A memoir of love, laughter, loss and billycarts
It still amazes me what they allowed us to do without their supervision or help while remaining deeply loving parents. Climb trees from the age of four or five? No problem. Drive the tractor from the age of eight or nine onwards? Good luck to you. Haul on the hoist to pull the half-ton bins filled with oranges off the trailer? Yes. Take your bike out on the Pacific Highway and ride to school? Just be careful, but okay ...
Their rough reckoning was that if we thought we could do something, we probably could - and if we thought we couldn't do something, we probably still could, if we applied ourselves.
Peter FitzSimons's account of growing up on the rural outskirts of Sydney in the 1960s is first and foremost a tribute to family. But it is also a salute to times and generations past, when praise was understated but love unstinting; work was hard and values clear; when people stood by each other in adversity.
Above all, in the FitzSimons home, days were for doing. In this rollicking and often hilarious memoir, Peter describes a childhood of mischief, camaraderie, eccentric characters, drama - and constant love and generosity. The childhood of a simpler time.