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Thursday, 3 April 2014

The years of living dangerously




There are lots of photographs to be found online of  workers in dangerous positions, particularly in the construction industry in the days before health and safety precautions were given any consideration, for example that iconic shot of the men working on the Rockefeller Center in 1932, which may have been staged but was still a real photograph, or one of painters on the Sydney Harbour Bridge working without safety harnesses in 1949, but as I haven't come across anyone in my own family albums looking precarious while peering down from great heights, I thought I would just offer a few photographs from the point of view of living dangerously, which can be the case even when you aren't aware that you are doing so.



This photograph shows my grandmother Mona Morrison seated on a horse in 1957 near Blenheim NZ. Both Mona and the horse look reasonably calm and happy, but appearances can be deceptive and Mona then aged 60 was no horse rider. In fact I think this may well have been both her first and last time, because the caption below the photograph reads: "Just before the horse bucked!". As a result poor Mona fell and landed painfully, suffering a back injury that would unfortunately plague her for the rest of her life. Horse riding is definitely an inherently dangerous activity, even for those who are experienced, and no doubt Mona regretted ever having agreed to try it!

My mother's family albums include numerous snaps of us children living dangerously in Canberra in the 1950s and 60s, by playing on the kind of metallic swings, slippery dips, see saws and other standard playground equipment located on hard ground, which these days are just not deemed safe for modern kids.  Here are some examples:


Hang onto your hat, little brother!
                                       
That's right, hang on!
                                     
And make sure you get out at the same time, or that see-saw will topple over on the one left behind
                                       
My sister aged about 2 or 3, no doubt itching to get onto that climbing  frame seen in the background

The local playground to which  we were allowed to head off and play unsupervised

If you fell off and hurt yourself, you just made your own way home

Somehow we survived childhood with no broken bones and only the odd bruise or scrape!


That's it from me for a few weeks, as we are shortly off to England to make the acquaintance of our new granddaughter, but time permitting I might try to prepare a blog on the upcoming gardening prompt before I go and then post it later, as I have a few good photographs to share on that subject.

Now, take a wild ride over to Sepia Saturday 222 . Best to strap on your safety harness and helmet first though, in case there's no soft landing awaiting you!



18 comments:

  1. I remember that kind of playground equipment from my childhood. I thought it was hard, uncomfortable and scary.

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    1. Yes, and if you fell there were no soft landings - pinebark and rubber ground cover hadn't been thought of back then, so grazed knees and gravel rash were a fact of life.

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  2. I do think children of those years did play lots of potentially dangerously games. Sadly we were in Clare, SA last October when in nearby Farrell's Flat an older design slide toppled over and killed a child.

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  3. You’re quite righ,t that equipment was dangerous. The roundabout was really scary when big boys came and made it go too fast. I seem to remember there were also sharp pointy bits and places where young flesh could get trapped. Great pics.

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  4. Those pictures bring back a lot of memories. It IS a wonder we survived with only a few cuts & bruises now & then! Congrats on the new granddaughter. Hope you have a wonderful visit.

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  5. Brings back memories of playgrounds in my own childhood, although I don't think I have many photos of them, sadly.

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    1. Yes, I'm lucky that my parents were obviously frequent snappers - I can see my Dad's camera bag slung over his shoulder here.

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    2. Yes, and a light meter. Thank goodness we don't need to carry those around any more.

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  6. Aren't you lucky to have those photos Jo? They are just great. I used to love those things that spun in your first photo. So much fun. Sitting in the very middle was the worst though. Enjoy the Old Country and the New Young 'Un.

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  7. Safe travelling Jo, and make sure you frequently snap as well, for future generations.

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  8. What a stellar collection of photos. To capture happy Mona just minutes before the buck is sheer luck, I guess. And all that playground equipment -- yes, we lived in dangerous times. In my own girls' lifetime, every baby and child product we used has been recalled and deemed dangerous -- crib, carseat, baby swing, all the pretty quilted bumpers around the crib. I guess they're lucky to have survived too.

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  9. I was much younger in the early 50s when I had my one and only ride on a horse. It was a very short ride before I hit the floor. But there are dangers in all sorts of pastimes without going looking for something extreme.

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  10. Playgrounds around here have been dumbed down for "safety first" with pathetic low slides and short swings and no jungle-gyms. Not low risk but NO risk of danger which sadly teaches nothing to kids.
    But a horse is a horse of course.

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    1. Of course (re the horse). I must say today's bright and colourful plastic equipment-filled playgrounds do look much more inviting than the grey metal ones we grew up with.

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  11. Those playgrounds might have been 'dangerous' but we all survived didn't we!
    Have a great time meeting the next branch of the family tree!

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    1. Thanks Jackie, will do. Can't wait to meet the little twiglet.

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  12. I sympathize with Mona. I didn't think of using that photo of me as a child on a horse. That stupid farm horse would blow itself up when the saddle was being put on with the result in a short while the horse would deflate and the saddle would slide down the side of the horse, taking the rider with it. I had a couple of tumbles that way.

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  13. Thanks for great photos of the playgrounds we all grew up with...which have been phased out with safety first issues. But when I walk by the super padded, colorfully painted, swoopy curvy slides that are tunnels, and swings that just are still so much the same...I can still hear children giggling. So that says it all to me.

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