I have been feeling very nostalgic lately. Not sure why – I think it’s partly that my parents just left for a 4 week trip to Canada. My other home. The place that will always hold a piece of my heart. They are currently in Victoria, on Vancouver Island, which is where I lived. I have been telling them things to go and see and Mum sends me pictures at the end of their day. I know I miss it all the time, but right now I REALLY miss it.
Anyway, off topic. Years before that, I had a childhood. I know. It’s hard to believe this angel face is so far from childhood. I’m still convinced growing up was a trap. I’ve been thinking about being a kid a lot. About the friends I had. The things we got up to, when god forbid, there was no internet or mobile phones.
I used to live in a house that backed on to a reserve. Not only did we have our backyard, but open the back gate and it was play time central. There were walking tracks, parks and bush to explore in. I mean these days you would never let your kids in there alone. I think that’s really sad. The neighbourhood kids would gather in the morning and we would come back when it was dark, or when we were hungry. Or friends would come over and off we would go. I remember taking a netball friend out in the reserve. We were exploring and she leant against a not so stable tree, and it fell down. Or the time my sister was in a tree and the branch broke. She landed on rocks and then rolled down them into the creek. Good times haha. Our neighbourhood will build giant a giant bonfire out the back and we would set off fireworks (when it was allowed). We would ride our bikes around the block. The first part was fairly easy, and then you would hit the hill. Sometimes you would have to get off and push the bike, to make it up, if you didn’t get enough speed to start with. When you got to the top though, the thrill of going down the other side was the BEST!
In my childhood I had a group of friends. You know the ones. Your parents are all friends before you were born and they end up being Aunts and Uncles, even though you aren’t really related. There was a group of four families. Eight adults and nine kids. Some of the best times of my life have been with these guys. While we might not see each other much anymore, because life just does that, they are still very much a part of my heart and I will always love them dearly. I would be so excited on the days we got to be together, or nights spent at each others houses, while our parents drank way too much wine and pretended they hadn’t.
While the memories are many, I thought I would share a few that have popped into my mind lately …
There was that time we were all at one of our houses throwing water balloons. Someone had the bright idea to throw them at cars. I think we tried for a bus to start with, then one landed on the windscreen of a car. The car stopped and reversed back up the street. You have never seen nine kids scatter so fast in your life. On reflection, of course this is so dangerous! But we were kids, we didn’t think about that stuff. Kids ran out the back, inside, Courtney and I hid IN a sulo bin. The owners of the car got out and stormed up the driveway to the front door. My ‘Aunt’ yelled at us to come forward. We got in so much trouble! In the back of our minds though, awesome shot on a moving target. On a side note, the person that threw this water balloon, also threw one OVER a house as my sister was running away and hit her. Skills!
There was the times we all went away camping together in Kiama. So many stories from these trips … like all the kids jumping off a hill into the sand, until Dave decided to do it from higher up and hurt himself (I am sure we did NOT egg him on in any way). Me waking up in the night to the parents laughing at my mother with her foot stuck in a bucket because she was looking at a possum up a tree (there may have been wine involved). The time we made so many water balloons (hmm seems to be a theme), dug trenches at the beach and divided into two teams and went to town. When we were riding our bikes around and Courtney went over the handle bars, landing on gravel, that later had to be tweezered out of her hands and knees. She then was made to wear hankies around her wounds before going in the ocean. We later questioned what the theory behind this was. Makes no sense now! The time when a guy came down to the beach on his motorbike and we thought he was the coolest thing ever. We kept telling him to ‘chuck a minnow’, because we were hip to the biking knowledge. Except a minnow is a fish, and a mono is going up on one wheel. We were telling him to throw fish at us. How embarrassing. Actually I am pretty sure all of that happened in the one camping trip. I won’t even mention what went down on a trip to Caloundra, when we all had walkie talkies and decided to see what they could do ….
When we all got together at one family’s house, we always decided we were going to put on a show for the parents. We would rehearse and everything. I was a singer and Living on a Prayer was my song. By the time we got the parents gathered they would say we could just do one thing. We were always so mad! We had worked so hard and had a plethora of perfomances to do … hahaha our poor parents.
These are the things that I will always be grateful for. Those memories that aren’t in front of a screen. The running around in the bush. Countless hours in pools or riding bikes. All the laughter. We may be in different phases of our lives, but they are always with me #gangforlife