The Little Arsonist

The first home I lived in was at Henley Beach and one year our family was going to house swap with one of Dad’s friends from the war. We were supposed to go to a farm somewhere in the south east, maybe around Penola but my Nana was sick and we couldn’t go. Because the other family were coming up we went to stay in a big shed that Dad had built on a block we owned just about opposite where Henley High School is now. There was a caravan parked beside the shed.

I was 5 or younger at the time so Jaynie was only 2 and one day Mum left us sleeping in the caravan when she walked down to the shops. Fry’s Butcher shop, Edna Dunnings shop and I’m not sure what else was at the corner of Military Road and Henley Beach Road which might have still been called Adelaide Road at that time. Newcombes’ shop was on Seaview Road at the top of the sandhill, they sold newspapers and I don’t know what else apart from firecrackers in November!

Before Mum came back we woke up and it was dark in the caravan so I tried to light a candle. I tried and tried but just couldn’t get it lit. I guess I dropped the matches as I tried until I became aware of the mattress smouldering. I ran off to find Mum and met my brother, Ricky, coming back on his bike. He asked me why I wasn’t at the caravan but we didn’t get along and I wouldn’t tell him, I just asked him where Mum was. The rest I don’t remember but Jaynie didn’t get burnt and the caravan survived so we must have been very, very lucky.


You didn’t know that about Nana did you?


My posh frock and ribbons don't quite match the rather shabby setting.
My posh frock and ribbons don’t quite match the rather shabby setting. If Mum took the photo she would have been seeing only the flowers.

Author: macmsue

I’m a sister, wife, mother, grandmother, auntie and friend. I prefer to be outside and am interested in photography, nature and different cultures. I believe everything on this earth has a right to be here but some things and some people would be happiest if their space was far away from mine. (Flies and biting bugs take note!) I don’t like housework and think dust is Nature’s way of saying, “This is my space, I was here first.”

Does this ring any bells with you?

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