We twins were born from the house at 1231 Cotham road in North Balwyn. It was a large old Victorian house situated on the corner of Cotham and Burke Roads in Melbourne. It is now a motel, but it seemed that then the block was so large the locals mistook sometimes mistook it for a small park and met there at night; for whatever nefarious reasons. It seems that when I was about four years of age in this park-like garden, I picked up a tiny, teeny little balloon which when I was found to be trying to blow it up on the tram, caused immense consternation!
Our room, as in the twin’s bedroom, is located in the family consciousness and on the ground floor of this gracious old home. It was the place where we were brought some time after our birth as unfortunately the lapse between being born and being brought home was lengthy; due to us both enduring a bout of pneumonia. However, as time went by we made up for our poor start in life by gaining much energy and strength.
Our nursery which was across the hall from our parent’s bedroom had in anticipation of our arrival been freshly painted, the fireplace blackened, floors polished and new muslin curtains hung. It was a fresh room for new babies.
There were two cots, a comfortable chair for feeding us, a large antique cupboard on the far wall, and a dark red rug on the floor. Included of course was all the usual paraphernalia associated with the arrival of new babies.
As we grew the furniture achieved minimalist status. The cupboard disappeared, the door handle was raised to a spot higher than we were.
There were many reasons for these changes. At approximately the age of eighteen months we somehow managed to negotiate our way out of our cots, our bedroom, then past our parent’s room, down the long, winding passageway to the kitchen where we carried out our search and retrieve mission.
Our parents lay asleep in their beds oblivious to the antics of their small children. That is until they were rudely woken up by two small people standing over them each holding a large, sharp butcher’s knife above their respective heads. “Big Sharps, Mummy” and “Big Sharps, Daddy”. Instant clarity provoked the immediate removal of the Big Sharps back to the kitchen. The parental solution to our early morning escapades was to remove the chair and to reposition the…