Monday, May 30, 2011


Heard talk today about council rates possibly being raised as the cost of street lighting is due to rise and it is the local councils that pay for street lighting. Now people are afraid our street lights will be turned off early.

Thinking about that I then realised that years ago all street lighting in the suburbs was turned off at 1a.m. and yet we were safe and felt no need for our streets to be lit after that time.

I know our city has grown a lot since then but what has happened to the population that a need is felt for streets to be lit up right through the night? It seems the world has gone to pot when folk are fearful of venturing out in the dark for fear of something bad happening to them.

My years on this mortal coil are numbered as I am nearing age 80 but my concerns are for my children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren as well as other citizens of this beautiful state of ours. What sort of world are they moving into? I have no answer and I doubt anyone else has either. It saddens me as I remember the past and attempt to look into the future.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


The area around our back door (under our patio) was getting really grotty so I decided the geraniums in pots should be pruned and put round the side of the house near the lavender where they would get more light..they were growing too rangy so I pruned them first.

Of course had to ask MOH to move the pots for me but when they were gone I picked up the broom and actually managed to sweep up all the leaves and pop a few simple potted plants in place of the geraniums and it's looking so neat and tidy now.

All this probably only took me about 20-30 minutes (with an occasional sit down in between) but I did it and it made me feel good about myself. I can't bend down much or lift anything that weighs more than a couple of kilos but I DID SOMETHING I've not done for a good while.

This may not seem much of an achievement but to me it was and with the advent of this cooler weather I am hoping to get the rest of the area out there really looking good over the next week or so.


I have been trying to respond to your comment but it won't have it for some reason. I've tried the help section but it is all too complicated for this non-technical mind to take in. I've been able to comment on my own blog in the past but not any more!! I can comment on blogs that belong to others OK so what the heck is happening.

What I just wanted to say was how much I appreciated the comment you made and it in turn made me glad I had written the second post so quickly after the first as that first one was all doom and gloom wasn't it (apart from the appreciation of the rain).

I know young people today have lots to contend with but I somehow feel that perhaps we oldies have a little more spare time in which to ponder our woes which overall is not all that good for us.

When there is just the two of us perhaps one doesn't want to worry the other too much so we bottle up our feelings a little too much. All my friends have left this mortal coil (far too soon many of them) and the one that is left has had tragedies in her own life recently so she is not the one I can use for a shoulder to cry on.

Perhaps I shouldn't use thig blog to express how I am feeling as it is not my intention to worry others.

Friday, May 20, 2011


After writing the previous post I went in and had a muffin and cup of coffee that MOH had prepared (it was delicious too) and my little cat came in from outside and asked to be brushed (she does that every day) which she and I both enjoy.

I then sat for several minutes and stroked said cat (they say it is good for our blood pressute) and realised that yes, it IS all worthwhile.

MOH and Precious cat both need me even if I'm not very useful and I need to be here for them and regardless of all the grizzles I have about myself they put up with me very well so my thanks to them for bringing me back down to earth.

MOH will rub Dencorub into my back before I go to bed tonight and I'll help him with the drops he puts in his eyes for glaucoma and earlier in the evening we will both do the lymphatic massage which has brought my feet and ankles back to normal size.

We've managed quite well so far so whatever the future may bring we'll get through it together as long as we have each other. Lets hope it stays that way for a few more years.


I am blue!! It is not the weather as I love the sound of rain on the roof and goodness alone knows, we need it and so much more too. I am a winter person so the wind and the rain and cloudy skies are my friends.

Why am I blue? I am getting so tired of not being able to do THINGS. OK I can stand and wash dishes and cook meals even if the old back starts to howl after a few minutes but it's the not being able to carry things or bend down in the garden etc. etc. I begin to do something and have to sit down again so I sort of give up and do nothing which I realise is wrong but that's how it is. I see so many things that I once used to do and know darned well I can't do them now no matter how much I want to. I know I still have two legs and two arms and can see and hear (fairly well) andall that but the frustration does get to me.

