Author Topic: More or Les (was Bloody Plurals)  (Read 276679 times)

Hobbit

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Re: More or Les (was Bloody Plurals)
« Reply #75 on: December 21, 2017, 06:40:05 AM »
Thanks Les for yet another interesting, funny & moving story. Look forward to hearing more.  I was born in 1956 about 30 miles from where I live now.  My parents took a pub when I was 9 & packed me off to boarding school when I was 11.  I hated it & kept running away.  Sadly they kept taking me back! Estate agents are pretty much the bottom of the heap here too.  Together with car salesmen & double glazing salesmen :(
Jack, what in heavens name is a "shinybum"?  Is it the same as a desk wallah? Federal public service??  Is that like local government or our civil service?
Pen

Ozzyjack

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Re: More or Les (was Bloody Plurals)
« Reply #76 on: December 21, 2017, 04:57:48 PM »

Jack, what in heavens name is a "shinybum"?  Is it the same as a desk wallah? Federal public service??  Is that like local government or our civil service?
Pen
The term "shiny bum" was first used in a military context during the Second World War of someone with an office job.  The term spread in Aussie slang to any Bureaucrat or Office Worker.  The connotation is fairly obvious.  I guess it is somewhat equivalent to desk wallah but somewhat less refined.  Aussies are generally less refined than the poms unless they come from Adelaide or Melbourne.  This is particularly so for Queenslanders but Les, of course, is an obvious exception.

Australia has three levels of law-making – often referred to as the three levels of government – that work together to provide Australians with the services they need.

The three levels are: federal (aka Commonwealth or national) Parliament, in Canberra; state/territory parliaments, in each state/territory capital city; local councils (also called shires or municipalities), across the nation.

Australia has one federal Parliament, six state and two territory parliaments, and over 560 local councils.

Each level is supported by its own Bureaucracy.

In my 40+ years of public service, I worked for 2 Commonwealth organisations; 29 years for the Australian Bureau of Statistics and 12 years for the Department of Veterans Affairs.  But a little more of that in a future Segment.

Cheers, Jack



“I don’t think telling the truth ever gets anyone in trouble in the long run. Maybe the day after, but not in the long run.”
— Steve Spurrier


Les303

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Re: More or Les (was Bloody Plurals)
« Reply #77 on: December 21, 2017, 06:12:46 PM »
Thanks Jack ... maybe I should  consider reinstating my " Sir Les " avatar in the new year , I know that Pen would love to see it back.




Les303

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Re: More or Les (was Bloody Plurals)
« Reply #78 on: December 21, 2017, 10:24:00 PM »
I'm ten years old & life is good , care free & everything is fun , mostly dominated by footy & cricket & even school was almost fun.
I have even been allowed to use the big axe to chop the wood.
As much as I loved my little tomahawk , the task of chopping the chips was so much easier using the big axe as dad always kept that blade razor sharp.
Chopping the chips was now a breeze so I quickly realised that if I also did the middle wood as well as the big wood then my big brothers would owe me a couple of favours.
And so it transpired , with my best mate Tammy always by my side I took over the entire role of filling the wood box with all three categories of wood.
As soon as Tammy would start barking I would drop the axe & get the hell out of there & sure enough , within a few minutes I would see a huge snake slithering through the woodpile.
I should have explained that Tammy was the family dog.
She was given to us by one of the locals as a puppy & big sister immediately put her hand up as the one to be responsible for her.
Big sister is sixteen years old so it wasn't long before the needs of the dog were neglected as she pursued other interests her main priority being trying to work out how she was going to get to America to see Elvis Presley.
The older brothers were also not to interested in the extra chores involved in looking after a dog.
Of course , I volunteered .. Les , you will have to make sure that we have dog food in the pantry & that she is fed everyday & you must make sure that her water bowl is always full . you will also be responsible for her grooming & bathing & once every week you have to rub in her itching powder.
I accepted the responsibility & Tammy never lacked for anything.
Tammy was so clever , she had a habit of relaxing / sleeping in the shade of the back patio of an afternoon & as my siblings or anyone else for that matter, entered the yard , she would not move but as I walked home from school & as soon as I put a foot in the yard she would bolt up to me & jump all over me.
We did not have a front fence so I did my best to train Tammy to stay within the confines of our yard but of course once in heat , all that training goes out the window.
So I arrive from home school one afternoon & there is no sign of Tammy .
After a couple of hours & still no sign of Tammy , I jump on my big brothers " speedster " bike ( a privilege earned by cutting all the firewood ) & spend hours riding around town in a desperate search for Tammy.
Mum can see that I am upset so that is when I get my first " birds & bees " lecture explaining that Tammy has run away but will be back in a few days.
Several days pass before big brother finally tells me the truth , Mum could not bare to tell you but Tammy was hit by a car and did not survive.
I was devastated , this was the saddest day of my life , little did I know that there much worse in store at the upcoming walkathon.




