Ailsa at Where’s my Backpack? has challenged us to post a taste of summer – where we come from.
My first thought was of the heat: the interminable, unremitting, dreary, life sapping heat that only water could assuage. Of days spent trapped inside, curtains drawn against the heat. Of enduring daytime hours reading on a makeshift day bed I assembled, directly in front of the Breeze Air water cooler, on the drawing-room floor, waiting for the relative cool of the evening before all three of us – Papa, Ma and me – would troop down to the dam for a delicious – though totally terrifying – swim in its muddy, yabbie-infested waters. Or of the defiant days, clothes torn off as too restricting, when I would take my book to the front lawn, the hose playing its cooling stream across the inadequate shelter of an umbrella.
I’m not certain, but I think this was the summer after the flood, when we knew for sure most of the farm was dead, and my beloved Ruggie too. When our spirits were momentarily bent … I’m not sure, but something made it indelible … So I present to you, Hanwood Summer, circa 1956/57: