Please Note :-
I think that my parents and my uncle Gray deserve a bit more of this story as I often admired them for the efforts they made towards being as self sufficient as was possible in a modern world. It obviously paid dividends as well and I know they enjoyed it.
They grew all of their own vegetables, reared there own sheep, cows, ducks and chickens. They also fattened a pig on occasions which was dispatched on site. I helped to dispatch one and gutted it myself. In retrospect I feel it has helped me to see the reality of meat eating. If you cannot kill for food then you should not eat meat. Probably a bit harsh of me as it wouldn’t be a practical proposition nowadays for people to kill their own meat but I believe the principle stands.
Surplice milk from the cows was turned into butter by my mum’s hand churn and not a lot of anything was wasted.
Most of the building materials were recycled from places like the old brickworks next door which were purchased as a job lot. I remember my Dad and Gray spending some time straightening removed nails. It took a long time to strip the buildings in the brickyard but it was done eventually. My dad discovered the equivalent of the pound shop that we have nowadays and bought all his glasses in job lots at auctions. He figured that at least a few would suit him.
Petrol and parts were about the only thing they had to buy. The Rovers -
Oh, I forgot the wine. My Dad was a superb wine maker and firmly believed any vegetable matter could be made into wine. Rose Petal, Oak Leaf, were no challenge to him and he was even known to make wine out of grapes (shock horror) which he grew in abundance. They had to build a special shed to house the wine flagons of which he usually had a stock of at least 250 flagons. One of his favourites was the “dregs”. This was made from all the dregs that had sunk to the bottom of the flagons and were left after the wine on top had been siphoned off. Have to admit, it was very very similar to the liquor Drambuie. Don’t let anyone tell you the wine is bad for you, he lived to 90.
They had a lot of fun and lived a full life.
Mum and Dad’s grape crop
My Dad laughing about the amount of money he was saving. Only kidding.
My favourite picture of my Dad
Milk coming up
Mum and Dad in the veg patch
Mum at the Butter Churn
Mum at the Sewing Machine
Sometimes they went out and spent money!
While my parents were at Orange Grove the highways people decided to build a highway right next door and on some of the land. Compulsory purchase was the offer and to be fair my Dad did say they offered a fair price. They sold up and moved to Mandura on the coast. I had already gone to sea by then.
The picture with my Sister standing in the garden and the one on the right, is what was left quite a few years later when we visited my mum. She was very ill at the time.
On to Mandura. Same principle, less room. They had a boat and more than usual prawn fishing went on. Dad cut his stock down to 150 flagons ! and a half size snooker table made an appearance. Not a bad way of life.