Posted by: daviemacdonald | June 15, 2011

A small place is as big as the world.a story about my childhood.so


A small place is as big as the world.

Today I decided to write some more about my background….indulgent? I guess it is.

There are several reasons for doing this; none I hope is from some form of Narcissism.  I wrote in the early part of this blog I wasn’t previously convinced that many if not most blogs were actually written by people simply wanting to air their stuff in the belief that their day-to-day trivia would really interest others. I believed many bloggers are simply sufferers of NPD

My view changed when I explored blogs further and found myself reading more associated with social commentary world events and simply providing information. I decided and wrote that I had probably been previously too judgmental about blogs in general. This was because there are so very many great blogs out there that I find I am in absolute awe of their content, their look and feel the writing ability and the knowledge of the writer. I constantly feel humbled and as an excuse for my efforts have to tell “I am no academic”

books, reading and poetryBob Carr’s blog Thoughtlines is one that really impresses me and I am embarrassed to even consider being in the same space. It is the one of note that comes to mind as I write now.

Many of the political blogs make me feel quite lacking especially as in mine I will revert to my personal legal challenges soon to be launched battles in the Family and District Court.  Oh that I possessed the strength to confine my writing to just political thought, with the odd post about sport culture or foody things.

But I am not just up to it! I just do not have that strength of character. I wish I did. It is simply that the salvos of my personal affairs were first published by another in their blog and the content of those postings were so untrue I needed to have my say

Am I also a self-important Moron: Perhaps

I have seen and read several blogs over the past months that are shamelessly plagiarist.  One I’ve read focuses on film and book  reviews so obviously taken and cobbled together from several other written sources. We are not talking research we are talking about copying   You can fool some people sometime but you can’t fool all the people all the time .

There are food blogs that are simply glorified recipe books where the recipes are taken straight from cook  books. Unless you are a chef or really creative in the area why bother  except to boast.

However on review again of many blogs I do find justification in my original thought that the vast majority have no theme and are pure unadulterated self-indulgent gossip and glorified twitters They have nothing of value to add to the planet other than they are written as communication to keep in touch with  friends who are equally lacking in any real content for their lives.

How arrogant am I….. but really who the hell cares if you write anonymously if you painted a brown chair black or you just want to publicise accusations of your Boss improperly flirting with you. I think the worst I have read is when people blog just how much their children annoy them and still there are people who read such stuff ans still consider them to have some intellect and to be worth knowing.

In one blog I read how a mother had forcibly washed their child’s mouth out with soap and water. I still rack my conscience about whether I should report this abuse. I still might or better ask some friend who live but a stone throw away go make a visit to express their disgust

In my blogging I often find myself giving me a big kick but the need is there to write and share the injustice and post a warning over the way I was treated in a very recent relationship. I am not sure there is a single reason why I feel like this but having spent over 5 and a half years with a deceptive and especially cunning and manipulative partner who I now intellectually understand was just after every last cent they could extract from me to the point of even hacking into my Qantas frequent flier account changing the email notification and nicking all my points enough to fly to the local Supermarket and back.

So why write about it here? Isn’t that being equally self-absorbed? Probably!  The big issue for me was they went public and involved a multitude of people including my community friends in their nonsense. They have continued to do so and gossip what they believe are private conversations.  I feel compelled to write again.

This space is my way of  countering again the rubbish that had been written about me and the discussions (gossip) that is still taking place. My chronicle here eases  hurt it is cathartic and Fuck; it feels right to do so.  The Courts too will have their place in the matrix of justice but for now as that process trundles slowly on so I sit down and write.

social and community commentI also wanted to write today (and these were the original 2 main reasons) because I went to a Care Lever Australia Network (CLAN) gathering on Saturday in Bankstown. It was for the opening of the organisation Head Office.

I was less than impressed with the mutual Political back slapping that dominated the proceedings and it added in my opinion little for the dignity of the forgotten Australians. Sadly it seemed totally focused on the children from care in Australia at the exclusion of those who were forcibly migrated here from the UK. Thankfully I am neither but I now know from my time in the National children’s  home came very close to being one.

A discussion with Ken Loach “Oranges and Sunshine”

However there are many of us already separated from our folks who regularly saw our elder defacto brothers and sisters being suddenly be part of the disappeared. We lost these defacto siblings forever. Something I would like to do is to get the Australian and British Governments to take the apology to the third stage . An apology  for all those left behind now also forgotten in the UK. They need their apology also.

