Sunday, June 20, 2010


Further to my previous post, I came across an informative article published in a 1955 edition of the HOUSEKEEPING MONTHLY, which I will now reprint for your edification.......


(The Italics are all mine!)

HAVE DINNER READY.  Plan ahead the night before to have a delicious meal ready on time for HIS return.   This is a way of letting HIM know you have been thinking of HIM and are concerned about HIS needs

PREPARE YOURSELF. Touch up your makeup and put a ribbon in your hair.  Be fresh looking as HE has been with a lot of work weary people.  Be a little bit gay and more interesting for HIMHIS boring day may need a lift and it is your DUTY to provide it

PREPARE THE CHILDREN.  Wash their faces and comb their hair.  They are HIS little treasures and HE wants them to look the part

MINIMISE ALL NOISE.  At the time of HIS arrival stop the washing machine, the dryer and the vacuum cleaner

DON'T GREET HIM WITH COMPLAINTS AND PROBLEMS.  Never complain if HE comes home late or goes to other places of entertainment without you, or even stays out ALL NIGHT.  Count this as minor compared to what HE may have gone through during the day

MAKE HIM COMFORTABLE.   Have HIM sit back or lie down in the bedroom.  Arrange HIS pillow and offer to TAKE OFF HIS SHOES.  Always use a pleasant voice

LIGHT A FIRE.  In cooler months, light a fire for HIM to unwind by.  HE will feel HE has reached a haven of rest and it will give you a lift too. After all, catering for HIS comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction

DON'T ASK QUESTIONS ABOUT HIS ACTIONS OR INTEGRITY.   Remember HE is the MASTER OF THE HOME who must exercise HIS will with fairness and truthfulness.  You have NO RIGHT to quesion HIM

BE HAPPY TO SEE HIM.  A good wife always knows her PLACE


I might add I had great difficulty typing this blog due to an involuntary gagging reaction.... (which no doubt you will also experience dear readers, should you be of the female persuasion)

I might also add that I had an Aunt who would never allow her husband to see her face without makeup. ( I came upon this interesting snippet of information whilst on an interstate visit to stay with the family as a 12 year old.) ...
She would retire to the bedroom each evening, put on her nightclothes and matching satin scarf to hide the hair rollers, touch up her lipstick then hop into bed.......  She was always awake well before my Uncle.... bathed, fully dressed and made up by the time he came to the table for breakfast..... and he accepted it all as a matter of course......  He was the sweetest person, kind and uncomplaining in spite of all the fluffing around, the cooing baby talk and incessant twittering that was part of her daily routine...... (I might also add that she predeceased him by about 20 years which may have had something to do with the situation !)

Those were the days my friends.......

(As a further addendum.....may I give thanks to Betty Friedan....Germaine Greer......and the contraceptive pill...)




Monday, April 26, 2010

MAD MEN.....and women

TV Promo on release

Over the years I've watched some great television....and some not so great.... But the series that has captured my attention this last year has been "MAD MEN" ..... Yes dear readers,  I've been hooked by this terrific series and can't wait for Series 3 which is currently showing here in dear old Aussie on Pay Television..... but not at my house!..... (No subscription TV I'm afraid)

So what is it about this show that has drawn me to the TV for hours on end....for not only did I watch the hourly episodes each week....I hired out the DVD's.... then watched the whole lot again in one big sitting!....( MAD WOMAN!)

What it was that kept me entranced for hours on end is that I knew these people.... they were part of my world ...the part that is now just a memory.

Some of the cast of Mad Men

Back in the 50's I worked for one of our country's largest Banks....
and just as in MAD MEN....women had a lesser role. 

There were no female Bank Tellers..... no female Heads of Departments....and as for female Bank Managers....forget it.

 We knew our place. We were hired as Steno/typistes....Ledger machine operators...
and should we marry...PFFT! ....out the door we went.... Once married you had to resign. ( I kid you not !)

 Dining with my friend Judy

Yes...this was my world.....and I was happy to be part of it...for that was the way of things in those days....and just like the females cast in the series, I dressed in the latest fashion....high heels.... nylon stockings....(suspender belts were de rigeur)...pointy bras (making the most of nothing) .... tiny waists....flared skirts.... (or pencil thin if you had a nice ass)... ass?...what am I saying...(.that was unknown in my vocabulary in those days).....and then of course there was the make-up...powdered and painted to within an inch of my life....and the gloves.... Never left the house without gloves, usually white in summer and soft doeskin in winter. Then If the occasion demanded it...(such as going out to dinner with my girl friends after work)....I sometimes wore a hat.
I was single,fancy free...and so naive.....and the thought of marriage never entered my mind

 A Special Occasion

And so my working life continued.....and just as in the series ....promotions came my way

I moved throughout the State  making new older and somewhat wiser..

Then came the 60's
but that's another story.....

