Alan has worked principally in communications and marketing and wishes to tell the family stories about his past life with, as much of the colour that was present during those times, as possible.
Through a gate in our back yard in Mornington, Dunedin lay a huge, rich green grassy paddock which was a haven for active small boys to run around in and invent numerous games. Sloping upwards from the gate, towards the northern side the paddock to the left tipped down to the south into a gully bordered by tall pines. We boys aged four to seven would do roly polys down the grassy bank into the gully for hours. Often it would become all-in ‘scrag’ with much giggling and yelling.
The only ears likely to be listening to our racket belonged to cows. In fact it was a cow paddock and we were the invaders. I don’t recall ever feeling threatened by them. It seemed they understood we meant them no harm. If we entered their territory they would quietly munch off in another direction.
Our greatest game above all was sledding. We had collectively, with the aid of a father, built a sled that seated two of us at a time. We would grease the runners with old lard then haul our sled to the top of the slope. We’d set off, gathering speed, into the gully. At the lowest point when we were doing our fastest speed we had to do a smart right curve to steer between two very solid pine trees. Timing was everything and somehow we avoided splattering ourselves into the pines. Thrilling stuff! Then we would drag the sled back up and repeat over and over. Sheer bliss.
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