Category Archives: All things family

Wishes

Wish ~ desire or hope for something to happen.
If wishes were fishes we’d all swim in riches!

A winter wish from a few years ago!

Two photos taken in the early 1950s came to light the other day and a whole lot of emotions bubbled up to surface – some good some not so good

Plus the word Wish….

I would have been about 9 in the first one – it was a happy day.  My grandad from Belfast had come over on the boat to visit us in England and an uncle plus his family were there also.  I had on a new dress and remember wishing I could wear it every day and that Grandad didn’t have to go back home.

As we were growing up there were times when my sister would wish she didn’t have to wear ‘cast offs’ with turned up hems. She would never accept the fact that as much as she wished otherwise, it wasn’t my fault I was growing out of clothes, she was growing as well, money didn’t grow on trees and she was next in line – as you can see.

You never get anything by wishing, my mother was fond of saying.  Hard work and determination is what’s needed!,

That was my mother, wearied from the war years, the one I wished would love me more than the sister she gave my clothes to.  If she loved me, she wouldn’t have got angry and cut (chopped) my hair off with her big scissors.  I remember squealing and shouting as she brushed it one morning, trying to untangle the knots before it was plaited for school, all the time saying to me ‘I wish you would be quiet and stand still’  Oh how I wished I’d done as I was told that day – my mother was no hairdresser and I went to school that morning looking a bit – odd 

It’s strange that all these years later I’m reflecting on this and wishing things had turned out differently – my mother and I never got on, my sister continued to get my ‘cast offs, I never grew my hair long, Grandad went away back across the Irish Sea and I only got to see him 3 more times.

Oh, but listen to this, my sister still wears ‘cast offs’ – chosen very carefully with a good eye for what will suit her – from ‘Green Boutiques’ (aka charity shops)😊

And….. the beach with a hammock turned up on Green Island Qld back in 2009……..still looking for the winning lotto ticket though 😊

Are you a dreamer hoping your wishes come true?
~ ~
or more like my mother
~ ~
who thought wishes were pointless?

Linking to  Wednesday’s Words & Pics hosted by Denyse.
Where you’ll find lots of life to read about

#loveispatient

What a week…

Someone else had a birthday a couple of weeks ago so we took the train ‘up to town’ on a Sunday and enjoyed our first time at the theatre in goodness knows how long. A second time of seeing ‘Come from Away’, (catching it before it closes this Melbourne season and moves on up to Sydney) and we enjoyed it as much as the first time in 2019. Reminders of a couple of visits to Newfoundland a few years ago now but still fresh in our memories.

Smiles at seeing the tv masts from the station at Mooroolbark, smiles at being back in the lovely little heritage listed Comedy Theatre with its chandelier type lighting and a bar down there on the lower level right next to the stalls.
There was a brolly and a mask in my bag, plus a small book to read on the train – after all the rain we’ve had I was glad I didn’t need the brolly after all but I did use the mask. Too many people all close together with about 2/3rds of them maskless.
Everyone seemed to have a phone though!

Smiles at seeing travellers on suburban lines in masks, I can’t remember seeing any on the country V/Line trains (or dedicated platforms) when I took the lower photo at (don’t make me say it) Southern Cross Station back in April. It will always be Spencer Street Station to me.
There are times I wished we lived ‘out of town’ – compared to the comfort of the country trains the comfort (??) of suburban stock is nil.

Tuesday (25th) the heavens opened and we had floods out here in the eastern suburbs. Our back garden was like a swimming pool and (once again) the kitchen skylight decided to leak. I keep telling The Golfer there’s a reason I don’t get rid of all those old towels – although if this keeps up we’re going to have to invest in a new skylight.

Thursday under cloudy grey skies and a wet windscreen we drove out past the vineyards (old and new) and into the Valley again – this time The Golfer wanted to enjoy a light lunch at his second home because……

……as a member he gets a free one plus a tiddly little cake to celebrate 🎂🍷…..

Drove home from Healesville in pouring rain, hoping there wouldn’t be water on the floor Needed the bucket later in the evening so looks like we definitely need a new one.

Anyway Friday, dodging the showers I went to the gym leaving him looking a little lost – with all the rain the course is just a bit too waterlogged and once again nobody else wanted to play – I’ll be fine, he said, I’ve got this new book to read. Ink Black Heart – Robert Galbraith 1400 pages – that’ll keep me going for a while.

Big smiles when I walked past the court area – all set up for our next crop of Olympic gymnasts. Mats and beams, and bars and springboards – reminders of sessions at school all those years ago with a vaulting box and pommel horse.

