Thursday, April 3, 2008

Trivial History April 3

Greetings all you windswept and interesting people!
Hopefully you've all got the electricity back on and if not, fingers crossed your unexpected "Earth Hour" will come to an end shortly!
Many were sharing their experiences in calls to talk back radio - people suddenly discovering the merits in solar garden lights (been using them for years now), hand crank/dynamo torches and radios (yep,been using them for years too), finding the forgotten fun in boards games like Scrabble and Monopoly (if only I'd landed on Free Parking last night I would have blitzed The Tribe!) and how many kids were rediscovering the magical entertainment of - wait for it - BOOKS!!!!
One mother was slightly awed by her children's sudden silence and enjoyment of their mother's old Enid Blyton books...apparently Dame Wash-A-Lot and Moonface have still got what it takes!

1845 William Farrer, the English-born Aussie who gave us the celebrated Federation Wheat strain that defied most foes of the wheat farmer, was pupped. Read more about Bill HERE

1847 After being forced to march on The Trail of Tears, the Choctaw Indians heard about the Irish Potato Famine and sent $710 to the relief fund in Ireland. Read more about this heart-felt gesture HERE and HERE.

Although the goldfields were overcrowded in Victoria during the 1850's a little tipple managed to keep the population down. Known as Sunset Rum, it was concocted from methylated spirits, kerosene, Worcestershire sauce, ginger and sugar; after drinking it prospectors were half-crazed and many wandered off into the bush, never to be seen again.

1848 Explorer Ludwig Leichhardt was last eyeballed on the Darling Downs...if you happen to find him, can you send him home for his dinner,please?

1863 Chummy Fleming, pioneer unionist, agitator and May Day celebrations and marches organiser, was dropped off by the stork. Read about this colourful character in Aussie history HERE and HERE.

1881 It was BIG...REALLY big. The powers that be conducted a census across the far-flung 6 colonies of Or-stray-lia as part of the first simultaneous census of the British Empire and found the rabbits were being given a run for their money with a human population of 2,250,194.

Ghost spot-
St Kitts, near Truro in South Oz, is a tiny rural town where many of the residents have witnessed the ghost of an elderly lady wandering up the main street.

1882 Better wrap up the toaster....Alfred Deakin, he who would become the 2nd Aussie Pm, got hitched to Elizabeth Browne much to her parents disapproval. I think he's proven himself by now.

1911 The first Commonwealth census was held with the population ever-increasing at a rapid rate (wonder if they've found the cause of that,yet?) to the tune of 4,455,055.

1925 May Holman thought she'd teach the blokes how it was done by winning the by-election for the seat of Forrest, in Westralia becoming the first labor sheila to sit in an Aussie parliament.

Great Aunt Hepzibah's Handy Hints-
Using, and recycling, plastic shower caps over plant pots is a great way to protect and create a mini greenhouse environment for late season seedlings until they are more sturdy.

1954 Ohhh this is a fine pickle you've got us into Vladimir! Vladimir Petrov was a tad disappointed with the Soviet Union so he did a bunk from the Soviet Embassy in Canberra and asked for political asylum in Oz.

1969 That talented Aussie actor Ben Mendelsohn was hatched today. Read more about him HERE and HERE.

1979 Truck drivers were a bit miffed at the road taxes and cartage rates so they blockaded the major highways in NSW (until the 12th April) to make their point.

Grandma Mehitabel's Menu-
Butter Balls.
In a saucepan on a medium flame pour 1 cup of boiling water and toss in 1 tablespoon of butter.
Beat in 1 cup of plain flour till the batter is smooth then remove from heat and beat in 3 eggs one at a time. Set aside to cool.
In a frying pan with heated oil drop a dessertspoon full - the batter will puff up into hollow balls and the heat will turn them over in the oil.
Serve on a plate with a sprinkling of castor sugar and lemon juice.
Alternatively you can add chopped onion, tomato and bacon with the flour and they will become savoury Butter Balls.


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    Good article in the Age today about the mixed messages brought about by the crazy weather. Carbon sequestration that cannot run because the power is out is deliciously ironic. Of course all the Victorians as you mentioned who are living without power. Interesting times.

    John Howard and his bunch of looy tunes, were likely in most peoples minds to continue their delusional climate change strategy less than a year ago. How could the world see things so differently now?