Friday, March 22, 2013

Paradismal Displays and Diction Delight

It is so rare that I would write a post that was all images with few words - true.  However, it is rare that I would post these days full stop. 
Life, hey - it sometimes takes up way too much of your time.  

The weather has not been conducive to frolic, and the enthusiasm that should accompany autumn seems to be hiding around some not yet met corner. 

I am blessed, because I have a teenager who, when I look at her, I see someone who I probably would have liked hugely when I was her age, 
and from a child to parent angle I am offering abject apologies to my own parents for some of my more melodaramatic explosions at that age

and profuse thanks that she has handled things with a great deal more grace and aplomb than I ever did.  
It is early days, true, so allow me to wallow in the vainglorious hope that this will continue.  

I am blessed, because I have a tall, shy, enthusiastic, mummy-loving girl who surprises with her imagination 
and language exploration yet still can be unintelligible on occasion because she mixes up consonants and tries to say it all at once while hopping and spinning. 

I am blessed, because my home is nurtured by someone who loves me and our family and who tills the soil 
and encourages dreams and fiercely protects all of his girls from the world and themselves.  

I am blessed, because I do have a wonderful support group of family and friends and memories of great people in my life.  

I am blessed because there is currently enough work for me to earn money by my skills and labour with a great bunch of people. 

There is a lot unsaid in this post in regard to the clouds (not mine but I get to brush amongst it), but I am extremely thankful for the light that filters through.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

When I was a Girl

Reading a message board elsewhere, I realised how interested I was in how everyone grew up - what some people got to take as "normal" and what was deemed "exotic".

When I was a girl:

We had a party line phone - our number was 4S which meant that if there were three short rings, the call was for us - and if you wanted to make a call, you would pick up the phone and say "working?" before you rang - if it wasn't for anyone on our line, we had to call the operator and get connected.

Our school still had thunderboxes - septic toilets came to the school when I was about year 3, prior to that we had to walk to up near the oval, sit on a wooden seat above a pit and bucket, sprinkle sawdust on any business that was done and George would empty it every week - when a teacher went a bit mad one Arbour Day and they planted over 20 new trees, one of the science experiments was that the pre-fertilisation treatment for a few of the trees was courtesy of such - and those trees did grow a treat!

The toilet that we had at home was downstairs - it was known as "the library" as it was on the subscription list for the Readers Digest.  There was a gas bottle kept outside of it with a patch of black paint on it - I gave myself nightmares for years after a poignant episode of "Whodunnit" where a pirate's patch was integral, as I imagined it to be a pirate.  I had NFI what a pirate actually was.

We had meat with every meal - meat was cheap for us, as we lived on a cattle property (and corned beef was far more regular than ham).  Vegetables were a little harder to come by.  When Mum first moved up there, she was flat out finding potatoes or onions locally.  While pumpkin were truly plentiful (Dad would always throw a few seeds into the ashes of any burned trees), other fresh commodities were scarce.  Mum did try to make a vegetable patch, but kangaroos and rabbits fared far better than we did.  I thought peas were either tinned or surprise.  I thought mushrooms naturally were wrinkled. 

Television was a choice of 2 channels (zero with bad weather) and I didn't see Sesame Street in colour until I was about 6 - I was shocked at how yellow Big Bird was.  These days, with digital and the weather we are having, most nights I have a choice of 2 channels (as NITV is still picture NITV, sound SBS so not an option)

If you were blessed enough to be have been bestowed with a camera, generally you bought a 100 film (unless you were a bit fancy) and really conserved your pictures as even though you had heard rumours of 26 photos being achieved on a 24 roll, all too often they were busted as myths with doubled pictures or blurred results.  Once you had finished a film, it was sent off (with a price tag of 24.95) to be returned a week or so hence full of surprises and disappointments.

It would take us a full day of driving to get to Brisbane - and visit one Grandmother.  We used to play "White Horse" with the billboards and number plates we zoomed past -it was preferable to be on the drivers side during the first part of the trip, as cars whizzing by were your best bet - but passenger's side nearer to the city, as the billboards offered riches.  When we saw the "Supa-Maid" ad on the side of a shop, we knew we would see Grandma in only a few minutes and that she would be down by her little blue fence waving once she saw us at the top of the street.

The other Grandma lived in a house that had an upstairs bathroom AND the old bathroom still in existence under the tankstand.  It was always a gamble, chosing which one to use, as the frogs lived in the downstairs one (but the temperature regulation had been ironed out) but the upstairs one you had to put the hot tap on until it was scalding and then add cold a tiny turn of the tap at a time - because it would go to freezing if you went too far.  She also had a matching set of fluffy yellow accoutrements for her toilet (in the new bathroom) that I thought was so soft!

So - what was it like when you were a girl (or boy)?