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Showing posts from March, 2023


  To finish the back-in-time posts I have been doing recently let's take a little while to remember what washing day was like back in the 1950s.   Washing day was Monday (I don't know what Mum did when it rained on Monday).  She was up early to fill the copper with water from the tank and light a fire under it to get the water hot.  Washing powder (or maybe Sunlight soap) was added to the water and the clothes put in and cooked for a while.  The hot clothes were lifted out with a stick (like a broom stick without the broom head) and put into the washing trolley.  From there the clothes were transferred to the cement tubs where they were rinsed (and white things given a final rinse in Ricketts Blue).  The items were squeezed by cranking them through the rollers of the mangle and then out to be pegged on the line. Oh yes, there was one more step for table linen, school blouses and shirts, they were dipped in starch (I loved dissolving the starch in the a small amount of water in


I was catching the bus from Lithgow to Kandos on Friday afternoon and realised on reaching Lithgow that I had not brought a jumper with me (not surprising given the fiercely hot weather we are experiencing).  I find the bus air conditioning too cold so was resigned to going up the main street looking for a shop were I could buy something to keep me warm, even though I begrudged buying something I didn't need. Then I saw an op shop over the road (I never got to op shops). I popped in, and soon after popped out with a lovely lightweight hand knitted jumper for $1!   Clothes are another thing we are overdoing with fast fashion filling up the op shops faster than they can sell things.  When I was a child it was all hand-me-down clothing.  I waited impatiently for my big sister to outgrow her Sunday best dress so I could get a turn before passing it on to little sister.   Later as a teenager I made my own dresses but had a limited number of outfits and anything else we needed was supple

Further back in time

Dozens and dozens of spider lilies are popping up in my garden beds now autumn is on its way.  My Mum used to get very excited by the one or two in her garden. I have been thinking of Mum and Helen's comment on my post last week about going back to the 70s " Paper bags for sale but still far too many unnecessarily prepackaged in plastic, items."   Let's go further back in time to the 50s and 60s of my childhood. Mum would go shopping at Mr Symes General Store, perch on a high stool by the counter and order 1 pound of this, 8 ounces of that and Mr Symes would weigh things out and put them in paper bags. She would then carry them home in her string bag.  Perhaps she would pop into Mr Pitt's butcher shop on the way and buy meat which was wrapped in old newspapers. And at the bakery loaves were wrapped in tissue paper. Back at home, each morning the milkman poured milk into the billy waiting on the front step. There were big bulk tins of flour, sugar, honey and golden

Back to the 70s

  I see paper bags are now available in the supermarket.  Do you remember that in the 70s all of our shopping was packed into such bags and how awful they were -- no handles and the bottom dropped out as soon as one of two cans or bottles were put in them.   I am not going to go back there if I can avoid it. I have been digging through old letters recently and found this interesting snippet in one I wrote to my Mum and Dad from Canberra in August 1974 "The prices are ridiculous. You go to Woolies and find 3 and 4 price stickers on top of each other. Woolies in Brisbane had a policy of not putting up the price in old stock.  They sure do down here as you search through for the one the tag has fallen off or they missed." Of course today they are putting up prices all the time just at the touch of the computer and I am unaware other than noticing the total grocery bill is constantly growing (not too much since I have a productive veggie garden).  Here's another interesting s