Childhood memories

Apparently we moved to Mt Dandenong around Christmas in 1941. My mother again started a diary. These are the first 4 entries.

12.1.1942 I go down to town to pack & sort things to be stored. Julian stayed with Miss Hampson. At 8:15 I pick up Sr Dorothea and take her to town. A lovely morning. Fine & hot. Mrs gardiner arrives at 10. The packers come at 1:30, and leave at 3. I get away at 4:30 and pick up Matilda at 6. The infants had a great day. The garden at No 19 [Sidwell Av, East St Kilda - our previous house] looks dreadful. Old Williams seems to have limited his attention to the plum tree. I bring up Roger's heath.

13.1.42 Too tired today to do much work. We tidy the kitchen in the morning, and sleep in the afternoon. Fine and hot. We water the grass and some of the trees. Catch a small rabbit.

14.1 Hot and dry. Matilda and I sort pictures and hang dozens of them. We put away all the glass and china and tidy cupboards. I make raspberry jam. The butcher forgot us as usual. Pom goes to the store before lunch and then over to Olinda, looking for seeds, after lunch. Mr Crooks brings the screenings for the drive. Pom and Julian immediately set to work to spread it. After tea Wally brings back the big blind roller which he has mended, then sets the traps for me. I did not ask him in for it was too late and I was very tired.

15.1 Fine and warm. Matilda and I arrange the pictures in the big room and clean out the dresser. I got a biggish rabbit in the trap and cook it for dinner. Ric goes for the milk and to the store. I make black currant jam. Pom goes for the meat, but forgets to look in the box. Pom picks a dozen lovely gladdies and a smelly lily. Letter from Master. Matilda goes away in the afternoon. After tea I set the traps and shovel gravel for an hour. Cloudy and cool at night, and looking like rain. Write to Mrs Down (?) and Miss Thomas. Sister Mary Cecil comes in to see the pictures in the morning. She is from Japan.

9.2 ... War news increasingly more depressing and distressing. The government has now requisitioned all tomatoes for the troops, but what is to become of the children, many of whom were already suffering from malnutrition. Roger takes 3 hours to walk home from school because he was playing with his favourite plants in the gully on his way home! *

[Ric (Rikki) was almost 10, while I (Roger, Pom or Tid) was almost 8, and Julian (Dinks) 5½. The Hampson sisters had a guest house on the main road, halfway to the Mt Dandenong store, run by the Wrights. Milk came from Bob Dowers dairy, off the main road next door to the Pig and Whistle guesthouse. For a while we were parked at the Hampsons when mother went to town, but very soon we were just left to our own devices. I don't remember Matilda; she sounds like some sort of maid. 'Old' Wally was Bob Dower's unmarried brother, the odd jobs man, who lived down the road in Summerlea Road. Mr Crooks was the local carrier. Sister Julian, an Anglican nun (after whom my sister was named), was a close friend of mothers, and her Order had a retreat house just past Kalorama. Presumably Sister Mary was another member of the order.

* After 5 weeks in the district and one week at school!

 © Roger Riordan 2004-2019

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