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Bonzer Words!: Golden Days

"We used to cut out pictures of ladies from old magazines and make up all sorts of adventures for them. Then there were games where we were princesses or grown-up ladies with our own houses and children...''

Kath Mounsey recalls the golden days of childhood. Kath writes for Bonzer! magazine. Please visit www.bonzer.org.au

Recently my seven-year-old grand-daughter asked if she could ‘interview’ me for a school project and the topic was—“Nanna, what did you do when you were a little girl?”

Now, that is a long time ago, so I had to dust off the cobwebs and take a trip down memory lane.

Well, Sonja, when I was your age, I met a little girl called Margaret and we became instant friends. We sat next to each other in school and, as she lived in the next street, we spent all our spare time playing together. There was no television in those days, so we played with our dolls, rode our scooters, and played hop-scotch and skippy. One of the dolls fell to pieces one day, and I remember we buried her in a shoe-box down the side of the house. We used to cut out pictures of ladies from old magazines and make up all sorts of adventures for them. Then there were games where we were princesses or grown-up ladies with our own houses and children, and all sorts of other exciting people, like movie stars! We also had “stilts” made from golden syrup tins and string which we walked on, up and down the nature strips. I’m sure we must have cut round holes all over the grass, but I can’t remember ever being told off by the neighbours. And what childhood would be complete without climbing trees!

We were often in trouble for getting up to mischief, particularly the time we parked Margaret’s scooter outside the milk bar after school. When we came out, we were talking so much we quite forgot we had left it against a tree, and walked all the way home without it. It was a couple of days before we missed it and, of course, it was gone. That was the end of our wheels, and we were really in big trouble. Naturally, we were told “Scooters don’t grow on trees, you know!”

After that, we ‘rode’ around on imaginary horses, and I’m sure we must have been a source of amusement to any grown-up who might have been watching us.

As we grew older, we joined the Girl Guides. By now it was war-time, and we used to don our uniforms after school and go around the neighbourhood, asking for donations of tinned goods to send to our sister troop in England.

Eventually we both made other friends at school and didn’t see as much of each other until we started working in the city and then we often used to meet for lunch. We are still best friends after sixty-four years.

“I feel I had a charmed childhood, with a loving family and good friends, some of whom I still see to this day. I hope, in the years to come, you will keep in touch with your school friends, as I did, because when you get to my age, it is great to have people to whom you can say ‘Do you remember . . ?’ and they know exactly what you are talking about!”

©Kath Mounsey

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