This is a photo I took of a cement truck sculpture at the Mona art gallery. It’s one of the only pieces I actually liked there. Mona is more for people who enjoys today’s art and cultures. I thought this one clever and well made and quite an interesting choice. Mona is a little weird but the place is really popular with locals and tourists. I selected this photograph randomly just for something to post today.
Today I’ve been scanning some old magazines again and wanted to share this one with you.
This is the English Woman’s Weekly. Mum read this magazine for most of her adult life. It was always her favourite although she enjoyed others.
This issue is from 1950 and I find it interesting for several reasons. It is quite a small magazine, not so many pages as ones that were to come in the future and entirely in black and white except for the header on the front cover. Of course at this stage many things in Britain were still rationed but there are signs from the advertisements that the austerity era is coming to an end.
There are ads for appliances for the home like hot water heaters and wringers. Some of the everyday items advertised are still around today. Some of the home remedies don’t sound so hot though. I know what gripe water is but I don’t like the sound of Bile Beans.
Appliances for the home.
“Aah! Bisto!” gravy and Lux is a luxury advertised by a movie star. Cigarette ads are common.
bile beans, childrens powders and smelling salts dont sound good.
What I didn’t find amongst the advertisements were any for travel or holidays. In later years the magazine carried a lot of this type of advertising and had regular travel articles but as yet people can’t afford to travel for leisure very much.
Magazines are also a great way to see what people wore, what cosmetics they used and how they wore their hair. I’m sure many short of cash housewives found this advice useful.
There was always a lot of knitting in the Woman’s Weekly. I don’t recall ever seeing an issue that didn’t have at least one pattern in it. Often there were sewing patterns too. Sometimes there would be a printed pattern to enlarge and sometimes a coupon to send away for the pattern and fabric to make a dress, skirt or suit. There were also lots of patterns to make toys of all kinds, knitted, crocheted or sewn and mum would often save these as she enjoyed making toys and dolls clothes.
Mum also enjoyed the fiction in her magazines. Every week there would be a continuing serial or two and a couple of short stories. I have to admit that when thumbing through old magazines I often stop to read them too.
Serials were always popular.
Fiction in Woman’s Weekly.
Finally the regular feature writers. For many years the Woman’s Weekly “Agony Aunt” page was a feature near the back of the magazine. Here she is formally called Mrs Marryat but by the time I started reading this column, probably in the early or mid seventies she was referred to as Mary Marryat, a sign of changing times. I’ve mentioned before how much I enjoy reading the problem pages. The British ones especially often dealt with matters of etiquette as well as romantic or personal problems. It is important to know when you should wear gloves and what the duties of the Mother of the Bride are.
Another regular was “Man Who Sees” who was obviously a parson and there were articles about the Royal Family and film or theatre celebrities of course although nothing like the media circus we have today.
In this post we’ll talk about some of the entertainment venues we visited on Ovation of the Seas. We don’t tend to spend a lot of time in bars as we are not big drinkers nor did we want to go to all of the themed nights and entertainments but there were plenty of choices for those that did from game show type entertainments, to theatre performances, live bands and movies.
We did not take a lot of photos in the entertainment venues while performances were on but on our walks round the ship by day we were able to get a few so we can give you some idea how they look.
The Music Hall
On our first night at sea Naomi and I were keen to find something to do after dark. The ship’s newsletter had a list of what entertainment was on and we were pleased to see that there was an INXS cover band playing in the Music Hall, a small theatre/dance venue, so we decided that we would go and see them.
The band was excellent, they really sounded like INXS and we enjoyed them. Naomi has a story about this band so I will leave her to tell it. During the course of the voyage there was also a Queen cover band and an Elton John show but we did not see either of these.
