How a leather satchel led me on a journey to a bakery and my childhood.
After the recent move I found the satchel given to me when I started primary school. It’s almost impossible to find bags made like this one any more. It’s over thirty years old and still looks in mint condition. Perhaps it’s also because I became ‘too cool’ for a leather satchel for a long time. Anyway, I opened up the satchel to find my old (really old) address written in the bag. Oh, how it took me back to Margaret Street, North Adelaide Primary School and Perryman’s Bakery.
When I went to primary school you could put orders in each morning at Perryman’s Bakery (which was a couple of doors down from the school). The lunch monitor would take the orders down to the bakery and then pick up the food just before lunch. Their pies and pasties are smaller than standard Aussie versions, but were perfect for the average primary school kid. There was even a selection of buns and pastries you could get (I still grin thinking about the cream bun). On a visit last year I was saddened to find out students can no longer order from the bakery as it was deemed ‘unhealthy’ (unlike the rubbish many kids bring to school in their lunch boxes these days). I can easily think of far worse things the kids could eat besides freshly made pies and pasties from a quality bakery.
For a long time I didn’t return to Perryman’s after first moving from the suburb and then the state. Now, I try get there at least once each time I visit. My family has been introduced to the bakery (with great appreciation I might say) and I plan to continue the visits. Today’s lunch visit and walk around the Tynte Street area reawakened me to the beauty of the North Adelaide area and how lucky I was to be able to go to child care, kindergarten and primary school all in the same street. No, I wasn’t sheltered, just really privelaged. All of the institutions (for want of a better word) that I attended in that street left me with nothing but the fondest of memories and what I feel was an excellent start to my education.
My brother and I were lucky enough to have our own cricket pitch directly out the front of our townhouse (which ironically are not as historic as the rest of the surrounding area). It was quiet, safe and most importantly fun, although the tree someone has planted in the middle of the pitch (shown in the picture) would not have been tolerated back when we were using it. We got to play front yard cricket, not the standard backyard version, the lamp post was an auto fielder (if you hit it on the full you were out). Our new house has a grassed area directly out the front which hopefully the kids will be able to use as their own personal sports arena when they are old enough.
One of things about Tynte Street is that it is an old Adelaide street, with many of the buildings being over one hundred years old. You don’t appreciate this when you are ten, but when you are thirty seven you see things differently, with age comes beauty. North Adelaide Primary School is one hundred and forty one years old now, I only wish my kids had the opportunity to be exposed to that sort of history. A walk down to the end of Tynte Street and you get to Lefevre Terrace where you can see how ‘old money’ works and fantastic examples of why North Adelaide is so expensive today.
Sometimes I think I could easily return to all this on a permenant basis. One of my concerns is that with familiarity brings comtempt (or at least indifference) and that absence makes the heart grow fonder. Perhaps it is best left for the occassional visit.