Ozzyjack

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Re: More or Les (was Bloody Plurals)
« Reply #79 on: December 22, 2017, 02:41:05 AM »
Thanks Jack ... maybe I should  consider reinstating my " Sir Les " avatar in the new year , I know that Pen would love to see it back.


I don’t think reinstating “Sir Les” would be a good idea.  Although you try to hide it in banter and humour  you are much too deep and sensitive to be identified as a buffoon like “Sir Les”.  But enough about you….this is the first episode of my story.

Where to begin? Before the beginning.  

In 1853, a boatload of German immigrants arrived seeking a new life.  Some went to South Australia to grow grapes but my lot went to  a German farming community in the mountains in the Dungog – Paterson area about 80 kilometres inland from Newcastle, NSW.  The community was so insulated that my grandmother, although born in Australia, could only speak German when she started school.  She married John Maurer and my father,  the youngest of four children, was born in 1902.  Grandfather John Maurer died in 1925.
On my mother’s side, my grandfather was a coal miner in the Cessnock -  Maitland area.  He was born in New Zealand and came to Australia to work in the mines.  I have always assumed that with a name like ‘Parker’ his forebears were either English or Welsh.  My grandmother’s maiden name was Miller so I assumed her forebears were Welsh.  My mother was born in 1913.

At about 18, my mother was hired by my fathers family as a house keeper servant. I assume love blossomed despite family opposition and my parents married in 1932.  They moved away from the family home and had a series of dairy farms as share farmers.  Nothing much was said about the details and I was too self absorbed growing up to enquire.

The story begins as far as I was concerned when I arrived on the scene in 1942.


« Last Edit: December 26, 2017, 07:14:39 PM by Ozzyjack »
Cheers, Jack



“I don’t think telling the truth ever gets anyone in trouble in the long run. Maybe the day after, but not in the long run.”
— Steve Spurrier


Hobbit

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Re: More or Les (was Bloody Plurals)
« Reply #80 on: December 22, 2017, 06:45:01 AM »
Oh Les you must have been devastated.  So very sad - even though it was years ago.  Jack is right you are obviously a deep & sensitive soul. You are right about Sir Les I really don't want to see him again ???  Perhaps you'd better pick one of the many other avatars you road tested previously!
I am very much looking forward to reading the next instalments of both of your life stories.  So very interesting.
Pen

Les303

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Re: More or Les (was Bloody Plurals)
« Reply #81 on: December 22, 2017, 11:07:20 AM »
Fascinating prelude , Jack , can't wait for the next chapter.

anona

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Re: More or Les (was Bloody Plurals)
« Reply #82 on: December 22, 2017, 03:44:53 PM »
Jack: Fitz... names are Irish, meaning "son of". I've always thought how posh it sounds! (Unlike the Welsh equivalent "ap", abbreviated to "p" in names like Price, Probert, Protheroe.) Despite the P, I think you'll find Parker isn't Welsh but English for someone who worked in a park.

I know I've been talking some rubbish recently but I believe I'm right on this one.

Les303

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Re: More or Les (was Bloody Plurals)
« Reply #83 on: December 22, 2017, 05:25:11 PM »
Hey Pen ,

We've just been watching an Australian movie on T.V called " The Back Yard Ashes."
I have been trying to find a link to send you but have had no success.
If you can manage to find it , I think that it is a movie that you would really enjoy.

Cheers Les





Ozzyjack

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Re: More or Les (was Bloody Plurals)
« Reply #84 on: December 22, 2017, 06:44:15 PM »
Fascinating prelude , Jack , can't wait for the next chapter.

Well you asked for it, Les.

But first a caveat.  I admire your ability to reveal your feelings and emotions and in some ways envy you this ability but it is not in my makeup.  It may be the Germanic background or perhaps grandfather Parker came from Yorkshire. And you know what they say “Tha can allus tell a Yorkshireman, but tha can’t tell ‘im mooch”.  Also, I have an ability to dismiss from my mind those things I would rather forget, and there are many of them, and they won’t appear in the narrative although that may make the telling more boring.

And so, in this segment I look at my early life in Hinton, a small town elevated above the flood plain on the confluence of the Hunter and Paterson rivers, until I left home to go to Canberra in 1960.

