Sunday, April 11, 2010

Play School and a Vegemite Sandwich

This morning as I sat with J, watching another episode of Play School, it occurred to me that I've been watching this show on and off for the most part of my life......30+ years. 

Big Ted, Little TedJemina and HUMPTY

Singing along with Noni, John, Bonita, Don and George........... There's a bear in there, Dingle Dangle Scarecrow, Shake My Sillies,You Can Stamp Your Feet, etc..........

I remember them all, the silly dances, the Tic Toc Rocket Clock, the Windows, and the all the games and craft.........a thousand and one things to make with toilet rolls, straws, cardboard boxes and mountains of sticky tape. I loved it when I was 3 and now 34 years later still going strong! Every little Aussie child watched it during their childhood and so are mine...........thousands of miles away.

I grew up with all those faces, and I had a favourites too; John Hamlin,  Benita and Noni. I could sit for hours watching those two, dancing, singing and they just so much fun to watch. My older two grew up with Monica and Philip and now J is watching it with Justine, Alex, Simon and Karen.  I watched it with my mum as a kid and now it's happening again with my little one! 

Somehow I've managed to get the kids to watch it and we've been so lucky to get to see it on satellite tv. The kids have watched Bananas in PajamasHumpfrey (I had a toy Humpfrey as a kid!!!) , Hi-5 (just not the same without the originals), and of course The Wiggles!!!!!! 

.......... I must confess I've been to 2 Wiggles concerts in a span of 5 years. Got most of their CDs and Dorothy and Wags plushies!! ... My last trip back home I decided to give it a miss for their annual concert  because I just feel it's not the same without the original Yellow Wiggle, Greg.... still in Wiggle denial. 

All the shows are just not the same whenever a replacement comes along.Oooohh  Ashley grew up singing along to Hi-5 and when she watched it recently with Jacob she couldn't believe there was no Charli, Kathleen, Nathan, Tim or Kellie. Well people get older is what i told her and I just couldn't image the original Play School cast jumping and rolling around at their ages now. 

..... Funny thing is when I was in Year 10 for work experience I got to go to the ABC studios,Gore Hill and actually spent a day on the Play School set. It was amazing to see the set, cuddle up to Big Ted, Jemina, Humpty and Little Ted and I even got to meet John Hamlin!!! My childhood super star!!! ........ I even told him he was my fav when I was a kid and  he was really funny on set. I found out that when he was doing the earlier shows he was actually commuting from the UK to Sydney (wat a commute!! can u image the frequent flyer points if he was doing that now!!) I just miss out on meeting Noni who was on the day before.  Anyway, while I was there I also got to go on the G.P. set...........Does anyone remember that show?? They weren't filming at the time so the set was empty so I didn't get to meet anyone. The other place that was interesting was the wardrobe dept, so many costumes and amazing detailing. (Got a pic of myself in a period costume.) Memories............

Anyway, side tracked there..... well I guess I've been trying to put a little Aussie into the kids lives and although we are so far I want them to remember their other home. The place I grew up, my childhood memories and where family & friends are. I want them to know where they're from and possibly where they will be in the future. To create an Aussie culture at home, a sense of identity for them and to keep mine alive. It's not about living there anymore but an Aussie way of life; how we live, our love and respect for one another, our great sense of humour, having a fair go, the great Aussie BBQ (and the flies!!!), and of course the beautiful land we call home.

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains, 
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains, 
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea, 
Her beauty and her terror - 
The wide brown land for me!

taken from My Country
by Dorothea McKellar (1885-1968

I just cannot describe the feeling I get when you hear or see good news from the time I watched the opening of the Sydney 2000 Olympics. I was just so awe struck and seeing my "hometown", how proud I was and weld up with tears to see it all happen...... 

I would go back to Sydney in a flash but I've made my new home here on this side of the island and for now while the kids are still young I'll keep on watching Play School and turn that Australian Network channel on ....  make those lamingtons, pavlovas, anzacs biscuits and the great aussie pie ...... eat that vegemite sandwich ........... but I know I'm home because home is where the heart is..............

........... my kids love to read Alison Lester's Are we there yet? and someday I would love to bring them back to Australia and make that same trip with them.


  1. something wrong with my My Country poem. All over the place

  2. My kids love that book too. My hubby and I did almost exactly the same trip as she takes in the book. Wonderful!

  3. My mum sent the book over for my kids and I instantly loved it. The story is so lovely and the beauty of a car trip becoming a lasting memory for everyone who reads it.
    When I was a kid we use to do a lot of car holidays and it was such a fun time. We still do it but only when I get back to Sydney once in a while..... Our last trip was from Sydney to Canberra and then to Mollymook and back to Sydney just before Xmas last year.
    Good to hear that you did almost the same trip!! I'm sure Alison Lester inspired a lot of family car trips with her book.




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