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F - Football - Fever - Fans
Posted On 09/17/2017 19:39:03

F – Football – Fever – Finals – Fans - Females

The sport of Football in Australia has been around since 1897 (I’m adding more information on the origins of the game at the end of this Blog).

Up until recently Football was played during the winter months by boys at schools and in junior teams and at home or wherever there was a gathering of Boys. If there was a football around it just had to be kicked and marked (Caught).  As they matured they joined teams as ‘Colts’ then graded into the senior games playing for their home town and if they showed excellent qualities they were chosen by the ‘Scouts’ ….men who were on the lookout for good players to join one of the State teams. From here the best are chosen to play for one of the AFL (Australian League Football) teams, which is every boys wish.

Football is a Fast and furious game and nothing like the football played in the US. It has similar Character to the Gaelic Football played in Ireland, but with some differences such as the shape of the ball used and a few different rules that I won’t go into here.

Supporters are extremely ‘one eyed’ about their Team and during the Football Season, especially the AFL one has to be very careful when talking to an avid supporter.

At the moment we are into the Semi-finals play off which leads up to the Grand Final  to be played at the end of September.  The atmosphere is at fever point….The team that I barrack for has done well this season reaching round one of the semi –finals and after their win last weekend are now in the Preliminary Final’s to be played next weekend ….Not sure they will be good enough to reach the finals as they have to play the top very best teams to get into the Grand Final. Also one of their top players was injured on Saturday and won’t be playing again for this season which is quite a blow to the team.

As I mentioned earlier up until recently Football was a boys/man’s sport but this past 12 months the Females have formed their own teams and have begun to compete in State Games.  I have to confess that I’m not impressed on seeing the girls play such a rugged sport and what was until now a man’s game.  But such things as ‘equality’ have taken over.  I have tried to watch the Females play but to me it takes away their femineity. However, I realise that it is a sign of the times but many people think along the same lines as I do.  Also the situation has changed regarding the football commentators on the radio, now having a female joining the Group. Once again to me it does not sound right to hear this woman trying to talk like a ‘Macho’ man…I always have my radio on and listen to the games being played while I work in the house. I like the sounds of the Music, social and Sports features. Can’t bear the sound of a ‘silent’ home.  I used to enjoy listening to the Football commentators as they described the game. Their quips, explanations, description.   Most of these commentators are retired AFL Football players and have a good grasp of the game.  Having a Female try to describe the actions in a ‘Macho’ way tends to irritate me, but I’m gradually getting used to it and probably before long I’ll accept.  Alas a sign of Age I guess!! J

The Game:  Every Aussie Rules match follows the same format; it is competed between two teams, each of which has 18 players, and four interchange players. Considered a contact sport, AFL is held outdoors on a large oval-shaped grass pitch, and revolves around the advancement of an oval-shaped ball. At each end of the oval are two tall posts and the overall aim of AFL is for a team to score as many goals as they can, by kicking the ball through the opposing team’s goal posts, and to prevent the other team from doing the same – often by obstructing or tackling their opponents. Held in quarters, the winner is the team to have scored the most goals after all four quarters have been played. At the end of each quarter, which lasts 20 minutes, the play rotates and teams attack in the opposite direction.

Each Aussie Rules game is overseen by an umpire, who starts the match after a siren goes off, by bouncing the ball on the ground. With every match there are three field umpires, two boundary umpires who conduct throw-ins once the ball is out of play, and two goal umpires who are the official score-keepers. There is also an emergency umpire who can immediately replace any of the umpires if needed. Matches held during the day use a red ball, whereas night time games are played with a yellow ball.

The league currently consists of 18 teams spread over five of Australia's six states (Tasmania being the exception). Matches have been played in all mainland states and territories of Australia, as well as in New Zealand and China. The AFL season currently consists of a pre-season competition (currently branded as the "JLT Community Series"), followed by a 23-round regular (or "home-and-away") season, which runs during the Australian winter (March to September). The top eight teams then play off in a four-round finals series, culminating in the AFL Grand Final, which is held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground each year. The winning team in the Grand Final is termed the "premiers", and is awarded the premiership cup.

