Monday, March 30, 2009

Laughter of children

Will sort of apologise for this post, as have been trying to remember to write posts with pencil and paper beforehand so that i can more or less get them organised into some sort of coherency – primarily to conserve computer battery power and internet up/download times.

However – this one is sort of “on the fly”. Might edit it later.

Am, at the moment, parked in a sort of “bush camp” run by the local “Progress Association”.

Have been somewhat surprised by how small most of the towns on the peninsula are. While quite a lot of them along the eastern coastline are “holiday” towns, there is nothing approaching the population, density or sophistication of somewhere like the “gold” or “sunshine” coasts of Queensland. Some might say Thank Jove – or whoever – and I would agree; though diff'rent stroke fer diff'rent folks, i guess. The small community here comprises mostly of 50 or so privately owned “holiday” shacks, nearest "shop" 15 or so kilometres away, with a “permanent” population of roughly 20. Set along the shoreline, it used to be a busy grain and wool handling “port” - but that was back in the days when wheat and wool bags were sewn and carried by hand, and there would be a constant flow of sailing ketches crossing the Gulf to Port Adelaide or beyond.

It's very quiet, these days.

What used to be the “sports” ground and football oval is now a caravan and camping park. No electricity or piped water – but it does have a flushing toilet .. heh, but the bloke who looks after it has to bring a trailer-tank every couple of days and fill the holding tank. Will, at some stage, write a more detailed description.

The heading was prompted by my observation that most of the inhabitants of the bush camps and caravan parks around here are middle-age to ancient; staid and mostly sour – couples; in rigs varying from Toyota coaster to super heavy duty Winnebagos with Toyota Prado and aluminium dinghy in tow.

There are, however, two tents pitched nearby – my immediate neighbours, obviously not wealthy – who have children. There are two boys, one about 12, another about 8 or 10, and a small girl roughly 6 or 7.

Completely unselfconscious – they play, laugh, fight and cry among themselves.

Makes a welcome change from the constant putt-putt-putter-putt of the bloody little generators that power the plasma TV screens the “elders” use to amuse themselves.

Had seen one of the lads whacking a stone around with a stick, so next time I was “in town” bought a cheapish cricket set. Bat, ball and set of stumps. We set up a sort of “scratch match” last Friday night – and for a couple of hours I was 10 again. Was hoping that some of the “adults” might join us .. but nah,

only the children's father came out later for a bittuva bowl.

(this post should be a much longer essay)


John L said...

Goodonya Davo.

Vincent said...

I second John L. And moreover, never mind about the pencil and paper. You expressed it beautifully!

R.H. said...

The Greyhound buses in America make stops at McDonalds which is a bit of a laugh but you get to see your fellow voyagers standing upright. At one stop I noticed a little Mexican girl about ten getting off the bus who seemed to have one leg shorter than the other. In MacDonalds I bought a little packet of biscuits and outside the place gave them to her mother for her, and when the girl saw this she did a merry dance along the kerb. The place was also a Greyhound junction with buses going various directions, and after standing there with the old crowd a while I realised I had to hop on a different bus, which in a strange way I was glad to do.

Anne Johnson said...

The only way to stay young is to play with children, even after you stop being one.

John L said...

I have a little grandson who is 5 now. He lives in a different town and I don't see him as often as I should or would like but when I do, it makes me realise how close a really young person and a really old person can be.

Davo said...

John L, go see him. remind him that life is living past 5 yr old.