(There’s a floor to ceiling net along the walkway to the gym door – saves any injuries from wayward basket/netballs. I took one snap from a corner then had to wriggle the camera around the holes to get the full on ones)

Well that was last week – this past week has been quieter with a few surprises….
Which I’ll leave for another time

#enjoyeverymoment

Don’t Forget – if you want to see it best……Click/ tap or finger slide to enlarge

Linking to  Wednesday’s Words & Pics hosted by Denyse …..  Denyse Whelan Blogs

Oh, I remember that…

I had an email from my contact at the nursing home telling me about a new memory project called ‘I Remember That’ that was starting about the time I return at the beginning of next month. The title had me remembering all those years ago when my aunt would come out with those words….admittedly after some subtle prompting by us with words or pictures…..but we were glad it had stirred something in her mind.

(At that time I belonged to a (now defunct) ’families and carers’ group where to ease the strain we wrote and shared pieces online – I hope you don’t mind me sharing another one from 2009)

Remembering the past

Talking to my Aunt the other day I was asking her what she remembered – its a hard question for her to answer some days but for some reason on that day she was clear in her mind about one thing.

She remembered her older sister Betty and how she made her laugh.

They were raised in India in house a house full of adults. Along with their Mother and Father there were also four spinster aunts – sisters of their Mother.

None of the servants had children they could play with so as well as sisters, they were playmates and also constant companions to each other.

“Oh, I remember that dolly”

Being priviledged they were sent off to boarding school at a young age, luckily not back to England as so many expat children were but somewhere in India ( she doesn’t remember where exactly) and were able to go ‘home’ for the holidays – so whenever Pam felt lonely or afraid Betty was there to comfort and make her laugh. 

It was so lovely (and rare) to hear her talking of this life she led so long ago, dances were a way of life, Betty was the fun one attracting lots of admirers while Pam being a quiet one would sit on the sideline. 
They both married officers in the 9th Gurkhas Regiment so continued to live a privileged life as adults. They stayed in India till after the war and then returned to England to a very different lifestyle. 

She was so clear in her descriptions of life in those days it was almost as if she was reliving them – till she came to the part of migrating to Australia in the early 1950’s. 

Then nothing came – she just stopped talking.
I assume ‘cose there was no Betty – who had remained in England – to talk about.
Maybe I’ll be able to get her to remember those times again but I never know from one day to the next whats going on inside her head.

As a youngish widow she managed several trips ‘home’ to England over the years to see her beloved Betty – the sister who even as an adult had a way of making her forget her troubles and laugh. She recognised Betty in this photo of the two of them enjoying a special moment of laughter but had no idea where, when, or why.

“Oh, there’s Betty”

Betty on the left and A Pam on the right

Can you see the special bond they had with each other – the love in the eyes and the smiles on their faces? Hopefully she can still remember those moments inside her head even if she can’t talk about them

Aunty Pam (Pamela 1923 – 2011)

A Pam’s Recipe Book

Once my aunt was settled into the nursing home my cousin (her son who lived in Perth on the other side of the country) decided put her place on the market so some clearing (decluttering) had to happen. As houses were more easy to sell if they were furnished he wanted a lot of the extra stuff gone – and apart from one or two items wasn’t interested in where it went.

I started to go through kitchen drawers and discovered her special recipe book, a very battered exercise book with handwritten recipes from friends here in Australia. For all her upbringing (and I mean that in a nice way ) she wasn’t a really fancy (or good) cook – born and raised in India she and her sister were sent to boarding school so had never been at home to see and learn how and I know Uncle John would sometimes take her out to dinner rather than have her get upset at trying to cook things that didn’t turn out well. I’m not making that up – he told me that on more than one occasion.

Anyway the only time I’d seen her use this book over the years was at Christmas time when she’d make ‘The Pudding’. It was the only tradition I remember about life in her house from the early 70’s when we arrived here in Australia. She would let everyone know when she was going to be cooking and asked if you wanted to come over and stir the pudding. Stir- up Sunday

There are 3 Christmas pudding recipes in the book and I can still see the faces of the people they came from quite clearly.

The first from Jean is short and very direct – just like Jean

The second from her sister Betty has lots of ingredients and simple concise instructions

The third from Joan a fabulous tennis club friend of Pam’s who played hard and partied in a similar fashion. Cooking time for her was similar to her parties….. all day for as many days as possible !

Where the first two suggest a wine glass of brandy like the good hostess who provides choices for her guests she suggests Rum, Milk or Beer – leaving the amount up to you.😊

Can you see which one was used the most?

Each year about November Aunty Pam would start to gather her ingredients to make Betty’s pudding, she’d buy new calico for the pudding bowls and then on the day tick as she added each ingredient to the mixing bowl.

