I learned to use chopsticks when I was a kid.

My Dad was the entrepreneurial type, always starting new businesses, always swearing that ‘this was the one’. We had periods when I was very young when we didn’t have a lot of money. However, for the majority of my formative years we were, not wealthy, but certainly comfortable. Dad worked hard to give us the life he felt we deserved. He grew up poor and he was determined that we would want for nothing. Continue reading


Harold Schechter in ‘Fiend: The Shocking True Story of America’s Youngest Serial Killer’

“…there is some abiding human need to imagine the past as a paradise – a golden age of innocence from which we have been tragically expelled. But a dispassionate look at the historical facts suggests there are few, if any, contemporary problems – from gang violence to drug use to tabloid sensationalism – that didn’t plague the past. And often in more dire and insidious forms.”

~ Harold Schechter in ‘Fiend: The Shocking True Story of America’s Youngest Serial Killer’

Harold Schechter in ‘Fiend: The Shocking True Story of America’s Youngest Serial Killer’

“The longing for a bygone age – for a time when life was slower, sweeter, simpler – is such a basic human impulse that it often blinds us to the fact that the ‘good old days’ were a lot worse than we imagine.”

~ Harold Schechter in ‘Fiend: The Shocking True Story of America’s Youngest Serial Killer’

The Humble Milk Delivery

English: Eight milk bottles .....outside Exmou...

English: Eight milk bottles …..outside Exmouth railway station. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I remember when I was a child visiting my grandmother in North Rocks, NSW. Staying over in school holidays was a coveted treat because it gave us the chance to be there on ‘milk day’. Milk day came two or three times a week. We would wake early, usually before Nanna was up, and find that the half a dozen empty glass bottles we had left on the doorstep the night before had been replaced with bottles of rich, creamy milk. It was our job to bring these in and store them in the refrigerator. My siblings and I used to battle over the privilege of opening the new bottle (and Nanna often used this as a bribe for good behaviour) because whoever opened the bottle was rewarded with the job of scooping out (and consuming) the layer of cream that sat on top. Milk and cookies were a favourite snack because the milk was rich and creamy and full-flavoured – a delicious accompaniment to the sweet crunchy bikkies!

With the prevalence of supermarkets the milk delivery has all but disappeared. Instead of the clink of milk bottles on the doorstep and the cry of ‘Milk-o’ we are more often greeted with the sound of revving engines and screeching tyres. The milk we buy from the store is in horrible plastic bottles, and is weak and watery – milk cordial. These days, in order to enjoy our milk and cookies, my kids and I need to add flavouring to our milk. And (this may be just me) milk seems to go sour quicker than before.

Yet another pleasure to add to the long list our kids are missing out on.



Things you don’t see as often anymore.

  1. Horse troughs Though I’m sure there are plenty in the country
  2. Brushed nylon sheets
  3. Bellows
  4. Cakestands
  5. Football pools coupons
  6. Milk floats I had to look this one up!
  7. Inkwells
  8. Nightcaps
  9. Three-wheeled cars I can’t say as I’ve ever seen one of these – though I have seen pics of motortrikes
  10. Black Maria police vans I guess this means Paddy Wagons?
  11. Savings stamps
  12. Mangles and Wringers For those who don’t know – these are the old-style washing machines
  13. Pocket watches
  14. Milk bottles I assume this means glass milk bottles since I see the plastic ones everywhere
  15. Jew’s harps I had to look this up. I’ve never seen one of these before.
  16. Carbolic Soap
  17. Tank tops
  18. Flatirons Does this mean hair-straighteners?
  19. Powdered orange juice
  20. Hairnets
  21. Starting handles
  22. Combination underwear I saw some pics of this online. This may be a stupid question, but how do you use the loo?
  23. Solid toothpaste I googled this and could find no answer – how is solid toothpaste different from ordinary toothpaste?
  24. Snake belts
  25. Sanitary napkins I’m not sure why this is on the list. I know tampons are popular but I still see plenty of napkins in the store…
  26. Half-time scoreboards
  27. Leather school satchels
  28. Basques Had to look this one up as well.
  29. Scrubbing boards
  30. Car running boards
  31. Shorthand
  32. Shaving strops another one I had to look up
  33. School belts for punishment
  34. Cassette personal stereos
  35. Twin tub washers I see these in the shops, so I don’t know why they’re on the list
  36. Lace-up footballs
  37. Radio shops
  38. Toasting forks
  39. Shuffleboards Looks like some kind of elongated games table – anyone ever played?
  40. Tea cosies and egg cosies Ok, tea cosies I’ve hear of, but egg cosies? Do they put a little beanie on their breakfast?
  41. Cotton handkerchiefs
  42. Nuns I assume they’re actually refferring to nuns habits, since the nuns themselves are still around
  43. Typewriters
  44. Cycle clips interesting contraption
  45. Cuspidors and spittoons for those, like myself, who didn’t know, a cuspidor is a type of spittoon