Friday, September 19, 2014

Playing in the back yard

Do kids even play in the backyard today?  They seem to prefer playing computer games?

I don't remember my grandmother ever talking about toys.  In her writing she does not talk about her childhood, except her 6 years at school and when she writes "You weren't allowed to kill roos in those days, but no one said you couldn't chase them and it was great fun".  It seems that most of Gran's "play" time was with the animals on the farm.  Gran had to grow up quickly as she left school young to help out her mother around the home.

June 1919
Eva Pilgrim (age 8) on the farm
Many of you would have seen the photo below previously, but it is a wonderful example of the toys of days gone by.

Christmas Day 1928
Margaret Mayberry and Lorna Pilgrim (Grand Aunt)
Notice below the ripped pants on the boy on the left and the short pants of the other two boys.  My grandmother wrote; "In Horsham, Thursday was pay day and also remnant day and I nearly dressed the nips on remnants.  I could manage the lining and pop hole on the boys pants, but hanged if I could manage the fly.  Those day boys wore shorts pants till about 13 or 14.  It saved mending"

1940 - Horsham
John Clark, Don Scott (Uncle), Gwenda Clark, Des Malone, Jean Scott (Aunt)

This got me thinking about the toys that I liked to play with.  I had a Sindy doll, but was secretly disappointed that "Santa" did not bring me a Barbie.  My favourite doll was "Lisa",  It was a big thing that her eyes blinked.  I made her so many clothes.  I remember that I made her a Guide Uniform and received a badge for my efforts.  I think that I still have Lisa and some of her clothes including her Guide Uniform packed away in a box.

The Swing set below was made by a friend of my fathers.  The seat was wooden, with metal edges.  It hurt if you stepped in front of it when someone was swinging! You only walked close to someone swinging once and were very careful thereafter!
My father repainted the swing set and and replaced the seat with a plastic one for my kids when they were little. They loved it as much as I did.  It then went to my sisters kids.

1971 - Kyneton
My sister and I with a family friend in the backyard
1974 - Stratford
My sisters, brother & I playing in the backyard.
I am the taller one with my back turned
My daughters loved her Barbies.  My husband made the dolls house below from a kids wardrobe.  Danielle spent hours playing with it.

My son loved his Toy Story toys and Lego.  Then his Uncle introduced him to Super Mario and as a 19 year old, he is still playing computer games (Xbox)!  Unfortunately, I can't locate a photo quickly.

My daughter

What was your favourite toy?

This post was inspired by Sepia Saturday.  Please click for more posts.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

One Lovely Blog Award

Thank you Alona from Lonetester HQ  for nominating  me for the "One Lovely Blog Award".

I write my blog posts to record my family history research and photos for other family members and future generations.  However, it is wonderful to be recognised by fellow bloggers.  I will always be thankful to Alona as she inspired me to commence blogging in 2012 when she initiated the  Family History through the Alphabet Challenge.

The Rules for the "One Lovely Blog Award";
  • Thank the person who nominated you and link to that blog
  • Share Seven things about yourself - refer below
  • Nominate 15 bloggers you admire (or as many as you can think of!) - also listed below
  • Contact your bloggers to let them know that you've tagged them for the One Lovely Blog Award

Seven things about me (that you may not know)

  • I can't help myself, I always plan things.  Always have!  I remember as a child, planning in advance how many jobs that I needed to do to save enough pocket money for a particular toy.  I really do believe that you make things happen by planning.  I can't remember ever doing anything spontaneously.  Does that make me boring? Or organised?
  • I am progressing on my Genea-Bucket List and am currently planning a trip around UK to complete family history research on my ancestors.  Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  • I am totally uncoordinated and have no sense of rhythm but would love to learn how to dance.  
  • Since I was a child, I have always liked doing puzzles and still do at least one or two puzzles every night (Sudoku is my current favourite).  Maybe that is why I enjoy family history so much? It's the hunt and solving the puzzles that I enjoy!
  • I cannot sing and haven't tried since my son, at 2.5 years old, told me to stop singing nursery rhymes as I sounded like "a strangled crow".
  • I cannot cook......well I don't cook......and am very lucky to have a wonderful and supportive husband who does all the cooking and most the cleaning.  
  • I love to travel.  Through planning, budgeting and saving, I have been fortunate enough to visit 21 different countries (and have plans in place to visit a further 5 countries within 12 months). As long as I am physically able to, I will continue to travel and regularly complete review on Tripadvisor.

