Tuesday, March 29, 2011


There has been talk by many people who seem to know what they are talking about criticising how folk are building bigger houses on smaller blocks and seem to want EVERYTHING....a home theatre, a swimming pool, a sauna and so it goes on. I really think we have become a world of purchasers...buying sometimes for the sake of buying and then discarding after a short time when something new takes our fancy. I can honestly say that I do not and cannot do that owing partly to lack of funds but I believe in keeping things for as long as possible and not constantly replacing everything, except perhaps my computer.

I then began to think back to 1953 when I married my first husband. My mother-in-law made me a really beautiful wedding gown and slso my going away outfit, including the hat. We managed to afford a honeymoon for a week before returning to live in the only accommodation available in those days. Remember this was only 8 years after the cessation of World War 2 and many items were still scarce, including houses.

When we arrived back in North Perth we had sufficient money to buy a broom and a dustpan and brush and to live until my husband's next payday. He was a very good cabinet maker and had a good job but of course I think his wage was about ten pounds a week ($20) or perhaps even less at that time. I forget how much rent we paid but it was not much and we had two rooms, one above the other built on the back of a house by the owner when his wife was dying of cancer. Her bedroom was upstairs and she had a magnificent view of our city and the suburbs in between. The kitchen was downstairs and we shared the bathroom and laundry.

Dave didn't have a washing machine so I had to boil cotton items in the copper (which had a wood fire underneath it) and then use a washing board in the trough to wash other items. They were then hand rinsed and put through a wringer that was attached between the two troughs. The sunshine was the only means of drying the washing that we had.

We didn't have a car at that time but after a few weeks we were able to buy a 1928 Willys utility. It was green and the two headlights were held in place by clothesline wire to stop them moving. It had running boards which made it easy to get into the cab and it ran quite well. I remember once taking my mum for a drive up to Toodyay (about 60 miles from Perth along what was the Red Hill Road with a gravel surface). All went well and we returned home safely only to find that the wheel nuts on one wheel had come loose and we realised how lucky we were to get to Toodyay and home again without mishap.

Another time we were driving up Beaufort Street and there was an awful clatter and my hubby stopped the car only to find the tail shaft had fallen off and was dragging along the bitumen road.

I often think we had more fun not having things and working for them than people do today that earn such huge salaries and seem able to buy nearly everything they want although very often using their credit cards. There were no such things as credit cards back in the 1950s and anything we were able to save for and buy was so much appreciated when we bought it.

I didn't have a refrigerator but my mother-in-law was buying a fridge so said she would give me her icechest which she eventually did. I think in the meantime we kept our milk etc., in Dave's fridge. It was a very good icechest and kept our food very fresh for days. The iceman would come around with the large block of ice resting on his shoulder on a hessian bag and he would use a large pair of grips to handle the ice with.

It was not until mid-1955 when our daughter was born that we managed to buy a fridge on hire purchase and then we had to ask for special dispensation to delay payments for several months when my hubby cut part of his left ring finger off using a buzzer at work. Fortunately the firm was kind and extended the hire purchase agreement by 3 months so we were able to keep our fridge.

My mother had a very small Hoover washing machine with a little wringer attached to it and she gave me this to make it easier now I had washing to do for a baby. It was a great little machine and in those days were told that washing powder was too strong to wash a baby's clothing and nappies in so we would grate Velvet soap up and use that in the machine instead of washing powder.

It was a very wet winter in 1955 but we were fortunate in the house we were renting that there was a magnificent two oven wood stove above which there was a stand on which newspaper could be spread and the nappies could be well aired. Still no driers then, not would I have bothered with one had they been available.

The only heating in the house was a wood fire in the lounge room but we never seemed to be very cold even though the hose pipes in the garden would sometimes be frozen when we awoke in the mornings. I think houses were better built then and kept warmer in winter and a lot cooler in summer than most modern homes do.

I think I will leave the story there as it is nearly bedtime and we have a fairly early start tomorrow (early for us anyway).


It was when I heard of the death of Elizabeth Taylor who was born in 1932 (my birth year as well) that I realised that everyone I had known also born that year had also left this mortal coil, except my first husband who was still alive and kicking when he rang me for my birthday in January.

I can only put it down to the old adage which says that only the good die young....that must be why I am still alive although not a lot of kicking these days.

One thing though that I do know is that I miss all those people very much but am so grateful for people I have met on Facebook and on this blog which keeps me in touch with the outside world.

So many wonderful memories and not just of people born in 1932 but everyone that has been lost to me.