Child migration -60s

At the CLAN event we had several members of Parliament invited there as speakers and one who couldn’t attend did so by video link.

politicsI think it was fine to have the building opened by a Political dignitary but for the proceeding to then be totally dominated by Politicians was plain wrong. We were subjected for the next hour and a half to politicians promoting themselves. I have been around politicians long enough to see through most of the bullshit. I found it was patronising in the extreme and I don’t think it afforded real dignity to the attendees

My expectation had been that the building would be opened by a dignitary and then there would be a general milling about. This did happen later but the moment when this was appropriate to do was missed due to the Political grandstanding mainly by the Conservative Politicians

“Oh what a good chap am Oh how I know what is must have been like and what poor fellows you are” seemed to be the underlying theme.

Well I think I saw through that and it’s wasn’t good. Even when I arrived I saw 2 seats in the front row which I went to plonk myself on…Well just one but I had taken my original Teddy bear for the day 🙂

My Bear and Me

Nah I wasn’t an important dignitary so not for me so sorry up the back row… The dignitaries should have been comfortable sitting amongst us but now even now after the “apology to the forgotten ones” superior status was given its head. We are just the sorry ones.

One of the very worst “faux pas” by a politician ever then occurred. It was one of the most embarrassing I have ever seen given the sensitivity of the audience and occasion…it went like this

This Politician a liberal (Conservative) claimed in his speech to have read a book written by an ex Care Lever.  I should add he did say he did time in a home. While on the platform he said looking directly at the author “Now so and so is a great successes story. I found his book fascinating and what is great is that so and so went on to becomes what was it? A sociologist or psychiatrist”

“Neither came back the reply. I’m a Dr of Chemistry”

Now how could you get something as simple as that so wrong? Only if you are a Liberal (conservative) politician I guess. IDIOT

How embarrassing

The Bear my most valued possessionLater as we were walking to a barbecue area and me clutching my Teddy Bear from the National Children’s home (that has been with me since 1951) this same politician was behind me.

He asked what’s that referring to the bear ?

pIC

I turned  my head and said “My bear” “Yep he goes with me everywhere across the world

(which is NOT STRICTLY TRUE but as the day was special and he takes pride of place in my house so I decided to be brave and take him along with me and fib a bit).

Not knowing from what side of politics this Politician was from I chose to say “see the red scarf that cos he is in the ALP”.

Had to get a response one way…Yes NO?…No

He looked extremely perplexed…

So I repeated it ….Umm I thought either way by his reaction he thinks I’m really am odd at best or something else…a bikie perhaps

So me claiming not to be odd and in need of mental support; I had a bubble thought  “not a very friendly chap”. After all the bear was a perfect way to engage anyone either side of the political divide but not this Politician.

Only when I got home did I discover he was a conservative…so I guess he can’t help it. From his speech I got the impression  he perhaps was only there for his own agenda His by the way he promised to wrap up a good half-dozen times

I will be watching his political performance from now with great interest. I have invited him to be a Facebook friend so I may have to eat my words here if I am wrong…..Not wrong

Another Politician I should mention is Malcolm Turnbull. Now poor Malcolm got all flushed when I simply wanted as I told him “as a member of the extreme left of the ALP  thank him for his kind words and efforts for the “forgotten ones”.  He was completely gob smacked and another who looked at me very oddly. He couldn’t get away quick enough.

Oh happy day 🙂

There was another Politician I got to speak to however who was a delight. This was Claire Moore. What can I say lovely engaging down to earth and was just great to chat with. I didn’t know then she  is a Labor Senator. It’s the difference between the genuine and the opportunist?

So now to the other reason for today’s blog. It is simply that in light of Saturday I wanted to share the following which I first penned in October 2006 with  *items in brackets have been added since then.

books, reading and poetry

It is called A small place is as big as the world. just a story about my early childhood…

it goes like this.

****My fondest childhood memory I have is of a big kitchen in the children’s home at Harpenden.

To recap what I have written here before on this blog when I was born my Mother had tuberculosis so…….we were separated.

I always recall how my Mother would tell me years later how it was  when she was only able to see me through a glass screen …hung by a nurse upside down by the legs. It was the closest she was able to get to me due to her recurring illness. How hard that must have been for her.

