Sorry to hear that.|
Here's to a better week!
Reply #61. Nov 19 10, 7:37 AM
|Haven't had much to say over the last couple of months, but figured it was time to start again, as quite a lot has happened in the last few weeks.|
First, and best of all, it has finally rained enough to start seeding ! Just over an inch (25ml) over three or four days. The change in the town is amazing ! While I won't go as far as saying hope is returning, there is a glimmer.. which may be the light at the end of the tunnel.. or merely the headlight of an oncoming train....
Several months ago, I was cleaning out a box of fabric, and wondering what to do with pieces I will never use, when I came up with the idea of a craft sale.. encouraging everyone to clean out their cupboard and donate unwanted items to the sale, with the proceeds going to the Cancer Foundation. Well, the culmination of that thought was last Friday, and by the end of the day, we were delighted to announce that we had raised $970 ! On the downside, I now have the "leftovers" stored in my spare room, and could open a fabric /craft shop !
And then work.. I love my current job, and last Wednesday, my boss called me in and offered me a promotion ...and a payrise ! I keep the bits of the job I enjoy most..working with community groups.. and get to hand over the boring administrative bits.. maintenance of databases etc ! How good is that.
And then to top it all off, next Wednesday, I head for Broome for a family wedding - Broome, my second most favourite place on earth.
Reply #62. May 20 11, 9:48 PM
|Forgot to say that our small flock of "mixed breed " sheep are lambing.. to date, we have four sets of twins, including a black and a white (same mother), and six singles, of which two are black with a white tail and a white skullcap ! Very cute !|
Plus one calf so far.. the hand reared calf of three calving ago jumped the fence and visited the neighbour's Hereford bull, and has produced a small whitefaced calf ! Just need the other twenty odd cows and heifers to produce their calves, the rain to fall at the right time, and there may be something in this farming lurk after all !
Reply #63. May 20 11, 10:01 PM
Things seem to be going well-great to hear about the rain and job promotion!|
The Dockers should defeat Port in the next couple of hours!
Reply #64. May 20 11, 10:10 PM
Tezza, what a wonderful load of news. If you wanted to make yo for lost posting time, that would be worth posting three times. |
Many congratulations, and have a lovely time in Broome. (((((())))))
Reply #65. May 22 11, 10:09 AM
I hope you guessed that "yo" was meant to be up (one place out). :) |
Reply #66. May 22 11, 10:10 AM
|Well, my reknowned mathematical ability was in full force when I counted the takings from the cancer fundraiser.. I was 57.65 out ! Luckily on the plus side, so the actual total was over $1000. Not bad for a one day event in a town with a population of around 2000 people !|
Tomorrow morning, we drive to Perth to fly to Broome for my nephew's wedding. Three hours drive, then 2.5 hours flying.. and we are still in the same state we started. I love Broome.. the bougainvillea, the red dirt, the history, the fishing...some of the happiest memories of my life are centred around the Kimberley.. the courthouse markets, with the Pigram Brothers singing.. catching my first fish, the bird sanctuary at Port Smith.. and the day spent with a local Elder...fishing, listening to his stories of his country...watching dancers, their feet raising little clouds of dust from the earth..this time tomorrow, I will be there !
Reply #67. May 24 11, 4:10 AM
Wonderful news-congratulations, and enjoy yourself :)|
Reply #68. May 24 11, 12:08 PM
|Coming Home - thoughts on the plane trip from Broome.|
Miles and miles of red dirt, dry rivers and their border of trees forming feathery branches on the landscape.
From up here, you can see forever.. no clouds to obscure the ground. A boab tree, and here and there, a road, cutting through the wilderness, forming an unfamiliar pattern. Where did it come from, where does it lead to ?
Shining silver marks an attempt to tame the country.. the roofs of a station or mining camp. Diminished by the enormity of the Kimberley and Pilbara, they shine as a beacon to mans’ perseverance in this harsh land.
Now we are flying above the clouds, looking down on to wispy white fleeces, resembling wool on a skirting table.
What purports to be a town.. twenty or so dusty corrugated iron roofs huddle together in the midst of the vast sea of red dust. What must their lives be like, these denizens of the desert ? As monotonous as the long straight road which leads to their outpost, or as changeable as the scenery of their outback homeplace ?