Monday, March 21, 2011


Since just before Christmas 2010 it has been HOT in Perth, W.A. O.K. not too many days above 40C (104F) but nearly all of the past 3 months have seen days above 30C (86F), many of which have been in the very high 30Cs. I know people who live in colder climates may think this sounds wonderful but believe me it really is not.

One can actually become tired of blue skies day after day and having to try to keep our gardens alive. The coastal areas of our lower south-west are just pure sand and they do not hold water. Our water restrictions limit sprinkler use to 2 days a week during summer (none at all in cooler months) and you can only water between 6pm and 9am the next morning and supposedly for 10 minutes only on each 'spot'. You can spend a fortune on granules to spread on the ground that hold water and on mulch but when the heat continues it can become a losing battle. Driving through the suburbs last week I noticed quite a few trees and shrubs looking quite dead or dying which is so sad.

Today is the solstice and I am sure that is not going to change anything as our forecast for the coming week has days all in the 30s again and as high as 35C (95F). I heard a few black cockatoes fly over the other day and they are often a sign of a change in the weather but I think they were just perhaps hoping rather than knowing. This is supposedly autumn and our eastern states neighbours are already enjoying it with lots of rain as well.

The old bushies say that if the weather here doesn't break before Easter then it won't break until I think it is the second summer after Easter. Heaven help us this year as Easter is not till the end of April and even summer lovers won't be happy with that prediction. We are all 'over it'.

Some areas of Perth have had rain recently but here in Hamilton Hill not ONE drop for many, many weeks!!! I am waiting for the first fall and the lovely smell as the water hits the parched earth. There is actually a special name for this that I discovered recently and it is:

PETRICHOR - In 1964 2 Australian researchers, Bear and Thomas, in an article for NATURE magazine wrote "the smell of rain comes from an oil exuded by certain plants during dry periods whereupon it is absorbed by clay-based soils and rocks. During rain the oil is released into the air along with another compound, geosmin, producing the distinctive scent.

There are also other explanations for the smell of fresh rain but even though we have sandy soils I expect that the above explanation covers it quite well.

Even worse than all of the above is the effect the drought in southern W.A. is having on agriculture. Our wheat yield will suffer as well as other crops etc., and it is a very hard time for farmers who must be praying for rain every day.

Come on Hughie....send us some rain and break the drought and bring us cooler days.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


After I logged off just now I remembered something that may be of interest to some folk; something rather unusual but it's been good for me. It is in a way medical but not in any way nasty.

I have been undergoing lympathic massage after seeing a very good physiotherapist (no not my regular lady but another one that works at the same practice) and it is working.

When I had the total left hip replacement back in June 2008 both my feet and ankles swelled and in particular my left foot. I could not wear normal shoes (not even sandals) for some months and then only an old pair of Kumfs I'd had for years. I had the total right hip replacement op in January of 2009 and still the swelling continued on and on.

I put up with it until in November last year I asked my wonderful GP why this was happening and he said that sometimes with a total hip replacement op it could cause disruption to the lympathic flow. I popped this into the filing cabinet I call my memory and mentioned it to my endocrinologist when I saw him in December and he confirmed this was quite possible.

"O.K." I thought to myself "that's it. You're stuck with it". This was until early February when on the radio a naturopath was talking about this and that. Now I don't usually take a lot of notice of them as I guess being older I am more familiar with what I call regular medicine but I pricked up my ears when a caller asked about lympathic massage in relation to her lymphoma. I forget the answer to her question but realised I had heard a term I'd not heard before.

Straight onto Google to find out what was what and it mentioned that it could help people with the same problem as mine. There were of course health places offering this type of treatment who were charging exhorbitant prices of up to $200 an hour which I could certainly not afford and of course there would not be a rebate from the health fund either. Next day when I saw my regular physio I asked her if she had heard of this type of procedure and she said yes, she knew a very good physio who specialised in it and as it happened that particular lady worked in the same rooms on certain days.

I left a message for her with the receptionist and that evening received a telephone call from Jenny G (my regular physio is Jenny F) and after lengthy discussion I made an appointment to see her the very next day. MOH and I immediately liked Jenny G and she explained what the procedure was and asked were we both prepared to undertake performing the massage on a daily basis and would I contemplate wearing knee high pressure stockings during the day. We of course agreed and were shown exactly what we had to do.

