14 July 2010

Back in the day...

I received an award-type quiz meme from Hayley, Shinxy and Todd. (They all contribute to the great Ability in Disability blog, too.) It was the same quiz from all of them - 10 things about me. It was nice to learn more about them through their answers. But I have a bit of aversion to these 'awards' because I think sometimes they clog up blogs, and become uninteresting and repetitive. And that is the last thing I want my blog to become. But I was really inspired by the way Hayley wrote hers. It read like a beautiful memoir of a great childhood. And made me want to write. I haven't done any overly inspiring blog entries lately.

So here goes. 10 things I remember from back in the day...

When I was about seven, or the year Itty Bitty Bins were en-vogue, whenever that was, my Dad found a dead mouse in the shed. He showed it to me and threw it out on the garden for a bird to take. I secretly collected it, and put it in this purple Itty Bitty Bin and then buried it in the shell garden in the front yard. (A shell garden was a little square of dirt covered with shells that I collected from holidays at the seaside.) Now back then, I had so few friends, but I'd invite kids over on the way back from school and show them this decomposing mouse body. A dead mouse was not a way to make friends. The kids that I wasn't friends with would keep their broken coloured pencil leads in Itty Bitty Bins. I kept a dead mouse in mine! To this day I never know why I did it. I can't stand mice, but I guess that a dead mouse is not a threat. And I can't believe I wasted an Itty Bitty Bin on this. That was probably not a good story to start off with. Anyhow.

I used to belong to a church youth group in primary school. I guess it was a way of getting me to meet people, to make friends. I think there were a few nights where I went for dinner at the church hall. I remember disagreeing with most things they preached. They would say to me that anyone that drank alcohol was a bad person. They also told me that if I was living in Jesus times, I would have been classed as a leper and that people wouldn't want to come near me because of my skin. I was told I have a genetic chronic illness because I am not baptised. I was smart enough to know that genetic disposition is not determined by a priest sloshing a bit of water on your forehead (plus I was born like this, and as far as I know, baptism is not in the womb). And I was so averse to cold water as a kid that I doubt that I'd have gone ahead with baptism even if I had a strong faith. When I went home and told my Mum the things they said at the youth group, she took me out of it. I was glad for it. I didn't want anyone telling me how to think, especially not these small-minded views. Other than for funerals and weddings, I choose not to go to church.

Dad and I used to make 'cheeses' out of playdough. They were round and smooth, and Dad used to tell me the names of different cheeses as we shaped them. Gloustershire. Leistershire. Stilton. Brie. I loved this. Last year this time, we went to Tasmania and visited the Bruny Island Cheese Company. We bought lots of cheese. The cheese in the storeroom (see below) looked like giant versions of the cheeses Dad and I made. Except their cheeses weren't bright blue!

When I was four, Mum's relative came from South Africa with her son. I couldn't pronounce her son's name right. They stayed for about a week. The only memory I have about this visit was that her son ate my playdough. Mum would put Dettol in it to protect me from infections. And it was salty. Still, he ate it.

I have had genetic testing done. I am sure it involved a needle, and I'm sure I freaked out about it. But the thing I remembered most about the genetic testing is that they shoved a giant cotton bud so far up my nose that I am sure it touched my brain. It hurt like hell.

I really want to revisit playing with Lego Fabuland. I spoke about this to Danielle the other day. I had the BEST Lego Fabuland set. It was a flour mill with a slide that the characters would go down.
The imagination used when playing with lego was incredible. I know I am 28, but I crave a good play with Lego. Who's in?

I developed a celebrity crush early. I was nine, and my babysitter loved a band called Southern Sons. She brought over video tapes of Rage. I was suddenly a fanatic. I loved all things Southern Sons and thought I'd marry Jack Jones (now known by his real name, Irwin Thomas). I wrote to Jack Jones and told him EVERYTHING about me. Including that I liked lasagne and Tim Tams. The fan-club sent me an autographed photo back, which is stuck on the back of my toilet door with other rock royalty.