Some years she’d tick as she wrote down her list to take the the shop to buy the ingredients and then get into a real muddle when she forgot which ticks were ‘buying’ ticks and which were ‘added’ ticks.

I had to make a mad dash to the house one year to try and find out what had been added to the mixing bowl and what hadn’t ‘cose she hadn’t just weighed out and put in individual little bowls, then put the packets back in the cupboard but was adding straight into to the mixing bowl after weighing, had packets all over the place and was quite upset because she couldn’t tell the difference between raisins and sultanas.

It was then we began to realise how muddled and confused she was getting, how things were becoming a problem and sadly that was the last time she made the puddings.

~ ~ ~ ~

So I had the book and the recipes (which she didn’t know); and one day about a year later we were talking about cooking and out of the blue she said it would be nice if I made her ‘that lovely Christmas pudding that Betty makes’
Her sister Betty had been gone for about 10years by then so I had no idea what made her say that.

None of my family really like Christmas Pudding but I gave her my word I’d give it a go. Unfortunately she never got to taste the one’s I did (and still do) make.

Betty’s Christmas Pudding 2013

Linking to the very last edition of Denyse’s ~  Life’s Stories.

Her thoughts this week are on Endings and Beginnings.
A bit like A Pam leaving her home to me starting the Christmas Pudding tradition

Off and running…..

So my dad was born near Portadown NI in a little place called Corcullentragh Beg – try saying that when you’ve had a few drinks ( or fitting it onto an official form😊

Yes its begun again – its been happening every four years since 1930.
World Cup Fever is alive and well – lots of history to be seen here.
The Socceroos have one more game to win to qualify for a place in the competition

Kicking that round ball is sort of a passion for some of the males in my family – my Dad and my brother were/are former players and great fans, one of my Irish cousins had a chequered career as NI international playing for Manchester United/Swindon Town in the 1970’s, after training with Sheffield United followed by a sports degree (Culver Stockton) a nephew (bro’s son) is now associated with a Sports Academy here in Melbourne plus our eldest son is a huge fan of Ipswich (TFC).  He was over 11 when we migrated to Australia from England so by then the soccer/football bug was well and truly entrenched into his mindset.

The Golfer isn’t as fanatical these days as he has been.  I clearly remember 1966 – we were living  in Singapore at the time – and their TV broadcasts were mainly in Chinese but we just ‘had’ to hire one so he could watch as many of that years world cup games as possible!!

… … … …

My sister Bobby is the keeper of all Mum and Dad’s bits and pieces – and recently unearthed an old photo of Dad (bottom right) during his soccer (football) playing days in Belfast. After getting some online help we discovered that Windsor Star (a Linfield youth team) were second division champions April 1938 – hence the shield and whopping great silver cup! Dad would have turned 20 in June that year and joined the RAF in the August – staying on in service after the war ended, never returning to live in Belfast, just as a visitor.

I think my dislike of the game started when I was quite young – Dad did ‘the pools’ each week, putting a cross in some of the boxes and paying his money to the man who came round door to door on a Thursday.

(A football pool, often collectively referred to as “the pools”, is a betting pool based on predicting the outcome of top-level association football matches set to take place in the coming week) source

Come 5pm on a Saturday afternoon during the season the radio would go on and BBC Sports Report would start and then the Classified Football Results would be broadcast.

I can still remember hearing the man who read out those results going on and on – from League Division One all the way through the minor leagues and Scottish leagues as well.  Weird and wonderful team names, places you’d never heard of but if they had a football team of note the score from their game for that week got a mention.   

To make sure he heard all the results and was able to mark them off correctly in the chart printed in the paper and then check his pools to see if we were going to become millionaires Dad needed complete silence in the room – Ha Ha – not going to happen when Catherine is around lol

I even loathed the music that was played at the beginning and each Saturday when I heard it I promised myself I would not speak but failed miserably each time and boy, did my Dad have a temper.  As Bobby said recently, his ”shut ya bake” and the sheer volume it was yelled at, snapped us to attention and silence followed by the scurrying of feet out of the room

Football is a winter sport and winter in England can be cold and back in the 1950’s we only had a coal fire in the living room of our house – bedrooms were not heated and I was sent to that freezing bedroom more times than I like to remember 😟

Its only recently when some friends were talking about associating music with feelings that I thought about trying to locate that music on the Internet.  It seems that the cause of all my worries is a march called ‘Out of the Blue’ composed by Hubert Bath.