While we were at the airport in Sydney getting our luggage Vanda met a friend of hers and they started chatting. I was watching all the other passengers as I usually do. I wonder where they are going or where they have been. I even make up stories about them in my head sometimes to pass the time away. Airports can be boring if you have a long wait for your flight. While we were at the Hobart airport I saw a married couple obviously going on holiday. The man had on one of the best Hawaiian shirts I have ever seen plus the straw hat etc. I half expected to see him turn up on the ship but he didn’t. Back to Sydney and I noticed some young guys collecting a large amount of luggage. I was sure they had musical instruments. I could see what looked like keyboards and guitars as well as sound equipment. One guy had long curly hair and sunglasses. He was standing back a bit and looked really cool. They must be a rock band I said to Vanda when she introduced her friend. Look at them I said they have got guitars and stuff. I wondered where they were heading and then said as a joke. Wouldn’t it be funny if they were on the ship? I didn’t expect they would be as you usually get some pretty ordinary entertainment and nothing like them. Well I was very surprised to see that we were going to have an INXS tribute band on board so I said let’s go see what they are like. We can leave if we don’t like them. We had to sit in the upstairs part as it was very crowded. We could not see the band from where we were on the second level. I said to Vanda I really have to go and see if it’s that band from the airport. I looked over the balcony and thought the singer looked like the cool guy at the airport but he was a bit far away to see properly. I said to Vanda “It looks like those guys but I am not 100% sure.” Well, half way through a song during the instrumental break up comes this guy and sits down at the table right next to us. He spoke to us too but I was too surprised to answer him. I got my answer though. It was the same band. Who would have thought and how cool was that. Sadly they got off at Darwin but they were really really good.
We also visited the Royal Casino which was on the same deck as the theatre. We do enjoy playing the “pokies” but we are sensible about it and always have a budget. The ones on Royal Caribbean ships are different from the ones we play on at home. American style machines are harder to win on, you have fewer choices in how you play and of course they are in US currency so we had to be mindful of the exchange rate. I did OK though. I had a few small wins, enough to keep playing for some time without going over my limit. Winning money is great of course but I don’t gamble expecting to win. I just enjoy setting off the feature on the machine to see what it does. For me what I spend is the price of entertainment the same as for a movie or some other event.
I love casinos and having a bit of a gamble. I don’t go to the tables as I am not so good at cards so I stick to the slot machines. I love to play on the slots so I couldn’t wait to visit Ovation’s casino. It was nice and big and there were plenty of machines. I was pleased to find plenty of Aussie machines there as I prefer the pay lines on them to that of the American machines. I think the Aussie ones are easier to win on although I know everything is to chance here. I met some nice people while I was playing to chat with. One older gentleman had won over $500 bucks while I was chatting with him. I ended up losing but I won it all back later in Singapore at the casino there. That was way cool as I was able to blow it at the shops.
This was the largest entertainment venue, a theatre that spanned two levels. It is used for both live performances and movies.
One night we decided to go and see “The Greatest Showman”, a film supposedly about P.T Barnum. We thought this might be OK as it was a period film but it turned out to be not our sort of thing at all. We probably should have realised that it was a musical. I don’t mind musicals but I felt that in this case the music swamped the story, what there was of it. I did not like the way the scenes jumped around and while I do accept artistic licence in a film I had been expecting it to be a biographical film and this was anything but. Both of us felt that the music and costumes were not appropriate to the era the film was set in. Had we been at home I would have googled the reviews of the film before we went and tried to watch a trailer. As it is we were trapped in a very crowded venue in the dark so we didn’t feel we could comfortably leave. We would have if we could have.
Most of the movies being shown were fairly recent ones so I’m sure other people enjoyed them. I probably would have watched “The Darkest Hour” at home on TV but not on the pool deck, it didn’t seem quite the place to be watching a film about Dunkirk.
If you are a fan of the PT Barnum picture or the music you will not like what I have to say about it. It had to be one of the worst pictures I have ever seen. I am not a fan of musicals and I would not have gone if I had realised that. While I had been taking some film of the ship I met two men who had told me they were going to go and see it. They thought it would be quite good. I suggested to Vanda that we go too. I couldn’t stand the music to be honest. Much too millennial for me. I soon recognised it as the awful music they played every single day in Windjammers. Why does everyone have to sound as if they were churned out of the Idol machine? They all have such dreadful whiney voices. The film was very obviously not shot on location either. The scenery was all very computerised looking. No one looked like they were really where they were. Last of all the fire scene and resulting injuries to the man who went back to save his girlfriend! How farfetched was that? They hardly had any burns and as for smoke inhalation? Give me a break! They could all still sing! The worst picture I have seen in a long time.
I did like the idea of the big screen outside and if you want a top spot to relax at night by the pool grab a deck chair lay back and enjoy a movie and a drink from the pool bar.
