Simple Fun


This photo reminds me of the fun we used to have playing outdoors. I think every kid likes having a ride in a wheelbarrow. Dad must have been fit, he’s pushing not only a bag of chook food but also three kids. Each of us is reacting in a different way. I’m clinging to Dad’s shirt, Mike is showing a very different face and Ricky is demonstrating bravado sitting on the “bull bar” with his legs spreadeagled under the barrow.

When I was growing up the standard suburban house block was ¼ acre(1000sqm)  but in Adelaide the average residential block is now 450sqm. Not only that but houses are bigger so the play area is much less and often includes pavers rather than lawn. There are more public green spaces to compensate but the way kids play there is different. We were contained in our back yard but rather than limit our play it gave us more freedom. We didn’t have an adult watching over us every minute so we were free to make up our own games and play with most of the things we found about the place. If we did something stupid we probably hurt ourselves or someone else and learnt in the process, that’s the way our life was. I think it’s only very lucky kids these days who get to feel free like we did.


Sunday Best


This photo reminds me of going to Sunday School in the Hall while Mum and Dad went to church. I seem to remember stories and colouring in.

I’m not sure at what age it started but girls were expected to wear hats to church. I hated hats. Mum loved hats. She was a milliner and it must have been a terrible disappointment to have three daughters and not one shared her passion for hats.

My brothers wore the obligatory jacket and short pants. Boys didn’t graduate to long pants until they were much, much older. Even most High School boys wore short pants. Their hair was slicked down, possibly with Brylcreem, that’s the only men’s hair product I remember ever being in the house. Dad preferred to just wet a comb and rake that through his hair.

The best thing about going to Sunday School was that it qualified us to attend the Sunday School Picnic held every year at Belair National Park. I remember walking down lots of steps from the station so we must have gone by train at least once. I also remember “accidentally” knocking over my cup of Ginger Beer in the hope of getting a fizzy drink more to my taste.

I think church attire theses days is much more casual.

Bonus for Being Good

I hate housework, it seems so futile, you clean up, mess arrives and you’re back where you started from. Today however I decided to put sealer on the slate floors and then I had a perfect excuse for staying outside because it needed to dry. I was rewarded with some lovely surprises.


A very resilient Orchid flowering.

A very resilient Orchid flowering.

A gorgeous Hoya flower, one of several.

A gorgeous Hoya flower, one of several.

A Katydid played hide and seek ….. well, like a little child it seemed to think if I couldn’t see its eyes I couldn’t see it at all.

I was very excited to see what I was sure was a Blue Banded Bee but getting a photo was very, very difficult. They buzz about like a busy Bee in overdrive. When I saw the photo I realized there was no blue colour and I have since discovered there are also Teddy Bear Bees which are very similar to Blue Banded Bees. Maybe the one I’ve photographed is actually a Teddy Bear Bee but I’m not convinced. I went back to try and get another photo and noticed there were at least 2 of these different bees and they didn’t like each other, certainly at least one of them does seem to have the blue bands.




This photo reminds me of the poultry we had at home when I was growing up. It was almost expected that everyone would have chooks and we always did. I can’t remember us ever having a rooster but we did have chickens. When a hen went broody and we were due for some young hens Dad would buy day old chicks and that night he’d give the broody hen a sip of brandy. She’d drop off to sleep and he’d slip the chickens under her. In the morning she would be delighted to discover she’d become a mother overnight and protectively strut about with her new babies. It never failed.

For a while we also had ducks. Mucky buggers. The ones I remember were a couple called, “Lucy” and “Lucky” and you can see Lucy in the photo with a brood. Poor Lucky didn’t live to be a grandad. We had an old auntie living with us, she was our housekeeper and cook. One day she fancied some poultry for dinner and having lived through the Great Depression it never crossed her mind that a duck would be anything but food. She dispatched poor Lucky and he became dinner that night.

Some years later we had geese and I would have been delighted to see Auntie Mavis dispatch every last one of those but that’s another story.