… … … …

Early Monday morning, cup of tea in hand and I’m testing myself by playing this version – listening to it has me wondering how a lively march like that could bring back such bad feelings.

I have no idea – but even hearing it again now makes me feel sick inside.
Excuse me – I must leave the room

Do any of you have such reactions to musical tunes…or is it just me?
… … … …

Corinne is back with Monday Musings – come see what she is talking about this week

It’s a living thing…..

(Conversations with your children often bring up long forgotten memories)

Summer 1978 – The Golfer and I were the best parents in the world!

At least that’s what we were told that February evening as we all sat near the front (not up the back on the grass) of the Myer Music Bowl waiting to hear this sung in real life

Sailin’ away on the crest of a wave, it’s like magic 
Oh, rollin’ and ridin’ and slippin’ and slidin’, it’s magic 
And you and your sweet desire 
You took me, oh (higher and higher, baby)…

’Our Big Girl’ has been home for a short while – this time last year they left town (towing their home behind them) looking forward to doing ’a big lap’ of Australia.
So far they’ve had the time of their lives.

Yes, so far, is what she said – because decisions have been made and they are going to be off again fairly soon to give it another go and see some of the things they missed.
Impressions so far – contrary to what some may say – everything’s alive out there.

Australia is a living thing!

~ ~ ~ ~

It’s Monday morning again and I’m sitting here in the quiet with that early cup of tea I enjoy so much wondering about how I’ll feel when the words Good Bye are spoken this time. We’ve given her ‘roots and wings’ , she’s acknowledged them several times , so I’m comfortable waving her off again….maybe it’s just me wondering if time is running out – wondering if I’ve lived all my dreams, – are there any more waves for me to crest’?

How about you – do you ever feel like life is passing you by

Corinne is back with Monday Musings – come see what she is talking about this week

Water Water Everywhere…


I’ve been known to hang on to things…….just in case.

My other excuse is often – it’ll come in handy……

When – we don’t know, but it’s there just in case

Discussing our winter ‘going up north again’ plans and what to take with us, we (The Golfer and myself) had another look at some ’just in case/might come in handy/ you never know when’ items the other weekend.
That’s when the word water bottles cropped up

Not so much the flimsy plastic ’comes in all shapes & sizes’ single use throw away ones you buy water in – though they’re bad enough……..more the keep and carry (sometimes plastic) ones seen in the hands of those who take hydration seriously.

Someone I know – let’s just say not me – has a likeing for water bottles. He has quite a few lot…..He’s out and about on the golf course in all weathers so definitely needs to be hydrated and (for him) filling a bottle with water from a dedicated tap at the 9th hole is ’not on’ so he carts his own (along with all the other weird and wonderful things that come tumbling out of his bag when he’s looking for something.)

I do have water in the car but can usually quench my thirst somewhere during the day.

So after going through the garage, various cupboards and cars, we came to an understanding – that we (he?) did not need the collection of water bottles we (he?) seemed to have gathered.
When he was ’into volunteering’ each event had a water bottle supplied – suitably emblazoned with good/bad/ugly….usually necessary logos and advertising.
Lots had been used then tossed aside (not away) in favour of others so after our chat he chose some to hang on to….not to use now……but just in case!

Most of them went into the rubbish and recycling bins

And as well as what he calls his ’good ones’ these others 👇 are what he kept

Now I love him dearly and I understand there are memories attached to each one and I can’t complain when I think about what I’ve still got tucked away….BUT

  • These few have never been used, just been gathering dust (and dirt) in the garage
  • Souvenirs of special events that made the most impression on him – Melbourne Commonwealth Games – Fina World Swimming Championships – Australian Youth Olympics – various National Australian Canoeing events plus a couple of other org. I don’t remember
  • Look at the dates – (You might have to enlarge to see) …..2006 2007 2013
  • They’ve already been there a fair while so I’m wondering how much longer they’ll have to wait for their….‘I knew they’d come in handy’ ….time to shine 😊

~ ~ ~ ~

And then of course there’s these

but they have my name on so no explanation is necessary 😊

https://www.qualitylogoproducts.com/promo-university/history-of-reusable-water-bottles.htm

Things to do….or not to do

(A forgotten draft post from quite a little while ago)

Had a little chat with my UK based baby brother last week.

Are you going out and about now?
No!

Are the case numbers still high where you are?
No, just can’t be bothered,

So no pub?
No, not even the pub. Tried it to begin with
Now can’t be bothered. Too much of a hassle, too many people.
I’m content staying close to home

~ ~ ~ ~

We laughed and went on to chat about how things had changed

For years many had the attitude of Y O L O (you only live once) – spend up, take risks, enjoy life, blow the consequences – followed by F O M O (fear of missing out) – constantly wanting/needing to know and worrying about missing out on something.

