Size does matter


Tell me about your childhood home, specifically where were you living at the age of twelve?

I loved that house so much. My life was a mass of confusion at twelve though. Is that common? Perhaps it is – a jumping point between innocent time and hormones. The beginning of knowing you’re going to be responsible for how the hell it all turns out. One foot on your way…

Anyway I loved that house. Through childish eyes it was huge. We lived in a frigging mansion. Our backyard was a national park. No really, it was five or six bedrooms depending on your configuration, and several other rooms including a big old country kitchen, and all surrounded by verandahs.  The front verandah for skateboards, ping pong, large lunches on wet days. Reading and piano on the back verandah. Out the back door, and down the path to the washhouse, memories of blue-o, and double concrete tubs, a wringer maybe? That’s hazy… and the coal pit at the back under the house. How lucky is the parent whose child thinks scooping the coal is fun!  One bathroom, normal back in the day but wow, the waiting! Solid dark dividing doors, leadlight windows, high ceilings with roses and plaster mouldings. Endless nights tracing those patterns til sleep…

The house and land took up probably three normal size blocks, not counting the paddock down the side. Obviously not a national park! but wonderland for a child, a private forest and a great green expanse for any and all ball games and the running of my imagination.

You can never go back, but when I did, and looked with adult eyes, I found that it was actually a big house, a large block of land and while Yes, Virginia, size Does matter, in terms of a home it isn’t the physical size that makes it big. The biggest thing about my childhood home was the innocence, safety, and happiness I felt there.




18 thoughts on “Size does matter

  1. Love this post! The house sounds like play heaven. 🙂 What I miss about being a child is playing with toys and blocks and getting lost into my imagination. I’d love to go back and bring that kid-me to the future and have some new adventures.

  2. Such good memories. More memories are waiting to be made.

  3. Oh Annie it sounds idyllic. How wonderful. I remember one house we lived in (in Melbourne) if we closed all the doors to the long hallway it would be pitch black and we’d play ghosts. Ah the innocence and imagination of childhood. And another where there was a whole series of foundation holes dug that stayed that way forever in this large open space behind the house and we’d spend hours there playing mountain climber.

    • Thanks so much for sharing those memories of yours – I love the sound of both of those houses, particularly the mountain climbing!! How funny the things adults leave…that become entwined in a child’s imagination 🙂

  4. Agree, completely, with your last sentence.

  5. I went back to my family home in wagga recently and I was dying to take a look inside. Small white house with only four bedrooms and a caravan as the spare bedroom, which you could not wait to be the big kids to use as there were nine of us, we never had much in the way of possessions but man there was a whole lot of memories of love and laughter and for me now home is wherever my mum is. Annie great post made me think about how lucky I was to grow with such a mad bunch of beautiful people.

    • That’s such a nice quote ‘home is wherever my mum is’ 🙂

      I’ve loved reading the memories shared by others after this post! Would love to read more about growing up in a big family like yours Kath.

      I didn’t go inside the house ever again, but have seen the garden a few times and then, when the house was up for sale, saw the inside on the netty again… x

  6. These are beautiful memories, Annie 😀 I always thought my grandmother’s house was HUGE until I went back as an adult and everything seemed so small. It was a weird feeling.

  7. I think you might be able to write about this for a while…I loved it!! Keep writing! I wanted to hear more about the house and your childhood there and what you played and who broke their arm and what happened there!

  8. The house sounds idyllic, plenty to explore


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