You may recall this gem from Southern Sons.

Hold me in Your Arms. Sigh. He sounded like a youthful John Farnham. I remember my Dad saying, in all seriousness 'I can't get over how much this guy sounds like Farnham'. We were watching Southern Sons on VHS. I used to watch it a lot. Mum's friend (my friend) bought me a Southern Sons t-shirt for my 10th birthday. It was down to my ankles then. This is what it looks like now. It's a great mini dress.

I met Jack Jones/Irwin Thomas in 2007 after I pretty much jumped up on stage and hugged him at the Darren Hayes concert. He was also on my plane to Brisbane the next day and we chatted a bit on the plane and at the airport in Brisbane. He was a really nice guy, and called me darling. Squeeee! To say I was beside myself is an understatement. We are actually Facebook friends now!

When I was 12, my parents and I went to a dinner party at a friend's house. We all told jokes around the table. I was a pretty advanced reader back then. Dad had let me read his 'Best Jokes of All Time' book. I proudly remembered one. The joke contained a word that rhymes with 'stunt'. The room went silent. My parents had me out of the dinner party quicker than you could say 'wash your mouth out'. And they were pretty quiet with me the next day. I had a really thick Macquarie dictionary and I consulted it to see what 'stunt' meant. I didn't actually know the meaning of it when I told the joke. And thanks to the Macquarie dictionary, I realised why my parents were so embarrassed by my joke...

Ok, it may be eight, nearing on nine... back in the day, I was never good at maths, and still aren't.


  1. Oh Carly, this was BRILLIANT!! I LOVE the itty bitty bin mouse story. They were the best bins, can't say I ever put a mouse in them though. And FABULAND!!! I have 2 massive buckets full of the stuff for if/when I have girls. Marjorie the cat was my favourite, I have still got that mill set. She had a vacuum cleaner, I still have that too and a ferris wheel and apple trees and carts... so many Fabuland things.

    This was a great trip down memory lane.

  2. I hear you on the Lego. Emma is old enough for Duplo this year, I think we are more excited about it than she will be ;)

  3. Hi Carly, I found your blog via Vogue. I love it! As a 29yo stay at home Mum (I am going back to work next week casually much to partners disgust!) Your blog is lovely, and has given me more than a few laugh out moments! I don't know how to "follow" but I will be sure to add you to my favorites! Can't wait to make that chocolate mousse.......

  4. Laughing out loud!

    I remember the bins and also Southern Sons...

    Thank you!

    SSG xxx

  5. I think a lot of people with disabilities are treated poorly by religious groups. Despite being a devout atheist, friends over the years have convinced me to go to various churches. I've been told I'm possessed, evil, the devil incarnate. Faith City was particularly bad. They attempted to brainwash me and convert me; they didn't give me an option to say "no" and they locked the doors so I couldn't leave when I wanted to. I'm sorry you had a bad experience too.

  6. itty bitty bins.. i always wanted one!! but when i was allowed to choose a toy at kmart i always chose a polly pocket :)

  7. Thanks for the Fabuland love, everyone! I want to find some and then we can all have a Fabuland convention!

  8. Great Post Carly!

    I heart Fabuland! It was the best. I had a big tin and my brother and I used to make these wonderful huge houses (to solve fights we colour coded, I got red and yellow pieces and he got black and blue. Of course I'm older so I got the better set). I actually won a lego building competition when I was nine, I built a fabuland house. I had to go to the finals, but mum got sick and couldn't take me. She bought me a stuffed Koala. Not a good enough consolation! I think the lamb character was my favourite, I had 2 of them so used to pretend they were the sweet valley twins! Another flashback, reading the sweet valley twins books (Pre Sweet Valley High) in the late 80s.
    Thanks for the trip down memory lane, a lot of similar obsessions!

  9. Thanks for picking this one up!! (hmm, I really was far behind...bad interneting, Hayley) LOL @ Jack Jones crush, I also had one of those, there was just something about Heart In Danger that did me in, also loved You Were There ;P x


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