Monday, 7 March 2011

From Rochelle Milligan

Making a book of memories and photos of Estelle is a wonderful idea and I can't wait to see it.

I don't have many pics of Estelle here although Mum has found some goodies of her/us as children which Karlene will be sending you (if not done already).

I do remember as a child, after Lloyd and Joc split, Estelle spent many weekends with us hanging out and being part of the family - just like another little sister. Her height and challenges with coordination resulted in many breakages and 'accidents' in the Cullen household. It became a running joke that when Stelly was coming to stay, Mum would need to move anything breakable out of her way! I'm sure remembering her clumsiness as a child is not fair on the elegant adult she became.

We didn't see so much of Estelle in our 20's as we all grew up and moved to different cities and countries.

It wasn't the last time I saw Estelle, but I do hold a fond memory of meeting up with her, Melissa and Hayley in 2006 whilst visiting Christchurch. As we were about to leave, the attached pics were taken. I had said "C'mon girls, we better get a picture of us all together to keep Mum happy". As we dutifully posed together, the conversation went something like this:

Rochelle - "Right girls, nice big smiles for the camera"
Estelle - "Don't worry, if I don't look right Aunty Jan will just chop me out of the picture anyay!"

To anyone else that might not have been very funny but as you can see from the pic, we all cracked up at quick-witted Estelle's quip.
Here's why: Many years earlier there had been a Cullen family gathering to celebrate Pop's 80th birthday. On that occasion we had all gathered on the deck at Mum and Dad's for the big family photo. Trying to get 20+ people to all look at the camera, smile and keep their eyes open at the same time was quite a challenge. Unfortunately Estelle must have had her eyes closed. This was in the days before digital cameras and Photoshop, so Mum simply got the scissors and glue out and chopped her out of the pic, replacing her with another image of herself.

Obviously Estelle had never forgotten being 'cut and pasted' from that photo.

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