Friday, February 28, 2014


We all need a laugh from time to time and I hope these will do the trick.  Have a happy day.

The second card (with the goldfish) was on the front of a birthday card our eldest granddaughter gave to Phil several years ago and we thought it hilarious.   Hope you do too.                                              

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


I am still completely fed up with our Perth weather where it is HOT HOT HOT so that is far from right with me and I will continue to feel like that while our other southern capital cities drift gradually into autumn we will continue with out extended summer as is our wont here in the West.  Every day for the coming week will be in the high 30ºs (up to 37ºC (98.6ºF) on Saturday) which is getting beyond a joke.

I must admit that on the 'right' side of things I was more than happy when Phil came home from seeing his eye specialist on Monday to tell me that his glaucoma is still well under control with the pressure in both eyes now 15, so the 'bad' eye is now as good as the 'good' eye if that makes sense.  Makes the nightly drop ritual well and truly worth our while.

To add to the 'rights' this week we had a call from the 'carpet man' to say he will have someone call on Tuesday (next Monday is a holiday in Perth) to check out the vinyl in the kitchen and also the carpet in the hall.  Not sure there's much they can do about the carpet as it is rather old and I thought only a small section got really wet but he said they had check it out for mildew (mould) so will leave them to do their job.  I must ask the carpet chap if striped wool carpet is still available.  We put that type of carpet down when renting in Mosman Park in the late 1960s and it with us and used it in 3 rooms here, and today it is looking as good as it did 40 years ago.  It was made of what was left of different coloured carpet wool and because it is uncut it wears so well. It was possibly made right here in W.A. and I don't think we have that type of industry now so I may be disappointed.

Only a few minutes afterwards we had a call from GIO (our insurance company) to say they had accepted the report from their assessor and that we would hear from the carpet guy (shows how quickly he got onto the job) and the builder very shortly.  I imagine the builder will contact us next week.  I asked the girl what would happen if they couldn't match the veneer as some the cupboards  were not damaged (and we have wall cupboards too) and she looked at the photographs taken by the assessor and seemed to think they would manage somehow.  I think they are going to have a big task on their hands but, once again, I will leave it to the experts as I am sure they will find a way to solve the problem. 

I have taken a few snaps of the damage and thought I'd share them with you.  They so 'no job is worth doing unless it is done well' but in this case it is one 'job' I wish I'd never done, 'well' or otherwise!!

This shows where the sink joins the cupboard top.  As you can see there is damage all over: the chipboard (they don't use solid timber these days) has swollen and raised the corner of the formica on the bench top and also there is a gap between the sink and the cupboard and the doors themselves have gaps where once again the chipboard has swollen.

This is the bottom of the cupboard with the door open and you can easily see the damage here as well:

This actually shows the top of one of the doors.  Three of the four doors won't close as either they are like this or because parts of the cupboard itself are distorted.  Not sure why the vinyl in this shot shows up as bluish/purple but cameras do funny things at time, or at least mine does.

This is one of the 'bumps' in the vinyl where the water got underneath it and this is the bottom drawer that is jammed tight 'cos obviously the cupboard itself is distorted around it and holding it firmly in its grasp.

As said above, I certainly made a good job of it.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

TELLING IT ON TUESDAY (1949-1950) Part 8

It is now 1949 and I have just turned 17.  We are still living in North Perth and happily so as it is a nice neighbourhood and we have very pleasant neighbours.  There is a corner shop just diagonally opposite our house so it's very easy to do our grocery shopping (that will get a mention later).  On the other corner live an elderly couple and she and I often chat (that too will get another mention).

After spending two summers really enjoying yachting I decided I would buy myself a yacht.  I am not sure who helped me make my choice or really very much about it (unusual for me) but I finally bought a 12ft V-Jay.  I do have a photo of it but once again I'm not sure how to get it into my computer so am unable to show it.  This is a photo of Howard Ash sailing his V-Jay on Sydney Harbour in the 1934 and it is the same type of boat I had:

I kept it at Royal Perth Yacht Club.  This was quite a posh club on the Swan River and once again I forget how I came to keep it there.  A V-Jay has a crew of two and I would ask various people to come sail with me.  We would usually sail down to Mosman Park, have lunch, perhaps a swim and sail  home again.

