They had the sprinklers on at the oval on the park today (Fear not, environmentally-concerned friends, the local Council only uses tank or recycled water). It made me think of childhood days where we used to make fruit baskets by scooping out the ends of watermelons and filling them with frozen bananas and slices of oranges as well as fresh cherries and of course, slices of watermelon and rockmelon, sometimes even honeydew. We used to eat and eat with the juice dripping down our chins until we were covered in stickiness.

The only thing to do about it was to turn on the sprinklers and run through them; jumping over the shots of water, sliding and skidding on the grass. The dogs used to get in on the act too. Barking with delight as the water sprayed into their mouths.

No one turns on their sprinklers anymore. Our water is too precious to waste on such frivolity. We live with the threat of drought every single day. Makes me realise that a whole generation of children have never known fruit baskets and sprinklers on the lawn. What a time we used to have. I am lucky to have experienced it.

15 thoughts on “BYGONE DAYS

  1. This post made me sad, but it also made me long for summer for my bebes. Mmmmm….ice cold watermelon on the back patio! (Your imagery is like a treasure, my love.)


  2. Yes, I did lots of sprinkler jumping and watermelon eating/watermelon throwing as a child as well. We have been fortunate with water over the past few summers that the backyard is a water paradise for the kids during the summer–at least it gives me the excuse to act like a child again for just one more wet run.

    Thanks also for selecting one of my entries for your post of the week.


  3. Hi Selma….I’m sorry I havent been by much lately…… I’ve posted, but havent visited anyone!

    As for sprinklers? Come to Canada in the summer. Water is plentiful! I’ll put my wacky sprinkler on for you and even turn on the superslider in my backyard that you stick a hose into to send water through the little holes. You take a run at it and then slide along on your backside!


  4. Very sad that it’s drought year after year… our kids still play in the sprinklers. Like Dana, it’s fun all around. Sad when summers simple pleasures are taken away…


  5. Green beauty! What a joy to see no white snow. My land is still under heaps of snow… Ah, I also remember the sprinkler days of my youth. MMM! Until your post, I forgot how rare it is for water to be used that way now, because of the environment.


  6. “What a time we used to have. I am lucky to have experienced it

    Me too. I loved the sprinkler, any sort, all sort, the joy of the sprinkler was worth the pain of the bindis. It was a time when the shops shut on Saturday at noon and didn’t open again until Monday morning. A time when the silence of Sunday would be broken by the paperboy’s whistle, which he blew as he trudged the streets pushing his yellow barrow filled with the Sunday Herald, Telegraph, and Mirror. Remember the page three Mirror Bird? And reading the Sunday comics and going out to play with your friends, all of whom had been told by their mothers:

    “Come home before the street lights come on”.

    Thanks for the post, Selma, have you read Bill Bryson’s Memoir The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid! –it’s about him being a kid in the 1950s. I think you’d like it.



  7. I think that the next best thing to a sprinkler (for an adult) is one of these water fans. Basically, it is a pedestal fan which has a hose connector at its base. So you connect your garden hose, turn it on, and it sprays this fine mist all over you! On a hot day, when you can’t be bothered to run through sprinklers, what more do you need (other than a cold beverage of course!)


  8. I remember driving through the green belt in Adelaide when the sprinklers were on … trouble was, I had a convertible! Not funny if you’re wearing your best suit, and on your way to a date.

    We have sprinklers in England, too … I never used mine last year!


  9. Oh what memories Sel and I loved reading David’s too. My mum always told us to be home by the time the street lights came on.

    We used to run through the sprinklers on the oval after school and strawberry snips were my favourite thing to eat when it was really hot especially the icy bits.

    Our kids don’t have nearly as much fun as we did. Technology might be a great thing but I really believe it’s taken the imagination out of a whole generation.


  10. Oh Selma what a lovely memory! We used to play cut the cheese and someone had to hold the hose up and you try to run under without them bringing the hose down on you.
    David- I love The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid! I’m a big Bill Bryson addict and that’s one of his best!


  11. I used to do the same thing w/the sprinklers. …and loved it when neighborhood dogs would bite at the water as they sprang and twisted in the air with their humans. It is very sad indeed that those memories won’t be carried forward in future generations…at least not at this point. I have all the faith in the world.



    Watermelon just says ‘summer’ to me. But it has to be chilled to really hit the spot. I like to think of you and the bairns eating your watermelon on the back patio in summer!

    Those really were fantastic times, weren’t they? I am glad you have been able to enjoy a bit of waterplay during your summer. It was my pleasure to include you as one of my favourite posts of the week. I really liked what you wrote!

    Hi DANA:
    I love those supersliders. They are so much fun, especially if your garden is on a bit of a slope. I might just take you up on that one of these days!

    Hi NAT:
    Australia has a history of mismanaging its water, unfortunately. It is only in recent years that measures have been put in place to conserve it. I dream of one day running through the sprinklers again!

    Me too. I’m dreaming of melon!

    Hi DAOINE:
    It was so much fun, wasn’t it? I didn’t realise at the time that I would look back with such fondness on such a simple pleasure.

    Hi GEL:
    Times sure have changed. I have actually met a couple of kids from the country who have only seen rain once or twice. I just can’t imagine what that would be like. Great to hear from you, by the way!

    Hi DAVID:
    I haven’t read it but I do love Bill Bryson so I’ll see if I can get hold of it. I almost feel like weeping after reading your comment because that’s what it was like. Exactly. It was just such a special time in all of our lives. I remember everything you’ve mentioned. On Sundays we also used to stop at the corner shop and get twenty cents worth of mixed lollies. In a brown paper bag. You got heaps of lollies for 20 cents in those days *sigh*

    Hi MANOJ:
    That sounds positively luxurious. I would LOVE that. I want one. How amazing!

    Sprinklers and convertibles definitely don’t mix. I remember getting soaked coming home from school because Mrs. Watson from round the corner used to put the sprinklers on at 3 o’clock every day so the kids wouldn’t come near her hydrangeas. You had to time the run past her house just right so you didn’t get soaked!

    Hi GYPSY:
    In many ways I agree about the technology. I wonder if our kids will look back when they are our age and say: ‘Do you remember when we got that computer with a terabyte of memory? It was fantastic. Those were the days.’ It will be funny if they do!

    Hi LAURI:
    Now I’ll definitely have to get that book. That sounds like such a fun game. I love all those old games, particularly skipping games. One of my faves was ‘Down in Mississippi, if you miss a skip you’re out..’

    Hi MELEAH:
    It was so much fun, wasn’t it? It’s great to hear that most people have had the experience of sprinklers on the lawn. I love that!

    Hi STEPH:
    The dogs made it so much fun. They used to get really hyped up. I have faith too. It’s definitely not all over yet.


Comments are closed.

Create a free website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: