Each week on Randy Seaver’s Genea-musings blog he has a post for Saturday night Genealogy fun. Because of the time difference, I have called my series Sunday Afternoon Genealogy Fun. This week the mission was:
1) Remember when you were 12 years old? On a summer day out of school? What memory do you have of fun activities?
2) Tell us about that memory (just one – you can do more if you want to) in a blog post, in a comment to this post, or in a comment on Facebook. Please leave a link to your own post in comments on this post.
3) Have you told your children and grandchildren about your childhood memories? You really should.
My birthday is in December, so I turned 12 at the beginning of summer. For my twelfth birthday, I had my first (and only) party where I was allowed to invite a friend.
After school finished (it was my last year of primary school, and I was going to start high school the next year) we had a couple of weeks at home until Christmas, and we spent Christmas day at home – mostly I think so that mum and dad didn’t have to pack all the presents to take with us down to Kilcunda.
Boxing day we packed up the car and caravan, and headed down to the Kilcunda Caravan Park. Over the holidays, a typical day would be to get up, and go for a swim before breakfast, and then back down the beach after breakfast for more swimming. In the afternoon, we’d go and visit my aunty Dorrie (my great aunt, Dorothy Agnes Harley) and uncle Cec (my great uncle Cecil Rupert Harley), on the farm at Woolamai. We would have a ride on the old horse, Snowy, play imaginary games in the sheep pens, and go and pick peas. Uncle Cec had one paddock, up the hill and across the road from the farm house, where he grew peas. We used to eat almost as many peas as we took back. In the evening, we would have tea at the farm, and the dish I remember most that Aunty Dorrie made was Kai Se Ming. I make it now myself from time, but it’s never as good as when she made it. After tea, we would play card games and puzzles.
Other days we might have spent all day at the beach, swimming, or walking along the beach and collecting seashells. I remember there was a rock that was shaped like a lion, and I used to sit on it and pretend to be riding it. In the evening, we would play cricket, and all the kids (as well as some of the adults) from the caravan park would join in. I think that on one night we went over to Phillip Island so see the penguin parade, although that may have been another year.
The beach just below the caravan park had mostly rocks, with one section that was a sandy beach that you could swim in at low or high tide, and there was also a pool in the rocks, that was covered with water at high tide, but that us kids could swim in at low tide. The next beach over was a surf beach, but we never swam there, because of the currents. The beaches in the other direction were all rocks.
Sometimes, I’d go fishing with dad, but he would sometimes be gone before I got up, as he only fished at low tide, from the rocks.
When we had wet weather, we would stay in the caravan and annexe, playing card and board games, or reading. I used to like going for walks in the rain, along the old railway line. The tricky section was walking across the railway bridge, since the trains were still running back then, so you had to make sure that you could get across, or at least to the middle where there was a place to stand, before a train came along.
Sometimes we would drive in to Wonthaggi, to do some shopping. On Sundays, we attended church at the Woolamai Methodist Church.
My dad’s brothers and sister, with their families, also stayed at the caravan park over summer, and this was about the only time we got to see them.
By the end of summer, I was quite brown. I did get sunburn from time to time, and we used to wipe methylated spirits on the sunburn.