15 Blogs I read regularly

I subscribe to many different blogs (I was surprised to see that it is over 100!).  I work full time (over 55 hours most weeks) so am always behind in my reading and do not always comment (sorry). I deliberated whether to participate in nominating blogs as there are so many good blogs (with many already being well recognised). I don't want to offend anyone who I omit.  I think Pauleen was very smart not to nominate.  However I have decided to nominate blogs that may be lesser known to my followers and those who have been very inspirational to me.  I apologise if your blog is not listed below but there are so many good blogs out there that inspire me and I cannot list them all. 

In no particular order;
  1. Yes, Virginia, There is life after retirement - I first started reading Denise's blog during the 2013 A-Z Challenge.  I really enjoyed reading about her travels and new places.  I continue to follow and read her posts.  She is articulate, intelligent, often amusing with some wonderful everything that I enjoy.
  2. 5000 Poppies - I want to draw attention to this blog. The organisers are planning on "planting" a field of poppies in Federation Square Melbourne in April 2015, to commemorate all Australian soldiers.  I have made a start but aim to crochet poppies (before March 2015) to remember each of the ANZACs in my family tree.  There will be a future blog post about this.
  3. My Grave Place - Bill takes photos of cemeteries and churches around UK.  I enjoy his photography and hope to one day take photos of the cemeteries in UK where my ancestors lie.
  4. Spud's Daily Photo -  This is Bill (above) again.  He takes photos from around UK.  As I intend on visiting UK one day, I am always interested to see the sights. I enjoy taking photos too so appreciate good photography, which is natural and shows day to day images.
  5. Travels Through my Past - I feel that Liz's blog is similar to my own, remembering ancestors and recording family history for future generations. 
  6. Craft Gossip - In particular the crochet patterns - I like to crochet (when I get time) and have this site bookmarked. 
  7. Postcards Then and Now - I always enjoy looking at before and after posts and this is a very interesting and easy to read blog
  8. Family Tree Frog -  Alex is well known to many but I felt that I needed to include her as she writes the way I would like to.   To me, it seems that she writes the way she would speak.  She is interesting and amusing and although I have never met her, her writing makes me feel that she is an old friend.
  9. Edes-Orban Family - This is a relatively new blog for me but I have enjoyed reading about Hungarian and Romanian Family History and want to read more.  I have family from this area, which I have not yet started researching.  Yes, I really do need to reduce the length of my blogs as it seems that the blogs that I read are all shorter, succinct but interesting.
  10. Many of you would already know fellow geanea-blogger Jollett etc but I must also include Wendy's blog as I read it regularly and always enjoy it.
  11. Memorabilia House - Alona nominated me via her Lonetester HQ blog and I nominate her right back for another of her blog posts.  What a great idea to have a blog especially dedicated to the history or family memorabilia.  I have started to catalogue them but one day would like to do the same thing as Alona.
  12. Yvonne's Genealogy Blog - Yvonne's post are well researched and easy to read.  I tend to write too much in my posts but Yvonne has the ability to make a post inclusive and interesting but short enough to read quickly.
  13. Avoca during World War 1 - This is a new blog by Ann but one that I am following.  I am interested in anything to to do with Australians in World Wars and as I have family who came from near Avoca, these are posts that I want to read.
  14. From Helen V Smith's keyboard.  Helen is very well known but I include her here as I find her very inspirational.  Helen works full time but somehow manages to be very active in the genealogical community.  She has assisted me several times with research and inspired me to commence doing studies in genealogy, which I am enjoying immensely. Thank you for your support and assistance Helen.
  15. Sepia Saturday - Last but definitely not Least.  Sepia Saturday would have to be my favourite blog post on the internet so I need to include it.  Such a wonderful inspiration for so many of my posts.   I have been inspired and challenged to research and blog about so many tops that I would not have otherwise, except for the weekly Sepia Saturday prompt.  They are such a wonderful and friendly group of members. 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Memories of the Vagabond

The Vagabond as I remember her growing up
The wedding boat in 1997

 When the Beach or holidays are mentioned, I think of the Vagabond.

The smell of diesel always reminds me of the Vagabond.

The Vagabond was a big part of my childhood; most weekend and every school holidays.  She was built in 1958 by my grandfather and uncle and passed to my father, when Granddad died.

