At my dad’s funeral my sister spoke about growing up and how short we were of money. It was a shock to me. When I thought about our childhood it was about caravan holidays, a great big yard, cows, Dad bringing home bags of fresh fruit from the Adelaide Central Market, the beach, bikes, kid fights and relatives. A time full of activity and being outside, the lack of money in my pocket was another matter completely.
There was one time when I did believe our family was poor but I don’t know what made me think that. Apart from the house we lived in, my parents owned a block of flats and shops, about four of each, at Henley Beach. Once when a shop was empty for a while Mum set it up as a “Drapers” selling ladies’ clothes, baby wear etc. She had an account at a warehouse and when Dad was going to reward me for doing well in a music exam he took me to the warehouse to pick out a leather satchel.
There was quite a range including single compartment, double compartment and even triple compartment in blue, black and brown. Dad asked me to pick out the one I wanted and I picked out the ugliest, brown, single compartment one I could see. He tried to get me to choose something else but I insisted and when he asked if I was sure I told him I was. I didn’t tell him I thought it was so ugly it HAD to be the cheapest one and I thought that’s what we should get. I’m sure we both left there feeling disappointed but overwhelmingly my memories are of rich experiences.
You didn’t know that about Nana did you?