I thought that now might be as good a time as any to write about about my life. As you can see, it’s on my blog, it’s not going to be a bestseller and I’m doing it for me. If it so happens that you enjoy reading it, all the better!
Be warned: as far as I know there is no murder or CSI style investigations. Because I’m not drafting, editing and proofing this, it might not be as coherent or polished as it should be. Some parts will be too light on detail, and others too heavy.
Part one is going to end when I’ve written as much as I feel like tonight.
I was born in Penrith, a medium size city to the west of Sydney. My dad is an electrician, he has always worked hard and is most happy when he has a million things to do. My mum is a school teacher, she was born in Finland and came over when she was young. My parents went to the same school together.
My parents had travelled a lot around Australia, and in the case of my dad, the world. He spent about a year backpacking all over the place. I don’t remember with certainty but it included Europe and India at least.
They tell me that they weren’t particularly religious before the Jehovah’s Witnesses came knocking at their door, and were seemingly skeptical about what the JWs were offering. I’m not sure if they were called on at a vulnerable point in their lives, but for whatever reason, they started a bible study[*][#fn0001] with the witnesses.
Dad and mum were married on a paddle steamer on the Nepean River. It was a small affair with only close friends and family in attendance.
The first place I lived in was a 3 bedroom house in the foot of the blue mountains. I have fond memories of this place. It had a decent sized yard, a pool and a sauna (which is probably my most loved thing about the place – my dad built a sauna in the places we lived for my mum. It’s very Finnish.) My grandmother (mummu) lived there too, but she had a granny flat above the garage which allowed her to be independent.
There are lots of photos of holidays I went on, long before I can remember, I have a few flashes here and there, but not many. I know we went yearly down to camp by the beach in southern New South Wales, we made fires, caught fish, swam and were surrounded by wildlife.
I don’t remember my sister being born two years after me, as far as I remember she’s always been there.
First memories – school
Actually, my memory from my whole youth is piecemeal and hopefully writing this dawn might help recall more. There are things I do remember though, like making a volcano with food dye, vinegar and baking soda, and before that a memory of burning my ass on a fireplace. I had to go to hospital for it, I don’t remember that part, but I do remember the reason I was naked in front of the fireplace was because I’d just bathed, and I wanted to get warm and dry, in doing so I guess I got a little closer than what you might call a safe distance. Lesson learned, I never did that again.
I remember my a few things from my first year and a bit of school. Once I got detention for kicking my shoes over the fence accidentally in a game my friends and I thought was hilarious. The game was such: loosen the lace on your shoe and lift the tongue up. Kick your leg forward as vigorously as possible, and see how far your shoe goes. Collect shoe. Repeat. Of course it was great fun up until the point where the shoe went soaring over the fence, and after being told off, we had to sheepishly knock on the neighbour’s door and ask for the safe return of said footwear. Luckily (living next to a school) they were probably used to articles of clothing landing in their yard and helpfully returned my shoe. If I remember rightly, these shoes had a pump in the tongue which inflated it when pressed, they seemed to make me happy,
I had a little crew of friends that used to play soccer and roam the schoolyard together, I don’t remember much of our conversations but they probably revolved around lunch, who’s dad is better, and who we did and didn’t like in class. I remember one classmate called Sarah with whom I was smitten and she would be the one I’d always go after in “Kiss and catch.” Of course in a dancing lesson i remember, I hoped that I would be paired with her – instead, as there were more boys in my class, I got stuck with a redhead kid called Corey who had warts on his hands and wasn’t thought of fondly by my gang.
At some point I wanted / was encouraged to learn an instrument, so I decided on the piano. Little did I know how seriously my parents would take this, forcing me to practice an hour a day and take exams and perform in eisteddfods and talent shows. Eeek, held to a decision you made when you’re 4 or 5 for the next 8 years is pretty hardcore. (It was made far less fun for me because the music is chosen for you when you take the AMEB exams, usually classical music which my 4-27 year old self had/has very little interest in.)
There’s not much else that stands out from there except I was bored in class, and the teachers had me sit a test and because I did so well they decided I should skip a year, and I think there was some “gifted and talented” class in there somewhere too. I think that was a mistake because I missed out on some fundamental education that meant I had to play catchup, and I suppose that’s what lead to my incessant complaining of school. I asked my mum to teach me at home because she’s a teacher – and she did.
So my school years ended abruptly and my new life at home began.
That’s it for today and I guess I’ll continue from where I left off here at some point.