Monday, February 20, 2012

My (Reading) Childhood

Here I am back again after a very long time away from this space. Another birthday has gone by and yet another is lurking on the (not distant enough) horizon. Daughter and Son, Grandchildren, and now, Great-Grandchildren, I can absolutely assure you that the time between birthdays does get shorter the older you get. I can also tell you that when you get to my age it is entirely possible that you may not view this as a "good thing".

But that's by the by.

This year is the National Year of Reading here in Australia all sorts of fantastic activities have been planned to encourage us all to read. I myself need no encouragement and I have my Mum to thank for my love of stories, books and reading. I've been an avid reader since ... well since ... I learnt to readBefore I learnt to read I listened to stories. 

I don't remember my Mum reading to me, but I do remember that she ensured that our radio was tuned in to the ABC for Kindergarten of the Air each day when I was a toddler, and I think these are my first memories of hearing stories. I can still recall the delicious feeling of anticipation as I heard the words "Once upon a time ...". I get that same feeling these days, whenever I open a new novel to the first page.

This is a picture from the ABC's Pool website. The child isn't me of course, but I imagine I would have looked as transfixed as this little one did, when listening to Kindergarten of the Air. Our radio (which was called "the wireless" back then) was very similar, but it was made of dark brown Bakelite

My Mum also made sure that my sisters and I were surrounded by books at home. Every Christmas each of us would get a new one. That's how I discovered Noddy and Big Ears (Enid Blyton), Milly-Molly-Mandy (Joyce Lankester Brisley), and the Susan series (Jane Shaw) among lots of others.

There were always magazines and newspapers strewn about our house too. Mum would buy the Women's Weekly and the New Idea, which incidentally did usually feature some new ideas - unlike the celebrity gossip stuff it's filled with these days. These had children's sections which generally had a short story or two in them. 

Did we have comics? I vaguely remember reading Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse comics, but they may have belonged to my boy cousins. They had big piles of them stashed under their bunk beds. I used to wish I had both of those things - piles of comics and a bunk bed to stash them under.

There's one thing I am certain of, and that is that our childhood home was filled with literature of one kind or another thanks to our wonderful Mum.

Then there was the Library ... but that's a story for next week's post.

No comments:

Post a Comment