This old school photo was taken in 1951, I think. It was taken outside the block of classrooms, which were known as the Primmers Block. The huge windows opened by sliding open, & on the hot summer afternoons, were a welcome sourse of fresh air, into the smelly stuffy hot rooms.
I can remember the name of every child in this photo. I am not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing?
I remember when I was growing up, I loved to listen to stories being told, around the family table, on occasions when my Grandmother's 'children' all came 'home' for Christmases, or just to visit.
I loved to quietly sit, & 'earwig' on the adults' conversations, the jokes & the laughter. If I was very quiet & still I would not always be told to go off outside to play.
My Grandfather used to thrill us with stories of Bunyips, which is a mythical swamp monster, who supposedly lives in swamps, or watery areas, in Australia. My Grandfather was an "Aussie" & so we were always excited to hear his stories, living in New Zealand, as we did, & having none of the animals that Australia had. Or indeed, mythical swamp monsters. Though, the Maori believe the Taniwha is a form of monster demon or swamp dwelling creature.
Our Grandfather did frighten us as children, with his tales of snakes. My brother & I both remember being rather frightened of toilets for years, in case a snake came up out of the bowels of one. For a time we lived in an old farmhouse, complete with old outdoor "Dunny" & a huge creeper grew over the shack, & it was a source of terror for my young mind.
There was a huge Chinese Lantern shrub, with orange flowers, & I can remember tasting the nectar in the flowers. Also a patch of Cape Gooseberries, & they were delicious, & fascinating in their little brown cases.
A lot of my memories of living in that farmhouse, involve huge fruit trees, as there was a large orchard beside the house. There were plum, apple, pear & peach trees. And there was a large area with Datura trees, which we called Trumpet Lily trees.
My brother was almost 4 full years younger than I, & so I suppose he was off sleeping in the hazy afternoons, when I can remember spending a lot of time playing with the Trumpet Lillies. I played with the flowers, & took a teaset with me. I dont remember what exactly I played at, but the perfume, & those flowers are very vivid memories. My mother had a little old blue enamel teaset, which she used to let me play with sometimes, & I would play away by myself.
The year I turned 5, which was the normal age for starting school, was a year in which Polio was raging through the country, so all Kindergartens & schools were closed for about a year. Consequently, I didnt attend any sort of preschool, nor did I begin school until I was 6 years old.
I remember being somewhat terrified of being away from my family for the long days, & as we lived on the farm some distance from the School, I had to catch a school bus, which was also a scary affair. They were very long days, & I would be so tired at the end of each day.
There was a very nice family, who owned the farm, & they had a son, who was attending the School, & he very kindly 'took me under his wing'. He would see that I got on the bus safely, & would come to my aid if he thought I might get bullied at school. His name was Stan, & he seemed almost like an adult to me.
I remember the block of Infant classes, that were in a row, beginning with Primer One Two, Three & Four. Older children were discouraged from coming in the vicinity of the 'Primmers', as we were called. The photo at the top of this post has the block of classes behind us.
I think the thing I most disliked about being in the Primers, was the fact that we had to have a nap, or lie down every afternoon. This involved the unrolling of stinky woven coir (? I think) mats, of the type that some people used in their kitchens. I hated them, they smelt vaguely of vomit & dirt, & possibly urine. We had no pillows to rest our heads upon, & were expected to just lie there on those awful freindless, smelly mats.
I remember some children in the first frightened year of school, would wet themselves, possibly with fright, from the orgress teachers. I can never remember those mats getting cleaned in any way, so no doubt they were rife with germs & bodily fluids, including dribbled saliva. I was always surprised that children actually slept on them. I was far too rigid with discomfort & distaste, & am sure I never looked like drifting off.
There was disgusting milk, delivered to the school in crates. It came in clear glass bottles with horrible cardboard tops. We would all have to line up, & were handed this disgusting drink at morning tea time. It always made me vomit, & my mother wrote me a note to excuse me from having to have it. I have since been told that the cardboard smell & taste it seemed to have, was caused by the actual milk spoiling. I believe that, as it sat out in the heat of the morning.
Enough of those shuddery memories!
Sorry to bore you with the Clivea, but it is so pretty to me, & yesterday I discovered it has a very nice perfume! It is actually quite a lot creamier in colour than is indicated by the photos.
They are very expensive here, too, & quite rare as yet. We were lucky a very kind neighbour gave us this one.
It is Labour Day here in NSW today, so the traffic is quite quiet, though yesterday, it was thick & fast- tourists I guess.
The weather has been very kind for touristy visitors, & I am sure the Footy fans had a nice feast over the weekend, as there have been 2 Grand Finals for them to watch.
NSW will be rather upset, as Melbourne stole in & won the League Grand final.
Not that I care, & I only know about it by accident really! Haha.
I am happy to report I never saw one minute of any of it!
Enjoy your new week.
Simon & Garfunkel, The Dangling Conversation.