On top of that for some unknown reason my diabetes has taken quite a sudden turn for the worse. I have increased one of my pills to the maximum and it doesn't seem to be making a tad of difference. There is nothing else I can take now except insulin. My MOH has been injecting insulin for his diabetes for over a year now and it doesn't really worry him but then he doesn't have any other real problems, and certainly not physical ones although he has slowed down a bit and does less now. Even he gets a little frustrated at times and seems to think that at 81 he should still be doing what he was doing at 30.

We see our endocrinologist on 1 June and before that I have to have a blood test and I dread to find out what my glycated haemoglobulin will be. Fortuanately I always ask that a copy of the pathology results be sent to my home so I am forewarned before I see the professor of the results.

I am keeping my fingers crossed and hoping beyond hope that insulin is not going to be the answer. I guess I will have to be philosophical about all this but too many of these problems begin to make you it all worth it?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


This morning up bright and early (for us anyway) and off to our exercise group which was enjoyable as usual....I still have problems with my right side and right knee but manage most of the exercises and the weights OK. I often wish I could afford to go more often but I could and should do most of the things at home. I wonder why it is exercising alone is so boring which tends to put me off bothering to do it. MOH exercises with the group but trying to encourage him to exercise with me at go.

Later I saw my podiatrist who has been off seeing the world with his family. We'd missed him since last year as he is also doing some study and so I had been seeing a locum (a really lovely Vietnamese lass) this year but it was nice to see John again. He does look after my feet so well and when one is diabetic that is just so very important. I used to go to the podiatrist about avery 4-5 weeks but my toenails grow so slowly these days I've extended the time between visits to 8 weeks. My fingernails grow very quickly so why not my toenails? Circulation problems..I do hope not.

Came home and did a few (little) necessary chores, had lunch and then onto Facebook and my farms that I have on there (all so much fun).

I then decided to get onto Centrelink to register and had to answer questions which I thought I'd done quite well but it seems I hadn't 'cos I got the response that I had failed and couldn't register! What? One question under my spouse's details was 'Maiden Name' and as my spouse is a man I thought that a little odd so put in my maiden name but perhaps that was wrong. Goodness how I hate government departments and their red tape. Why is it that nothing is stated in plain straight forward English? I consider myself a well educated and intelligent adult person but....I ask you. Perhaps I'll get on the 'phone tomorrow and ask them what answers they would like me to give.

One interesting and confusing statement was this: You will be asked certain questions so make sure you have the necessary information available before you start. How on earth was I supposed to know what information I should need to have with me before I knew what they were going to ask???

One question was: bank account details payments made to: Did they want to know which bank account details (number etc)..or who the payments were made to? There was only room for about 9 characters so wasn't sure what to put in that little window so perhaps put the wrong answer there.

Apart from this little glitch the day is going quite well...the weather is cooler and we had rain yesterday .. 12mm in our rain gauge at home (nearly half an inch) and we are keeping fingers crossed for more rain later in the week. With the beginning of winter only two weeks away we certainly should have had a lot more rain by now and think though our garden thoroughly enoyed the rain that fell yesterday.

Tomorrow is another day and I am hoping it will be even the weather is cooler I am beginning to feel I am alive again so on to bigger and better things..well perhaps anyway.

Monday, May 16, 2011


I have recently heard many people say (including our government) that young mothers should be able to return to the workforce while their child is quite young. On a discussion forum I was watching tonight I actually heard a single childless career woman say she resented any of her taxes being used to support families in any way and that mothers that chose to stay home made no contributiion to the economy or anything else.

Do all new mums want to go back to work and leave their little one to be cared for by others? Surely not. If it is possible for them to be fulltime stay at home mums then I don't think they should be made to feel they are not making any contribution to our country.

A mother is many things: a wife, housekeeper, nurse, accountant, teacher, etc. etc. You cannot tell me that doing all these things and being there to teach her child right from wrong (which is very necessary these days) is not making any contribution. She must teach her youngsters to be caring and understanding of others and everything else that turns a child into a worthwhile adult and Australian citizen.

Men and women are different...women are physically able to bear children - men are not. If a woman and her husband/partner decide it is time to have a child then hopefully they will also decide if they can afford for the new mum to at least spend the first few years home with the new arrival, should she wish to do so.

