Tuesday, April 26, 2011


I am becoming really concerned about these people that are entering our country illegally. We hear so many stories from so many sources and have no idea which of them are completely true. I guess it depends where they stand concerning these people that arrive here after dangerous journeys across treacherous seas brought here illegally by people smugglers and apparently at great cost too.

It worries me when these people who are now detained in various centres around the country when they decide to commit what can only be described as criminal acts such as damaging property and setting fires as well as threatening those in charge of them.

So many folk seem to think they should be allowed freedom of movement throughout the land but until we know positively who they are should this be alowed to happen?

If these people are genuine refugees then why do some of them destroy their personal papers and then can't prove who they really are. I know there are thousands of displaced persons all around the globe some of whom wait many years in detention centres in various countries en route to what they hope will be a safer and better life. They try to do it the right way by joining an endless queue of refugees.

After World War 2 there was thousands of displaced persons in Europe many of whom came to our country and made good lives for themselves and helped make our country what it is today but I don't remember any of them rioting or making demands of any kind. Rather they were glad to be here and I think came through the right channels. I was only 13 when WW2 ended so probably don't know all the ins and outs of it all but I do know they came from some pretty horrific places.

MOH was in the British Army in Germany immediately following WW2 and saw for himself the vastness of the devastation there and people who were starving and would do anything they could to obtain food etc. Many were also in danger and needed succour from government who would take them in and help them to a better life.

I have rambled on a little here but I just don't like what is happening in our country right now and can only hope that something can be done by this government of ours to at least ease the situation before it gets completely out of hand. Desperation can sometimes lead to unpleasantness and I am sure that nobody wants that to happen.


I first met my son-in-law before he had even met my daughter and I liked him instantly. I introduced the two of them and they seemed to hit it off immediately and it grew from there and eventually they married and have three children but that is another story. There actually are four children as he accepted my daughter's first child as his very own which was fantastic for all of them.

I am not sure if my son-in-law likes me or not but he always finds time to talk should I have reason to telephone him and he seems to care. I know he is very good to my daughter and has stuck with her through thick and thin and I love him for that. They have had some rough times and come through them really well.

What I notice though is that he does seem to have concern about me, and MOH as well, and an example was on Sunday when we went to #3 granddaughter's apartment for morning coffee and buns to celebrate Easter. Was a great morning too.

There are 15 steps up to her apartment (and down of course) and I am not at all good on stairs these days but made it up there OK. When we were leaving it was my son-in-law that offered to go down with me. I told him I would be OK and MOH said he's go first so I could land on him if anything went wrong. Not a good idea as I'd probably have squashed him. The point I am making is that son-in-law cared enough to want to help and he stayed at the top of the staircase until he was sure I'd made it down safely. I really appreciated that and although he is most unlikely to see this blog I just wanted to show how happy I was that he showed he cared. Thanks to a great bloke.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

LIVE IN THE 1950s Part 3

To make it easier than saying my husband all the time I will call him H#1 as he was after all my first husband (1953-1967).

I had got to where Mum had decided to move into her house and the grandfather of M#1 said we could rent a house of his in Walcott Street in Mount Lawley. We went to check it out and couldn't believe how dingy and dirty it was. It had for many years been rented to an elderly couple who now had to move into a retirement home. I don't think anyone had ever really looked at the place for some time or, if they did, they were not concerned about the state the house was in.

It was a two storey house with two huge rooms upstairs and two the same size downstairs but no real kitchen or bathroom. The closed in back verandah downstairs had been used as a kitchen but there was no sink and the only way of heating water for the bath was by lighting the copper and ladling the water in a bucket into the bath, a somewhat hazardous operation as the water was of course very hot.

The walls were really dirty and I said I would not move in with a one year old child until at least her room was cleaned and painted all over. This we did and tried to clean the rest of the house as much as possible before shifting in.

M#1, being a cabinet maker, built a kitchen cupboard and installed a terazzo (secondhand) sink and made a small kitchen table as well. There was a wood stove but no gas or electric stove to cook on. M#1 eventually bought a very large secondhand gas stove which was a delight to use. In the meantime, being winter when we moved in, I cooked on the wood stove which also warmed the kitchen as well so it was very cosy.

