Wednesday, April 30, 2014


Whilst in New Zealand another interesting day was spent in Arrowtown.  This is an historic gold mining town on the banks of the Arrow River.  We drove there from Queenstown via the Shotover Gorge.   There are many preserved buildings there that had been used by European and Chinese immigrants dating from gold mining days.  The Lakes District Museum is situated in Arrowtown.

We had a really enjoyable time walking around and taking photos which I will of course include in this post.   While there we visited an English style pub and Phil sampled one of the beers they had on offer and quite enjoyed it.    We had an enjoyable lunch and then more walking.   The weather in this part of New Zealand was quite cold, it being autumn (one day it was 4ºC min, 8ºC max), so Phil found a store in Arrowtown where they sold genuine New Zealand type clothing and bought himself a pure wool jumper that had been treated with sheep's wool to keep it virtually waterproof.  He wore it for many years until it finally began to fall apart and it had to go a few years back.  We were supposed to treat it each year with sheep's wool but of course we never did, but had it drycleaned, which meant it would have lost its waterproofing quality anyway.

Buckingham Street is Arrowtown's main thoroughfare and where the shops are.  The first photo I stole from Wikipedia but the rest are all our own snaps taken in 1983. You will see the pictures much better if you take time to enlarge them as they show so much more details.

As we wandered around we came across three lovely old churches.  The first one shown here was quite magnificent:

We walked even further and after climbing a hill we were able to look down on the township itself. 

We then walked further still and right out the back of the town we found this delightful area which was so peaceful and quiet.  The colours were truly magnificent.

Phil and I stayed there for quite a while just letting the silence and beauty wash over us before heading back to the township and then back to our motel.  This was the perfect ending of what had been quite a magical day.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

TELLING IT ON TUESDAY (Part 17) 1955-1957

It is now the latter part of 1955.  Aub and I have a baby daughter who is thriving and is a delightful child.  She is very friendly, loves people and when anyone looks into her pram she rewards them with a lovely smile and always seems so happy.  You will have to forgive the quality of all photographs as they were taken with my Kodak box brownie and I've had to scan them from tiny photos that only measure 8x5cm.

We are still living in the main part of mum's house at 518 Fitgerald Street in North Perth.  I stay at home looking after Karen and Aub goes to work each day.   We had a very wet winter and after a lovely spring we begin what is one of our hottest summers on record.  Mum had given me her Hoover washing machine.  It was quite tiny with a little wringer and you still of course had to use the wash troughs to rinse the clothes but it was better than having to boil the copper every day although I lit that to get the hot water for the washer as there was no hot water laid on in the outside laundry.

This is Karen at 3 months of age in October, 1955.  She was very strong and could hold her head up for quite a while.  She was a very happy baby and only cried when the colic overtook her of an evening but by 3 months that had fortunately completely cleared up and we couldn't have asked for a better behaved wee girl.

We had a quiet Christmas at home that December and of course visited various members of Aub's family over the Christmas holidays.  My mum always used to go away for 2 weeks at Christmas so we would have our celebrations with her a few days earlier.  Karen by then was 5 months old so didn't know what it was all about but received some lovely presents for her very first Christmas and enjoyed all the attention she got from everyone.

That summer really was hot and in those days there was no airconditioning or even ceiling fans.  We did have one table fan and on very hot days I would place a wet nappy over the handle of the pram and then put the fan on the other side so cool air would blow into the pram to keep the baby as cool as possible, so she could have her daytime sleep.   Fortunately the house had very high ceilings which helped to keep the rooms reasonably cool and in those days there was no fear of intruders so one kept the doors and windows open and, if there was a sea breeze of a night, you could let the cool air blow through the house which helped keep us much cooler.

This is Karen at about 6 months of age.  Once again with her grandma (my mum) and also sitting in her pram ready to go for a walk:

 In 1956 Aub and I both celebrated our 24th birthdays; me in January and he in June.  It was at about that time mum decided she would like to move into her house which suited us as Aub's grandfather (who owned a number of houses he'd built in the North Perth area) had a house becoming vacant which he said we could for £3 a week.  We went and checked this house out and it was an old two storey home which had a tin roof.  There were 2  big rooms upstairs and 2 the same size downstairs with a smaller section across the back downstairs which contained the 'kitchen' and a laundry/bathroom.

This a recent photo of the house on a real estate page.  That tree wasn't there 46 years ago but you can still see the front of the house which hasn't changed much but of course it has been modernised now.  It stood on 1/3rd of an acre and in past years other dwellings have been built there as well and the asking price has risen remarkably.  Further along you can see flats which have been built where once there were single storey homes.  When we lived in the house there was a walkway built from street level to the top storey but this has obviously been removed.  The window you can see just behind the tree, was our bedroom when we moved in.

An elderly couple had lived in the house for some years and obviously had not been able to care for it and it was very dirty.  I refused to move in until we had done at least some cleaning up and I insisted we paint the room in which Karen would sleep.  This being done we moved in there in July 1956 at about the same time that we celebrated Karen's first birthday.  We then began a really big clean up.   There was no kitchen sink so Aub bought a secondhand green terazzo sink (the sink itself was porcelain) and made cupboards and when they were installed they looked really good.  From scraps of timber he made us a smallish kitchen table and we had several kitchen chairs which sufficed.   The precious occupants, not having a sink, obviously drained their vegies in one of the cement laundry troughs and the bottom of that trough was quite pitted it and it had a greenish growth in it.  We scrubbed that out very quickly and made sure it was really clean.