Then along came ’The Pandemic’ – sometimes called Corona Virus – Covid19 – Rona – ‘Strange Times’ even ’You Know What’ – and even though we have constantly been assured all is well out there, some still have F O G O (fear of going out)

Now a new variant has arrived – H O G O (hassle of going out). Something baby brother and I have been feeling. That ‘do I have to go’ – ‘there’s always another time’ – ‘do I have to wear a mask’ – ‘how many will be there’ feeling.

Even though we want to, it’s all too much.

It appears we’ve both settled on J O M O (joy of missing out) as our sweet spot

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

A few weeks on now …..We’re both feeling much better 😊

I’m enjoying resumed activities and he’s starting to visit his favourite pub. Both of us are still cautious, not fearful, just wary of people and places plus keep a mask in our pocket and wear it when or if necessary.
Don’t know about the UK – but since our government has basically ’left us to do our own thing’ known daily positive case numbers in Victoria are averaging 10,000 a day

So it’s still out there!

How about you – are you feeling more safe, secure and comfortable or is it still a hassle

Oh look, here’s another one….

The Golfer has ’suddenly’ become interested in his family tree

That means I’m the one doing the research while he looks on and ‘admires’ the results

It’s probably been there for quite a while but I’ve discovered a new (free) research site

If anyone’s interesting in going down online rabbit holes this one is pretty good

https://www.freeukgenealogy.org.uk

https://www.freereg.org.uk

There are links to the original free BDM site plus some free census. But it was the VERY old parish BDM records (think 1700s) that held my interest. Both his paternal lines were/are entrenched in small Essex villages so one surname or the other plus a place name brought up so many facts – and a maiden name to boot😊

(And that’s where I’ve been this past week or more – it definitely cut into my blogging time!)

Leaving Anzac

A few years ago The Golfer and I were regular visitors to a local Folk Club – one Tuesday evening back in 2011 the special guest artist was Martyn Wyndham-Read …which I blogged about here.

Anyway during that evening he sang a very poignant song 
One adapted from a poem written in 1916 
about the thoughts Australian Soldiers (Diggers) 
may have had about leaving their fallen mates at Gallipoli (in Turkey)

Today, Monday is April 25th 2022 – Anzac Day

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anzac_Day

One of my maternal ancestors served at Gallipoli
unfortunately he, plus his Doyle and Muir cousins never made it home

James Bannister


This is my tribute to all those who served and never returned

And this is the poem – written by Cicely Fox Smith in 1916

Farewell to Anzac

Oh, hump your swag and leave, lads, the ships are in the bay —
We’ve got our marching orders now, it’s time to come away —
And a long good-bye to Anzac Beach — where blood has flowed in vain
For we’re leaving it, leaving it, game to fight again!

But some there are will never quit this bleak and bloody shore —
And some that marched and fought with us will fight and march no more;
Their blood has bought till Judgment Day the slopes they stormed so well,
And we’re leaving them, leaving them, sleeping where they fell. 

(Leaving them, leaving them — the bravest and the best —
leaving them, leaving them, and maybe glad to rest!
We’ve done our best with yesterday, to-morrow’s still our own —
But we’re leaving them, leaving them, sleeping all alone!)

Ay, they are gone beyond it all, the praising and the blame,
And many a man may win renown, but none more fair a fame;
They showed the world Australia’s lads knew well the way to die;
And we’re leaving them, leaving them, quiet where they lie.

(Leaving them, leaving them, sleeping where they died;
Leaving them, leaving them, in their glory and their pride —
Round them sea and barren land, over them the sky,
Oh, We’re leaving them, leaving them, quiet where they lie!)

http://oldpoetry.com/opoem/47926-Cicely-Fox-Smith-Farewell-To-Anzac

Cicely Fox Smith (pronounced “sigh-sli” as in precisely) 1882 – 1954

Linking to Denyse’s new fortnightly on a Monday feature ~ Life’s Stories

Where do you get or I have one too….

A question bloggers often ask each other is – where do you get your ideas from- things to talk about, post about? Here there and everywhere is often the answer.

I’m tagging onto (pinching?) something Sandra at Madsnapper featured the other day – an idea she recently ’‘borrowed and adapted’ from a couple of other bloggers

https://snapperone.blogspot.com/2022/04/definitely-not-pioneer-woman.html

A spoon rest is a piece of kitchenware that serves as a place to lay spoons and other cooking utensils, to prevent cooking fluids from getting onto countertops, as well as keeping the spoon from touching any contaminants that might be on the counter. source

So here is my ‘so not pioneer woman’ spoon rest – very similar in style to Sandra’s, complete with my very frequently used vintage British government issue tablespoon.

