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Schooldays Downunder - Australia in the 1950s

Little doubt about how I felt on this momentous day!

Little doubt about how I felt on this momentous day!

Primary School - Croydon, South Australia

And look! No school uniform! At this moment in time, I had no idea how much I would appreciate this until I started High School, and had to wear my charming school uniform every day!

But the smells. There was the 'new' smell to everything I carried and wore and used - that was memorable. Who could forget the particular smell of my little leather school case - especially made for me by a 'luggage-maker' friend of the family. Now that was definitely memorable. And, once opened, the fragrance wafted out of brand new exercise books for writing those first 'oh so difficult' letters and then words; and all those freshly sharpened pencils. That raw timber smell made the nose twitch.

And here was some special magic for a brand new schoolgirl - my Dad, the butcher, sharpened my pencils almost everynight - beautifully faceted with a sharp, broad lead so I could use one edge for writing and the other for shading drawings. All shaped with his huge, REALLY sharp knife, which, in turn, had been honed to a razor edge with his sharpening steel. I still can hear the sound, and see the speed and glint of his amazing actions. Can you just imagine if he could see some of the cruel and ugly uses that knives like his are being put to today?

Of course, waffling through all the other 'new' smells would be morning recess snacks and lunch. An apple or an orange, home-made biscuits or cake, and of course THE sandwich, filled with one of my favourites. There was cheese and Vegemite; cheese and pickled onions; cheese and tomato sauce; cheese and Mum's home-made mustard pickles - and my other, almost equal favourite - Fritz plus any of the condiments mentioned (except Vegemite - that was a treat on its very own).

IF you aren't Australian (in particular South Australian)...you probably don't know what Fritz is! (oh-h-h...sad!) Well, it's a large cooked sausage usually containing several types of pork, basic spices, and a binder - that you eat sliced, in salads or sandwiches. And if you aren't Australian, you probably don't like Vegemite at all! Ah well - maybe you have to be born to the taste?

It's called 'The Land Downunder' - ...by 'Men at Work'

First released in 1981...can you believe that? (Well, I can... I was released a lot earlier!)

The clothing may produce the odd 'hoot' - but there are few Australians who don't know and love the tune and lyrics.

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'Milky Bar' Kids?

From when I first started school, all students were given a small glass bottle of milk every morning at recess time - apparently part of a free milk scheme designed by the Australian Government in the belief it would ensure and enhance the intelligence and physical prowess of young Australians. In researching this lens, I discovered that many kids found exciting 'explosive-type' possibilities about opening the little silver tops with your thumbs (not officially allowed for hygiene reasons!) - or piercing them with the straw provided, which could also produce some spectacular results. No doubt I gave it a go - but I can't remember that.

What I do remember is carefully smoothing out each and every silver top, to save for Christmas decorations. Pushed down over a lemon squeezer, they would form a little 'fluted mountain' shape. Then to nick some of your Mum's knitting wool and a darning needle, and thread them on with knots each side with a certain space between (maybe a tiny little hand-width space?) - and voila - pretty garlands to string up everywhere for extra decorations.

I also discovered this school milk drinking was voluntary, and that parental permission had to be given for participation. Well-ll...I never knew that! Just as well I loved the stuff, and didn't live in tropical Queensland. Apparently they had a real taste sensation with the cream rising to the top and curdling....oh, yuk! (Knew there were benefits to being a SOUTH Australian - well, I was never in doubt, actually!)

My husband, Kanute tells me that this program existed in Denmark, too, but there it was obviously because food was not plentiful. So much was still rationed after the war and the milk (and porridge) 'ration' was to ensure the children had at least that much in their tummies to start their day.

The brave and beautiful and BIG dog that was my Kim... the reason I had no fear of dogs.

The brave and beautiful and BIG dog that was my Kim... the reason I had no fear of dogs.

Dogs in doorways

...can prove obstructive and obtuse.

Every day, coming home from school I entered through Dad's butcher shop to get some fritz and a hug, and a kiss, and chats with Dad and his customers about my day. My path led through the shop, work area, office, and the door straight into our house. And here the whole talk/eat fest would be re-enacted, but this time with my Mum, and her biscuits and/or cake, and a glass of milk. (I should have been a butter-ball, but just too active I guess for the fat to get a grip!)

Dad's butcher shop had a set back doorway, with a tiny porch - enabling a large display window across the front, promoting his choicest cuts of meat and his specials.

