Pinky's Book Link

Saturday, April 12, 2014

K - is for Kissing Cousins.

                 Mum holding little baby brother Damo, (L-R) Sam, Kimmy and Pinky.

A to Z April Challenge

Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Kissing cousin- noun

: a person and especially a relative who you know well enough to kiss in a formal way when you meet.

I have twenty (first) cousins altogether but I only keep regular contact with two of them; via Facebook mainly as we all live in different cities.

Back in my childhood, every second year Mum and Dad would pack up the Citroen and at three o’clock in the morning we’d be dragged out of bed for the road trip up to Cairns to visit the cousins. Even now when I’m forced to wake up at that ungodly hour I have flashbacks of those trips.

Mum would make us eat a bowl of Weet-Bix before we left which would invariably be regurgitated by my little sister Sam all over the back seat of the car as we drove over the Cardwell Ranges.

I’d be sitting in the back beside her, complaining for the remainder of the trip about the stench of vomit. Mum would incompetently endeavor to clean it up in the dawn light with a box of Kleenex; whatever remained after the poodle had licked it up anyway.

Dad was adamant we had to leave early to escape the North Queensland heat because there was no such thing as air-conditioned cars back then.

As we drove into Cairns at eight o’clock in the morning my excitement would reach fever pitch. Jewel and Cheryl, my older cousins were my idols. Kimmy, the younger cousin, hung around with my sister Sam, but I liked to hang out with the worldly-wise older girls in their sophisticated caravan in the backyard, milking them for classified information about sex, boys and other mysterious phenomena.

                                 Cheryl and Jewel circa 1968

Who do you suppose told me how babies are made?

And who scared the willies out of me by retelling the urban myth about the bloke on top of the car bouncing the head of the girl’s boyfriend?

Both girls were set a punishing regime of piano practice every day by their musician father and I remember sitting patiently waiting for them to finish so I could hang around again like a bad smell; in a way only the quintessential pesky younger cousin is able.

In my eyes both girls were so gifted, beautiful, artistically talented and stylish. I was besotted.

One afternoon back in the late sixties, sitting under their old Queenslander style house they introduced me to my all-time favourite song; the song I've told Scotto I want played at my funeral.

They’d take me for a walk up to the shop and buy me an ice-cream and allow me to hang out when their friends came over. Even the boys.

When they were older they’d return from holidays in the big smoke looking all glamorous with long, auburn-dyed cascading hair, sky high platform shoes and the kind of sparkly clothes little Pinky would salivate over.

They related stories of meeting celebrities when they were in the big smoke and I luxuriated in vicarious pleasure.

Imagine meeting the stars of Skippy in real life!

                   Cheryl holding baby Thaddeus with her daughter Emily.

Cheryl has remained my closest cousin over the last forty years and from fitness camps in the eighties to funerals, weddings and family visits in the nineties and naughties, our relationship has endured.

                              Pinky holding Hagar, Cheryl seated, Kimmy on right.
                           Not sure who owns the rest of the kids!

                                And she’s still beautiful!

Do you have a favourite cousin?