Summer of ’73 – Remembering Doc Neeson


Doc Neeson, The Angels.jpg
Doc Neeson, The Angels” by Mandy Hall – originally posted to Flickr as Doc Neeson, The Angels. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Yesterday I read with some sadness but no surprise of the death of Doc Neeson, lead singer of Australian band The Angels (Angel City in the USA).  My mind went back to 1973 when I heard a song called “Keep You On The Move” on the radio. It gave me chills. I was very surprised to learn that it was by a local band, Moonshine Jug and String Band. At sixteen I was not old enough to go to pubs so I was unaware of the local music scene.

1973 was the year that the Adelaide Festival Theatre opened and a local  promoter arranged a series of concerts featuring local bands. My sister and I went to one of them and that was where I saw Doc Neeson on stage for the first time. Back then he went by the name of Doc Talbot and he was the front man for Moonshine Jug and String Band. I thought they were amazing. I really enjoyed their showmanship as well as their songs. You can read about how they morphed from a jug band to a rock’n’roll band to the band that all Australians know on Beyond Salvation,” the Angels website.

That summer local radio station 5KA promoted free concerts at shopping centres all around Adelaide. My sister and I got to almost all of them travelling by bus so that we could see the band play. We also went to free concerts at the Royalty Theatre in Angas Street, Rymill Park and the newly built Festival Theatre amphitheatre. How I remember the cobbled steps we sat on and how one day it was so hot that the colours on my nylon dress faded. They were great times though. We saw many of the bands that were popular in Adelaide at the time, Taxi, Salvation Airforce, One Man’s Band and even Cold Chisel on one occasion.

I was proud that The Angels, as an Adelaide band, had success on the world stage. I saw them as The Keystone Angels supporting Chuck Berry at Memorial Drive on a very rainy night and once more as the Angels supporting AC/DC I think. In later life I preferred other bands but I have never forgotten that summer that we discovered local music.








Further reading:

What “Äm I Ever Going To See Your Face Again?” was really about.

Share Your World – 2014 Week 22

Regarding animals would you prefer not having them around or having domestics pets, farm animals, or seeing them in nature or the zoo?

Do I have to choose? I love pets but I enjoy seeing animals anywhere, zoos, provided they have nice enclosures. At  agricultural shows, I like to go and look at the animals especially the  baby ones or watch the show jumping, sheepdog trials or working bullocks .  The nice thing about living in the country is that occasionally you see animals in their natural habitat.

Are you a collector of anything? 

Dolls, fashion dolls, dolls from the 60s and Australian Metti and Netta dolls mostly. I blog about them too. My doll blog is unoriginally named Dolls, Dolls, Dolls.
The Netta/Metti Family 2011

If you could know the answer to any question, besides “What is the meaning of life?”, what would it be?
Well everyone knows that the answer to the Meaning of Life, the Universe and Everything is 42. I guess my other question would be why does the toast fall buttered side down?

If you were to treat yourself to the “finer things” what would you treat yourself to? 
Oh definitely a cleaning lady, and a holiday somewhere new every year, that would be nice.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Last week we had some beautiful autumn weather and a friend of mine did me a favour by finding me an item I hadn’t been able to find at the shops.. Next week I’m looking forward to some solitude and taking some new photos for my blogs.

Pavlov’s Dogs – Funny Things Pets Do

Cindy has two beds, one at each end of the house but she still prefers ours.
Cindy has two beds, one at each end of the house but she still prefers ours.


This afternoon I had to go out for a short while and as I was about to leave the house our dog Cindy came and sat on her dog bed and waited expectantly. As usual she was waiting for a treat. When Cindy was a young dog she used to get very upset if Hubby and I went out without her. As soon as we’d shut the glass sliding door at the back of the house she’d start leaping up and down and getting very upset. In order to calm her down we did what we’d found worked with our previous dogs, we gave her treats. We soon found that the treat she liked best was a handful of  “Goodoes”. It worked and over time she came to associate our leaving the house with her getting a treat so she would rush to the back door then sit waiting for it.  It was only supposed to  happen if we were leaving her alone but after a while Cindy decided that it should happen whenever either of us left the house even if the other one was still at home. So that’s why, when she realised I was going out, she was there waiting  for that handful of treats. I don’t like her to have too many treats as she is part labrador and will eat anytime so usually she only gets them if we’re going somewhere.