The relationship between Australian rules football and Gaelic football is the subject of controversy among historians. The question of whether the two codes of football, from Australia and Ireland respectively, have shared origins arises due to similar styles of play in both games.}

Tags: Sport

E - Embroidery
Posted On 09/13/2017 18:42:50

E - Embroidery

Embroidery seems to be a craft that very few people do today. It’s an art in its own right.  I remember the fine detailed work that my Mother and Auntie did and other women of that era.   I was very fortunate that my mother was so patient in showing me the different stitches used in embroidery and soon I was creating designed Supper cloths, Dressing Table sets, Centre pieces for the table, doilies etc. using Lazy Daisy stitches, stem, satin, worm, French knots, chain, back stitches and the cross stitch. Not the fine X Stitch but the large style used for Supper cloths and Aprons using a much heavier cord type thread. Everything that we made was useful and not just for show. 

At school we had time set aside each week for embroidery projects whilst the boys made Cane baskets and Trays. Those days were a huge success and the time just flew by.

Sewing was something that I had to do so much of when my family was young. Wages were minimal and money had to be stretched a long way. Buying clothes was much too expensive so I set too and began making all of our clothes. I enjoyed the challenge of working out the patterns and the end result. At first I made endless mistakes to begin with. Stitching then unpicking after I had realised that I had sown together the right side to the wrong side!!! But it was a craft that became so useful and saved us lots of money.

Knitting was another useful craft that my Mother taught me. I was about five years old when I first began to knit. I will always picture my Mother sitting with my father by the old Wireless/Radio in the evenings listening to the News broadcast then the serials that followed.  So many times I would make mistakes then take the knitting to her and she would patiently unpick the rows and start me off again while she was listening to that old Wireless. After a time I learnt how to unpick the rows myself of which I’m sure she was very pleased when I did.  At one stage I purchased a ‘Knitting Machine’ and used that for many years as making garments was so quick and easy many with lacy patterns and Fair Isle. It was faster to make the garments than it was to sew the pieces together….This I did until the synthetic wools and stretch materials came into vogue.

Crochet was the one craft that I never learnt although both my Mother and Auntie were so good at it. Several times over the years I’ve attempted to learn Crochet but each time gave up because I could knit the garment faster. I think it’s something that a person must learn at a young age. Many of my friends do beautiful Crochet work and I envy them for their ability as they make it look so easy.

Recently I was making a few gifts to donate as prizes for our Card Day Raffle and thought that I would add some embroidery on the article I was making. I had not forgotten what to do but my efforts were terrible!! Finally I gave up in disgust and unpicked what I had done. It is such a long time since I have done embroidery and the lack of practise was obvious!!..

Tags: Craft

D - Dancing
Posted On 09/09/2017 23:19:32


There were several D Subjects that I was thinking of writing about but the one that stood out in my mind.  ‘Memories of the Dances’   that we attended as Teenagers and into our twenties.

These dances were held every Saturday night in the local Hall in our little Town. This Hall served as a Schoolroom during the week and for Social events on the weekends. Before I was old enough and allowed to venture out on these evenings, I attended the school there.  Each Friday afternoon after school was finished and before we were allowed to go home the older Boys and girls had to remove all the Desks and seats and carry them next door to put under cover on the Convent veranda. The Hall belonged to our local Parish and the Josephite Sisters lived next door. The noise of the music and the crowds having a good time must have kept those Sisters awake until the dance ended on the dot of midnight. They never complained as funds raised from the dances went back into the Parish.

People both young and old came from all the surrounding towns.   Whilst the younger generation spent their time dancing in the large Hall the older folk played cards in the smaller room adjoining the Hall. They played Euchre and Bridge. Occasionally a few would come into the Hall to join in the dancing.  This sounds as though we were being under scrutiny and watched to make sure everyone behaved themselves. Not so,  we were allowed as much freedom as we wanted.  Outside the Hall there were a few ‘wild & woolly’   things that went on.    Alcohol was prohibited within 100 yards of the Hall and frequently one would see couples heading out the door and off to their vehicle to drive several hundred yards along the road or back streets to indulge.  The local Policeman from the major town would ride down on his motor cycle and walk around shining his torch into the vehicles to keep everything under control (he thought!!),   Some of the stories that were told in later years of the pranks that some people got up too would make his hair ‘stand on end’ if he knew J.