One of my contributions to recycling/reusing is a small stack of these plastic food trays that (in my case) minced chicken comes in. They get used for all sorts of things, a place to put spoons in use (or any other utensil) being one of them.

Maybe not as elegant and smooth as something purchased but free – if you discount the product that came with it. They come and go – one or two new ones in, one or two old ones out.
~ ~ ~ ~

The beautiful solid sensible looking tablespoon somehow found its way into my civilian kitchen when The Golfer was demobbed in 1968.
It’s certainly been a ’trusty servant’ since then!

The markings on the back are interesting

  • SIPELIA – the manufacturer who had the government contract

History – https://www.hawleysheffieldknives.com/n-fulldetails.php?val=s&kel=896

  • 18/8 stainless steel

https://www.corrosionpedia.com/definition/6416/188-stainless-steel

  • The date it was made 1961 plus an arrow head signifying it was government property

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broad_arrow

  • I’ve no idea about the numerals 9424296 – possibly a design number.


So what do you use as a spoon rest…..or don’t you? What do you reuse or repurpose?

#keeplifesimple

A Pam’s Very Old Cookery Book…

After her death lots of my aunt’s bits and pieces found their way to my home

The ‘A.1’ Cookery Book by Helen H Lawson was one. I can find nothing about the author on the net so don’t know who she was or how she came to write a cookery book. It’s possible one of my readers might be able to tell me 😊

As you can see its quite an old cookery book – this is the 1946 (war time) 5th edition – very plain front with the title etc on the spine….. all words and no pictures; the first edition was published in 1901/2 and I imagine she was an ‘older’ lady when she got round to revising it for its fifth publication.


The front page suggests it contains everything essential for those who wish to have plain food daintily prepared’ and I can imagine thats what my aunt would aspire to but theres lots included that I think she’d have run a mile from.

Somehow I couldn’t have seen her stewing eels, boiling a calf’s head or foot, plucking and drawing a partridge, pheasant or pigeon. Note on pigeons – Tame pigeons taste better if cooked as soon as possible after they are killed – bet you didn’t know that !.

Lots of very old type recipes and many basic ones with some good hints and tips relevant to simple cooking these days.

The author mentions a tip that we all know about the water from boiled vegetables including potatoes and that in which rice, macaroni, or spagetti have been boiled are useful as a foundation for soups and sauces. But seemingly there was one exception – cabbage water, which must be thrown away at once. Unfortunately she doesn’t say why

Before the section on puddings and sweets she lists whether they need butter and eggs – eggs but no butter – and those that need no butter or eggs – which would have been a boon in the days after the war when not everything was readily available and there was still food rationing 

Sometime or another I’ll really delve into this and find some ‘easy’ old recipes.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

  • After another look online Look what I found -….a site where you can access and read the 2nd edition (free) Scroll down the site a little until Read/Preview – then click through. There’s also a download feature as well.

https://openlibrary.org/books/OL26302488M/The_A1_cookery_book

A couple of little differences on the title page – the author is named H N L (not by her full name) plus the words ‘written in the simplest possible manner to help the inexperienced’ which are not on the 1946 version

Baby talk….

When friends get together they talk about allsorts of things –  if they are like mine it’s ‘anything and everything’ – and if they happen to be ladies of the older type (like a few of mine are) it often happens that lots of those ‘anything’s’ talked about are families, grandchildren and great grand ones for some of us in particular 😊

Being able to get together again has meant that some are discussing how those same grandchildren are/have been coping with the pandemic.

I was a bit surprised the other day hearing one of them reliving something I remember vividly, something that happened about 10 yrs ago when she was asked to mind her newish grandchild, a little babe about 4 months old.  Something she herself feels is one of the reasons her grandaughter has always been quiet and withdrawn.

The mother (the d in law) brought the baby over and had left a list of ‘dos and don’ts’

One item on the list was the suggestion that the baby was not to be picked up and cuddled.  She was to be left in the pusher – one of those newish ones with all the bells and whistles – to lie there and look around and just take in her surroundings.

My friend had been really upset over this and had rung her son to ask him if this is what went on at home – was the babe just left to lie there without being picked up and cuddled and talked to.  His reply was, ‘Mum thats the way **** wants to raise her and I’m not going to interfere’

At that time (10 years ago now) I felt (and still do) it was such a shame, the little one would miss out on all that contact she needed early in life, her family – grandma included – would also miss so much.  