Many people in this modern world appear to want to have everything that is available in the way of big houses, swimming pools, spas, home name it and they want it. On top of that they decide they want a family so what happens. A baby arrives and after only a few months he/she is left each day at a child care centre and mum goes back to work. If that is the mother's choice then so be it.

I know I am old-fashioned but I cannot come to terms with wanting it all. It is of course once again the way of the modern world and has been accepted as the norm but are we teaching our children to be unselfish or are they going to be even more selfish than many of the modern generation. They will be brought up in homes where everything is laid on and wll expect the same for themselves when they grow up. What has happened to the anticipation of being able to buy something one wants after saving hard for it? Not to expect all to be laid on and unhappy if it is not?

I would support any young mother who felt she needed to be there for her young child until at least that child was going to kindergarten when the mother could begin to think of finding a part-time job and still be there for her child out of school hours.

Financial circumstances forced me to return to the workforce when my two children were 10 and 12 years of age and yet I still felt guilty that I was away from our home during each weekday in case they should be ill or need me for some reason. Fortunately it did work out well and I think those two children were sufficiently shown right from wrong that neither got into any trouble. I may be wrong here but do feel that my being home with them during their formative years helped in some small way for that to happen.


After months of high temperatures above 30C (86F) we are now enjoying cooler weather in the mid 20Cs.. I don't know if it is that we are just recovering after the heat but MOH and I don't seem to have any energy....all our get up and go has got up and gone.

You keep promising you will do certain jobs when the weather cools down and then when it does those same jobs are still there staring you in the face so why can't we get on with them?

We will have to make an effort because before we know it (time seems to fly by so quickly these days) it will be spring (our winter is only about 3 weeks away) and it will begin to get hot again.

Oh boy! Sound like the voice of doom don't I? I guess all this is really part of getting old and we have to allow for it. It is so easy when sitting back in a comfy chair or even here at my think of something you are going to do but when you get up to do it? Ouch!! The poor old back tells you you'd be better off sitting down again. What a wimp I am!!

They say never put off till tomorrow what you can do today but my motto seems to be 'never do today what you can put off until tomorrow".

Okay my girl you've put it all into stop feeling sorry for yourself and tomorrow you ARE going to begin to sort through those clothes that have been sitting waiting for so long. Hopefully I can put summer dresses away and begin to take out some warmer clothes to wear.

That is not the only job waiting to be done but at least it will be a start.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


I didn't purposely put Dad first but gave him precedence as he was the older of the two.

My adoptive mum (the one who chose me to be her daughter) was born in London, England in 1897, towards the end of the Victorian era. Her father was a lawyer and from what I can make out (and after re-reading some of his letters from years back) I feel he was somewhat of a snob. He was for many years involved in Freemasonry and was a Grand Master and mixed with very high ranking people throughout his life. I googled Percy Rockliff and up came pages and pages of history of the Masons that involved Percy throughout those many pages.

Mum had a sister 7 years older than herself and a very gentle, quiet mother who eventually, with her two daughters, was forced to leave the family home because it would seem that she was nor suitable as a wife for her husband Percy. I think he kept them for many years and educated his daughters but had his wife sign an agreement that she would never sue for divorce as the Masons did not believe in divorce. I doubt that piece of paper was legal but he went on with his wonderful life whereas his wife lead a very quiet life on her own. Those were the good old days (for men anyway).

Mum had a good education and found employment in the Sugar Commission where she was secretary to one of the head of the commission. This is of course where she met dad not knowing at first that he was a widower or had a small son. From what she told me she fell in love with this much older man (she was 19 and he 31 when they first met. They married in December 1917 in South Tottenham and as England was still involved in WW1 there were many photographs could be taken (not sure why) and they were able to get only a few days for a honeymoon.

Family members came down with the Spanish 'flu which swept through the world after the cessation of hostilities and dad was very sick as was mum's sister Amy. It was only procuring oxygen that saved Amy's life. She had worked for an oxygen company and mum appealed to the boss of that company who made the oxygen available.

To cut a long story short dad was told that his health was failing and it was suggested he emigrate to a warmer climate. The decisiion was made to come to Western Australia and so mum and dad sold their home and possession and along with dad's young son sailed on the "Euripides" and disembarked in Albany in May, 1920.

