Conversation Time: Times Past


Conversation Time

Baby Boomer –  Australian City/Suburban

In my family we seem to be kitchen conversationalists. We lived a couple of different places growing up but long conversations generally seemed to happen around the kitchen table.

From the mid sixties to early seventies mum, my sister Naomi and I lived in a Housing Trust rental home in Elizabeth north of Adelaide. It was a semi-detached house and had three bedrooms, living room, kitchen, laundry and bathroom. The kitchen was a large room which incorporated the dining area. It was where we ate all our meals. On schooldays we didn’t linger over breakfast but I do remember mum making toast under the oven grill and that on cold days our dog, Felix, would try to take advantage of the open oven door  by jumping up and sitting on it to keep warm until he was shooed off.

We had a table with a laminated top and metal legs which had four matching red vinyl covered chairs. Actually Naomi still has this table at her house. On weekends when there was no rush mum would cook eggs and bacon in her favourite stainless steel frying pan which Naomi also still has.

Some of Mum’s old pots and pan plus my whistling kettle on the stove. Photo by Naomi

Sometimes we might have boiled eggs with bread “soldiers”,scrambled eggs and toast or maybe porridge. There was always tea, made in a pot and drunk out of mum’s “Weeping Willow” china. Mum liked the Willow pattern china so over the years we had many different variations of it as cups and saucers were broken and needed to be replaced. It ended up that each of us had our own special favourite cup and saucer. As you can see Naomi still has some of this china too.

Weeping Willow dinner set. Photo by Naomi

On those morning we had time to talk. Mum would tell stories about her childhood or about living in England during World War Two. We talked about ghosts and favourite pets and what we would do when we won the lottery. We’d make a second pot of tea and even a third until mum realised that it was eleven o’clock and she had to “get on”.

Sunday lunch was a special meal for us too as we’d always have roast lamb, baked potatoes and veg and Yorkshire pudding. As we played in the kitchen sometimes we were often around when mum was cooking but she didn’t insist that we help with the preparations. We rarely had guests, maybe a little friend of Naomi’s or one of our cousins who lived down the road. That was another meal when we talked a lot.

Later, when mum remarried we moved to another house where the kitchen was much smaller. Although it was a squeeze we often did still sit there to drink tea and talk after a meal.

Even today if I’m visiting Naomi at her house we sometimes sit in the kitchen over a second cup of tea talking after a meal although nowadays we both prefer to move to the living room which is warmer and has more comfortable chairs but the talking continues.

Author: Taswegian1957

Born in England in 1957 my family came to Australia in 1966. I grew up in Adelaide, South Australia, where I met and married my husband David. We came together over a mutual love of trains. Both of us worked for the railways for many years, his job was with Australian National Railways, while I spent 12 years working for the STA, later TransAdelaide the Adelaide city transit system. After leaving that job I worked in hospitality until 2008. We moved to Tasmania in 2002 to live in the beautiful Huon Valley. David passed away in 2015 and I'm here on my own now but I have Cindy the dog and Polly the cat to keep me company. I currently co-write two Wordpress blogswith my sister Naomi. Our doll blog "Dolls, Dolls, Dolls", and a "Our Other Blog" which is about everything else but with a focus on photographs and places in Tasmania.

6 thoughts on “Conversation Time: Times Past”

  1. Thank you for joining in. I think in those days many Australian houses had big kitchens that you ate in and few had dining rooms. I once asked my Mum what was the biggest change she had in her lifetime and she said that people no longer had morning tea and afternoon tea which was usually served in the lounge or the garden. Few people had dinner parties in those days. Like us though the table was where conversation seemed to happen. Now you move to the lounge – if it is just the two of us we do too but if we have people over we stay at the table. For some reason conversation seems to flow easier. Your photos take me back to my childhood – the bakelite handles on the pots. The willow pattern was very popular. I was in my thirties before I heard of soldiers with boiled eggs. I think I must have had a deprived childhood. LOL. Thanks for your wonderful memories and photographs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My sister took the photos as these things now belong to her and are still used. We still love to sit at the table but a long session on those old chairs makes our backs ache so we generally take the second and subsequent cups to the living room.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. In one place we lived, our condo in Boston, we had no dining room, but a giant kitchen. It was GREAT. Actually, I loved that condo. If it hadn’t been 3 stories top to bottom … and had electric heat … we’d still live there.

    Liked by 1 person

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