Sunday, January 30, 2011

Always proud to be a "Senior"

I went to two fantastic high schools.  The first,  "Our Lady of Good Counsel College" was never referred to as anything but  "The Range".   Or, supposedly "The Fridge on the Ridge".   It was years before I had any clue what the local boys were on about .    My mum, two aunts and my mother-in-law all boarded there.  My great aunt and my great aunt-in-law were nuns who lived in the convent at one stage, they were best of friends. 

The centre of the school was a beautiful, old hall built of wood with a tower surrounded in filagree iron lace.   If we were lucky enough we were allowed up to the tower to look out across the school and the town.  When we were in Grade 10 a group of us that liked to call ourselves 'The Rejekts' (because we figured we weren't)  wrote our names in niko pen on the walls of the spiral staircase that took us upwards.   I suspect they were painted over and don't remain for posterity. 

On the eve of my last day there my brother went up to the school in the late of night.  He carried with him a scarecrow that I made out of wood, one of my uniform dresses and a stuffed head I carefully sewed.  The scarecrow was hoisted up the flagpole, ready for my last day.  It stayed there long enough to get a laugh and cause some comment and I was never discovered as the culprit.   I wonder if the teachers had a drink or two around a bonfire later that day, as they watched their 'student' burn?

Now, as a teacher,  the thought makes me laugh as much as it did to think up the whole silly prank in the first place. 


I was ten years old when this cassette compilation came out.  My older brother was thirteen and spent a lot of time playing music very loudly in his room with the door shut.  He taught me how to make mixed tapes and to tape songs off the radio.  We had a  big, black , state of the art wireless radio/double cassette player with a built in microphone which we used to record all sorts of silly rubbish on to tape.

Dad used to listen to the ABC news in the mornings and when the "daah, daah, da Duh, da, da, da, daaaaaaah... " of the news'  intro came on,  it was a signal for myself and my three brothers to quieten down long enough for the bulletin to finish.  

My brother played this tape a lot.  I bought myself a replacement copy when I was at uni and spending a lot of time in record shops buying cheap music.  I bought a Keith Urban tape too but it didn't survive one of my first cassette tape culls.  That was before he made it big in the States and before he married 'our Nic'.  

Listening to "Centrefold"  is contagious and by the time the "nah, nah, na,na, nah, nah"s come along, you'll be singing at the top of your daggiest voice and watch out, could be clapping along too...  I love "Golden Brown" though have no idea what it's about.   "What about me?" might have been covered by "Nollsy" but he wasn't a patch on Moving Pictures.    

If anyone else is struck with a sudden case of nostalgia then feel free to let me know. Before I threw the tape out, my romantic husband hunted down most of the songs via itunes and did a playlist up for me.   Words can't say...

Friday, January 28, 2011

26 plus 7 = 33

My son needed an art smock for Grade 1 this year so I packed him off to school with one of his dad's old shirts.   When I was in Grade 1, my mum did the same.  This poor excuse for a shirt that you see above was my Dad's old work shirt. I was quite short so mum had to cut the tails off and hem it for me.  I used it as my art shirt all through primary school and when it came time to leave in Grade 7 I had everyone I could pin down  sign it for me.  

I had a pretty good go of it at primary school and was genuinely sad to be finishing. Looking at the names and messages I could still read on the shirt brought back happy memories but there were names there that mean not a thing now.  It felt good to throw this one in the wheelie bin.  For so many years I kept this shirt, moving it from place to place with me.  

Re finding these things, photographing them, letting them go - some things are easier than others.  This one was easy.