52 weeks of personal genealogy and history: week 19: Bedroom

The topic for Week 19 in Amy Coffin’s and Geneablogger’s 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History series is Bedroom: Describe your childhood bedroom. What furniture did it contain? Were there curtains, wallpaper or paint? Was it messy or clean? Did you share a room with your siblings?

I realise sometimes how much I took my life for granted as a child and didn’t preserve the common-place in my memory. My bedroom was largely my own domain though my mother also kept her sewing patterns and fabrics in there. I only had to share once, for about a year, when a “cousin” came to stay with us while getting medical treatment. It had a single bed and in winter it had heavy woollen blankets rather than modern-day doonas/duvets/eiderdowns. Of course sheets in those days were always white, to be washed, “blued”, and hung in the sun to stay sparkling clean and whiter than white.

A kookaburra on my bedroom window sill.

Purple was always my decorating colour of choice so when I got a new wardrobe, which took up one wall, it was painted a shade of pale lilac and I had a lilac vanity (brush) set and floral lilac and lemon curtains though my jewellery box was pink. Doilies were big in those days and I had those on my lemon-laminex dressing table. Beside my bed was a bedside cupboard with my books (not a lot) and some prayerbooks and religious pictures and statues. My desk had a matching, yellow with sparkles, laminex top. The walls were painted not wall-papered though my mother did wall-paper them after I left home. The floors were polished timber and I had a mat beside my bed. I suppose the room was quite light and airy with two windows, one which faced next door but towards the creek and the bush, and the other which overlooked the back yard.

When I was young there were no fly screens so we had mosquito nets over the beds. While they are now seen to be somewhat “romantic” they could be a real pain when you had to get out of bed during the night and then ensure you were mosquito-proofed when you returned. When I was maybe 10 or a bit younger we got flyscreens and I wasn’t sad to see the end of the mossie nets. The downside is that the kookaburras could no longer fly onto my bedroom window sill (if I could only find the photo I’d post it here).

My cat was my constant companion as a child, including sleeping with me at night. It didn’t matter to me at all that the consequence was sometimes that I’d sneeze for hours when I woke up. Cat cuddles are much more important than sneezes!

When I was in my early teens my cousin left a full leather-bound collection of Charles Dickens’ books in my bedroom so that summer I made it my mission to read every single one. I think my objective was far more about completion than remembering or absorbing the content, but it did take care of six weeks holiday 🙂 Almost by definition there really were never enough books in my life – now there are never enough bookcases…..

My room was pretty much always tidy and methodical (hmm, would my mother have agreed?!). One amusing event occurred: I had found a “thing” in the bush with no idea really of what is was. It became quite clear one morning though when my bedroom was suddenly alive with baby praying mantises….it had been an egg case and was now hatching. Have a look at this Youtube video and you’ll get the drift….it was all a bit lively in the bedroom for a bit until we got it sorted.

All in all my childhood bedroom as it was then really hasn’t left vivid memories in my mind.

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