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 Life in the 30's

 

In those days there were of course no mobile phones, no computers, no video games, no TVs – you were lucky if you had a radio.  Mum got a battery operated one on HP [hire purchase] but it was repossessed because she couldn’t keep the payments up; and also no refrigerators, most people had an ice chest. The ice was supplied every week out the front of your house by a man in a horse and cart; if you didn’t go racing out when he blew his whistle you missed out. 

Milk was delivered every day in the same way; poured straight into your jug.

Only the very rich had a house phone, most people had to go to the nearest post office to make a call. 

Again only the very rich had a car, most family’s transport was by horse and sulky (cart).  The owner had the horse tied up in a big paddock of which there were plenty. 

A lot of people owned cows also kept in the paddock.  Every morning they would go out and milk them, what they couldn’t use themselves they would give to their neighbours; of course there were also dairies as well.  Even riding in a horse and sulky was dangerous; sometimes the horse would ‘shy’ and bolt.  Deaths and injury were the same results as in a car crash.

Everybody in those days grew their own vegetables in their backyard and also we also had a big pen full of 'chooks', which gave us a sufficient supply of eggs. They were mainly laying hens with a few roosters thrown in.  You didn’t need an alarm clock in those days, every morning before sun up you would hear the roosters crowing. 

Whenever mum decided to have chicken for dinner she would go into the fowl pen, drag out a rooster, put its head and neck across the chopping block and with one blow of the axe chop off the chook’s head.  Blood everywhere when the chook thrashed around in its death throes minus its head.  Then mum would put the rooster in a big tub of hot water and then proceed to ‘pluck’ it, gut it and cook it;  sounds awful to you lily-livered people today, doesn’t it? 

You would much rather go down to Coles and buy your chicken already cooked, wouldn’t you?  But we’re talking about 1933.  In those days if you wanted to eat chicken you had to sometimes be your own butcher and executioner, for us poor people anyway. 

I was a little too young for such a task; my father was never there, so if mum didn’t do it who would?

 

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Travel

Southern Africa

 

 

In April 2023 we took a package tour to South Africa with our friends Craig and Sonia. We flew via Singapore to Cape Town.

 



Cape Town is the country's legislative capital and location of the South African Parliament.
It's long been renowned for Table Mountain, that dominates the city.

Read more: Southern Africa

Fiction, Recollections & News

Les Misérables - The Musical

 

The musical Les Misérables has returned to Sydney.   By now we have both seen several versions.    

But we agreed that this new version is exceptional, with several quite spectacular staging innovations and an excellent cast of singers with perhaps one exception who was nevertheless very good.

Despite an audience that was obviously very familiar with the material (if I'm to judge by the not so sotto voce anticipatory comments from the woman next to us) the production managed to evoke the required tears and laughter in the appropriate places.  The packed theatre was clearly delighted and, opera style, the audience shouted approval at and applauded several of the vocal performances, some were moved to a standing ovation at the end.

 

 

Read more: Les Misérables - The Musical

Opinions and Philosophy

Discovery of the Higgs boson

 

 

Perhaps the most important physics discovery of my lifetime has finally been announced.  I say 'finally' as its existence has been predicted by the 'Standard Model' for a long time and I have already mentioned this possibility/probability in an earlier article on this website (link).

Its confirmation is important to everyone, not just to physicists working in the field of quantum mechanics.  Like the confirmation of the predictions of Einstein's Theory of Relativity we are now confronted with a new model of reality that has moved beyond an esoteric theory to the understanding that this is how the Universe actually is; at least as far as the Standard Model goes.

Read more: Discovery of the Higgs boson

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