When we had finished, we moved on to make a rectangular bag with flap and our full surname included in the chain stitching. This had tapes at the side and was proudly worn around our waists each Wednesday with our sewing materials inside.
In the meantime, at playtime and lunch time, marbles were in fashion. Everyone brought along their marbles in their pockets and showed their prowess. I enjoyed the game but was no expert so didn’t enjoy when we were playing for ‘keeps’ as I had my favourite marbles I didn’t want to hand over. These included a Tom Bowler, an agate and several bottlies, one somewhat misshapen. One boy played so often that his thumb nail was partly missing from flicking his tor into the circle.
Two weeks later we were both a year older, having birthdays just a few days apart. We went for walks after Sunday School and walked home after church at night.
Six months later, Don was called up for National Service. He was going to be away for three months. Perhaps I might be allowed to go to ‘the pictures’ with him before he went. I broached the subject with my parents who reluctantly agreed and off we went to Geelong on the tram. The film was Scaramouche as I remember – nothing memorable about it except I was there – with a boyfriend!
When home time came Don summoned a taxi. I couldn’t believe it. Why couldn’t we take the tram like everyone else? But this outing had been carefully planned and a taxi it had to be. I knew Don’s wages were minimal but he was determined to do the right thing. I insisted we get out a block before home in case anyone saw the taxi.
Then Don produced a box of Old Gold chocolates for me. Oh no! Old Gold chocolates! Who could afford them? Embarrassed, I smuggled them into the house and hid them at the bottom of my clothes drawer.
I think we both had a bit to learn about a new relationship – Don trying too hard to be generous, me being utterly ungrateful!