• Elizabeth the 333rd,  Oops

    A Couple of Death Defying Moments

    Things become a little blurred between grades 4 and 5. We shifted around quite a bit in the early years. My first recollection of that school, with Miss Handcock, is when we lived in a semi rural area. There was only white sand, with spattering’s of brush, around us. I’d arrive home from school, after walking through that sand and bush, with a wild kitten in my hands more often than not, only to be instructed to, ‘Take it back!’ My older sibling and I walked, what I think I can rightly say, at least 5-km’s to school, then, back again. With no street lights, or floods lights, the walk…

  • Elizabeth the 333rd,  Oops

    Miss Handcock

    Grade three we were living back in Perth. I was at a new school and a couple of incidentals occurred there, like I had my finger in my sleeper earring, newly pierced, and a friend pulled my arm down and I tore the flesh and the earring out. I broke my arm in year four and was in a cast for a few months, I had a new teacher for the last part of the year and she constantly berated me for my messy work for the first part of the year. Saying, “I had a broken arm and had write with my left hand,” meant nothing to her. I…

  • Elizabeth the 333rd,  Oops

    Corporal Punishment

    Change of scene. Dad worked on the mines, as I’ve previously said, and we all moved to Kambalda for a year, at least I think it was a year. I have memories of sitting in a white painted, wooden tower, with many miners wives, peeling, and shelling, vegetables for the miners dinners. Today those places are called Donga’s and I don’t think the women and children are permitted to live in them. Now, miners are flown in and out. My clearest memory is the school. It was a time when corporal punishment was still a viable, and frequently used, option to discipline children. My walk from the miners camp to…

  • Elizabeth the 333rd,  Oops

    The Potato Underground

    I can’t say for certain if it was the very late 1960s, or the very early 1970s, but Western Australian potato farmers were having a rough time of it. I’ve researched the government agricultural papers for the time and have found no mention of the underground. However, I was maybe six by this stage, and have a memory of my father’s wife peeking out the front windows of the old house late at night. She was watching the activities of the potato farmers across the road. ‘The trucks are leaving,’ she’d said, ‘and they’re full of potatoes.’ Likely gossiping in the days after, with a local woman, and friend for…

  • Elizabeth the 333rd,  Oops

    The Accusation

    It was a funny old house house, emphasis on the old. I recall either overhearing, or witnessing myself, the first day we moved in. I think it was my father’s wife who opened the door and hundreds of rats and mice ran out. I find myself hoping now, that my father’s wife’s mother cleaned before we actually moved in… As I said it was old. One night dad woke me and began to pull me off the top bunk. I shared the bunk bed with my brother I think. When I opened my eyes, a roof beam had dislodged, probably from a rotted joist, and the end of it landed…

  • Elizabeth the 333rd,  Oops

    Life and Death

    I was told that during my birth, I was breach and my father’s wife, and I, had died for a few moments. I used to wonder if it was a form of post natal depression that was the reason for my father’s wife’s dislike for me. I no-longer give her that out, because I know things she would think I couldn’t know, and have an entirely new understanding about her hatred towards me. Her actions, although damaging and devastating, I am now able to use in my memoir without naming, or shaming, because I only speak about the things, in detail, that happened to me, and she will always be…

  • Elizabeth the 333rd,  Oops

    The Shower Incident

    Apparently I was a “bad” child, and was always told by my fathers wife, and her mother, that I was the black sheep of the family. It was even written in “the family” bible somewhere I think. They’d be flipping pages, muttering, smiling, groaning, you know there’s not much that can be said while your stuffing your face with scones, pastes, chocolate… and my siblings and I were busy being whipped into the “house cleaning business”, a business my fathers wife had not be trained for. Any way, I digress. So, I’m not five yet (I don’t think) and for some reason my fathers wife kept an unusually intense eye…

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