Category Archives: All things

The rains came and the wind blew….

On a couple of days last week, here in Victoria the weather gods treated us to hot hot summer temperatures plus a couple of the dooziest of storms we’ve seen for a while which will certainly have helped to top up the dams plus scare the living daylights out of anyone when the gale blew and the thunder roared overhead – in actual fact the whole of the east coast has been battling storms and floods for a couple of weeks so dams and rivers have certainly been running fast and furious everywhere

But wait there’s more, one front leaving – another one following.
Thurs 2 Dec 5pm
And the rain came down – heavily!

Watching it come down had me thinking about the years when there was no water to be had at all. When here in Australia towards the end of the last century (1996/97) we were in drought, one which lasted for many many years. During that time the word of the day was conserve. Conserve as much water as we could –

– we didn’t know when it was going to rain again and it was possible the drastic water restrictions we had then would last forever.

So as we used them I would gather dishes and  stack them in the big kitchen sink to wash once a day (usually mid morning ) in the little sink – that water then washed the stove, cats dishes, and at times was baled into a small bucket to use to wash the kitchen floor – oh, and then it would get tossed over one of the plants near the back door. 
The first water drawn before it got hot was collected in a jug and used to fill the kettle during the day. ’If it’s yellow let it mellow- if it’s brown flush it down’ was a catch cry even little kids became familiar with.

Showers were cut down to as short a time as possible – always with a bucket to keep you company which was then emptied over a plant near the back door, and the baths I loved were rare treats.  Treats that would end in hard work when conscious of making use of every drop The Golfer would bale into the bucket , walk it down the hallway to toss each bucket load over the hardy plants at the front door.

Then La Nina came to visit early in 2010, the drought (now called the Millenium Drought) began to break and the rains returned – heavy rains that brought floods to just about every state – the strict water restrictions were eased and a new set of Permanent (still relevant) Water Saving Rules came into place late in December 2011. Hosing your driveway is still a no – no!

And thats when our attitudes seemed to change –  oh how quickly they changed and many of us forgot the conservative ways we’d learn’t over those years.  I will acknowledge I am guilty of easing up on some of my practices and I’m also sure that if it didn’t rain so much these days we wouldn’t be so carefree and unconcerned.  In my defence I will say we did install a very large water tank to collect rainwater and use on the garden and for many years now haven’t used the hose on any of the plants outside.

Behind the old tin garage
Tucked away hardly visible

As they say, that was then and this is now.

Those who live in rural areas and are on tank water (pumped up or bought in) still follow their same practices.

I’m in town and yes, I still catch the cold before hot water to use in the kettle and unless I’m doing a big cooking session, try to wash up just once a day BUT have been known to rinse cups under the tap. Also I’ve cleaned my teeth with the tap running – flushed the loo after a pee – forgotten to change the load setting on the washing machine – I’ve even put it on for one item.  Showers are still short – my baths (more frequent these days) are not quite so full as they used to be – to be honest they help when my back is playing up – and I’ll admit there are times when I just pull the plug and don’t give a thought to the water running out down the drain.

Conserving water for me means a lower water bill (metered) as well as a lower gas bill (heated)

How about you ?
Have you stuck to your water saving ways?
Or have they changed here and there?

Linking to Life this Week hosted by Denyse at Denyse Whelan Blogs. 
Do pop over and see what others have been up to this week

Just in case…

My thoughts the other day about the reasons I buy with ’just in case’ being one of them brought back memories of my mother and her habits and realisation that maybe there’s a case of Like mother – Like daughter in my house.

My mother was a funny one – at times so tight with her money and yet so free at others.  She had a thing about buying things ‘just in case’  – according to her she didn’t stockpile (a dirty word during and just after the war)…….. she would have things on hand – ‘just in case’. 

Not quite as bad or in the same vein as my Irish granny (her mother in law) who I’m sure had saved enough string to go round the world (just in case anyone needed it ) as well as oodles of other ‘useful’ bits and pieces that really weren’t needed at all but she had lived through two world wars and a depression so I suppose could be forgiven (except by my aunties when it came to clearing the house out after she died!)