There was an old free standing bath in the laundry and to have a bath I had to heat the copper and ladle the hot water over to the bath in a bucket.  Karen was now a year old and too big for the baby bath so I used to give her a bath in the large kitchen sink.  There was a wood stove in the kitchen so it was always warm in there when I gave her bath in the winter months.  After a while we got tired of always having to light the copper for us to have a bath so Aub bought an electrical fitting that had its own shower head and heated the water as it flowed through.  It took a bit of getting used to but once we got the hang of it it was great to have a shower each day without much effort.

This is the type of bath but the laundry/bathroom wasn't in quite such bad condition as this one.  Nevertheless there was still a lot of work to be done to make it fit to use.

The house wasn't as convenient as a single storey as there was no bathroom or toilet upstairs which meant going downstairs if one should need the toilet in the night.  Fortunately being young it seldom happened.  When we first moved in we often found when we were upstairs, an item we wanted would be downstairs and vice versa.  We eventually got used to that as well and became much more organised.

My mother-in-law, whom I loved dearly, was never one to do a lot to help.  You accepted that family as they were as that was their way.  We had only been in the house in Walcott Street for about a week and had been very busy with so much to do and the baby to look after as well.  One day Grace popped in and we were sitting in the kitchen having a cup of tea and she happened to look up at an inside window that was between the kitchen and the lounge room.  It was so dirty you really couldn't see through it and she asked for a bucket of hot water and a cloth and climbed on a kitchen chair and cleaned the window.   That proved just how grubby the house had been and the amount of cleaning it took to feel able to enjoy living in it.  There were no fly screens and we felt that the house would quite often have been quite full of flies.  We quickly rectified that with fly screen doors and also finally on the windows downstairs as well.  We didn't bother upstairs as the breeze blew through there quite strongly and that seemed to discourage flies ever flying in up there.

I remember when we first moved in finding an old bed frame suspended outside the back of the house where the old chap obviously dried the onions he grew.  Unfortunately it hadn't been used for some time and was full of cockroaches.  That was a very nasty experience and it took a lot of work to get it cleared away and cleaned up.  I have to take my hat off to us both.  We certainly worked very hard and made this a comfortable home in a few short weeks.  Eventually we painted all the rooms including the very high ceilings and felt happy with our efforts.

With the house being two-storey I had constant worries as Karen had begun to walk just before her first birthday and was constantly on the go.  When I was upstairs I had to carry her up with me and make sure the door of the room we were in was shut.  Then of course would have to carry her back down again.  Fortunately I was able to barricade the bottom of the stairs to stop her trying to climb up them.

There was also a wide verandah at the back of the house on the upper storey but it had a very high wooden railing around it which was quite safe, so Karen could play out there while I made beds etc.  The views over a very leafy suburb and beyond to the city were really beautiful.  If we had friends stay during the summer months they would sleep out there which was very convenient.  For some reason I don't appear to have any photographs taken from that verandah which is strange.  Perhaps they were lost over the years one way or another.

There was one occasion when Karen developed a rash and I called the doctor to check her out.  Yes, doctors made house calls in those days and if I remember correctly, didn't charge more than for a normal visit to their surgery.  Dr Wheeler said he was positive it was German Measles and to keep her in her cot for a few days.  He reported it as such and asked me to advise any friends of ours who may be pregnant so they could see their doctors.  Fortunately Aub had made a beautful safe cot which could be dismantled so he would bring it downstairs in the morning and then take it back upstairs at night.  I think it only involved about a dozen screws and took about 5 minutes to dismantle or put back together again.  Karen was well within a few days so everything soon got back to normal again.

We spent Christmas 1956 there and it was great to actually be in a house, just the three of us..  We did the usual rounds of the relations and also had Christmas dinner with my mum before she went of on her holidays.  Karen at 17 months was still much too young to understand the concept of Christmas but had a thoroughly good time receiving little gifts and being made a fuss of.

Early in 1957 I discovered I was once again pregnant and had to take care although there didn't seem to be any obvious problems this time.  Just to be sure Dr Wheeler referred me to Dr Connaughton.  Our second baby was due in late October, 1957 so once again sewing and knitting and names to be chosen.

O.K.  Enough's enough for now I think.  Coming up next time...a new addition to the family.

Monday, April 28, 2014


I love all animals, well perhaps not crocodiles, sharks and the like quite as much as others, but they all have a place on this earth and we should live and let them live too.  I have a phobia about spiders but can tolerate seeing them as long as I am not too close to them.  Can't stand the thought of one touching me though.

I have been doing the A-Z of cats and dogs which got me to really thinking about this:  I know for a fact there are people that, for some reason, really hate cats.  I've never been able to fathom out why this is and I feel that it perhaps males that feel that way about cats more than females do.  I've seldom, if ever, met anyone who has said they hate dogs.  Wary of them perhaps but not a hate of them.

Men certainly seem to favour dogs and I often wonder if that is because dogs in the main are controllable and are there to please their 'masters' most of the time.  Cats on the other hand will do what they do when they want to do it and you just better remember that.  Our Precious is reasonably obedient which is surprising for a cat but she can also be bossy at times.

 Myself, I am a cat lover as many of you would by now have realised, but I do also like dogs.  Not all dogs, as some rather scare me, but I had much love for the four dogs in my life that I remember well (I don't remember the dog that mum and dad had on the farm although mum always said Flossie was so beautiful and gentle.  Perhaps she died before I came on the scene.) 

Anyway, back to cat and dogs.   Do you like both?  Do you know anyone who hates one or the other?  Do you know why some people would hate cats?  What would make them feel that way?  It is a conundrum for which I have no answer.