Their object was to take up farming and you must remember these two people had come from good homes and good jobs and had absolutely no experience of farming. Obviously they considered it would a healthy lifestyle but they had many trials and tribulations through the ensuing years which included the Great Depression, being burnt out and flooded out to name a few.

When I was 4 mum had a major operation and developed thrombosis in both legs so was bedridden for some time and she and I spent some time in Albany while she convalesced. Eventually the doctor told dad that he couldn't guarantee mum's survival if they didn't leave the farm. I am not sure anyone in the Western world today could imagine how hard the work was back then and the long hours they worked. They grew potatoes which is a backbreaking job when you sow the seed potatoes by hand and only have a a horse and plough to dig the furrows.

The hard decision was made for us to move up to Perth...I don't know the financial details but I feel that medical bills and mum not being able to work on the farm had meant perhaps borrowing from the bank. All I know is that they walked off the farm with very little but their clothing and aboud five pounds in their pockets.

All this after 17 years of really hard yakka must have been devastating but they seem to have taken it in their stride regardless of what they had to go without. I know mum only had one good dress and very little else in the way of clothing but somehow I was always well dressed (mum made my clothes...possibly borrowing a sewing machine) and I have a photograph taken when I was 7 of a very smart little outfit she had made me.

As told in dad's story he eventually found a very good job but I have never managed to work out how they managed to send me to college from the age of nearly 6 until I was 15. At no time was I ever made to feel we were poor...they were two very proud people who would never allow their poverty to be evident. I don't think I ever thanked mum for all she did for me and perhaps haven't realised this fact until after her death when I've had time to really consider it all.

In 1952 we moved to a new home dad had subconstracted to be built and very comfy it was too. It was while living there that I had celebrated my 21st birthday, my engagement to H#1 and my marriage. I later learned that mum had to borrow a little money from my half-brother to help pay for the wedding. Even then she was still battling 'cos dad had just not wanted to work after he sold the shop in 1947 so I think building the house may have incurred a mortgage.

I have to go back a few years now as I have somewhat jumped the gun here. When dad sold the shop in 1947 the rate of inflation in Australia hit an all time high so they were left with insufficient money to live on. Dad said he had retired and didn't intend to return to work so mum set about trying to find herself some type of work. She was still a skilled shorthand typist so looked around for something entailing secretarial work. The Women's Service Guild was seeking a part-time secretary which paid an honorarium of three pounds a week and she accepted the position and from there her life changed quite remarkably. The President of the Guild was a Mrs Bessie Rischbieth a wealthy woman from Peppermint Grove who worked untiringly for women's rights and those of the downtrodden in the world. They became fast friends and I am sure it was Bessie that got mum's mind on social work.

I had just begun work as a secretary when dad sold the shop and I was paying a small amount of board each week out of my two pound eight shilling weekly wage which I have always hoped helped mum a wee bit with the housekeeping.

Mum was still involved in a lot of social work when we moved to Joondanna (in the house they built there) and I somehow felt she needed to branch out on her own to pursue her interests and this may have been the foundation of her decision to tell dad it was time they separated.

Mum of course then had to find fulltime employment and this she did without any trouble. She was a very well spoken Englishwoman and impressed people when she first met them as being very competent, which she indeed was. He first job was as private secretary to the manager of Bouchers Industries in Osborne Park and when that firm I think was taken over by a larger firm (don't quote me on that) she then found a secretarial position with APT Shipping in Perth.

This is becoming a very long story but Mum's life had so many components which needs to be told. I will continue this in the next few days while I gather my thoughts about what happened in later years in this fantastic woman's life.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


I have decided for my own sake I am going to write a series of blogs as I remember members of my family I have known and perhaps eventually those I've never known but only learnt about.

My dad (the one that adopted me) was born in London in 1885 during the reign of Queen Victoria. He was one of 7 children one of whom died when she was less than one year old.

Dad was about 5'11" and had red hair although I only really ever remember his hair being grey and eventually white when he was much older. He was 46 when I arrived in his life so by the time I was concerned with hair colour and the like I'd probably missed the red hair stage. I do know he had to be careful when out in the sun and he did freckle very easily.