One day, aged 5 and in my first school year, a large German Shepherd dog was lying across the doorway, patiently waiting for his owner to emerge from inside the shop. After kind pats and a little intelligent conversation, I ordered it out of the way.

Unimaginably (to me), it ignored me - so I simply took hold of its collar to move it away. Well...this was NOT in this dog's realm of previous experience, and I was definitely NOT its owner, and so it turned on me and closed its mouth completely over my hand! It didn't bite me, but it did leave a ring of teethmarks right around my wrist (obviously a warning!).

Because I had grown up with such a large dog as my Kim was, I had no fear, and instead, just got REALLY mad and kicked the dog as hard as I could in its rear end and yelled at it to go home. Amazingly, this is exactly what it did (in shock, no doubt)!

My Dad and all the people in the shop, rushed out to rescue the poor little child they thought was under attack from the dog! I really couldn't understand why everyone was SO excited - the dog was in far greater need of comfort and attention than me - ! I was just really cross that a dog had failed to obey me! 'Bad Dog'.

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What's a little concussion

...between friends?

One day at school, I was running fast, and instead of watching where I was going, looked back over my shoulder at friends chasing me, and crashed into a steel goal post, striking the full length of the side of my head and knocking myself unconscious, apparently. The next thing I remember was being held by teachers over the long drinking trough where there were heaps of taps in a row (we kids were most generous with our germs - but survived anyway!). I was having my forehead and temples bathed with cold wet cloths - and to my great surprise, my Mum and Dad arrived.

As I had no idea of what had happened - or realisation of the time that had passed, I couldn't imagine why they were there, looking all white-faced and worried - or indeed how they had arrived so quickly. So I was taken home, the Doctor was called to check me over and prescribed rest for 24 hours, but no sleep during that day, as I might slip into a coma! All I knew was that I got pretty annoyed with my Mum keeping on talking and making me stay awake when I felt so sleepy!!

I should mention here that this particular 'good old family doctor' was the self-same 'quack' (my choice of name - he really was fully qualified) who predicted I was twins prior to my birth. And how come he had the coldest stethoscope known to the human race? And how come he never 'huffed and puffed' on it to take the chill off, like later good medicos did?

And he, it was, who removed my 4 large 'double teeth' - at home - on the dining room table, covered with a blanket. I seriously believe my claustrophobia about confinement and anything over my face, began with his 'ether mask' , held over my face to anaesthetise me. My Mum was peeping through a door whilst he 'operated' and nearly became hysterical because of the amount of thrashing about I was doing. I was later able to reassure her that It was not from pain - I was 'dreaming' I was tightly embracing a log, rolling down a churning river, and I would drown if I didn't keep turning over! You see what I mean about this Doctor - causing nothing but more pain and suffering! Serve him right if I gave him a bad time!

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After School Playtime

What a saga to play at each other's places after school - (let's take the scenario of say my best friends, Judy and Bev wanting to play at my place). Firstly, all filed in through Dad's shop so we could all get a slice or two of Fritz - then in to ask Mum if Judy and Bev could come to play - and if I could go with them to ask their Mums - and could we have a biscuit? ("OK"). Next, all to Bev's place to ask her Mum if she could come to my place and could we have a biscuit? ("OK"). Last stop before home again - all to the shop where Judy's Mum worked to ask if she could come to my place ("OK"), and then to Judy's place to drop her bag and this time help ourselves to biscuits! Finally, it was back to my place, in desperate need of a drink of cordial and just maybe we could fit one more biscuit...and now, at last, we were ready to play!! (no wonder none of us was hyperactive in those days....no energy left!!)

Neighbour's kids would come and play, as well as friends from school - but all found it hard to go home because I wouldn't want them to go. I'd stand in our driveway with my arms out and weaving sideways, telling them they couldn't go home because "I haven't finished playing with you yet". Instead of just pushing me out of the way, they'd try every negotiating tactic - even bribery - until all that was left was to call out to my Mum for help, telling her that "Christine won't let me go home". (What wimps ...when you consider I was smaller than most of them!!)

Our games were many and varied - mostly relying on the degree of imagination we brought to the task. In those days, it was a lot!

Of course, there would be the obligatory hopscotch game drawn in chalk on bitumen or concrete slabs; eternally climbing trees and taking a few tumbles - can't remember any serious injuries - mainly restricted to scrapped knees and elbows.

