Brisbane, QLD

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


 Hooray! School holidays! It was December 1958 and our school year had finished. I had just completed 4th Year (Year 11). Now it was summer and time to relax and have fun.

I had a call from a girl, Marilyn, who we had billeted for a while. My memory is a bit rusty, but I think it was for a sporting event. However, her parents wanted to repay us by asking me to go to their place for a weekend.

I wasn't too sure about staying with people that I didn't know well but off I went anyway.

My parents drove me down the south coast of NSW from Sydney to Wonoona. I waved them goodbye and wondered what was in store for me.

There was much excitement in the house as it was The Wonoona Show weekend. Marilyn and her mum were fussing over what I thought was a cranky, ugly dog.

It turned out to be a pedigree, Dachshund, show dog and it was being groomed for the show.

I'm afraid I couldn't get excited about this activity. Every time I went near, it snarled at me.
When doggy was brushed, pampered and ready, all the family went to the show.

They were excited to see uncles and cousins with their show trotting horses. I enjoyed watching them race but not much else.

It must have been about this time that I realised that I wasn't a country girl but a bright, lights city teen.
 The next day I was taken to the beach. It was a beautiful long beach, with yellow sand, blue water and white crested waves stretching for as far as you could see to the north and the south. The handsome, bronzed life savers were practising their stuff. 

We dropped our towels and rushed into the sea, splashing and diving through the waves. We would swim out past the breakers and then body surf back into shore. This was more my idea of fun!


  1. You always loved the water and so I can imagine the trip to the beach was the high-light of your holiday.

  2. It is a damn good shot from a 16 yo with a Brownie Box. I suspect that country shows have not changed all that much in the intervening 50+ years, DB.

  3. Julie

    Country shows have changed for the better - then again in the days shown, I suspect as a country kid, it was far more fun.
    Competing in equestrian events was the highlight of my youth - also displaying my bantams ( Old English Reds) - I got more blue ribbons that way than from horseboyship ( well, a new word, but I was only a kid!).
    Aaah - Julie, those were the "days my friend etc" - that song!!! Remember????
    Fun, freedom and not a "feral" to be seen.
    Great bog report Diane, now I DO KNOW why you are a "city girl".
    Colin (HB)

  4. As a young girl you already knew how to make great photo's! The beach looks wonderful, so empty.

  5. great snaps Diane. i bet you loved the beach. i know i did. body surfing was a fave. i could spend hours in the ocean. now, after seeing jaws 1,2,3,4, i am a bit nervous. i plan to swim in the indian ocean in a month or so. kuta beach is world famous but has a strong undertow :) i bought new bathers today.

  6. i would have loved that beach, but the rest would have been boring. your life pretty much parralells mine ,but on the other side of the world.

  7. that beach is really beautiful.
    really amazing shots.
    love the photos, they can tell such precious stories.

    have a great day!

  8. You have been a great photographer for a very long time it seems. Now I can't see why the show would have been less interesting than the beach but I guess thats a country teen vs a city one.

  9. Great post Diane. I was 7 when I first went to the beach and started making sand castles.. Still make them today. LOL

  10. Amazing photo! Your description of the beach is wonderful...makes me want to find a wide, lonely expanse of beach and watch the waves roll in! I'm afraid I'm a city girl too! (And the weekend would have been a rough one for me...I'm really not much of an animal person!)

  11. So fun to read your story. Great picture's fantastic to be taken in the 50s.
    So young and with an eye for the beauty. Yes, we are different, some like the city, with its bustle and noise, somepeace of the country . I worked in the capital Stockholm, but lived in the country. So nice to get off the bus in the evening after work, and feel the fresh air.
    I am so looking forward to the continuation of your story ...

  12. I love that you've chronicled your story. Someday Fox is going to have a great time learning all about Grandma's girlhood. The photos are wonderful.

  13. Diane, I'm naming you my little Social Butterfly! You are so adorable and enjoy life so much.

    The camera does not matter when the photographer is as talented as you. Wonderful photos.

  14. Honnestly I also prefer the beach to a pampered dog ! The photos are amazingly good ! You must have a very good scanner.

  15. Your beach pictures are very good. The beach itself looks like it is absolutely wonderful. My idea of fun is much closer to yours than it is to dog shows.

  16. Wow, someone in your family took good photos. My mother took a great many with her old Kodak, and they're okay, but not up to the standards your family had.

    By the way, I saw your comment on Joe's blog, and that's what brought me here.

  17. Cute post, Diane... You got an education when you visited that family in Wonoona.... I grew up in a small town --but I was no country girl at all.

    Our little town sponsored horse shows every once in awhile --and my family would attend. I liked seeing the horses --but that was about it!!!! ha...

    I've never been into Dog Shows either... I just like 'muts' who are just average dogs --like I'm an average person... ha ha

    Thanks for sharing.

  18. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.
    I love people's stories so having read part 8 I will have to come back and read the others from the beginning.

    Two of my brothers emigrated to Australia and we never saw them again. One lived in Sydney (since died) and the other lives in Melbourne.

    Interesting about the termite treatment. Something we do not have to worry about here thankfully.

  19. Gorgeous beach -- and you WERE a good photographer even back in those brownie days.

    What I thought of was how much your daughters look like you!!

  20. Thank you all for your comments
    .Snowbrush: I took the photos in this post when I was 16. The ones where I appear, my Dad took. I think I got my love of photography from him. I can remember him giving me tips.

  21. Your perspective in the last two photos is amazing. Some people seem to have a photographer's eye and you are one of them Diane. I think you should enlarge and frame these two!

  22. A funny story about the pampered pooch!! I had a brownie box, are all these from that? What great quality for the times!

  23. You have such great pictures! And your story is very interesting.

  24. Those are wonderful shots, even with Brownie camera and black and white flim. Isn't fun to see the places and friends from our childhood? I too have always had a camera in my hands. Looking back at those photos is priceless.

  25. Yes Ginny all from Brownie Box camera

  26. All of my childhood pictures were captured with a Brownie Box camera.
    You did do a wonderful job.
    I've never cared for dogs - just don't care for all that licking your face and hands and such.
    I rode a horse once in high school and it threw me - never went around them again.
    I'd much rather be at the beach watching the lifeguards. :)

  27. Poor little doxie. I would have barked and growled too if I was always being groomed for a show instead of being able to dig in the dirt! :-)
    I did have a little chuckle when you said you discovered you were a "city girl". The gal who loved an adventure and went off to teach in PNG? Not so sure...