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Jim’s Australiana Spot – 2UE - October 9, 2016


So many of our Aussie habits come from the depression, our colonial past and living in isolated areas. Who can remember • Soap saving      • Keeping the dripping• Recycling building materials • Hand me downs • Recycling clothes • using nylons on washing line • lining shelves with old newspaper   

How many listeners had parents and grandparents who had habits learned in the depression?  ‘Eat everything on your plate’ - mending socks and pants etc. 'Menindee String' was fencing wire.

1 On farms in rural areas what was 'Menindee String' or 'Toowoomba string' String' or 'Benalla string' or 'Wagga string' etc ?
  Fencing Wire
2 Name the South American vegetable that was a depression staple in frost free areas. Where did it grow best?
  Choko over the dunny
3 What did cheap wooden packing boxes have to do with having a bath or shower?
  Chip heaters


Grahame Watt

“The trouble with the world,” said Dad, as he reached for pipe and matches,
“The trouble with the world today is … no-one uses patches.
Back in those days, those early days when payin’ crops were few,
We had to fix the things we had, we had to just ‘make do’.
If harness broke we fixed it up, we never missed a beat,
Patched it up with rivet strap and we were on our feet.
Some fencin’ wire, a pair of pliers did wonders on the track,
‘The cockies’ friend’ in times of need - a friend to all outback.

And no-one threw a thing away, like flour bags and such,
They were handy for all sorts of things, and the cost was not too much.
Kero tins and kero boxes, they were treasures to us folk,
For buckets and for furniture, and to fix the things that broke.
Newspaper wasn’t thrown away, we’d keep it for ourselves,
All cut in fancy patterns to brighten up the shelves.
We never threw a thing away, and we mended what we had.
I reckon that it stood us well, we could teach a few,” said Dad.

“When as families we had arguments we didn’t throw it all away.
We’d wait a while and patch it up - not like they do today.
Nowadays it’s ‘throw away’, ‘get a new one’, ‘no expense’,
We settled for the old one, and I reckon that made sense.
We were satisfied with what we had and stayed together longer,
We never threw it all away - and the patches made us stronger!”


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