When Australia is brought to the attention of a foreigner, one great big desert, a bush with kangaroos or people sitting on the beach drinking beer is what usually springs to mind. Many believe that we live in either the desert or at the beach but a lot of us live near neither.
Growing up, I was lucky enough to experience the best of both worlds. Being born on the Gold Coast before moving to where I consider ‘home’ out west, I experienced a lot of things that all Australian 80’s and 90’s kids would relate to.
Here are 10 of those that I believe will send you spinning back to the careless days of your Aussie childhood:
1. Bubble O’ Bill was the man!
No other ice-cream included three flavours, coated chocolate AND a free bubble-gum. Bubble O’ Bill was definitely our saviour for those 40 degree scorching hot summer days.
2. The Hills Hoist (Clothes line)
Us Aussie kids didn’t need a swing set when we could go on a ‘whizzy’ around mum’s Hills Hoist clothes line. I’ll never forget getting yelled at for constantly making the arms lopsided!
3. Scorching hot Christmas days
Unlike many parts of the world we definitely don’t get a white Christmas, making snowmen and drinking hot cocoa by the fire. Although I couldn’t have asked for it any better, ours consists more of outdoor cricket, lots of family, prawns and I know with my family – definitely a waterslide! Oh and six white boomers of course.
4. Stubbies can either be drunk or worn
We all know that stubbies are either the bottle of beer that Dad and Grandad were forever clenching in one hand or the most diverse pair of shorts in which everyone owned! I remember mine being my school uniform and Dads being the grease covered version he wore to work.
5. Jimmy Barnes
You definitely didn’t grow up in Australia if your parents didn’t blast Jimmy Barnes through the house every weekend while having a BBQ. Don’t tell me that no matter when or where you are you don’t get the urge to blurt out every single lyric with your best Jimmy voice to ‘Working Class Man’ when it comes on.
Australia is home to some of the most beautiful national parks and beaches in the world. I’m lucky enough to have a Dad with a sense of adventure. Every weekend awaited a new escapade of bushwalking, fishing, camping, 4wding or even climbing the pyramids at Girraween.
7. Hot bitumen and seatbelt buckles
Nothing quite better reminded you that you were in the midst of an Australian Summer than making the rookie error of running bare foot down the street and having the soles of your feet melted off. Or jumping in the car and being branded by a scorching hot seatbelt buckle.
Cooling down in the water is another Australian favourite pastime. Whether it be swimming in the dams or the rockies back home or jumping waves at the beach, us Aussies kids always found somewhere to get our hair wet. Although, we had to risk the consequences, you were lucky to not return home looking like a red lobster from the kiss of the Australian sun, or escaping the sting of the blue bottles at the beach.
Let’s face it, you only knew the bearings of a compass because you were a Weet-bix kid. Every time you were tested on it at school you just had to remember what you had for breakfast – Never Eat Soggy Weet-bix!
At least every kid at my primary school had a Dollarmite account. My parents would give me a dollar a week to add to my savings. Thanks to Commonwealth bank for possibly teaching us everything we know about finance at the age of six!