My daughter Miah has been quite interested in ‘the olden days’ since she learned that South Australia is celebrating its 175th birthday this year. She has been asking me about how things where in the olden days- ‘you know Mum, when you were little’! Mortified- I told her that it wasnt really the olden days when I was small, but she should save up some questions and ask Great Gran (My Grandmother Marjorie), seeing she is the one who experienced something closer to the ‘olden days’…..
Great Gran came over for dinner tonight, and Miah pounced on the opportunity. This is a rough transcript of the discussion that ensued…..
Miah: In the olden days did you have toilet paper?
GG: Yes, we did have it eventually, but I can remember using the pages of the phone book when I was young.
Miah: Giggle.What year was toilet paper invented?
GG: Not sure about that Miah- we definitely had it. Too be honest, I havent thought about it before.
Miah: There is a whale that is extinct now, was it still alive when you were small?
GG: Not sure- it could have been, I am pretty old.
Miah: What about the Tasmanian tiger? At the zoo they told me it was extinct- maybe when you were small it was still alive.
GG: Could have been, but I didnt live in Tasmania when I was small.
Miah: Where did you live?
GG: When I was with my parents, I lived in Christies Beach. We used to own all of the land around where Bunnings & Colonnades is now. I used to ride my horse & bring the sheep into the paddocks.
Miah: You mean there were no houses and people and KFC and the movies?
GG: No, it was all just paddocks when I was small.
Miah: Did all houses have very high ceilings in the olden days? See like in our house.
GG: I guess they were a bit higher than normal. This house you live in used to be my house, I lived here for 65 years, so I have noted how high the ceilings are a few times!
Miah: Wow, that is a long time. My mummy doesnt like your bathroom. I love the small purple bath and she wont let me keep it when we get a new bathroom. Did you have a phone? Or did you just do a cooee in the fields? What did you eat for dinner? Did you have shampoo? Did you eat rabbits? Did you have the times tables? Do you know them? What is 12 x 12? Its 144. Did you go to Indonesia? Were there helicopters when you were small?
GG: I was just happy to get a toilet inside. We had to go to the outside toilet for a long time. Having a bath & a shower & a toilet inside was a cause for great celebration. We eventually had a phone. You have alot of questions Miah. I’m too old to have so many questions.
Miah: Did you have an Almond Blossom Festival? (Obviously, the weekend is still fresh in her mind)
GG: When I was a grown up we did. Before that we had Agricultural Fairs where people would exhibit all sorts of things like sewing, cakes, vegetables, sheep, cattle, grapes, loads of things.
Miah: Was there a ride called the Hurricane? What does exhibit mean?
GG: Not that I recall! Like a competition. Isnt it time for you to go to bed?
Miah: I have to brush my teeth…..Did you have toothbrushes? What did your toothpaste look like?
GG: Goodnight Miah…..