I remember one day asking a young chap I knew if he'd like to come out for the day.  Don knew nothing about sailing but he was game and we managed to sail from Perth to Mosman Park where we had lunch and it was a quite successful day until the wind died on the way back and we were becalmed.  The only way we could make headway was to lie on each side of the deck and paddle with one arm.  I think we swapped placed a few times to stop our arms from aching.  It is a very long way from Mosman Park to Perth and it had got dark but still we paddled.  We finally got there and were met by a member of the yacht club who happened to know me to say Mum had telephoned asking if my yacht was back.  He explained about there being little or no wind but he said he was sure I'd be OK and not to worry.  I am still scratching my head at how I managed to keep my little yacht at that club with people knowing I did and yet they didn't seem to mind even though I wasn't a member of the club.  I guess I was fortunate that those that did know me were happy for me to do so (and it was only a little boat compared with the big cruisers that were moored there).  This will give you an idea of the type of yacht it was.  It only had a small cockpit and was made of plywood

I only kept the boat for one season but during that time we did take it down to Mandurah one Easter and on one particular day had a lot of fun.  The ANA yachting carnival was on but on that day the weather was so bad they decided to cancel that day's event.  John Webster's brother Peter was staying in Mandurah that year and he and I decided we'd take my V-Jay out regardless of the weather. These little boats are very light and if they capsize you just stand on the centre plate and up they come again. Well, on that day I think it was so windy we must have capsized about a dozen times. Peter and I had so much fun we found ourselves laughing even thought it was quite hard work sailing in those conditions.  When we finally got back to the jetty Mum was waiting for us.  I remarked to her that there seemed to be quite a large number of people on the foreshore and she said any of themhad been  watching and enjoying our escapades out on the water.  We'd not been intending to show off but just having loads of fun as young people do when they don't have a care in the world.  This is obviously not a V-Jay but the principal of righting it after a capsize is similar:

I was still very much enjoying my job as a stenographer with Mr Stehn and I get on really well with the girls I worked with (or should I say 'with whom I worked'?)  I had now discovered that I loved to dance and so each week I would go with friends to one of the tennis clubs where dances for young people were held every Friday or Saturday night.  Our most frequent venue which was nearest to where I live, was the Mount Lawley Tennis Club but we also went (when transport was available) to the Nedlands Tennis Club, the Alexander Park Tennis Club or occasionally to the refectory at UWA (University of WA).  Oh yes, the King's Park Tennis Club as well.  June and Wilma from work would often stay at our place and we would walk to Mount Lawley, dance all night, and then walk home again. We certainly got lots of exercise in those days.  It was probably a 2 mile walk each way.  We always wore flat heeled shoes (flatties) so walking was no problem.  We loved to dance and we loved to walk and it's a great pity young people can't find the same enjoyment out of simple fun like that these days.

It was at this time the "New Look" came into vogue so June and I bought a length of black satin backed crepe each and made ourselves skirts to wear with pretty tops.  The skirts were below calf length and beautiful for dancing. This was the fashion, the Dior look, and very elegant it was too:

As I was now 17 mum decided I should make my debut, as many young ladies did in those days, and still do I believe.  Mum discovered the Pleiades Ball was held each year.  Pleides of course is the constellation also known as the "Seven Sisters" and this ball was for girls who had attended the girls' colleges in Perth.  It was quite exciting and so a hunt was on for my first long dress.  Into Perth we went and to various shops until we found one that I liked and mum approved of.   A simple style but very comfortable to wear.   Even though I was quite tall at 5'7" the dress was a little too long so mum paid for it to be shortened.  It was white georgette with a very full gathered skirt and when mum picked the dress up on the Saturday before the ball we discovered it had NOT been shortened.  No time to take it back as the ball was the following Monday night, so mum carefully cut off the surplus material and she and I sat that weekend carefully sewing a rolled hem by hand.  We began one each side of the hem and worked until we finally met up and the job was finished. It was also fully lined so a second hem to sew, perhaps not quite so carefully, before the task was completed.  This is the dress and the photo was taken in the garden of my workmate June Wilson's home in Nedlands where I had stayed overnight on another occasion.   You can see it has a lowered waistline and a very full gathered skirt.