We all try to be a little thrifty at times so when things come on special I’ll pick up extra bits that I know we will use – not actually stockpiling, because to do that properly you have to check dates and rotate oldest to the front and all that, and that’s almost like work – these extra bits are for ‘just in case’.

Do you remember when the only way you got toilet rolls was singly or in double packs?  Then came fours and ….now as we all know, anything is possible. 
On occasion I may have picked up a couple of extra packs of the really soft brand we use and left them in the garage – because they come in 20s (or even more) these days, the packs are so large they need to be stored out there in an old cupboard. 

Do you also remember what I was saying the other day about having too much stuff…..

well I popped out there to bring another pack into the house and….

well, it would seem that (once the initial panic buying slowed down and it became a staple item on the supermarket shelves again) I’ve picked up quite a few extra packs of loo paper during this pandemic time –  how long do you think it will take us to use 180 rolls of toilet paper??

Buying in bulk – ‘just in case’ – good idea or not?

A little bit of trivia….this is printed on the inside of the cardboard roll….

Quilton loves your bum 😊

It’s Monday….

Yes, Monday has arrived once again, the BOM is promising a rainy/showery week once again, so it looks as though I’ll be finding indoor ’jobs’ once again!

Weekly forecast at 5.30pm yesterday

This past week those ’indoor jobs’ have included looking through clothing in my wardrobe in a slightly different way. Not so much – do I like this – does it fit – but do I think I will actually wear it again. Could someone else make use of it.
Same with crockery/cutlery, cooking utensils…..this time ruthless has been my name – sentimentality went out the door.
As things caught my eye so the reviewing and discarding began……sorry no photos because it’s all in the boot of the car (hopefully it won’t be too long before the op shops reopen) because if I take it out I know what will happen, I’ve been known (in the past) to look at plunder through ’donations in waiting’ and have second thoughts about giving things away.

Talking of catching my eye, look at this fabulous Photinia hedge that I saw the other day. Driving past, it looked as though it was glowing in sunlight so I made a point of stopping on the way home to get a better look but of course by then the sun had moved/clouds reappeared and that fiery look had disappeared. The owner must have trimmed it back during autumn to get that distinct red new growth. Looks stunning don’t you think!

I’ve been sitting here with my early cup of tea mulling a few things over in my mind, and you know what, I think that’s been one of the reasons over the years for my cupboards being full to overflowing with ’stuff’.
Whether its been necessary, needed, just in case, ‘ooh isn’t that pretty’, that would look good there……it all caught my eye…..and had to come home with me.

And no, as much as I admired it, a Photinia robusta won’t be coming home from the plant nursery with me. I’ve got enough there to keep me occupied.

What about you….do or did things catch your eye and whether needed or not come home with you?
~ ~ ~
Linking to Life the Week hosted by Denyse at Denyse Whelan Blogs. 
Do pop over and see what others have been up to this week

Cup of soup anyone…..

The aim of our winter trips to Bowen is to relax and enjoy life in a climate that is definitely warmer than at home.  Whilst there’s enough linen crockery cutlery and cooking utensils in the self contained cabin to keep things running smoothly for day to day living we usually pack a couple of plastic storage boxes in the boot using them to take some of our own bits and pieces along for convenience.  Taking a vegetable peeler and tin opener might seem strange but one year the ones in the cabin were ‘wonky’, some microwave cookware and a couple of sharp knives go in as well.

Now I’m not one for elaborate cooking while we’re up there but will ocassionally make soups which we have ‘chunky’ in the bowls provided  – then sometimes I’ll blend it smooth using my Bamix and serve in a couple of old ‘soup mugs’ (similar to this) that I’ve taken up with us.

We’ve had them for years – yes they’re vintage in some people’s minds – they get used when we’re on our own – and also on the road where they’ve come in handy more than once (as coffee mugs and cereal bowls in motels when I haven’t fancied the look of their crockery) They keep ‘food’ warmer than open bowls for a start and I’m not inclined to spill things down the front of me …..don’t ask😊

Anyway to cut a long story short I forgot to pack them this year, couldn’t find anything similar or any really really large mugs in the local op shops and was feeling quite annoyed with myself when The Golfer pointed out something being sold in Safeway.