There were two cement wash troughs in the laundry/bathroom and the bottom of one appeared to have algy growing in it. I think the lady who lived there used to strain her vegetables in there and didn't clean it out very well. A good scrub soon did the trick and I had Mum's little Hoover washer still to use so was able to do the laundry OK. I often wondered where the previous tenant washed her dishes etc.

We managed quite well with heating the water for the bath for some time and then M#1 bought an electric element to attach to the shower head and in that way we could have hot showers which was quite a luxury. I used to bath my little girl in the kitchen sink until she was older which also worked very well.

The folks that had lived in the house previously apparently grew lots of onions and they had erected an old metal bed outside the kitchen (this was under what was the upstairs verandah so protected from the elements) and used it to store the onions. It had some sort of linoleum on it as well and when we took it down we found it to be full of cockraches...a real delight. Ugh.

This house had been built before Walcott Street had been laid down and the top storey of the house was actually level with the road so a walkway (bridge) had been built leading to the front door upstairs. Also the council had built a retaining wall (I think with railway sleepers) so the bottom storey of the house was well below road level. There was a grassy bank running down from street level and when the children were older they, and their friends, would have a great time 'surfing' down the grassy bank on some type of skis we had obviously acquired from somewhere.

The garden was run down and M#1 was never a great gardener but we tidied it up and he would borrow his step-father's electric lawn mover. It was about one third of an acre so quite a large block with lots of lawn down one side of the house and across the back. Even if not beautiful the garden was always neat and tidy. I used to grow a large patch of strawberries and would make jam from them which I always felt very proud about. I also grew a few flowers and some Chinese gooseberries came up of their own accord and they were delicious.

We eventually painted the whole house from top to bottom which was quite an achievenent as the walls downstairs were at least 12' high and then there were the walls at top and bottom of the stairs. It all look rather splendid when finished and I made curtains for the windows and we were more than comfortable. Three of the large rooms had corner fireplaces and all were used at one time or another so no other heating was needed.

There is more to tell about this house where I lived for 10 years with M#1 and our two children so will continue this story in a few days time.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


I have often mentioned that I don't get out and about much because of my limited ability to walk very much.

Today I suggested to MOH that perhaps we should go and have a nice lunch at our favourite little cafe in a nearby shopping centre and he readily agreed so it was both of us into the shower (one after the other of course) and off we set.

We both had salmon patties with very well cooked chips and a light salad on the side. Delicious. This cafe has recently been renovated and is always really neat and clean and their food is well cooked and nicely presented and the young staff are very pleasant.

I then went to Big W to buy Easter eggs for family and friends and was able to find some 70% dark chocolate for MOH. When we do eat chocolate we choose the dark variety as it is better for our health and being diabetics we are limited to how much we can have at any one time. Once at Easter we would eat all our eggs in a couple of days but now we manage to make them last, not that we get that many but there are always a few each for us.

MOH had mentioned that he'd like to buy a new lightweight jacket so while he popped the Easter eggs in the car I went in search of a jacket in Big W. They had quite a variety and I did find a nice lightweight one which I pointed out to him. He tried it on and found it was just what he was after and even a little less than $25 which was even more to his liking. Incidentally I had told him that if he was to buy a new jacket then it made sense to perhaps get rid of one of the old ones and I hope he does.

I've not said much about MOH buying a larger than usual size. He has for some time been using insulin injections three times a day for his daibetes and unfortunately the use of insulin tends to stack on the kilos and always around the middle which is not good healthwise but seems to be unavoidable. The weather has been so very hot for well over three months that MOH has not been playing golf nor going for his quite often daily walk so hopefully that will change when it is cooler.

While I sat and rested MOH went to Woolworths to buy a few provisions we needed for tonight's tea....bread, ham and the like. and then we headed back to the car.