On the Monday night of the ball we were presented to Sir James Mitchell (the Governor of W.A. and strangely enough he was the gentleman who had the brother to our cat Molly...remember Molly?).  I didn't have a current boyfriend at this time but a friend of mine (Don Weir), who lived locally, agreed to be my partner and he did look very handsome in his dinner suit and he was also a good dancer.  I am almost sure we went to the ball and home again by taxi.  This is a photograph of the debutantes at the 1949 Pleiades Ball.  The two girls on the right of the front row are twins (June and Margaret Taylor) who also attended Perth College and were in my class, and I can pick out at least 5 faces of other girls I remember who also went there.   I am third from the left in the front row:

From here on in I began to grow up and have a really wonderful and full life.  I attended lots of balls and continued to go dancing but will leave all that till next week while I get my wits together, find some photographs and continue on with this very ordinary but happy life.  I have quite a few nice photos but not sure how many I should show as I don't want to over do it.

Monday, February 24, 2014


I told in part 8 where I had put yachting behind me and had discovered dancing and how I had made my debut in 1949 when I was 17.  I then began to slowly grow up and have a really happy and enjoyable life.   As quite a few things happened over a few years I may have to jump back and forth as I remember what was then important to me.   Just bear with me if you will, please.

I did go out with several different fellows after I stopped seeing Gary but then eventually had a more permanent boyfriend.  My brother Len was discharged from the RAAF in 1946 and found a position as manager to a photographic firm (Gibbneys) in Perth.  The firm did mainly commercial photography i.e. portraits and photos for use in advertising or calendars, but they also developed and printed normal firm (which was black and white then), did enlargements etc., and Laurie Kimber did that work and was also learning the art of photography.

Laurie was 19 at the time and we became regular friends and saw each other quite frequently. The one problem was that Laurie lived in Mosman Park and he (like most young men then) did not own a car.  This meant a lot of travelling for him so once a week (usually on a Wednesday) he would come to our home for dinner and we'd perhaps go to the local pictures or just go for a walk.  On occasion we would go to the pictures in the city and then Laurie would see me safely on to my bus.  Although I don't remember he and I doing a lot of dancing, obviously Laurie and I did attend at least one ball at the Embassy.  Left to right:  Doug Prince and his girlfriend (later his wife) June Wilson (a workmate of mine), Laurie Kimber, me and Greta Young (another workmate).  You'll notice the fact that people smoked indoors in those days, and smoke many of us did.

(Greta later married Ralph Filmer who was the bass player in Sammy Sharp's band, the band that played at the Embassy) but unfortunately it was a marriage not destined to last for many years.)

Dad was still very strict about the hours I kept and apart from when I went dancing on Friday or Saturday nights or to a ball I was expected be 'in' by 10pm.  He would usually be in bed by 9pm so mum was expected to keep an eye on me.  When Laurie used to come to dinner and just stay a while his bus used to come past our place at 10.20pm and you could see it coming down Namur Street which gave Laurie time to sprint across the road to the bus stop.  Mum didn't see any reason why I shouldn't stand at the front gate with Laurie waiting for the bus to arrive and if Dad happened to still be awake and ask "Is she in yet" mum would say yes she's here but didn't bother to say I was actually out at the gate.  Dads (especially those from the Victorian era) can be quite cute at times and mums can be great pals.  After about 11 months I feel perhaps Laurie and I began to tire of each other and I think all the travelling involved may have taken its toll on this second 'romance' of mine.  I did meet up with Laurie again in 1952 when he was the official photographer at the wedding of John Webster and Thelma Fisher (remember them from yachting days?).  It was great to see Laurie again and learn he was doing well and was planning to be married.  He would by now be 84 and as far as I know he is still living in Perth.

I had lots of great friends and Perth at that time was quite a small city compared to today.  We met through friends and acquaintances and it was not unusual when you went out in your lunch break each day to invariably bump into someone you knew.

After making my debut I attended a number of different balls which were usually held at the Embassy Ballroom at the foot of William Street in the city.  They had a large orchestra/band (mentioned above with first picture) and their music was wonderful to dance to including old time and modern, which included the slow foxtrot, quick step and modern waltz and I always loved the latter.  For some reason I never learned to jive.  It didn't seem all that popular at that time.

