This photo of my 3 year old grandson eating an icecream cone reminds me that when I was little, cones like this one cost  tuppence ha’penny, normal sized single cones were 5 pence and the big adults’ double cones were 10 pence. There were twelve pence in a shilling and that became 10 cents in 1966 when Australia changed to decimal currency. That means you would get 2 of these little cones for a bit less than 5 cents, which sounds just absurd!

Getting an icecream when I was a kid was a real treat, if we were very lucky we’d get one when we went to the beach. It was always Amscol  Icecream – vanilla, chocolate or rainbow , usually rainbow. Our fridge at home didn’t have a freezer compartment so there was never any there. On special occasions one of us would be sent down to the shop to get a brick of icecream which came in a rectangular cardboard box and was wrapped in newspaper so it wouldn’t melt on the way home. With our dessert  we’d get a slice each. There were 7 of us in the family so there was never any left over to worry about and even the cardboard was licked clean!

Now there are just 2 of us and there are 3 different tubs of icecream in our freezer. None of it’s Amscol  because the company that started here in Adelaide in 1922 was wound up in the 1980s. Instead there is 1 litre of Caramel  Honey Macadamia, 1 litre of Café Grande and 2 litres of South Australian, Golden North Honey.

I must admit that I still like icecream just as much now even if it’s plain vanilla.


Trialing a Living Edge

I enjoy watching Gardening Australia each week and have finally managed to try out an idea I saw a while ago.You can see it here if you’re interested.

For years I’ve been struggling to get a particular garden bed looking good. It slopes and our “soil” is not at all encouraging being mostly clay and shale, this bed also has gravel from when the pavers were laid. I’ve now followed Tino’s technique and hope the plants will thrive.

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Bottle Top



This bottle top reminds me of an ad that we used to hear on the radio when I was a kid. The jingle was, “Woodies lemonade, the best ade made!”  Apparently Woodroofes was first made in South Australia in 1878 and until the multinationals came onto the scene it was the only carbonated drink we ever saw.

We rarely had any fizzy drinks even on birthdays so it was very exciting to get some and to feel the bubbles tickling my nose.

For birthdays we’d get cordial but most of the time we just drank water. If there were plenty of oranges or lemons on our trees we’d make up a jug of diluted juice.

When I was at secondary school, friends and I would sometimes go to “Speddings Milk Bar” which was close to the school. We’d each order a “Spider” which was a fizzy drink with a scoop of icecream in it. The most wicked one was made with Coke. I don’t think kids these days ever have Spiders, maybe they simply have more sophisticated tastes!

Life on Mars

OK, I’m wound up again. Recently there has been great excitement about the possibility of water on Mars. Scientists all over the world can barely contain their enthusiasm about the potential for life in some form, if there is indeed water. Images have been shown at every news broadcast and what do they look like? Well in my opinion they are almost identical to Australian landscapes ravaged by mining. Great cliffs of waste rock and dirt with deep gullies gouged out by the infrequent rainstorms. Not a blade of grass grows.

Our Earth has absolutely wondrous environments, tropical rainforests, vast grasslands, temperate forests and even exciting deserts where, if you look closely, you can see fascinating plants and creatures living in harmony with the tough environment. We have amazing water courses, lakes, rivers and seas teeming with a myriad of different life forms. It seems to me that Mining Companies are being allowed to take this amazing place and turn it into another Martian landscape. Is history just repeating itself? Did man live on Mars long ago?

I really can’t get my head around the fact that at the same time we’re destroying our own amazing environment so many people are excited by what they see on Mars. They obviously don’t know they can see the very same thing if they just take a trip to any one of the mine sites in their own state.

A West Australian mine

A West Australian mine