Back in those days there was no Rock & Roll, Twist or the Limbo  etc…They all came on the scene after I was married and began a  family…. Instead, we had something like the ‘Ballroom & Square Dance styles.   The first dance to begin the evening  was the Queens Waltz and that was followed by a variety including the Military two-Step, Evening Three-Step Waltz, Quickstep, Barn Dance, Tango, and Foxtrot. The Alberts, Progressive Barn  Dance, Pride of Erin Waltz, Gypsy Tap,  Maxina Waltz, Alberts and several others all with different steps, movements and beats.

The band consisted of a local lady who played the piano. She never used music books but played all the music by ‘Ear’.  The local Post Master played the Drums as did another town resident when needed.    Another man played the Button Accordion. And occasionally another man would play his Violin. There was a table set up in a corner with cool/soda drinks or cordial and anyone could help themselves to these. It was good old fashioned music.   Many times the dancers would join in and sing along to the music. It was at these dances that many young couples met and their friendship ended up in marriage.

The flooring in the Hall was made of Jarrah Wood which was a deep red colour and extremely tough. Before the dance the men would spread ‘Floor Speed’ over the floor. This came in packets. It consisted of Sawdust and some other ingredient that made the floor slippery and easy to dance on.  Many a time someone would slip and go for a tumble which caused lots of laughter,  all in good fun. I doubt if there was not a person who had not slipped at sometime,  on the floor.  After the dance was finished the floor was swept by the men whilst the women cleaned everything else up and the following day (Sunday) the men would return the desks and seats to the Hall for School on Monday.

We lived on a farm 5 miles from this town and many Saturday evenings after we had finished all our chores, we would bath and dress up in our best/prettiest clothes and begin walking to the dance. It was never long before a car would pull up and someone would call out ‘Hey kids would you like a lift’ . We never hesitated to climb into the car as apart from everyone knowing each other it was safe back in those days , be it boy or girl to do this.  No-one was ever harmed.   On other occasions if one of the girls had a boyfriend to pick her up the rest of us were included in his vehicle to be taken to the dance.   We never had any trouble getting a ride home from the dance!!

C - Canasta
Posted On 08/28/2017 19:04:59

C – ‘Canasta’ the card game– Every two weeks on a Friday afternoon, a group of women get together at our local Parish Hall, to play the game of Canasta….It’s a fun afternoon.. We have approximately 14 – 16 players. The attendance varies from one fortnight to the next, depending if people have appointments or other commitments that day.   Over the years we have had an occasional man come along and join in but mostly it’s the women who attend.  

We do not play ‘seriously’ as it’s meant to be a fun afternoon where people can get together and meet up with friends, have fun and relax.  Several of these women drive to other towns to play at that particular towns ‘Card Game day’ some driving 30 miles or so. At these towns other card games are also played including Bridge, Euchre etc. However, we only play Canasta.

The ages of the players varies from 60 to over 80 years. Up until early this year we had one lady who was over 90 years and she was an absolute delight.

We commence playing each year in March and continue through every fortnight until November when we all go to one of the local Pubs/hotels for a Xmas luncheon to finish up the year.

On arrival each person donates $2 to enter the raffle for the day. The Raffle does not go to the player with the ‘highest score’  but instead, she pulls out a ticket to announce who wins the first prize. Then the winner of that prize draws out another ticket to announce the winner of the second prize…. (Two raffle tickets being drawn.)  The players at various times throughout the year donate the gifts for the raffle prizes. The value of these gifts, not to exceed $10.   Many make home-made gifts. These gifts can include Homemade Jams/jellies, Lemon Butter, Relishes, Pickles, sauces, cookies, Crochet Coat hangers or hand stitched tea towels. Face washers or hand towels made into novelty gifts such as handbag shapes, Pantaloons etc. There are small gifts bags with a variety of things in them such as hand-creams, Bath and shower goodies, room deodorisers, note pads and pens etc.  Potted plants are also included in the gifts.  At the end of the year the money raised from the raffle is donated to a worthy local charity.

Tables can consist of two, three or four people. The number of people that come to play varies each fortnight. Sometimes, like last Friday we had enough people to set up three tables of four. Having four at a table gives you a partner and 11 cards are dealt out to each one. If the numbers are uneven we may have one table with four people…. another with three and the other with two seated at the table. In the case of two and three at tables, the player scores individually.(having no partner).  With three at a table the number of cards dealt is 13 and when there are two at the table the number of cards increases to 15 which is quite a handful at the beginning of the game.

