All posts by jenniferalisonlockhart

The Royal Wedding

So, the royal wedding between Prince Harry and Megan Markle is about to happen.

I am thoroughly sick and tired of hearing about it.

I am not a royalist, I do not give a fig about the royals.

Who wants to know all that stuff about them?
Who wants to know what they will drink, what she will wear, how many spoons of sugar she has or he has in their coffee?
That is if they drink coffee.
Who wants to know what she can eat and cannot eat after becoming a royal.

When they will  have babies, how long the marriage will last what colour sheets they have and how many times they fart in the course of the night.

Who also wants to know how many guests will attend the wedding.
Who the guests will be and if they have any criminal convictions or lovers on the side?
I mean to say who would want to know this?

I certainly don’t, but have no choice.
Unless I switch off every radio, TV and never buy a magazine or newspaper, then I have no choice but to hear or read all this garbage.

I certainly  am not interested in how many times they will kiss, make love, make war and change their clothes in any given day.
I do not want to know how many kids they are going to have, when they will have them and what they will call them.
No, I do not want to know.
It seems like  it is the only topic of conversation  at the moment.

Please just let this fiasco be over and let us get on withour lives again.

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Flu shot

I will not be getting the flu shot this year, or any other year.
My experiences with the flu shot are not really good.

First time was in 1964. I was at boarding school and the flu shot had just become a must have thing.
All of us girls lined up for the shot. I did not have any fear of needles but some of the girls did.
There was much crying and screaming from many, but I stood my ground , rather stoically I might add.

It was soon my turn and the Doctor looked like something out of a Frankenstein movie.
He loaded up this giant needle and took aim at my arm from about a foot away.
With gritted teeth he bore down on my poor arm, something akin to a crazed wasp going in for the sting.

I swear that needle almost went through to the other side of my arm.
It hurt, it more than hurt. It almost made me cry, but I held my tears in because I had called all the wimperers sooks.
I gritted my teeth for the rest of the day.
The pain was intense.
Of course there were the horrible girls who delighted in punching everyones arm. More pain.

That was not the worst of it though.
Oh no, it was not over yet.
The next day I came out in a severe rash. I lost my voicd. Not even a squeak would come out.
I was a bit like a fish out of water, gasping, no sound at all.

The first class of the day was a Math class. Not my favourite.
The teacher was a dragon like woman. She asked a question and many put their hands up to answer.
I did not, as I could not speak.
Of course she asked me the answer. I opened my mouth and not a sound came out.
She got mad, sent me to stand outside the classroom.
The Headmistress came by and berated me for being naughty.
Why was I there she asked?
Of course I could not answer, so she too told me what a rude disrespectful child I was.
All the time I was gaping, opening and closing my mouth but no sound coming out.
This lasted for three days.
It was not a pleasant time for me.

I vowed never to have another flu shot, ever.

Fast forward 40 years.
I was working as a cook in a childcare centre.
Flu shot were mandatory.
I duly lined up and had another shot.
The Doctor this time was quite pleasant and I barely felt the jab.
Next day , however, was a different story.
Severe rash all over and again no voice.

At least there was no teacher waiting to chastise me.
I had one of my kids call in to my work and tell them I was ill.

So that my friends was my last flu shot.
I will never ever try it again.
I have never had the flu either .

Rabbits

Hopefully I will not upset the bleeding hearts with this blog.

It was during the 1950’s and pocket money was mighy hard to get.

My brother and I came up with a great idea to make a bit of cash.
We would trap rabbits. There were hundreds of them about the farm.
They were a pest, so Dad was pretty keen on our idea as well.

First we had to tee up a buyer. Easier than we thought.
Our bus driver was keen to take any rabbits we caught.
5 shillings a pair he said. Wow, that was a fortune to 2 young kids.
 
Dad provided a heap of rabbit traps for us, so  first day after school we set out on my trusty horse and found a spot.
Setting the traps was a bit harder than anticipated. Lots of fingers and toes almost trapped.
After a while we got the hang of it and soon had the traps set.

The next morning, at sunrise, we set off out over the hills to check our booty.
What a shock!  Absolutely nothing.
We couldn’t believe it.  Not one single rabbit in our traps.
With heads hung low, we returned home, had a quick breakfast and changed ready for school.

The bus driver teased us, “how hard is it to catch a rabbit “he  boasted.
Dad was a little more sympathetic and volunteered to come out and check  on how we had set the traps.

