12 Days of Christmas – Coral Tulloch

Coral Tulloch dwells in the southern regions of Australia in Hobart, Tasmania but it wasn’t till Bologna Book Fair 2014 that we finally caught up. Phew. Here she shares with us her wonderful Christmas memory – camping!

For my sister Lee and I, our annual Christmas holiday started the morning we were woken up in the dark and carried in our pyjamas to the back of the station wagon and laid to sleep for the first part of a long car journey.  The smell of Napthalene flakes snaked around each doorway, wafting a goodbye to the city of Melbourne and warning off any invader from sneaking across the feltex in our absence. As the sun rose and the car made it over the major climbs, a stop half way not only meant breakfast, but a change of clothes for us girls…into our little travelling pinafores, with aprons.

We were heading to Lake Tyres, on the great Ninety Mile Beach South East of Melbourne for weeks of camping amongst the tea tree and gums and rolling dunes. No plastic in the sixties, no electricity at the camp sites, the tents were canvas, and Dad had constructed a special trailer that not only carried all of our necessities for the 5 weeks, but doubled as the bedroom for my sister and I. And the necessities afforded mum to be the perfect homemaker away from the suburbs, special canvas stretchers and bedding, wardrobes, feltex for the floor, ice chest, kitchen cupboards and even a kitchen sink. Every evening there would be the comforting sound of Dad pumping the lantern for light for our dinners.

Most mornings Lee and I would wake to the smell of flathead sizzling in the pan in the open fire,fresh caught in the surf by Dad.  Christmas day was no different, and Santa always remembered us. Families that stayed there at the then Methodist Camp (we were not Methodist, as well as every other camper I gather!) were not supposed to drink, but I remember all the parties and the priest who officiated as ranger was very happy to turn a blind eye as long as he could profit from selling the empties. They were the most wonderful holidays, full of friendships that have now lasted for generations and enough space, security and solitary exploration for children and adults alike.

This photo shows us at Lake Tyres… Lee and I (I’m the little one) Mum and Dad, and a relative of ours, Uncle Harry, our Nanny!

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Coral Tulloch
Author/Illustrator
In my 60th year and after completing 60 books, Coral decided to start a facebook page to produce and showcase her work. The page was to be an avenue for me to create a drawing a day, anything I liked, and I also used it to archive work from books, lithographic prints, sketches and paintings. Her most recent work was illustrating, Phasmid, (CSIRO Publishing) which won Honour Book, CBCA Eve Pownall 2016; was shortlisted for the Environment Award for Children’s Literature, and won the Witley Commendation for Children’s Literature from the Royal Zoological Society of NSW.
This work, Two Turbans, is from my facebook page www.facebook.com/cloudyseas.

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