Childhood Role Models Pt. 2

My aunty baked for the shearers. Her cakes were different to Nana's. Nana made easy slices, Aunty biscuits and beer cake. The mother's of the children at school sent their kids to school with boiled eggs with salt in Glad Wrap, and with French toast. They were the Italian and Spanish children I mentioned. I took fruit I think and rarely ate my lunch. It was always very neatly packed.

There were two families of 12 at our school. I don't remember a lot of what their Mum's did. Not all the Mum's sewed. I had handmade clothes until I was quite old. I remember a lovely winter dress I had once. My jumpers were handmade, Mum said from remnants. I actually inherited Mum's and Nana's wool straps when I started to learn to crochet. I wore a jumper and kilt like skirt and gumboots when I was very little. I had a pinafore that was lengthened many times. Mum's with tall children have to do more work, did you know that?

Verandahs were where people dried their clothes in the winter, it always seemed to be raining. The hoses at home were always on in summer. My Mum's friend, her daughter cooked the tea and washed up when I was a little older, my friend got the baking job in the family, and any extra potatoes the girls accidently made got regularly made into bubble and squeak. Their Mum used to go to our regional centre which was quite a way away and bought food in large cans from a bulk store. She also bought clothes when we were older from Target, even then. The girls sewed and they all ironed. Their Mum did lots of washing and one of the girls aired it in the small space between the oil heater and the TV. They did their own preserves as well.

My other aunty when I was older, her husband killed their beef himself. Their chooks were fed with maize from a maize bin. They had a machine to take the maize off the cobs. I think the kids used to do it when I was little. They also availed themselves to the shops far away, this time in Melbourne, when I was older it involved wheels of cheese and chestnuts.

Our butter and cordials and drinks were all delivered to the door at home. Mum only bought enough things each week to fit into a box or two. She went to the bakery sometimes as well, it was down the road, maybe it was over the amount that was delivered next door or later on.

Our grocery in the next town where Mum shopped was Chinese when I was very little.

At my Mum's friends when we were little we had to go outside to the toilet, it was nice to see the stars. The lawn was used to save going all the way to the toilet, only before bedtime. We had our baths in the dairy. I remember when older the bathrooms of my other friend was always heated with a kero heater. We used one of those when I was first married because our house was long, so we used one in the kitchen, then got another gas heater instaled, a wall one. They are banned now. This lady with the kero heater had a seat with was a cupboard with padded lid, and she stored her cans in that. I remember the house in our hometown before we came here had a seat that had storage underneath and we used it to store our excess kitchen equipment. I liked her cooking, and learnt retro dishes from both her and my step-Mum, one I still cook today.

My Grandfather sprayed his fruit and apparently these days it would not be considered a very good spray to use. Apparently curing meat in those days used a very bad chemical as well. Everyone picked lead paint off walls and was around broken asbestos walls. Once I saw the fish floating in the creek, I can still remember it very clearly. I regularly was around formalun and benzene which was used to stop the baby tobacco plants getting rot. Though everyone was very careful. My Dad and his brother kept a constant vigul, and there was only two children each.

Our sharefarmers, there were a few, their Mama's made nice meals. One girl always had her sweeping to do before she could come out to play.

Anything to do with knitting, I observed with Mum's employer. She was employed inside her house, and her mother lived next door. I copied her Christmas decorating ideas. I think they still got their water up from a well. My Nana loved crochet and soap operas, and I copied that lol. Not now though.

I copied my other aunty again with her dried fruit. They also made their own cheese from lemon and cows milk. There was always great occasion when my Nana toured gardens to see how everything was growing. Even everyone's idea of keeping chooks was different.

People used to put their rubbish sometimes in a 44 gallon drum. Local tips were sometimes gullies. My husband and I went through a couple of them and found Australian Jam Company jars that make great vases. They were not actually running as tips at the time I don't think. I don't touch old jars from people's sheds, if there are still any standing because I knew that often they were used to store poison. People used to poison foxes themselves, with strychnine.

Broken plates can sometimes be dug up, when pretty china some people had. In our first married house we found one such tip in our backyard.

My Grandma had coffee essence and I also like parisian essence. I notice the bottle we have in the cupboard here has the word browning on it now, because it is used to brown up stews, and the modern one is made by Queen. Mum always got Rawleighs from the travelling merchant. Apparently he had been doing it for years. I can buy Rawleighs here on my treechange which was also very special. I had a chat to the checkout chick, she on her family's farm had a Rawleighs lady I think. I bought some vanilla for celebrate finding Rawleighs again, and it is found online. Rawleigh's could be a little like America's Watkins. I think you can possibly buy it at markets now. I loved the pink shampoo. My Grandma had a Myer catalogue, and I liked to copy that too until they ceased to exist replaced by Ezibuy.

My Mum and Nana home permed their hair, but I chose not to do home hair, except for buns, opting for my Grandma's plain style, though hers was in a neat bob. My friend's sisters also had a go at our hair and clothes I think, like my middle daughter has started to tell our little girl what is trendy too. I wonder if my Nana's older two sisters did the same with her? I came in contact with her cousin who said when they visited the girls were always hard at work and even worked at the neighbours farms.


Anonymous said…
Linda, I have really enjoyed your posts about your chidhood and your role models. Thanks for sharing.
Linda said…
The comments on part 1 & 2 have been encouraging, thank you both.
There is so much here that is similar to how many of us grew up in the U.S. too, especially those of us from farming communities. It's very interesting reading, and brings back a lot of memories. Thanks for posting this.

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