But back to MAD MEN....and their women.  I can relate to it all.  That's how it was then....(though the younger generation may find it hard to believe). The ensuing years have brought greater  freedom for women...some may say at a price
but I look back at those years now in wonderment and marvel at the life we lived.  How far have we come !

But wait.....there's more.....

Mattel are about to release their latest range of Barbie's friends.......
And here they are....Don Draper and his wife Betty.....Roger Sterling and former lover Joan Holloway....
They say there's a market for these grown up Barbie Dolls......(Hope they've done their research!)

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

MY BOOKCLUB...and Obama

Another month has come and gone....and yesterday our reading group met to discuss two books...."Dreams from my Father"  and  "The Audacity of Hope"..... both written by Barack Obama

I chose to read "The Audacity of Hope" as I thought it would be interesting to read something he had written as a Senator, before putting up his hand as a Presidential Candidate.  I had some knowledge of what this journey entailed having been an avid fan of "West Wing" (and let's face it ...American politics are not for the faint hearted) and I did know it would be a long and winding road.....however we all know how this particular journey ended.

As always , the conversations led us into many diverse topics far removed from the actual books under  review...but who cares.  One of the joys of our club, and one that makes it such a popular group is that we can have free and open discussion.... have our ideas shot down in flames.... have our thoughts acknowledged with a smile and a nod....and always come back for more!

With these books however, the consensus of opinion seemed to be universal....he had known poverty...he  was a man of vision...he was a man of intergity....he had lovely teeth and a great smile...he had a beautiful and intelligent wife, two delightful children...(and the obligatory white house dog)... he appeared to be free from sexual fact, he was almost too good to be true.

And so the discussion progressed..... We talked about the diverse makeup of the American people, their hopes, their joys, their frustrations, their health care, their employment situation.....

We also discussed the people in power who pull the strings.....the parties themselves... the Senate...previous Presidents..(their successes and failures).... and what about Rahm Emmanuel..(will he get the boot ?) ....and how  the American system differs from our own....and how our own Prime Minister compares with Obama (alike in so many ways....and soon to meet again, this time in Australia)

In almost no time at all the meeting was over....  We felt stimulated.  We'd had great discussion.  We'd exercised our minds...but we hadn't solved the problems of the world.... That was for others to do...and for us to think about !

(I would be interested to hear from my blogger friends in the USofA your thoughts about your President....and if you feel satisfied with the way things are going.... .no pack drill ! ) 

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Coffee plunger & mugs
This morning I went op shopping.....

I'd been reading about all the wonderful treasures that could be found if you had a discerning eye....and with about 20 minutes to spare before collecting the man I live with from his Chi Kung class, I ventured in to the local Salvos Store hoping that the time spent would be productive and there would be something that would catch my eye.....

I was amazed at the's suits for $15.....tailored jackets, a bargain at $10.....but wait, I was shopping for ME. Lead me to the ladies' department!

I was not disappointed.....I took blouses from the rack (too small)...never mind ...

What about these camis?... still with the original price tag, now marked at $2 each. Thank you I'll have that beautiful saxe blue, and that cream one could be useful.

What's this....a whole rack of casual pants....$4 each....would I be lucky enough to find my size? ....yes a lovely pair of 3/4 pants in the taupe colour I'd been looking for. I was almost overcome with joy

Time was ticking by and I hadn't even been into the bric-a-brac. The handbags caught my eye....put that down I told myself ...but the leather was so soft...I put it back!

I spied a beautiful hat....where would I wear Melbourne Cup here, but for $8?....I had to pull myself together.

A quick dash into the bric-a-brac...... A brand new coffee plunger caught my eye....could that only be $4. Thank you very much

Then I saw a beautifully stylish Avanti water had a tiny burnish mark near the handle....but for $3 it was a bargain.
I checked my watch....time to go.

As I dashed towards the check-out counter, two coffee mugs...(50c each) ....were added to my collection. I could not believe I had this armful of delights and the sweet lady at the counter said...."That will be $16 please, would you like a bag?"

I was in shock....So THIS was op shopping ! 

Thank you to my blogger friends, especially Melbourne Girl and my daughters (who always manage to find such a wonderful collection of designer clothes going for a song in Melbourne).....I had a great time....and I'll be back!

Avanti Slimline Water Jug
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Saturday, February 20, 2010


My usual Sunday morning TV viewing has left my head spinning.....
While the memory was still fresh I thought I'd share with you a couple of  "pearlers" from our elected politicians and ever hopeful aspirants as they gently debated the state of the nation with some of our respected journalists this morning.

I am ever hopeful of "plainspeak" ....something that's in really short supply these days as they wind themselves up with the pre prepared gobbledegook that passes for policy...or even (golly gosh) ... for the  occasional educated guess....which brings a smile to my face....but surely not their minders as they try to salvage something from the riposte

I am ever hopeful for an answer to the question...but try as they might they never quite manage  to say ...Yes!....or even better .....No! 

