Monday, April 27, 2009

a tea party with kate.... or, memories of visits to nan's in the 60s & 70s

i walked back in time yesterday when i shared the afternoon with kate and friends - nan would have been proud - the tea pot never went cold at nan's, and neither did it at kate's... and the home baked goodies never stopped coming either...

lemon slice, macaroons, cheesy choux pastries, butterfly cakes, chocolate cake, cucumber sandwiches, ricotta-prune-chocolate cakes, honey cakes, banana cake... and tea, conversation, tea, conversation, and more tea... it was an extremely pleasant gathering...

just thought i'd share this slideshow with you...

and thought i'd share Sailor Lil's latest 'brag shot' ... both looking happy, contented, sated... a beautiful photograph...

Saturday, April 25, 2009

delving into the early 70s... gradually...

i guess you've gathered by now that i lose track, go off on tangents, procrastinate, etc. etc. - i've just had a look through my 60s posts (and i didn't get very far, did i?!) so don't think the 70s will be any different! (except hopefully i will get through to the end of this decade)!!! a post here, one there... lots of other topics thrown in... but that's what blogging's all about isn't it!!!!

the problem is always where to start, but having 'touched on' 1970 in my last post, i may as well continue with that year...

Germaine Greer had 'arrived'... "The female eunuch" had just been published... she was an anarchist, a womyn's liberationist, radical and outspoken - i was 15, had just started work and was on my 'journey of discovery', and she would become a major role model for me (and many others)...

two of australia's 'political foremothers' died this year - Jessie Street (suffragist, human rights activist and pacifist) and Doris Blackburn, politician, peace campaigner and civil rights activist...

Jean McLean, Joan Coxsedge, Irene Miller, Chris Cathie and Jo McLaine Ross - founding members of the Save our sons movement in the 60s - were to play a major role in the anti-vietnam moratoriums of 1970 and became household names, and in 1971 were to become known as the Fairlea Five)..

how could you not be political in this era - there was an amazing energy in melbourne - the vietnam moratorium in May had over 100,000 people taking to the streets in Melbourne alone... it was estimated that 200,000 participated Australia-wide... ahhh melbourne - the most political city...

it was still a 'boys own' club on the domestic political front - John Gorton was prime minister - Gough Whitlam was opposition leader - and Bob Hawke had just been elected ACTU president.

we had a major disaster in Victoria... the collapse of the west gate bridge... 35 construction workers died...

unfortunately, they're not the only deaths associated with the bridge - according to wikipedia "police data show up to one suicide happens every three weeks at the west gate bridge."

the 1970 radio ban .. "a dispute between commercial radio stations and major record labels resulting in major UK and Australian pop songs being refused play time on Australian commercial radio stations" .. was to last from May until October.

this is a sample of what australians were watching on television...

Australian Bandstand
Black & White Minstrel show (!!!!)
Z cars
My three sons
Four corners
Dr Who
Till death us do part
Hogan's heroes
Get smart
Mission impossible
This day tonight
Mod squad
Dad's army
It's academic
Hawaii five-0
Sesame street
Monty Python's flying circus
The Partridge family

I have to admit, I was a Mod Squad fan... and check out the clothes... those cardigans are in the shops now for this coming winter - if you just take a look around out there you'll see all the clothes i wore in the 60s and 70s - oh no, i'm living in a timeloop!!!!

I used to go out with my brother a lot in the late 60s/early 70s... we had a good relationship at this time - the parents had split up when i was 8 and Darrell was 11 and i'd gone to live with our mum, and he lived with our dad for a while, and then our grandparents (he was an angry boy when they split up) so we hadn't had a great deal of 'sibling intimacy' for a while - we liked the same music, both had similar (sick) senses of humour and enjoyed each others' company... of course it helped that me mum thought i was safe with me brother, and there was the mandatory midnight 'curfew' - why did parents think that what could be done after midnight couldn't be done before?? (ha, little did she know we often walked out the front door together, occasionally went to the venue together, and then met up afterwards somewhere on the way home!!!)

we used to go to a lot of venues, but one of the best for aussie bands was st kilda town hall (which i'm sure was called Opus at the time, but can't find any mention of it - will have to talk to the local history librarian) where people like Geoff Crozier (aka the Mad Magician) played along with a lot of the others i've mentioned in previous posts - Jeff St John, Wendy Saddington, etc - there was also the likes of Ronnie Burns, John English, Russell Morris, Allison Durbin, Leo De Castro & Black Harvest, Freshwater - there are just too many to name but check out the Milesago website - "Milesago is a work in progress. Our mission is to compile a comprehensive, web-based resource about Australasian (i.e. Australian and New Zealand) popular music, popular culture and social history in the 12 year period from 1 January 1964 to 31 December 1975"... they're doing a good job!!!

we both enjoyed other styles of music too, and went to Winston Charles night club in South Yarra quite often... according to a Stonnington local history document on the social life of Prahran 1950-1990 "by the late 1960s the place that had once been Claridges had become Winston Charles: 'alcohol was quite legal... there was a discotheque... girls used to dance in cages... strobe lighting..." - we both particularly liked one of the resident bands there - a group called the Vibrants - and this was where i got to feel 'grown up and sophisticated' and drink cocktails like brandy crustas and grasshoppers... and no, i never had a problem getting into any of these venues - Darrell was around 17/18 and 6 foot tall, and i looked older than 14/15 (even though I was only 5 foot 2'ish (but i think i'm shrinking!!!!) - and it was a 'different world' then (can't find a photo of us together during this time - we really weren't big on taking photos then - it was a different technological world too!!!)

okay, i'm going to 'call it a day' for blogging and leave you with a couple of cocktail recipes...

