Influences and inspirations

24 Jun 2012

Me and my little sister 1964

At the risk of being told I am living in the past and perhaps consigning my dolls to being type cast as vintage wannabes I have to say that one of my biggest inspirations for my work is my own happy childhood, my classic Australian 1960s childhood in suburban Launceston in our mid century house that was surrounded back and front by bushland and where children ran and played in and out of each others houses and where we searched for fairies and tadpoles in the paddock over the back fence.

in the garden 1964

My co conspirator was my little sister, 3 years younger than me and always at my side and a gang of girls, Julie, Colleen, Louise and various others who were on the edges of our gang at various times.

Summers then really did last forever, I'm not kidding.
 Many many summer days were spent at the Basin, swimming and playing without any fear of the dangers of sunburn, endless icy poles, sandwiches for lunch and then home for a barbeque.
 Winter was always cosy and seemed to start with bonfire night in late May, the bigger kids which included my brother and two cousins did most of the bonfire making but we helped a little.
 The Bonfire was to celebrate Empire day but old Guy Fawkes got burnt as well for good measure.
 I think my sister and I were considered a bit pathetic because we were younger and we were girls and we just happened to only really liked pretty crackers ( fireworks).

family portraits 1964

Winter was also full of birthday celebrations through July and August.
Christmas was always sunny and warm except when it was cold enough for a fire.
My dad always wore the same jumper ( sweater) when we went to the Drive in.
 We never had take away but we always had shop night, Saturday night, when we had  ice creams, and chips and lollies and a family block of chocolate, oh and some fizzy cordial.

me and my little sister 1964

We walked to school down the hill or we were dropped off by Dad in his truck.
We caught the bus home or walked and it was all uphill, Brougham St hill, what a killer.
 We knew which houses had nasty dogs and which house always had those wonderful little cocoons, made from sticks, attached to its front fence.
The last part of the walk home was through the bush and the playground with the high slide that burnt your bare legs on hot summers days when the metal got so hot you could fry an egg on it, not that we ever tried, we fried our legs instead.

off on a camping holiday at Lake St Clair  around 1965/66

Life was good and comfortable and sure, we felt loved and cherished and though childhood always has patches of difficulties as we grow and work out who we are and where we fit I look back on my 1960s as a time of peace and love and  full of the flowers in mum's garden.

all dressed up for church anniversary day, around 1963

8 Responses to “Influences and inspirations”

  1. This was my childhood too. Billy carts were made with no brakes by hand and castor wheels which I found fascinating with all the little balls in them.
    You had to pull the back of your skirt down so you didn't burn your legs on the slide.
    The milk was delivered in bottles by a horse and cart. You dragged a basket of old bottles up to the milk bar so with the refund you could buy lollies.
    You wore little white gloves when you went to the city in your good dress. The room in your house where you received guests was called the "good" room. It was sweet.

  2. Your backyard seemed huge! There was an incinerator at the back where the leaves and rubbish were burnt,it seemed rather exciting at the time. No one mentioned the effects it had on the environment, maybe we were unaware of it.
    We played near the creaked and picked buttercups to hold to our chin to see if we liked butter.
    We made daisy chains and wore them. We knew all the kids in the street and we all played in and out from one house to another without a care in the world. Mum wore her hair up high and wore silk dresses with beads all hand made on them to go out to parties. We had cigarettes out for the visitors when they arrived and an electronic lighter for them. Not a talk or thought that this was linked to cancer.
    I gave out the "savouries " on a silver tray walking them around the guests at frequent parties.
    Trips to the Chinese Takeaway meant taking your own saucepans to fill up with their food, it was so special. Yes, I was a sixties girl too.

  3. I remember a similar childhood Jenny and we even had shop nights on Saturday night. I can't remember what we watched on the TV on Saturday but it was something special.

  4. Ah Jenny I love it when you write posts like this. I have some of those memories too, I was a child in the 70s.
    Thank you for sharing some lovely memories.
    cheers Kate

  5. Your photo are just beautiful and your father looks so handsome in that last one :) Thanks for sharing Jenny :) I have fond memories of play in my granfather's garden (which contained nothing but fruit and veg :)) & feeding the baby bunnies fennel.
    At home trying to catch butterflies, studying ants and lady bugs very closely.
    Trips to the farm, cuddling kittens & baby chicks and a scary outside toilet :)
    Walks to the milk bar on a hot summers day for a bag of mixed lollies.. Havent thought about those things in a while :)

    Fiona x

  6. It sounds absolutely wonderful Jenny! How blessed you are to have a beautiful photo collection.

  7. I think we must have lived in a perfect time and place, mid 60's, and in my case, Midwest America small town. We spent the entire summer barefoot and outside, and didn't come in (except to eat!) until the sun began to set around 9:00pm.

    Thank you for sharing this glimpse of your childhood, and bringing back fond memories of my own :-)


  8. To have brothers and sisters. That is something I never got to experience. Did I miss out?

    -Zane of ontario honey


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