P.S.  Jenny, the lovely English lady that cleans our house for us once a fortnight, has a phobia and it is the fear of cats.  It is Ailurophobia (the persistent, irrational fear of cats) and I'd never met anyone before who has that phobia.  Her mother apparently also is not happy in the presence of cats.  Our Precious, although twelve and half, is still very timid when it comes to strangers but she has become accustomed to Jenny being in our home regularly so will now come in to the room when Jenny is there.  Jenny tolerates it but doesn't like Precious to look directly at her and I have to make sure that Precious, now she has lost her fear of Jenny, doesn't suddenly take it into her head to go near her.
With my love of cats I can't imagine how one could be frightened of them.  Have you ever known anyone who has Ailurophobia I wonder.

Sunday, April 27, 2014


The Vizsia is a dog breed originating in Hungary, which belongs under the FCI group 7 (pointer group).  The Hungarian or Magyar Vizsia are sporting dogs and loyal companions, in addition to being the smallest of the all-round pointer-retriever breeds.  Their medium size is one of the breed's most appealing characteristics as a hunter of fowl and upland game, and through the centuries the Vizsia has held a rare position among sporting dogs - that of household companion and family dog.

The Vizsia is a natural hunter endowed with an excellent nose and an outstanding trainability.  Although they are lively, gentle mannered, demonstrably affectionate and sensitive, they are also fearless and possessed of a well-developed protective instinct.

The Vizsia is a medium-sized short-coated hunting dog of distinguished appearance and bearing.  Robust but rather lightly built, they are lean dogs. have defined muscles, and are observed to share similar physical characteristics with the Weimaraner.  The standard coat is a solid golden-rust colour but some breeding programmes have resulted in a solid rust coat.  Small areas of white on the fore-chest and on the neck and tail are permissible but not preferred.

These dogs are excellent swimmers although some may need a little motivation to get in the water but as they get used to it they love it.  Like all hunting dogs, Vizsias require a great deal of exercise to remain healthy and happy and they thrive on attention, exercise and interaction.  With proper socialisation and training, they are very gentle dogs that are great around children.  They want to be close to their owner as much as possible.  Many will sleep in bed with their owners and, if allowed, burrow under the covers.  They have been compared to horses in their tendency to 'trot' rather than sun and some 'wiggle' their backsides as they walk.

These dogs were already known in early Hugarian history.  The ancestors of the present Vizsia were the trusted and favourite hunting dogs of the Magyar tribes who lived in the Carpathian Basin in the 10th century.  Primitive stone etchings over a thousand years old show the Magyar hunter with his falcon and his Vizsia.  (How about this for a very noble head?).

 The first written reference to the Vizsia dog breed has been recorded in the Illustrated Vienna Chronicle prepared on order of King Lajor the Great (Louis the Great) by the Carmelite Friars in 1356.

Companion dogs of the early warlords and barons, Vizsia blood was preserved pure for centuries by the land-owning aristocracy who guarded them jealously and continued to develop the hunting ability of these "yellow-pointers".  Records of letters and writing show the high esteem in which the Visia was held.

This breed survived the Turkish occupation (1526-1696), the Hungarian Revolution (1848-9), World War I, World War II and the Soviet period.  However, they faced and survived several near-extinctions in their history, including being overrun by English Pointers and German Shorhaired Pointers in the 1800s and again to near extinction after World War II.  A careful search of Hungary and a poll of Hungarian sportsmen revealed only about a dozen Vizsias of the true type still alive in the country.  From that minimum stock, the breed rose to prominence again.  The various 'strains' of the breed have become somewhat distinctive as individuals bred stock that suited their hunting style  Outside Hungary, Vizsias are commonly bred in Romania, Austria, Slovakia and Serbia.  They are also registered in the United States and Great Britain.

I am so glad this breed survived in its original form as I think it is one of the best dogs I've come across in my list of dogs.  Its also great to see it's not been 'mucked' about with as so many breeds have in this modern age.

Saturday, April 26, 2014


This is the penultimate Saturday cat as beyond this one there is only a "Y" cat to come.

The Ukrainian Levkoy is a cat breed of distinct appearance, having inward-folding ears and little to no hair.  These cats are of medium size with a longish body, appearing both muscular and slender.  They have soft, elastic skin; an excess of which leads to a wrinkled appearance.  The breed is not recognised by any major, international cat fancier and breeder organisations, only Ukrainian and Russian clubs.

The Levkoy's peculiar features are: special angular contour of its head and 'stepped' profile (dog-face appearance), folded ears and large, but not wide almond-shaped eyes.  The cats express sexual dimorphism.

This is a recent man-made breed, originally developed by Elena Biruikova in the Ukraine. Created by crossing or by outbreeding hairless Donskoy females with Scottish Fold metis males the Ukrainian Levkoy has a distinct and unique appearance.  Two spontaneous mutations of dominant FD genes of cats with folded ears (that appeared in a simple domestic cat in Scotland) were used, as well as spontaneous natural dominant mutation of hairlessness or boldness of the domestic cat gene BD in Russia.  Both had appeared in the last century in Scotland and in Russia.  Oriental and Domestic cats were also used in mating to obtain the required characteristics of the Ukrainian Levkoy.  The breed was recognised in 2005 in the Ukraine by ICFA RUI (Rolandus Union International).  It was recognised in Russia in 2010 by ICFA WCA.  In the Ukraine, starting in September, 2010, it was deemed that Ukrainian Levkoys may be awarded the title of "Champion" and that they may take part in "The Best in Show" competition.  Nowadays there are 10 Ukrainian Levkoys who are given these titles.  In Russia the first titles of "Champion" and "The Best in Show" were given in 2011.  The other organisations are mating this new breed of Ukrainian Levkoy as an experimental breed without the "Champion" title at cat exhibitions.