Quite often the girls I worked with and their partners would make up a group or perhaps one of the young men I knew would ask me to accompany him to a ball and in that way I would often meet new friends.  If we were really lucky the boy in question would be allowed to borrow the family car (most families only owned one car then) and we would go to the ball in style.  As very few young people drank alcohol I think parents were reasonably confident their car and their son would arrive home safely.  The drinking age was 21 then and at the ball we usually bought a large jug of lemon squash to share among ourselves (as seen on the table in the above photo) and if any of the young men bought beer it would not have been very often.  For some reason life was so good that we didn't need any stimulants etc., to make us feel happier.

I have quite a few photographs taken at different balls I attended and will share some of them with you.  I always made my own evening dresses as to buy them was quite expensive and I was, after all, only on a stenographer's salary and I loved to sew.  I just wish the photos were in colour

This is me with friends Gaynor and Rita:  (My dress had a bodice of silver lame and a skirt of royal blue moire faille). We usually wore flowers in our hair or as a corsage and nearly always wore long gloves made of lace or perhaps very soft leather).

Here were are with our partners (left to right:  Jack Webb (played Aussie Rules for East Perth Football Club and was quite a talented player); Bill Ford (friend of ours from the insurance industry) and Gary Arnold (remember him from earlier posts?):

In this photographs I am wearing a red velvet dress and with me is Bill Ford and my friend and workmate Wilma Longwood but I don't know the name of the young man with Wilma (he wasn't her permanent boyfriend so perhaps just one of the group we were with that night).  You would often be walking back to your table after a dance had ended and the photographer would just ask you to pose for a photograph.  A few days after the ball you then went and looked at the proofs and if you thought one or more of them were good enough you'd order those you wanted to buy.  I am sure you've all done the same thing over the years.  That, so often, is how our memories are preserved for us.  No digital cameras or smart phones back then.

Here once again Gary and Rita are together (if I remember rightly this pair went out together for some time but Gary eventually married a lass by the name of Jean) but my partner this time is Max Evans.  Max worked for a firm of accountants and later went on to become a Liberal member of parliament in the Western Australian government.

Here I am wearing a mauve tulle dress trimmed with tiny black bows.  I am with Graeme Hood, another chap with whom I attended a ball.  He was a lovely young man and I was saddened to hear in 1982 he had died; he was only 51.  Strangely enough Phil and I had rented a house in Claremont in 1966 from Graeme's older brother Barry.  In those days it was a much 'smaller world' than it now is in Perth.

I feel I have indulged myself enough here but I so enjoyed looking back on these photographs, remembering the wonderful times we had and the great people I was fortunate enough to know.

Doing a quick proof read of this blog I noticed something strange...did I always hold my head to one side as I did in these pics?  Perhaps someone in my family may have noticed that I do and could tell me.

Next Tuesday I am going to be thinking back to when I was 18 and chat about some of the special events that took place in my life during 1950.


The Khao Manee cat, also known as the Diamond Eye cat, is a rare breed of cat originating in Thailand, which has an ancient ancestry tracing back hundreds of years.  They are mentioned in the Tasmra Maew, or Cat Book Poems.  Khao Manee cats are pure white with short, smooth, close-lying coats.  They can have blue eyes, gold eyes or odd eyes with one of each colour and it is the odd-eyed Khao Manee cats that are the preferred variety.  They are muscular, athletic cats of moderate foreign type and are reputed to be active, communicative and intelligent.

Although the breed is well known in its native land it has only recently been adopted by Western cat breeders, gaining 'registration only' status from TICA in May of 2009.  On 3 September, 2011, the breed was promoted to "Preliminary New Breed", effective from 1 May, 2012, and on 30 August, 2013 the breed was promoted to "Advanced New Breed", effective immediately.

On 8 September, 2010, at the meeting of the GCCF Executive committee, the Khao Manee was granted breed name in GCCF, and was approved for exhibition only.  The Khao Manee Cat Club was granted GCCF pre-affiliation at the Council meeting n 26 October, 2011.

This is all the information that Wikipedia has about this particular cat but I am pleased to see it has been granted breed name.  Hopefully more will be known of these pretty animals in the years to come.  I just love that inquisitive, intelligent look.

