Thursday, October 26, 2006

Early Friends

After a week of complex, realistic dreams, I have been lining up my earliest friends. It isn't impressive.

Gareth Henry was a neighbour. I remember him as a first class wet, maybe Colin and I terrorised him. On the other hand my cousin Brian appears in memory robed in golden glory - he was older and a natural leader, very tolerant of his cousins and sisters. Adult friends were Auntie Wilson and Uncle Jack, next door. I though Auntie Wilson very elegant, and Uncle Jack was fun in that post-war way, with word games we didn't understand.

Things went downhill in Australia. I don't remember any friends at all in Maroubra, and in Sans Souci there were lean pickings. Susan Heesh was sly and mean, but we both loved going through her mother's scrap drawer. Suzanne Bennett's grandfather exposed himself to us so I stopped going there. Tina and Penny Curry lived a little further away, in the most beautiful colonial house with huge trees and tesselated verandahs. They were fun, and gentle and I liked them, though we went to different schools. Our parents were friends, our fathers worked together. He was a little creepy, she was lovely but highly strung, like a heroine of the Deep South. Other children of my parent's friends were nice enough but distant - Diana Mulligan, the Warren boys, the Scotts.

I had no friends at Sans Souci school, none at all, especially after I fought Rory Macpherson, big red-headed bully that he was. I took refuge in the school library. Things were hardly better at Hurstville, although the Sans Souci girls, Katy English, Diane Love and I, did huddle together to some extent. Life was blighted there by two things - I never knew what was expected of me, and I got up the nose of the red-headed, moustachio-ed hedmistress, Miss Kelly. I can see now that I was very irritating, and that she was of no stature at all. I certainly didn't respect her.

Life started for me at Kambala, where I first met Paddy and Maryna (then spelt Marina), Pish Donovan, Pepita, Karine, Leanora Ceylon, Louise (Price) Allen, Louise Mitchell, Chris Harcourt and Christine Trollope, Annabel Wheeler, Helen Telford, Minty, Elaine Speigel. Human beings! Then boys at St Michael's Fellowship and dances: Alexis Mack, Karl Kitchens, Carl Harrison-Ford, Paul Foster, Philip Titterton, Robert Tobias. Some friends continued into university, plus Libby Hughes and Angela Wales from the convent, and Chris Hungerford from PLC. And then I left the country, so I am really, really lucky that I am still in contact with so many of them.


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