Our family always tried to achieve middle-class respectability, and never quite got there. The kids at my school had made up their minds. I was the Trax boy; the school kid who wore the cheapest sneakers. Most of the kids’ families had farms with parents who wore flannelettes – not the untucked Western Suburbs style which smelt of bourbon but the settled, crisp, happily country garb which reeked of ‘contented money’.
These rich come-ins lived on cheap land (well, modest for them) with newly built double-storey houses; driveways manicured by shiny white pebbles – not the sharp suburban asphalt ones which tore your legs to shreds.
When my family’s debt mounted and loan repayments became exorbitant we would sell up and buy a cheaper house further away from Sydney. You could count on the housing market to skyrocket after we moved away. We missed the housing booms every time.
My father had to…
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