He was very upright and one may have thought he had been in the armed services. He did try and enlist during WW! but had hearing problems and was also employed in what was termed a 'reserved occupation' and therefore needed in the civilian workforce.

His father had his own business and was by trade a coach maker/wheelwright who employed several men so obviously was doing quite well. I knew nothing of his mother.

Dad never spoke of his family and I never unfortunately found out why this was. Mum said that when they married none of his family came to the wedding so whether he was the black sheep of the family or not I have no idea. He held an excellent position as Chief Clerk with the Sugar Commission in London.

He attended Buckingham Palace where he was presented with the MBE by King George VI (I have never known exactly what for but obviously for work done during WW1). I don't have his medal as it would have been given to his son who was a child of a previous marriage. Dad's first wife had died when only 32 years of age.

I know that Dad played soccer and was a goalie for Tottenham Hotspurs at a time when the players were all amateurs. He once told me that being amateurs they couldn't be paid but when they returned to their change rooms after a match they would find a one pound note tucked into one of their shoes. This would have been early in the 20th century.

I believe he also played for the England team but as all his medals, newspaper cuttings etc were burnt when their house was destroyed by fire prior to my birth I was never able to see or read anything relating to his football career. I do know he broke an ankle while playing for Spurs and many years later he broke a little finger.

We lived opposite a park in North Perth where the local soccer team used to practice and one day Dad wandered across to give them some tips on keeping goal. He apparently put his hand up to stop a ball and crack went a bone in a little finger. I guess when in his 60s his bones were perhaps a little too brittle for that type of treatment.

He was a great salesman and for a number of years was a Rawleighs dealer (went door to door selling their products and had quite a huge clientele). Mum helped him by making up pretty packages of cosmetics and the like and I believe she kept his books for him as well. He was awarded salesman of the year several times.

When I was about 12 he bought a corner shop in Swanbourne which they ran for a couple of years (this during the later years of WW2 with coupons and everything to deal with) and then in 1947 he suddenly decided it was time to retire so he sold the shop and we moved to a rental house in North Perth.

Dad enjoyed playing lawn bowls and belonged to the North Perth Bowling Club for a number of years. He smoked, but only a few cigarettes a day, and was never a drinker athough would occasionally have a shandy at the bowling club. He said he had seen too many problems caused by drink when he was younger and so there was never any alcohol in our house unil I was 20 and then only for my birthday party. I had to almost beg to have half a dozen bottles of beer for the young men coming to that party but finally mum and dad agreed. I don't think any of my female friends drank anything alcoholic back then. I certainly didn't.

Unfortunately in 1953 Mum took it into her head that she and Dad should separate and they both went their own ways. Dad eventually lived in a nursing home in East Fremantle where he died following a stroke in 1971 at the age of 85.

I remember him so well...he was a kindly man, loved by children 'cos he could make them laugh and his pet name for me when I was little was Tiddlywinks. One must remember he was born during the Victorian era and some of his ideas were perhaps just that....a trifle Victorian but all in all he was a father to be very proud of. I still love you Dad.


This poem by Udiah is beautiful and although it was originally written as being from a man I dedicate it to my wonderful husband who cares for me so well each day of my life.


You give me hope and help me to cope
When life pulls me down you bring me around.
You teach me to care and help me to share.
You make me honest with kindness the best.
From you I learned love with grace from above
It's for you I live and want to give.
You are the reason that fills each season.
When I hear love I think of you
You are my world and best friend too.
I love you because you are so kind, thoughtful and caring
I love you because you are so pleasant, peaceful and sharing.


In my case this definitely proves that second time around has been good for me. I couldn't manage without MOH. He does so many tasks I am now unable to do without one word of complaint. He just has to stay around 'cos I'd be lost without him.


This is a fun poem by Juan Olivarez which really took my fancy. I hope you will enjoy it too.

I once found heaven,
But couldn't stay.
My wandering feet
Led me away.

I once found an angel
That loved only me
But I left her in heaven
Because it couldn't be.

I once found true love
So true and sweet.
But I couldn't stop
My wandering feet.

So I took off my shoes
And threw them away
And found her again
And she let me stay.

I just hope they were both very happy.


We have a dear little nine and a half year old fluffy female cat that never means any harm to anyone or any creature but recently she is being terrorised by cats from neighbouring homes.

