I can really only remember back to the time when I was five. In 1934 children went to school when they turned five but in 1935, it was after the Depression and the government of the time needed money for other urgent projects, the school entrance age was raised another year to six. I wasn’t quite five yet and can remember being desperately disappointed.
As a probable diversion my mother tried to teach me to knit. She provided me with a pair of clean meat skewers, the kind that used to hold together roast beef. That was a come down. I wanted real knitting needles. Certainly I expected to be able to knit straight away.
With my mother and auntie we were sitting on the front porch in the sunshine. I remember the smell of the breath of heaven bush as we sat there. The two adults were knitting nicely and I was industriously poking the skewers in and out of the piece of the knitting my mother had started for me. It was to be a scarf, first of all for me but as the afternoon wore on, for a doll. We went inside for afternoon tea. Next day we did knitting again. The scarf seemed to have grown a great deal. Suspicious, I asked my mother how that could have happened. ‘The fairies must have done it,’ said my mother.
I didn’t do any more knitting for years. I didn’t make a scarf for many, many more years after that.