These cats are friendly, playful and intelligent.  Levkoys are very sociable, enjoying human or family company as well as the company of other domestic pets (e,g dogs, rats, pigs).  Unclothed Ukrainian Levkoys do not need brushing but do need special skin care to give protection against direct sun and particularly cold conditions.

Whether or not you agree with all this breeding in and breeding out or not it will continue as long as people want something 'different'.  I am not sure I would want one of these cats and yet I find there is something rather appealing about their faces.   What do you think, and would you like to own one if one was available?

Friday, April 25, 2014


A few smiles to end the week and get us ready for the weekend which I hope will be a good one for you.  These are a tad different and come with their own captions. 

Thursday, April 24, 2014


This is where I seek to find what has been going 'right' during the past week and hope your troubles have all been little ones over the last seven days.

Last Thursday the old kitchen cupboards were taken out and new ones installed and I posted photos  so you know what they look like.  It has taken this long for Phil and myself to begin finding places for all the things that go in kitchen cupboards and we have found there is a lot more room in the new cupboards than we first thought so that is a big 'right'.  Reece is due tomorrow to do the grouting around the tiles so then I will be able to arrange things on the benches as well which will finish that part of the work.

Unfortunately I do not like the new sink and miss having a draining section on both sides instead of just the one.  The family were telling me on Sunday night that it was quite normal and in some cases there is just a sink with the draining part actually cut into the bench top.  The worse part though is, because there is now a section between me and the sink, as the cupboards are deeper, that now when I do the dishes it is playing havoc with my back.  One of the worst things I can do is to lean slightly forward (similar to taking items out of the shopping trolley at the check-out ... which Phil now does) and this I am having to do when washing up.  Fortunately, there being just the two of us there are never a great number of dishes and Phil keeps offering to wash-up but so far I've managed.  He has enough to do without me adding to his current chores.

A huge 'RIGHT' was going to Kelmscott on Sunday afternoon for a BBQ tea.

We gave Caitlyn a pretty "the Princess" mug and easter egg; to Immy we gave a Barbie mug with easter egg and to AJ a lovely soft cuddly rabbit as she can't eat chocolate because of her food allergies.  I was told no eggs for the adults and yet Phil and I both received a lovely dark chocolate rabbit each plus a couple of small eggs which we have since demolished with promises to be good from now on.  We had a really great few hours and kakka's hubby had cooked up some savoury chicken pieces, as well as the sausages, and they were delicious.  Must get that recipe from him as I am sure we could cook them on the griller for a main meal. 
I always enjoy watching the two 'littlies' racing around hunting for easter eggs in the garden.  They get so excited when they find one and of course Caitlyn helps AJ who is not two until next Saturday.

I rang the insurance company last week about new floor coverings and they said our Client Manager (don't you just love these modern terms?) would contact us.  We still had not heard so yesterday I rang them again and this time the lady I spoke to put me through to a gentleman who I imagine was our 'client manager'.   He said he'd have someone contact me and sure enough, I later had a call from the building firm who had got the go ahead to do the repairs who said someone from Allen's Carpet Court would be in touch.   I've heard of Carpet Court so perhaps it is a franchise and this one belongs to someone called Allen?  With the long weekend for Anzac Day coming up I don't expect anything to happen before next week.  Maybe we'll get a call today but who knows?  I am hoping they will be able to replace the kitchen vinyl and hall carpet without it costing us anything as I've already paid $500 for the new sink and the tiling and another $115 for the new stainless steel taps I asked for to replace the old ones.  When all that is done I will be able to add another 'right' to my weekly list.

I had my second x-ray yesterday but doubt I'll hear anything before next week because of Friday being a public holiday.   The lady took a second x-ray and I am not sure if that was a good or bad sign but fingers are crossed for a good result.

I still can't give a 'right' tick about the weather as still NO rain whatsoever but fortunately the days have cooled down to the mid-20s with much cooler nights, and we can go outside without being cooked by the sun.  We've even had our airconditioning set on hot instead of cold a couple of times which would be the first time for about six months or more plus an extra blanket on our beds.  Hopefully next Thursday that may be a plus instead of a minus.  Once again, fingers crossed for rain.  Watering the garden is becoming such a chore after six months and it would be great to be able to put the hoses away for a few months.

P.S.  I just borrowed the two picture as I think blogs look more effective with more than just words.  Talking of words, I apologise for always writing so much.  I just get carried away!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

TELLING IT ON TUESDAY (Part 15(b)) 1953-1954.

This is these second section of Part 15 which for some reason disappeared, although four fellow bloggers did get to see it first time around.  Hopefully you will have seen 15(a) and also part 16 which I posted this week.  Next week all being well, part 17 will be ready to go if the gremlins don't get in the way again.

We are now living in Queen's Cresent, Mount Lawley and own a delightful old Willys ute which gets us from A to B which is all we needed at that time.

It was decided that I should look for a job to help boost the coffers along and I saw one advertised for a shorthand-typist at W.O. Johnston and Co., a meat processing firm in Beaufort Street, just a short tram ride from where we were living.  There was also a butcher's shop on the premises from where I bought really excellent meat, at a discount of course, and much better than the meat we buy from the supermarkets today, or did I just have sharper teeth back then perhaps.

I quite often took dictation from Mr Fred Johnston (the big boss) who smoked cigars almost endlessly and he had a bad habit of chewing them while he was dictating which at times made it rather difficult to understand him, and then he would take the cigar out of his mouth, break off the chewed part and toss it in the bin.  Yuk!  I can still see him doing it.

