Unspoken Conversations are the topics that are often swept under the carpet, whispered amongst the closest of friends and bitched about by many. I want to create awareness about difficult things that people face in life; grief, mental health, money, illnesses, family troubles, relationship difficulties and putting yourself first. I want to tell the truth about things that really matter.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Where I come from.

So today I thought I would share a little more about my life and "link up" with Shades of Gray and a Pinch of Pink to tell you about where I come from.

I think it's so important to think about our "roots" (and by that I mean where we grew up, not how many people we've got in our little black books!)

Whether you're proud of the tiny little place that you grew up in, or whether you couldn't wait to high tail it the hell out of there, it's where you were rewarded with scun knees, and scratches from climbing trees, and where you achieved your first milestones and where your parents chose to bring up their children.

So today, I want you to think about where you came from, and reminisce about the good old times.

I grew up in a small country town in South Australia. By small, I mean everyone knows your business before you know your business small. 1,000 people small. I had to giggle when I first moved to Adelaide (a city of 1,000,000 people) and everyone was talking about how small Adelaide was and how they couldn't wait to spread their wings and move to Melbourne or Sydney. They clearly hadn't been to Cummins.

Cummins is right in the middle of that red dote!

I grew up eating meat straight from the paddocks, fresh eggs straight from the chickens bums, fruit that was grown on our fruit trees out the back and veggies picked from our garden. I ran around naked at the beach and I would usually spend winter in my gum boots getting down and dirty in the mud.

When I moved to Adelaide, I had never seen so many cars, sky scrapers and I had NEVER had to pay for parking, or even worry about getting a park when I dashed down to the shops! Adelaide was HUGE.

I also had to giggle when I wore my Year 12 jumper to uni one day and I was asked if the 30 names on the back were my home group. No, no, that was my whole class. Yes, in Year 12 we had 30 students in our class, 4 of who were exchange students from Belgium, the Netherlands and Norway.

Cummins, or the c-town aka the hole to many young people who still reside there, is a place that I am proud to call "home home".

My childhood consisted of my sister and I off all day riding our bikes and creating bike tracks, building cubby houses out of branches, leaves and really anything that we could find.

We'd go tad-poling and we'd bring them how to show mum and dad in a yellow ice cream bucket that was carefully balanced on our bike handles. We'd then rare them up to froggies with bread and insects that we'd catch (to the joys of my Mum!)

My family would go mushrooming in the winter. Tegan (my sister) and I would then walk around the streets of Cummins selling mushrooms to the neighbors that we knew for some extra pocket money. Mum would fry them up in a bit of butter and serve them on toast.

We'd also go out stump collecting together. It was always a race to fill the trailer up with stumps to take home and fill our wood shed. Nothing beats a warm wood fire in Winter. I miss sitting on the couch, watching the flames blaze, feeling the warmth from head to toe, snuggled up with my blanket, watching tv.

The main street in my home town.

SPORT was a HUGE part of my childhood. I swam 3 nights a week, played basketball in Summer and netball in Winter and I'd also perform in Little Athletics. Between training and actually playing I think that I had sport on every night of the week.

I love the atmosphere of country sport. In Winter everyone would park their cars around the local footy oval to cheer their teams on. The girls would play netball and then trudge over to the footy oval in time for perving, I mean to watch the talent of our local footballers. Us girls would strut our stuff around the footy oval in our new Levi jeans thinking we were it and a bit. That's back when Mum and Dad could give you $5 pocket money and you could buy a pie, fruitbox and lollies!

Some of my gorgeous friends dressing up like country boogans for a 21st!
In Summer everyone would migrate to their beach shacks or the beach. The beaches are truly amazing. Yes, I'm bias, but I truly think we have some of the most beautiful beaches in Australia (you can judge for yourself by the photos!) You can go to the beach and be the only people there. No fighting for your spot while stepping over bodies to claim your patch of sand for the afternoon sun. YOU COULD BE THE ONLY PEOPLE THERE.