A ripper to climb was a huge boundary hedge at Rosemary 's place. It was a hedge so broad that we could sit on top of it (someone kept the top cut flat), and from this towering viewpoint spy on all who walked past; and drop 'coins' tied onto cotton thread behind them, (and flick them up again really fast) so they thought they had dropped some money, and would go scrabbling all around, as we had silent hysterics, far above them.

Grade 3 - 1953

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The schooldays continued, and it happened that I was a good student, achieving my best grades in - well, what might we expect?

English, English Expression, Spelling, Creative Writing, Acting, etc.etc..

Arithmetic? Oh yes - adequate! (And to this day, numbers do NOT 'sing' for me. I'm still perfectly adequate to any mathematical task, but definitely to be avoided where possible)

Talking - well YES! How many report cards would extol my virtues and then end with the 'disclaimer' - 'She's a sweet little girl, BUT she talks TOO much'. (Little has changed in the next 60+ years - family and friends will attest to this).

In case you are wondering, I'm the fourth from the right in the front row - the 'prissy little missy' with hands clasped in between knees, and ankles crossed most demurely - looking like butter wouldn't melt in my mouth...HA!

Just One Basket?....hmm...No!

Just One Basket?....hmm...No!

Picnics

My Mum and Dad were always taking family & friends on outings and drives and countless number of picnics, in their big shiny black 1947 Plymouth sedan. How well remembered was the slow, stop/start progression on the inevitable old single lane, winding highways leading to the most popular 'day-tripper' destinations on holiday Mondays, or Easter, or school holiday weekends.

Mum's huge 'bake-ups' were legendary - full tray Vegetable Pastie slice; Egg and Bacon Pie; Salad Platters; Apple Pie; Biscuits; Biscuit Slices; Cakes, thermoses of tea and coffee, bottles of cordial. All of this would be arranged on a tablecloth, diagonally angled over a picnic rug, around which we could all sit. And ALL would include our family of 6, plus whichever boyfriends, girlfriends, relations, friends were with us at the time. Some would add a few edibles to the 'feast', but Mum would have made almost everything.

The only 'bought' items would be cream (for the pie), (because you couldn't carry it with you in those 'pre-cooler bag' days), and maybe some beautiful fresh crusty bread from the local baker wherever we were. Even any sauces and pickles would be Mum's home made varieties. What simple innocent days they were - filled with the family spirit of togetherness and pleasure in each others' company.

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Home Entertainment

...today known as The Sound System!

This was in the sleepout - a long room that ran across half of the back of the house, and was our 'play-room' - that kind of grew with us. With it's shining polished wooden floor, it was perfect for learning those first 'toe-crushing' dance steps from someone older. Because I was so much younger, all of my early 'ballroom' dancing was performed with my feet on top of my Dad's - or one of my brothers'. They'd take it in turns to keep me out of mischief - and laughing... always laughing!

And the music? Ah-h-h, THAT came from the 'latest' vinyl records played on our beautiful 'antique' gramophone in its highly polished rosewood cabinet on elegant carved 'cabriole' legs. There was a special hole on the side that a handle fitted into for 'winding up' the records - can you imagine it was not electric and not battery powered? That's really how it was. And you have no idea of the trials and tribulations provided by this manual action. You would be in the very midst of relaxing and being swept away by the beauty of the music when the 'player' would start to slow down - slower - and - s-l-o-w-e--r--r - until someone jumped up and quickly put in the handle and started winding up the machine again - so that music came back - f---a---s--t--e--r - and - f--a-s-t-e-r - until it was 'back on track' again. (Ha!...maybe that's where that expression came from - the grooves in the record that the needle ran in to produce the sound, were called 'tracks'). Whatever, now the sound was perfect again... until the next time.

A particular favourite of mine was called 'Riders in the Sky', with wondrous noises of many hooves galloping in the background of the music.

According to Wikipedia - 'The song tells a folk tale of a cowboy who has a vision of red-eyed, steel-hooved cattle thundering across the sky, being chased by the spirits of damned cowboys. One warns him that if he does not change his ways, he will be doomed to join them, forever "trying to catch the Devil's herd across these endless skies".

What vivid mind pictures those stirring words created in a fertile imagination!!

Celebrations? - ...well - just a few!

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How many birthday parties? I believe I had a party for every single birthday from sometime in pre-school years.