My belief is it’s through that physical, visual and verbal contact you have with babies that they learn so much.  Remember all the funny noises they make when they are tiny and all the funny faces they pull – it’s through you encouraging them, that all of that happens.  I don’t subscribe to the school of thought that says you don’t encourage baby talk – yes, when they are starting to form words you try to get them to say the correct one but I’m talking about when they are really tiny.  

Holding and touching baby – clothed or otherwise to me is good

Goo Gooing and pulling faces to me is good

Yes it a very young me and ‘our little girl’

1964 – We were living in Singapore when she happened to be the same age as my friend’s grandaughter.  Our little one was really getting into the ‘finding her voice’ stage…..It wasn’t a performance because I was unaware The Golfer was taking these photos but am so glad he did.  Its the way I was with all of our five – the way I think everyone should be with their children – we just happen to have proof that that was the way it was with ours.

~ ~ ~ ~

I’m curious to know how others feel – are there times for one and times for the other?

~ Pick up and cuddle or let lie to observe ~

Do babies miss out or not?

( ps – there is a follow up tale to this I will relate another time)

~ ~ ~ ~

Baby Talk – published March 21, 2022

Linking to Denyse’s new fortnightly on a Monday feature ~ ~ Life’s Stories

A Pam’s last dance…


Returning to and being able to volunteer at the nursing home with all the different rules and regulations plus restrictions due to ’you know what’ has reminded me how different life in a nursing home was for my aunt in 2009

(At that time I belonged to a (now defunct) ’families and carers’ group where to ease the strain we wrote and shared pieces online – I hope you don’t mind me sharing this one here)

~ ~ ~ ~

Aunty Pam’s Last Dance

I haven’t said much about my Aunt recently

As even tho’ she has been in the nursing home for a few months now

she is still very unsettled and almost withdrawn

I am grateful for the loving care she is receiving

yet feel there has to more that I can give


I visit when I can and if its dry outside

I take her for walks in the wheelchair along the main road

She can look at the traffic and also in peoples gardens

We ‘talk’ about the flowers and the cars

I try to get her to tell me the names of the plants and describe them

– colours and shape –

but her memory is really going and she just gets flustered


Unfortunately over the past month or two

she has become so uncoordinated

 I find it difficult to transfer her into the car

so going for  a ride is now a thing of the past

Even tho’ the wheelchair taxi is very unreliable

– they come when it suits –

when the weather is better

 my cousin and I hope to manage to take her out

 maybe for lunch at one of the larger shopping centres


There is one close by with some nice little cafes

we can walk round

and she can look in the shop windows

Also if there are the two of us there to entertain her

it won’t be such a problem if we do have to wait

for the taxi to come for the return journey

~ ~ ~ ~

Last night I took Aunty Pam to a dance

Yes, a dance……at the  Nursing Home


The staff organised an evening for the residents

They asked for some nice clothes to be there for the evening

Ladies had long lasting hairdo’s (I think the rollers stayed in for hours lol)

Nails done, make up on and off we went

Down to the largest day room

– renamed The Ballroom for the night –

decorated beautifully with fairy lights and balloons

Carers who weren’t on duty came in and helped out

Carers who were on duty kept popping in to see what was going on

It was only the really infirm who were in their rooms

and one carer stayed on the floor all the time

We listened to a Glenn Miller tribute band

And we danced

Wheelchairs were wheeled round in time to the music

Those who could were on their feet

– some gently swaying – some remembering steps from long ago –

others having a fine old time humming and mouthing words to old favourites

Lots of family and friends there

young and old

There was wine and beer and soft drinks

There was finger food and cakes and pastries

and at the end of the night

This lady who has been so unhappy

went to bed with a smile on her face

Pamela Joyce Thompson
27th June 1923- 31st August 2011

And ‘this’ lady

who has also been so upset

‘cose the other lady has been so upset

drove home with tears in her eyes

‘cose the other lady was so happy 😊

You just don’t know, do you…

This is The Golfer with his aunt (his mother’s sister)
Taken 2010 in Nova Scotia at the wake after a funeral 

She was smiling not tearful at all – ‘no place to be sad, she said 
Always remember and celebrate the life of the one who has gone 
It doesn’t matter how long a life they lived – Its how they lived it that matters’

She is the one who left her life in England back in 1945
to move to Canada as a war bride 

And it’s their family I’ve been doing more research on over the past few weeks 

Its been fun doing this and there have been some good moments when things have fallen into place and then some not so good moments when there have been big surprises.

The biggest surprise was when I actually located Aunt Dot’s long lost aunt’s name on a passenger list of a ship going to Canada in 1902 but the circumstances were not good.

