This weekend our son flew up from Adelaide and on the way home from the airport, we stopped in our local suburb, Paddington to grab a spot of lunch. Paddington is a suburb just a stones throw from the centre of Brisbane and has some of the steepest streets and roads in the area. I was parallel parking, facing down the road and in front of me was a Ford Transit van. A childhood memory came flooding back.
I must have been about six of seven years old and my brother would have been four or five. We were with our next door neighbour and her three children of similar ages. She had driven us up to the local shops in her little MG Midget – yes that’s right folks- five kids plus driver in a little MG sports car! Ah! the heady days of the ’70s! Our neighbour parked on the side of a steep hill facing down the road and left us all in the car while she popped into the nearby shop to grab a few provisions. And that’s when the fun started; you see, she hadn’t put the handbreak on fully and all of a sudden the car started to roll down the hill. Being so young, none of us knew what was happening or rather what needed to be done. We decided the best course of action was to get out of the car while it was slowly gathering momentum. By the time all five of us had off-loaded onto the side of the pavement, we were just in time to see the MG Midget crash into the backside of a Ford Transit van – that stopped it from rolling any further I can tell you!
I can’t remember what happened next or how we got home or even what state our neighbour was in when she returned to the car that wasn’t where she’d left it. I just have the memory of the car moving and of us getting out of it. It’s funny what can trigger a long forgotten memory isn’t it?