Archive for February, 2012

The rear of this church - the venue for occasional after-school sport.

The little church.

At the rear a patch of land, fenced in.

A great venue for after school activities.

Play? Games?

A natural arena, hidden away.

Perfect for serious, unsanctioned, unsupervised after-school activities.

Competitive activities.

Mmmmm … Combatative activities.

Bare hands clinched. Fists.

Rules never written, but well known and …

Always abided.

Read Full Post »

We wanted to play Rugby League, tackling lessons needed.

Roger – Nepean High teacher – trained a school team.

NHS Teachers 1964 - Roger is back row 4th from left.

Steve & I joined training.

Roger’s team (17-18 y.o.) would run at me (9) and Steve (6).

Our job:

Ready to play??

– Hit ’em hard.

– Around the ankles.

– Bring them down.

– No Fear!!

“They can’t run without legs.”

Loved those times.

Read Full Post »

Dynamo - Lighting the Cyclists Night Rides.


The generator powering the cycle headlight,

powered by the wheel turning, in turn

Driven by extra, EXTRA, pedalling power.

Tuckered out from football training the night cycle home (Jamison Park to Cambridge Park*)

Was hard enough.

But the extra effort to keep the lamplight burning really burnt me out.


* There was always debate about whether Guildford Rd was Kingswood or Cambridge Park. We used Kingswood most of the time and when it suited we used Cambridge Park. It suits here, don’t you think?

All you need is a "little" extra pedal power!! #$%@ that - I can see without it!!

The route home varied but the majority of times one of 2 options:

Jamison Rd, Castelreagh St, Derby St, The Northern Rd, Parker St, Copeland Avenue, Victoria St, Sandringham Ave, Guildford Rd.

The 2nd main option came into play if I was feeling  too scared to ride past the cemetary, then from The Northern Rd, right at Great Western Hwy, until Kingswood Station cross the level crossing onto Richmond Rd, then right at Victoria St.

The 2nd route still had me passing the eastern end of the cemetery but there had been little activity at that end.

The usual route (red) with scaredy cat's detour (blue)

Read Full Post »

Pushbikes – back-pedal brakes.

Neighbourhood kids join together to form …

The village peleton.

Touring Kingswood, Werrington, Cambridge Park.

Taking the group into untarred Guildford Rd.

Front wheel hits rock. Wrong angle. Down.

Everyone evaded … except one.

Who rode straight over me.

Dusty tyre tread mark follows the line of the spine.

Read Full Post »

The Weapon - Y-shaped junction, elastic, leather.

Branches forming “just-right” junction.

“Just-right” = the perfect Y-shape.

Add strong elastic, a leather patch, carpenter’s staples, inexperience.

The Ammo - Big Staple, two sharp points.

Five elements united – danger!

Load, stretch, release.

With speed and force

Into hand.


Pulling the staple, blood flows.

Two holes behind the Y formed by index & thumb.

No sympathy, stupidity berated.

Scars  last.

Load, stretch, aim, release - my view - the apple survives.


The artwork of the slingshot is by Veronika Nagy. Her blog is The Art Blog.

Read Full Post »

Circle of children standing akimbo, foot touching foot.

Tennis ball bounced in circle centre.

Bouncing diminishes to a roll,

Passing through legs – “IT” is chosen.

The game begins: SCATTER …

From the menacing throw.


Another game where tears flowed.

But uniforms only soiled (the mark of the ball) – rarely ripped.


* It was difficult to find anything online about this game. But I did find a version being played in a Malaysian High School. There the game was called Bola Chop and some of the descriptions about the intention of the game are spot on – eg

Throw the tennis ball at someone, really hard, with the intention of inflicting pain.


Read Full Post »

Cocky Laura.*

Back playground, Penrith Primary.

Time: Lunch.

20, 30 or more line up at one side.

One IN! Cocky – in centre.

“1,2,3 Cocky Laura” – everyone charges to the other side.

Cocky … catches runners before they reach, they join Cocky tackling runners.

Winner: Last person brought down.

Losers: Mum’s: damaged clothes … & children!

Note & extras:

* The game was known by plenty of other names – most commonly British Bulldog. It was eventually deemed too dangerous but (in Britain at least) there was a move to allow its return.  The attempt is an interesting insight into the difficulties of find the balance between a “nanny state” and reasonable risk.  The Return of British Bulldog.

And of course the title of this post is Cat Steven’s

Read Full Post »

Books & book transport.

“Let’s find out about your favourite books.”

Classmates in turn.

Now, me.

Stand up.

Loud projected voice.

“My favourite books are encyclopedias and dictionaries!!
I like to them because I learn about different things, countries, and science, and animals.
Dictionaries teach you about the meaning of words.”

Mrs Frawley smiled.

Read Full Post »

Most become invisible with time.

Many are vapid.

Some evoke vivid, preferred forgotten, recollections.

And few – too few – illuminate, then keep on illuminating.


Though in her class only a single year – Grade 3,

Mrs Frawley made her mark.

An indelible mark – impressed by rarity.

An effulgent memory – enduring years, decades.

1964 - 3rd Grade - a favourite time.

Read Full Post »

Year end 1963.

Infants “big kids” gathered. In pairs.

Girl with boy!!!

Visible grimace, audible grumble.

Secret, silent wish: Let Carolyn* be my partner!

Hands held, we followed, straggled – 60 of us – the path to Primary.

The Path to Primary School** - In pairs , hand in hand.

Big kids,little school becoming little kids … again.

Orientation. We were ready – feeling big but a little smaller.


* Carolyn – that is Carolyn Bootle – wasn’t my partner for the journey.

** The map is from 2011. In 1963 High St was still the Great Western Highway, Henry St was not the major road it looks here, there were no roundabouts, and the labelling “Penrith High School” is not in the right spot (even today it is not right.)

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: