A guest post by Emily Bennett
I loved growing up on a farm in the Adelaide Hills. It creates a different type of person to those who grew up in the city. Here are nine things that I think make us country kids great!
1. Short showers
We know what a drought looks like. Two-minute showers, or someone banging on the bathroom door telling you to get out, is normal. We know why there is a timer in the bathroom or, hell, even what a bucket in the shower under your feet is doing there. We get it. Short showers are not to save the earth, but to make sure that come February, we can keep having showers instead of having to wash our hair in brown bore water. Ewww…
2. Long distances
I went to school in the Adelaide Hills and all my friends lived at least half an hour from me. When we all got our licenses is was totally acceptable to drive the distance to catch up for an hour. I’ve heard people complain about driving from Norwood to Unley. Oh, good Lord. That’s a lousy 4.4km. My bestie lived 30km away and there sure as hell wasn’t any public transport to get us there.
3. Knowing where your food has come from and being cool with it
Ok, this may just be me cause my Dad was a butcher but it was fine that I knew that those cute, furry cows in the front paddock last week were on our plate as delicious steaks this week. It was nature. That’s just what happens. Knowing I was eating Daisy was ok.
4. Cooling off
Swimming in the dam is an acceptable way to cool off. My brother and I used to sit in the water feature and pretend to fish as a way to pass a heatwave. When it was hot at school at lunchtime the principal used to tell us all to come to the oval and he’d hose us off. The entire school stood around squealing and getting wet. This was primary school before this whole concept would have turned into a music video and become creepy. We were kids and it was fun.
5. Fast food
Ask me or anyone I went to school with when Maccas came to Barks. October 1996. It was amazing. Three-quarters of the school worked there, we all met there, it was our place. We have only just got KFC in Mt Barker and after being promised it for most of my childhood, I can’t do it. They hurt me too much for me to face it. Subway was also a pretty epic get.
6. House parties
Yep, so we all got these (city and country kids), but our house parties were generally in a paddock. Most of us lost our virginity (or aspects of it) in a dark bit behind some trees. We brought vodka Cruisers and maybe siphoned booze from our parents and we all wore jeans, boots and pretty tops. Jeans and boots cause you know, paddock and all. But, it was far more innocent than the city house parties I heard about. When we all got to uni and went to them we looked like deer in headlights. It was an adjustment to say the least.
7. Knowing everyone
I still go shopping and expect to see people I know. Caveat: I don’t know anyone in my country town anymore. I would never wear ugg boots or daggy clothes cause all my school friends would be there, shopping with their mums. Everything took longer cause you had to stop and chat. And you know all the staff, too. Imagine seeing your morning chatty barista at the bank, at Foodland, at the BP, at the bakery, everywhere! Chatting takes time.
8. Holidays don’t just happen
When you are a kid it looks as though all of a sudden your parents decide to pack everyone up and take everyone away on a holiday. It’s fun, it’s easy and the biggest thing you have to worry about is who’s going to collect your mail for you. On a farm the world of holidaying is very different. Even as a ten year old I worried about who would look after my ponies, let alone who would feed the cattle, check the water troughs and hell if it’s fire season we can’t go and… the list goes on. So much planning and preparation goes into it. It probably sets us up for adulthood very well cause I don’t know about you but planning for the holiday as an adult seems to take more time than the actual holiday. It just puts you off the whole thing when there are so many factors and ducks to line up.
9. The joy of delivery
I still remember the first time I had food delivered. It was pizza. I was fourteen and staying at a friend’s house in the city. They gave me the money so I could meet him at the door. As soon as we called I sat there and stared out the window. Forty-five exhausting minutes later I was like a yappy dog excitedly greeting a guest. Wow. What a day. Oh, yeah, of course this does not happen in the country. Food does not get delivered cause we all live a minimum of 10km out of the town. Getting mail, newspapers and ice-cream delivered can also be put into the category. Don’t even get me started on a Mr Whippy van!
Can you relate? Emily xx