up even more so. It really becomes like the mind, no real chronological order. But more that snap or… that memory.

A cassette tape.

Our landlord informed us today through our real estate agent, that the boxes in our parking spot cannot stay there as they had complaints from the building. Funny how hearing this really had a powerful influence over my activity for the evening.

What is that you ask? Going through the boxes and working out what I should really throw out. This just led to being distracted by every single item I pulled out of the box. After fifteen minutes I look around and see I have simply dispersed all the stuff around the room.

What I mainly became excited about was a small pile of cassette tapes. I havent had a chance to listen to any of them in years as, like most people, I havent owned a cassette player since 1999. One of my favourites that I decided to keep was a tape that was used over and over again in a small handheld recording device that was manufactured based on the Home Alone series. See exhibit A:

I was OBSESSED with this toy and I spent the evening listening through the tape, both sides. It was from 1995, and I was 11. From interviewing anyone around me and asking dull questions like, “What are you doing?”, recording an Indian radio station sped up so it sounded like chipmunks (hil-ar-i-ous) and sneakily recording my brother on the phone. Oh I was cunning. I am thankful to myself for being forward thinking and selecting it out of the few tapes I still have.

One of my favourite moments is when I interview my grandma. These days, my grandma is far along with dementia and also has had a stroke, so it is rare to have a conversation with her. Hearing my 11 year old self chat to her, even though it was basic small talk, made me grin.

The most cringe worthy moment of the entire tape was when I thought it would be a great idea to record myself sing. Back then I was convinced I was going to have a singing career. UNTIL tonight I thought I was an awesome singer until I hit puberty. Tonight, I realised I was not good. Not even kind of good. My pitch was constantly off and I seemed to be a massive fan of key changes, twenty times in the one song, usually mid sentence. That did take skill, so I may be wrong.

And one small clip, that I have include in this, is my sister. She secretly stole my Talkboy and recorded the following:

My parking spot is still full of boxes, yet I spent four hours listening to cassette tapes and swimming in those memories. Thanks Landlord.