How simple would that be....  Instead we get prevarication as they twist and turn under the belligerent questioning of the moderator......

Enough I say.....

Acronyms aside, here were just a couple of this morning's offerings...OPTIONALITY.....SERENDIPITOUS COMMENTS.....FISCAL ZERO 9....EXECUTIONAL PROGRESS.....the mind boggles

Dear readers....please bear with's not my usual style....I'm a simple conversationalist, but I do have a game of SCRABBLE on the boil....and I'm ever hopeful

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


On a very hot Melbourne day....with the temperature expected to climb above the 40 mark....we had decided to see a film at the Nova in Carlton.   

Our Grandchild was with us....and it was a special treat for her.  We were going on a bus....(something she finds very exciting)....we were going to have lunch at a place of her choosing..(also very exciting) ...and we would spend lots of time browsing in the bookshops...(this was very, very exciting)

All went according to plan.... the bus was on time....and I joined the long queue to buy the movie tickets. Eliza and her Grandfather went into Borders Bookstore to start their adventure....

I knew they would be down in the children's section, so with tickets in hand I made my way slowly through the vast array of books and magazines on offer....and it was then I thought I heard the sound of a dog yelping in pain.

I stood quietly and listened for it again..... nothing. 

A big display of newly published Penguins caught my eye, and as I was making my way towards it, I heard the sound again....closer now

I stood at the bookshelf marvelling at all the old classics ....most of which I'd read over the years...(and some I'd wished I had)....when I heard it again...quite loud... and this time very near.

I looked round startled and said to a well dressed woman sitting on a couch nearby ...."Did you hear tha" ....
I didn't get to finish the sentence before she yelled....."P..s off you b.tch!"  and the yowl of a dog in pain came from her lips......

I turned and moved quickly away from the scene....I knew instantly she had Tourette Syndrome, but never having been confronted by it before I was shocked and frightened.......

"Look Nana.....look at all these lovely books we've found" Grandchild's voice, so happy and excited.

My husband looked at me...questioningly.  "You OK?"     .....  I nodded

Later as we moved out of the shop I looked over to the couch near the classic Penquins....

She wasn't there.....

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


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Yesterday was Book Club Day....It was the first meeting of our group for the new year, and as expected there were a couple of new faces....both women.  

Our lone male member had that look of resignation on his face that we have come to expect over the years, but to his credit he hangs in there, not allowing the twittering of the group of post menopausal women to daunt his spirit....and he can be ever hopeful!

As is the custom for the first book of the year, it was an easy read....nothing too difficult to frighten away potential members.... and this was a BEST SELLER....(world wide)...written by an AUSTRALIAN author.... was partly set in our home state of QUEENSLAND.... in particular...MARYBOROUGH ...a small provincial town a few hundred kilometres to the south of where we live.
It was THE FORGOTTEN GARDEN...the second novel by KATE up and coming author....and according to all the blurb on the back cover,it would enthrall the reader from the very first page....a compulsive read...a real page absorbing family saga wonderfully written.  One of the best reads this year!
I couldn't wait to get started on the 554 pages, so I popped it into my suitcase for the trip south to Melbourne.....

Oh me oh disappointed was I.  

Surely all those wonderful critiques must have been about another novel?   No...I had the right book....  I laboured through it as we jumped through time, then back again, losing track of the characters who were so one dimensional that it was difficult to remember them.

As for the story....the so called mystery that would hook you was just so predictable I felt sure everyone would have already guessed the outcome. An unlikely tale, somewhat Mills and Boonish....(yes one of those was required reading as we had a M&B author in our midst for a few years!)

I found the book much too need of serious editing....(so much so that I wondered if the first draft had been published by mistake ).   I gave it the thumbs down....and went off to the meeting assured that everyone would be of like mind.

Imagine my surprise when half the group LIKED the book.   I was in disbelief!   Surely this erudite group, so well read couldn't have LIKED this book?    They DID!

So dear readers...I'll have to wear it, but as far as I was concerned THE FORGOTTEN GARDEN should have been forgotten .  We can't win them all....can we

Critiques welcome!


We have returned home to the heat....not the heat of Melbourne mind you, though I found some days there unbearably hot as the heat rose from the ground to sear my face. That was when the temperature was over the 40 mark, and I can't begin to know how it was around a year ago when the searing heat  was in excess of 46 degreesC... and so many people lost their lives in the firestorms.  

No...this is tropical heat and humidity accompanied by rain....rain....rain.  The wet season has returned after years of pretense and we are back to what we used to know....and I'm not liking it one little bit. 

But something wonderful has happened to my front garden.....  My waterwise garden, filled with heat loving plants, needing very little attention, fertilizer or water has suddenly bloomed with a wonderful massed display of white crocus, revelling in the inches of rain that has poured from the sky.....

    So I have taken some pics to share with you....

             Still wet with the morning beautiful


These little flowers are taking great pleasure
in the hot wet summer days........


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