Recently I’ve been writing stories about my very early life in the 40’s and 50’s, with a view to leaving behind some stories of the past for my grandchildren. I’ve also been meeting each week with a small group of people who write and share stories about their family history. A meeting is scheduled for today but due to the fact that Melbourne has gone into lockdown the meeting has been cancelled and we are all at home. So instead, I’ve written a small account of some very warm memories of my life when I was very young and decided to share it in this post…
My happiest memories of life in the 40’s and 50’s are of my visits to my Auntie who lived nearby. I always looked forward to our family visits to her home. She had a big family and her house always seemed so exciting for me. I spent many hours there sitting around the kitchen table while she cooked and chatted to everyone. She would cook a roast dinner for us all and at the same time she’d be whipping up scones and cakes and sponges, pulling things out of the oven, and decorating cakes.
I loved the atmosphere, the excitement and the busyness of that kitchen! There was always lots of chatter and laughter and of course a highlight of the event was scraping the bowls when she had finished cooking. We often went there on Sunday mornings after Church and I loved it when we had scones with jam and cream. We spent a lot of time at her house during school holidays and she always cooked my favourite food, usually sausages, but sometimes she’d make an amazing bacon and egg quiche. It was always an exciting time for me. She had a grown up family and it was always fun to be there.
The front room of her house was quiet, a little remote from the activities in the kitchen and dining room, and a bit dark but it was cosy and in that room there was a gramophone which my sister and I were allowed to use. We had to be very careful putting the records on the player and even more careful when we moved the needle across the record to start the music. I was always very nervous about that but I loved sitting in this very quiet room and listening to the different instruments of the orchestra. I loved watching the needle of the gramophone connect with the record and then waiting for the very first dramatic sounds of the orchestra.
I specially loved listening to the piano playing with the orchestra and it was here that that I first listened to The Warsaw Concerto which has beautiful themes and amazing passages for piano which are both moving and dramatic. It ends with an exciting crescendo and finale. I still love that composition and love to listen to the instruments working together to make such amazing music.