Holidays for me as a kid only came at Christmas.
On Boxing Day, we would pack up and head off to Sydney to visit dad’s parents and his brothers and sisters.
In the early days dad had a 1936 Chev; a big lumbering vehicle mum called Blossom. The kids would be loaded in – no seat belts or luxury of any kind – and the three-hour, long and winding road trip to Sydney would begin.
Once we arrived, we were greeted by cousins, the children of dad’s eldest brother who had dies some years before, who came to visit the week before from Griffith.
As there was always an overlapping night with us all, we boys would be sent to sleep in any configuration that could be organised. I remember a double bed mattress on the floor with three at one end and two at the other end!
In later years, Dad’s sisters rented a holiday cottage at The Entrance on the NSW Central Coast.
Dad loved this place, as the house was situated on the headland overlooking the ocean, and a row boat was included with the house.
This meant we’d be out fishing far more often than I liked. Dad explored the different types of baits available, and discovering beach worms were the best, I was sent all over the town in search of a bait shop that sold beach worms or even blood worms if they were available.
One day we were out fishing and having a good day pulling in a few. Dad kept the caught fish in a hessian bag over the side of the boat and was most put out to discover when the time came to go home that there was a hole in the bag, and where he thought he’d caught about twenty fish there were only three left in the bag!
In true dad form, he argued the same fish had been caught numerous times, as they were obviously swimming out of the bag and back onto his hook.
But as we aged and discovered lives of our own, the holidays to The Entrance ended as mum and dad thought it an extravagance once we kids had outgrown it.
During school holidays we stayed at home, and on my street there were enough kids for all to engage at different times in serious games of cricket or football, depending on the season.
And once I had a bike, there adventure to be had exploring the town and the farm lands surrounding us.
My childhood was sprinkled with holiday adventures, and I remember one day to my great surprise a girl who was staying in a flat nearby came and sat beside me, and we became great friends. Sadly, that holiday was the only one I ever saw her on. I often wonder what happened to her. She could be one of Starts at 60’s correspondents for all I know!