Occasionally during the game, a Cell phone may ring. With many of the players having the same Ringtone, several of the players will jump up at the one time to answer ‘their’ phone ! This inevitably causes a laugh !!

At 3.30 pm we pack away the cards and tables and some of the women go out to the kitchen to make tea and coffee whilst the remaining  stack away the tables then place the chairs around a large dining table. This is followed by a scrumptious Afternoon Tea.   Each player brings along a plate of food to share and the food is delicious!!  During afternoon tea if any of the members have a ‘Joke or two’ to share that she has brought along, she reads it out causing much more merriment!!! .   Following that the Raffle is drawn and the winners open their parcel to show everyone what she has won.

After cleaning off the Dining table and rinsing out the cups and mugs, making sure the room and kitchen are left tidy, we all head off home relaxed and with good memories of that fun afternoon.

B - Baking
Posted On 08/22/2017 05:35:55

B – Baking

Today I thought about Baking a few cookies and Cakes to freeze for the occasions when the family comes home or friends come to visit.     Baking is something that I do very little of now unless our local Parish is holding a Fete or we are Catering for a function or Street Stalls to raise money for the school or Charities. … …..Gone too,  are the days when people could bake cakes, cookies etc. and take them into Aged Care  or Nursing home facility’s for the residents to enjoy some  “Home Made cooking”.    Having worked in An Aged Care Home for many years I know only too well how those resident’s enjoyed that food.   Once again it is prohibited because of Litigation Laws…..

 Personally I try to avoid eating too much cake or cookies.  Especially those ‘yummy ‘ rich slices made with chocolate, Milo, Peanut Butter, Mars Bars, Rum Balls  and so the list goes on !!....It’s much too easy to add extra weight that I really do not need to carry.

 My Mother, like all the women of that era was a great all round cook.   Scones especially were her specialty.  They just melted in one’s mouth…. She would whip them up in a flash    then put them on a tray to go into the Wood oven….On removing them she then would wrap them into a clean Tea Towel until they cooled.  This she said kept them moist and light   I remember my brother and I were allowed to cut the Scone Dough into either round or square shapes.   They were a great stand-by when we ran out of Bread.   My parents had but the one shopping day a week which was Thursday, when they would dress up in their best clothes and head off to the nearest Shopping centre some 10 miles away and stock up on supplies to last a week.

 When making Cakes or biscuits, after she had poured the mixture into the cake container we kids were allowed to grab a spoon and clean out what was left in the bowl …. For some unknown reason that mixture tasted extra ‘yummy’ .    When the baking was completed it was our task to wash the bowls, containers etc.  and put them away in the cupboard until next Baking Day.  There were times when Mum ran out of sugar or flour and it was my task to walk to the neighbour’s farm, usually with a large cup or Container, and ask the lady of the house if she could lend my mother the ingredient.     This she did, then the following Thursday after my parents returned home from their trip to the stores, Mum would measure the amount lent to her and I then took it back to the neighbour.     What do we do today if we run out of an ingredient??! ….. Grab the car keys and Jump into the car and drive to the Supermarket to buy it plus a few extra’s that we see on a ‘special’ ,  and grab them while it’s on a reduced price !!     Times surely have changed! …. Something my parents did not and could not do, simply because they didn’t have the money to buy extras.

 When my father was working out in the paddock ploughing or pruning the fruit trees in the orchard or the vines and it was school holidays, Mum would mix up a batch of scones then make a ‘Billy can” of tea (No Hot Flasks in those days) . Place the scones and 2 mugs into a basket and I would walk to the place where my father was working so that he could have his morning or afternoon Tea.  I shall never forget that when I walked up to my father he would stop what he was doing and say “Oh good, It’s “Crib Time”.. For years I wondered why he said this and what it meant. Then one day I discovered that before he married, he spent a few years working in the Mines at Broken Hill in New South Wales and when it came time for a meal break, The Miner’s called it ‘Crib Time”.  A term he continued to use thereafter. Apparently it is an old term used by the Cornish Miners many of whom migrated to parts of South Australia to work in the Copper mines here.