I can’t help finding this little trick of Cindy’s amusing and it got me thinking about the other things that our pets learn from us. Most dogs know the meanings  of several words apart from the ones we teach them like “Sit”, “Stay” etc. Who hasn’t tried spelling out “W.A.L.K” only to find that the dog knows what that means as well. They seem to learn words like “Sausage” and “Biscuit” very easily. Cindy’s vocabulary also includes “Letterbox” because she considers it a huge treat to go to the end of the driveway with me to get our mail.

Of course dogs can recognise non verbal cues too. Dogs always seem to know that putting on shoes or wearing certain clothing means you are going out as well as the obvious picking up of bags and keys. My sister, who wears a uniform to work, says that her dogs know if she puts on the clothes she wears around the house that she is staying home with them. Recently we bought a new letterbox which we keep padlocked and Cindy quickly learned that when I pick up a certain set of keys we’re going to get the post. She is eight now so apparently you can teach an old dog new tricks.

Most pets, cats as well as dogs, seem to know that a suitcase means that their human is going away. Dogs get mopey, cats, well I don’t know if it upsets them but they know. I can remember one occasion when Hubby and I were going on a trip when we sneaked out of the house with our suitcases because one of our cats had the habit of following us to the railway station meowing piteously all the way. He might have been saying “Don’t leave me!” but it could also have been “Where’s the can opener?” I guess. This particular cat, a big ginger named Peter, also worked out how the trains worked. He’d sometimes follow me to the station in the morning, once even coming onto the platform and rubbing himself up against waiting passengers. (I pretended I didn’t know him.) In the afternoons he would occasionally be waiting for me on the platform on the opposite side of the tracks. How he knew that was the one I’d arrive on I don’t know.

Cats are smart and they quickly learn the behaviours that get our attention. Honestly sometimes I wonder who is training who? We used to have canaries at one time and the cats were taught, mostly by means of squirt bottle of water, that they must not go after the birds. Mostly they didn’t but one of them, if her cries for dinner were ignored for too long would jump onto the kitchen bench near enough to get to the cage. She was obviously saying “If you don’t give me something to eat soon I’ll get my own.” because it was the only time she ever did it.  She also learned, this was in the 80s, that food came out of microwaves so instead of meowing at the fridge she’d meow at the microwave. My sister has a cat with a sense of humour, when I visit he likes to jump onto my chair the minute I get out of it. Last time I was there he came into the room unseen by either my sister or I and jumped onto my seat which I’d vacated for a few minutes. I nearly sat on him!

 Further Reading:

What Is It With The Onesies?

 Not really a rant, just wondering.

Wikipedia gives these definitions of the word Onesie/Onesies

onesies photo: onsies n600528181_1172645_7717.jpg
When I was in my teens my mum bought some material to make me some pajamas. I had an idea though. I asked her if it were possible to make them all in one piece. Jumpsuits were popular in the 70s and I thought maybe she could use a jumpsuit pattern. The reason I wanted them was not to look trendy but simply because I was fed up with getting a cold back when my pajama tops rode up in bed.

Mum never made them. I can’t remember why, maybe she was too busy or perhaps a jumpsuit was not a sewing task she felt up to trying. Anyway I didn’t get them and it didn’t break my heart. I grew up, got married and found other ways of keeping my back warm at night.

When I first heard the term onesie it referred to baby wear and as I didn’t have any babies it was not of great interest to me. In the last couple of years  though I’ve noticed that not only are adults wearing them now but they seem to have become insanely popular and not just for bed.

I’m nonplussed as to why grown people want to run around in animal costumes, it reminds me of Hubby’s favourite episode of CSI from some years ago. I walked through Target today and there were Onesies in both the women’s and men’s departments. Do real men wear Onesies now?