It may not have been an idyllic childhood but in many ways it was. I was an only child and my parents gave me unconditional love and overindulged me to extent their limited means would allow. One of my first memories was as a 4 year-old pushing my toy car to a new home about a kilometre away.  Dad had been working as a residential farm hand and had been offered a share farm which as I understand it means that the owner provides the land and buildings and the farmer hands over half earnings from the property.

I spent a lot of time on my own as a kid but I had a horse and a bike by the time I was eight and I never envied the town kids their life style.  I had more freedom and wandered over an incredibly wide territory and had many adventures, most of them in my own imagination.  In fact, for a strange reason I was the envy of Hinton kids.  Before flood mitigation in the Hunter Valley, it was subject to many floods.  We had 22 in 1950-51 and a record flood in 1956.  In floods, Hinton was an island with supplies being dropped in by air or after the floodwaters had become less treacherous by Army Duck, a large amphibious vehicle originally used to land troops and equipment in the Pacific in World War II.  None of the Hinton kids had ridden in an army duck but I did – twice.  The first time was in a 1949 flood when I had to urgently get to hospital to have my tonsils out.  The second was during the 1956 flood when I needed to get to the Doctor in Morpeth to fix a broken arm.  I had been racing another kid down the main street of Hinton on a horse I was exercising when a cow raced out of a Lantana bush.  My horse went straight into it at full gallop.  I am not quite sure what happened in the next few seconds but the horse was uninjured, I had a green stick fracture of the arm and I never found out what happened to the cow.

I should mention my education.  My parents taught me basic reading and arithmetic and thought this would allow me to remain at home until they thought I was old enough to catch the bus to the nun’s school in Morpeth which was about 5 kilometres away. The Education Department thought differently and so at six years and four months, I started at the Hinton public school in October 1948. I was lucky, and the teacher was willing to take a flexible approach and so I spent 2 months in first class, and 6 months in second and third classes in the next year.

I started fourth class at the nun’s school in 1950.  One of the shocks was that I was expected to wear shoes to school.  It was a primary school but some of boys were fourteen and serving time so they could leave and get a job. I was no doubt a bit of a smart alec and they would sometimes lock me in a broom cupboard at lunch time to teach me respect for my elders.  It didn’t work but I still suffer from mild claustrophobia.  

When I was in sixth class, the Nuns advised that I was younger and less mature than the boys that would be in first year high school and that I should repeat sixth class.  This would have the added advantage that I might win a bursary to pay fees and texts.  This didn’t work as I was bored repeating the same stuff and I didn’t get a bursary.

I started school at Maitland Marist Brothers in 1954.  I did study after classes with the Sixth class primary kids in the junior school and got the bursary at the end of 1954.  One of my disappointments was that I couldn’t represent the school at rugby league for the first years.  The school had weight grades from 4 stone 7 pounds(29Kg) to 8 stone 7(54kg) and an open grade.  When I started school, I was over 10 stone (64kg)and you can’t let 10-year-olds play with 17-year olds in the open grade – they would be slaughtered.  In my final year at school (1959) I played in the open grade at 15 stone 11(100 kg) and it was the fittest I have been in my life.   Team mates included Jimmy Morgan who later played for Australia and Brian McGuigan of wine industry fame.  While I am name dropping, John Bell, the Actor, Theatre Director and Manager was also a classmate for a year.  

History repeated itself and in 1958 I was talked into repeating fifth year because I was considered too young and immature to go to University.  They were right this time.  Even if I had repeated many times it would have probably been the case but that is for a later story.  Also, it is interesting that high school in New South Wales is now six years

« Last Edit: December 23, 2017, 02:55:33 AM by Ozzyjack »
Cheers, Jack



“I don’t think telling the truth ever gets anyone in trouble in the long run. Maybe the day after, but not in the long run.”
— Steve Spurrier


Ozzyjack

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Re: More or Les (was Bloody Plurals)
« Reply #85 on: December 22, 2017, 06:49:37 PM »
Jack: Fitz... names are Irish, meaning "son of". I've always thought how posh it sounds! (Unlike the Welsh equivalent "ap", abbreviated to "p" in names like Price, Probert, Protheroe.) Despite the P, I think you'll find Parker isn't Welsh but English for someone who worked in a park.