Mum must have gone 'all out' to make them so special for me - party hats, candles, fairy bread (buttered bread triangles with 'hundreds & thousands' on top), countless biscuits & little cakes & lollies, & balloons & streamers & take-home fold-out baskets filled with lollies for all the party-goers - & of course, photos, & songs, & games. and all of us dressed in our very best party dresses.

(Do you get the feeling that my Mum and I were kind of 'special' to each other? You would be SO right.)

(Do you also get the feeling my beloved Dad took this photo - in his usual 'heavy-handed' style? You would be SO right - AGAIN!)

(What you couldn't guess, is that the little blonde next to me, also stroking the cat, was one of our bridesmaids when Kanute and I married in 1965. Owzat?)

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Female Siblings

...can be a worry!

Big sister, Jenny, was having a rare night out with a boyfriend. I must have been excited about this, too - and been sleeping lightly in the front bedroom we shared. Consequently, I woke up when they came home, put on the bedroom light, and pulled the blind back on one side to try to see them. Out in the darkness? And, in my innocence (and eagerness to have a peek), never gave the slightest consideration to how clearly they could see me.

Many, many years later, Mum told me (in confidence) a great story about this - Jenny came in crying, to tell Mum she thought she may be pregnant!!! (can we imagine my Mum's quivering reaction?) -

"WHAT exactly did he do to you?"

"He kissed me - on the mouth!!"

Well-ll-ll - what can we say? - except maybe 'nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more' You see what I mean about females being a worry!

The other worry was when she would come to bed early with me and we'd snuggle up for her to read me a bedtime story. Except who kept falling asleep, and who had to keep digging her elbow into her big sister to wake her up again? Hmmm... and I still read in bed - for hours, sometimes.

© 2010 Christine Larsen

Memories Raised - ...of Your Schooldays?

Christine Larsen (author) from South Australia on January 07, 2020:

Sorry David, can't help you with that. Maybe something different in Vic. than SA?

David Pilkington on December 29, 2019:

Came across this blog while trying to find information about a little white pill we were given at school in the late 50’s went to Albert st in Moe Vic.

Alison on August 24, 2015:

Thank you for your wonderful story about your school days in the fifties. Very well done. Loved the photo at the start as I was trying to find an appropriate name for a very similar school 'port' I had back in the fifties, as I am editing my own early school days story - I lived in North Queensland. I've changed 'port' to 'school case' for easier understanding - these cases were made of a fibre board (a heavy duty cardboard), as were many adult sized 'suitcases'. These can still be found in antique shops. I also remember the free milk given out at school - in far North Queensland it was always warm by the time we came out of the classroom to drink it, and not at all pleasant, even though I loved milk.

Brian on February 13, 2015:

I found your site very recently and having been a South Australian lad born in the early 50's wanted to let my students know from another person's point of view, besides my own, what life was like. You have summed it up perfectly. THANKS. The students can't believe some of the freedoms we had back then. Write and publish a book...I'm too busy!

Helene-Malmsio on October 25, 2011:

I adore this lens! Congratulations!

EMangl on October 14, 2011:

your intro photo made me smile a lot :-)

Wednesday-Elf from Savannah, Georgia on October 05, 2011:

Always love your stories, Christine. My schooldays were all in New York State -- but we moved a lot so I went to 8 different grade schools (and just one - boring - high school). But mine were around the same time as yours, so I can relate to all but your oh-so-unique Australian foods. :)

Sorry it took me so long to get over here to congratulate you on your LotD for this delightful story -- but it was well worth waiting for.

MargoPArrowsmith on September 30, 2011:

Of course

anonymous on September 23, 2011:

I was remembered as a prankster during my school days! You are a wonderful narrator, Christine - however I have to remind you about the dent to the steel pole and that they had to get a new goal post! ;)

kare2share on September 22, 2011:

It's wonderful that you remember so many details about your childhood. Thank you for sharing your entertaining stories, and congrats on Lens of the Day!

KonaGirl from New York on September 21, 2011:

I so enjoyed reading your entertaining story. I was growing up in Hawaii about the same time but Australia is distinctly more British while Hawaii was more American, even though we were not yet a state. I am very curious about your Egg and Bacon Pie. Please create a lens about that and include the recipe. Is it the same as a quiche? Thank you so much for sharing your memories with us and before I forget - Congratulations on LOTD!

anonymous on September 21, 2011:

A great lens.

DebMartin on September 21, 2011:

What a beautiful lens. Your writing is inspiring and drew me in. Thanks.