He would also quite often ask me to clean the glass top of his huge desk and it was one of the men in the meat factory that told me to use methylated spirits (I think I am right with that) to give the glass a really first class shine.  I didn't enjoy the smell much but it worked well and that desk really shone.

My desk in the office was right next to a wall and on the other side was the main freezer and it was always cold in the office which was great during the summer but I've often wondered if the cold had anything to do with me developing what was then called fibrositis.   It was so bad I couldn't get up out of a chair without help and the same with getting in and out of bed as well.   There was a dreadful polio epidemic at that time and the first thing Dr Wheeler did when I went to see him was to test me for that disease by having me sit on his examination table with my left stretched out and then I had to bend and put my head on my knees.  Fortunately I could do that although it was somewhat painful but it convinced the doctor that I didn't have polio.  He gave me some painkillers and ointment to rub into my neck and shoulders and told me to rest as much as possible.  This ailment lasted long enough that I had to give nuisance and regretfully leave my job at Johnstons.  I eventually recovered in full and was able to carry on a normal life again.

I then began to look for another job and found a temporary position with the W.A. Teacher's Union as secretary to the Secretary of that union, a Mr Ralph Featherstone.  The office was situated in a very old building in the eastern end of Murray Street between the fire station and St Mary's cathedral and only a short distance from Victoria Square where I had attended school for 6 years.  There was a lass working in the office that I knew from school so it was nice to find a familiar face when I began my job there.  At that time the Teacher's Union was setting up a submission for equal pay for female and male teachers and there was a lot of work involved as you can imagine.  As they were themselves fighting for equal pay I was paid the male basic wage which if I remember correctly was about £12 a week.  Aub was probably at that time earning about £15 a week so we were doing quite well.

Mr Featherstone had been ordained as a Congregational Minister in Bunbury on 23 December, 1930 and continued as a clergyman while holding down jobs in various Western Australian government departments, and in the 1950s he had this job with the Teacher's Union.  One day he asked me do some typing on the side for him in the form of a special wedding service for a couple who had come to see him at his church.  One was Jewish and the other a Roman Catholic and neither wanted to change their religion to be married in either church so had chosen a church who would be happy to marry for the simple reason they wished to be wed.  It was a lovely service they had thought up and Mr Featherstone said the ceremony went very wall, as the did reception which he was invited to attend.  I hope that couple had a very happy life together despite their religious differences.

Unfortunately the job with the Teacher's Union was only a temporary one and after six months, when the submission was completed I had to bid farewell to a man who had been a wonderful boss as well as the other people in the office who had been so great to work with.  Mr Featherstone died in 1996 at the age of 93.

The next job I had was a temporary one for a firm also in Murray Street but a little closer to town.  One of the typists was off sick with measles or chicken pox so I filled in for her for a few weeks until she was well enough to return to work.  It was quite a nice off but, for the like of me, I can't remember what their line of business was.  I do remember though that the boyfriend of one of the girls played football for the West Perth Football Club so there was quite often a lot of talk about Aussie Rules football.   I didn't let on but West Perth was my most 'unfavourite' club as I was an East Perth F.C. supporter.

Again I sought work and applied for and was successful in obtaining work as a stenographer in the office of Browne's Dairy in Charles Street, North Perth.  It was a nice office with a great staff and I really enjoyed my work there.  Unfortunately I was not destined to stay there as long as I had intended and the reason for this is revealed in part 16 of my story (part 16 was of course posted on Tuesday of this week so those who read it will already know the reason why my working life was cut short.

TELLING IT ON TUESDAY (Part 15a) 1953-1954

I did publish this a week ago but my daughter says she can't find the post so I am re-publishing it for her and also in case there is anyone else who missed it and is interested enough to want to read this episode.  I know Delores, EC, Button and Yamini have seen the post and did comment on it at the time.   It was rather a long post so I am splitting it into two parts.

I am now a married woman and have settled down to life with my husband, a life which brings with it so many changes.

Prior to our wedding we had looked for a place to live so when we returned from our honeymoon in Yanchep we could move straight in.  We had little money so there was no thought of building a house and we had actually sold the block we had been paying off.  We needed the money and it was in an area that hadn't yet been developed and was still only bush.  We found a house at 15 Blake Street in North Perth and there were two rooms to rent sharing conveniences.  The house was owned by a Polish gentleman who had recently lost his wife, Brocha, to cancer and towards the end of her life he had built an upstairs room at the back of their home where she had sweeping views of the surrounding suburbs as well as the city of Perth itself.  We had the downstairs room as our kitchen/eating area and upstairs as a bedroom/sitting room.  We of course shared the bathroom and also the outdoor wash-house (they call them laundries these days) but there was no washing machine,  just a copper with two troughs and a large wringer in between.  Ah, they were the good old days.

David Wolozny was a really great bloke. He owned a fish and chip shop a few doors further down Blake Street as well as being involved in other ventures.  I remember one day heading for the bathroom and finding him doing his ironing.  I stopped to chat to him and noticed he had an unusual way of damping down his clothes ready to iron.  He would take a mouthful of water and spray it on the article of clothing through his teeth.  I remarked on it and he said that was how it done in the 'old country'.  I always think it is wonderful the things we can learn about people from other places.

I did check on Google Earth and found 15 Blake Street is still there and the house doesn't look much different now but the old Knutsford Hotel a few doors down has been demolished and that was a big landmark in that part of North Perth and one frequented by many of Aub's family from time to time.  I regret not being able to show a photo of the house but was unable to 'steal' it from Google Earth.

