As I sit here and type this week’s blog, sweat is dripping from brow and all down my back, it’s hot today! Is this humidity knocking you around? It is certainly knocking me around. I look at my freckly skin and often think if I had of lived in the Southern Hills of Ireland (which my skin is designed for), would I be this freckly and would I look younger than I do now? The Australian sun is harsh – the summers are long, and each time I am in the sun, I can feel it ageing the cells of my skin.
BUT… I LOVE it! We all love it. We love the outdoors in this beaut country, with its beautiful National Parks, Beaches, Parks, Cities, country, mountains, gorges and its great people. I am proud to say we are Nation of great people and when things are tough, we pull together.
As we celebrate Australia Day this weekend, I thought I would blog about my Aussie childhood.
I feel blessed to be an Aussie. I don’t travel often, but when I do, I am so proud to say “I am Australian”. I am proud to be married to an Aussie (Cecil) and I am proud of my little Aussie kids. I am blessed to hold that little Passport in my hand, that allows me to freely travel and then return to Australia as an Australian Citizen.
I am grateful for my childhood. I was from the generation where, no news was always good news, we were allowed to ride our bikes around the streets until the street lights came on, kids were always welcome to turn up to their mates’ houses without their Mum having to ring or text first and my childhood also consisted of hours and hours of play in a park, in the back yard pool with fun neighbours or at a beach catching waves on a stripy red and blue air mattress with a fin and handles – like below:
Pool games consisted of collecting pegs at the bottom of the pool, the winner was the kid who had the most pegs. Or if you were a dare devil – you could see how many laps you could swim under water without having a breath!
My younger primary school years were years of play. I can’t remember having to do homework as a smaller child, and my parents never forced me to read books. When my brother and I got home from school, we would throw our bags down, eat and then go back outside to play with the neighbours. There was no such word as Xbox or Playstation. There was limited sporting opportunities and after school activities were far and few between. I look back, remember and smile. These were great days.
A vegemite sandwich with a piece of fruit was as far as my school lunch went, if I was lucky I had .50 cents for the school tuck-shop. I didn’t know what sushi was – and I definitely didn’t need $5.00 to buy a school lunch. However, I never went hungry – and statistics now show obesity levels were lower back then.
My school holidays were often spent at my grandparent’s house – they only lived 30 minutes from my home. We didn’t do fancy things – we shopped, we watched tv together, we ate lots of lollies, we had amazing times with cousins and we talked to each other. My grandfather was always telling us stories and I loved these times. Now they are gone to heaven, I remember these “simple” holidays I had with them and they are warm memories. .
Birthday parties were at home with fairy bread, lollies, chips, sausage rolls and cordial. The kids would swim and then have a few games of “Pin the Tail on the Donkey” and “Musical Chairs”. If it was a good year, we took our friends to McDonalds for dinner. We then spun, slipped and played for hours on one of these until we felt we were going to vomit:
My fashion consisted of a few terry towelling onsies – like this one below. Along with my buddies we weren’t aware of fancy labels; we all wore the same type of things, like shorts and t-shirts or quite often just a ‘cossie’ with thongs on our feet.
We didn’t wear bike helmets and we constantly fell of bikes and grazed our skin on the road – I can remember often picking black gravel road from a wound on my knee or elbow. It would be very painful, the pain would bring tears to my eyes.
We all had the same trade mark, which was white zinc across our noses! Never worried about our shoulders, arms or the tops of our hands – I know I never worried about these areas, as it is now I see the damage this caused.
As a kid in the 70’s and 80’s, we walked places! If we didn’t have our bikes, we walked, simple as that. If kids needed to get hold of our parents urgently, we had to go to a phone box and make a “Reverse the Charges” call through the “Operator” and then it was a long shot if our parents picked up the call. If we were locked out of the house, we just had to sit and wait for our parents to come home, if we were ‘stuck’, we had to get our own way home, by foot, as there was no way of getting hold of Mum and Dad to come and pick us up – the “mobile phone” was what Maxwell Smart had on the sole of his shoe.
Being a kid in Australia is good, no matter what the year! Each generation is different from the one before, we all get this – but something remains the same, we are all blessed to live in this great Country, it’s a great place and a great life for all kids, big and small……….
Thank you Australia and Happy Australia Day!
Giddy UP and get out there!