By Vern Gowdie – Gowdie Family Wealth (AUS) –
School holidays are here again.
They seem to come around much quicker as an adult than they did when I was at school.
When I look back, I wonder how we filled those eight weeks of freedom.
There was the occasional family holiday. But money was tight. My parents were frugal — children of the Great Depression. The majority of our school holidays were spent at home.
We had to entertain ourselves.
There was no internet, Facebook, Xbox, PlayStation, Netflix, or even backyard swimming pools. Going to the movies was a treat. And after nearly drowning at a public pool when I was five (mum thought I was with my older brother and sister, who thought I was with mum and my two younger brothers), all outings to the public swimming pool were cancelled.
The neighbourhood was our playground.
There were plenty of other baby boomers (although we did not know that term back then) to have daily adventures with.
Did you ever jump on a trampoline? Not the fancy netted ones they have today, but the old fashioned ones? The ones that sent many a neighbourhood kid to the hospital emergency ward?
What about playing in the local bush, or trying to net guppies from the creek down the road?
Climbing trees — now that was fun. My brothers and I actually built a treehouse from an old timber box. How we got it up there I cannot remember. But climbing up the tree to sit in that box gave us a sense of accomplishment. We did it by ourselves.
How about walking to school? My brothers and I would take a shortcut through a plover-infested cow paddock on the way to the train station (a few kilometres from home).
Why the trip down memory lane?