Saturday, February 22, 2014


This is mainly for my Aussie blogger friends although people in other lands may be interested as well. There is a website which contains dozens and dozens of old newspapers and I've been having fun putting in family names and finding all sorts of interesting items.  I found in the "Albany Advertiser" the report of where my folks farmhouse had been destroyed by fire in 1927 (before I came on the scene).  Also where had a bay horse strayed on to their farm and dad had put in an advert seeking the owner, and also where he had written to the Albany Road Board about a bridge etc in his area.

There was also a court report of my brother Len having been fined 40s for 'driving' his motor cycle with inefficient brakes and a further 20s for having no number plates on the motor cycle. I think he would have been about 18 at the time.  (I do know Len used to ride in the speedway so perhaps he was riding his bike in the city when he was caught?  Speedway bikes wouldn't be licensed and possibly wouldn't have normal brakes perhaps?). Actually it seems he got caught a couple of times, the cheeky devil.  There's nobody left to ask about all that now so I will just have to guess.

I've found some other very interesting items about all sorts of people.  If you think you may find something about your friends or family the website is:

The examples above give you some idea of the varied items you could find.  There are of course birth, marriage and death notices.  I found photos of myself I'd forgotten about and one taken on my wedding day in 1953 and amazingly on that same page the photo of Coralie Roberts' wedding.  She was the daughter of one of the families we knew from our annual holidays at Mandurah.  I have a photograph of Coralie and myself (when much younger) rowing a boat on the Mandurah estuary.  So much fun finding so many things from my past, fortunately all of which were good.

It takes a bit of patience at first but you do get used to it and I've found it to be very entertaining. Do let me know if you try it and, if you do, if you find anything of interest to, or about, yourself.

Friday, February 21, 2014


I was in need of a good laugh and an email that arrived in my inbox today provided it for me.  I thought some were good enough to share so I hope you too get a smile from these.  Apologies if you've seen them before:

I really loved the first one and am still smiling when I think of it.  Just my weird sense of humour!!

Thursday, February 20, 2014


As you know we now have underground power, not only to our house but also in the street.  The ugly old power poles and wires are now gone and we have nice modern light posts.   I was just checking out the difference it makes to our streetscape and thought I'd share it with you.  This was taken last year before the work had begun when we were on our way home from Baldivis:

This was taken last Saturday on the way home from our #2 great-granddaughter's 6th birthday party in Baldivis:

It's truly unbelievable the difference between then and now.  I know it is costing us but we feel much safer now and no more worries about fallen wires in stormy weather which did happen several years ago. 

Incidentally, our house is way down on the right-hand side, second from the end, and no, that is not a cloud but it was late afternoon/early evening towards sunset. (or it may just be my bad photography!!).


This is the day when I look back on the past week and look for the 'right' things that have occurred.  O.K. I've searched and searched and the only thing that comes to mind is the insurance assessor was here on Monday, checked out the damage, took photos and said a builder would call (eventually) to check it all out.  The assessor was a really nice man who seemed to fully understand that flooding one's kitchen was quite a normal thing to do and it seems we are fully covered which was a relief.  He even measured up the vinyl as he said that needed to be replaced as water had got underneath it.  Now, of course we wait, and although I dread the disruption that will occur at least it will or should be fixed.

The thing that is definitely not right for me is our damned weather.  While our friends and relations in the other states of Australia are getting some beautiful rain (even parts of our huge state have had rain, even some flooding), it is not raining here on the lower west coast.  In fact at our own place there has been no rain since last November and our garden is paying the price.  Watering on our two scheduled days is just not enough to keep our lawn in good condition and our little daisy by the front verandah has gone all brown and I doubt it will recover.  Even the big camellia is looking unhappy and I'd hate to lose that.  Phil is trying to grow vegetables in raised garden beds and is covering them with shade cloth each day but they too are battling.

It may sound crazy but you can actually tire of constantly bright blue skies with nary a cloud in sight.  Actually there were a few clouds to be seen the other day but they didn't bring any precipitation so what's the point of them being there.  Just teasing us is all.

The latest I heard on the weather front is that Perth could be even hotter next year and drier too.  Doesn't bear thinking about.  Perhaps we will win lotto (fat chance) and then we could spend our summers on the south island of New Zealand.  Well, one can always dream.  I can think of some delightful places there that I would dearly love to visit again.  Sigh!!

