I discovered and saved this piece on December 10, 2015. If I find the author I’ll name and credit him/her here. I include this in my Flow Collection because it is a wonderful touch stone for me when writing about my childhood. There is so much nostalgia here.
I’m talking about hide and seek in the park. The corner milk bar,
hopscotch, billy carts, cricket in front of the garbage bin and
inviting everyone on your street to join in, Skipping, handball,
handstands, elastics, bullrush, catch & kiss, footy on the best lawn
in the street, slip’n’slide, the trampoline with water on it, hula
hoops, stepping in puddles, mud pies and building dams in the gutter.
The smell of the sun and fresh cut grass.
‘Big bubbles no troubles’ with Hubba Bubba bubble gum. A choc-top.
Mr Whippy cone on a warm summer night after you’ve chased him round
the block. 20 cents worth of mixed lollies lasted a week and
pretending to smoke “fags” (the lollies) was really cool!
A dollars’ worth of chips from the corner take-away fed two people (AND the
sauce was free!!).
Being upset when you botched putting on the temporary tattoo from the
bubblegum packet, but still wearing it proudly.
Watching Saturday morning cartoons: ‘The Smurfs’, ‘AstroBoy’,
‘He-Man’, ‘Captain Caveman’, ‘Archie’, ‘Jem’ (truly outrageous!!),
‘The Wizard of Oz’, ‘Banana Man’ and ‘Heeeey heeeeey heeeeeeey it’s
faaaaaaat Albert’. Or staying up late and sneaking a look at the “AO”
on the second telly. When ‘Monkey Magic’ with fish face & pigsy had a cult following. Miraculous Mellops. & who could ever forget Degrassi Jnr High?
When around the corner seemed a long way, and going into town seemed
like going somewhere. Where running away meant you did laps of the
block because you weren’t allowed to cross the road?? A million
mozzie bites, wasp and bee stings. Sticky fingers, cops and robbers, cowboys
and indians, riding bikes and catching tadpoles.
Marco polo in the neighbours’ pool (“fish outta water?!””NOOOO”),
drawing all over the road and driveway with chalk. Climbing trees
and building cubbies out of every sheet your mum had in the cupboard.
Walking to school, no matter what the weather. When writing ‘I
love….?’ on your pencil case, really did mean it was true love. “he loves me?
he loves me not?”
Running till you were out of breath. Laughing so hard that your
stomach hurt. Pitching the tent in the back/front yard. Jumping on the bed. Ghosts stories with the next door neighbours. Pillowfights, spinning round, getting dizzy and falling down was cause for the giggles.
The worst embarrassment was being picked last for a team. Water
balloons were the ultimate weapon. Cricket cards in the spokes transformed any bike into a motorcycle.
Eating raw jelly, making homemade lemonade and sucking on a Funny Face,
Paddle Pop or red Icy Pole.
Remember when there were only two types of sneakers – girls and
boys. Dunlop volleys with the green ‘n’ gold or blue and the only time you
wore them at school was for “sports day.” Bloomers in primary school &
Scungies under netball skirts. You knew everyone in your street – and so did
It wasn’t odd to have two or three “best friends” & you would ask
them by sending a note asking them to be your best friend.
You didn’t sleep a wink on Christmas eve and pretended to sleep for
the tooth fairy.
When nobody owned a pure-bred dog. When 50c was decent pocket money.
When you’d reach into a muddy gutter for 10c. When nearly everyone’s
mum was there when the kids got home from school. It was magic when
dad would “remove” his thumb.
When it was considered a great privilege to be taken out to dinner at
the local Chinese restaurant with your family.
When any parent could discipline and kid, or feed her or use him to
carry groceries and nobody, not even the kid, thought a thing of it.
When being sent to the principal’s office was nothing compared to the
fate that awaited a misbehaving student at home. Basically, we were in fear for our lives, but it wasn’t because of drive-by shootings, drugs, gangs, etc. Our parents and grandparents were a much bigger threat! Some of us are still afraid of them!!!
Remember when decisions were made by going “eeny-meeny-miney-mo”or
dib dib’s-scissors, paper, rock. “Race issue” meant arguing about
who ran the fastest. Money issues were handled by whoever was the
banker in Monopoly”.
Terrorism was when the older kids were at the end of your street with
pea-shooters waiting to ambush you.
The worst thing you could catch from the opposite sex was boy/girl
germs, and the worst thing in your day was having to sit next to one.
Where bluelight disco’s were the equivalent to a Rave, and asking a
boy out meant writing a ‘polite’ note getting them to tick ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
When there was always that one ‘HOT’ guy/girl.
Having a weapon in school meant being caught with a slingshot.
Your biggest danger at school was accidentally walking through the
middle of a heated game of “brandies”.
Nobody was prettier than your Mum. Scrapes and bruises were kissed
and made better. Taking drugs meant scoffing orange-flavoured chewable
vitamin C’s, or swallowing half a Panadol.
Ice cream was considered a basic food group. Going to the beach and catching a wave was a dream come true. If you actually lived there boogie boarding in the white wash made you the next Kelly Slater.
Abilities were discovered because of a “double-dare”.
Older siblings were the worst tormentors, but also the fiercest
Now, didn’t that bring back some fond memories??
If you can remember most of these, you’re an Aussie legend!