This is a multipurpose room which we’ll talk more about later. We saw a show there called “Pixels” which was quite clever technically although dance is not really my thing. The show combined singers, dancers and aerialists against a background of computer graphics
I did like this area. It was nicely decorated and very spacious. This is very good venue for all sorts of entertainment. I think they could have given up some space for the poor library. Maybe they could have had more books and games then. We had a lot of trouble finding a place where we could sit with a game or something. Vanda wanted to write and I wanted to draw and colour. I had to go to Windjammers to find a table where I could use my pencils or play a game of Scattergories. I was very thankful for Windjammers and the fact I had taken my own stuff for my entertainment. The ship does not supply much at all by the way of games, books or things like that. You really must take your own along. The 270 Lounge got used for quiz games, lectures and shows. I didn’t go to see much of it as it didn’t interest me very much. I am not into lectures or docos. I spent much of my time just enjoying the ocean. I will say that the entertainment areas were all nicely decorated, comfortable and easy to get around. There is also the robotic bar that I really loved. Two robots serve you your drinks. They looked a bit like funny animals and they were very clever. I enjoyed watching them. We’ll probably talk about them later but to me they were entertainment also.
So there are just a few things you can do on a cruise ship in the evening. In another post we’ll share photos of the bars including the Robot Bar which we both thought was a lot of fun .
I went shopping at The Northgate Shopping Centre and met people I was not expecting to meet. They explained they were collecting for charity so I gave them some money and asked if I could take their photos. I must say Mr Vader was very keen for a photo to be taken and jumped straight into his best pose. Batman was ready for a chat and promised to keep the others in line despite the fact they were not from Gotham City.
A friend of mine, knowing that Naomi and I love old stuff, gave me a heap of old magazines recently. Most are women’s magazines, a few really old ones from the 1940’s or earlier and some from the 50’s. There are also some from the 60’s 70’s and 80’s which don’t feel such a long time ago to me. A few are old copies of Life and some that many Australians will remember Pix and the Australasian Post. I spent an afternoon sorting these out from the old craft and gardening magazines which are probably headed for the Op Shop and of course I could not resist reading a bit here and there.
It is fascinating to see the old advertisements in magazines, what people bought and how it was marketed. In the really old ones you see ads for strange sounding health remedies and cigarette ads that promote them as healthy. In the Australian ones there are ads for products and stores now long gone except in my memory.
I also enjoy reading the letters from readers especially the “Agony Aunts”. I always did like to read those when I was young. In the teenage section of an Australian Women’s Weekly from the sixties there is a discussion about whether it is appropriate for parents to accompany their children to job interviews. A student writes about how she has made a plan to save money to buy things she wants. Another reader tells how she met pop star Normie Rowe.
A mother writes about the difficulties of getting her children to help around the house and what can be done about it.
The other thing that I enjoy about old magazines are the beautiful graphics. Although there are photographs of course there was a lot more artwork and a lot of it is very nice.
I have to confess I even read the fiction.
These are just a few samples from half a dozen magazines I grabbed out of the box. I may do another post later showing some of the older ones and other bits and pieces that I found interesting.
A friend of mine sent me an article from The Guardian about the opening of the Sir John Monash Centre near Villers-Bretonneux on ANZAC Day. It was an interesting piece. You can read it here.
It made me think about the way that many museums these days have become entertainment venues rather than places of learning and about whether it is really right to do that on a battlefield. I actually tapped out the beginning of this post on my phone while waiting for my ride to the Op Shop and finished it here at home later after I’d done some further reading. You may not agree with my take on the subject but that’s OK you don’t have to.
The Sir John Monash Centre:
I recently read about the new museum in Villers-Bretonneux in France which commemorates Australian soldiers killed in battle there in World War 1. It is called the Sir John Monash Centre. The museum is said to be an experience and cost an enormous amount of money. A hundred million dollars in fact. It has been built adjacent to the original museum which was built in the 1930’s. My question is why? Wouldn’t it have made more sense to give the original museum a facelift and spend all that money on projects that benefited victims of wars and their families?
In fact the Australian National Memorial has recently been updated apparently so did we need to spend another hundred million dollars on an “Interpretive Centre”?
Here is a description of the original museum.
AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL MEMORIAL
Designed by the architect Sir Edwin Lutyens and inaugurated on the 22nd July 1938 by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, this imposing memorial was the last of the Great War national memorials to be built in France or Belgium. The white stone memorial is composed of a central tower, two corner pavilions and walls that bear the names of 11,000 missing Australian soldiers who died in France. In front of the memorial is a Commonwealth Military Cemetery. The top of the tower provides panoramic views of the Somme countryside the Australians helped defend in 1918 and an orientation table signals the direction of other Australian sites of remembrance.