I realise one can't keep cats behind fences as one can with most dogs but if people would only have their cats (especially male cats) neutered there would be far less problems with cats fighting.

There is a very large dark tabby and white cat that comes from 3 houses away and even if you shoo him away he stands his ground. I even threw a small rock not at him but near him and then he decided to jump on the fence and slowly make his way home. Talk about cheeky.

Next door (on the other side) is a neutered maie that for some reason seems to find our garden better than his!! He and the cat from up the road hate each other and choose our garden in which to do their caterwauling. Our poor little Precious runs and hides (inside the house) when she hears them.

There is also another tabby cat which is here occasionally but seems harmless so that is OK and a gorgeous black and white fluffy cat that is just so friendly and she and our cat seem to tolerate each other very well. Unfortunately it seems the little black and white cat may be scared of those other three big cats so she doesn't visit us as often which is a shame.

Our council even has a subsidy they pay people that have their cats neutered but I guess some are just too mean to pay the balance and so there will always be this cat problem caused by people that just don't care.

My daughter (Kakka) has been having the same problems over the years and it often means visits to vets to have wounds taken care of so an expense to cat owners through no fault of their own. Just so annoying.

Sunday, May 8, 2011


After enjoying that delicious breakfast cooked by MOH we hurriedly got ready and set off to our daughter's home to meet up with her, her hubby and 3 of our granddaughters, the husband of one of them and our two great-granddaughters.

With a cooked breakfast not being part of our normal daily fare we then indulged in mini muffins, some delicious chocolate biscuits and even a small serve of mud cake. We also did the RIGHT thing and ate some fresh fruit which made us feel less guilty about all the forbidden things we'd eaten. Son-in-law served up a couple of really good cups of coffee to which topped it all off.

It was so nice to sit out in their back garden in the lovely sunshine and spend time with the family. Was sorry grandson couldn't be there but he works weekends more times than not so we don't see him often.

K&B have had reticulation installed in their garden recently and perhaps it is this that has helped but their back garden is really delightful this year and I only wish we could get ours to look even half as good. We are both a little too old (and I am just too decrepit) to do too much in the garden now but I feel inspired after seeing their garden today. Famiily gave me some Bunnings vouchers for Christmas which I haven't used so as soon as I feel I can walk for a short while I think we will be down there to buy some plants and hope that we eventually get more rain in Perth to help the garden recover from a long and very hot summer.

MOH and I decided we really didn't need lunch today but seems we both need a good solid meal tonight as we both did a glucose test and our readings were quite low. Of course all the food mentioned above is high GI so is absorbed much more quickly than our normal food so we now are a tad short of sugar.

For dinner tonight....a very enjoyable slow cooker meal that MOH made which is in the fridge so won't take long to serve up (I will boil up a small quantity of rice to go with it) and we will then be back to being good again (until the next time which will possibly be #2 granddaughter's birthday next cooked breakfast that day though).

Thanks again to everyone who shared today with was a good day.


As we are both Type 2 diabetics MOH and I usually begin the day with a healthy breakfast of cereal and fruit followed by other also healthy meals throughout the day.

Today, being Mother's Day, MOH is cooking breafast and the smell coming from the kitchen is quite magical. I know there are sausages, bacon, tomato and egg and of course some toast to make up the carbs.

MOH has not done this before and it is a lovely surprise and I am really going to enjoy this meal.

Later today I will be spending time with some of my lovely family and that I am also looking forward to very much as, being very busy people, I don't see as much of them as I'd like. All time spent with them is so precious.

To anyone who may read my blog and is a mum I hope you too have a wonderful Mother's Day.

Friday, May 6, 2011


I just realised that I have written 147 posts since I began blogging which I realise is a small number compared with many bloggers but I often wonder if more than 2 or 3 people ever read what I have written. I guess it's not all that interesting or perhaps I write things that puts people off. I just don't know the answer to that one. I seem to have (or did have) 4 followers, 3 of whom do occasionally make comment which I welcome with open arms so thank you for that.

