Monday, February 14, 2011

Love shack.

Hidden in the heart of the national park on the very edge of the water sits a little fibro shack, with an outdoor loo, enough beds to sleep twelve and a dinner table that doubles as a pool table (no joke!). Back as far as WWII, my granddad and my great grandparents had enough foresight to build this little home for my family to come and unwind. And even though the outdoor loo scares the bejebus out of me in the middle of the night (I stop all fluids at 7pm to avoid it), this teeny tiny shack is probably my favourite place in the whole wide world. Come inside and I'll show you why...
 We have two ovens and two fridges, but no warm water in the sink. You have to boil the kettle every time you want to wash dishes. Charmingly rustic, or just plain annoying? I'm going with the latter.
I don't think this oven has been used since I've been born, but no one wants to move it - probably because it's damn heavy, but I like that it makes me think of my grandma cooking dinner on it fifty years ago while my mum crawled around on all fours as a babe.
The plates all sit neatly in a row and always have... and are ridiculously hard to get out sometimes.
And there is always a hat to borrow for the day, even if you're a teenager (or 25 year old) who wouldn't be caught dead in a straw hat.
Oh and the boogie boards, freshly minted... in the 1980s. But seriously there is no better way to get across the seaweed (aghhh!) than belly flat on top of these with your dadda pulling you along. And for the record, you're never too old for that to be acceptable okay?
And if the weather is truly miserable you can always play Yahztee, complete with old scorecards from when my mum was my age and was really good at Yahtzee. She's still really good, suffice to say I don't enjoy playing with her because I'm a bad sport. She also cheats at Scrabble... I'm just sayin'.
Here is where I used to sleep when I was little - on the one closest to the wall because the windows scared me (yes... scared...). I distinctly remember being 10 years old and struggling to sleep because bush fires were literally a street away from where I was lying. We left early the next day and we drove through endless roads of charred trees.

Now that I'm older I'm more likely to take the window bed... and take in the ridiculous view I'm afforded from this little fibro shack. Unless it's a bit windy and the branches are scratching at the windows... then I'm back by the wall (or sleeping in between mum and dad).
And here is where my mum and dad sleep (I've been told I have to tell you that mum normally makes the bed... I apparently caught her on an off day). I know I'm big on the boring nostalgia (it's not boring for me but I can imagine it is for you... but that's not going to stop me, sorry) but I remember being so scared that dad would die because he simply couldn't stop laughing. Hours passed with him in hysterics and I was so convinced he would never stop and he'd just laugh forever and ever amen. All Carry On movies have since been banned...
When the sun goes down you can walk through the lagoon, over to Bundeena and clamber across the rockpools - poking anemones and running away screaming from the crabs you just pissed off.
Sure there is no internet, and the TV reception is sketchy at best but the worst bit of if all is being presented with this view - the haphazard steps home. They are no doubt an insurer's worst nightmare (we all have a couple of scars to prove it) but it also signifies the the end of another little trip to the shack. It's so simple and basic and maybe without charm to anyone but me. But these fibro walls and this outdoor loo are full to the brim (of that silly straw hat) of memories I relive every time I walk through that door. It was made with love some sixty years ago and I think I can speak for all of us when I say we're eternally grateful. Because really all you need in life is four walls and to look around and see the faces you love... beating you at Yahtzee. Jerks.
Oh and Kylie Minogue fridge stickers. Happy Valentines! x

6 comments:

Jessi said...

oh wow!I love that old stove! and I wish my dishes were pretty enough to be on display like that!

emma said...

isn't it a great old stove? the kind of thing i probably thought was a waste of space 10 years ago and now i would be heartbroken if it was thrown out :)

Clare B said...

Looks like a perfect old family beach house, full of stories and memories. Can imagine it sounds pretty awesome to be under the roof when it rains too.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

I love these photographs as they instantly transport me back into time. Just stunning! :D

Laura said...

That place is just a time capsule! <3

Kelly said...

oh i love this! my family have a "holiday house" at jervis bay and this reminds me so much of when we were little and the house was still being built. we have a jive bunny sweatshirt that still sits in the drawers down there incase someone forgets their warm clothes, despite the house being finished and completely livable for at least 10 years!!

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