The Vagabond had a distinctive chug chug chug sound, which could be heard for miles.  I remember my Nanna listening out for it and then I would follow Nanna into the back yard, where she would look out to check if it was returning.  She would then start cooking for the men returning from fishing. I was only 6 when she died, so it is an early memory.

My Grandfather and Uncle took 2 years to build the Vagabond, which was launched
 4th October 1958.
You can read more here.
As a child, I loved it when dad would get up close to the Entrance of the 90 Mile Beach.  I really liked it when the boat would rock furiously in the waves.  I remember mum yelling at me to get inside the boat as I would be on the side and hold on to the railing with no life jacket on (maybe this was the first indication that I would like theme park rides?).

My grandfather, Gordon Walker aboard the Vagabond

I have many vivid memories of the Vagabond;
  • When we drove into the Beach, the Vagabond was always moored in a prime position, across the channel from the jetty.
  • The first time I saw a dolphin was when I was aboard the Vagabond.  I thought it was a shark!
  • Dad holding me and letting me steer the boat but I couldn't see where we were going
  • Pretending to steer the Vagabond from the rudder at the back of the boat
  • Getting my fingers pinched in the cables that controlled the steering that ran along the side the boat
  • Jumping up on the seat when a Flathead was flapping around as I didn't want to get spiked.
  • Leaning over the side and washing bait from my hands by using the the water coming out the side of the Vagabond from the bilge pump.
  • My mother's panic when my little sister (who was only a toddler) had fallen off the jetty and was in the water between the jetty and the Vagabond.  
The life jackets were similar to these
Image Source:
  • The old dirty life jackets that were stored in the Bow, which smelt like diesel. We only wore them when we were playing in the water.  We would try (always unsuccessfully) to sink or go under the water wearing them.  Even multiple kids sitting on them would not sink them!  A lot of fun trying to sink them!
  • There was no toilet aboard the Vagabond and we would need to to into the cabin, shut the door and use a bucket for a toilet, which would then be emptied overboard.
  • Sitting in the sun on the engine box reading a book when the Vagabond was running.  It was very warm, noisy and rattled/vibrated.
  • I liked to sit on the "Flying Bridge" when the Vagabond was motoring (but Mum didn't like it). I don't think anyone could ever tell me why it was called a "Flying Bridge" as it just didn't make sense to me.
  • Rowing from the jetty to the Vagabond and then swimming and diving from the boat.
  • Holding my breath and swimming under the Vagabond.  Initially the width and then the length as we became more confident. Don't think Mum and Dad knew about this.

The Vagabond's maiden voyage
4th October 1958
Gordon Walker and his sons on the Bow
  • The Vagabond being up on the Slips, having barnacles removed and being painted.  It seemed so much bigger out of the water.
  • Asking Dad to change the colour and being told that "Marine Orange and White are safest and easily spotted from the air in an emergency"
  • Being told to stop winding and casting, winding and casting and to wait patiently for a fish to bite
  • Trying to get out of the dinghy into the Vagabond  with one leg on each boat, the tide separated the boats and I did the splits, falling into the water, fully clothed.  I seem to remember this happening to a cousin too?
  • Feeling guilty that my daughter got sun-burnt the first time we took her on the Vagabond (she was only a baby)
  • My sister getting married aboard the Vagabond with my son and daughter in the wedding party.  We watched on from the jetty
I am sure that I will add further memories and find photos in future.

The Vagabond in 2013
New Owner, New Mooring, New Colour
Just not the same!

This prompt was inspired by Sepia Saturday.  Please click to read more posts.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Sepia Saturday 242 - National Costumes and a San Fran Fan

Gran in Singapore
My Grandmother loved to travel.  As a child, I looked forward to receiving postcards from exotic unknown places, and promised myself that one day I would visit all the places in those post cards. The postcards inspired a passion to travel, which continues today.

In a letter (dated 7th April 1991)  Gran wrote me about her favourite travels "The most beautiful city I've ever seen happens to be in Germany - Rothenberg.  There's St Peters, the leaning tower, Colosseum and of course Venice, but I got meat hungry in Italy.  I am not a big meat eater but pasta and those things are like porridge; filling but don't last.  All the meat we got was some chicken.  
Holland was nice.  France - no! We made ourselves understood in most places, but they gave us the impression - if you can't speak French, you are a  half wit.  And we thought they were too.  It's a dirty place, and dogs in the cafes - yuk!  The poppies are the only attraction.  