The country is changing again, with homesteads becoming more frequent, paddocks marked out, and bitumen roads. Even from up here, dams are identifiable, and as we near civilization, the thought crosses my mind that some of these may have been sunk by my man. You can even see the furrow marks on the paddocks, and once, a tractor cultivating. Been there, round and round the paddock, watching the grassed area diminish as the newly ploughed dirt falls behind you.
Now the city is in sight, the houses, roads and cars clearly visible. Ever nearer, nearer, nearer, then comes the bump as the wheels of the giant bird touch the earth.
The magic flight has ended.
Reply #69. May 28 11, 7:06 PM
A vivid description of the oldest continent in the world.|
Reply #70. May 28 11, 9:03 PM
You're so good at descriptions-I think I'm a little jealous :)|
Reply #71. May 29 11, 7:42 PM
|My granddaughter asked me recently about shopping when I was her age, and the sort of food we ate. This is what I emailed to her. Thought I might share it.|
Shopping in my childhood was very different from today. Each month, Mum would go to the Co-Op in our nearest town 25 miles away, with her list, sit on a stool by the counter, and the sales assistant would write down each item, then go to the shelves behind him, and get down the required packet. Flour, sugar, tea and other items came in bulk and were weighed and bagged by the staff at the Co-Op. Nobody we knew bought biscuits or tinned fruit, and convenience foods were unheard of. Mum made all her own jams, chutneys and sauces, bottled fruit and made butter, biscuits, cakes and slices. We ate mostly mutton, killed on the farm, with a home grown chook at Christmas and Easter, and bacon was for when visitors came.
Bought icecream was a very rare treat, usually reserved for trips to Perth, when it featured on the menu at the hotel where we stayed, and Mum usually made her own from Carnation milk and gelatine. Even cordial came in a small bottle, and had to be mixed up with sugar and hot water before it could be used.
All in all, there wasn’t a great deal bought at the shop.
After the order had been taken and packed into a box by the assistant, he added up the total on the docket by hand – not a calculator in sight, and informed Mum of the amount. If she was paying for it, he would put the money into the flying fox and send it to the office, and very shortly after, the change would return in the same way.
After that, the assistant would arrange for the groceries to be taken to the car.
If you phoned an order through, but weren't able to get to town until after the shop closed at 5 pm, or at 12 on Saturday, your order, and many others, would be left on the veranda of the shop for you to pick up !
How times have changed.
Reply #72. Jun 18 11, 6:20 AM
|I heard the most awesome story today about my great grandfather.|
The man who told me was a lecturer at I think Curtin Uni, and he was escorting a group of students around our local museum/ heritage centre.
The local tour guide introduced me to the man by my maiden name.
He asked me a bit about where I lived, who my dad was etc, then said "Your family and mine go back a long way".
This was his story.
His grandparents were camped on the creek on our farm in the 1920s, when the Native Welfare came to take his mother away. The officer drove a big black car and was known and feared by Noongar people all over the area. He looked into their tent, saw Lily (aged about 12) and said "I'm taking her".
Her mother begged him not to, and her father ran up to the house and got my great grandfather who promptly came down to the camp, and told the officer that this family was camped on his land and were under his protection and that he would not allow him to take the child. The story in the Noongar family is that he shook his stick at the man, and told him to get off his land.. NOW ! The officer drove away emptyhanded.
I remember Dad telling of the incident, but never knew until today who the child was...
Apparently Lily lived to her 70s and always remembered the wadjellah (white) man who saved her from being sent to Carrolup Mission.