I can understand the attraction of wearing them at home, they look nice and cosy but out in public? I don’t think so, unless you are two I don’t think it looks cute. I know we all dress down now and that wearing track pants as every day wear is the norm. I do myself, they are comfy and if I’m only going to be doing housework and being climbed on by pets why ruin the few good clothes I have. I’ll go to the local shops in trackies as long as they are not stained or torn ( I do have some standards) but I draw the line at Onesies.

So now that they are so readily available will I be buying some for cold winter evenings? Sadly I don’t think so. They probably would keep my back warm and be cosy when snuggling up to watch the TV but  now all I can think of  is would I be able to get them off fast enough if I was caught short?

Further Reading:

Daily Prompt – Climate Control

Climate Control – Let’s Talk About The Weather

The idea that the weather and people’s moods are connected is quite old. Do you agree? If yes, how does the weather affect your mood?

The weather sometimes has a big effect on my moods.  Although I usually don’t mind  wet weather and usually enjoy hearing the rain pouring down when I’m snug inside  several days of constant rain can get me down a bit. I start to feel trapped in the house  when it’s so wet I can’t even walk to the end of the driveway to get the mail because it’s become a sea of mud. Days when there is no sunlight certainly do depress me. I hate dark rooms and having to put the light on during the day. Many people are severely affected by lack of sunlight and suffer a condition called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

There are two types of weather that really affect me though. Windy days and extreme heat.

When I was a child hot weather didn’t bother me as much but now I find that it does. In South Australia where I used to live the summers have become hotter and longer. The last few summers we lived there we would sometimes have temperatures of forty degrees celsius (104 fahrenheit)  for days on end. At night the temperature would only drop by a few degrees and after a few days of this I’d become tired and irritable. I’d hardly have the energy to do anything. It wasn’t just the physical discomfort. I would start to feel as if I had no enthusiasm for anything any more. I also felt anxious about bushfires. I didn’t live in a bushfire prone area but in a climate like that you know that  every summer it’s not a case of if there will be fires but when and how bad. I still worry about that today, although it’s not as hot in Tasmania in summer we do get bushfires. and have had some bad ones  over the years so there is always that tinge of fear in very hot weather.

Twelve-monthly highest maximum temperature for South Australia

Twelve-monthly highest maximum temperature for South Australia
© Copyright Commonwealth of Australia 2014, Bureau of Meteorology (ABN 92 637 533 532) | Disclaimer | Privacy | Accessibility
This is the lake at the height of the drought.
This is Lake Dulverton at the height of the drought.

Seeing the effects of drought make me feel sad. People think it rains a lot in Tasmania but parts of it are quite dry at times and for several  years there was very little rain in the central and eastern part of the state. Farmers had to sell stock their stock or kill it if they couldn’t afford to buy feed. Their dams dried up. Lake Dulverton at Oatlands which I’d never seen with a lot of water in it dried up almost completely.  Then happily there were some good rains. I saw a news story that Lake Dulverton was full for the first time in many years, and visiting Oatlands soon after I saw for myself. The sight of a boat on the lake and  fishermen on the bank made me so happy I wanted to sing for joy.

In 2009 after  good winter rains
In 2009 after good winter rains
I especially enjoy the climate in Tasmania because there are four distinct seasons. It’s hard not to feel happy on a bright morning riding on the bus to Hobart and looking out at the reflections on the river or seeing the red golds and green golds of the trees in autumn. I feel happy when I see the first daffodils appear after a long cold winter and again when the tulips start to appear a bit later.  As for when we get a sprinkling of snow I can’t help getting excited about that. It’s still a novelty after nearly twelve years.

St Paul's Catholic Church

Stories My Mother Told Me – Part One

Mum C1922 with one of her grandmothers.
Mum C1922 with one of her grandmothers.

My grandfather was in the British army for many years and in the 1920s early 1930s he was posted overseas. My grandmother and their five children travelled with him, first to Malta, then Egypt and finally to India returning to England around 1934. My mother often used to tell me about those years which she obviously thoroughly enjoyed. How I wish that I could remember more of it now that she’s gone. Here are a few stories that I do remember.