Other bloggers seem to have numerous followers and I wonder how this comes about. Do bloggers perhaps recommend blogs to other bloggers or what? I know so little about the world of blogging that I feel I need some answers and wonder if anyone out there in blogger land can provide them for me. I feel that by now I should know much more than I do but I just don't.

If I knew how to put photos on my blog would that perhaps make it more interesting to people? I feel I certainly do need some help so how about a few hints to this lonely blogger...please, if you have the time.


Today my youngest granddaughter turns 25. I am glad for her and feel she is having a wonderful life but sad to realise she was only 15 when I saw her last.

Thanks to my son (her father) who decided back in January 2002 to have nothing furhter to do with any of his family we have not seen our two youngest grandchildren since they were school children.

I am fortunate that my daughter-in-law keeps in touch via email and sends the occasional photo of the family and news about each of them so I do know they are all doing well but I have not seen any of them at all or spoken to them on the telephone.

I keep thinking of this grandchild of mine who is now a grown woman with a partner of many years and would give anything if she would perhaps telephone me one day or even send me an email. She did send us a letter with a Christmas card back in 2009 but that has been the only communication. There has never been any response to gifts sent for birthdays or Christmas which has been somewhat disappointing.

What has my son told her to make her keep away from her grandparents, aunt and uncle and 4 cousins or is it perhaps that she just doesn't care anyway? After all she is now well and truly an adult and one would imagine if she had the inclination to see any of us she would make the decision to do so.

We sent her a card wishing her well for her birthday and can only hope that she had a happy day today. We can do no more than that.


Way back then when we were living in Walcott Street we had a parrot. It was a little corella (those with the smaller beaks). I forget where he came from but he was a great little pet and never kept in a cage as we felt he deserved to be as free as possible. H#1 would clip his flight feathers annd he would wander around the yard during the day, sometimes spend time with us of an evening (he would perch on top of the door of the lounge room with a sheet of newspaper under the door, just in case). Of a night he had a perch in the large workshop in the back yard.

He said quite a few words and had a wonderful laugh. H#1 as told before, was a cabinetmaker and would spend quite a lot of time in his workshop of an evening. He had an old radio down there and in those days there would be loads of comedy programmes with of course the usual laughter. I think that is where cocky learned to laugh and he would often laugh along with the audience on the radio which was fun to see and hear. He really was quite a character.

One day I spotted a little corella on the footpath on the other side of Walcott Street and realised cocky had gone walkabout. I immediately called a young lad who lived next door and asked him to try and catch cocky for me. He came back some time later with the parrot sitting on his arm and put him on the outdoor table in the back garden for me. He was very friendly and I was glad to have him back until.....coming down the post from the upstairs back verandah was this little corella. Yes, our cocky had not gone walkabout so now we had two of them. The funniest thing of the lot was when the two of them were on the table together they began to talk to each other but not in cocky talk but in human talk. Words such "hullo cocky boy" said by each of them in turn or "cocky want a biscuit". It really was hilarious to watch them.

As I felt we couldn't really keep the two of them I asked the young lad who had caught the second cocky if he would like to have him. He delightly took him home but unfortunately it seemed he didn't stay long. I think he used to walk along the fence fronting Walcott Street and someone possible enticed him on their arm and took him away.

Came a time when H#1 forgot to clip the flight feathers of our cocky and he must have flown away and unlike pigeons they don't find their way home. We missed him and hoped that someone else had found him and given him a good home.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

LIFE IN THE 1950s/1960s ....part 4.

I've told about how we came to be living in the two storey house in Walcott Street and how we had to spend a great deal of time making it suitable for a family to live in and I now try to think back on some of the things that happened while my children were there from 1956 to 1966.

My daughter was one year old when we moved in in mid 1956 and as she was already very mobile it was quite a problem worrying about the stairs. Fortunately she didn't attempt to go up and down when unsupervised so nothing untoward happened. Was she always that obedient? No, but in this case I am so glad she was.

As it was such an old house with no conveniences upstairs at all (the toilet was outside the back door with a partition in front of it so it was sort of private). If you had to 'go' in the night it was quite an ordeal having to go downstairs and outside but there was no other way. Fortunately back then you felt quite safe going into your backyard during the night but I am not so sure I'd want to it today.