I suspect he knew we had done it all wrong.
Sure enough, we had put the traps in the wrong spot, and forgotten to cover them so the rabbits would be unaware of the lurking danger.

Nothing to it, after we were shown the right way.
Next morning , out we went again. Wow, 8 rabbits!
My brother, who was only 6 at the time, swiftly killed the bunnies and gutted them.
My stomach did not like seeing this procedure so I duly reset the traps .

Poor brother had the task of holding the dead rabbits, as well as balancing on the back of the horse.
I took off at lightening speed only to have him fall off, rabbits and all.
Never mind, a quick uturn and he mounted up again.
This time I put my arm around the back  and held him on.

We came up with a better way of transporting the rabbits after that mishap.
Brother would stuff them all into 2 of Mums stockings, and then hang the stockings around his neck.
That was he could hold onto me and not ever fall off again.

For weeks and weeks we did the same thing each morning. Usually getting 3 or 4 pair of rabbits.
This worked out to a lot of money for us.
My brother bought a new pushbike and I bought some gear for my horse.
All in all it was great being a kid on a farm way back then.

These days though, I could never kill an animal no matter what.

Boarding School.

Boarding School in the early 1960’s was not a very nice place to be.
At least the one I was sent to was not nice.

To my mind, it was akin to being in a prison.
Being raised on a farm was a great life.
I loved it, free and easy, plenty of things to do  and no neighbours.

Until, my Mother in her wisdom decided all of us kids should be sent to boarding school.
There was nothing wrong with the local schools, they were good schools.
But, Mum was adamant. Boarding School would teach us girls how to become fine young ladies and the boys to be gentlemen.

What a joke that turned out to be.

The time came for me to go  to prison. (Oops, boarding school.)
I sulked, looked sad and hoped the headmistress would say the I was not a suitable candidate for this prestigious school.
No such luck.
I was accepted.

It was all downhill after that.
I absolutely hated the place.
We had to wear horrible brown uniforms, hats, gloves and awful brown shoes.

A lot of the girls who attended the school had been there since 1st grade primary school.
They reminded me of the sheep I had left behind on the farm.
They walked in  single file, as sheep do, said not much, hung their heads as if totally defeated.
I think they were totally defeated after being in that place for so many years.

I vowed I would never conform. I was a rebel. The system would not break my spirit.
The House Mistress at my first dormitory was a terrible old Dragon. She was mean and nasty to all but two of the girls.
These two could do no wrong. The rest of us hated them.
I made friends with a couple of other rebellious girls.

We hatched a plot to escape and go to the movies in town.
Easy I said. We can get out the kitchen door down under the dormitory
We left it unlocked so as to be able to get back in again.
After we climbed the outer wall, we ran freely down the street  to the theatre.

What luck.
Blue Hawaii starring Elvis was on.
What a great movie it was.
Some local lads were also at the movies and invited us to go for a walk i the park.
They were nice young fellas, well mannered and good fun.

We walked through the park, chatting and laughing. Next minute a Police Car approached.
One of the boys gave us his address and told us to use that if asked where we are from.

We duly give the police the address and of course they  take us “home”.
We thank them and sneak around the back of the house.
As soon as the Polics are out of sight, we make a run for the boarding house.
It is quite a way, like about 3 miles.

We make it and go to open the kitchen door.
Darn, it is locked.
The nightwatchman must have locked it.

What to do now.
We throw a rock up at one of the dormitory windows.
A girl wakes and looks out at us.
We convince her to go down and open the kitchen door.

After we were safely in our rooms , we swear her to secrecy.
Days went by and not a word spoken
We felt confident our escapade  we would not be found out.

However, a few days later our parents turned up.
They were furious at us girls.
We wondered how they found out.
When we fronted the Headmistress, with out parents in tow, we found out the girl who opened the door for us had told someone else.
That was all it took.

A jealous little thing who would no doubt have come with us if asked.

Oh well, things were not too bad.
We all received a 3 week suspension from school.
I was quite happy, in fact I would have liked a permanent suspension
but sadly I was sent back, for another 2 years.

I never did conform. In face I am still a quiet rebel.

Sheep love them or not.

I was raised on a sheep farm in southern NSW.

Dad had over 3000 sheep, all of which had to be drenched, shorn, moved from one place to another etc.
Guess who had the task of helping to do this?
Yes… I did.
I hated sheep with a passion as they are one of the most stupid creatures put on earth.
The only thing I liked about them was if they were in a nice juicy roast or cottage pie.