I had used my walker but when I got home after only about two and half hours I was so sore I could hardly move but after resting I gradually came good although tonight I'm still a tad body weary. I used to ache in my lower back but the aches now have spread upwards as far as my neck so I do become a 'bit of a pain' for a while. Even MOH said he felt tired and a little stiff but then he always complains that shopping makes him feel like that. Walking round the golf course doesn't seem to affect him that way!!

All in all it was nice to get out and about and I wish I could do it more often and perhaps now the cooler weather is just around the corner a visit to the river or similar might just be on the cards. At least today I got some much needed exercise which is very important.

Monday, April 4, 2011

LIFE IN THE 1950S (Part 2)

Ih part 1 of this story I was up to winter of 1955 when my daughter was born. Will deal with that in a different blog at a later time.

Not only was the winter of 1955 very wet and quite cold but the summer of 1955/56 was extremely hot and the only cooling in the house was a small electric fan. The house had high ceilings and a high roof as well and being double brick it actually kept relatively cool compared to the outside temperature.

To keep the baby cool in the daytime I would pop her in her pram with just a nappy on and sometimes no nappy at all and then place a wet nappy over the handle of the pram and put the fan on the other side of the wet nappy causing a cool breeze to waft over the pram. It was a cane pram and I think they were probably cooler than the plastic ones of today (or are today's prams made of leather..I really don't know).

I remember once trying to attend the Menora picture theatre with the baby but she was not one to settle down too well in the evening so that adventure was short lived and we didn't try that again. We found the drive-in theatres very useful when we had the two children and Jenny the labrador would come with us as well.

We at this time were living in 518 Fitzgerald Street in North Perth only 3 houses from the place (524) dad and mum had rented from when I was 15 years old till I turned 20 at which time they built a home of their own in Joondanna. My then hubby's grandparents lived at 526 and his mum lived further up at 556. In those days families didn't move very far away from each other and one could walk to each other's homes even at night when it was perfectly safe to do so.

My own mother was busy working in the social service field so we didn't see a great deal of her and my hubby's mum (much as I loved her) was not one for minding children so if I went somewhere the baby went with me; shopping, doctor's appointments etc. I used to walk down to the shops and put the groceries in the pram each side of the baby. It was a much simpler life then and we seemed to manage without much outside help. It was several years later that I would have a little old car of my own but that's another story.

I had mentioned in the previous blog on this subject that we had lived in 2 rooms (one up and one down) in Blake Street, North Perth, but forget to mention that the owner was marrying for a second time so we had to find other accommodation. We once again found two nice rooms with share bathroom and laundry in Queens Crescent, Mount Lawley. We were very comfortable there but mum then bought the house at 518 Fitzgerald and she divided the house into three. We had the main middle section, the two large rooms at the front were let to another couple and a small section at the back of the house was let to a single lady. We were still sharing bathroom and washhouse. Mostly in those days the laundry (then called the washhouse) was a separate area either attached to the back of the house or a separate building and the toilet was always outside the house as well and often down the end of the back garden.

All this sharing houses was very common then (I mentioned there being a housing shortage and we were too poor to even considering buying a house) but I wonder if young folk today could do the same thing, especially with a young child as well.

I think we had been children of the depression and had gone through the war when items were so short and there was rationing and we were used to not having things. I don't feel we had great expectations of what the world owed us and that we had to make our own way in life if we wanted to succeed. We were fortunate to have good jobs and there were always plenty of jobs to choose from if one wanted a change. My then husband was (as mentioned) a cabinetmaker and he changed employers several times.

After living at 518 for a couple of years mum decided she would like to come live in her own home so once again we had to move. It was fortunate that hubby's grandfather who had built many houses in North Perth and Mount Hawthorn through the years had a house becoming vacant in Walcott Street. We went and had a look at it and were horrified by what we found but felt we could make a home out of it so said yes we would rent it at three pounds ($6) a week.

There is a lot to tell about that house in Walcott Street so will make that part 3 of what looks like being rather a long ramble. Once I get going I seem to remember lots of things that just may be of interest to anyone who may read my writings.