Yes, I am feeling grouchy but today I am going to valiantly try and find something to laugh at.  Surely, there must be something, somewhere, that will bring a smile to this old face.  I'll just have to search around in the hope of finding it.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

TELLING IT ON TUESDAY..1948-1950 (part 7)

Looking back we had moved into 524 Fitgerald Street, I had begun my first job which I was really enjoying, I had discovered yachting and gone out with my first boyfriend, Gary Arnold.

Mum, Dad and I were very happy living in this rented house in North Perth but unfortunately inflation suddenly hit Australia and with dad not yet being eligible for the age pension Mum decided she could not manage running the house on the £3 a week he was giving her.  He said he had retired and didn't intend going back to work and that was that.  When you consider he was only 62 at that time and in quite good health I myself felt it was a bit hard on mum but dad was born in the Victorian era and although he was a wonderful father, and a good husband, his word was quite often law.  I was contributing part of my salary and, although I had had a raise to £2.8.0d a week within my first fortnight, I still had to pay bus fares, buy lunches and clothes as well as other necessities so doubt I was giving mum much more than 15/-d a week (that is fifteen shillings for those that don't understand sterling currency).

Mum began checking the job vacancies in the paper and discovered that the Women's Service Guild were looking for an honorary secretary.  Mum applied and was interviewed by the President of the Guild, Mrs Rischbieth, who decided mum was just the person the Guilds were looking for.  Mum began as a part-time secretary at an honorarium of £3 per week.  This is Bessie Rischbieth as I remember her.  She and mum became great friends and did a lot of work to assist in the advancement of women and protection of children, amongst other things.  It is quite worthwhile popping Bessie's name into Google and reading about her fantastic life.  I have a copy of Mrs Rischbieth's book "March of Australian Women" and when she autographed it for me in 1964 she wrote "Margaret belongs to the younger generation of women to whom we look to continue the work" - Bessie M. Rishbieth - 1964.  I am not sure I have lived up to her standards, or even those of my mother, but I have done my best.

Prior to this mum had been doing voluntary work with the Red Cross at Royal Perth Hospital which she had thoroughly enjoyed.  This is mum leaving the house in 1950.  She always looked so lovely and especially so when she was dressed up to go out.  She would have been 52 at this time:

Dad in the meantime had joined the North Perth Bowling Club and began playing lawn bowls.  To me he always looked very handsome in his bowling creams which he wore when playing tournament bowls.  On 'at home' days he just wore grey trousers and a white or cream shirt.  If I remember rightly he invariably wore braces.  I am 99% sure this picture was taken of him in the back garden just after we moved into 524 Fitgerald Street in 1947.  He was have been about 62 at that time.  Dad was 5'11" and always stood very straight as though he had been in the army, although of course he hadn't, as previously explained.

The insurance assessing business where I was a stenographer was growing in leaps and bounds and we had a wonderful staff of 3 men (the boss and two assessors) and 6 females: Greta, Peg, Wilma, Val, June and myself.  We were always very busy but the work was so interesting and there was never a dull moment.  At that time both Perth Girls and Perth Boys (two of Perth's high schools) were situated in James Street opposite our office) and thinking back I can't help remarking on how well behaved the young people were in those days.  There was a delicatessen next to our office where we bought our morning tea and lunch when needed and the high school kids also went there to buy food.  I can't remember one incident when any of them played up and I worked there for three and a half years.

Romance once again returned to my life when Gary begged me to go out with him again.  It was yachting season once more and on reminiscing I often wonder if it was my liking of Gary or my love of yachting that allowed me to say 'yes'.  That sounds mean but do remember I was only 16 and not all that well versed about 'love affairs'.  The wives and girlfriends of the yachties would often go out in a large boat to follow the races and on weekends we would sail down the Swan River from Perth to Peppermint Grove where we would pull the yacht up onto the beach and sit and enjoy our lunch and probably go for a swim as well.  I even once skippered Columbine" on ladies day but unfortunately we didn't get a place.  I did rather enjoy it though and remember it quite well.

