New Farm Park, Brisbane

Friday, April 1, 2011

SPORT AND SLEEPOVER

I was sports mad at school and tried out for every team possible.  In the winter of 1958, I swapped  swimming for athletics, and basketball for hockey. My favourites were swimming and hockey.

Just look at that wreck of a bus!!! I can't believe I ever travelled in such a crate. We were going to a weekend hockey carnival in Wollongong 85k south of Sydney. I can't remember if we won but we did have loads of fun.

I managed to qualify for high jump at the state championships but didn't get a place. I can't believe I even tried this sport since I am so short (5ft 2'' jumping over 4' 2'' wasn't easy).

When I wasn't playing sport I enjoyed hanging out with friends like most teenagers. My best friend at school was Margaret, she lived on the same rail line as me but further down the south coast at Otford. In those days there were no electric trains this far south of Sydney. We caught rail motors or steam trains. I was invited to Margaret's place for the weekend. I had to make sure I was on the right steam train that stopped at her little village, Otford, and didn't go non stop to Wollongong.

Margaret had two brothers and a sister, a friendly, homely mum and a school teacher dad, whom I was wary of at first. It was quite a different household to mine and it was a new, learning experience. Lots of people, pet dogs and newspapers tucked under the cushions of the lounge. After I helped her with the chores and fed the chooks we were allowed to walk down to the beach. It was quite a long way down and an exhausting hike back up, but the beach was pristine and beautiful. We had it all to ourselves. In summer we used to sunbake and swim but not this day as it was winter.
Overlooking the beach at Otford  south of Sydney.  It was a steep climb back up from the beach.
Margaret and I have kept in touch with Christmas Cards. She now lives in a little village in the country near Cootamundra, NSW. A few years ago we visited her on one of our road trips. It was great to see her after 40 odd years.

17 comments:

  1. Hi Diane; I like to read your memories about your childhood. Are you still very athletic? I used to play Tennis. I was never good at sports and team games and because of this I didn't like them.

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  2. You were very sporty, but I noticed when I was in Australia that everybody there is. Surfing, hiking, many people are outgoing.
    I love to read your stories.

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  3. I remember how strange it was going to friend houses and finding them very different from my own.

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  4. Hi Diane, I just love the quaint names in your country and your tales of your love of sports. I love the sound of your friend's home: sounds very homely indeed! I look forward to the next episode in your story. Have a great weekend. Jo

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  5. Diane, you really had a wholesome and healthy girlhood!! Plenty of team sports, days filled with all sorts of adventure, and great school friends!! I like that you still keep in touch with these friends after all these years and moves.

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  6. I am so glad you have kept in touch with Margaret.

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  7. I had a chuckle at your 'crate of a bus' and how indignant you are that you'd been carted around in it all those years ago! I also wondered about the high jump, knowing you are a shorty, but you obviously had a lot of guts and you were clearly enthusiastic about life and game to try out everything. It still shows!

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  8. Thank you Diane for your "My Story". I feel like I'm right there with you and it's so wonderful to be given a glimpse of the past. You make it sound all so warm and homely.

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  9. Thank you for sharing your story, Diane. I am enjoying reading about your growing up years.

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  10. Another chapter in your story and the pictures are great. aren't you glad you took so many? I went to a 40 year reunion and was amazed at how everyone seemed "just the same". Hairstyles and figures change but personalities don't seem to.

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  11. I bet that if you were to take that trip today, in a modern bus, it would take you twice as long to get there. Such is the horrendous traffic of Syndey. "The Gong" is just an outer suburb now!

    Laughed and laughed at your wee willy story in the previous post....

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  12. Diane, it was great that you were so into sports as a teenager. Are you still involved in a sports activity? I enjoyed the old photos and the story. Nice memories of your friend and her home. I am glad you had a nice reunion with her too,

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  13. Enjoying your journeys so much..

    Lizzie

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  14. I'm enjoying following your story...so much like my own but so very different, too! Amazing, isn't it?!

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  15. I never cease to be amazed and delighted that you have such great photos, great and clear memories and are willing to share them with us! Thanks you for another fun post...oh..and are chooks chickens??

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  16. A fun post and here is definitely where I can't relate that my teens were at all like yours. I hated sports and would rather curl up with a book. My mother once said she'd pay me a dollar if I'd go out and play for two hours. Sigh! You were much healthier.

    I CAN relate to the way good friends are important and how they can show you a different way of life. My best friends meant a lot to me (I didn't always read) and their way of life was different from my family.

    I had to look up the word 'chook' (and my guess was correct). I was thrilled to find it on my Kindle dictionary. It said "Aus."
    ...cluck cluck!!!

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  17. It's a sign of the times seeing the women in skirts out on the field. My how public fashion has changed.
    My best friend in college was also named Margaret. I haven't seen her in about 25 years but we recently reconnected via Facebook.

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