“WHEN I WAS YOUNG”
Lonetester, (Alona) has suggested the following....
Like it or not, life today is a whole lot different from when we grew up. And as genealogists and family historians, we are mindful of recording our own history, yet so often it doesn’t happen, and sits in the “I must do that” list.
So this “When I Was Young” geneameme has been created to allow you to record at least some of your childhood memories.This series of 25 questions will take you back to your childhood as it asks questions about the games you played, what school was like, what heirlooms you have from your childhood, what books or stories you remember from back then … and a whole heap more.
So if you’d like to record a little of your own childhood history, feel free to take part in my “When I Was Young” geneameme. Just copy and paste from here
and complete your own answers...
- Do you (or your parents) have any memorabilia from when you were a baby? (ie. baby book, lock of hair, first shoes etc.)
Yes, christening certificate, one of two... as I was lucky enough to be christened twice, in the same church, by two different clergy. I was first christened by the Church of England Minister ( it was his church) then by the Greek Priest, who came up from Sydney. So I am C of E (Anglican) and Greek Orthodox. Nothing like being sure.
2. Do you know if you were named after anyone?
My two grandmothers, Christine/Chrisanthe for my paternal Greek grandmother and Bridget, for my maternal Irish grandmother.
3. And do you know of any other names your parents might have named you?
Not that I remember.
4. What is your earliest memory?
Moving into the house we lived in in Urunga. I was 20 months old. I can still see my Dad and my Uncle having to pull the cot apart to get it in the door. It was my cot, as my brother was just three months old. I was still only very young when I asked my parents why they didn't take my teddy out of the cot before they pulled the side off. They were very surprised that I remembered it.. Teddy fell on the ground, so of course I got upset.
5. Did your parent/s (or older siblings) read, sing or tell stories to you? Do you remember any of these?
Mum used to read to us all the time. She also sang and Dad would play the guitar, mouth organ or one of the many other instruments he played. My favourite stories were from The little Golden Book series and Fairies and Elves.. Mum mostly sang the songs her mother sang to her, such as Danny Boy, and Galway Bay, but also a lot of others such as Blue Velvet, Silvery Moon and a number of Burl Ives, Pat Boone and Connie Francis songs.
6. When you were young, do you remember what it was that you wanted to grow up to be?
Mostly a writer, but also a teacher, an artist, and a newspaper writer... I didn't know what a journalist was then. Of course, I always intended to be a Mummy as well, as I've always loved children. Mum worked most of her life, usually with Dad in their businesses, so that seemed perfectly normal to me.
7. Did you have a favourite teacher at school?
Yes, Ron Buck, my school headmaster and later Gr.6 teacher.. but I was also very fond of my Gr.1 & 2 teacher and was still in touch with her, Patty (Bruce ) Keating, until a few years ago.
8. How did you get to school?
Always walked in primary school.
9. What games did playtime involve?
Tree climbing, hopscotch and collecting twigs to outline 'houses' to play families.
10. Did you have a cubby house?
Only the ones we made in the reeds beside the lake near our house.
11. What was something you remember from an early family holiday?
We didn't have a lot of holidays, but we did go from mid north coast NSW to Kiama on a train once, then on to Jamberoo. The journey was the best part. I really loved the old train with all the wooden panelling, the drop down sink with brass fittings, the leather seats, but most of all, the dining car. We'd never seen anything like it. I can't recall how long the journey took, but we didn't have a sleeper.
12. What is a memory from one of your childhood birthday’s or Christmas?
So many.. Christmas was always a great time for all the extended family to get together. There were nine in Dad's family, many of whom were married, so there was quite a crowd. My brother and I were the only small ones, my next cousin was 9 years older and her sister, 5 years older again. I loved that we all gathered on the verandah of my grandparent's house to share gifts... lots of laughter, lots of food and lots of great memories. Decorations were branches of gum trees tied to the verandah posts, and crepe paper streamers. Funnily enough, I can't recall ever having an actual Christmas tree there.
13. What childhood injuries do you remember?
The usual scraps and scrapes, often to do with climbing trees... the most spectacular though, was a broken leg when I was four. I was supposed to be having a nap, but I heard my cousin's voice, so jumped off the bed to go see her and slipped on a mat... Mum had polished the floors and forgot that mats and slippery floors didn't work well. One broken leg, one heavy cast and an Uncle who loved to draw and write on it... Mum used to scrub it clean before I went to the Doctor for a checkup, only to have the Doctor draw on it.
