Daily Prompt: Futures Past

As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? How close or far are you from that vision?

This is my first response to a Daily Prompt.

I’ve just read a piece by another blogger  writing for the prompt, “What did you want to be?”  The link is here, http://nonsmokingladybug.wordpress.com/2014/05/30/i-am-who-i-wanted-to-be/

It reminded me that although I didn’t have what others would call, “an unhappy childhood” there were things which happened often enough to make me sad. I remember pinning a piece of paper inside my wardrobe with notes to my future self on it, they were to remind me of things never to do. These I remember:

Never shout

Never give something then threaten to take it back again as a punishment

Never make promises then break them

Never have favourite kids

I don’t remember any ambitions to have a particular job so maybe these notes are an indication of the person I wanted to become.



The Blinding Power of Fizzy Drink

When I start thinking about relating experiences I realize I sometimes need to explain things that are no longer in existence.  That makes me feel as though I’ve stepped out of a history book, it’s just happened again.  Before people had fridges they had Ice Chests like a little cupboard with a metal lined compartment on the top and a block of ice was put in there.  The food was put in the lower section.  Trucks came around with big blocks of ice covered in hessian, the Ice Man had tongs like giant claws and they gripped the block of ice so he could carry it.

Today we all take fizzy drinks for granted, we have them so often but when I was little we didn’t.  One weekend some relatives came to visit us at our Henley Beach house and for a special treat the oldest cousin was given money to go across the road to the shop to get some Lemonade or possibly Coke.  I was so excited I was leaping about and when we got to the front of the house I raced across the road.  The palms of my hands went splat against the sides of the Ice Truck, the brakes went on and the truck pulled up.  I’m sure the driver was extremely relieved to see I was fine but my cousin, Heather, was furious with me.  She said she was going to tell Mum what I’d done.  All the excitement left me, I ran back home and climbed into my little nursery bed, devastated that I wouldn’t get any fizzy drink.  I remember Mum came in and asked me what was wrong but I couldn’t tell her.


You didn’t know that about Nana did you?

I remember my Nana's ice chest looking something like this.

I remember my Nana’s ice chest looking something like this.

Tongs used for carrying big blocks of ice.

Tongs used for carrying big blocks of ice.

In My Day ……..  


Weren’t those words enough to make you switch off completely when you were a kid?  A lecture always seemed to follow.  I don’t say them to my grandkids but I certainly think them!


We are very lucky to live in a suburb just 20 mins by train from the centre of Adelaide, capital of South Australia but if you looked out our front windows you could think you were living in bush.  The area is hilly with gullies separating the winding roads.  My children walked probably about 500 metres to the little local school of about 120 children.  They walked less than 100 metres up our road which is very narrow with no footpaths to the fenced off path beside the railway line where they’d meet up with friends coming from other directions.


Times have changed. Now, each morning,  “The mummy run” begins.  Not “Yummy Mummies” running along the railway path with little children in Jogging Strollers but a steady stream of cars heading to the school.  Council have had to ban parking on one side of the road because there was no way any emergency vehicles could have made it through but even so it’s a place to avoid for at least an hour morning and afternoon.


Why is it necessary for parents to drive their children to school?  This is not a crime ridden area.  I know some people believe there are now paedophiles waiting to pounce on any unaccompanied children but I think there have always been unpleasant people around.  Children need to learn how to deal with unexpected situations to keep themselves safe whether it’s on the road or interacting with people and they can’t learn to do that if they are always closeted in a car with an adult taking all responsibility.


I guess it’s indisputable, I’m now a boring old fart who says, “In my day ……..”

I Could Turn Cartwheels

Our old house at Fulham had a very long lawn all down one side of the house. It had been used as a bowls rink and was probably 20 metres long. Before a strip of land across the front was sold when the road was widened, there was a lattice gazebo in one corner and another about halfway along the lawn. It was easy to imagine very properly dressed folks enjoying tea and scones in the gazebo.

