17. Aug, 2022


Funny that we have not got a backyard at the moment, but today I feel like talking about the value of backyards. In South Africa backyards were big spaces. It contained normally a barbeque area (even a very simple one) and clothesline, children sandpits maybe a veggie patch, a compost and maybe scrap metal or even an unlicensed old car old building material from a previous project. Nowadays lots get divided, it is as if the authorities say we do not really need backyard. Yet they reveal a lot of the life you do besides earning a living and putting bread on the table.

Backyards were the spaces where backyard cricket was born here in Australia, where karate or hula-hoop was practised and where you take of your shoes and your unnecessary clothing to catch some sunrays or a tan before you go to the beach. It is the place where you would not want to be disturbed (at least for a while) Where you could continue your projects in your own time without too many questions of probing eyes.

The front of the house is normally well kept or bit more neat, lets say representable where the backyard is a little more relaxed. At least when you had the friends over you did not need to pack it all away after a late night. I find backyards show personality and the complexity of life.

I knew a lady who analysed the make up of a family by "reading" the washing line. I would not go that far, but a backyard sure gives you more to talk about.

When I go for long walks in the suburbs I give a little glimpse into the backyard to see if I can learn more of my country folk. I look if I can see their life and lifestyle from another angle and I am often surprised to see outdoor oasis, beautiful fruit trees and interesting hobbies like bird cages, potting, woodworking and renovation attempts.

I guess we all need a "backyard" in our lives, a shed where we can potter around in our own time and space and where we can unwind from the rush and the pressure of daily existence.