Sunday, July 6, 2008

This is... my most treasured childhood possession

When I was 4 years old I broke my leg... in outback Queensland. I was hit by the only bicycle on the only footpath near one of the only buildings in a caravan park town in the Gulf of Carpentaria - the bit between QLD and Northern Territory. (My Dad's idea of a holiday with seven kids!!??).

My poor parents had to pack up camp (and seven kids) and drive four hundred miles over dirt tracks and creek crossings to get me to Mount Isa hospital, and then drive thousands of miles back to Victoria with an injured child. The ordeal is legendary in our family.

After ruining the family holiday I received a lot of attention. I guess I felt quite famous for a while, and kept the cast as a momento. My mother recently cleared out my old room and sent me home with it, complete with sand from Kialla West Primary school sandpit (1973 vintage) inside the worn out heel. (I wasn't at school then, just lived next door and used to play there).

In 1973 the cast was up to the top of my thigh, and now it's up to my knee. It triggers clear snapshot memories of dramatic events in exotic locations, a long trip in a VW Combi van and a sense of being loved and looked after by my family. I also still love the Mickey Mouse that my big sister drew on the cast while I was asleep one day. Because of those memories, it's precious to me.

I had planned to say that the cast was my most treasured childhood possession. That was until I met up with a couple of friends from primary school today. That's right folks... we've known each other since we were 4, 5 and 6 years old!! We meet up every so often and the connections that bind us are still strong.
I'd say my most treasured childhood possession is enduring friendship.
...I just threw in the bit about the cast because I'd gone to the trouble to photograph it this morning!!
I love the nightclub-esque lighting in these pics... memories of days gone by. Today we were in a Playcentre - letting kids roam free while we caught up over hot chocolates.
Thanks to Angela for "This is.." and to Danielle for the great memory-jerking theme.


.girl ferment. said...

That cast kind of freaks me out...but I love that your eduring friendships are precious.

Nikki said...

Yes - I was a weird child who kept strange things.... but had lovely friends!! :)

méri said...

What fun you kept the cast all these years!
Mainly memories and friendship. So good!

Sherrin said...

how cool that you've kept your cast!! I managed to break a bone on a family holiday when I was little too- my brother accidentally jumped on my arm on a trampoline in Fiji... I too remember the crazy car ride to the hospital.

Handmaiden said...

thats a very warm and loving mother has friends of over 60 years. I hope I will one day

Net said...

Both your choices for treasured possessions are wonderful! I'm not surprised you kept the cast when it has such strong memories associated with it.

Maureen said...

Well...I've heard it all now. lol A kept cast. Too funny.

Tho my son wanted to keep his tonsils when they came out, and the Dr. did give them to him in a jar but our maid threw them outside and the dogs ate them. DS was crushed.

Janet McKinney said...

I have to know - 400 miles from Mt Isa, on the Gulf - has to be Burketown. Your father took you to Burketown for a holiday??? At least ell me he was a barramundi fishing freak

Yes I lived 4 years up there - had my daughter in Mt Isa hospital and then flew back to Doomadgee at 6 days old!

Nikki said...

Yes - at nearly 80 years of age, my Dad still is a fishing freak (and loves the outback). Until my mother became very ill in the last few years, my Dad still went on mammoth fishing trips to the far north and west of Australia.

The town we were in was Karumba. In 1973 there were no sealed roads and very few buildings.

Janet McKinney said...

I am going to concede that Karumba is one step better than Burketown. Boy, if Burketown is actually connected to the Internet - hope no one from there is reading this!! For a while in 1980, we used to travel to Burketown to use a Telephone and ring home!

I used to fly from Cairns to Doomadgee by plane, and stop off in Kurumba - they say it has grown a lot lately.

Janet McKinney

Cathy said...

Wow! I can't believe you still have your cast. How weird! We are certainly learning lots about you Nikki. Love the fact that you still have your childhood friends - I have lost contact with most of mine but mum still see hers a few times a year . Did you know that Louise's mum and my mum went to primary school together? And know each other! We didn't!!! How freaky is that?

edward and lilly said...

I'm amazed that you still have the cast!

Nikki said...

Funny - I never thought that a child keeping a cast was a strange thing.... I wouldn't keep one NOW!!!

It was sitting in the back of a cupboard all this time (not on display) but every time I come across it it brings back such a flood of memories I could never contemplate throwing it out. The thought of not having those memories refreshed every ten or so years makes me realise that it's a precious object to me.

Ok - so call me weird.... :)

Nikki said...

I mean "I wouldn't keep one NOW" IF I BROKE MY LEG NOW.

Ok - I'll stop leaving comments on my own blog now....

one little acorn said...

Great story and definitely one of legendary status. 7 kids in a combi van! Were your parents CRAZY???

...just kidding, it sounds like a lot of fun (despite the broken bones).

Also, I still have friends from primary school and I'm with you, the bonds are still strong and super special.

Lark said...

The cast - that is funny, I love it!

laura said...

I literally broke my arm in half (both bones in my forearm snapped) when I was 7. My mother kept my plaster cast and I think it's in her attic! It has all the signatures of my little 2nd grade friends and I remember how mad I was when one girl who I really didn't like signed her name in huge letters!