That kitchen was huge ……………but then I was just a little boy and so was the home…..huge……….The largest in the UK I understand… Today a kitchen dinner table is still a most comfortable place I find myself to be. A perfect substitute is a large dinner table that is usually found in most large homes like 22a ???????? (my parents home in Hastings).  Unfortunately for my Mother she had to stay in hospital so she had to suffer an immediate separation from me. We never did that bonding thing.

Licking the cake mix bowl was my biggest treat. The finite details are not so important now but I know that when I first see a big country house and large dining room tables I am always transported back in a moment.

I have vague recollections of Olaf (my father) visiting me and I do recall the red speed boat made that is seen in a picture of me on the homes balcony.

Me & the Boat at Harpenden children's Home

Douglas (my half-brother) kindly found the picture for me. I remember the day I left the home clearly as night follows day. My house Mother and I said our final goodbyes. I still remember vividly that moment peering through the back window of what I believe to be the Austin 8 though I expect it was the Austin 7 below.

austin-7

I have one picture of her Sister Riva, not a direct shot as it is essentially of me. (Since the original writing of this I have found another)

David & Sister Eva

It is however my second most favorite possession. What is my first? Well maybe you will let me show you one day. It is a picture……….well 2 actually. Though over the years I have secured 3 family mementos 2 of which. I brought back to give [my] Mother.

So there I was leaving my home that day for my new one……………and in reality my truth is that I still haven’t arrived yet after 4 decades of wanting though 71 (my London house) came close to it. But sadly it is gone which is why I found it [hard] to return to the area. (Though I have done since via Google maps)

My journey is still the road and sometimes I feel lost at times (as I did last August 2010)

I have some great memories like when Doug my brother would take me to the pictures or Frances my sister would bath me.

My den my bedroom was “my” place. It was tiny. My cupboards such as they were; [were] fashioned from orange boxes. Probably 4 of them that stood and measured probably just 4 feet x maybe one and a half or so.

My bear, we all had one didn’t we? He yes a he, was a hand-me-down still clothed  in my NCH children’s home uniform which he still fashions today. No fur (our dear sister had shaved and cut it). He is worn bare with the straw stuffing poking through in parts like his snout.  Back  then I recall he had no nose, one eye hanging by a thread, only one leg, only one hand hanging loosely and held on by a hinge of sacking cloth. No ears too.  Today I was able take some great shots and when I return (to the UK) he will go back with me.

The Bear

Remarkably with all those missing parts like any sea-faring adventurers with wooden stumps for legs or hooks for arms he was to travel far and wide. He was the captain of my ship, which was my bed as we travelled the stormy sea. My bed was often the  life boat to rescue other seafarers less fortunate than us. The actors some were animals “all stuffed”

A hedgehog

Another smaller blackish brown bear…I also think was a “Steif”

A seal, ( the one I had the fight over # see Schoolyard Bully)

A golli and a knitted cowboy (made by my Mother)

A rabbit with blue trousers…must have been Peter

and me of course went around the world and we all traveled through time.

My little place my room my den was where we would fight the Indian repelling them from my little bedroom now a fort My bedroom was actually what used to be called a box room We would do battle with the invading Norman with the occasional foray as one of Cromwell’s men to fight the Royalists in the Civil war. We landed at Normandy too.

What we achieved was really heroic….ah just a little boy’s dreams

motorcycleWith Cars traced from books and stuck on to card I would race at the Monaco Grand Prix. The track was a cracked linoleum floor and was witness to some of the most remarkable moments in (motor racing history. There were Ferraris Alfas and the British too with their Lotus (me) and the striped Coopers or the BRM ALL both resplendent in the British Racing Green and the Lotus with its yellow wheels which I loved.

I even built ships from a sack of old blocks of building wood to do battle at Trafalgar. Yes we beat the French and later time travelled to the Pacific to beat the Japanese. We even mined for coal under the bed.

My bed might be a wagon racing across the plains to open the Wild West. I was also the sheriff of Tombstone arresting the outlaw.

football and other sportMy bedroom floor was a tiny place that was as big as the stadium at Wembley. The crowds watched as mini pictures of hand drawn soccer players flicked a ball made from a roll of paper precisely one inch square made into a ball.  The shots were into goals made from a single shoe (whose sole always leaked in rain) at each end of a threadbare Persian mat.