Reply #73. Jul 02 11, 11:15 PM
|A question about Christmas in books on this website recently made me start thinking about past Christmases. |
Like all kids, I easily succumbed to the magic of Christmas – the food that we saw only once or twice a year, the parcels that arrived in the mail and then disappeared, helping Mum to write Christmas cards, finding and then decorating the tree, going to “Christmas Trees” at the two nearby halls and the one held in Cranbrook for the school. Going to town with Dad to choose a gift for Mum. Then the visits to the neighbours – few of them had kids around my age, so I usually took a book and sat quietly in the corner, ostensibly reading. In reality, I was soaking up the interesting information being shared by the ladies… not that I understood much of it at first.. but as I got older, there was all sorts of interesting stuff to tell my friends at school next day. Then it was our turn to host an evening, and I had to help Mum with the nibbles – cocktail onions or gherkin and cheese on toothpicks, prunes stuffed with cream cheese and home made cheese straws. At suppertime, one of Mum’s sponges, filled with home made jam and mock cream, or a Swiss roll, or perhaps her spice sponge with coffee icing; Christmas cake and fruit mince pies. The men drank beer, the ladies shandies or cool drink. These were the days when a man went to the pub and his wife and kids remained in the car, while a drink was brought out to them. The exception to this was the beer garden, usually an enclosed area with a few tables and chairs and maybe a swing or seesaw for the kids.
Finally, Christmas Day came. In earlier days, it was not unusual to have three sittings for Christmas Dinner, but in my childhood, if it was our turn to host Christmas, one huge table was set for the adults and another for the children. Up until I went away to school, Christmas celebrations rotated between us and four other families, plus Uncle Kev, and others from time to time.
The usual meal was cold, cooked on a wood stove the day before; a home grown turkey or several chooks, a ham, usually cooked in the copper in the wash house, and salads. Sweets always featured jelly, quite a rarity in the era of kerosene fridges, and Mum’s homemade icecream.
After I left school, Christmas changed. The first year I was nursing, I had only Christmas Day off duty, so Mum and Dad & I met in Perth and stayed with relations. A very different sort of Christmas – the caterers delivered a huge buffet early that morning, and I was delegated waitress and bar duty !
People came, nibbled, had a drink or two, then departed to repeat the process elsewhere, and were quickly replaced by others.
I married, had my own family, and returned to work. I was working mainly night duty, and Christmas changed. In the lead up weeks to Christmas one year, I hand sewed an entire wardrobe for the large doll that was hidden in my locker – the main Christmas gift for my daughter.
There was one year when I came home early, courtesy of a friend who came in at 6 am so I could be home when the kids woke. I sneaked into the house, got into my nighty so I could slip into bed for a few minutes sleep, headed quietly for the bathroom, and as I tiptoed back towards the bedroom, entered the kitchen to be confronted by three excited kids demanding to open their presents NOW ! So much for a sleep.
There were the Christmas Eves that I worked, planning to do all sorts of things – one year, we had approval from the Director of Nursing to prepare our own salads etc in the hospital kitchen. We got as far as putting our groceries in the kitchen, then the phone rang, and we spent the next seven hours dealing with victims of a car accident. Other Christmas Eves were spent caring for dying patients, or a new arrival. There was always something very special about a baby born in the early hours of Christmas Day.
Then there was the Christmas of the trampoline. We had bought a second hand trampoline from a friend, and had stored it in the shearing shed, telling the kids we had seen a huge snake there to keep them away. On Christmas Eve, we took the trailer over, and I climbed the steps to enter the shed to drag the trampoline out. Unfortunately, the shed wasn’t lit, and I had no way of seeing the rotten boards in the loading platform, and suddenly found myself with one leg through the boards and stuck tight.
Eventually, I extricated myself, and we got the trampoline loaded on the trailer and back to the house, but by this time my knee was swelling rapidly and I had promised to take Mum to Midnight Mass in Tambellup. I spent Christmas Day on the couch, being waited on by everyone, as by that time, I could barely walk ! The trampoline wasn’t all that good an idea either, as the mat was somewhat perished, as we discovered on about the third bounce when the mat split. Result – three very upset kids on Christmas Day. It still gets mentioned every so often when we discuss Christmas.
Another Christmas spent on the couch was a result of my cousin & I playing around with the air rifle.. and me being shot in the leg. I was too scared to tell anyone the pellet was still in my leg, and woke on Christmas morning with a very sore & swollen leg, red streaks running from the site, and spent the morning at Mt Barker Hospital, being told by Dr Bourke what a silly child I was !
One year, someone thought it might be fun to open the presents when we got home from midnight mass. Next morning was one of the saddest Christmases we ever had – nothing to open – no lovely Christmas morning surprises.