At the turn of the 20th century there was a lot of poverty in England and it seems her father (recently widowed) placed her – the youngest child – into the care of the Waifs and Strays Society.  What happened then also happened to so many other children at that time – she (aged 12) was taken to Canada seemingly for a better chance in life. It appears she went to an intitution in Niagara on the Lake but I can’t locate any records of where she went after that.

  • Earlier this century, several thousand British children mainly in the care of voluntary organisations were emigrated to former Dominions – mainly Australia, Canada and New Zealand – under several schemes involving the British Government, the Governments of the receiving countries and the voluntary organisations who operated the schemes. Source
  • Between 1869 and 1932, over 100,000 children were sent from Britain to Canada through assisted juvenile emigration. These migrants are called “home children” because most went from an emigration agency’s home for children in Britain to its Canadian receiving home.  source

~ ~ ~ ~
I had been aware that lots of children had been brought to Australia particularly after WW2 (so the ‘Oranges and Sunshine’ debacle wasn’t quite a shock to me as to others) …..as an aside there was an orphanage close to where we lived in the 1940/50s and my mother (lovely lady that she was☹️) would ’tell me’ that if I didn’t behave she’d have me sent to Australia along with the kids from the home!

But… I certainly didn’t know the ‘scheme’ had been going on for so long and the children had been going to other countries as well .
Looks like I’m going to be sitting here for quite a lot longer than I thought if I want to get to the bottom of Ada’s tale. I just don’t know what I’ll discover next.

Little changes….

Just like their Gt Grandma, Little B and Little M enjoy time at the beach

Little M, our Christmas babe from 2020 is now one year old and walking – Little B, no longer little, recently turned 5 and started ’big school’ a few weeks ago.

Little B will soon be turned into a young boy when his mumma gathers up the courage to have his long curls cut. I wonder if she will cry, just like his Gt Grandad The Golfer’s mumma did when she had his curls cut and turned him into a (younger) little boy.

The Golfer aged 2yrs


No watching the waves this week for those two little tykes up above – they live in Brisbane and have been watching water of a different kind.
In case you weren’t aware there’s been a huge weather event up there this week with many towns and areas along the eastern coast of Qld and NSW being flooded

#enjoyeverymoment

There’s the third….

Remember that old superstition about things coming in threes ~ a couple of good/bad things will happen and we begin to wonder about a third ~

~ well here’s my three feel good ‘smiley’ things from last week ~


1 ~ Smiles galore last week when a granddaughter announced she had just become engaged. A tall girl who managed to snag a tall fella so in time I’m sure there’ll be tall children who’ll dwarf their rather short Gt. Grandma 😊

2 ~ Smiles all round last week when a son we’d had limited contact with for several (non covid related) years walked unannounced into the garden, sat down and started talking as though nothing had happened. We had known he was ’alive and well’, so there was no prying from me or his father (it’ll all come out in time) just sweet joy that he finally came home…..bearing no gifts, just himself for a few hours ❤️

3 ~ Smiles all round last week when I came home from the pool with a little water resistant ’stuff it’ bag to replace the zip lock I had been using to contain all those necessary bits I didn’t want to have contact with wet towels and bathers on the way home. After checking in, the receptionist saw me ’struggling’ to get the new (larger) phone into the plastic bag and with a big smile said…..”today is your lucky day, I have been doing a tidy up out the back and have just the thing for you”

Now I have a neat little bag (plus accompanying water bottle, remainders from a promotion geared towards school children) large enough to comfortably take car keys, phone, wallet, (face cream) and sunnies as well. No more scrabbling around trying to locate things at the bottom of a bag containing soggy wet things. Love it ! 🏊‍♀️🏊‍♀️🏊‍♀️

Did the number three feature in any way in your life recently?

How come….

Note arrived from brother accompanied by this ’photo’

How come If mum was Irish and we never lived in Yorkshire, she put this on the tea table?

Actually she added sliced tomatoes as well but I’ve no idea why she put onions, cucumber and tomato into a marinade of vinegar then served it along with cold cuts.

All I know is I disliked it then and still do……like my salads clean – naked – no dressing at all.

Vinegar goes on Fish and Chips 😊

~ ~ ~ ~

Is it truly a Yorkshire dish?

Nine months….

A length of time usually associated with birth, smiles and laughter

Nine months ago today my darling little sister died, a day filled with tears and sadness

When I thought of her today it was as if I’d turned a corner

There were no tears – just lots of smiles

I spent the day remembering the good times we’d shared that were filled with laughter

Clarborough July 2006
Paphos September 2014

Or nursing late night headaches 😎

Paphos September 2014