Continental had a ‘special’ with their packets of soup mixes.  Buy a couple of packets @ $1 each and you get a mug….free.  I’m not saying we ‘don’t’ drink packet soup…we just don’t drink a lot of it…..but I use it sometimes for other things.   So $4 later 2 special mugs made their way back to the cabin.  Where they were used…..  Eventually coming back home with us, promptly being put in the mug drawer and forgotten about

Early last month –  it’s a miserable wet day, I’m passing time looking for things I don’t really know I wanted/needed when I see this!

And then this!


Some may call them Collectables – I’m not so sure

But then people collect all sorts of weird and wonderful things

What I am sure about though, is that someone’s out to make (and collect) some money …….only it looks like they’re not doing too well at it.  Unless they bought up stock when the campaign finished, they seem to be having a hard time getting rid of them  These ads were still there yesterday – same dealer, different ‘get by’ date.

I haven’t decided what I’m going to do with ours……keep them or give them to the op shop.  Or maybe try to make some money on them. Cup a soup mugs anyone??

Black or White? Sugar – with or without

Gosh it’s been a while hasn’t it – since we – as in – you, me and everyone else, got together for coffee and cake

If we were sitting there enjoying each other’s company I’d be able to tell you the past couple of weeks have been entertaining to say the least 😊😊

The day after Dunkirk was released here The Golfer and I managed to get to a local showing.  I went along so we’d get full use of a Christmas gift card (being dated 12 months unless there are films that interest us it’s a case of ‘use it or lose it’) and had thought I’d have a snooze in the comfy reclining seats during any ‘blood and gore’ scenes.  I knew the background to that event in WW2 but what I thought was going to be another war film turned out to be anything but. Great entertainment- Go and see it if you can.  Some of you may remember me telling you a couple of years ago about a tiny cafe we’d discovered in Healesville – – well just by chance I was looking for a spot for to meet another friend and found they have opened a new ‘branch’ not too far from us in Kilsyth. Very trendy, good light Italian styled food., good coffee, no pressure to order again even though we must have sat there ‘chatting’ for about an hour.  There are so many coffee shops come cafes opening up in the eastern suburbs it’s hard to know how they manage to stay in business.  Must be the ever growing number of retirees looking for new ones to try each month lol. The elderly residents at the nursing home never fail to entertain me.  The Musical Memories activity I help organise weekly is on hold for the time being while we have school children come in to form a ‘shared choir’ with the residents.  Such great fun for them all helping each other with words and actions then followed by a small morning tea.  Problem is it starts at 10am …. the time the ‘tea trolley’ usually begins to make its way round resident’s rooms …. and seeing cups, saucers and goodies laid out on the table (to be enjoyed later) was just too much for one lady who certainly didn’t want to miss out.  The activities ‘lady’ asked if they knew what a warm up was and quick as a wink she calls out ‘Yes, that’s what happens to me when I have my morning cuppa’. No way was she singing until she’d had her cup of tea so she went back to her room to take it from the trolley, then happy as Larry turned up half an hour later to join in with everyone else – AND then had another cup at the end 😊 😊And here’s something that still has me laughing even though I still can’t get over the cheek of it.  One of my loves is singing and I joined a second choir at the beginning of this year. Under the banner of that university of the third age it wasn’t quite as formal as my other one; it was a fun couple of hours each week which I was enjoying.  I mentioned I’d be away cruising all of April, that’s fine.  Came home crook and took quite a few weeks to recover, that’s fine.  Now nearly mid year and looking forward to the next six months.  Imagine my surprise when I get an email last week telling me I’ve been unenrolled because of lack of attendance – honestly if it wasn’t so ridiculous it would be funny.

That’s Entertainment I suppose

Top of the bill one week – Sweeping the floor the next 😊

Why not visit Diane’s blog and see what others are talking about over coffee