Archive for the ‘Pre School’ Category


Threepence – most desired prize at Christmas

Camden Nana’s baking dish,

Flavours of years released into

The great Christmas Day roast.

In this little house in Elderslie

Everything feels just …

Well, … just right!!

Excitement mounts for the piece-de-resistance.

The plum pudding, where threepences hide

And discovery invokes little feet to run to Mum:

“Mum, I found one!”

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We journey east

The Season in the City

Joyous, colourful,

Stories unfolding magically

In department store windows.

Magical stories unfold in shopfront wondows

Magical stories unfold in shopfront windows

Christmas pedestrian traffic

Hazardous for tots.

To the park & the Archibald Fountain.

So many people, all so tall.

I’m lost in this forest.

Through moving limbs

I spy Roger heading my way.


Through the moving limbs of suited men I spied Roger coming along this path

Through the moving limbs of suited men I spied Roger coming along this path






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Natural … Umm … Aahh … mmm ..


Triggers punishments.

Simple reflex punishments or

Conscious, considered acts prefaced by

“This is gonna hurt me, more than it will you.”

Bare hand on bare bum.

Calves rapped by wooden spoon or iron cord.

Iron & Iron Cord - aka: Disciplinary Device

Always stings, tho’ no deeper than skin.

Love cushions hearts ‘n’ minds.


No punishment happens in a vacuum. Corporal punishment has been the subject of study and debate for some time. It may well be that the family environment itself is a greater determinant of long term problems than the punishment program. In any case, in those days, there was little access to studies, learnings or debate he effects of corporal punishment.

The overwhelming sense then, was that wrong-doing earned a wack!!

Whatever the case, through my eyes, we were immersed in an environment where we felt wanted and loved. Any pain generated by any corporal punishment ended when the tears ended … or after a sleep … or when I realised that running away was far more foreboding.

Now, whether I learned any lessons from the punishment is highly debatable.

For the oldest – moi – punishment is somewhat experimental. I suspect the punisher learns more real lessons than the punished. And so, good parents modify the punishment regime according to the lessons they learn.

Younger brothers should thank the oldest brother for the lessons he taught to parents about corporal punishment. 

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Foreboding stories – night-time tales,

Fearful fun.

One story:

In the dead of night,

He creeps into backyards, never seen, never heard.

He'd creep in at night seek out this treasure and if you're not asleep ...

Black night shrouds his black coat & cap.

He seeks – the metal can,

Encased in wood, hidden in the outhouse.

And …

His real treasure?

Children, still awake

Who silently disappear!!


Foreboding, fearful stories are at their best when simple and stark.

Charles Laughton’s 1955 film – The Night of the Hunter – is full of foreboding. This clip has John Harper telling a story to his little sister Pearl and then …

The haunting hymn “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms” is first heard in the movie at this point. It is a menacing echo throughout the film.

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Beans … 1s 6d a pound.

Customer: I can get beans for threepence cheaper down the road.

Tone derisive, abrasive.


Provokes steely gaze, and vocal tone the equivalent of claws ripping.

Mum: Well! Go down the road and get your blinkin’ beans?

 Characteristic Mum.

Feisty, forthright, fun, foolishness intolerant – effanineffable* Mum .


Nothing to do with the memory but one of the 50 words used:

Effanineffable – a wonderful word constructed and used by T.S. Eliot in his The Naming of Cats:

When you notice a cat in profound meditation,
The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation
Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name:
His ineffable effable
Deep and inscrutable singular Name.

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Mum just finishing apple display.

Polishing, placing - the apple display took time.

Customer: A pound of apples, please.

Mum reaches for apples not displayed.

No! The one’s on show.

Mum: These are the same apples!

Customer: I want these ones.

Debate continues. Temperature rises.



Roger: Phyllis, go home!


The apple display was pivotal – an individual shine for each single apple and each perfectly placed has a sensational effect. Each individual apple looks even fresher, crispier when beautifully placed amongst equally shiny and crispy colleagues.

I guess that’s why they say: One rotten apple spoils the whole barrel.

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Greengrocers know, the eyes buy!

Produce displays attract, sell.

Daily before opening: apples polished, blemished tomatoes reserved, lettuces refreshed and …

“Who cut the cauliflowers?”

Didn't take long to get from this ...

The little helper looks up, machete in hand, surrounded by white florets.

To this!

Profits chopped.

Should have made a motza – first pre-cut veges.

Great idea, bad timing.

If only we saw the genius in the action!

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What is the difference between these 2 photos?

Two lots of beans:

In basket – priced at 1s 6d (abt 15c) per pound.

In hessian bag – priced at 1s (abt 10c) per pound

Customer: What is he difference between these beans and those ones?

Roger: Nothing, both came from the same bag.

Customer: Hmmph, I’ll take the quality (dearer) ones thanks.

Price drives perception!


This was pre-1966 when decimal currency was introduced to Australia. It was then Pounds (£) Shillings (s) Pence (d) – a shilling converts to 10c.

And the higher price (50% higher) easily outsold the lower price. Take note discounters!!!

Oh!! The 2 photos of the Leaning Tower of Pisa are EXACTLY the same photo.

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Outside Paddy's: I remember it as much more chaotic than this - inside it was bedlam.

Depart in dark for market to buy produce.


Big men in long leather aprons, faces scarred, fingers missing, rolling smokes, – carrying sacks, pushing barrows,

Fast shouts of traders – buying, selling – language colourful.

A place for men …

I’m in big school!!!

Job done, truck full, head west – Roge ‘n me.

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“I’m not going!”

Wherever they were going, I didn’t want to.

(or I liked being alone.)

“We have to go! You’ll have to stay here all alone if you don’t come.”


No, no, no - it wasn't like this at all ...

…  they left. I managed. In fact relished my time alone.

Kindergarten* kid comfortable with – loving – solitude and space.


* I think I was in kindergarten but it was certainly before primary school. Whatever the case, reading this – Leaving your child at home – might make you wonder. It made me wonder about just what sort of society we have become.  … but the world is a very different place now and, anyway, I could tick off most of the checklist listed under “Am I sure my child knows the important information”.

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