09 September 2007

My favourite toys

David McMahon’s question this week is, “Which toy was your childhood favourite?”

To answer this question I first need to give you an idea of how I grew up. Pardon the quality of the photo's they are old and were taken with an assortment of box camera's.

My sister's Spaniel Rossi with the farm house in the background

I spent most of my childhood on a remote bushveld farm in the old Transvaal (now Limpopo). The farm is about 50 kilometres (32 miles) to the west of Warmbaths, in the plains below the Waterberg Mountains.

We had no telephones or electricity or other modern conveniences. Cooking was done on a wood stove. Hot baths only happened at night, when the fire was made in the geyser. The loo, was a long drop some distance from the house. We had a battery powered radio and listened to our records on a wind up record player. The refrigerator was paraffin powered. Lighting was by way of candles and lamps.
Me, my sisters and dinner

I lived with my extended family that included ma, pa, grandpa, two sisters and assorted cousins. My male role models were fiercely proud and independent farming types who lived by a code, like something from the old Wild West. They had very firm ideas on how a man should behave and be raised.At the age of five I was given an air gun, I am not sure when I got my first knife, but it was not long after that. I was taught how to hunt and fish at an early age – that was our source of meat.
My back yard was about 1,800 acres in size; it was teaming with wild life, including just about every venomous snake that is to be found in South Africa - on occasion I came across 18 foot long pythons. I would often disappear into the bush for hours at a time with my dog Buster, either hunting or fishing. Life was one big adventure.

My pal Buster

My favourite “toys” were guns, knives and fishing rods – essential “tools” for survival in that wild environment.

Just so that you don’t think I was a total savage I also had mecanno sets, toy cars and trucks, toy guns, a clock work train set, a steam engine and montini building blocks. I was also an avid reader and loved my books.


mrsnesbitt said...

Awwwwwwwwwww Buster looks cute!
What a great variety of toys you had at hand! A bit like my hubbie!

LOL! He has his bike, pick-up, and a workshop....he must be in heaven!

Anna said...

Max-e your childhood was quite an adventure, and I would do anything for 1800 acres backyard lol...I guess technological development was different for different parts of the world, I guess my was a bit more developed because we had light, heat and fridge, but then my favorite toys were always home made, such sling shots, fishing rods that could never catch the fish, fabrics from which we made doll clothes, collection of leaves, acorn, match boxes, hunting weapons that would never catch anything - one because there was no wild animals, and second, because they would usually break on the first round lol. I had other toys, but the one we made were always giving us more fun. Anna :)

david mcmahon said...

Good on you, Max-e,

Really enjoyed reading that. I was pobably 11 before I was trusted with an air rifle - and that was a great honour!

I'd love to read more about growing up on that amazing poperty.

Thanks so much for taking part.



Max-e said...

Hi mrsnesbitt - looks can be deceiving - Buster could be a holy terror, but we were the best of friends and he was my shadow.
As boys get bigger so do their toys -I don't know if we ever really grow up

Anna it was a very different world back in the late 50's/ early 60's. We may not have had much in the way of money and material things, but I was really blessed in the life style. I treasure the memories.

I have many tales to tell David. Maybe I will start a weekly post on my childhood memories. My sister-in-law once said that she found it hard to believe that people of our generation could have had my kind of life style

felicity said...

I found you blog facinating.So much in common,same era,same country, same music, same happy family.I need to update my blog so we can reminise. My blog is still in its infancy.Will try to catch up.

Max-e said...

Thanks for stopping by Felicity.
Blog land is fascinating and a lot of fun - go for it.