BrassFittings on September 21, 2011:

GREAT lens - thank you for sharing a peek into your world!

LasgalenArts on September 21, 2011:

You have a lovely style of writing and I enjoyed your lens. My early memories of school consisted of being walked to school by older siblings who walked faster than me, punching Malcom in the nose for not leaving us girls alone & eating styrofoam blocks not because they tasted good but because of the feel of it.

Julia M S Pearce from Melbourne, Australia on September 21, 2011:

Great school day memories! I used to live in Croydon,Victoria.Congrats on the LOTD!

Susanna Duffy from Melbourne Australia on September 21, 2011:

Ah, those schooldays! Ah, that milk! And it turns out that all the cows were exposed to radioactive clouds from Maralinga a number of times. We still drank up all the milk though. Congrats on the LOTD!

Laraine Sims from Lake Country, B.C. on September 21, 2011:

Congratulations on LOTD award. I loved every word of your story. I have a story of my childhood in the making. I hope that it is half as interesting to others as yours was to me. I REALLY enjoyed your lens. Every think of writing a book?

Blueterrace on September 20, 2011:

Nice one!

I went to school twenty years later in the early seventies in Gippsland. But a lot of this rang true for me too. The thing i can't get my head around now is how mum did the cooking (for 4 kids) on a woodfired oven/stove combo. In the mid seveties dad had it hooked up to oil, but what a rigamarole it must have been. Can't say I actually noticed at the time.

Also remember the butchers, who gave out slices of "Stras" to every kid who came through the shop....ohh and sawdust on the floor! Did your dad;s have that too?

The butcher used to deliver a weeks meat on Friday. One day the butchers boy didn't fasten the lid and the cat got it, Mum complained, and the butcher replaced the lot. Now, that's customer service!

SheilaVine LM on September 20, 2011:

Oh Boy we did that in the UK too.

I loved the milk and the milk bottle tops, The smells I remember are the boiled cabbages from the school lunches and that unfathomable smell my Dad said was drains.From the age of 4 -7 I went to the same building 6 days a week . Mon- FRiday and on Sunday our classroom was also the Sunday school room and yes the smell lingered . It was still there years later when I took my kids around to show them where I went to school.

We did run around too much to get fat. Walked to and from school every day about a mile. Ran around at play time and lunch time. Looking back happy days but not so sure how I felt then.

Great Lens many thanks for sharing

I went o

Christine Larsen (author) from South Australia on September 20, 2011:

Oh-h-h, thank you all SO very much.

It had been a 'blue' day until just now, when I idly looked at my emails - and nearly fell off my perch!

What beautiful and kind comments. You have all seriously 'made my day'.

And I am so grateful to be able to stir memories and hearts with my reminiscences.

How on earth did I survive before Squidoo...and the doors that have opened to me.

Gratefully and most humbly,

Christine

avorodisa lm on September 20, 2011:

That's a whole Universe! Thank you for sharing these memories of your childhood here. It is also very engaging to remember your childhood - the happiest period of life, anyway. I especially liked your story about the dog.

elyria on September 20, 2011:

Simply captivating, amazing Lens! Enjoyed every minute!

stephanieelizabeth on September 20, 2011:

I nominated this ;-) My heart stopped when I saw your picture on the front page.

Deeksha on September 20, 2011:

great lens with so much of memorable experiences in life. It seems as if we travel back to those sweet days.

GramaBarb from Vancouver on September 20, 2011:

A Positively delightful read!!

anonymous on September 20, 2011:

What a great lens! I'm from New Zealand, but we also had Vegemite sandwiches (still do) (with lettuce) and bottles of milk at playtime. They had usually gone sour by then after having sat in the sun for a few hours. Yuck. I still can't drink milk! Congratulations on a wonderful piece of writing :)

anonymous on September 20, 2011:

We seem to have grown up together with so many similar experiences, I even loved Riders in the Sky! Congratulations on a very well deserved LotD with such well told memories, you are a natural story teller!

beautylala101 on September 20, 2011:

Great Lens! Great to see South Australia on Squidoo - that's where I currently live!

DimitriPreacher on September 20, 2011:

Great idea for a lens! thank you for sharing your life

vinodkpillai lm on September 20, 2011:

Took me back to those days - although for a boy it would have to be different - but the smells are full of nostalgia. Congratulations for LOTD.

