There were things about our recent trip to the far north-west of Australia that triggered feelings of nostalgia for the life of my childhood. Even sleeping under the stars, which I was lucky enough to do once with my grandfather, on a hot country night. He set up a tarpaulin on the lawn under the clothesline, carefully folded it to protect us from dew, and no doubt I was asleep in minutes, after gazing in wonder at the brilliant sky. Quite like sleeping in swags during our boat trip!
canowindraThis is the old country town where I lived with my grandparents, in the central west of NSW. Progress passed it by, so the beautiful old buildings are still there, some empty, some in use, but mostly unchanged for nearly a hundred years. When I walked down this street with my grandmother every Friday afternoon she spoke to almost everyone, and seemed to be constantly telling me “She is your cousin!” Nana was one of 12 children, and her parents both came from large families, so I did have lot of relatives in town, without considering my grandfather’s side, another populous lot.


Pop had a huge vegetable garden, and grew grapes, plums, apples, pears, and oranges. I remember his meticulous garden beds, and the stream of shoppers coming to our gate to buy tomatoes and other produce. He also grew sunflowers for seed, to feed the caged parrots they kept. No doubt the chooks got some too, after most of the seed had been saved. horseandcart

When I see a cart pulled by draught horses I always remember my great-uncle Sam Rice, my grandfather’s uncle. He lived down the road a little, where I could run down to see him after school, hopping through the cow pats and thistles in his paddock with my tough bare feet. I would watch him milking the cows, or climb about in the hay loft, or help Aunty Til separate the cream from the milk, or churn the butter. One special day Uncle Sam called at our gate for me with his horse and cart. He was going down town to a block where he grew corn. I went along for the ride, not that I was any help harvesting corn cobs and loading the wagon. What a thrill to ride beside him on the cart, so high up and important, with the sweet smells of the huge horse and the fresh corn. It stayed in my memory like a glimpse of heaven!

This post is for the Weekly Photo Challenge, where Cheri says ‘Sometimes, we long for the past: for moments we want to remember or recapture. The good times. The golden years. Or perhaps we’re homesick, or longing for something — or someone — that might have been.’



30 thoughts on “Nostalgia

    • there are quite a lot of them aren’t there jo! canowindra has been well documented, and our heritage architect friend is involved there … it has a bent main street, quite unusual … i try to go back every few years 🙂

  1. Such a lovely post, Christine, and a lovely childhood, by the sounds of things. I’m ashamed to say that I’ve never heard of Canowindra. One to pay a visit!

    • oh yes BB, take a trip out to Bathurst and beyond, to Blayney, Carcoar, Millthorpe and Canowindra … all totally gorgeous, worth a long-weekend of pottering about 🙂

    • what do you look back on debra? I guess we all have childhood memories of our grandparents, people who are no longer with us, and a simpler world 🙂

      • I was fortunate to have both of my grandmothers until much later in my life. My maternal grandmother passed away when I was 50! That’s practically unheard of. And I was very close to them both and do miss them. Although, I certainly count myself incredibly fortunate to have had so much family in my life. 🙂

        • you were really lucky to enjoy their company and support for so long debra! my father’s parents passed away when I was 12, the others later … my nana suffered from dementia in her final years but she did see all three of my sons … i was glad about that 🙂

  2. Looking the horse pulling the cart, remind me “dokar” in my home town. Dokar is public transportation in Java Indonesia. I used to ride it to school when I was on first year in my elementary school. Nice posting, Christine!

    • yes ad, i wrote a book about them all about ten years ago, it was a typical pioneering story of brave people and hard workers doing well … then came drought, and war, and the depression etc … we had a big reunion for the descendants to honour them all 🙂

    • thank you pp, it looks that way, and indeed it turned out like that … but i had been very ill and nearly died, prompting my grandparents to take me so the dry country air could help me recover from asthma and meningitis … i am grateful!

        • my family lived in Sydney, my grandparents were in Canowindra, the central west of the state, across the Blue Mountains … I never had asthma there so living there gave me a chance to grow and get well again … I did not really appreciate it at the time, feeling abandoned by my family, and living rather a harsh and lonely life, but as an adult I understood the benefits only too well!

          • I like your thinking PP, but in later years she told me she was too busy with three other children, she couldn’t be thinking of me … although I know she wrote to her mother every week so she had news of me … I think it was a big relief for her to have me (sick) off her hands! It was my grandfather who asked to have me, he was afraid I would die, and perhaps knew his daughter was not coping with a sickly child.

          • yes pp, he truly was, he made me laugh at the table when my nana was so serious, he would fart, then playfully kick the dog, and tell her (the dog, a red kelpie called biddy) to stop it! i know this sounds very childish, but the grandparents did not get on, so they rarely spoke, and each little light moment was enjoyed 🙂 of course i knew who really did it! my nana was a great cook, there were always treats in the tins under the dresser 🙂

          • Have you written a post about your childhood? It sounds as if it would be very interesting. I enjoyed the small taste you gave us in this post

  3. non sono le stesse scene, non gli stessi posti della mia famiglia qui in Italia…ma lo stesso amore!
    splendide foto

    are not the same scene, not the same places of my family here in Italy … but the same love!
    great pictures

  4. Hi Christine, thanks for introducing yourself by following our site. And thank you for sharing such a beautiful memory with us, we look forward to exploring further. (We love your birds too!) If you’re on facebook we invite you to visit the RAXA Collective page. See you there!

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