Tag Archives: Keep life simple

How it was….

You know how it is, you’re having a conversation with someone, the topic changes and you’re left behind.  That’s when you need a back up memory aka someone to remind you of the things you’ve forgotten 

One minute I’m chatting to my next sister about what life in India must have been like during the late 1800s for our Gt Grandparents – John Joseph Patrick Doyle and Jane Muir.

John and Jane Doyle abt 1876

Even with the ‘perks’ a soldier of his rank (colour sgt) would have had,  the climate and environment would have been something neither would have encountered before.  Likewise for many of the ordinary rank soldiers who would have been going on patrol up country.

Then a short while later we are talking about hop picking.  For a few years during the late 1940s/ early 1950s we lived in Cosham Hampshire – Dad had been posted away and Mum was always looking for ways to earn some extra pennies.  I could remember during the summer school holidays travelling on an old bus along with what seemed like every local woman and crying baby up Wymering Lane and over the nearby Portsdown Hill to huge fields full of enormous poles with vines hanging down. Then having to carry bags full of ‘stuff’ my mother deemed we needed for the day.  Next sister sent me this old photo to remind me of the look and feel of the hop fields.

She remembers so many different things to me, mothers singing in the bus, primus stoves and enamel tea pots, green coloured flasks with corks in the top, door stop sandwiches (no sliced bread).  Being allowed to get dirty, running amok amongst the tall hop poles barefooted or in the previous years gutties with the toes cut out…..because our feet had grown and there was no spare cash to buy new ones.
You can tell from those memories who was the younger one with less responsibilities!

Lots of laughter because when she mentioned gutties – I thought she said putties and had returned to soldiers in India😊

No, she said, those canvas shoes we wore during the summer.
They made your feet sweat and we had to clean them outside with some pastey white stuff.
Blanco I told her, made the laces go stiff and the white stuff used to come off, floating in the air like a fine dust

But weren’t they called Sand Shoes? Gym Shoes? Plimsolls?.
No, Dad called them Gutties, something else I’d forgotten.
That’s what they’re called in Northern Ireland

I showed her the photo of me in my white shoes and seeing the dress she had on she remarked (once again) how she’d never forgotten how she had to wear my old clothes. So I had to remind her about no extra cash and everything being passed on.  There don’t seem to be any photos to prove otherwise but we think our little sister also wore the same dress one summer a few years later. Sadly she is no longer with us to say yay or nay🙁

Not the shoes tho’ – they’d had the toes cut out so we could get another summer’s ’round the house or playing in the street’ wear out of them

You know, all these years later I still wear some form of those white canvas shoes during the summer.
Perfect for round the house or down the beach.

No need for all that messy white stuff these days – I just chuck them in the washing machine and hang them on the line to dry  and if the toes wear through, no worries, they’ll be right for gardening the next year

What memories have you relived recently.
~ ~ ~ ~
I see no wrong in admitting you’ve forgotten something – to me being reminded in some circumstances makes the memory fresh again

#keeplifesimple

Fill ‘er up….

One empty tin – nothing in stock at our usual haunts
So up the hill to Sassafras we went!

Cold grey skies, Coats and Hats on ……definitely C&A weather.
Just right for soup and sandwiches when we’d finished

And this was a nice surprise – a Mad Hatters Tea Party on the wall of the Tea Shop.
(painted by Master Murals, who only do FB & IG so sorry no link)

All dressed up ready for ‘the season’.
With lots of difficult to photograph, rather expensive seasonal teapots and other ‘stuff’

And this is what we went for – loose leaf Oolong tea
The Golfer’s choice of morning tea.
As I said, our usual Asian grocers have been unable to get some for a while
After a little investigating – he’s a strange fella who won’t shop online –
we drove 20mins up the road to buy a refill

Then went back down the hill to Olinda to enjoy lunch at Ranges

#keeplifesimple

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

Linking to  Monday Murals – it’s a colourful world over there with lots to see.

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

Hello world….

More revisions and changes to those dreaded but necessary restrictions we had in place for nigh on two years means our lives are constantly changing. Maybe not to the extent as in the UK (and possibly other countries) ‘no big deal – learn to live with it’ …..here it’s back to the office and except in certain circumstances QR codes check ins are becoming a thing of the past with masks not needed. It’s proof of vaccination – 2 plus a booster – that ’lets you in or excludes you from’various establishments plus at times a negative RAT test.

So even though daily case numbers are much lower (but fluctuating) , Omicron (faster transmission but less severe – so ’they’ say) appears to have affected some of my friends’ state of mind more so than Delta – they seem to have returned to taking it slowly – in fact much slower than before. They aren’t fearful like previously – just less confident with being out and about …fully vaxxed but still cagey about visiting the supermarket, let alone cafes and restaurants with a trip to the cinema or using public transport definitely best left to others.

That is fine – I’m happy to see them now and again under their own specific terms and conditions but meanwhile I need to get on and enjoy however much is left of my life.

Which means over the past couple of weeks while I’ve been trying to dig myself out of some bad/sad/down days I’ve sat in a breezy hairdressing salon (doors and windows needing to be open for ventilation) – served morning tea to nursing home residents (hoorah for a return to volunteering) – and sung maskless at choir rehearsal (it’s very difficult to sing wearing one so this was a very welcome change)

There was another (non dept of health) change to choir procedures that everyone thought was just grand – may I present to you ’Dog’ (yes, that it’s name) – a beautiful black & white Border Collie who was ’rescued/adopted’ by our accompanist during the last lockdown.

We don’t often get visitors who just sit and listen without feeling the need to join in

Dog was peaceful and quiet, possibly a little unsure, checking Sue was still there

Also with one habit Sue is trying to break.
Just giving her the sniff test to make sure she is who she says she is


How about you – what changes affected your recent days, weeks or even months?
Have they made life easier or more complicated for you?

Hopefully nothing as dramatic as the flooding rain my family in Brisbane experienced – all is well now. None came into the house, just the garden to put back together now😊

#keeplifesimple

xingfumama hosts ’whatsoever is lovely’ – Sue’s beautiful Border Collie was my lovely this week

Life this Month can be found HERE at Denyse Whelan Blogs

Carte Blanche or do as I please….

”Complete freedom to do whatever” source

The day I talked about the blue agapanthus EC mentioned white ones – which reminded me there was a clump of white ones growing near the garage, right next to the dark pink double Oleander, which is near where I park my car.
I’m not sure if it’s because of the ’heavy’ days we’ve been having but this year the contrast in the colours has been quite striking. The composition of the flower heads is exactly the same yet there’s always something special about the white that definitely isn’t there in the blue

12 January 2022

Fast forward a couple of weeks and this is how they looked. Very tired and weary and bedraggled. The heat had certainly got to them. It was time to give them a haircut.

OK, so I was keeping that thought somewhere in my mind for an opportune moment, trying to remember if the green bin had enough room for more clippings (those seed heads are enormous) and looking round the deck wondering where all the stuff on the benches came from, when I thought I saw the blue handles of the clippers ….(that would be secateurs for posh people 😊) in one of the tubs over there.

The sun was shining….there was just a hint of a breeze….it’s a five minute job….’cept I was planning on doing something else. So I made an executive decision- I gave myself carte blanche to do as I wanted – which (as anyone who knows me) turned out to be an hours sit down with a cold drink and a new rather thick (600 pages) library book!

#keeplifesimple