Lisa’s Bite Sized Memoir: Gardens

Bite-size No Brainer

When Lisa came back from her break, snowed under with things to do, she gave us a list of words – six of them – and instructions to roll dice to choose the topic. Well, I didn’t like number one, watermelon, so I chose gardens. (Check out Lisa’s watermelon themed post.)  I’ll use the 10 x statements for this memoir, instead of  150 words.  Please ignore the fact the two-week deadline was over a week ago! How did time fly by so fast.

These photos were taken on the 25th October, 1970 with the Box Brownie camera

Welcome to the HAMILTON BOTANICAL GARDENS, Victoria.

g-gates
The entrance opposite the Police Station.(not the main one)

1. I remember my friend Mavis – shownby the Wishing Well (above) and sitting on the cannon (below)g-cannon

2.I remember the days, before 1970, when there used to be monkeys, housed in a huge iron-barred cage; monkeys with red-painted bottoms and flea picking fingers: we kids adored them and threw peanuts, still in the shell, into the cage.

3. Gray St Primary School, where I was in grade 5, was just over the road, and I remember sneaking off during lunch hour – I was a town kid, so I could have been going home for lunch. Eventually I got caught and banned, so I had to confine my visits until after school, before I walked home.

4. I remember standing for ages in front of each cage, watching every budgie, canary, cockatiel and finch, guinea pig, rabbit, and other animals and birds I can no longer recall: prolonging the enjoyment and wonder.g-rabbits

5. I remember studying the fountain on every visit, as if I had never seen its lions and elaborate carvings before, thrilled if  water cascaded down. I admired the goldfish and waterlilies, too.g-fountain

4. I remember taking a pocket full of stale bread to feed the ducks on the big pond, amazed by the varieties and loving it even more at duckling time.

g-ducks

g-emus

5. I remember bravely standing my ground if the emus came close to the fence, pretending I wasn’t scared by the booming noise they made in their throats.

g-kangaroos6. I remember  hardly giving the wallabies and kangaroos so much as a glance. I’d seen plenty of those during the long car-trips visiting  grandma.

7. The peacocks! How I loved to see them and admire their sparkling plumage, not knowing that, one day in the future, I would have a pair of my own – breeding and screaming blue murder from the roof, and dancing outside my back door.

8. I remember the swathes of glorious flowers, the names of which I had no knowledge. I would eagerly await the new annual plantings. I would peer into the little greenhouse with half the windows whited over.

9. I remember reading all the exotic names of the trees from all over the world, and marvelling how they had started from just a small seed from another country, so many years ago. I loved autumn.g-peacock

10.But my most remembered memory is of the time, when wagging, I intended having my lunch seated under the huge draping branches of the biggest tree in the gardens, hidden from sight. You cannot imagine the horror that confronted me – there must have been at least a dozen black-and-white robed nuns, taking up all the seats. I backed out of there quick smart. The sight of nuns on the street always frightened me.

BITE SIZE MEMOIR

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9 Comments Add yours

  1. Sue says:

    Lovely memories, and photo’s to remind you of those times. Don’t blame you for taking off after seeing the nuns, they looked like the Moslem veiled women we see today, all you see are 2 eyes staring at you.

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    1. ChristineR says:

      They weren’t as heavily covered as that, Sue, their faces were out. They always looked grim, to me. A child’s perspective, I suppose. Someone looking different to what I’m used to seeing usually surprises me. I’m glad I’ve still got my old photos. There was one of me sitting on the cannon, too, but I sent it to a penpal. That’s why I hardly have any of myself from those days. I’ll go though the negatives one day. I’m hoping to find a second stash of box brownie negatives. 🙂

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  2. Carol Ann says:

    It was lovely to read…I felt ‘in the child’s childhood’, rather than listening to an adult remembering. You take one back to those feelings…I giggled at the black and whites under the tree.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ChristineR says:

      Thanks Carol Ann. I’m pleased my writing can do that. The sight of the ladies, all in a semi-circle, facing me, remains etched in my memory. 🙂

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  3. Aussie Emjay says:

    What a great trip down memory lane – complete with the black & white photos. Yes, I always found Nuns to be a little intimidating when I was a child.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ChristineR says:

      I think it was because their robes were so big and they were always in pairs, at the very least, so you had to decide where to walk as they approached! 😀

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  4. bkpyett says:

    Interesting to see the Hamilton gardens. I loved that you were scared off by the nuns, were they from your school?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ChristineR says:

      Nahhhh, Barbara. I’m not even Catholic. I think someone must have been telling me ‘stories’ about them, there must have been more to my fright than their appearance! Maybe because I never went to church at all. The whole class got smacked around the legs for playing up in RI when I was in grade one, so it probably stems from that. It’s how a kid’s brain works. 🙂

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  5. Wagging Christine? Surely not. Haha, loved this post 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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