In 1961, when I was 19, my brother came home on leave from working as a Patrol Officer in Papua/New Guinea. He was home for 3 months and he bought a car, a Herald Triumph. When he went back to work he let me use his car as long as I paid for the registration and insurance and maintenance.
Well I was like the cat that ate the cream. Here I was, still a teenager and I had my own car. I enjoyed taking my girlfriends to the beach and to the Saturday night dance. Boys didn't believe us when we said we didn't need a lift home because we had our own car. If we fancied the boys we would offer to take them home. Role reversal was pretty rare in those days.
When I was eight, my best friend, Kerrie, asked me to join the Brownies and later the Girl Guides. In our teens we belonged to the Sea Rangers. One weekend four of us went camping at Engadine. We pitched our little tent in the bush overlooking the river. We wore our camp uniforms. It was fun being independent. We went swimming and hiking.
|Left to right: Kerrie, Jean, Jeanette, me.|
|Left to right: Me, Kerrie, Jeanette.|
|The next morning we got dressed outside as there was little room for four of us in the tent. Just look at those stylish 60's knickers, no g-strings or bikini briefs in those days, at least not in my world.|
|Kerrie was the chief cook. It is interesting that much later in life she was camp cook for her outback fencing contractors.|
|I remember we weren't that impressed with the meal but we were hungry enough to enjoy it.|
Left to right: Kerrie, me, Jeanette
It was a great swimming hole and we had great fun that weekend. I lost contact with Jean and Jeanette but I kept in touch with Kerrie on and off over the next 50 years. Soon I would be leaving the Terrible Teens, my awful secret and my adopted country to fulfil my dream and embark on an exciting chapter of my life.