RobynHanisch LM on September 20, 2011:

I started school in South Australia in 1957. I remember the warm milk, the vegemite sandwiches and floury apples for lunch and the dreaded cane! Ah! those were the days

Great lens

Elsie Hagley from New Zealand on September 20, 2011:

Congratulations on LOTD, very good lens, it has not given me a idea for another lens on my days at school.

Thanks for sharing, I loved it. OH for Memories.

Vikki from US on September 20, 2011:

Congrats on LOTD ;)

Peggy Hazelwood from Desert Southwest, U.S.A. on September 20, 2011:

Very interesting!

mrducksmrnot on September 20, 2011:

Congratulations on LOTD and most well deserved. Yes I've been down under and enjoyed it so much that I made several trips back. Your lens brings back memories of the good ole days for sure. I think the world would be a better place to step back in time and live in harmony again rather than the rush we now do today. Everyone knew everyone and helped out when help was needed. That was all over the World. Thank You for sharing and watch out for those kisses. (:>))

Jeanette from Australia on September 20, 2011:

What a delightful read. We also had the little bottle of milk in our schools in Hobart. I was not really keen on the banana flavoured one and the plain one was a little boring!

maraju lm on September 20, 2011:

Great lens, I too spent my childhood at an australian primary school. The memories came flooding back, the milk, we had the navy three pleated tunic and for lunch from the local little shop, no tuck shops at that time, we could get a pie and cream bun for two shillings only on Mondays and that arrived in a brown paper bag with your name and class on it.

I could go on, thanks for jolting the memory.

ananimoss2 on September 20, 2011:

It was a very fun story. I read with much pleasure. Thanks!

Heather B on September 20, 2011:

Hehe, I love the story about your sister! Innocence is bliss, don't you think? xx Hope you'll stop by my lenses, if you have the chance!

roubin on September 20, 2011:

Sometimes I also go to school as a cry baby... I can't forget it.

Bill from Gold Coast, Australia on September 20, 2011:

Congrats on LOTD. Your story would be very similar to my parents as they were children in the 50's in Melbourne. Ah yes, life was so much more simple then, it even was when I was that age in the late 70's and early 80's. :-)

roubin on September 20, 2011:

beautiful one awesome

pawpaw911 on September 20, 2011:

Congratulations on LOTD. It is well deserved. Sharing , and saving your memories is such a wonderful gift to your family, and the rest of us too.

valiapegli on September 20, 2011:

It's not just a memory but a part of my life! And I love it. Thank you very much. It was really wonderful sharing these feelings

SonjaEllis51 on September 20, 2011:

That was Great!

anka05 on September 20, 2011:

very nice lens - reminds me of the elementary school years ... congratulations for your idea!

Stephen Lewis on September 20, 2011:

I love your URL for this lens!

LouisaDembul on September 20, 2011:

Living a world away and decades later- so much is the same and so much is different. Fantastic how we associate smell with different occasions. Really enjoyed reading about school down-under!

JennySui on September 20, 2011:

Congrats on Lotd!

pammaps on September 20, 2011:

I really enjoyed reading this Thanks

writer_villa on September 20, 2011:

Quite good!

TravelingRae on September 20, 2011:

What a wonderful lens! It combined so many things I enjoy--a memoir, life in another country, life in another time. Your sense of humour is delightful. Congrats on making LOTD.

jseven lm on September 20, 2011:

I like the idea of mustard pickles and we saved the foil wraps off the top of milk in grade school, too. You did a great job on this lens, congrats!

Gatortail2 on September 20, 2011:

I really enjoyed this lens, she gave us a peek into her life, the good, the humble and the affection she grew up with. Though I grew up half a world away during a little different era, I think her experiences are timeless and I can relate to her. People so often believe that we are all so very different and then we happen on to something like this lens and then we must realize that we are all the same gift presented in our own unigue wrapping paper. Please do a follow up to this lens, latter grades or time away from school, I loved the details! Thank-You PS. What a cute opening picture!

photo2011 on September 20, 2011:

Congratulations! So perfect.

dogface lm on September 20, 2011:

Congrats from me too :)

Violin-Student on September 20, 2011:

A different time and a long, long way from me, but very interesting. Thanks for telling us about this! And congratulations on Lens of the Day!

Close2Art LM on September 20, 2011:

Great to look back on our memories, thanks for sharing this with us...:)rwjr

Bercton1 on September 20, 2011:

Congratulation on LOTD!