Brandy crusta
(this is just one of the many versions out there, but it looks most like the ones they made at winston charles - check out the 'original' version here)

Sugar for rimming
2 oz brandy
1/2 oz maraschino liqueur
dash of bitters
1/2 oz curacao
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice

Rim chilled cocktail glass with sugar - shake all other ingredients with ice - strain into glass and garnish with a twist of lemon peel - quite potent!!! I used to love sucking the sugar off the glass...


3/4 oz creme de menthe
3/4 oz white creme de cacao
3/4 oz cream (edit - reading this today, 7/2/2017 - this ingredient would be just that, an ingredient, not something stolen from someone who was enslaved, raped and brutalized - any plant-based cream, e.g. coconut, no 'dairy' horror involved...)

Pour ingredients into shaker along with ice - shake, pour into glass and enjoy!!!

(oooh, sounds a bit rich these days... but i was young and loved the thought that i was doing something i shouldn't be - oooh, so rebellious (said with tongue planted firmly in cheek!!!) - but i felt soooo cool, sophisticated and adult - decadent even!!

and here're some 'germaine quotes'... cheers...

"Freud is the father of psychoanalysis. It has no mother."

"I have always been principally interested in men for sex. I've always thought any sane woman would be a lover of women because loving men is such a mess. I have always wished I'd fall in love with a woman. Damn."

"Only one thing is certain: if pot is legalized, it won't be for our benefit but for the authorities. To have it legalized will also be to lose control of it."

"Perhaps women have always been in closer contact with reality than men: it would seem to be the just recompense for being deprived of idealism."

"Revolution is the festival of the oppressed."

Thursday, April 23, 2009

54... who woulda thought??

and you know you're getting old(er) when cards like this start turning up...

feeling very lazy... it's been a good birthday week... caught up with Sailor Lil on tuesday - she made a delicious lunch and we shared a bottle of wine (i had a tad more of it though!)... saw the wee baby Finn and Chris too - they're all doin' okay... just working out their own rhythm - takes a while - such major life change... it was a very enjoyable, companionable afternoon... had another delicious evening meal with Irene and Brann - indian from Kantipur restaurant - best indian i've had for a long time... got some beautiful gifts - don't mind aging at all...

have been scanning some photos this morning and 'playing around' with my first 70s post... trying to get the sequence of things right - not so easy 'these days'...

i definitely 'left' school somewhere around august 1970 - we were very much a working class family and my mother was determined i'd get a good office job before the end of the year when there'd be hordes of school-leavers looking for work - so she arranged an interview for me and i got my very first job as a receptionist - there were a lot of male employees - it was extremely intimidating, but totally exhilarating - after all, i had come straight from a very poor, catholic, all-girls school - holy redeemer (no redeeming went on there!!!)!!!

i was now 'out in the world' - i was earning money - i was 'almost' an adult - I was 15, going on 16 years of age and 'the world' was just opening up for me - it was the start of the 70s, and i was ready to experience 'adult' life!!!

oooh, got caught up 'thinking out loud' and spent more time than i meant to on this - it was just going to be a quick post about my birthday!!! so i need to go and do some other things, think about the past and leave you with this photo (circa 1970 according to me mum's dating, 1971 according to mine!) - anyway i was either 15 or 16 - and i was wearing the fashion of the day - the midi and maxi-skirts we back in vogue!!!! (bet you're sorry you can't see that!!!)

sorry about the quality of the scanned photo... we only had 'crude' technology in those days compared to now...

anyway, more soon... now i'm really taking Louie for his walk, while the old girl is crashed out...

Sunday, April 19, 2009

i'm thinkin' of the 70s...

if you missed my last post, i mentioned i might blog about the 70s (another walk down memory lane).. i'm gettin' there (slowly)... the 70s were a 'milestone' era for me - I turned 15 in 1970, left school and started my first job... i was on my way to 'adult independence'... it was an exciting, changing time...

after working yesterday i'm finally off work for the next week - feeling a tad rundown because it's been manic at work for ages - but now i've got a bit of time there's a lot of 'drafting' to be done, memories to be recalled (and research to 'jog' the memory), photos to be scanned, and of course bongs to be stacked and smoked... so while i'm working on all of that i thought i'd give you a taste of the aussie music i was into in the very late 60s/very early 70s - apart from Janis Joplin... no, i know she wasn't australian and I wasn't actually into her at this point - I didn't become addicted until the late 70s - but as she died in 1970 I just couldn't not include a couple of her songs - she was a pioneer, she had an incredible talent, she was a woman in a male dominated field, who lived and played hard because that's what it took - unfortunately she paid the ultimate price...

