Archive for the ‘10 Reserve St’ Category


Threepence – most desired prize at Christmas

Camden Nana’s baking dish,

Flavours of years released into

The great Christmas Day roast.

In this little house in Elderslie

Everything feels just …

Well, … just right!!

Excitement mounts for the piece-de-resistance.

The plum pudding, where threepences hide

And discovery invokes little feet to run to Mum:

“Mum, I found one!”

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Anticipation fires up impatience.

Every passing day urgency intensifies.

Four brothers alone

While parents on social trail

And the hunt is on …

Christmas presents? Where? What?

Through cupboards, wardrobes,

Between clothes, in drawers.

Standing on chairs, crawling under beds.

We love the hunt,

Secretly hope for failure.

Don’t spoil Christmas.

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Opal Fields – mounds concealing shafts

Desolate fields,

Mounds concealing shafts

Dug by early fortune-hunters

Hopefully, quitting their stake within

Whiskers of wealth.

Opals, the elusive prey.*

Lightning Ridge.

Hour upon hour

We sieve dusty fields.

Nightfall, open camp,

Laying side-by-side, looking up,

Amazing sky, stunning show

Shooting, sparkling.

Together we gather

A most remarkable treasure.

Daytime: Labouring in the dust for gems. Nighttime: Lying in the dust being gifted them.

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The school hosts

Visiting troupe of professionals

Sportsmen? Entertainers? Educators?

Uniforms clearly identifying


Generous contributor to a new, essential

Life skill.

They provide tools,

Show the fun,

Teach the skills of …


Wondrous tricks with spinning discs

They make them whistle, sleep, walk, almost talk, certainly bite.

We’re hooked.


This entry was prompted by a picnic yesterday with old Penrith buddies Ian Elliott, Paul Kenny, Bill Joyner, & Merril Worrad.

Bill (of course) produced a couple of yoyos and away we went. It was like riding a bike, the skills passed on by those representatives of the ubiquitous Cola company emerged from the depths, perhaps a little rusty but largely unscathed by the passage of time.

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The garage workshop.

A big room annexed

To its southern side,

Running almost its length.

We aren’t a family of DIY’s

(except for Stephen’s tinkerings
and Poppy, when he visits).

Wasted space.

With temporary lodgers (1 adult, 3 kids)

Soon moving in,

Decision easier.


Teenage boy haven,


My own “flat”.

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Bendalong, fishing village

On Sussex Inlet.

The club owns a property

With cabins & camping areas &

Wildlife teeming.

Roger visits sometimes,

Becomes family trip.

No TV.

Entertainment is:

The birds, roos, dolphins,

Beach football, cricket

Gathering around big fires, under big night skies

Listening to stories.

Until finally we tire.





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We are wearing the jerseys with the white band across the middle. From left to right is: Paul Bardon, Max Cowan,  Steve Cameron, Greg Mobbs, Mick Harpley (bending)

“I just like ’em rolled down,
Dunno why.”

Not good footy etiquette

And being practical

Socks “up” would hold shinpads

To protect shins from

Kicking, raking, & threshing

Of hookers and props

In scrums that are contests.

I don’t like shinpads, either!

Coach & parents reluctantly sigh:

“Just win the scrums, Max.”

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Friday ritual

Football boot preparation

Clean, polish, shine.

Thick white cotton tape wrapped ankles & bridges.

Respectful of the game, teammates, opposition.

Shiny black boots laced with thick white cotton tape

Extra lengths wrapped around ankles & bridges.

Ready for fields dusty … or muddy.

A ritual loved.

Contrasting school shoes

Scuffed by kicking the can

And reluctance to polish.

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The Bowling Alley has

The real magnet for boys developing a misspent youth

Pinball Machines!


Play the silver ball with crazy flipper fingers.

Unspent school lunch-money, odd-jobs, bottle redemptions, pocket money.

Finances lights, sounds, action,

Silver balls, flippers, bumpers & bells.

Fast hands,

Shake don’t tilt.

Striving for …



Free game.


Don’t leave until pockets are empty.


How could I not insert this here?

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Pop magazine.


Every week published a Top 40’s Chart.

A collection to build.

We should collect every No 1 single.
It is a slice of

And so begins the next collection.

Great songs & trash, it doesn’t matter.

Just needs to be #1 and it’s in

The Cowan #1 Singles Collection.


* Here’s one of the number ones that was in the collection. This was the #1 single for 5 weeks in early March 1967.



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