Years and years ago, when the summers were always warm and lasted half the year. When there were fun games you could play with a tin can and your imagination (we were never allowed to play with tin cans, they were a health hazard). When doing something bold didn't get you put on a contraption known as a 'naughty step', oh, no, it got you a belt of the wooden spoon. And if you laughed and said "that didn't hurt" as we were wont to say as we got older, you got another smack, and a harder one at that, and you knew better to play the big dog, the kingpin, the...well, you get the gist.
Back in these happier times, my brother and I were best of friends. We would do everything together. Spy on the Soviets (although Im not sure we knew what those were), attack ships and find buried treasure, or just climb trees and throw apple cores down at my younger sister who couldn't climb. We were divils if ever there were ones. And one day, we saw the perfect opportunity for rascalry in the form of an open window.
Living next door, in those times, in the old house we used to refer to as 'Over Beyond'- the house where my father was born- was my older cousin, C. She was, what we called, a grown-up. She had a job (babysitting my cousins- other side of the family...confusing?) a car (not a full license, but those were simpler times) and she watched shows we weren't old enough to see. Sometimes she used to let my older sister go over and watch Home and Away, and Coronation Street, and those kinds of shows, which I really didn't want to watch coz they seemed kind of boring to me, but we weren't allowed to watch in my house, so I really would have appreciated being invited.
Being an older human, who obviously didn't think us mature enough for H&A, my cousin was therefore seen as perfect pranking material, and one day, my brother and I discovered that she left the bathroom window open a crack. Not much, but enough for a small hand to get through and open. And not only that, as fate would have it, the window opened outwards like a door. Needless to say, my brother and I were through it in seconds, and even remembered to close the window back over behind us.
My cousin was in the kitchen, watching her soaps (without inviting me..I'm not bitter, just setting the scene!!!), when my brother and I crept in behind her and loudly greeted her, scaring the life out of her. She angrily chased us out the front door, myself and the brother laughing our arses off... and something about how effective the game had gone...made us want to do it again... And so we did. The second time around it was just as funny, if not funnier, because this time, instead of assuming we had gotten in through the front door with the spare key before she arrived home, C had no idea how we had gotten into the house... And so we did it again. And again. And while she was becoming quite irate at this stage, we were beginning to wonder if maybe our summer's entertainment hadn't been found already.. (considering it wasn't going to be Home and Away..)
Until. Disaster struck. My older sister, came outside and heard the kerfuffle. And unbeknownst to us, she followed us around the back of the house, watched us go through the window and very loudly announced that she was telling the babysitter. We made futile efforts to try to convince her that we would be her best friends if she didn't tell, and that we'd love her forever, but alas, our pleas went unheard. And not only did she tell the babysitter. Out of some misguided loyalty through shared love of soaps, she told our cousin as well. Gone was the open window. Shattered, the element of mystery. Dashed were our plans for a summer of moving things around while she was gone, and placing random objects in strange places. Instead, all we got was a schkelp with the wooden spoon and an early trip to bed.
And no. I was never invited to watch Home and Away OR Coronation Street with cousin C.
I'm not jealous. I'm just saying.