Monday, March 3, 2008

Trivial History March 3

The plants are watered, the vegie gardens are weeded, more seeds planted and there's another pumpkin growing on top of the hen house...who could ask for a better day?mrgreen

1756 David Collins, he who disagreed with the Feng Shui of Port Phillip and shifted his party to Tassie, becoming the first Lt-Governor of Van Diemen's Land, was hatched. Read more about this chap HERE.

1799 The good news was that the NSW drought broke after torrential rains; the bad news was the Hawskbury River busted its banks and flooded the grain stores and left the cupboard bare.

1816 Not liking the cut of their jib, aborigines killed off 4 white settlers near the Nepean River, NSW.

When Dr Roger Wiseman conducted a survey in 1982 asking youngsters the names of famous Aussies, he came to the conclusion they had a deplorable lack of knowledge of their own country with answers like - Elvis Presley, Benny Hill, Bing Crosby, John Wayne, ABBA, Bjorn Borg and pop group Queen.
They slipped even further in his estimation when they named Aussie landmarks and symbols such as the Statue of Liberty, cowboy boots and hats and the Queen. Sadly I doubt it's improved much in the last 16 years.

1827 Having something to say and determined to be heard G.T Howe started publishing the Tasmanian newspaper in Hobart.

1837 Rejecting poor old John Batman and the names Batmania and Bearbrass (goodness knows why?!) the powers that were brown nosed curried favour when The City of Melbourne was named after William Lamb, British Prime Minister and second Viscount Melbourne. Sidenote-Melbourne in Florida, USA was named in a competition by a former Melbournian after Melbourne, Australia.

1840 First race at Flemington was off and racing.

Ghost spot-
An old homestead in the Sunraysia district near Mildura has an outbuilding that housed a small home brewery in the early 1900's. It has long been changed to a general purpose working shed but every once in a while the sound of laughter and tinkling of glasses can be heard. Whenever anyone investigates, they find tools and engine parts strewn haphazardly everywhere and not a soul in sight.

The first Agricultural Show sans ferris wheel and fairy floss was held in Melbourne.

1854 Bust out the teapot STOP. Australia's first telegraph started earning its keep STOP. Melbourne could finally communicate with Sandridge (Port Melbourne) STOP.

1876 Dockworkers in sunny Qld were granted an 8 hour work day so they could spend more time fishing, surfing and playing beach cricket with the family.

Great Aunt Hepzibah's Handy Hints-
To save time and money when baking in small batches, use a cast iron camp oven on the stove top. It may be used as a regular oven but saves money on cooking as it's smaller and cooks much faster than in the oven. It is also handy to bake in during Summer to save heating the whole kitchen up with the oven.

1885 A contingent from NSW to fight in the Sudan departed from Sydney.

1911 The NT spot of Palmerston was renamed Darwin, after the local Port Darwin which had been named after the celebrated Charles Darwin who was not named after his father Robert.

1915 Historian Manning Clark went down in history when he was dropped off by the wombat squad. Read more HERE.

Great Uncle Rupert's Ripper Refreshments-
Warm Brandy Milk.
In a saucepan warm 1 cup of milk with 2 drops of vanilla essence, 2 teaspoons of brown sugar; stir till sugar is dissolved and milk is warm, not boiling.
Pour into a mug/ heat resistant glass and slurp in about 3 oz brandy. Stir gently and serve.
*Great Uncle Rupert advocates responsible service of alcohol and drinking in moderation.

1933 Award winning Aussie film producer Margaret Fink was found in the tulip patch.

1933 OI ! Start listening already! A major national cancer conference warned that people should stay out of the sun or wear some kind of protection if they had to be out in it. 75 years later and some people are still baking themselves silly.

1942 Broome was the target of many Japanese air raids.

Miss Ed Ma Kate Shun's Elucidations-
In these days of emails, the art of letter writing is often overlooked and forgotten. Get the kids to write a letter to you or a sibling, showing them how to set it out, and let them post it. It's surprising how excited kids still get when the letter arrives in the (snail) mail.

1945 George Miller, who gave us such quality Aussie bilge movies as the Mad Max trilogy, was born.

1991 QEII was gnawed bitten by one of her rabid door mats corgis needing a tetanus shot for the dog stitches for Her Maj.

Grandma Mehitabel's menu-
Dead Easy Pot Roast.
Braise a cheap cut of meat all over in a pan, then remove.
In a casserole dish combine finely chopped onions, carrots, spuds, celery, parsnips and swedes with a little stock and water to cover.
Pour 1 cup of red wine in the pan you braised the meat in and heat till the contents can be scraped off- scrape/pour into the casserole dish.
Let vegies burble away for 30 mins then add the meat on top. The vegies stop the meat from catching on the bottom.
Cover and simmer for 1-2 hours (depending on size of meat).
Slice and serve when ready.


  1. Woohoo! There's something incredibly satisfying about watching a pumpkin grow.

    PS. Had to have a giggle at the Oddspot, and think that maybe he should have checked mathematics skills too. (1982 + 16 = 2008?)

  2. Yes and this one is not in any danger of dropping on my head LOL.

    Oops! lol