In Dawson St, we had a lurid carpet, a very 70's blue and purple or green. Our rug at the front door was a lovely co-ordinating blue shaggy sort of fabric, which was really lovely. I spent happy time sitting there, in the extra yellow sun rays that shone through the tall and thin window next to the front door, with the amber glass. It was warm, people were constantly walking past, but unless there was a door knock, I wasn't really in the way. The warm, amber light was soft to my skin, which is probably due to my issues with sunlight on my skin, but I didn't know that then. I just knew it felt like a sun cuddle that wasn't as rough as the outside sun.
Apparently I had problems giving up my bottle as a 2 year old. I still have chuppa chup issues, so let the Dr. Phil analysis begin! Mum finally suceeded in convincing me to give the bottle up by asking me what I would want in return, which considering out very restrained budget, must have been a bit of a last resort for Marmie. I replied I wanted the Cookie Monster. How cool is the Cookie Monster! He is Blue (my favourite colour then), furry, cuddly looking but not interested in being cuddled (very much like a cat), willing to learn if you applied cookie incentive and he shared my love of bikkies! Mum makes the best bikkies. Anzac bikkies stolen straight from the oven tray, too hot to eat but once you bounced them in your now burning hand for a little while, so melting delicious. I loved biscuits so much – they represented warmth, comfort and a contented sleepiness to me, so delicious on the tounge and that solid, happy, vague feeling after eating them, which I still get whenever I eat wheat. Which explains why the Anzac's stand out in my memory...no allergic reaction after those to fog the brain cells!
Back in the 70's, it wasn't as easy to get hold of Sesame St merchandise as it is now. Out in the country it was even more of a challenge, we didn't have shops like a Target then, so if your local didn't stock something, you had to plan a trip into the city, 3 hours drive away. No internet shopping either! Also, as I mentioned, the budget was restrictive, with the new house and farm to manage. My Marmie, however, is a resourceful and creative woman and shortly after presented me a blue, furry Cookie monster hand puppet, who had a bright orange inside to his mouth and he could eat cookies with my hand helping! Cute bobbly big brown eyes the wobbled when you wiggled your hand. He was awesome! I love him, and still have him. Eventually, he somehow developed a hole in the back of his mouth, because I decided he needed a throat for the bikkies to go down.
At some point, I took Mr. Cookie monster to play in the amber sunshine by the front door, on the furry blue rug. Which seemed a bit smaller now...Oh, I must be just growing bigger and it's smaller by comparison...right? And funny how Dad's big coat is missing those two big, bobbly buttons down the bottom. Ah, well, it still does up and he's not stressed about it. All is good.
It was quite a while before all these things went click in my airy fairy head space.
Auntie Devi Xxx
Yesterday, Nina and I had a lot of fun and went on an adventure with the Ruccis group!The daytime was mostly focused on Nina's medical appointments, finalising with an X-ray, that as far as I can tell looked like no bone damage. Yay! In the evening we ventured into the city with Anna, Luth, Judy, Tristan, Tanya, LaShae and Brock, meeting there with Michelle, Ben and Daniel, to watch a mesmerising, glorious, wonderful Youth Circus group called Trick circus perform their act “Operation”. Absolutely loved it. They are so incredibly flexible and courageous and funny. Slightly scary too, I admit to gasping in fear a few times, even though I was (fairly) sure they knew what they were doing. The acts were well co-ordinated, with timing that flowed so easily. I loved the trapeze work, with their smooth transitions between different people getting on, off or higher up creating such beautiful patterns. Talk about taking the work of art that is the human body to higher ground. :-)
Some of their acts, like running up to a table and sliding over it before doing tumbling or acrobatic just looked like plain exuberant fun. Even though I know it would never be possible for me to do, so thrilling and freeing to watch. :-)
LaShae had collected flowers along the way and Anna put them in our hair, starting the adventure of with that yummy feeling of carefree abandon. I'll never outgrow my hippie 70's attitude - just hide it occasionally.
Andrea visited yesterday and looked at the Ruccis Production photos. She recognised the big pink hat immediately and laughed, then commented that she seems to have huge gaps in her memories but remembers things well when she sees a photograph of the event. This is why I scrapbook. Get those memories down on paper with visual triggers.
Memories of things we did with Andrea. Friday nights eating cheese CC's with tzatsiki dip, looking at fashion magazines for dress ideas. I loved Andrea's “sewing room”. It was impossible to walk through, piled high with suitcases of fabric, stacks of magazines, a sewing dummy. A total treasure trove, there was always something interesting to look at or talk about in there.
Preparing for Melbourne cup.