14. What was your first pet?
A little fox terrier called Tuppence.
15. Did your grandparents, or older relatives tell you stories of “when I was young ..?”
Not really, though I was always asking questions. At seven, I was always seen with an exercise book and a pencil, asking all our family and visitors what their names were and who was their Mummy and Daddy. I'm sure they would have been highly amused, but they were mostly very patient with me.
16. What was entertainment when you were young?
Playing with school friends or my brother in the reeds as above, drawing and writing, putting on concerts for Mum and Dad and other family, as well as singing with Mum. We also used to go for long walks, mostly out to visit my grandparents. We didn't have a car, so that was what we did.
17. Do you remember what it was it like when your family got a new fangled invention? (ie. telephone, TV, VCR, microwave, computer?)
The biggest excitement was getting a kerosene fridge, we'd only had an icebox till then. Though I did miss the iceman bringing in a great block of ice and giving us a chip off it.
18. Did your family have a TV? Was it b&w or colour? And how many channels did you get?
Not when we lived in NSW, we moved to Brisbane in 1960, staying in my Uncles' old pub at first, the original Oxley Hotel. We'd been in our own place at Rocklea for a year or so before we got a TV, black & white. I have no idea how many channels... Dad was the only one who changed channels. My husband just told me that there would have only been three.
19. Did your family move house when you were young? Do you remember it?
Yes, see Q.4. We had lived in Dorrigo prior to that, the only thing I remember from that, was the house had a verandah. My Mum was ill quite a bit and in and out of hospital, so we stayed with an Aunt on a regular basis, in a tent at first, then in her house... so, that meant we moved a bit. All in all, we lived in quite a number of places in NSW... as we had to move out of our rented house for about three weeks every year, when the owner came to have her holiday. In Qld, we lived in five houses before I got married. As my husband's family moved quite a bit as well, I think it's easy to understand why have stayed in the same house now for almost 45 years.
20. Was your family involved in any natural disasters happening during your childhood (ie.fire, flood, cyclone, earthquake etc)?
Yes, both bushfires and floods, neither affecting our own home, but certainly in helping others. Even as kids, we would help with wet sacks putting out cinders. Dad would also take his truck out to help others when floods were around, not uncommon in our area. We were camping in a tent at Noosa one year and had it blown apart by a cyclone.
21. Is there any particular music that when you hear it, sparks a childhood memory?
Definitely Danny Boy and the other songs mentioned in the answer to Q. 5. A few Greek songs as well, including Zorba's Dance and Never on a Sunday...
22. What is something that an older family member taught you to do?
Lots of things.... reading, cooking, gardening, flower arranging, crocheting, sewing... recognising plants and birds... and how to revive my Mum from a faint as well as basic first aid... both well before I went to school.
23. What are brands that you remember from when you were a kid?
Silent Knight fridge, Reckitt's Blue Bags, Sunlight Soap, Arnott's biscuits, Billy's Tea, Samios olives, Norco cheese, butter and ice-cream, McRobertson's Chocolates, Wrigley's gum, Jaffas, Maltesers,
Lux Flakes, Pelican Ink, Reeves paints, Horlicks, Little Golden Books, Coat's Cottons, so many more...
24. Did you used to collect anything? (ie. rocks, shells, stickers … etc.)
Scraps of paper, wrapping paper, ribbons, scraps of fabric and wool, buttons, threads... anything at all that I could use to make something else. Old socks became puppets, scraps of fabric became doll's dresses, or small purses, or fabric flowers with safety pins added to make them into brooches. I also collected shells and gumnuts, pressed flowers, collected banksias so I could make fairy money from the furry seeds...I had little jars and boxes and tiny bags all over the place, still do... I could see a use for everything.
25. Share your favourite childhood memory.
This is the hardest question of all... lots of happy memories, as well as some sad. I've taken a while to think about this. Probably the happiest I remember was seeing Dad bring Mum home, after she had been rushed to Sydney for an operation. Dad's sister was looking after us and she had tried to prepare us for the possibility that Mum might not come home. She had been ill for some time and had been in and out of the local hospital. My Aunt told us that we might have to live with her if Mum couldn't come back. Mum was away for what seemed like forever... I later found out that it was almost five weeks. I loved my Aunt dearly, but I missed my Mum so much.
My Aunt told us that she had a surprise for us, but we would have to wait till after school. I think I ran all the way home. We washed our hands and as we went back to the kitchen, they arrived. That was definitely the happiest memory of childhood. I was six.