I also found the cleaning a bit of a trial as it meant hauling the vacuum cleaner and cleaning materials upstairs and then back downstairs and of course when you did the laundry you had to carry it upstairs to put it away. I often wonder at how popular double storey houses are these days and I am sure they do not all have lifts but of course they have amenities both down and upstairs. It would not be my choice.

There was one occasion that our daughter had what was thought to be German measles and as I didn't want her to be upstairs in bed on her own during the day (I was told to keep her in bed for a few days) it meant her safe cot (which M#1 had built and was able to be taken apart by removing a few large screws) had to be taken downstairs in the morning before he left for work and then collapsed and taken back upstairs of an evening in order to put the little one there to sleep.

Our son was born about 14 months after we moved into this house and he was also quite a good baby so we had few problems with him nor lack of sleep which was fortunate. He was quite thin when he was born but thrived through the next 12 months and by his first birthday he weighed 2 stone (28 lbs) and as he didn't walk until he was nearly 18 months it meant I had to carry him up and down the stairs all the time. I often wonder if some of my back problems have come from living in that house. When he was older he was a worry concerning the stairs and I insisted if we were to stay in that house M#! build doors at the top and bottom of the stairs so the lad couldn't climb over them. I was so thankful when these were finally finished and installed.

For quite a few years the two children shared the same bedroom but as they grew older we felt they needed their own space so we gave up our lovely large bedroom and moved into the smaller one although still quite a good size at 15' x 10'. We had two large wardrobes (also built of course by M#1) so these were placed back to back in the middle of the large bedroom and two folding doors placed diagonally across from the wardrobe to each side of the main door which fortunately was in the middle of that room.

We had an FE Holden sedan which M#! used for work and going away weekend fishing and hunting so I didn't have a car to use. A had a friend who lived just around the corner and she I would walk to the clinic with the little ones and even one day walked nearly into Perth for them to be immunised somewhere in Beaufort Street (I think it was the Salk vaccine against polio but not 100% sure of that). I feel it was one reason we kept reasonably slim and also quite fit as walking, as everyone knows, is a wonderful exercise for young and old if you can do it. I wish I still could.

After the children began attending North Perth Primary School I started to play 10 pin bowling and would walk down to the Rosemount Bowl (which used to be the Rosemount picture theatre when I was younger). It was a game I really enjoyed and I still have several trophies that I won. I met some lovely ladies during those few years and often wonder how they fared in their own lives.

We were fortunate in having a 'corner' shop only a few doors away in York Street and I'd write out a list of groceries I needed and Mr Woods would walk along with the things in a cardboard box and deliver them to my kitchen door. He and his wife were a lovely couple and I was very sad when she developed cancer and had to have a leg removed. In the other direction and only a short distance from the house there was a very good butcher too. You would ask for a cut of meat and he would say "come back in a couple of days and it will have been hanging long enough in the cold room". He wouldn't sell you very fresh meat but said it needed a few days to become tender and I must admit the meat we bught from him was exceptionally good and you can't buy any meat that good today.

I do so miss those small shops where they got to know their customers and what their customers liked and there was always service with a smile. There was also a delicatessen across the road from us on the other side of Walcott Street where we also shopped at times but as Walcott Street became busier it was sometimes a problem crossing the road although of course if we wanted to carch the trolley bus into Perth the road had to be carefully crossed. The trolley bus stop was right outside our side gate and I was always amazed at the collection of discarded tickets that would accumulate each day. People just threw them down as they alighted from te bus!! Today they call it littering!!

I could tell lots of other tales about that house but as they are probably more of interest to me than to other people I think I will leave it at that. It was quite an experience living in that house and I regret that the marriage didn't last but I think we grew apart and I place the blame at nobody's door even though others may do so. It had to end before something bad happened and I took the initiative and ended it quite dramatically and suddenly. If there had been any doubt that I would not have my two children with me I guess I would have had to try and make a go of it but fortunately I didn't have to make that decision.

Incidentally M#!'s uncle was willed that particular house when Grandpa died and it was eventually sold. Some years later more dwellings were built on the property and the original house modernised. It has been on the market several times and I think the last asking price was getting pretty close to one million dollars. I often smile when I think of what that placed looked like the first time we laid eyes on it.