At the bottom of the staircase, a large wall-plaque displays a map of the Western Front and the emplacement of the five Australian divisional memorials in France and Belgium: 1st Division at Pozières, 2nd Division at Mont St-Quentin, 3rd Division at Sailly-le-Sec, 4th Division at Bellenglise and the 5th Division at Polygon Wood in Belgium.
Please don’t think that I’m being disrespectful to the ANZAC’s . I am just cynical enough to believe that this is more about tourist dollars than history. I do think that these men should be remembered and a museum telling their story is a good way to do that. I don’t think it should be viewed as an entertainment venue. Do people really have to be entertained by everything they see? Can’t they just reflect and maybe learn something?
This is what the same website says about the Sir John Monash Centre
In April 2018 a new interpretation centre about Australia’s role in the Great War will open at Villers-Bretonneux. The Sir John Monash Centre tells Australia’s story of the Western Front in the words of those who served. Set on the grounds of the Australian National Memorial and adjacent to the Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery, the Sir John Monash Centre is one of the key sites of the Australian Remembrance Trail along the Western Front, and establishes a lasting international legacy of the Australian Centenary of Anzac 2014-2018.
This cutting-edge multimedia centre reveals the Australian Western Front experience through a series of interactive multimedia installations and immersive experiences. The SJMC App, downloaded onto each visitor’s personal mobile device, acts as a «virtual tour guide» over the Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery, the Australian National Memorial and the Sir John Monash Centre. The experience is designed so visitors gain a better understanding of the journey of ordinary Australians – told in their own voices through letters, diaries and real-life images – and connect with the places they fought and died. A visit to the Sir John Monash Centre is a moving experience that leaves a lasting impression.
Many museums now offer a multimedia type experience to the point where it is almost impossible to learn anything unless you download the app or carry the museum’s device so you can listen to commentary and descriptions. I have done this at one or two museums and galleries recently and personally I find it annoying. I like to take my time, read, look and most of all keep away from the crowds so I don’t always take the set route through a museum but may skip a crowded area and go back to it later.
Back in 1990 David and I visited St Petersburg, Russia. It was still known as Leningrad then. We were not doing a tour so some of the things we visited we were not able to fully understand. However we visited the memorial to the people who died in the Siege of Leningrad in World War Two, or as the Russians called it. “The Great Patriotic War”. Although we could not read the information the long lists of names and the solemn atmosphere moved us as much as if we had it all explained to us. It did probably help that we both had read about those terrible years prior to our visit. I don’t know if that memorial has received an upgrade since 1990. If it has I hope it has not been turned into a circus because that would be wrong.
I’d like to think that this huge some of money has been spent purely to educate but I can’t help feeling it’s more about politics and making money and I can’t help wondering if it was really necessary. I have included links to the articles that I read while working on this post and perhaps after reading some of them you will see how I arrived at my point of view.
David loved old cameras and he had a growing collection of them and other photographic memorabilia . I have always found them interesting myself and intend to keep most of them although I may have to cut down the numbers of old 110 instamatic cameras as there seem to be rather a lot of them. Today I thought I’d share photos of a couple of cameras I especially like.
This one here has always rather fascinated me. David told me that it was a press camera. It is a medium format camera, quite bulky and solid. They were made between the 1950s and mid 1980s. I’m not sure what year this particular model dates from.
Here is an older one sorry it is not a good photo. When we are settled in our new house I hope to have at least some of the camera’s out on display and I will photograph them again.
This next one is an early Kodak No.1 which is called a pocket camera. I guess people had bigger pockets then. Seriously these would have been as revolutionary as the first iPhone cameras seemed to us when they came out.
No. I Kodak Pocket Camera 1926.
This last one for today is also a Kodak. The Duaflex which is a twin lens camera. David had the model which was made in England which dates it to around 1949-51. There was also an US made version which I think was made for a bit longer.This camera took 620 film which looks similar to 120 and I believe it is possible to use 120 in this camera but you have to wind it round the correct spool.
There were so many different types of film back then 120, 126 which was cartridge film, 127, 110, 620 and probably a few more I don’t know. I must say digital has made life a lot easier. Nevertheless the old cameras are fascinating and often beautifully made as well. Even the cheap plastic ones have their own interesting features.
Anyway I hope you have enjoyed a little look at some old cameras.