Following yesterday’s glimpse into my tragic fashion past, I have more for us today. Looking at these photos brings back memories of how I used to hate being noticed or watched. Now, I love it. Give me a group of people and I’m right into being the very centre of attention. I guess confidence and not giving a toss about what people think of me comes with old age LOL.

So the photos below are from my primary school days and they were taken during some sort of hideous school dance performance. I say hideous because this was the thing about primary school I most dreaded – the public performance. Whether this was the swimming or sports carnival or, in this case, some sort of folk dancing exhibition, I HATED being involved and had zero confidence.

Now that I think about it, there was no reason to fret because I was always pretty good at swimming and used to come in a decent Second or sometimes First spot; I was a reasonable runner; and I can in fact dance quite well.

You see the photo below of me dancing? You see that painted circle on the school ground asphalt? That’s the thing I most disliked. I can’t recall exactly how this went but I think once or twice a week, the class would practice folk dancing using this circle to keep us from bumping into each other or because it was a social round dance. I think girl/boy partners were selected by the teacher (rather than the boy choosing the girl) and I DREADED who I would end up with.

I seem to think this folk dancing exhibition was on a Saturday and the first photo shows me (standing in the middle) with Shayne on the left and Cherelle on the right. Cherelle featured in nostalgic photos in yesterday’s post. Thankfully, I’m not wearing the white knee high sock fashion – Shayne is though. And check out the dress I’m wearing – I think they were called shift dresses. This one certainly had a funky hippie vibe going on! Cherelle is pointing and I look like I’m pondering something profound. Shayne is wearing one of those clip-on flower hair pieces that were popular then. I always refused to wear anything in my hair.

The next photo shows my mother (in the foreground) and Shayne’s mother. I have no doubt they are watching me and Shayne performing whatever folk dance we were subjected to. The look on my mother’s face is priceless. Given that I had ballet lessons when I was younger, she was probably elated to see me actually do some dancing. I was a reluctant dancer despite my mother’s talent and passion for dancing. I remember her dress very well: it was purple and white and a similar shift dress style. I’m convinced my mother made both her dress and mine since she was a good dressmaker (and let’s face it people, the dresses look home-made).

My mum is wearing the same copper bangle she was still wearing when she died in 2007. Well, it could of course be another bangle, but she always wore a copper bangle because she believed it helped prevent or ease arthritis. She didn’t have arthritis but my mother was always into alternative remedies. You can’t quite see it in the photo, but I’m certain she’s wearing a black velvet bow in the back of her hair and, as always, chunky beads around her neck. My mum always wore beads or pearls at choker length.

What I remember most about Shayne’s mother is how elegant she seemed to me. She always wore Estée Lauder perfume and lipstick and, during High School when I visited Shayne’s house, she made very tasty chicken and mayo sandwiches. Looking back on this now, it was white bread, processed chicken meat and high fat mayonnaise. But heck, who cared back then! I ended up going through high school with Shayne and, in our late 30s, we went to Hong Kong together. Or was it Singapore? Never mind, we had a great time and remain friends to this day.

And then….the photo that caused a flood of memories about the dreaded painted circle. There I am dancing with Warren (I won’t give you his surname but I believe he ended up playing violin with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. All I really remember about him was his incredible shyness and that he lived in the next street from our house). It’s hilarious to see in the photo that Warren is clinging onto my dress and I have no idea why I chose to wear sandals when it might have been smarter to wear closed shoes, to avoid any toes from being stepped on. Shayne is next in line and I believe she’s dancing with Christopher, who appears to be wearing some sort of tennis outfit.

When I look at this photo, all I can recall is the dread of the painted circle. I’d love to go back to the school and see if that circle is still there and what it is used for now. Do primary school kids still do folk dancing??


L-R: Shayne, me and Cherelle. Pondering something important no doubt.


My mum with Shayne’s mother.


Dancing on THAT circle with Warren.