VBright on September 20, 2011:

Wonderful story. Thanks for sharing

pramodbisht on September 20, 2011:

Congratulations on the Lens of the Day!

efriedman on September 20, 2011:

Great "trip" to a bygone time. Thanks. Congratulations on LOTD

RichLeighHD on September 20, 2011:

Congratulations on the Lens of the Day!

NevermoreShirts on September 20, 2011:

Congratulations on LotD! Wonderful insight into another country. :)

Anthony Godinho from Ontario, Canada on September 20, 2011:

I was here a while ago, just came back to congratulate you on the well-deserved LOTD...well done! :)

anonymous on September 20, 2011:

Really nice. Congrats :)

SofiaMann on September 20, 2011:

Very beautiful story. Congratulations on LOTD.

Susan Deppner from Arkansas USA on September 20, 2011:

I can picture my first day of first grade picture. Enjoyed reading your memories!

Ellen Gregory from Connecticut, USA on September 20, 2011:

Great lens. I love insight into other countries lifestyles. In the U.S. in 1952 we had milk cartons in school. I don't know if it's because it was 2 years later or a U.S. thing.

RedHotDesign on September 20, 2011:

Fascinating! Thanks for sharing!

Ruthi on September 20, 2011:

What fabulous childhood stories you've shared. Thank you! Congratulations on a much deserved Squidoo Lens of the Day!

hysongdesigns on September 20, 2011:

I sounds like you had a wonderful childhood! How much fun, thank you for sharing your memories!

Chazz from New York on September 20, 2011:

Wonderfully written. Doesn't sound much different from what I remember of school here in the U.S. in the late 50s...(not that I'll admit to being there then:-)

Thanks for great read and allowing me to indulge in some favorite memories.

Virginia Allain from Central Florida on September 20, 2011:

I read every word! These kinds of memories are so important to save for future generations. Loved it.

Thomas F. Wuthrich from Michigan on September 20, 2011:

A terrific reminiscence lens! Thank you for showing me what me favorite decade looked and felt like in Australia. (My sister's family lived in Oz for about 5 years in the 1970s when my brother-in-law was an exec with Chrysler Australia. When they returned, my sister who knew I liked "exotic" foods brought a jar of Vegemite for me. Liked it so much, spread on buttered toast with a poached egg on top, that I wrote to the company...who gifted me with six jars!)

Seeds Of Future on September 20, 2011:

"Gan bar de" and go to the top in squidoo, so that everyone can learn about this story!

Elsy

Visit my lens and give me some comments!

irenemaria from Sweden on September 20, 2011:

It is so much that I recognize from my schooldays in Sweden! Deserve LOtd

agoofyidea on September 20, 2011:

Congratulations on LOTD! Your story is great and reminds me of so many first days of school as I stood there in my special handmade dress and my new shiny lunch box as Dad took my picture. Great memories.

RetiredRebel on September 20, 2011:

Gosh, what a story :)

Wanda Fitzgerald from Central Florida on September 20, 2011:

Wow you have an excellent memory. I love those party dresses. Congratulations.

whitewarhorse88 on September 20, 2011:

Another fun lens keep me anticipating

justholidays on September 20, 2011:

I enjoyed every moment of your lens. You definitely have a thing to have the reader stuck on your writings!

aussieremovals on September 20, 2011:

It was very funny and cute lens.

pd6914 on September 20, 2011:

Oh, this was so much fun to read. Thanks for sharing your story. Did you keep the leather school case? I'm left with the visual image of you getting your teeth pulled on the kitchen table... Something I imagine was so hard for your Mom to watch!!

lillian9534 on September 20, 2011:

Great lens, I remember the school milk so well - really loved it. School dinners were something else!

Sue Mah from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on September 20, 2011:

Enjoyed reading your story. Reminds me of my own school days and how different from today when everything is so high tech. Congratulations on LOTD.

alimadad on September 19, 2011:

You got a really useful blog I have been here reading for about half an hour. I am a newbie and your post is valuable for me.

Birthday Gifts | Unique Gifts | Anniversary Gifts

bolsen19 on September 19, 2011:

This is one of the best written lenses that I've read. Great job, and I loved your stories.

Anthony Godinho from Ontario, Canada on October 31, 2010:

Very personal and nicely written lens of you growing up. It was really nice to read through it and see what is was like growing up Down Under. Interesting story of your dog attack...you're a brave girl! And of course, a good chuckle about your big sister Jenny...sweet! Nice to meet you! **Blessed by a Squid-Angel**