It was the 70’s.  A time when home-knitted jumpers were fashionable, house blocks were still big enough to play backyard cricket in, puppies came from your friends dog and not a shop, I still had all my grandparents but did not yet have a second brother and the Skyhook’s song, Everybody’s Wearing Blue Jean’s, was my babysitters anthem.

My family and I were living in Steaky Bay, a small coastal fishing town on the west coast of South Australia.  I have fond memories of this town as it gave me many of the the finer firsts in my life.

It was here I discovered my love of finger painting at kindergarten.

It was here I started school for the first time.  It was here I skipped school during the first week as I didn’t realise that you had to go every day.  That just seemed crazy when the beach was right across the road…

It was here I learnt to swim in the ocean and not a pool.

It was here I ate crayfish drowned in fresh water and cooked on the beach.

It was here I camped in a caravan and burnt my feet on the hot embers of the previous nights campfire.

It was here that I met pelicans for the first time.

These beautiful birds were bigger than 5 year old me but I don’t recall being scared.  I loved to throw leftover fish to them or watch them gather around the jetty as the tuna boats rolled in with their catch.

There was one pelican I recall that stood out.  He only had half a foot.  We dubbed him Arfa – the grown ups thought we meant Arthur but we didn’t – he had ‘arf a foot’ after all.  Arfa was a local favourite of kids and adults alike.  I think he got sympathy food due to his mild disability and was often seen cruising the shoreline between the caravan park and jetty.  An true opportunist.

I suppose Arfa’s long gone now – as are all my grandparents, that cute little dog named Butch in the photo, home-knitted jumpers, big backyards and the Skyhooks.  I do have a second brother now though and that’s a good thing.

10 thoughts on “Arfa

  1. The photo is so powerful it brings back a lot of good memories. the Pelican hand drawn is astonishing. Madame the seminar you attended unlock your true talent. Cheers Nonoy Manga

  2. Great pic… well drawn, some wonderful memories for you. Good to record them while you’re still young enough to recall them. Sad about the things that are long gone (except for the hand knitted jumpers)!!

  3. Beautifully written, beautiful photo, beautiful drawing and even more beautiful memories…….and I am still wearing a jumper that your Mum knitted me quite some time ago…very much the fashion statement now..xo

    • Thank you for saying so. Mum will be pleased to know you’re still wearing her knitwear. Stay tuned on that front she’s creating more in the wooly department!

    • Oh yeahhhh! Thanks so much for the tip – I now declare you my new best friend! I’ve also been compiling reasons for getting myself one of those super cool but rather expensive iPads – this gives me another item to add to the “pro” column!!

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