“The Scots to beat the English?” We always did after all we are a warrior race and the best in our Royal Blue.

Englands loss to Scotland 2-3 Wembley 1967

My little Paraffin stove kept me warm; enough to melt the ice on inner side of the window and cause Jack Frost to slip away.

Typical paraffin Heater late 50s 60s

It was my place and to venture out even to the toilet was a journey I often couldn’t make. The other side, that dark side of the door was often a terrifying foray to the other side * [of the bedroom door] Often all of the world it seemed was so unkind. “They say”  “suffer the little children not” but we always do and we do and we did and no one knew.

I was approved in my place my den, no arguments there.   My animals all stuffed came to life to offer their friendship and join my gang. They approved of my world and that was all that mattered. And then there was my dog “bruin”

Bruin

But at eight he was gone and yet he remains in my memory as vivid as ever. He had cancer I was told but we made our pact. I promised that he wouldn’t go (in that I failed) but in the other I kept my word that there would be no Shaggy dog to replace him ever.  How could there be?

I have kept my promise…….and sometimes even as I read this now I am embarrassed just how I still feel. Its the child within

So all of that is why I have never had any grandiose plans for wealth.

This is why I am comfortable in my little place I now live because to venture into one [very] large takes me to a place from which I was removed and I loved and a cannot easily face a return to….. however brief.

I am always in awe of large places and wealth. Because the leaving takes too long, the memories hard to erase and the journey; my journey to another home still continues today.

Sometimes I have ventured back to ask “why”.

I am happy now I know and *I approve of that. I have done well I think. I brought my son up as his primary care giver until he was 9….and there is more to tell….but I will stop there….for now.

So now you know why “a big place is a small place and a small place is as big as the world we imagine”.

Perhaps this poem by Pablo Naruda the poet murdered by Pinochet sums up my life from its high point in 2007 until its lowest in 2010

Pablo Naruda Poet

And that is why I have to go back
to so many places in the future,
there to find myself
and constantly examine myself
with no witness but the moon
and then whistle with joy,
ambling over rocks and clods of earth
with no task but to live,
with no family but the road

For 13 days in August 2010 this poem became a reality as I was again free.

The story was written just as a narrative Just some innocent ramblings I decided to share it some 18 months into my relationship with my ex I did it when I felt confident decided finally it was time to share it with my best friend and partner. There was nothing in it other than it was about me and I wanted to share it with a special person. I drafted it a few months after the death of my Mother.

*When I arrived home approval for anything was not something that was readily given for a job well done around the house. I think that is something to do with the era of the 60s. I think we as parents hopefully have learned from this. I think we are much more inclined to express our love and rewards much more than parents did in the 50s and 60s

But in any event now I was A MAN so some Bo Didley

Unfortunately I was to be reminded of this in Canberra throughout my stay of over 3 and a half years  there.  There was little recognition (yet) for all the money and work I did to maintain and improve the home and property of my friend.

12 July: It is now a matter that will eventually go before the Courts and painfully so as it requires a toughness that I don’t admire in anyone let alone me.

After drafting “A Little Place”  in March 06 I completed it to share secretly with someone special and without doubt they were special.  To be frank I guess there was an element in me that was wanting some recognition  and validation of  “how well” I may have turned out; tough (I kid myself a lot:-) kind and gentle ”  Yes I think that was it ……..but certainly not sympathy seeking …I’m too much a lad and a bit “flash” for that and it was written after 21 years of a very single and happy life.  I was established and 18 months into a terrific 101 relationship.

The rest of  “my story” you may have already picked up around this blog  was  rarely ever touched on. I was very happy and it was a very forgotten part of my life.

For good and bad I  decided to write about me very personally again in this blog today yet again in response to continuing back yard gossip, blogging and tweeting about me.  An example of which I did post here as an illustration. I removed it because my anger about it has subsided and but leaves me now with the question of them

“Why did you need to do any of it “?

Writing this day was Cathartic.

Whatever …… it is just my story some more ” A Story about a boy”

 I think you get the picture

And while we have the Petty Things here is their biggest hit from the 1960s enjoy

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Responses

  1. In Australia we have a centre-left party (The Greens), a right-wing party (Labor) and a mental-hospital coalition on the extreme right.
    Why are you wasting your time with Labor? They are naught but corporate whores in sheep’s clothing.


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