Getting back on track.
As per usual I strayed way off course writing ‘Part V’ so I’ll just hark back for a few minutes (hopefully) then get on with the rest of the nonsense.
In my last post I mentioned going to Bluey Naughton’s home in Glen Iris, I did go there a few more times and I could not help but compare the the quiet and peace and comfort to my home in Sunshine, (silly name for a town). At this time there was more, shall I say disharmony at home than was comfortable.
My mother did/had not wanted to leave England, and she found it vey hard to settle, this is going way back now to the early 1950’s. She spent more time in howling and weeping and wanting ‘to go home’ instead of settling down in a new home, in a new country where she and her family were immeasurably better off.
Life at home was not always pleasant, naturally she held my father to blame and many a time she’d blow her top and I somehow became the meat in the sandwich. Sonny my brother went into the Navy for his ‘National Service’ training not long after we arrived and Carole my sister (you’ve read about her as the Doodlebug Baby) was only 6 going on 7 years old at the time, and would be in bed asleep when the vitriol would start to fly and I’d be stuck there. My father would close his ears (he wasn’t that deaf at the time), and either go to sleep in ‘his’ chair or read the newspapers. These were the good old pre TV days.
I could not but prefer the quite comfort of my Catholic friends home, mind you they were quite well off compared to the Smith Family but even so I was always treated as one of them.
The first winter in Melbourne saw me going off to the snow. All my Mick chums decided that they’d charter a Pioneer Bus on a Friday night after work, go up to Bright and go skiing on Mt Buffalo on the Saturday and Sunday, returning to Melbourne Sunday night. When I was invited to join the party I said I’d have to get the okay from my mother, which she gave and I signed up for a weekend away, my first time ever. 🙂
Frances Delaney came from Bright, and her parents had their homestead, a beautiful big old house with a verandah full around set on a large block just out of town. Frances was the youngest of nine children and the following year she turned 21 and we all went up and stayed at the Star Hotel in Bright and attended the party. This was in the warmer months and the day after the party Frances, Bluey, Doyley and me piled into a Ford V8 Customline and were taken up to the top of a snowless Mt. Buffalo.
Back to the snow weekend, my mother thought it would be nice if I had a new sweater/ jumper to wear for the occasion and set to knitting me a ‘Fair Isle’ jumper in two days. True, she was an amazing knitter when her fingers and hands got going with the knitting needles they would almost burst into flames she was that fast. Never saw anything like it before or since. She was a great knitter and taught both my brother and me to knit, she felt that men should be able to do it, as her father could and did when he was at sea with the navy.
Anyway to cut it short I had a great weekend and was taught to ski, I actually took to it quite easily, kind of like dancing it required timing and balance, which I had a plenty. The bus/coach ride up and back and to the top of the mountain was great fun we sang all the way there but not back, we were too tired to sing!