Sunday, 13 January 2013

Way Back When


A fellow blogger recently did a post on remembering what it was like being a kid (you know - back in the old days). So I thought I would do some reminiscing as well.

One of my earliest memories was when I was about 5. We lived on a sewerage farm back then and my dad was the big boss. There were only 11 houses on the sewerage farm and probably about 10 or 11 kids in total lived on the farm. We were all around the same age. Anyway, back then we lived in a much safer world. We were free to roam around and one of our neighbors sons was visiting and we were playing outside. For whatever reason, we were showing each other our various you know what parts and he kissed me. My mother happened to be looking out the window and saw us. He was banished for life and I remember getting the hiding of my life. He may have been banished for life from ever visiting me again but I have many memories of the two of us getting up to all sorts of mischief when I was not at home.

I remember my brother and I used to fight all the time. I am 5 years older than him. I remember the maid locking him in his room when he was about 3 or 4 to keep us apart. I was not too impressed with this and went outside to wind him up through the window and I ended up breaking the window. I didn't tell anyone and when my parents got home they assumed it was him and he was severely punished. My brother and I are the greatest of friends now but back then we were arch enemies.

When we were both older, my dad bought us each a horse - at least mine was a horse and I think stood about 21 hands high (if I remember the terminology correctly). It was white and grey and I called him Stoney. My brother got a much smaller horse (may have been a Pony) as he was much younger. It was pregnant at the time and a lot more tame than mine. Anyway, I loved my horse. I learnt to ride very quickly and being on a farm, we were free to ride and roam about. I was always on my horse with some of the neighbors kids who also had horses. We rode without saddles most of the time. And as we all got older, we started venturing off the property onto the back roads to bordering towns.

My parents both worked all day back then. There was no one to supervise us except the maid and I think if we were not home, she had less to worry about. I was hardly home. If I was at home, I was listening to my portable cassette deck and was probably listening to Elvis.

I used to go to an English school. The neighbors kids all spoke Afrikaans as their home language so they went to a different school. I used to walk about 2km every morning to catch a bus to school. Back then girls were not allowed to wear pants to school and our uniform was a skirt and blouse with short white socks and I remember being absolutely freezing early in the mornings. Stockings didn't help either.

Life has changed so much now. I have 4 boys and they have always had 24 hour supervision. Never allowed to go out without me knowing where they are going, with who they are going, what they are going to do and when they are doing it. They have never used public transport on their own. Never been able to ride their bikes out on the street. We just do not live in the same safe world. I suppose living in Johannesburg doesn't help either as it is not the safest city in the world.

Let me know how far back you can all remember....


6 comments:

  1. Ah the good old days of little supervision, free to learn, grow and get into mischive...of course the survival rate was a bit lower than today.

    You have got to tell me, What is a sewerage farm? It can't be what it sounds like.

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    Replies
    1. Pit is exactly what it sounds like I'm afraid. There is a more diplomatic name but thought I'd call a spade a spade!

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  2. Josh must have read my might with that question, LOL! You're absolutely right, life then was MUCH safer. We'd run around playing with any/everyone from dawn or damn near to dusk. I had to be on my porch, if not in the house when the streetlights came on however. One time I was daring and bold, and was on the the public sidewalk instead, when dear old mom, peeked out the front door. You used the word 'hiding', that's what I got!
    I didn't have to wear a uniform, but girls weren't allowed to wear pants until 1965 or so. I also remember coming home for lunch everyday until I was in the 6th grade or so,
    So many memories, so little time.
    Thanks for the memories....!

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  3. I still live in the town I grew up in and I am amazed at how it has changed!! I walked home by myself at the age of 5 and went to the park with my little buddies. We never heard of things such as pedophiles or abductions. It was a safer, simpler time. By the time I had my own children, I never let them out of my site, which drove them nuts, especially once they hit their teen years. Nowadays the motto is better to be safe than sorry!

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  4. Great Job! It's very interesting to hear how others remember their childhoods. My sister and I use to try to scratch each others eyes out. But we are best friends today also. Funny how that works out.

    I think it is pretty sad that it isn't safe for children to just go exploring their world by themselves anymore. It was my favorite thing to do. It still is.

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  5. Oh gosh, i had a pink Huffy bicycle and my best friend Freddy lived in house behind me. We would ride our bikes all over Dallas on weekends. It's all condos,busy intersections and shopping strips now. I also walked home from school everyday and got to play outside until mom came home from work. It's so sad that kids dont play outside like we did but it's not safe anymore.

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