Orlando's eyes sparkled, everything was so fresh and new. We discovered leaves shaped like spikes, others round and soft, paper bark and bright red flowers dropping from long thin branches. There were puppy dogs a plenty. Long limbed Dalmatians and fluffy Maltese Shitzus their little tails wagging with boundless energy.
I clearly remember going on walks with mum when I was a little girl. My earliest recollections are perhaps before my brother was born. There is a memory I have of her wearing jeans with rhinestones on the pocket. Oh the 80's! The stones would sparkle in the sunshine and I thought they were the prettiest most amazing, magical jeans in the whole wide world. Mum would hold my hand as I walked along the low brick fences, keeping me safe from a short but terribly scary fall. I'd imagine Crocodiles lapping at my ankles from the "water" the fence would be a log and I'd stumble along quickly to safety. There was a tree at the end of our street that had Witches Fingers - seed pods that fell from it which were long and pointed with a perfect hole at the end to poke my tiny fingers through so I could wear them.
If I was lucky we would turn left and go to Mcdonalds for a small fries or if it was dinner time a burger. Back then the burgers were in styrofoam boxes and there was no nutrition panel. I would always have a dolly or Big Ted with me and they would share my food which would inevitably be abandoned for the playground.
There was always the left turn to Mcdonalds but then there was the right turn to The Long Park. The Long Park went via a front garden with a massive dead tree that had toys nailed to it. I coveted that tree. There were koalas and dolls and teddies all over it. If it was a hot day we would walk all the way down The Long Park and end up at Dairy Bell Ice Creamery.
Dairy Bell was where one of my first birthday cakes came from, one of those cakes where the dolls skirt is made of ice cream. Bliss. I recall the shop being packed, always. If we bought an ice cream I'd walk home with sugary dairy deliciousness dripping down my little hand escaping the confines of the ice cream cone.
Those were my walks, way back when. I can't wait to create walking memories for Orlando. We are starting with pretty, whimsical leaves and enigmatic dogs, people who stop to smile and say hello, cloudy skies and sunny skies. Over time we will upgrade to walking together, holding hands as we cross the road, avoiding cracks in the footpath, passing favourite landmarks. These are magical days.
I cannot wait.