Sometimes your parents do things you could almost not forgive them for. Now don’t get me wrong, this is not a heavy blame all my woes on my parents piece, but, when they sold our house in Besham Parade, it took me a long time to forgive them. Let’s just say I haven’t forgotten either.
Besham Parade was not in anyway a mansion. In fact, I believe if you looked up money pit in the dictionary well it will have the latitude and longitude for Besham Parade. What I remember so fondly about that place was that we could crawl under the house and sometimes find actual buried treasure. I found a beautiful marcasite art deco watch and a medallion from the early 1900’s. I still have both of these. Most likely of no financial value. But to me the rewards of a treasure hunt. The house also had two bay windows which were perfect for our impromptu ABBA concerts and Famous Five adventures. I spent the majority of my primary school years living in a cocoon of a simple and safe life in this house.
Bear with me, I am getting to the song. During the Christmas school holidays in 1981 we moved a little further out of Wynnum to what then felt like a satellite suburb but was just Wynnum West. I was starting high school the next year and this move meant a longer walk for my education. I loathed the whole idea of walking that far but looking back recall very fondly the time I spent chatting about teenage girl stuff with my friend Nikki. We, to this day, nostalgically reflect on those very conversations.
The house we moved to had a pool, not just any pool, but a posh inground pool rather than the above ground pool we left back at Besham Parade. The house was very working class but back then I thought I had climbed a few pegs in social standing at school simply because of this inground pool.
I do have lovely memories of floating around the pool in one of the very first pool bean bags. Whiling away those lazy long summer holiday days. What I also recall is the soundtrack of that time. It was Queen’s Greatest Hits. That cassette had just been released and it was on high rotation in our home during those summer holidays.
The song Under Pressure immediately takes me back to the smell of chlorine and wet musty togs and towels. When we moved in I think it probably would have taken me all of an hour to unpack my belongings. My daughter has no concept of the privileged life she lives just as equally as I had no concept that I went without. I try to explain to her the very lack of belongings kids had in the 80’s. Our wardrobe was sparsely populated with mufty clothes. We owned three or perhaps four pair of shoes. School shoes, thongs and good shoes. I remember when I turned I think 16 I received a boom box with detachable speakers. This was my very first “device”, owned by me alone for playing music in my room. My sister and I up to that point had shared an old cassette player. She was probably equally thrilled to claim solo ownership of that cassette player. I had a desk with two drawers and an alarm clock sitting proudly on it. I know those two drawers were not overflowing with stuff.
My daughter simply can’t come to terms with this at all. She owns so much. We’re a single income family and we live a modest lifestyle. She certainly doesn’t keep up with some of her friends with their consumerism. She does alright though. I think she has about twenty eleven makeup brushes. I have three. I bought my first pair of Nikes at the age of 48. She owns three pair. It’s such a very different life.
I hear the song Under Pressure and I think back to a time where I felt no pressure. Where I had no understanding of labels, of owning so much, or keeping up with your friends to be accepted and to fit in. Those first few bars dun dun dun dun dun dun dun. Immediately returns me to feeling twelve. Not even a teen. Being content and so happy.