Saturday, January 16, 2010

Returning to childhood...again!

Crikey, it's a week since I posted last!  I'm sure many of us have had the experience of returning to a place we knew as children to find it changed, sometimes beyond recognition.  Less common I suspect, is when you return to a place to find it has seemingly been frozen in time.  Well, almost.  My girls have been doing VACSwim, pretty much as common a summer holiday tradition as running around the back lawn under a sprinkler.  My eldest is doing well, having completed several lots of swimming lessons before, during holidays and at school, and is diving and swimming like a little fish, though I'm not sure how perfect her 'style' is.  My youngest has just begun this year, still tentative about putting her face under water or getting in any deeper than chest level, but she'll get there.  But they are doing their lessons at the swimming pool I grew up with.  I remember long, hot, sticky walks up the hill in the shimmering heat to spend time cooling down in the blissfully cold water, only to get hot and sticky all over again on the walk back home.  Back in the days when it wasn't 'cool' to wear a hat, or a rashie...or sunscreen.  And the best thing to eat after splashing about or doing 'bombies' off the boards for several hours, was a bucket of hot chips.



The pool today looks almost unchanged.  Not necessarily a good thing, because it also means it's rather run down...when I came up here last year, the old (and now rather rickety) tiered seating that I remembered from swimming carnivals 30 years ago, was still there, though this year it has gone.  But it is somehow comforting to sit on the grass, watching my girls (here my youngest has found a friend in the 'kiddies' pool)  and lazily drift back to a time when everything seemed, at least to me, to be simpler and less complicated, though I'm sure that's just the perspective of a child.  A time when I was actually brave enough to leap off the high board (you can just see it in the background)...I wouldn't do it now for fear of pulling something!  It's rather nice to go up there as a family too, and my beloved other half and I can reminisce as it was the local swimming hole for both of us, though we didn't know each other then.  He actually WAS brave enough to jump off the high board last year, for old times' sake.




Here is my little fish, doing a handstand.  And here is a little bit of sewing I've been working on, and I actually took it up to the pool and worked on it while sitting on the grass in the shade.  It's another 'Tree of Life' design...I keep coming back to the motif, usually in paint, but this time in cloth.  Very rough, but it's been fun, using some of the fabrics I dyed in tea and Eucalyptus.  So I've learnt a couple of things this week.  Firstly, it's a lot easier to sit on a picnic blanket under a palm tree, with a stiff, warm Easterly blowing and small wet people running around and shaking like wet dogs all over me, and SEW, than it would be to draw.  And secondly...a bucket of hot chips is still the best thing to eat after a day at the pool!

6 comments:

Julia Kelly said...

I love your post- for the fact we are sooooo far away right now from warm days spent at the pool, we have two feet of snow!- the pool is a place I have spent many hours with my girls- in lesons too and yes stitching is wonderful because you can take it anywhere- love the leaf- please do some more and show!

A mermaid in the attic said...

Thanks Julia. I feel like I could do with some of your snow right now...it was 43˚C today!

Richard Jesse Watson said...

Summer? What planet? Compelling music, Mermaid. Your pics of your Aunt and Uncle's beach house are surreal for us in the grip of winter still. Wow!! What a place. I agree with Julia, please let us see more of your work. Very nice.

ruthie said...

swimming brrr, hee hee, i find it sooo hard to think of summer in the midst of all our cold!! How lovely to return to a place and find it unchanged. i returned to the place of my childhood holidays and wished i hadn't, the magic was gone, or maybe i just had to look through child eyes again. Love your embroidery, i am drawn again and again to the same image, the tree of life, it appears often in my work!! I am a bumbler!! as u say u are thats why i have taken a hint from mr o and actually begun to plan this year!!!! x x

A mermaid in the attic said...

Richard and Ruthie, it was 43˚C again today...but apparently it will be a bit cooler next couple of days, phew! OMGoodness....I can hear RAIN!!!! Oh dear, I have a load of washing on the line...but it should cool things down a bit! Though it won't be enough to revive my poor garden...yep, it's stopped already! I love the tree of life motif, it appears in so many cultures...a while back I did a large abstract version in brilliant reds and blues, like an aerial view of the desert with a river running through it, because of course, particularly here in Australia, water IS the essence of life.

ruthie said...

Your poor garden, wish we could send some of our rain too you lol, your painting sounds delicious x

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