Thursday, March 20, 2008

Trivial History March 20

The garden is stunning so if any of the guests invited tomorrow happen to read this - please make sure you stroke The Spouse's ego, just a little, on the subject of green thumbs!

Sadly, no I'm not advertising the BBQ as an open house - for some strange reason I object to total strangers making free with my courgettes and taking a leak in my leeks! razz

1802 Matthew Flinders followed in the tradition of brown nosing naming new places after influential bods back home when he dubbed Spencer Gulf in South Oz after a bloke on the Admiralty Board.

1834 Arthur Orton, the butcher from Wagga Wagga who claimed to be the long lost heir to the Tichborne fortune, was pupped. Read more about Arty HERE.

1844 Oh , if only for that blue telephone police box to pop back in time...Flogging off the land selling the first blocks of land at Seymour commenced today.

The only woman to be hanged in Adelaide was Elizabeth Woolcock who's trial, filled with gossip and rumour, is still the subject of strong debate today. Did she or didn't she fill her hubby's Cornish pastie with nasty arsenic? Read more HERE.

1846 Just to make sure Melbourne's Princes' Bridge was going to be built, the foundation stone was laid.

1856 William Gocher, a journalist, newspaper publisher and reformer of beach bathing swimming laws (he broke 'em) was spawned. Read more about beach bathing Billy-boy HERE.

1872 Pack away your fur capes theatre lovers, the Theatre Royal in Melbourne was gutted by fire.

Ghost spot-
A girls school in Macquarie Street, Hobart is watched over by the original founder who is heard by her gentle footsteps doing the rounds of the sleeping quarters each night and a soft glow on staircase landings.

1878 Needing to fill up the not-so empty spot that was a cemetery, Melbourne's Queen Victoria Market was opened...yes, right on top of buried bodies, too. Roughly 10,000 are under your feet as you park the car and wander about looking for that extra special something....

1885 Ruby Lindsay, the adored, beloved and worshipped wife of Will Dyson, sister to the famous Lindsay artist brothers and artists in her own right, was born.

1888 Royal Commission to look into the sanitary conditions of Melbourne was established. Short answer - there were none.

Great Aunt Hepzibah's Handy Hints-
To give kid's plastic and rubber toys a thorough clean, cover with a paste of bi carb of soda and water and leave in the sun to dry. A scrub with an old toothbrush will get into the tiny nooks and crannies to remove any dirt and bi carb of soda.

1903 Lightning Ridge Opal fields was a'booming when it was opened up today.

1915 Swimming between the flags took on a competitive edge when the first state Lifesaving Championships were held at Bondi.

1916 The Australian and New Zealand Army Corps land in France.

Great Uncle Rupert's Ripper Refreshments-
In a shaker slurp 20 mls whisky, 20 mls ouzo and 2mls sarsaparilla cordial. Shake vigorously then decant into a tall glass and top with lemonade.
*Great Uncle Rupert advocates responsible service of alcohol and drinking in moderation.

1917 Lieutenant F.H McNamara, from Rushworth in Victoria, became the first Aussie airman to win a VC for rescuing a downed comrade in Palestine.

1920 Some feller who was handy with a needle and thread started his tailoring company called (David) Fletcher Jones. He later set up shop in Warrnambool in 1924.

1929 Start flapping those wings, the first airmail stamp was issued in Australia and it cost a whole threepence!

Miss Ed Ma Kate Shun's Elucidations-
Make a diorama showing the different layers of time.
In an air tight clear plastic container, line the bottom with a little soil from the garden, then gently place some shells on this, sprinkle more dirt then some (clean and dried) chicken bones to represent dinosaurs, then more dirt, then some pieces of wood as house stumps/ human presence then more soil then a piece of cardboard coloured as a road with some Matchbox cars on it as current-day life.
Seal the lid and look through the side to see the way evolution and time has left its mark.

1942 General Douglas MacArthur babbled some words made his infamous speech at Terowie in South Oz bragging stating "I cam out of Bataan and I shall return."

1946 Henry Handel Richardson aka Ethel Florence Lindesay Richardson, Aussie author who was surreptitiously but openly out of the closet during her lifetime, popped her clogs. Read more about Ethel HERE.

2006 Cyclone Larry gatecrashed Far North Queensland, leaving AU$1billion in damages and no affordable bananas for nearly 2 years.

Grandma Mehitabel's Menu-
Dead Easy Chocolate Cake.
Sift 1 cup of self-raising flour into a bowl with 1 cup sugar, half cup milk, 2 eggs, 2 tablespoons of cocoa and 3 tablespoons of melted butter.
Beat like buggery for 5 mins then bake in a moderate oven for 30 mins. Allow to cool and ice with rum or vanilla flavoured chocolate icing.


  1. Great tips as usual Jayne. I am going to try that bi-carb on textured vinyl and see if it can clean up some old kitchen chairs I found recently.

    I had no idea there were so many bodies left under The Vic market. Some were moved to Fawkner cemetery but obviously not enough. It's quite gross really.

  2. "Did she or didn't she fill her hubby's Cornish pastie with nasty arsenic?"

    I thought that was the traditional way to make Cornish pasties. I really must update my Dr. Crippen's Healthy Cookery book.

  3. It's pretty good on vinyl just rub gently in case the colour isn't held fast any longer.
    They did move about 1/3 of the bodies but the rest were just the headstones and they certainly didn't shift the crims,aborigines and Jewish people buried outside the boundary in unconsecrated ground!

    Almost as traditional as slipping the odd chocolate laxative into the mother-in-law's hot chocolate,Brian...