Postcard from Gran 27-6-1977
I liked the Tudor houses in Chester, England, also palaces and castles.  There was a garbage strike in London; and papers and rubbish, even on the road to the palace.  There's a little place called Clovelly near the sea, which is pretty but one has to walk down or ride a donkey.  Stone Henge is interesting. Stratford on the Avon is also very pretty.
There's a Portland in Scotland.  I like their stone fences, castles and lochs.  We saw very little heather - wrong time, July.  Didn't see a Scotch thistle there, but did in England.  
Gretna Green, the Isle of Skye and Llangollen Valley (in Wales) are all nice.
I missed Switzerland, I'm sorry to say; and I would have liked to visit China and the Holy Land, but I got old too quick or started too late."

"London 27-6-1977..........."We have been to Italy, France, Germany, Austria, Holland, Belgium and England.  Tomorrow we leave for Scotland and then Wales"

Post card from Honolulu

Postcard from Gran 30 - 5 - 1978

This is only a small selection of the wonderful collection of postcards that my Grandmother sent me.  There is a photo of my grandmother and some friends dressed in the Kimono style bathrobes in Kyoto but Gran looks really sheepish, hiding in the back, so I don't think that she would like that photo on here!

Gran also sent me souvenirs, including this San Francisco Fan

This post was inspired by Sepia Saturday - click for more posts

Genealogy World Photo Day 2014

I have been procrastinating since I saw the Family Curator Blog had issued a Genealogy World Photo Day 2014 challenge.   It was World Photo Day on the 19th of August and Denise has challenged us to combine the past and present in a photo.

Having previously completed a past and present blog, I was looking for inspiration for something different.

My Grandmother, Eva Scott (nee Pilgrim) was born on the 18th of August 1910 (arrived a day late?) and took most of the photographs featured in this blog on a Kodak Box Brownie.

Gran ceased schooling at age 14 to help her mother keep house and look after her younger siblings.
"I worked at home for my keep including outings, films and developing etc. plus 20 shillings a week pocket money".

The first of Gran's "snaps" was taken in November 1927 (when she was 17 years old).

Kodak Advertisement (altered)
The Argus (Melbourne, Vic 1848-1957)
Tuesday 20th December 1927 - p 17
Did you notice that I have replaced
 the camera's?

Bringing Past and Present together.
My Grandmother's 2A Brownie camera
 is pictured at the top while
 my Grandfather's camera is below.
The original Advertisment can be viewed
here at

The Advertisement to the left was prevalent in Newspapers in 1927, when Gran received her first camera.   Gran told me that she saved her pocket money to purchase her first camera, a Kodak 2A Box Brownie.

Gran's 2A Kodak Box Brownie

When I showed an interest in photography and family history, Gran gave me her Kodak 2A Box Brownie and my Grandfather's No 2 Box Brownie, which are pictured.

A pencil rubbing from the Back of Gran's Box Brownie

Gran also gave me the instruction booklet for her Kodak Box Brownie
It is interesting to see the prices in the 1920s (in US Dollars)
Second Row: Eric and Jean Byron, Eva Pilgrim (and her Box Brownie) and Stella Biggin
Stawell Races 9th April 1928

1st Prize for the "Most Original Snap" - Nhill Show 18th October 1928
Coming Home from Diapur taken by Eva Pilgrim 4/2/1928

Gran won prizes at the local show and had many photos published in the Weekly times and also their local paper.  The photo below has been shown on my blog before and would be one of my favourites. 

"Joker takes a Bath"
1932 - Ted Geyer and Lloyd Pilgrim at Almondale Winiam
Taken by Eva Pilgrim on her Kodak Box Brownie
Won First Prize for "Most Interesting Farm Scene" at Nhill Show October 1932

1934 Pilgrim Family Gathering
Eva Pilgrim is central, holding her Box Brownie

Gran in a familiar pose
9th April 1990

By coincidence, my first camera was a Kodak Instamatic and my first digital camera was a Kodak Easyshare.

I have always enjoyed taking photos....or maybe  it was recording places, people and events for the future?

I was snapped taking a photo of the view
from the California Adventure
Tower of Terror ride in 2013

This post was inspired by The Family Curator