Most school holidays Dad would arrange shearing time so as us kids could help out.
Unpaid labour if you will.
Do not leave any lambs behind, he would say at lambing time.
As cute as lambs are, they were the bane of my life back then.

I would ride my horse out to the designated spot, round up the sheep and lambs and continue to drove them back to the home yards.

Pretty soon a lamb would lie down in front of me.
Once a lamb lies down, it is very difficult to get it moving again.
So difficult in fact that the only way was to put it up on the horse, in front of me.

It was quite a task for a 12 year old to lift a lamb onto the horses back.
Mine was not a pony, it was a 15 hand high horse.

Once the lamb was in position I then had to mount up again and continue to drove the sheep, whilst at the same time holding the lamb.
Next minute, another lamb down.
Oh well, two I could manage up there with me.
One on the front and one behind.
Luckily the horse was well trained and knew what to do as my hands were full of lambs and none spare to hold the reins.

The real problem started when another, then another lamb went down.
The only thing to do then was for me to walk, very grudgingly I might add ,and the 5 lambs laughing at me from up on the horses back.

Sometimes the walk was a few miles, the weather was usually hot and there were no mobile phones back then so calling for backup was a non event.
By the time I arrived at the yards I was usually plotting all kinds of terrible things to do to those lambs.
Of course I never did mistreat them.

Dad was always happy that I had not left any behind and praised me on my efforts.
I vowed and declared to never have anything to do with sheep when I grew up.

But, last year I inherited a 16 year old sheep. Old Baa is his name and he is kind of cute.
Then just this past Christmas I saved a young lamb from starvation.
Little Baa I call her.

I do not have to drove these two anywhere. Someone calls in to shear them.
They live in luxury , getting spoilt with lots of good tucker and treats.
So sheep really can be ok animals when one does not have to chase them everywhere.

Bat wings, Bingo arms or whatever you want to call them

Bat wings.
This is what I call my excess upper arm blubber.
Nothing seems to move it.

It just creeps up on you as you age.

Not everyone has it ,but there are many who do.

I reckon I have enough of it to donate to the breast reconstruction unit at any major hospital.
I figure I could  rebuild about 8 (size C cup) breasts.

Why is there not a donation of excess tissue organisation?

I would be the first to line up.

It would be a great way to rid myself of this horrible stuff

I would gladly give it away.

Nothing I do seems to move it. I have tried all manner of excercise, diet and potions.

Still it clings onto me. Jiggling whenever I move my arms.

It prevents me from buying nice shirts, usually the sleeves are way too tight.

Sleeveless shirts and dresses are the go, but then others have to look at my unsightly  arms.
It is a no win situation.
Kaftans would probably hide all, but who wants to wear a kaftan every day.

I would need to sing like Kamahl if I were decked out in a Kaftan.

That would not happen.

Maybe some of you fellow bat wingers may have a solution.
That should read ex bat wingers, if you still have them, you obviously are like me and have never come across a suitable remedy yet.

Grandma’s Buttons

This week I was sewing a little something for one of my grandaughters.
Almost finished, I realised I needed some buttons.

Darn it, I forgot to buy some.
It is a half hour trip into town so that was not an option.
Then I remembered, I had a large tin, full of buttons.

This tin I received when my Grandma passed away, over 35 years ago.
I was excited as I emptied the contents onto my work bench.

Wow, all those buttons.
All kinds of shapes and sizes.
Every colour one could imagine.
Literally thousands of them.

Some were positively tiny, of what use they would be I do not know.
So tiny in  fact that the eye of the needle used to sew it onto something appeared  to be huge.

Others had obviously been on steroids.
I mean to say, what on earth would one use a 3 inch across button for.

Where to start with this sorting.
Maybe just put them into colours for now.

Three hours later and there were eleven heaps.
Various shades of brown, greys, black, white, pinks, reds, blue, purple and green, orange and yellow.
My eyes were watering, and fingers numb from picking the slippery little buttons up.

Grandma obviously loved brown and pink. These were by far the biggest piles.
Followed closely by blue and yellow.Green came a sad last, only about a hundred green ones.

I must add that not many buttons were matching.  I needed five white ones but only two exactly the same in the pile of hundreds.
The same applied to the other colours.
How could anyone collect one of each?

What to do with them is a problem for me.
Usually I put more than one button on a shirt.
Maybe I can start a new trend with different sized buttons on the same garment.

As for sorting the sizes, well I think I might leave that for another time.
Maybe 30 years down the track.

If anyone wants any buttons, please contact me, I will gladly send them on.