 When I left home to work in the Dry Cleaning establishment in Town, during those years I boarded with an Aunt & uncle.   Auntie Eileen was my Mothers sister. She too, was another fantastic Cook.  Her Sponge Cakes especially were something out of this world.    On Sunday mornings after we attended Church Services and returned home she would whip up a Sponge Roll using the ‘Hand held Egg Beater’, then put the mixture into a container to go into the wood oven.   After it was cooked she then rolled it up in a clean Tea towel until it had cooled.    After it had cooled she would spread Jam/Jelly and re-roll it.  This we ate for desert covered with lashings of fresh cream that was separated in the morning from the milk of the dairy cows..    What amazes me is that back in those days we ate good solid meals plus deserts, cakes, cookies and no-one was overweight!!.     Everyone was so active in those days as most chores/tasks had to be done physically by hand, plus most of the time we walked or rode bicycles everywhere.

 Here I must mention my cousin Brian one of their sons.  When friends came to visit, Brian would whip up fresh pancakes. They were so delicious that as fast as he made one batch they would disappear and he had to make another. This was something that he loved to do.   His reputation for making the best Pancakes and Pasties was well known around the district. Sadly they have all passed on now but the memories still linger of those wonderful people.

A - Animals
Posted On 08/13/2017 20:06:28

 I grew up on a farm where there were lots of animals. We had over 400 Merino sheep. They were shorn for their wool each spring and the wool was packed in Bales and transported to the Wool Markets to be sold. Every ‘lambing’ season there were always one or two newborn lambs where the mother may have died or refused to accept her offspring.   These cute little lambs when found,  were brought home by my Father where we kids would bottle feed them with cow’s milk until they were old enough to eat grass and fend for themselves. They became so attached to we humans it sometimes became a problem even when they were adults, putting them back with the flock to live.  They were very adept at crawling through fences to return back to the home paddock near the house. 

  Then there were the Dairy Cows that had to be milked every morning and night. This we kids did by hand having 3 cows each to milk in the mornings before we went the 5 miles to School and on returning home in the afternoon. The milk was then separated and the cream sent to the Butter Factory.    Some of our cows had  ‘classy’  women’s names such as Peggy, Roma, Alma, Bronwyn, Petunia ….Then there was Bunty and Pet the two quiet ones that we all learnt to milk on.  They never kicked or fussed around and seemed to enjoy having us around.     Of course there were the baby calves which we also hand fed with bottles until they were old enough to drink by themselves.   Another chore we had to do before and after school. 

My father never worked the farm with tractors.   At that time not too many farmers had them.  Instead he used the Clydesdale horses.    They are such beautiful placid giants.   It never failed to mesmerize me to watch those horses in teams pulling ploughs turning over the soil for cropping, or pulling the wagons/drays, Binders etc.  Never out of step and in beautiful formation as they worked.

Then of course there was ‘Sally’.    Sally was a ‘quarter’ draft horse.   She took us to school pulling a sulky/Buggy.  She was the sweetest natured horse that I have ever known. My father purchased her from a local Butcher who used her to pull the Meat van when he delivered meat to all his customers until he purchased a vehicle.…..When harnessing Sally to put her into the shafts of the Sulky it was not unusual for we kids to climb under her belly to reach the other side to buckle up the harness.  To her it was a ‘Ho Hum’  here we go again attitude !!.

There were Chooks and chickens, Roosters, ducks, Turkeys and at one stage we had a Peacock and Pea Hen that we inherited after my Uncle died.  The Peacock would spread his tail feathers into a fan shape. The colours in his feathers were brilliant.

One day my eldest brother went away for the day with friends and came home with a Baby goat.  We named her ‘Nancy”.    She was black with white socks a patch of white on her chest and a white blaze on her face.  As she grew up she would run with the cows but often one would see her ’snobbing’  the cows and running with the Clydesdales.   When she decided that she wanted some excitement and new scenery she would jump the boundary fence into the neighbouring Station Property, and run with their prize Percheron Horses.   After 3 months or so she would tire of their company and return back home.

Then there were the dogs and cats. My father had a ‘Sheep Dog’ that he used to work rounding up the sheep for yarding.  He always purchased pedigree Border Collies, especially bred to work sheep.   My Mother gave my eldest sister a Scotch Collie female who had a litter of pups. Then our total of dogs increased so there were always at least one or two dogs as pets.    The cats, although pets, were essential on the farm as they kept the mouse population under control.  Often when milking the cows they would hang around waiting for one of us to ‘squirt’ some milk into their open mouths which they cleverly caught lapping away with delight!!.  that is unless my father caught us and then woe-betide us !!

Hence, my love for animals.   I can’t imagine living without either a dog or cats.

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