Apparently Australia now really does do Halloween. I just went to the supermarket and they were selling large fresh pumpkins to carve.

I think it is kind of sad. It is not our traditional celebration. The retail industry is just trying to get more money from the consumer. False expectations for the children as well – most people would not be prepared for anyone to knock on their door on the night. More americanisation of our culture. Sigh.

‘surplus’ women

On 20 October 1848 the Hastings & St Leonards News published the following notice urging ‘surplus’ women to emigrate to Australia.

FEMALE EMIGRANTS

There is an unlimited demand for wives of all ranks, from the shepherd to the gentleman squatter, with his 1,000 head of cattle and 20,000 sheep. The Colonists, as a body, whether emigrant or native born, make good husbands, kind, indulgent and generous. They are all rather rough in their language to each other, but no one ever heard of a bushman beating his wife. In the towns there is as much gaiety as England. Rather more. The bush huts have not generally been very comfortable; but there is no reason why they should not be as well built and furnished as English farm-houses. Young widows and orphans of small means will find themselves in reality far safer than in any of the greatest towns of Europe, better protected, and with better prospects. Of course some caution is necessary before accepting the first offers made, but there is little difficulty in finding out an Australian’s character. There are obvious reasons in two or more ladies joining to make a party for the sea-voyage, besides reasons of economy. The can be no more impropriety in going to Australia than to India for the same purpose….

For governesses, there is a moderate demand. We should only recommend those to think of emigration who are not comfortable here. Every lady thinking of emigrating should know how to bake, boil, roast, wash, and iron, and then although she may not have to do these things, she will feel independent.

For domestic and farm-servants the demand is unlimited and will continue so for many years, as a good sober cook, housemaid or nurse is worth any wages, and may always have a house of her won within twelve months.

A clever maid-servant is sure to better her position by emigrating to Australia, and will frequently save part of the passage-money by attending on one of the lady passengers.

Never stand out for good wages at first. Get a house over your head and then change if you can for the better.

Last night I went to bed at 6.30pm. I picked up pizza on the way home, threw it at Mr FD and Son, huddled in my favourite chair for an hour or so and then told Mr FD that “I am tired and you are irritating me, so I am going to bed”. He did not argue.

I slept solidly from 6.30pm until 6.30am Saturday morning, with one brief waking moment when Mr FD came to bed and I growled and spat at him before going back to sleep.

I feel somewhat fresher this morning, but I suspect that it will take all weekend to feel normal again, just before the next week starts. We think that looking after our  own 3 or 4 offspring is exhausting, well try 7 times 25 =175 “kiddies” a day, five days a week. And it doesn’t end when they go to bed, as that is when teachers prepare 7 lesson plans for the next day. Weekends included. We don’t do it for the money. I was also tipped right over the edge yesterday as we were asked to wear pink (students included) as a fund raising activity for Breast Cancer. A wonderful cause, and we raised about $1700 through selling pink merchandise and a gold coin ($1 or $2) for the joy of wearing pink clothes which is fantastic. However, pink is not a colour I am comfortable in (surprise!) I own one antique rose pink blouse and that would have been it, except that Daughter2 had recently given me some of her clothing, so in fact I was able to produce a pink skirt (Table 8 label still attached!) and a pink short sleeved cotton cardigan (Jacqui E label) so I was all pinked out. So in a girls’ school it was a sea of many hues of pink yesterday (even the male teachers bless there little pink shirts and ties). I am more a blue person, so should we ever celebrate Prostrate Day, I will be leading the way with blue. So the gist of my tale is that the pink wearing took the last shreds of my strength and so I was beyond weary as I arrived home.

Plus we had Monday’s schedule instead of the usual Friday and so I had the horrible year eight class which is full of QUEEN BEES who vie for control of the pack and are a nightmare for everyone to teach, in last period Friday afternoon. Nightmare time. Sigh. They lived up to all expectations.

Anyway, I digress, as is my want. I woke at 6.30 and so far this morning have watered my tomato plants and have done two loads of laundry. I am off to the hairdresser later in the day (hopefully no half naked men on the road today!)

All in all, I suspect Mr FD is having a better weekend than I – he is still in bed. I may or may not see him before I go to the hairdresser. He may consider that a good thing – I never do Saturdays well, as I am often exhausted from being nice all week at Fanny and Maude’s School for Fine Young Ladies. As we know I find prolonged nice very difficult. I expect today will be no different.

Poor France, not able to retire until you are 62…come to Australia, we get to work to the age of 67 now! I don’t cry for you France.

the Flamingo watusi

The Watusi is a solo dance that enjoyed brief popularity during the early 1960s. It was almost as popular as the Twist. Its name came from the Batutsi tribe of Rwanda.

 In the classic Watusi, the dancer is almost stationary with knees slightly bent, although they may advance forward and back by one or two small rhythmic paces. The arms, with palms flat in line, are held almost straight, alternately flail up and down in the vertical. The head is kept in line with the upper torso but may bob slightly to accentuate the arm flailing. The dance, which became popular in the American surf/beach sub-culture of 1960s, may be enhanced if one imagines that ones feet are on sand.

Mr FD and I have been viewed doing a similar routine from first a horizontal to a sitting position and then finally a vertical position each morning as we attempt emergence from our bed. It is usually accompanied by deep guttural moans originating low in the throat until enough momentum is reached that allows one to thrust one’s body in the direction of the bathroom. We imagine our feet in cement and adjust routine accordingly.