Cricket on the TV and I’m Thinking About Roller Skates


Today is the first match of the cricket season. Having the test match on in the background of my day is so comforting. It reminds me of a very nice part of my childhood; dad being home for a change, watching the cricket, calling out advice to the players, shaking his head at the errors and jumping to his feet at the sixes. When dad was home watching the cricket, mum was in a good mood; we were all safe and as relaxed as we got in our crazy, chaotic home.

The running commentary of the cricket is like happy white noise, the commentators voices and the crowd response are the cues to me to look up from whatever I’m doing and take a look at the screen. Woohoo a boundary from Warner, AUS 0/12. I can even edit chapters while the cricket is on, which is great because even music with the pull of the lyrics can be a distraction while editing. Cricket is a nice background for housework as well, except vacuuming of course, because that drowns out the exciting parts.

The cricket reminds me of school sport, which I didn’t completely hate because I got to try a few different things I’d never done before like badminton, softball, tennis, bicycling, and of course my favourite; roller skating. Yes, with actual roller skates, not roller blades which didn’t exist at the time. I started roller skating with my brothers at the local rink and others. It was allowed because we were all together and therefore not in too much danger of making friendships with other people. That was the big issue for my parents, any of us becoming friends with people outside the family cult. That was a big no-no. Hang on, I didn’t say that right, it was in fact forbidden for me to have friends, even at school. But roller skating meant I got to wear cute outfits I’d never have worn otherwise, I got to talk to people outside the cult. It also meant watching music videos, skating to Michael Jackson, Madonna, Kiss, ABBA and all those great bands I had barely any access to except for the local radio station playing in the kitchen. Buying worldly music to listen to was of course forbidden.

I still have my speed skates. I haven’t worn them for over thirty years, but I can still remember exactly how free I felt skating around the rink to Wake Me Up Before You Go Go and speed skating to Take A Long Line. I was completely me in those moments, separated from all of the rules, the strict control. Those were moments when I experienced a small taste of how my future life would be, free from religion and free from the cult. Insert really big smiley face.

be you xx Rachel


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