Week 27 – Christmas is coming only a month until the jolly old guy in the red suit visits. Do you have a special Christmas memory or tradition that you would like to record for your family? For me, two Christmas memories stand out, The Christmas I was given my favourite doll, she was called Joanne she was a walking doll and as tall as me. I loved her dearly. I still have her. She lives wrapped up in an oil cloth on the top of the wardrobe in the family home where my son now resides. She is worse for wear but I can’t part with her. I remember the huge box all wrapped up and tearing the paper off and being confronted with this enormous doll. I fell in love with her, She was a present from my grandparents. My second best Christmas memory is 1970 when my daughter was 6 months old. Her first Christmas. What a joy that was and a story for another time.





Growing food at home …..The modern trend to grow your own food is not new. During both wars, Australians were encouraged to grow for Victory.

Who grows their own food or keeps their own chooks?  Do you have memories of growing up with home grown veggies and fruit  and lots of preserves? Was it your Mum or your Nana who bottled goodies? Did you have a chook pen or grow up on a farm property? Share your memories….

1945 ‘Grow your own citrus fruits now’, The Australian Women’s Weekly (1933 – 1982), 22 September, p. 41. , viewed 17 Nov 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article47246621


I have memories of both sets of  my grandparents, post- war  with their veggie gardens and  fruit trees. I used to love helping them harvest their goodies.  Especially my paternal grandmother, who also grew herbs and  there is an association of sense of smell that can take me straight back to that backyard.  There were what seemed to me enormous fruit trees, in the yard, luscious apricots, and apples crisp and red, with tart granny smiths to be bottled up for later when the season had ended. Strawberries feature strongly in my memories as do blackberries.

In the 1950s my parents grew tomatoes and beans and peas with other staples. My mother-in -law  kept chooks and my father-in-law was a master a grafting and  he would have trees that grew almonds and walnuts, lemons and mandarins. Mum always had such a glut of apples that she would make apple sauce, stewed apples,  baked apples I never went home after a visit without several jars of preserves.

Thinking about this a thought has just popped into my head, perhaps this is one of the reasons we pay a premium price for Truss tomatoes. One smell and you are back standing in a garden with freshly harvested food.

Now days sadly for many people, we have become too accustomed to having what we want, when we want it, without a lot of effort.  As a result, we go to the supermarket and  we buy force grown fruit and veggies to have them out of season, or they are pumped with gas and kept in cold storage, or even worse we import fresh produce from overseas.

As I grow older I yearn for those simpler times.  There have been a lot of positive advances but in some ways, I feel  we have lost sight of some of the important values. We have so many labour saving machines and aids but we are busier than ever before and have less time for self and  family.  It seems in our overpowering urge to embrace all things modern we may have lost both the baby and the bath water along the way.



Challenge Week 25 Dinner Sets. I am back. Here we go again. What can you write about a dinner set or a favourite piece of crockery?

I looked at my cupboards and looked at the melamine and expensive junk I had accumulated. Then like a hidden treasure, a flash of gold caught my eye. My grandmother’s dinner set. Royal Doulton missing a few pieces but perfect to use. The memories flooded over me. Family card nights at Nana’s on a Friday. Nana serving the grandchildren dinner on her good dishes. I remember my mother saying to her that we would break them. My Nana replied, if we learned early to appreciate good things and treat them with respect we will always enjoy having good things around us. If a piece is broken so be it. It is only a possession at the end of the day.

Now my Nan was Primitive Methodist but that was a truly zen statement. So Nan thankyou. I have taken them out and washed them and they are sitting waiting for the next meal. Every time I eat, I will be reminded of the good times and that there is no point in saving things for good. Make now the good times.

I feel  like a grown up again. Kitchen cupboards liberated all plastic and multiple items banished. We will breakfast and lunch from our 1970s retro set and the evening repast will be served on our 1930s Royal Doulton dinnerware. What was I saving it for ..oh and don’t forget the cake forks and 1960s Rodd cutlery set…