While the actual event was something of a let down, sitting watching boring horses in a crowded area where the loo line took over half an hour, the drink line about the same and that charming gentleman in a lovely suit behind us, who decided rather than line up, he would simply pee on the grass behind our blanket. Such elegance and consideration! The preparation for the event, however, I adored. Discussing patterns with Andrea, the days we would get up early and be in the city by 9 am, she would take me to fabric stores I had never heard of, milliner's (such a delicious, olde world word) goods stores (Oh I wonder if they are still there? I haven't made a hat since our last Melbourne cup event), exotic little beading shops that had been owned by the same family for decades. Traipsing home with trimmings and patterns and outrageously yummy silks and chiffons, matching thread and buttons and oh all those yummy little things that finish off an outfit. Two months of cutting and sewing and fitting, late nights and Andrea's, with the TV on showing fashion parades, discussing topics from ways to improve our diet to which 80's music was best (with me carefully avoiding politics, a passion of Andrea's) while we were sewing feathers and flowers on hats and then changing my mind and unpicking.
The fun of Alicia joining in and her fun and gorgeous Star Trek outfit.
Life with Andrea as your friend is never boring. She lives with all engines on full, and you have to rev up to keep up with her and join in the fun. If you suggest an idea, she will come up with ways to make it happen, all you have to do is work hard and watch the miracle become reality.
I have some really strong memories of Prep. I really enjoyed school in my first year.
On my first day, Mum wanted to know if I wanted her to walk me to school and for years afterwards, I felt guilty that I had so casually brushed off this important parental moment with a “No, I'm off now!” before hooning down the street on my lil black bike. I can't recall if I did go with Debbie or not, vague memories of starting out with her, but she had a friend walking with her and I wanted to get there, NOW!
After Nina's first day at Primary school, I called Marmie and apologised for not allowing her this special Mum-daughter moment. Her words brought laughter to my soul, when she described how she bravely stood still and composed at the front door, waving goodbye, before doing a happy freedom dance at having her youngest finally at school and 6 whole hours of independence ahead of her!
At some point during this first, glorious day, lil Preppie me needed to use the toilet. I'm sure Debbie had shown me where it was, with her inbuilt mothering skills, but my attention span rivalled that of a fishes and I hadn't taken it all in. Bravely, I asked some grade 2 girls (Oh how grown up they were!) for assistance. Kindly, they showed me to the toilets and suggested that I definitely use the first cubicle. Wanting to please such impressive girls, I waltzed straight in and shut the door and came face to face with a horrifying, hairy, ugly, eight legged Huntsman Spider on the wall.
Thus began a year of peeing my pants on the school room carpet, until I figured out I could get a pass and ride home for lunch (we lived a mere two blocks away) and safely use the toilet that My Own Marmie made clean and safe for me.
I adored my Prep teacher. Mrs. Noble. Even her name was awesome, like one of the Knights and Princesses stories I so enjoyed. I believe that I frustrated her greatly. I believe that applies to each and every one of my teachers, with the glorious exception of Mr. Wright, our Physics teacher. Many memories of her explaining to me what I should be doing, when I would insist upon doing it differently, because it wasn't right the way she wanted it done. Writing confused me greatly.
The blackboard, one of my favourite things in the classroom. Oh how I wanted the right to go up and draw on it, clean it. Especially clean it and re write the Aa Bb Cc that decorated the very top of the board. The colours were WRONG! Really, everybody should know that an A is yellow not red? It took me until grade one, encouraged by a discussion with my sister (whose A IS red!) that the alphabet's colour should not be discussed with other people. Finding out Debbie's Alphabet has completely different colours to mine (Glorious jewel tones, instead of my Amber/brown/purple with odd exceptions colour range) helped me realise that other people weren't wrong...just really weird, cos they see letters in whatever colour the chalk is. How bizarre.
Learning the Alphabet lead to a devastating disappointment for me. My name. Julie.
At home I was mostly called JR (loved Dallas!), which I quite liked. I longed to have an exotic, fantasy name like Aurora, Persephone or Crystal. (Not so keen on Dynasty - put me off Crystal quite effectively!) Julie was a warm name, a huggly-snuggly name, a name with no dramatic heights to aspire to. Likewise, I liked intensely bright colours. Sky blue was my favourite colour. Julie HAS a sky blue letter in it – e. Right at the end of the name, a glorious burst of bright blue. However, J is a creamy yellow, U is a pastel amber, L is a very pale apricot/yellow and I is white. Exceedingly blah to me and then the lovely bright sky Blue E at the end was always a bit startling. Right up until I turned 37, everytime I saw or heard my name, I involuntarily got this vision of soft, dull creamness with a shockingly disruptive bright blue. It shook me a little each time, which has become quite wearing.
Later at school, as Julie was nicknamed to Julz, people kept telling me to spell it Jules or Jools. My sister made a point that did niggle at me, that Julz would be read J-uh-lz instead of J-ooh-lz. But the Z leant the name some of the drama I so adored and Z is a lovely shimmery Bronze/brown that went really nicely with the other letters. So I persisted. But it still wasn't...quite right.
Auntie Devi Xxx