Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Memories - student jobs back then.....

Aquarobics is cancelled for tomorrow. The pool has a leak. It was hilarious this afternoon, because the bottom of the water was relatively warm, but the top, ice cold, because they had to keep topping it up. But we moved rapidly so it stopped bothering us pretty soon. Oh, the trials we face in the pursuit of those core muscles.....

I unearthed the Autumn quilt which I made last year. I started hand quilting it last October and so help me, it has been sitting in the "Please Finish Me" pile ever since. So out it came and my evenings are now sorted for the next week or two. Hopefully I will finish it before it is time to pack away the oranges and haul out the reds in December. Colour changes are important around here!

When I was a student, I did a lot of babysitting to earn extra money. For things like Petrol for Arabella, my little pale blue Mini with a white roof and triangular windows. I used to sit for about 5 or 6 families regularly, and so I built up a relationship with them all, and it was great. I also got a great deal of experience looking after small kids along the way.

At the end of first year at uni, I worked for the Reader's Digest in the city centre, with Cheryl, my great friend who now lives in Scotland. The permanent staff hated us, because we zoomed through 100 times more work in a day than they did, and they felt it made them look bad. I cannot tell you how boring it was, opening sweepstakes letters. But it paid well at the time, and we all needed the money.

And then I took a part time job for a florist - doing all their deliveries. That was fun. All of this was mainly in the long summer holidays - the babysitting went on all year round.

Our student union had a book of jobs available, and every now and then I went to look through it, and one day, I  found one from a pharmacist in a suburb not far from where we lived. He needed someone to look after his 3 children throughout school holidays and take them to parties and basically to do all the things their mother would have done with them, had she not died from cancer. The pay was great too. The children were young. Jennifer was about 4, Mike 6 and Lauren about 8 when I started working with them.

My parents had a lot of misgivings re the amount of responsibility I was taking on, as I was only 18 or 19 at the time, but I loved being with them. We had so much fun. We went to the beach, ice skating, all over the place in Arabella. They even offered to clean Arabella because she was part of the fun. And we had a summer of laughter, learning, celebrating and discovery.

So, for the next 3 years, every school holiday, and some times in between too, the kids and I grew up together. We played, did sport, had amazing birthday parties, and just loved it all. I often wonder where they are now and what they are doing, you know. Lauren would be about 46 or so I suppose. They would all be in their 40s at least. That seems so odd, because they are frozen in my mind as small children. Thankfully, their Dad met a lovely lady and married her just before Geoff and I met and got married, so they had someone to look after them.

I worked for Rag - the university charity fundraising organisation which also provided a great number of fun events at the start of every academic year. That involved a great deal of work, concerts, cocktail parties, rag processions, anything that floats races at the beach, tobogganing down the steps at uni, Eskimo Nell, our Rag nightclub........ so many things to do apart from all the lectures, deadlines, babysitting, playing in the badminton team....Maybe I will talk about Uni more tomorrow. I need coffee.





7 comments:

Vee said...

You were one of the Readers' Digest letter openers? Wow. I suppose someone had to do it. =D

Fun memories causing me to have some wondering of my own. Glad that you found the autumn quilt and have your evening work all lined up for a while.

Crystal said...

I liked reading about your jobs! I did lots of babysitting when I was younger too. I think my Mom promoted it so I wouldn't date :) It certainly provided me with extra cash for clothes - I bought my first pair of Levi jeans for $9.99 with some of that money! I might have to follow your lead and write about this topic. I hope the coffee was good!

boysmum2 said...

I would say look them up on facebook, but you may find that thier memories are not the same as your and maybe don't mean as much to them as yours do to you. Sometimes it is nice to just have the memories.

Dawn said...

I babysat out of necessity, but did not enjoy it. My sis usually got my jobs on a night I couldn't do it, so I'd ask if I could send her, and they never called me back! I preferred typing papers for guys.

I did a post on all my crazy jobs getting through college ack just before all my pictures disappeared because I accidentally deleted them when my ex sil got into my pictures and stole them for his Myspace page. Ucky memories. But the words are still there - maybe I'll repost it, since I'm having a hard time coming up with new ideas!

Needled Mom said...

I loved my babysitting days. I had one family with eight children that I sat twice a week. It was an amazing family and I have managed to maintain contact with many of them.

A leak in the pool???? Oh my!!!!

Edith said...

That is so sweet. It's like you were their big sister and you all just hung out together. I'm sure that they never forgot about you.

Becky said...

I'm another fan of your memory posts. It's a lovely way to start a day -- with lots of coffee, too.