I must admit I was a little sceptical of something so gentle actually working but work it did and continues to do so. I still see Jenny G about every 3 weeks and although she charges $80 an hour (which is very reasonable for a professional physio) I have five visits under the government CARE plan and for those 5 visits I receive $59 from Medicare which is great. Jenny G measured my left foot (the bad one) a couple of weeks ago and it was actually 4cms (close to 2 inches) thinner/smaller than when we began and of course my ankles etc., had also 'shrunk'.

The massage is quite simple and MOH and I do some each, me on my thighs which I can reach and he on my calves and feet (each for 5 minutes). It is not easy for older people to do these things but we manage and MOH battles each day to put the pressure stockings on for me as there is no way I could manage even using a special gadget which I believe one can purchase. He has been and continues to be wonderful and without him I would be completely lost. He is now 81 and even in his wildest dreams he never considered he could be doing the things he does now both for me and for himself (that includes injecting himself 3 times a day with insulin to keep his diabetes under control).

This lympathic massage has been a great success although I cheat about every 10 days and have a stocking-free day (a bit like having a piece of chocolate or a slice of cake occasionally when on a weight loss plan). It has worked and even on the days when I don't wear the stocks my feet and ankles swell so little it is difficult to notice any difference.

I hope this hasn't bored anyone but am hoping that perhaps it could even assist anyone who has a similar problem or knows of someone who does.

P.S. Jenny G was quite surprised that a GP would know about a hip replacement causing interruption of the lympathic flow but, as said above, we do have a wonderful doctor.


That is a good question isn't it? My daughter arrived home today and telephoned (like the wonderful daughter she is) to let us know she is back from the Aussie Bloggers Conference she attended in Sydney. It seems she and her daughter (my #1 granddaughter) had a great time and possibly enjoyed the fact that it was a tad wet over there as we've had virtually no rain in Perth or most of the south-west of our State for months and months.

Anyway while talking to her she asked me why I'd not been blogging lately and I began to ponder that very question. One reason I often fail to blog is I am usually convinced that what I write is a load of nonsense and probably of little interest to anyone in the big world out there. I really began the blog for my own sake so I could air the occasional opinion about something and also to relate a little of my life through the past 79 years. I seem to have 4 followers but that number has not grown at all so should I continue?

Why nothing since 14th December, 2010? The main reason I think is there have bee so many tragedies in the world including firstly those that occurred in our own country with floods and cyclones in Queensland, flooding in Victoria and New South Wales and also in the northern regions of our own state (even as recently last as this past week) and of course the devastating fires where homes were lost about 40 kilometres south of Perth and those in the south-eastern suburbs of Roleystone and Kelmscott (where above daughter lives) when 72 homes were completely destroyed and many more damaged. That was because a very silly man using an angle grinder when there was a total fire ban on who was not taking the usual precautions that are obligatory when using that type of machinery. I feel so sorry for those that lost their homes but also sorry for that particular man who has to live with the memory of the destruction he caused. He apparently is a very well liked resident of the area and I doubt has ever done anything bad in his life before. So thankful there was no loss of life.

On top of all that was the devastating earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand a city which MOH and I fell in love with on our two visits to that beautiful country. The loss of life and property is so tragic and how those people will rebuild their lives is hard to imagine but knowing the Kiwi spirit I am sure they will eventually do so.

Then came the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami in Japan. I know very little of that country or its people (other than we were at war with them back in the 1940s but that event is past history) but we have watched in horror the loss of life and property and the danger they face from the atomic reactors which were damaged.

Totalling all of the above it seems more like a horror movie rather than it all happened in the space of a few months and at times I feel I have been in a state of suspended animation waiting for the next natural disaster to happen. We also of course hear daily of the battles in the Middle East and consequent loss of life and one can only ask "where will it all end"?

My excuse for not blogging this year is a culmination of all the above and our terribly hot summer months with most days for 3 months above 30C (86F) with very warm nights as well. I was fortunate in that my lovely daughter and her family (and MOH's contribution too) paid for and had installed a split level R/C airconditioner in this my little workroom so I have been able to use my computer (no not for blogging) and enjoy the friendship with people on Facebook and play Farm Town which is one of the 'games' on there that I enjoy and share with so many other great folk that I have met there.

Now I have to think about returning to the blogging world but what to write about? I do so very little in my daily life (my outings these days are mostly of the medical kind i.e. this coming week I have two physio appts, an ultrasound of my heart and then a visit to my podiatrist. None of that is of interest to anyone other than myself so will perhaps have to get back to earlier years and chat about little things that happened tome over the years and that type of thing. Just hope that someone, somewhere will find it interesting.