That's great, Anona, I've always wanted an Irish ancestor - they contributed a lot to the history of Australia.  I only thought Welsh because of the coal mining connection.
Cheers, Jack



“I don’t think telling the truth ever gets anyone in trouble in the long run. Maybe the day after, but not in the long run.”
— Steve Spurrier


Les303

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Re: More or Les (was Bloody Plurals)
« Reply #86 on: December 22, 2017, 07:11:32 PM »
Every year , our school would organise a walkathon to raise some funds for school equipment.
The students role was to go knocking on doors for sponsors.
I think that the course was about 10 miles ( 5 miles out of town & then retrace your route back into town ) & most residents would offer a sponsorship of 10 cents a mile so if you were able to complete the entire course you would earn $1.00 towards the cause & in those days that was a significant amount of money.
After the event & armed with the " official paperwork " to show how many miles you had completed , the students would return to those homes who had been generous enough to make the donation & collect those contributions.
The day before the walkathon & Mum asks " how are you going with your sponsorships ? "
I've done really well , I might even be a chance of winning the prize for the most money raised by an individual student.
Let me see your sheet ... Mrs Brown has signed up for 50 cents a mile , she can not afford that & probably got confused thinking that her total contribution would be 50 cents so , no matter how many miles you manage to complete you will only accept 50 cents from Mrs Brown.
And old Joe from across the street has signed for $5.00 a mile , you will only collect $5.00 from him.
Mum , then sat me down & explained to me that sometimes as people get a bit older they can get a bit confused & make irrational decisions.
They didn't even have a name for it back then but what she was talking about was dementia which , ironically , she suffered from severely in her later years.

The big day arrives and we all assemble at the school gates.
It's 9am & the walkathon begins right on time , it is not a race so Steve (my best mate from school ) & I take off at a leisurely pace.
We are both footballers in the peak of condition so for us , this walkathon is really just a walk in the park.
Even at our leisurely pace , we beat most of the field to the 5 mile turnaround point.
This is all becoming a bit boring so on the return trip we work out that we can take a shortcut through the cemetery & come out about a mile short of the finish line.
Just as we approach the cemetery , a car pulls up , its Uncle Boyd.
Les , you need to come with me now , sorry Steven but you will have to keep walking.
I know straight away that there is something wrong but I cannot imagine what it might be.
Uncle Boyd makes a lot of idle chatter then as we approach home he blurts it out , your father had a massive heart attack this afternoon & could not be revived.

Les303

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Re: More or Les (was Bloody Plurals)
« Reply #87 on: December 22, 2017, 07:43:50 PM »
Absolutely nothing boring about that narrative Jack , although I was deeply concerned about what happened to that cow.

Hopefully a few more forumites might choose to enlighten us with their stories.

Hobbit

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Re: More or Les (was Bloody Plurals)
« Reply #88 on: December 23, 2017, 06:54:17 AM »
Les is right Jack - nothing boring about your story.  My Dad was a Yorkshireman.  All the stories about them are pretty much true if a bit exaggerated :laugh:  If a Yorkshireman shakes your hand he counts his fingers after!  The old ones are the best!! I too was wondering about the cow.
Les I'm finding your story riveting.  I can visualise it in my mind. I will definitely look out for the film you recommended.
My story is difficult & can probably be told in a couple of sentences.  I married a man who, it turned out, was paranoid schizophrenic.  In spite of repeated visits to the GP it wasn't diagnosed at the time.  After years of mental & physical abuse I left him.  A couple of years later I fell in love with an amazing man.  We had 2 fantastically happy years together then the silly bugger was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  It was all over with in a few short months.  12 years ago now & I still miss him.  On the positive side my ex husband gave me the most wonderful daughter so it's not all doom & gloom!
Les & Jack do please continue..
Pen

Ozzyjack

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Re: More or Les (was Bloody Plurals)
« Reply #89 on: December 23, 2017, 12:48:26 PM »
My Dad was a Yorkshireman.  

Pen,

I have a fond regard for the stereotype of the Yorkshireman.  In my mind it is very close to the stereotype of the outback Australian, particularly of some years ago - the ones the ANZAC legends were based on - self sufficient, resourceful, stoic, don't say much but when they do you had better listen and when you break through the reserve and become a friend, you know you have someone you can rely through  thick and thin. Why do I suddenly feel like breaking into a chorus of "Hey, True Blue".  The Aussies tended to be greater larrikins.

While I was typing this, the test of whether you appreciate traditional Aussie humour came into my mind and I will share it with you.

In the trenches in WW I, a young Aussie digger was lying, dying because a shell had exploded near him.  He was holding his stomach with both hands to stop it spilling out over the ground.  A chaplain came up to try and give him comfort and after the usual pious words asked "does it hurt much, my son?" .  The diggers reply was "only when I laugh. Padre"

I appreciated your story, Pen.  Life can deal us some tough blows.  But we can't change the past, so all we can do is make the best of the future.

I was hoping that you were going to reveal that your mother was one of those code- breakers.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2017, 03:12:50 PM by Ozzyjack »
Cheers, Jack



“I don’t think telling the truth ever gets anyone in trouble in the long run. Maybe the day after, but not in the long run.”
— Steve Spurrier