We had not been living there very long when David told us he was planning to be married and we would have to find somewhere else to live.  I forget the name of his future wife but remember she was a lovely Australian lady and I believe they would have been very happy together but am sad to say David died in 1971 when he was only 58, but at least they would have had 18 years together.

It was while living in Blake Street that I received the saddest news of my young life.  My mum and dad were going to separate.  It was dad that came and told me one day and it was like a bombshell although I think I had been aware, while still living at home, that things were not perfect and with mum devoting so much of her time to her work with the Women's Service Guilds I think dad felt somewhat neglected.  If mum should be helping me when I was dressmaking etc. dad would come in with one if shirts saying it needed a button replacing.  It may only be an old shirt he wore in the garden and, although he never raised his voice, he must have been feeling rather 'left out'.  They had not gone out together for many years but dad still played lawn bowls regularly several days a week.

It was obviously mum's idea that they should separate and I think she had convinced herself that my dad was seeing another lady.  I don't think this was accurate, or at least not in the true sense of him having an affair, but mum I think needed a reason for the separation and this was going to be it.  I know dad would tell the neighbours that mum was seldom home and of course that was true because of her commitment to the Guilds.  Mum had been a good and faithful 'housewife' since their marriage when she was 20 and I feel that the twelve and a half years difference in their ages may have also had something to do with this latest development.  I won't go into any more about this event here but perhaps later in my story I may devote more time to this sad story and just how this separation affected not only my life but that of my mum and dad in particular.

While this was all going on of course Aub had returned to work.  He had done an apprenticeship as a cabinet maker and I must give him full credit, he was a very fine craftsman and knew his trade very well.  When we moved into Blake Street we had enough funds to buy ourselves a broom, dustman and brush and a few provisions until Aub's first payday.  I was fortunate that Val and Wilma had given me a kitchen tea and also a friend, Margaret Dean, had held a pantry tea for me a week prior to our wedding and we therefore had plenty of tea, sugar, etc. to last for several weeks. 

Prior to my marriage I had never done much in the way of cooking but I think I managed quite well and of course had to find out what Aub preferred to eat.  He wasn't an easy person to cook for as he had lots of likes and dislikes but we got there eventually without too many mishaps.  I think eventually I was able to dish up reasonable meals without too many complaints.

Another minor incident occurred shortly after our marriage which was somewhat of an eye opener.  My friend Wilma Longwood, who had been my bridesmaid,  was to marry and I had an invitation to her kitchen tea.  When I told Aub about the invite he asked when it was we would be going.  I told him it was was a 'girl's only' do and he said he didn't think I should be going anywhere without him and why would I want to.  I truly found this a bit hard to believe but jealousy was once again rearing its head.  I went to the kitchen tea and had a great time and decided there and then that, although I was now married, I still needed a life of my own as well that would not always involve Aub.  We of course both went to Wilma and Jim's wedding in a Nedlands church and I have photos of which I will share one with you. It was a lovely wedding and Wilma made a beautiful and very happy bride.  I realise you don't know these people but they were so much part of my life for many years and I have much enjoyment in remembering them.

We eventually found 2 rooms (plus share) in a very nice house in Queen's Crescent (to the west of Beaufort Street) in Mount Lawley.  The house was owned by Mrs Jo Herbert where she lived with her son Barry.  Mr Herbert had a farm in the country and he preferred to live there while Jo preferred life in the suburbs.  I think there was quite a large age difference between them which could have been part of the reason for them living apart.  Mr Herbert would come down from the farm occasionally and I think Barry would perhaps go stay with his dad during school holidays.  Barry suffered quite badly from epilepsy as he was kicked in the head by a horse when quite young and had a steel plate in his head.  I saw him some years later and medication had ended the seizures and he was leading a normal life and able to drive a car etc., which was great to know as he was a really nice young man.

I digress.  The share arrangement at this new home of ours also involved the bathroom and an outside laundry but this time was there was an electric washing machine.  It was a very large machine with an electric ringer that you used to wring the clothes into one of the troughs where you rinsed the clothes and then swung the wringer around to wring them into the laundry basket ready to hang them on the clothes line.  There were no clothes driers in those days but it was certainly good to have a washing machine to use.  This gives an idea of what the machine was like:

For the life of me I can't remember the number of that house in Queen's Crescent. I've searched Google Eareth and gone up and down the street in the right area but there are so many trees and lots of changes so that it's impossible to find a house that even reminds me of the one we lived in.

It was while living in Mount Lawley that we bought our first car.  It was a green 1928 Willys Utility.  It went very well but I can't remember ever driving it.  I had been driving since I was about 17 but had never bothered getting my driving licence as I didn't drive a lot.  More about that later.  This car of ours had these two huge headlights which were held in place with clothes wire and they had been fitted with lights that could be dipped or on high beam.  Unfortunately someone had put one light in upside down so when one was dipped the other was on high beam.  Aub was pulled over by a policeman one night who told him about this but fortunately only warned him to get it fixed and didn't fine him.  This is exactly like our old ute altough the wrong colour of course.  Don't you just love the running board and the spoked wheels.  No windows of course but just 'side curtains' you put on or took off as required.

