Share Your World – Week 44

November 6, 2014 at 4:04 pm | Posted in Australia, Family History, Gratitude, Health, Social Responsibility | 6 Comments
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What is your most vivid memory of the kitchen in your childhood?

 

The sink! When I was five, we came to Australia from England. We lived in a small caravan for almost three years – six of us! Then Dad transported a tiny three-roomed house to the block of land he’s bought. There was a lounge room, a kitchen and a bedroom – to house all of us. We thought we had moved into a palace!

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Our kitchen.

The kitchen sink became an important part of the house, not just because we three girls always had to do the washing up, but the whole family also had to bathe there – not an easy task. The part of bathing I remember most was hair-washing. We would boil the electric jug – we had no hot water yet – and fill a bucket with warm water, which we sat on the draining board. Then we’d heat more water to put in the sink.

Standing at the sink, we’d wet our hair, rub on laundry bar soap and wash it, then pull the plug to let the soapy water drain out. The person who was strong enough to lift the bucket of water – usually Mum or Dad – would then pour it gradually over our head to rinse out the soap. Many a time we would all end up soaked when their hold slipped, or they poured too fast, or just because they wanted to tease.

Another reason I remember the kitchen sink so well is that when my little brother was three (I was thirteen), he was standing on a stool at the sink playing in the water with his little boats when he fell off it. He had contracted polio, the first of three in our family to get it during the epidemic that raged in our district during 1961.

I could not count how many times I have washed up at that sink. I took this photo last July, just after Dad died. It is the same sink that was in the house when I was about seven years old. The cupboards are also the same ones, and very much as they were back then.

As a child, who was your favourite relative?

Agnes Atkinson c.1960I cannot remember much about being in England, and that includes my grandparents. I know they were special, but I guess I thought of them as just being there. In Australia, there was only Dad’s sister and her family, and at the time, they weren’t anything special.

In 1958 my mother’s parents came out from England, and lived with us for a while. That’s when I got to know Grandma. She was completely deaf, so communication was often difficult. However, she was loving and gentle, and had beautifully soft hands. She gave us children a shilling a week pocket money while she was with us, the only pocket money I ever received as a child. When my grandfather decided he hated Australia and took Grandma back to England in 1961, we were all devastated. Granddad died only two years later and Grandma, alone, made the journey back to Australia by ship. It was great to have her back.

What did you or did not like about the first apartment you ever rented?

When my first husband and I married, we were both posted as teachers to a country town eight hours’ drive from my family home. The first flat we rented there had just one bedroom, but a large living area and a decent kitchen and bathroom – better than I was used to at home. It was in good condition too. Those were the best things about it.

The thing I liked least about it was how dark it was. Being an inner flat of a row of four, meant that there were windows only at the ends. To me it felt closed in and unfriendly, and added to my homesickness and depression.

What kind of TV commercial would you like to make? Describe it.

Do the right thingI wouldn’t want to make an ad for a commercial product – we have too many as it is. “I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony”. BTW, I don’t watch commercial TV because I cannot stand the ads.

I would like to re-make the ads that our government ran in the 1970s, called “Do the right thing”. It was a tremendously successful campaign about getting people to put their rubbish in the bin and not trash our country. I would not change anything about them.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Gratitude:  I am grateful for my husband who has been so patient with my depression over the last few weeks.

??????????This week, I am looking forward to visiting a dear friend who is recovering in hospital after an operation for bowel cancer. She is 92, and the most delightful, funny, positive, talkative and caring little lady (under 5 ft short) I have ever known. Like my dad was, she is a real inspiration.

(c) Linda Visman

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6 Comments »

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  1. Once again Linda your post awakened memories for me. I remember our old kitchen so well. The thing that stuck out for me was the old coal stove, especially during Winter. Sometimes it would get so hot that it would glow red. This old stove was the heart of the kitchen and we would even sit around it after supper. 🙂

    • Nothing like stirring good memories, is there Don? 🙂
      It’s a long time since coal was a common household fuel!
      I have often wished for a wood-burning stove in our house now. I’ve had them in the past, and there is something so homely about them. 🙂
      Thank you for your comment.

  2. Thank you Linda, I love hearing memories of the past, with my being 63, I remember a lot of them. Like the washing tub being used as my bath in the laundry of the Hostel for English migrants where I was born.

    I’m grateful this week that I have no pain and look forward to starting my counseling course on line next week.

    Christian Love – Anne

    • Nice to hear from you Anne. We used the tub in front of the fire for baths when we still lived in Lancashire. 🙂
      Being pain free is certainly something to be grateful for! Hope it stays that way. 🙂

  3. The Do the Right Thing posters/advertisement were how things were back then. We weren’t afraid of telling people to get on board and behave like responsible citizens. I wonder how they would get on now in our oh so politically correct and self-esteem protective society!


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