This photo was taken at one of our houses in Horsham. How country does that look? from the crooked gate in the background to the water tank on stilts. I think the giant structure next to the tank is even a windmill. I only have a few vivid memories from our time in Horsham, as I was only 4 when we moved to the other end of the state, but I always have a feeling that life up there was pretty carefree. (How could it not be? I was a baby.) The back yard seemed massive to me as a kid, I know that besides that in-ground trampoline that I'm sitting on in this picture there was also a large vegetable garden nearby. I think there was also a jungle gym somewhere else in the yard. But that may have been at another house.
I know the driveway was really long, and the school bus stopped right outside our letterbox. I don't know if I did it every day, but I remember walking with my big sister to the end of the driveway in the mornings and waiting with her till the bus came to take her to school. As I walked back to the house I could always hear the Magpies and various other birds singing. It always seemed so peaceful and remote. We went mushroom picking with dad, and had picnics of Barbecue Shapes in the row of trees at the back of the yard. There was a shearing shed somewhere nearby that had been condemned, and we weren't allowed to go anywhere near it, but it never stopped us. We used to climb up to the roof that had partially collapsed and slide down the planks of wood (I think it was the roof anyway)
Mum and dad ran a trampoline centre somewhere in town for a little while, which is part of the reason why we had that trampoline in the back yard. I remember spending weekends playing at the centre with my big sister and little brother. There was a caravan park next door and if we were really good (or really bored) mum would let us go to the kiosk there and buy a lolly. I preferred the quiet days at the trampoline centre, because it meant that we were allowed to play on the trampolines for as long as we wanted. A great game was jumping from one trampoline to the next, till you reached the end of the row. The trampolines at the centre had rubber matting over the springs, unlike the one in our back yard, so you couldn't hurt yourself, nor could you climb underneath the trampoline. Of course we weren't meant to climb underneath the trampoline at home either, but that never stopped us. I know my big sister used to throw balls down there and make me retrieve them. Once I was well underneath the trampoline, she and my little brother would start jumping. I remember eating dirt more than once as I dived on the ground to dodge the feet coming towards my head. It sounds mean, but we would laugh about it once I was back up again. Just another one of those strange games children play.
It was such an idyllic life that I lived the first four years of my life, lots of room to move and play, and because it was so remote we were basically free to do as we pleased all day. I actually went through the town part of Horsham a few years ago on a trip to Alice Springs with my mum and uncle, but there was nothing there that I remembered. But the town never interested me as a child, I had everything I needed in my back yard.
Well that was a fun trip down memory lane. If any of you want to join in the fun, you can find all the details for Flashback Friday here.