When my sister and I were little girls mum often used to take us to the shops or the park, this was when we lived in England. We always walked. We didn’t own a car and although we occasionally used the bus more often than not mum would walk taking our big pram, or later on a pushchair for Naomi which I would ride on if my feet got too tired.
I guess because of this we didn’t find it a problem to get around on foot. We walked to school, with mum and later alone or perhaps with friends. If we wanted to go to the shops we walked too. Later, when we were a little older and living in Elizabeth, South Australia we also walked to the library or to the railway station to catch a train to Adelaide. We thought nothing of it, nor did it bother us to walk home again afterwards. I remember that our cousins would often call their parents to come and pick them up from the station and we would wonder what the fuss was about. It only took about twenty minutes.
All that walking came in handy when as an adult I was working at the Adelaide Station myself. There was a lot of walking involved going through each train picking up rubbish.
I think walking is a great way to get to know a place. When you are on foot you see a lot more. The first summer I lived in Tasmania I often had to wait an hour or more for a bus home from work. I used the time to explore the various streets of the Hobart CBD.
My feet and ankles get sore now if I have to walk too fast, especially in hot weather but I still enjoy a walk in the park or by the river.
When I was a child I didn’t mind the hot Australian summer so much. Nobody I knew had air conditioning, we kept cool with fans, which mostly just blew hot air over us. At school, if the temperature rose above 100 degrees Fahrenheit we were allowed to go home early as the school wasn’t air conditioned either. I remember how we looked forward to those days, getting out of school early was a treat. As the temperature climbed in the afternoons our teachers would schedule easier lessons. Sometimes several classes would be herded into the hall to watch films. They were educational but sometimes there might be a funny one as well.
In Grade 6, the class teacher was Mr. Scott. He was quite a young man, probably not long out of Teacher’s College and he was very good at art. He used to draw amazing murals on the classroom blackboard. In fact, other teachers would often ask Mr. Scott to come and draw something on their blackboards, that’s how good he was.
On really hot days when the temperature was in the nineties and we had not yet been told we could go home Mr. Scott would try to find ways to keep our class of forty or so kids busy. Sometimes he would read poetry to us, at other times he would send a kid to get the school record player and play some music. This was in the days before DVD’s and even before VCR’s. He’d then let us get out the art materials and paint. He’d encourage us to think about cool things and it mostly seemed to work.
Once we were allowed to go it would be a hot walk home but there would be a cold drink or maybe even an iced lolly waiting. Our house in Elizabeth had a concrete floor in the laundry and two old cement wash troughs. Naomi and I often played in there on hot days as it seemed cooler than the rest of the house.
Now I’m older I find that I don’t deal with the heat all that well and rather than being fascinated by the idea of the temperature reaching a century I dislike the really hot days. I’m glad that I don’t have to sit in a hot classroom anymore but those afternoons were fun; sometimes I wonder whatever happened to Mr. Scott.
I think generally their expression. Do they look happy or sad, smiling or serious?
What three habits do you feel would improve someone’s life?
Not in any particular order:
Optimism – “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life”
Moderation- Enjoy the things you like but don’t go overboard
Tolerance – I’ll give you a quote from Gene Roddenberry for this one:
IDIC: Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations
“Intolerance in the 23rd century? Improbable! If humankind survives that long, we will have learned to take a delight in the essential differences between people and between cultures. We will learn that differences in ideas and attitudes are a delight, part of life’s exciting variety, not something to fear. It’s a manifestation of the greatness that God, or whatever it is, gave us. This infinite variation and delight, this is part of the optimism that we built into Star Trek.”— Gene Roddenberry
What takes up too much of your time? Would you stop
that if you could?
Definitely the internet. No.
Cookies (biscuits to those elsewhere), pastries, pie or
cake? If not, what does your sweet tooth crave?
I like all of those but if I had to choose I’d probably tend towards cake first although I am very partial to desserts like pies.
Gratitude? Are You Happy? If so, why? If not,
Yes. I am happy. I don’t have everything but I’m mostly content with my life.
March is here already, it always seems to be in an unseemly rush to take over from February.
When I was little mum used to tell us that if we said “White rabbits, white rabbits, white rabbits.” first thing in the morning on the first day of each month it would bring good luck. This comes from an old superstition which even Mr. Google doesn’t adequately explain. It did originate in Britain and apparently was quite popular with RAF aircrews during WWII although it is a much older tradition than that.
I also remember “Beware the Ides of March”. I had no idea what Ides were but I knew they didn’t do Julius Caesar any good. Apparently, Ides were days when debts were settled so perhaps this one is really “Beware of the tax man.” We can all relate to that.
Another more popular tradition associated with March is celebrating St Patrick’s Day. In Australia, it’s considered a bit of fun, an excuse for a pub crawl and wearing green but we don’t do it in such a big way as the USA. I suspect the celebrations there might be even bigger than those in Ireland.