Simpler life a whole lot of fun for kids

Contributed Joyce from Allora
Born in Warwick, 1927

I CAN remember going to school barefoot with the frost on the ground. And I can remember this as if it was yesterday... I was about six and I ran under the steps at school and I split my head open.

There was no phone or car, so the teacher stopped a bloke who was going to town. He lived near the school. Anyway, I can remember going to Dr Tremaine in town. Well, he stitched it up, and the fella, Bob Doogle, who drove me to town, he drove me home again.

We didn't have any way of contacting anyone. There weren't any phones. So I went to school and then came home with a stitched-up head. Those were the days. Mum was a bit shocked.

For entertainment we used to go down the creek and swing on the willow trees. Or we used to put jam tins in the creek when it was only yay high, and we'd catch the crabs. Oh, we loved crabbing.

You'd put the tins in the creek in the morning and go down in the afternoon and get your crabs. Take 'em home, boil 'em up and eat 'em.

We'd make our own entertainment. Nobody had time to entertain all these kids.

There were berry trees that used to grow along the creek and we'd pick those berries and make necklaces and bangles. We thought that was just lovely.

We didn't have dolls. I remember somebody gave us a case of mangoes. We ate the mangoes, then we scrubbed the fur up on the seed to make hair and then we painted a face. That was a doll. We thought that was just lovely.

We didn't care about bought dolls, we didn't even know about such a thing in those days.

In winter, we had a bath in front of the fire - in the big washing tubs, two at a time in the tub. I can still remember kicking around in that water, then jumping into bed. We used to sleep two in a bed, sometimes three.

At Christmas time, we put the stocking on the end of our bed - we only got things that we needed, like a hat or socks or a belt, then there might be a few home-made lollies and a piece of fruit. That was so much fun. Everything was fun.

I wish everybody could experience the life that I had. I do, I really do. Because then they'd appreciate everything.

I say that all the time - I am really pleased the way I was brought up. I'd hate to be rearing a family today, there's no discipline. My childhood was good training and I wouldn't have wanted to be brought up any other way.

Topics:  history opinion weekend magazine

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