This is my favourite beach!
We'd take the boat out fishing as a family and we'd always come home with a feed of fresh whiting, flat head or whatever else was unluckily enough to find itself on our line. We'd so sand boarding, snorkeling, boggy boarding and sifting for shells through the white sand.

CAMPING is also a HUGE part of country culture. It was so much fun packing up the swags and tents and camping out under the stars. We'd pack our deck chairs, rugs, baked beans, eggs and bacon, fishing rods, wood for the fire and we'd set up camp and chill out. It was soooo beautiful and relaxing to escape the madness of everyday life and to get back to nature.

Did I mention that there's NO traffic lights in my home town? There's no taxis, there's one pub (of course, every country town no matter how small it is in Australia has a PUB!), a bakery, butcher, massage parlor, gym, grocery store, post office, news agency, deli, hairdressers, craft shop, op shop, a bank (that has only recently got an ATM) and that's about it.

Ohhh and one more important thing...it's pretty much a COCK feast back in Cummins. There. I said it. The majority of the girls leave Cummins when they finish Year 12 to go on to tertiary study while the boys stay behind and keep our small towns from dying. The boys usually win apprenticeships or go home onto the farm and work for their family. But, have no fear, lots of the girls do return home once they have their study and career under their belt so reproducing does still go on.

Summer fun!
But you know what, I wouldn't want it any other way. The fact that I can go down the street and NOT have to BID for a park, the fact that I can go to the footy on the Saturday and it takes me an hour to grab something for lunch because I'm bumping into people I know and the fact that everyone waves to each other ARE THE REASONS THAT I LOVE MY HOME TOWN!

One of my best friends and I in a canola crop that is grown at home.

At the end of the year Mick and I are moving home. I can't wait to give my children the upbringing that we both have had.

And if anything, we can kick the kids out of the nest at 17/18 because if they want to go on to tertiary study then they have to move to Adelaide or beyond! A whoop! haha

Where did you come from? Are you proud of your upbringing? Where do you want to raise your kids?

Look after yourself and those around you,

Kirsty xxx


Mia @ The Chronicles of Chaos said...

Oh my goodness, what beautiful pictures!! Thanks for sharing your home town. I've never been to Australia, but it's definitely on my list. :)

Kirsty Arnold said...

Thanks Mia. I wished that I had more photos to show of my upbringing and home town...unfortunately mum has them stowed away back home in the photo albums and she's 7 hours away! Maybe when I go home next I'll whip them up and post them on here :)

Australia is truly beautiful. I have done some other posts on what I love about Australia here and I have a guest post coming up soon with an American to swap our stories about our countries!

Erin said...

Oh my good lord do I need to get myself to Australia! I have always wanted to go there and those beaches just look absolutely beautiful. I don't understand a few of your words and have to giggle at some of the others but I think that's the beauty of meeting blog friends in other coutries. Can't believe an Aussie made it onto my linkup, so awesome!

Kirsty Arnold said...

Haha I am interested to know what words you don't understand! We definitely use a lot of slang and silly little sayings in Australia.

OMG you totally have to visit Australia. Our beaches are amazing and so different depending on where you go. The water is freezing but refreshing and it's just so beautiful lazing at the beach all day in Summer.

I love your blog Erin, and I hope that mine comes across as truthful as yours done...with my personality too :)

Thank you for sparking the idea to write about where I come from :)

Meme said...

Love it Kirst and cant wait till you guys come home :) xxx

Janna Renee said...

It sounds like such a beautiful simple childhood. I want to live in a town like that now! City life isn't for me anymore ;) It's so fun to hear more about you, and I love the little words you use that are so different from America!

Kirsty Arnold said...

Nawww me me bring on fishing and camping and all things fun.

Janna...country life is simple, relaxed and a much slower pace of life. I love it. Where do you live in america? I want to visit Disney world one day haha