Memories of my 13th Birthday
This week I had another dreaded birthday. Dreaded because they seem to be coming so quickly these days. On my birthday, I was thinking of past birthdays, and as usual when my mind wanders to past birthdays, I think of my 13th birthday. I remember, clearly, being very excited about this birthday, as I was about to become a teenager at last.
I wasn’t having a party, but Mum said I could invite Ros and Bev, my two good friends, to dinner. Of course, we called it “tea” in those days. After my pestering her, Mum made meringues with strawberries and cream, the latest foodie craze, for dessert. I’m not sure if the meringues were bought or homemade, but I would say, probably they were homemade. It probably wasn’t even possible to buy store bought meringues in those days, and even if they did exist, Mum would have considered them to be a waste of money, and would have whipped up a batch herself.
That day turned out to be the hottest day I can ever remember as a child. As the day went on the temperature soared to over 110 degrees. This was in the days before celsius, but would be mid 40s in today’s measures. It was so, so, hot! And even today when talking about hot weather, we always refer back to my 13th birthday. It has become the benchmark for measuring a hot day, and to my mind, no other has measured up to it since. To imagine what it must have been like, we need to remember that this was in the days before air conditioning. To keep cool back then, we would lie at the front door till very late, where if we were lucky, a slight breeze might spring up.
So we had endured the hot day, and sat down to eat dinner, which probably we didn’t really feel like eating, due to the heat. Out came the meringues and cream. And – oops – the cream had gone off in the heat. So they became a non event. I can see the funny side now, but remember at the time, Mum not being very happy about it. I can’t remember, caring too much about it at all.
After dinner, we went to the movies, as it was the only place in town with air con. The movie was the musical South Pacific. Not at all to our taste, but who cared. At least we would be cool. I think Mum and Dad would have been quite envious of us heading of for some respite from the heat. And South Pacific turned out to be enjoyable, and we spent the next days singing the songs from the movie.
Whenever I think of my birthday, I think of the year that I turned 13. Happy memories.