My grandfather, from a painting probably done in the 1930s
My grandfather, from a painting probably done in the 1930s

A Christmas Carol

Mum was born on Christmas Day 1921 in Hounslow where my grandparents lived in the barracks Married Quarters. She used to enjoy telling the story of how her mother was in the middle of preparing the goose for Christmas dinner when she went into labour. I never found out if the family sat down to the meal without her or who finished cooking it. Naturally the baby was named Carol.  Mum was the youngest of the five; her eldest sister Marjorie was born in 1914 and brother Dennis in 1915. Grandfather went off to War and after he came back from France twins Daphne and Gladys were born in December 1919. The story goes that when the babies were born Gladys, the smaller of the two babies was abandoned by the midwife who did not expect her to live. My grandfather took over her care and fed her using a fountain pen as a bottle. She survived and thrived  but was always much shorter than her sister which gained her the nickname of Tiny.

Hello King!

King George V. Wikimedia, Public Domain.
King George V. Wikimedia, Public Domain.

Mum was only four  years old when my grandfather was posted to Malta.  I have a hazy memory that she told me that before that they were in Jersey for a while. She was only a baby and didn’t remember it herself but she did tell me an amusing story about when the King visited the barracks where they lived. Supposedly aunty Tiny and aunty Daphne stepped out from the crowd as he passed by and said “Hello King”. I don’t know if that is actually true.  The story may be based on the fact that King George V and Queen Mary did make a Royal Visit to Jersey in July 1921. This was before mum was born but her sisters would have been about eighteen months old. If they were talking then they must have been pretty precocious children. There is no mention in the attached wiki of whether the King was accosted by two small girls.



 Female_Macaque_with_young_suckling © Gibmetal77 / Wikimedia Commons
Female_Macaque_with_young_suckling © Gibmetal77 / Wikimedia Commons



Monkey Business

Mum shared another memory of her early years. A visit to Gibraltar when the family was en route to Malta where she saw the famous apes that live there. They are called Barbary Macaques (Macaca Sylvanus) and at that time there was a saying that if the Apes left Gibraltar so would the British. As a four year old all my mum knew was that she wanted a monkey of her own and monkeys remained her favourite animal for her entire life. I still have a collection of china monkeys that belonged to her as she was often given them as gifts.

You can read more about Gibraltar and its famous inhabitants here.

Photo description below. Here is a link to the photographer’s Wikimedia page.


English: Female barbary macaque with young suckling at Mediterranean Steps, en:Gibraltar.
Date 2007-10-14 (original upload date)
Source Transfered from en.wikipedia
Author Original uploader was Gibmetal77 at en.wikipedia
(Reusing this file)
CC-BY-SA-3.0,2.5,2.0,1.0; Released under the GNU Free Documentation License.

Challenge of Smiles – A Fortunate Life

Many years ago I read a book called “A Fortunate Life” by Albert Facey. In it he told his life story and it seemed to me that he lived through some pretty hard times, his father died when he was a small child and his mother left him and his siblings in the care of his grandmother, he had to go to work at the age of eight and didn’t get much schooling. Two of his brothers were killed in World War I and Albert himself was wounded. His eldest son was killed in World War II. Yet he chose the title for his book, published just before his death aged 88, because he said that he believed that he’d truly had a fortunate life.

I guess that goes to show that it is all in how you look at it. Times can be tough, we all have loss, disappointment and sometimes worse to deal with in our lives but maybe the point Albert wanted to make is that we should not dwell on those but look for the positives.

I too feel that I’ve had a fortunate life. I haven’t always had a lot of money but it’s been mostly happy.  Not long ago a WordPress Daily Post asked us to make a bucket list of things we’d like to do. This is my bucket list of things that make me happy.

  • I still, despite the aches and pains of late middle age, have my health
  • My memories of good times in the past
  • The funny antics of pets
  • Beautiful places, you may not be able to eat scenery but it’s good for the soul
  • People who “get” me
  • Taking journeys, especially to somewhere new
  • Living in Australia, still the lucky country compared to many others
  • Laughter, it really is the best medicine
  • Being useful, either at a job, volunteering or just helping someone out.
  • Beating England at cricket 🙂

The photo below is of a plaque in the main street of my town. I don’t know who wrote the poem but believe it was somebody local.  I like living in a town that puts poetry and memorials to ordinary people in its main street.

What makes you happy?

poem on wood plaque