I’ve been ‘home home’ (Yarrawonga for those of you playing at home) over the Easter break. I wonder if it can be called a festive season or is that solely reserved for Christmas? Anyway, the boys are always finding amazing new things to play with at mum and dads and this trip has been no exception. The current activity of choice is…fridge magnets. I come from a long line of people who don’t really throw things out ‘just in case’ they might need it at some point in the future and thankfully, mum was able to find an entire bag full of fridge magnets representing my childhood travels and experiences to amuse the boys for approximately 2.3 minutes.
Some of them had lost their magnetic properties and slid slowly down the fridge but this seemed fairly indiscriminate. For example, the one of Wayne Carey at the height of his playing career and apparently before the ‘affair with a teammate’s wife’ scandal is as strong as ever whilst the actually useful huon pine bottle opener from one of many trips across the Bass Strait just slides to the food every single time. Actually, there were quite a few bottle opener fridge magnets from holiday destinations.
I’ll spare you the long story but I barrack for the Sydney Swans – it’s got to do with loving Derrek Kickett, a precocious 8 year old and Kevin Sheedy dropping him from the Grand Final in THE INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLE in 1993 and Kickett moved to Sydney. I promise you that is the short version. Anyway, not long after making the move to the Swans, Kickett retired and I needed to find a new player and along came Troy Cook, number 41. I found his fridge magnet and experienced a wave of nostalgia and wondered what he’s doing now.
Continuing the football theme, I found Bede with a blue and white crocheted magnet with a single goggly eye in the middle. It had been knitted by a nun friend of my Aunty Mary some time in the mid 1990s and given to dad who was a keen North Melbourne supporter. Incidentally, Bede is also a ‘one eyed’ Roos supporter, because that’s the team we chose for him.
Long before there were inspirational memes floating around the internet, indeed before there was even internet, mum had a pretty good collection of motivational quotes. My two personal favourites are ‘the time to be happy is now’ and ‘today is the first day of the rest of your life’. I think they had quite an impact on an impressionable younger version of me contributed to my current state of eternal optimism. Not entirely a bad thing.
It was bizarre to note the effect that seeing my childhood played out in fridge magnets had on me. I saw the place in Queensland where we’d had the best pizza in the ever, fish from Underwater World, countless squares advertising electrical and instrumentation companies that dad was always bringing home from work, elephants from Thailand and touching little odes to parents like ‘dads are people to look up to no matter how tall you grow’. But I’ve decided that fridge magnets actually are an excellent keepsake and souvenir and I reckon I’ll take to buying more of them and keeping them in a bag ‘just in case’ I ever need 6000 of them…