Friday, 7 March 2014

Youth: The scooter, the vase and a stupid promise to my mother!

In other parts of this blog I have told about my magic Cyclops scooter that I was given for my 7th birthday. A long time ago now. Gees.. did I love that scooter. Friday night after school it was revealed to me in all of its glory in my bedroom To this day I cannot think of many things that thrilled me as much as that.

Anyhow.. I spent all weekend on it.. and when the sun went down on Sunday night.. I brought it into the house.

To ride of course!

Well mother had other ideas.. told me in no uncertain terms that I was not to ride it through the house.

But what if I sat on the foot board and "walked" it through the house? I thought as that wouldn't be riding, it would be OK?

So I lined the scooter up inside the front door of our so very long hallway and sat on the foot board and sort of propelled myself through the house towards the door to the lounge room.

The best laid plans....

It all went pear shaped all of a sudden!

Somehow, I lost control of the mighty Cyclops and crashed into her prize Italian vase!

Jesus.. was I in trouble.

The vase was in about 3500 bits all over the floor with me and the scooter on top of it.

And.. was mother mad?

No.. that doesn't even cover it.

Not even close!

She was apoplectic and about to introduce me to the next world!

"That vase came from Italy!" she screamed at me.

"Where do you think I will get a replacement from? McWhirters? I told you not to ride that thing in the house. I think we'll give your scooter to the children at the orphanage" she cried at me.

In a moment of silence as she drew breath.. this stupid seven year old made this promise...

"Don't worry mum, when I grow up, I will go to Italy and buy you another one!"

This was too much for my father who up to that point had been silently cowering in the lounge room. He burst out laughing and said.. "Your mother will keep you to that promise son!"

And she did you know.

In 1975 when I had my first overseas trip, she asked if I was going to Italy.

"No mother", Fiji says I.

Again in late 1975 when I went to Fiji again.. and then in 1976 when again I went to Fiji.

This went on until she stopped mentioning it to me.

Apparently she had forgotten about it.. and so had I.

Until.. 1988 and my mate Allen the local vet and I planned this 5 week bludge around Europe.

The day before we left, he was at mum's house and she asked him... "Allen, are you going to Italy this trip?"

"Why yes we are Mrs Taylor" he answered!

Oh no Allen thought I... keep your mouth shut!

Sort of like "Don't mention the  war" around here!

Her reply was... "Well mark smashed my Italian vase yada yada yada etc and promised to buy me a new one when he grew up etc etc. Make sure he does!"

And so it came to pass that one very hot July day in Italy as we soaked our tired feet in a very cold fountain in Verona, Allen said to me, "Mate.. look at all those vases in that shop. You had better go buy one for your mother!"

And so I did, and got it back home in one piece.


Mother was ecstatic! Couldn't believe it when I pulled it out of my case.

Mum has gone to God.. but the vase lives on in my studio.

A physical expression of a small boys promise!