Posted by: felinegroovy | August 11, 2006

What was it like to be 8?

When I was eight I lived in Jerramungup on a farm about 4 miles from town on Highway Number 1. We lived opposite the wheat bin. Everyday I’d walk or ride my bike to the end of the driveway and wait on the Highway for the school bus to come. Depending on what roster it was, it might take us 5 minutes to go the 4 miles to town or an hour and a half. See, the bus would take it turns doing a big round trip to all the farmers past Needilup out the back and around into town. The late bus was best because it had already picked up all the other kids first and we could just hop on for 10 or 15 minutes. There was always a seat because one of the big girls looked out for me, her name was Judith I think, she was girl guide too.

While we were waiting at the highway, my big brother used to make sure I stood way back from the road when the big trucks full of wheat and other stuff came flying by. He said that, “I’d get sucked under if I stood too close.” He was probably right and I didn’t doubt he was right then!

Even getting to the road was a challenge. Either we road our bikes, in spring I used to wear the motorbike helmet and carry a stick in one had and ride with the other because the Magpies would swoop us as we came flying down the hill through the creek. Sometimes we walked home through the paddock which took us through – or very close to the pig paddock. A big old mean black sow lived in there and she’d eat you alive if you went in there. Sometimes Big Bro would sprint across just for a dare. He was fast and he was brave.

Our house was made out of absestos. My room was on the side nearest where the electricity generator was so if I went to bed before it was turned off (which I normally had to because Mum and Dad were pretty strict on bedtimes) I could hear this thump gorowl noise of the engine turning turning. For years I thought I had dodgy hearing but I think it was just that noise in my ears.

When I was eight one of my jobs was to feed the chooks. They were housed in a big yard out the back near the mallee root pile. I had to get the pollard from the laundry and mix it up with water into a porridy paste and take it out to them. We used to have a scary rooster that would perch on a beam near the gate so you’d have to look out for him before you went in.

Before I went to bed at night I used to have a cuddle on my Dad’s knee. He had his own special chair. We had an open fire that Dad had fixed up, on the hearth there would always be a poker and a giant set of bellows that were really good for getting the fire going. When I’d snuggle on Dad’s knee I could really smell the pipe smoke on him. His hands were giant and they’d fit across my back. He used to call me sugar plum fairy.

When I was eight I used to ride a giant bike sometimes just for fun. I’d have to climb onto the bike from the verhanda to even get on! Then when I rode it I had to stand up on each peddle without ever sitting down. I couldn’t even reach the saddle!

When I was eight I really really wanted a pony.

When I was eight a girl at school used to bully me. My Dad noticed how sad I was acting so he asked me about it, and I told him what was happening. Now Dad would usually only say stuff like, “well you know you’re the good person here.” or “just ignore them, they’re not worth it.” He would never never never let us ever hit other kids, or even insult them. Never! But he could see I’d tried everything and he told me I should just “kick her in the shins!” I was so shocked! Just thinking about what Dad had said gave me the courage to really ignore this girl and I made some super friends who stuck by me and we were able to play at recess without being bothered by her.

When I was eight my eldest brother was fourteen and he was at a boarding school because there was no highschool in the town where we lived. He was my hero and I missed him terribly. I remember waiting for hours near the front door sitting near the bookshelf on the round long pile carpet. When I heard the car I rushed up to the doorway to see him. He was tall and lanky and I loved it when people said I looked just like him.

I started playing netball when I was eight. I didn’t think I was very good at it, but my Mum used to practice with me and come and watch me play. She used to tell me all the good things I’d done in that game and when we threw the ball at home she’d throw the ball a bit higher or wider each time. Later, in highschool I played in the highest grade of netball there was in our school. I still play netball and I love it!



  1. You’re back! And I loved reading this post. You made me smile. 🙂

  2. The question was posed by Etienne Wenger’s son (Etienne Wengeris a bit of a guru on communities of practice and seems like a bit of groover in his own right!) Anyway there’s this big pic of Kehan (the son) asking what it would be like for him to be 8. Tricky thing to answer an 8yr old that qstn. But a great qstn that got my brain banging against my skull. There’s a lot here that I didn’t say….

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