When I used to stay at the Royal Children’s hospital, there was always such great things to do.
I went to school there – I did maths and English, but I also made a lot of crafty things.
I remember doing heaps of Garfield artwork on a very advanced computer program for 1989. I think it may have even been on an Apple Mac. I’d make a lot of comic strip type stories cutting and pasting pictures of Garfield and friends into scenes. If anyone remembers the name of the game, please let me know.
(Edit – Wikipedia – the ever reliable source – says: ‘There is a computer program called “Scholastic’s Comic Book Maker Featuring Garfield” which allows users to make their own Garfield comics by using different characters, objects, and scenery from the strip’.)
I went to the zoo once, all bandaged up and in a wheelchair.
Mum bought me Paul Jennings, Roald Dahl and Pollyanna books, and she and I would read them.
And I met children’s author Morris Gleitzman.
I learnt a lot in hospital, and despite the pain of it all, I enjoyed it there. I felt safe away from teasing, and I enjoyed being around people who seemed to value me. As mentioned, school was difficult for me so hospital was a bit of a safe-haven and a chance for me to be myself. I even made some lifelong friends there.
Each stay in hospital, I’d make a badge. The pink ladies would have a badge making machine set up occasionally, and we could choose any picture in the world to put inside the badge.
I used to treasure this – my May Gibbs blossom babies name badge.
I know the hospital has changed a lot. There are laptops for kids to use – with internet access! I used to queue for the pay phone! Adolescents are allowed to come and go. And there seems to be a lot more social support services.
But I really hope they still have the badge making machine. I know it was the best part of my stay.
I like rediscovering things from years ago.