“Joplin belonged to that select group of pop figures who mattered as much for themselves as for their music. Among American rock performers, she was second only to Bob Dylan in importance as a creator-recorder-embodiment of her generation’s mythology.” (read more here)

we had the talents of Wendy Saddington and Renee Geyer in Australia... and then there were bands like the Masters Apprentices (I now knew what young lust really was - I was 15 and hormonal, and Jim Keays was fucking hot!!!), Zoot (another 'pretty boy' band - and who wasn't drooling over Rick Springfield, male or female??)... and remember, the Palais Theatre was a popular venue 'in those days' so with me mum being head cashier, I got to see a lot of good aussie bands (and for free)... living in St Kilda meant lots of live venues close by as well.. who needed overseas bands - there was a wealth of talent right here!!!

the 70s was an amazing era for music - there are so many aussie bands still to come - ac/dc (with Bon Scott of course!), skyhooks, sherbet, chisels (just to name a few - but they weren't around just yet- and i bet you just can't wait!!!) - it was an 'eclectic' musical experience - a creative and innovative time - and i wouldn't have wanted to grow up in any other era!!! (the 70s posts might take a while - it was a really political, radical and rebellious time too!!!)

enjoy (but there are a lot of 'sync' problems! - and the sound isn't too crash hot!! forgive the era and it's very rudimentary technology!!!)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

i'm not gonna write about it again...

but i'll mention it's that christian 'pagan celebration rip-off' time - easter - and if you weren't following my blog last year you can check out my previous post "another stolen fertility celebration"... oooh, but when you've got the bottomless-pit munchies, walking through a supermarket can be a dangerous thing - all that chocolate on display - forget the shopping list - you can live on chocolate can't you - found the aisle, now where's that fair-trade chocolate???"

caught up with larry-the-librarian the other evening... had a very pleasant 'chin-wag'... shared some organic home produce with him - so nice to be able to share something you grew, made, cooked, whatever, with friends...

hoping to catch up with sailor lily week after next sometime... 'tis her birthday on the 18th april and mine on the 21st - i'm on holidays for the week then, yes!!!! - so can't wait to see her and meet the wee baby Finn...

i finished reading The Suspicions of Mr Whicher or The Murder at Road Hill House by Kate Summerscale - i really enjoyed it but it did take a while to get into...

have another book by the same author - The Queen of Whale Cay : The Eccentric Story of 'Joe' Carstairs, Fastest Woman on Water - that might be my next read when i finish my current book...

i've been having a nice relaxing weekend so far... almost finished an easy to read (and follow) mystery - Hidden by Katy Gardner - watched an interesting movie last night - 1408... not bad at all if you're into supernatural phenomena etc. - based on a stephen king story....

i've been thinking about what to write about next... thought seeing as how last year on my birthday i started a series of reminiscences of the 60s, i might tackle the 70s this time... an exciting and interesting era - from protests, gough whitlam, disasters to disco (or was disco a disaster too?) - but more of that closer to my birthday!!

i've just finished watching a really, really good movie...

The Bank job ... "Based on the true story of the 1971 Baker Street bank robbery which was hushed up at the time by a Government gagging order. The real story of how one of the biggest robberies in British history took place." read more here.

talk about fucked political morality, graft and corruption... i highly recommend it!!!! one of the best movies i think i've seen in a while!!! brilliant!!!!

just a wee digress before i finish... we're coming up to 12 months in this house - waiting for the agents to let us know when they're coming to inspect the property (they've already bailed once!!!) - hope we get an extension on the lease... this is a grouse house to have two living areas - it's like having your own large flat (duplex?) or half-house - with outdoor areas - and neither of us has to deal with the other human house-dweller if we don't want to (and that happens a lot more these days!!!) - or we can have companionship if we want it... the animals have a wonderful time going between living spaces and different human contact - i luv it, and they luv it... and of course me old girl Allie would find it very difficult (not to mention traumatic) to have to get used to a different place...

since turning 50 a few years ago i just luv having my own space - i need it... solitude is not a dirty word - it's a necessary, sanity-saving interlude to the hustle and bustle of dealing with the outside world - if you work with the public you'll know what i mean!!!!

on that note, it's ciao for now...

Thursday, April 2, 2009

the wee baby Finn is here!!!

It wasn't an easy birth - but after problems and intervention he's arrived... he's beautiful... everyone's in love... kudos to Sailor Lil 'n Cap'n Chris... he looks like a real sweetie... he has a good set of lungs apparently... Lil's milk
came in today so she's a happy (and, no doubt, more comfortable) woman, Finn's an even happier wee babe, and Chris is ecstatic... all are doin' well... but I'll bet emotionally overwhelmed at the moment!!!

... click here to

bet you want to see more pictures of him - and the proud parents...

just a quick post tonight - had to share Lil's happiness with the world!!!!