Bite Size Memoir 5: Camping

I’m still catching up on the prompts for Lisa’s Bite Sized memoirs.  For compilations of other stories with this theme, click on the elephant under the post.

So Camping is the prompt for this week’s Bite Size Memoir – I’m thinking ‘outdoor recreational activity’

My love of camping comes from Dad: always happiest by water – fishing, drinking, reading – whilst one of us kids watched the rods.

My first memory of camping was living in a tent; most likely we were ‘between’ homes. I think it was at Victor Harbour, South Australia: sand dunes, the ocean, and other children to play with. I don’t know my age. I must have been extremely young. You can judge from what happened.

My calls of nature were usually conducted in the sand dunes. I was amazed one day, whilst taking care of business. I yanked up my panties, rushed along to the tent and burst in, shouting.

“Mum! I did a pee and a poo at the same time!”

These words initiated the first of two smackings I ever received from my father. We had visitors in the tent, and dad was embarrassed by my outburst.

Dad at Blackfellows Caves, South Australia – fooling around with a gummy shark.  January 1971. My last camping trip with my father and two of my brothers. I kissed a boy for the first time on this trip.

BITE SIZE MEMOIR

As to smacking, there are only two incidents where I remember being chastised by smacking on the bottom by Dad. He might have used his belt, I do not recall.  I would receive the odd biff under the ear, now and then. Earning such a biff, for example, during helping dad in his blacksmithing, when letting the forge fire get too cool because I was busy reading a western, instead of turning the blower handle at the right speed.

Swearing was a no-no, in dad’s hearing, too. If he was too far away to smack you under the ear, you would get the piercing blue eyed look. In a way, that was far worse.

Gee, I’m talking about my dad a lot. One of my new blogging friends has recently lost her father, and I think this has made me think of mine a bit more. He was a bit of a bastard, really, but I loved him. He died before his 50th birthday. Basically, he drank himself to death.

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7 Comments Add yours

  1. bkpyett says:

    Wow Christine, such poignant and good memories! Your Dad died young, that must have been hard.

    Like

  2. ChristineR says:

    Thanks Barbara. It was hard, until I realised that my grief had actually turned into a form of self-pity.

    Like

  3. M-R says:

    All grief is, Christine – there’s no other interpretation. We grieve because we have lost someone: who’s the subject and who the object …?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sue says:

    Those were hard days, your dad probably tried his best to provide for his family. Shame he couldn’t escape his demons. You don’t know how he was treated when he was young to make him behave like he did, probably the same or worse. My dad’s mum would give the give the kids a back hander if anyone even said “but”, he said they would go flying across the room. Christine, you don’t have to like a person or their behaviour to love them and I think your dad deserves your love.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. ChristineR says:

      No argument there, Sue. ❤

      Like

    2. Outlier Babe says:

      Sue, what you said is true and wise. It is also one of the frustrating things about love. Sometimes–not in this case, but sometimes–the person is NOT deserving of your love. Or, they are deserving of your love, but not of your company, but, because you love them, it is difficult to deny them this. Life is so tricky sometimes.

      Liked by 1 person

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