When we were kids the gazebo was home to umpteen bikes and the lawnmower. Instead of polite bowls tournaments taking place on the lawn we kids fixed bikes, played on the swing or the big, metal rocker. Dad liked to get us doing “gym” so we’d form pyramids, do “handstands” and also hold ourselves upright while our arms were under the chest of whoever was down on all fours. The thing that Dad liked to watch most were cartwheels and he’d egg me on to do more and more, one after the other all down the length of the lawn.


You didn’t know that about Nana did you?


The home made Jaloppy on the long lawn.

The home made Jaloppy on the long lawn.

Scared of the Dark

When I was young I was really scared in the dark.  Jaynie & I slept in a front room and I would lie awake at night thinking that if anyone broke in we’d be the first room they’re come into.  I lay awake and dreamed up all kinds of ways to stay safe, like climbing on top of the door so when they opened it I’d be up high and they wouldn’t see me.  Another idea was a secret compartment under the bed but then I decided if they were for sale the bad people would know about them anyway.  When I became too frightened to stay in bed I’d climb into bed with Jaynie, who was 3 years younger, and I’d be angry with her for not being frightened and just being able to sleep peacefully.

I was probably about 12 when I moved to the little bedroom closest to the back door and then I imagined that no one would manage to get in the heavy, front door they’d come in the back which wasn’t even locked.  The first bedroom they’d come to would be mine!  Another scary thing about that room was the manhole, in the dark I imagined someone coming down out of the manhole in the middle of the night.  I gained some comfort from the old clock chiming down the hours till daylight.The only time I felt safe was when I could persuade Mick, the dog, to sleep in my room.


If it was still light I was always convinced I’d be fine in the house even if it did get dark so when I was about 14 one week when Dad drove Mum to set up the flowers in the church I insisted on staying home.  Darkness came and the noises started in the old house.  I was terrified and trying to hold my breath by the time they arrived back home.   As soon as they walked in I dissolved into tears.


You didn’t know that about Nana did you?



The scary old house.

Citrus Tree Pest


About half the little dwarf Washington Navel tree has been affected by something eating the leaves. I searched but couldn’t find anything, I suspected Weevils. Last night I went out with a torch and found a few culprits.


Really tiny snails. I’m not sure what to do about them other than squashing the ones I find. They’re so tiny I can’t believe they make their way up from the pot each night so putting snail bait on the potting mix would be pointless. So far I’ve found about 8 tiny snails and 1 big one.

Dog Poo Composter

I’m grateful that my two dogs are only little Westies but they still manage to produce a lot of poo. I can’t bring myself to wrap it in plastic and put it in the bin so have been digging holes and burying it. We have very little flat ground and the “soil” is clay and shale in most places so digging big holes is very difficult. I’ve decided to have a go at making my own composter since the commercial versions, I think, are very expensive. I’ve searched online and lots of people seem to have success with home made composters so I’ll see how it goes.

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It’s now about 8 months since I took the first photos and the mix seemed to be getting a bit high so with trepidation I did some digging around in it. I’ve been watering the bin to keep the mix palatable for worms but the side effect of that is roots have now invaded the bin. Today I decided to slide a spade around the edge of the bin to sever the roots then I decided to empty out some mix. I left the lid off for about an hour so that any worms would make their way down through the soil.

When I came back I was delighted to find that the mix had a nice fine crumbly texture with no hint of smell. Because I know what the mixture is made from I can’t bring myself to handle it but it looks just like compost from a commercial bag without the smelly lumps I’ve come across in them before.

I won’t be putting the compost on any fruit trees or vegies, there is plenty of dirt around my place desperate for a bit of humus. This is the first time I’ve managed to fully compost dog poo and I’ll continue with the bin as it is. I don’t know if the roots will become a big problem but will just have to wait and see, for the moment I’m very pleased.


August 2015

We’ve been away on holiday for 5 weeks so nothing has been added to the composter in that time. I decided to empty it out again and there were more roots invading the bin but there were also thousands of worms. I used part of an old worm farm to try and separate the worms from the compost. The compost is just going on my flower beds and any worms that are in that should be comfortable in the garden though it’s not as moist.

As an experiment I think this has worked wonderfully.