August Blooms

Photos were taken throughout the month so there has been quite a change over the time but this year we’ve had much less rain than is usual for August.





Throughout my school life I think I got a new pair of school shoes every year and they were nothing stylish. I liked it when I could stand with my feet in the XRay box and look at all the bones of my feet inside the shoes. Clarkes had a factory here in Adelaide and they were reputed to make the best shoes. The uniform for my secondary school had brown, laceups. Boring. Over the year though I became attached to my shoes, maybe because new shoes had to be “broken in” before they broke you!


Sometimes Dad would mend our shoes and I liked to watch him, he had a range of old cast iron shoe lasts and would put the shoe on one to work on it. When I was in Secondary school I decided I could mend my own shoes so I used to stop off in the city on my way home from school to buy a DIY pack from Coles or Woolies. Strong smelling glue was included in the pack along with two soles and little metal toe plates. I think there must have been a separate pack for heels. You had to roughen up the surface of the old sole, lay down the glue, attach the new sole then trim around it so it was a perfect match for the old sole. The toe tips had to be tacked on and I didn’t bother with them.


Heels were trickier. You had to remove the old heels then use shoe tacks to secure the new ones and I can’t remember if I managed that or not but since I don’t ever remember having holes in the soles of my shoes I can only think I somehow was just attaching the new heels over the old ones. It’s a wonder  I didn’t end up knock kneed.


You didn’t know that about Nana, did you?

The old shoe lasts, now just rusty curiosities.

The old shoe lasts, now just rusty curiosities.

Brain Fade

In 1971 after spending months hitchhiking I was fed up with being reliant on others to get me where I wanted to go. I decided I’d like a solid, big BMW motorbike with panniers for my stuff. Then I found work in Scotland, met Papa and eventually decided Trail bikes were more fun. In 1972 I settled on a nice, new, yellow Yamaha Trail bike, a 125cc – quite a difference from the BMWs which I fancied, they were about 650cc! Papa and I went to a dealer in Aberdeen and there I discovered that they didn’t make the 125s in yellow so I had to settle for blue. The bike was ordered and a few weeks later we went on the train to pick it up, I came back up the coast to Inverness then back down the main road to Aviemore.


When it was time for the first service I went by myself and took the “short cut” a road through Tomintoul  over the hills. The bike clothes I had were just jeans, an anorak made of thin, synthetic, shower proof material with polyester filling and my gloves were vinyl. There was snow about on the hills and it was cold. Very, very  cold.  Before I made it to Aberdeen I was feeling quite “out of it” with cold but luckily I still had sense enough to stop and get off the bike. I lay down on the grass and put my gloved hands beside the exhaust pipe, I stayed there long enough for my head to clear then got back on the bike and made my way to Aberdeen.

I didn’t come back home over the hills but took the long way round and had no trouble with a freezing brain!

You didn’t know that about Nana did you?

Typical 1970s photo colours, you can't even see the blue of the bike.

Typical 1970s photo colours, you can’t even see the blue of the bike.

Girl Power

When I started school at 5 my oldest brother, Ricky, would have been 10, a “big boy” and one day after school I was waiting for him to walk home with me. There was no gradual introduction to school,  you started at the beginning of the year when you were 5 and your first day was a full day.  No leaving early because you were just a new little kid.


I was waiting for Ricky up towards the front gate and he was playing on the oval with some friends. Another big boy came up and talked to me, maybe he called me “Squirt” or “Squib” whatever he said I was offended and I started kicking him in the shins. He let out a big yell, “Hey, Deland come and get your sister off me!” It makes me smile to think about it, all these years later I still remember exactly what he shouted and I still don’t understand why he couldn’t get away from a little 5 year old girl.


You didn’t know that about Nana did you?

HP grade1

This is the one and only Grade 1 Class of 1952, not a combination of several as you might think.

The Lost Child

Henley Beach in the 1950s was a very different place, there were fewer shops, quieter roads and everyone knew everyone else. I would probably have been about 2 or 3 the day I got “lost”. Maybe it was after Jaynie was born and Mum was busy with the new baby so it was a while before she realized she had no idea where I was. She searched the house and the yard but there was no sign of me so then she moved further afield and I guess panic set in. All the neighbours became involved.

We lived not far from the beach and tramline then across the road and up a bit were paddocks and in one was the black stallion, “Mercury”. I guess everyone would have been visualising the worst scenario until someone glanced back at the house and saw the little face at the window fascinated by all the activity.  I was standing between the couch and the window so maybe when Mum looked around the house I was actually poking about behind the couch, who knows?


You didn’t know that about Nana did you?


Do I look as though I’d deliberately hide?