The ANA Yacht Club had by now organised the first regatta at Mandurah for the Easter break in 1948 and it turned out to be very popular with the holiday makers as well as with the yachties themselves. When they weren't racing we would sail under the traffic bridge and right down into the Mandurah Estuary proper.  It made for a wonderful day out and we all had a fabulous time.  This would have been taken probably at the mouth of the Serpentine river where it enters the estuary when we have stopped to have a rest and possibly lunch and a cool drink.  Here is Thelma Fisher (who was the girlfriend (later the wife) of John Webster), Gary and myself.  I always had the feeling that Thelma was a bit keen on Gary at that time but he didn't seem to return the feeling one little bit.  Just not his type perhaps and John was 'potty' about Thelma and I was always pleased when she eventually accepted his proposal or marriage and they became engaged (they are still together and have recently built a new home to replace the one they had been living in for about 55 years.)

Way back then we had little money to splash around and quite often our 'entertainment' would be to catch a bus into Perth and go window shopping.  Some of the Perth shops had wonderful displays of every conceivable thing (I am not sure if they do these days as I've not been into the city for 5 of 10 years).   If we didn't do that we'd quite often just 'go for a walk' around the nearby suburbs.  I think that helped to keep us very fit.  I would usually also walk home from work which was a distance of about 3km and mostly uphill.  I always loved to walk and my biggest disappointment these days is that I am unable to do so for more than a short distance.  Such a simple pleasure now denied me.  Ah well, that's life I guess but I have wonderful memories when it was something we did for pleasure.

Once again my romance with Gary faltered. When we would be window shopping in the city he would begin to talk about furniture and house furnishings etc and, although by then I was 16, any thoughts of being that serious or thinking about settling down were far from my mind.  I was sorry to say goodbye to him but this time I made him realise it was final.  We still remained friends and quite often when going to a ball he and his current girlfriend would be part of our group.  I do remember my first husband (Aubrey) and myself visiting Gary and his new wife Jean in the home the had just built in Applecross but I am not sure that we had much contact with them after that.  Nobody had a home telephone in those days (or very few young people did) so unless you leaved fairly close to each other you lost contact easily.

I was saddened when several years ago Aubrey told me that (through John Webster) he had learned that Gary had had both his legs amputated due to diabetes.  Gary eventually passed away in 2007 at the age of 76.  I felt so sad that a man who had always been very active had his life end in that way.
RIP Gary Arnold.  You were my first 'love' and I remember you still.

Monday, February 17, 2014


This piece of news appeared in one of our newspapers recently:


The elusive rock rat, last seen trying to get into a stockman's lunchbox in 1960, has been rediscovered.

One of Australia's rarest creatures, the critically endangered rat was found during a survey using remote-sensor cameras on the Haasts Bluff Aboriginal land Trust 230km west of Alice Springs.

Evidence was also found of the rare black-footed wallaby which has not been seen in the area since 1991.

"The rock rat was thought to be extinct until 2002, but finding it in another area that isn't protected is huge news" said Richard Brittingham of the Central Land Council.

Seems there is always hope for some of our creatures which have been thought lost for all time.

(Pictures found through Google).

Saturday, February 15, 2014


As the cat was Japanese I thought perhaps a Japanese dog as its companion a good idea and this little fellow to me seemed quite a charmer.

I found this on Wikipedea where it it says "this article is written in essay style rather than an encyclopaedic description of the subject.  Please help improve it by rewriting it in an encyclopaedic style (April 2010)."  I am only going to copy most of it as it is written as I do not have the knowledge etc to do otherwise.

The Japanese Chin, also known as the Japanese Spaniel, is the dog of Japanese royalty; a lap dog and companion dog, this toy breed has a distinctive heritage.

The distinctive Oriental expression is characterised by the large broad head, large wide-set eyes, short broad muzzle, ear feathering, and the evenly patterned facial markings.  The coat is low maintenance, long, and smooth/silky to the touch.  These dogs are distinctively black & white or red & white in colour and have variations in colour intensity (lemon & white, mahogany & white, etc).  As of 11th November, 2011, any colour not listed in the breed standard is grounds for disqualification in competitions.

This  breed is considered one of the most cat-like of the dog breeds; it is alert, intelligent and independent, and it uses its paws to wash and wipe its face.  Other cat-like traits include their preference for resting on high surfaces such as the backs of chairs or sofas, their ability to walk across a coffee table without disturbing an item, and some of the surprising places their owners often find them in.  A companion dog, it is loving and loyal to its own and typically happy to see other people, though a few are distrustful of strangers.  Chin prefer familiar surroundings, but do quite well in new situations and are often used as therapy dogs because of this trait and their love of people. 