I remember driving homeward one night up Beaufort Street when there was a awful noise and the car slowed somewhat.  When Aub got out to check what was wrong he found that the tail shaft had fallen off.  We somehow must have got it fixed as we managed to get home without further mishap.  Another time we had taken mum for a drive up to Toodyay (60 miles north-east of Perth) and we travelled on the old Red Hill Road which then was only gravel and quite rough and had an extreme drop on one side.  We had a great day out and got mum and ourselves back home safely.  The next morning when Aub was checking the car over he found that the wheel nuts on two of the wheels had worn very loose, probably caused by the rough road we'd been on.  Fortunately they didn't choose to come off while we were travelling, especially on that road with the big drop on the side.

I think I will leave it there for now and continue with part (b) probably later today.   I next get myself a job and life continues on with its usual ups and downs.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

TELLING IT ON TUESDAY (Part 16) 1954-1955

In part 15 I had us living in Queen's Cresent, Mount Lawley, with me working in the office of Browne's Dairy in North Perth and Aubrey at his job as a cabinet maker. 

I may have put the cart before the horse as it's not always easy when thinking back nearly 60 years to get everything in the correct time frame but I'm doing my best.

After mum and dad separated, mum had to find work and this she did as private secretary to the General  Manager of Boucher's Industries in Osborne Park.   She still kept her association going with the Women's Service Guild so she was a very busy lady,  At that time she would have been in her mid-50s but her ability with shorthand and typing was still excellent.  Mum moved several times living in 3 different flats in Perth before she decided she should buy herself a house so she asked Aubrey and me to look at what was on offer in the North Perth area.  We found a very nice house for sale at 518 Fitzgerald Street which was only 3 doors from the house we had rented from 1947-1952 which was 524.  Mum at that time was quite happy to continue living in her flat in Perth but suggested that Aub and I move into the main part of the house and she'd let the front two rooms, which were really large, to a young couple and perhaps a smaller room at the back to a single person.

In 1954 we moved into the house and the two front rooms were let to friends of ours, Del and Maurie Hillel, who had been married a few months after us.  Mum had a partition erected across the front hallway so they could move from room to room with privacy, while we could still use the front door. Of course they shared the bathroom with us and the laundry which was free standing at the back of the house next to the outdoor toilet.  We also had a single lady rent the smaller room at the back of the house with the same share arrangement and it all worked out really well.
While I was working at Browne's I began to feel a little out of sorts and strange things were happening to me that I couldn't account for.  I went to see Dr Wheeler (we had begun to see him when I was 15) and he told me I was pregnant which came as a big surprise.  He referred me to an obstetrician as he felt I was in danger of losing the baby.   I saw Dr Connaughton the following week and he said I was to give up work and rest as much as possible and he thought all would be well.  The baby was due toward the end of August.  We had not long before that decided to buy a new car, on the never never.  It was a very nice Vauxhall tourer but with me now not working we had to hand the car back and we then bought a 1936 Ford Sedan.

I am trying to remember exactly how the news of this expected baby affected Aub and me.  I was over the moon and immediately began sewing and knitting and I think he was pleased but how would he be if he had to take second place for a while was worrying me.  I was even more concerned when on my 23rd birthday he informed me he was going fishing with his friend Ian (it was a public holiday for the New Year) but I was not invited.  I must admit I felt somewhat taken aback and even more so when Ian arrived to collect Aub and I found Ian's fiance Gwen (she was the lass that had caught my bouquet) was going along too.  I don't like scenes so said very little then and by the time Aub arrived home I'd cooled down and thought it pointless to say anything but must admit I did feel quite hurt.

Looking back I am not sure we were as happy as we should have been but we battled on without any unpleasantness and I did as the doctor told me and everything went well until the early hours of 27th July when I awoke at about 3am feeling something was amiss.  Only 6 weeks earlier Del had a baby daughter so Aub went and woke her to come and check on me.  Del said she was sure my baby was on its way even though not due for another 4 weeks.   I have no idea what made Aub do this but he drove down the road to Dr Wheeler's, got him out of bed and was immediately told "get your wife over to the hospital for goodness sake".  I by then was madly packing a bag and off we went to St John of God Hospital in Subiaco (the same place where I'd had my appendectomy and tonsillectomy).  At 5.30am that morning I had a beautiful little baby girl that weighed 5lb 8ozs, was 18 inches long and had very little hair and no eyelashes or eyebrows.  She was very healthy with no concerns about her being premature.  My obstetrician was a very modern doctor so I walked from the delivery room to my room in the ward where I met my room-mate who had a baby boy which had quite surprised her as she was about 40 and had had no idea she was pregnant.  We became friends with her and her husband and saw them quite frequently for several years until they moved to the eastern states and we unfortunately lost touch.

This is Karen at 6 weeks which gives you an idea of how small she was at birth.  Had she gone full term of course when this photo was taken she would only have been 2 weeks old and just home from hospital:

I have to add this because I was so amazed at the time and have been ever since.  One of the nuns on the maternity ward said to me "You were in this hospital a year or two ago weren't you?"  I said yes I had been having my tonsils out and she said she remembered me leaving a small bottle of perfume with the old lady with whom I had shared a room.  She recalled the old lady being so pleased at my doing that but when I asked what had happened with the old lady I was saddened to know that she had died a few days later. 

My doctor allowed me to have a shower the same day the baby was born and I was told I didn't have to stay in bed except when it was feed time and also when visitors arrived.  I remember on about the third day going to the nursery to learn how to bath my little girl.  It was great fun and she seemed to enjoy the experience as well.  She was just so gorgeous and I just wanted to hold her all the time.  In those days ladies after giving birth stayed in hospital for up to 10 days.  I received some lovely gifts for the baby as well as very pretty cards and loved to walk to the nursery with family and friends to look at the baby through the glass window.