Another Christmas, we invited newly arrived New Zealand friends to have Christmas with us. All was going well until about 1145am – we were putting the finishing touches to the salad when the phone rang, and a neighbour announced that the nearby reserve was on fire and could we please organise a crew. My husband, eldest son and our Kiwi mate left, and finally returned about 3pm with blackened faces, and a smoke fuelled thirst. Christmas lunch was rather late that year. Picnickers at the reserve had decided a camp fire was a good idea, and had left abruptly when the fire got out of control, leaving Tupperware, picnic rugs etc as evidence.
Christmas has changed – the kids are grown with families of their own, and it is some years since we were all in the same place on Christmas Day.
Reply #74. Sep 02 11, 8:30 PM
I'm so enjoyin your memories. The one about protecting the young girl reminded me of "Rabbit Proof Fence"|
Reply #75. Sep 02 11, 10:14 PM
|Postal, the woman (Doris Pilkington) who wrote "Rabbitproof Fence" is my sister in law's aunt... and the girls were her great aunts..|
Reply #76. Sep 03 11, 2:28 AM
May I ask a question? Why would the people in control go out and collect young girls and take them away from their families? This seems very brutal to separate families.|
I have enjoyed reading your stories. I have always been interested in your country. It is so big and so varied in
the different places in your land. I like some of the laws
you have regarding freedom of religion and abiding by your
laws that are already in place.
Reply #77. Dec 21 11, 2:42 PM
|Dee, short answer is that it was considered that the Indigenous people were a "dying and doomed race", so the kids were removed to be assimilated...|
On a different tack, I wish you all a wonderful celebration .. Merry Christmas, Happy Hunukah, Salamat Hari Raya.. whatever... enjoy this special time of love with your family and friends.
Reply #78. Dec 21 11, 9:35 PM
Same to you|
Reply #79. Dec 22 11, 11:49 AM
|If you attended a clearing sale in the district in the 50’s, 60’s or 70’s, you would have known my father.|
Dad wasn’t all that keen on the usual run of social activities, but he did love clearing sales.
He would arrive early, and very carefully peruse the rows of sundries- the miscellaneous piles of junk cleared from the forgotten corners of a shed, and lying in small heaps on the ground. Dad was a collector of old machinery: stationery motors, pumps, old cars – all surrounded the back shed in an untidy jumble. It looked as though no one would ever find anything, but I have seen Dad go down at dusk when a neighbour came seeking an unusually shaped or sized bolt or screw, and he could locate it in a matter of seconds.
Clearing sales were an opportunity to add to the collection.
Each pile of sundries was checked in turn, and on the odd occasion, when one pile yielded several treasures, while another pile held just one sought after item, he was known to pick up the item, submit it to scrutiny from every angle, then carefully return it… to the pile that held other things he wanted. He would then bid 50 cents or a dollar... knowing all the things he wanted were in the pile.
On other occasions, as he was stowing the treasures in the Landrover, he would be approached by other farmers who were also seeking one particular item from the pile.
“Jack”, they‘d say “were you particularly wanting that whatever?” When Dad said no, they would offer to buy it, often for as much as he had paid for the whole pile, or for a beer next time they met in town and there were days when he came home having made a profit on the day.
After I married, my husband often joined Dad on the clearing sale expeditions, and on one notable occasion, they became separated after deciding to bid on a pump. Dad was bidding, and was being chased up by someone on the other side of the bidding circle. After several bids, the auctioneer stopped and spoke to Dad. “Aren’t you and Russ together?” he asked. “Yes” replied Dad. “Then why the hell are you bidding against each other?” When the roars of laughter stopped, the auction resumed.
Dad had a passion for every type of old machine, stationery engine, old car or truck, and the Collection grew, spreading from the old house and lighting plant shed to the back shed, shearing shed annexe and surrounding areas. At one stage, Mum, fed up with the junk everywhere, went down to count just how many motors there actually were. She lost count at 70 or so and they remained uncounted.
These days, the sheds and surrounds hold only the implements needed to run a modern farm.. the sheep feeders, airconditioned tractor and truck, several utes and four wheel motorbike.
So why, when I venture down there, do I still see Dad, sitting by the lit forge, painstakingly rebuilding a carburettor or magneto from one of the old motors?
Reply #80. Jan 02 12, 7:12 PM
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