The Chin will bark for the purpose of alerting the household to the arrival of a visitor or something out of the ordinary, but are otherwise very quiet.  They were bred for the purpose of loving and entertaining their people.  While typically a calm little dog, they are well known for performing many enjoyable antics such as the "Chin Spin", in which they turn around in rapid circles, dancing on their hind legs while pawing their front feet, clasped together, in the air, and some even "sing', a noise that can range from a low trill to a higher, almost operatic quality noise, and which sounds much like "wooooo".  Here is a Chin puppy with an adult dog:

The origin of the Japanese Chin is clouded in the mysticism of Far Eastern ancient rites.  Small dogs were known to have criss-crossed the Silk Road accompanying travellers as both preseentations of trade and companions on the long journeys.  Some of these dogs became the pets of Buddhist Monks, who nurtured and mated various types in their sheltered monasteries and gave dogs as gifts to travelling dignitaries.  They quickly assumed their rightful position in the Imperial palaces, where they were closely kept and guarded for the Imperial family and the guards were charged with looking after the little dogs' every need, every desire.  Mere peasants were not allowed to own them as the small dogs became treasures more valuable than gold.

It would appear the the name Japanese Chin is actually a misnomer as the breed owes its rigins to China and not to Japan.  It has long been surmised that the Chin and Pekingese were once the same breed but with the Pekingese having been bred out to create the short, bow-legged, long-backed, pear-shaped bodied breed of dog known today.  The Chin is believed to have been kept basically pure but there is ongoing discussion about this.  There is a lot more on Wikipedia about just how this breed came about but I won't include all of that here.  If I could afford it and was young enough to own a dog again I think I would enjoy having one of these dogs as a companion.   I particularly enjoy the sound of its 'cat-like' traits and the fact that it rarely barks as so many small dogs do 'yap' a lot.

Friday, February 14, 2014


I ask you, what more can an 82-year-old wife ask for than to have her 84-year-old husband arrive home with a lovely bunch of carnations and wish her "Happy Valentine's Day".  It was a lovely surprise and I can smell the perfume of the flowers drift across our living room as I sit there.

I perhaps could have taken this photo in a better place than on our kitchen sink but there you are, that's just me.   I was so delighted I just had to take a snap of them while they looked so pretty and fresh.

Thanks you Phil and for loving me still after all these years.

P.S.  At least the sink is nice and clean.  : )


To everyone out there, young and old, may you have a very happy Valentine's Day.

A day perhaps to sit back and think what the word love really means.  To think about those we love and have loved that are long gone.  I do that often but more especially today with the word LOVE hanging in the air.

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY.....may it be a special day for you and those you may share it with.

Thursday, February 13, 2014


After Saturday night's fiasco when I flooded the kitchen and ruined two-thirds of the cupboards, not to mention making the edge of the vinyl floor covering pucker up, I have had mostly black thoughts this week.

I am trying to find something that has gone 'right' for us but my mind is mainly blank right now.  It is good that the insurance assessor will call on Monday morning to view the extent of the damage but I am somewhat apprehensive as to how far they will go to remedy the problem.  Just have to wait and see, and hope for the best.

It was nice to have our permanent cleaning lady back today as she is so easy to get on with and does an excellent job in just one hour which never fails to amaze me.  Even when I was fit I doubt I could have vacuumed the living room, main bedroom, kitchen, hall and back verandah etc and also cleaned the bathroom and the 2 toilets and washed the kitchen, bathroom and laundry/toilet floors in one hour.

Oh yes, another 'right' thing happened.  Our street light, as mentioned, has been installed and it is working.  It is very tall and doesn't shine light through our bedroom windows at all.  I know we have sunblock blinds but there is also a tall eucalyptus between the light and the house which would also deflect any light.

My nephew, who is an electrician, told me last week that if a street light does shed too much light onto a house it is possible to ask Western Power to put a shield on the light to prevent that problem. We fortunately don't have to do that but it's worth knowing.

Hopefully, by next Thursday we will know exactly what they are prepared to do for us with regard to the kitchen and things on the home front will be looking a tad brighter.  I can sense poor old Phil is worried about it too but he doesn't say anything but I feel so bad to have caused the problem for him, for both of us in fact.