This with her grandmother (my mum) ... also at 6 weeks.   Mum and Karen seemed to form a very special bond from the very beginning which continued right until Mum died in 1985.  Karen still feels her grandma very close at times, as do I.

We had decided on 3 names for girls that we really liked: Diane, Karen or Susan.  Strangely enough Del and Maurie named their daughter Diane so we decided on Karen Margaret for our daughter.  For some reason I used to call her 'kakka' and many of you will know that name stays with her even until this very day.

Mum had bought a secondhand bassinet which was basically a wooden frame (which could be folded up) with a canvas insert the shape of a bassinet in which a large, soft mattress was placed.  Mum decorated it with white tulle with lace and pink ribbons around the border and it was beautiful.  We had bought (also secondhand) a lovely cane pram.  I had made matinee jackets, knitted jackets and even bought lengths of material which I hemmed to make napkins.  Aub's mum had made some pretty little dresses, others had knitted various garments and his grandparents had given us a very large perspex pink baby bath so we were well set up to look after our new baby girl.

This is Karen in the lovely cane pram:

I remember bringing her home and getting little sleep on the first night.  I would lay awake and listen and if there were no sounds coming from the bassinet I'd get up to see if she was still breathing but if she did make a noise I'd then spring out of bed to make sure all was well with her.  From then on I though I was able to settle down and sleep very well.  She was a good baby and mainly slept through the night quite well once she settled down. 

It was a very wet winter in 1955 and drying the washing was quite a task.  Fortunately this house we were now in had a fantastic wood stove in the kitchen.  It was very wide with two ovens and across the top there was a rack where you could lay the nappies on paper to air them. If you left the oven doors open not only did they warm the room but you could air clothes in them as well.

Del and I used to walk to the North Perth Town Hall and take our babies to the clinic each week where they would be weighed and measured and we could tell the clinic sister if we were having any problems at all.  The nurse there at that time was a very knowledgeable woman and was a great help to both Del and me.  Unfotunately Karen suffered badly from colic every evening.  I can only put it down perhaps to her being premature but also maybe after me eating my evening meal it just didn't sit right with the baby but with Aub at work we had no other choice other than to eat at night.   I made sure I didn't eat anything that could perhaps upset the baby's tummy but the colic continued.  The clinic sister made several suggestions including using 'gripe water' which didn't seem to help much and it was just a case of holding my baby and trying to ease the pain for her.  It used to hurt me so much to see her little legs tighten up when the spasms happened and I would lay her face down across my knee and rub her back which seemed to help.  I was told that when she was 3 months she would be OK and, believe it or not, she turned 3 months and the problem almost disappeared overnight.  From that time onwards she was just a happy, healthy baby and I loved her so much.

I am not sure whether the rest of our lives would be all that interesting to anyone but I will continue on just for my own sake.  We become a family with me a home mum caring for our baby and hubby at work and in 1956 we move into an old house, just the 3 of us.

Monday, April 21, 2014


I guess it being Easter weekend had me thinking along these lines.  Firstly I must admit I am not a 'true believer' and perhaps could be labelled an agnostic although I prefer to think of myself as a humanist.  I feel we should try to accept people for who and what they are and as far as possible treat them as we would like to be treated.  We should respect their beliefs and their rights to have those beliefs and in general, live and let live.

Having got that out of the way I have heard several discussions on radio this week about whether non-Christians should benefit from having scheduled holidays for what are Christian-held beliefs such as Easter and of course Christmas.  Perhaps there is so much multi-culturism in Australia and other parts of the Western World now that it was inevitable that this question should arise, and it has arisen before.   One argument said perhaps non-Christians should work on those days and others said if non-Christians actually worked on those holidays (holy days) should they be paid penalty rates?  If they don't believe in Christmas and Easter then why should they benefit from working on those days?

Back in the time of the British Civil War Cromwell banned all holidays and celebrations for both Christmas and Easter as the Roundheads didn't believe in graven images or rituals of any kind, and only held very simple services in their churches with no paraphenalia at all.   Phil, who left the UK in 1960, remembers he used to work on Good Fridays and have Easter Monday and the following Tuesday off.  This may have stemmed from the time of the Civil War as Coventry (and possibly surrounding areas) was a stronghold of the Roundheads.   Things have probably changed by now and I must ask Phil's cousin next time I email him to see if Good Friday is indeed now a public holiday in the Midands.

Over the centuries there have been many, many changes and one wonders just how many more there will be in the years to come with there being so many different races and different beliefs all now coming together.

I feel that the above questions are almost unanswerable but am wondering what others think about it all.   I hope I have not trodden on anyone's toes bringing up this subject and I truly respect all beliefs that everyone has and respect them for having them.

P.S.  I do believe that a man by the name of Jesus Christ did walk on this earth and lead an extremely good life and I like to celebrate Christmas in his memory.  The same with Easter, although perhaps my beliefs are somewhat different to the norm, I think it is important in both cases to remember why we have those holidays instead of using them as an excuse for excesses of any kind.

Myself, I revel in the wonders of nature, the bounties she brings and sometimes the terrors as well.  Last night as we drove home from Kelmscott, before the moon had risen, the sky was very dark and the stars so very bright.  I look up at the stars with awe and am filled with the wonders of the universe and beyond.   I believe the scientists have found a new star which they think could sustain life.  There is so much out there of which little is known.  Mankind has advanced so far in this technological age and I can only hope more fantastic discoveries will be made if mankind (humankind) learns to control its greed, learns to get along together and work together for its betterment.

Saturday, April 19, 2014


Just wanted to send everyone our best wishes for a

May you have a very happy day

Watch out for that Easter bunny

All the best from Margaret and Phil.