Friday, June 26, 2015


For more years than I care to remember I have read The People's Friend, a magazine for women, a magazine that some may think is suitable for the older lady, but in fact when I first met this magazine I was barely into my 30's.  There are advertisements, but not a lot; there are puzzles and crosswords [the cryptic crossword takes ages to work out with scribbles on pieces of paper and the dictionary close by], and there are letters by readers.
In the last magazine received, a regular piece, "The Farmer and his Wife", mentioned perfume ... 4711 perfume.  What a plethora of memories those four figures brought to mind! 
Way back in the days when country towns had a picture theatre and when young folk, and the not so young, attended the pictures at least once a week the cloakrooms would reek of perfumes as we tried our best to improve what nature had given us.  Eye shadows, often frowned upon by 'the parents' was stroked on liberally, perfume dabbed behind the ears, and hair back combed within an inch of its life.  Teenagers were ready for the world!
My favourite perfume was "Evening in Paris" that had its own special smell [Midnight in the Sewer catcalled the local boys].  The girls ignored the ignorant comments ... but smirked to each other ... 'they had noticed!' A few years ago I visited a museum of 'artefacts' from bygone eras and Evening in Paris deep blue/almost indigo bottles featured!  I only hope that had I been small enough I wouldn't have been popped up on a shelf and called an artefact!
4711 was another favourite.  4711 was more suitable for daytime wear [or for those not wishing to be quite so conspicuous].  And for the 'older woman' there was respectable "Tweed", which was a sure-fire winner if looking for a gift for a Mother or aunt.
Today many perfumes are cloying and many change their smell on different skins.  Funny isn't it how four little figures, 4711, bring back a glimpse of days long past.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

A storm

It is normal in winter to have rain.  After an excellent fall of rain in March or was it April crops were sown and optimism was high.  The sun shone; day after day it shone.  The temperatures remained high and the rains did not fall again.  Except for a very occasional drop of rain; not enough to lay the dust.
The farming community began to worry.  Where were the winter rains?  Would they have a viable crop?  Optimism dropped off and pessimism began to rear its ugly head.
Earlier this week the weather forecasters were optimistic!  Rain, maybe up to 60ml would fall mid-week.  This morning the weather man predicted a 90% chance of rain.  Goody, goody! 
Mid morning the wind came up and dust began to spread its clinging coat all over; indoors and out.
The view down the road was blurry and the dust crept into eyes and up the nose.
Up the road the view was the same; blurry, and being outdoors was uncomfortable.

The electricity failed but thankfully it came on after an hour or so.  Time to hurry with lunch while there was power!  I happened to look outside as we could hear small branches falling onto the roof.  Sand crept in under the door which rattled with every gust of wind.  Then I noticed the damage ... a huge gum tree had been wrenched from the ground with the power of the wind.  It did not land on anything except the road.

After phoning the neighbour to inform her of the 'mishap' [the tree was outside her boundary fence on the verge of the road] I phoned the local Shire.  Help was on its way within half an hour!  This was indeed an excellent response.
A man in a truck and carrying a chain saw arrived.  The branches were cut off, the neighbour's fence which had been caught up in the upturned roots of the tree was righted, and later a loader arrived and pushed the tree branches onto the side of the road leaving the stump in its original position albeit with its roots exposed to the weather.
I was given to understand that the tree and other branches that had fallen nearby will be removed in the near future.
It isn't often that we have such excitement in the neighbourhood!  But still there has been no rain!