Share Your World – 2015 Week #4

January 28, 2015 at 11:36 am | Posted in 1950s, Australia, Family History, Gratitude, Memoir | 6 Comments
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How quickly week 4 of this year has come along! Here are my responses to Cee’s week 4 questions on Share Your World.

Where did you live at age five? Is it the same place or town you live now?

Hey, you’re taking over my Memoir Monday topic here!! LOL!

When I turned five, I lived in the Lancashire country town of Oswaldtwistle. Our home was a three-up-three-down, in a row of stone terrace houses that had been built in the 1890s for the workers at the cotton mill across the back alley. Oswaldtwistle was an old cotton town, and so had lots of big mills. However it was quite a small place, and we were close to the surrounding moors.

When I was five and a half, we emigrated to Australia. At first, we (six of us) lived in a fibro migrant cottage with my aunt, uncle and baby cousin. This was in a small rural town in NSW called Dapto.

A couple of months before I turned six, we moved into a small (4-berth) caravan that Dad parked on the edge of Dapto, between a creek and the football ground called Reed Park. Later, we spent a couple of months parked in the foothills of the ranges, next to a dairy farm.

I have lived in many places in several states since then, always in country areas. I now live on the western shores of Lake Macquarie, a 4-hour train ride north of where I grew up. It is another lakeside village.

You are invited to a party that will be attended by many fascinating people you never met. Would you attend this party if you were to go by yourself?

Probably not. If it were just a couple of fascinating people, then I might.

Did you grow up in a small or big town? Did you like it?

Part of my story is in my answer to question 1. When I was about six or seven, Dad bought a block of land south of Dapto, on the shore of Lake Illawarra. It was a rural area, with dairying the main industry, apart from the steelworks at Port Kemble, across the lake. We lived there in the caravan at first, then Dad built the house we all grew up in.

I loved it there. We had open paddocks and bushland, and the lake. Being a girl, I wasn’t allowed to do the things my older brother could, so I was jealous of that. But it was a great place for kids to grow up in. Unfortunately it is no longer the same, having succumbed to the cancer of urban development. Where there were farms, paddocks and bushland, there is now a sea of roofs.

I couldn’t live in a small city, let alone a big one

As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

As a young kid, I didn’t think of the future. As a teenager approaching the end of my schooling, I had a few preferences. I wanted to join the RAAF and be a pilot, like my dad had been during the war. I wanted to be a journalist too. However, being a girl in the early 1960s severely limited career options. Girls were only expected to work until they married, so they had few choices: shop assistant, hairdresser, office assistant, nursing or teaching. I ended up being a teacher.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Last week, we had coffee with good friends at an outdoor kiosk by the lake. Last Saturday, I had coffee with another friend, a fellow writer, and we talked books and writing. Both of these were wonderful, and I always enjoy and am grateful for the company of good people.

On Saturday this week, we will be attending the 90th birthday celebrations of another lovely friend.

Linda Visman

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