Friday, March 7, 2014

Sepia Saturday 218: 8 March 2014


Alan says: 

We have Sepian Wendy Mathias to thank for our theme image this week. It is from a series of images showing the areas in Sydney affected by the outbreak of Bubonic Plague in 1900. Wendy suggests fences, back yards or bubonic plague as possible theme suggestions, but, as usual, the choice is yours. All you need to do is to find an old image - whether it is linked to the theme image or not - say a few words about it, post your post on your blog on or around Saturday 8 March 2014 and add a link to the list on Sepia Saturday.

The great Australian back yard.  What would we do without it I wonder?  It used to be conventionally a quarter acre block but you're pretty lucky if you have that now.  We've got a large handkerchief sized block.

Here's someone practising hanging out the washing.  I think it might be Joyce Wingfield but it might be my mother.



And this is definitely Joy seeing what's going on in the next door neighbour's back yard....




Here is my mother in her playpen.  I don't know which back yard this is...Bondi? Katoomba? Hamilton?


This is more grim but reminds us that not everyone has grass in their back yard...I suspect it is Katoomba or Bondi....



This one is more cheerful but I am struck by how short the coat length is and that these are the war years c. 1940.



Back yards are for growing vegetables and flowers.

I laughed when I read the back of this photo.  It says "Belle and Barbara (but mostly the spinach)" - they had a dry sense of humour those Forfars/McLoughlins and Wingfields.


Back yards are for learning to ride a bike before you go out on the street...

Here's my mother (she'd hate this photo but I love it's natural quality)


Like mother like daughter, here I am on my tricycle in the backyard at Edinburgh.  This is a tiny photo and blew up quite well I thought.  You can see the houses in the background.  This would be Cargill Terrace I think.


Back yards are for sitting with your family or your beau and chewing the fat or appreciating mother nature.


Barbara and I think her Uncle Bill.


Shirley and David


Back yards are often used for portraits in memory of special occasions.

I don't know who the people below. I suspect they are McLoughlins or friends of McLoughlins but they look like they are trying to make an impression.


You can cook up a storm in a back yard with a BBQ like my Gran.  I think this is My Bush at Springwood and it looks like a home made BBQ to me - the best.  I think that enamel dish was around for a long time, if we don't have it still!


But you'd better get the washing off the Hills Hoist first!


Here's the first proper back yard that I can remember - 22 Elliott Street Campbell.

No back yard is complete without a pet of some kind or a shed for the bloke to have a tinker with the car.



Time to tip the cat off the baby's chair and get it to work on some proper mousing or catching of rats to avoid the Bubonic Plauge (see - I got there in the end). 

I'm not sure who the woman in this photo is but I'm thinking it might be WW Forfar's second wife - Alice Agnes (nee Bourke).



This week's post is in memory of a fine specimen of feline - Wes

Wes used to help me count stitches.


He wasn't my cat.  He was a borrow cat.  I used to walk in Wes' garden and he would try and leap out and surprise me or race me up the stairs.

But counting stitches is exhausting as you can see...



and so Wes was buried in Grand Purl Baa's back yard this week.  

The wallabies will keep him company, bouncing around looking for the choicest leaves and the birdies will sing him lullabies I'm sure.  

Bye Bye Wes.  You will be sorely missed.  xxx

For more fences, back yards and mousers - head over here.

39 comments:

  1. You've only to look at photos like these and you start thinking Aren'r people wonderful. All different shapes, sizes and ages but all look as though they have a great story to tell.f

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    1. Dear boundforoz...this is so true...so very true.

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  2. Thanks for your journey down back yards in your (and others) life. Sadness about Wes, as a friend here in Black Mountain just had to say goodbye to her aged Betty Boop, another sweet cat. She won't have any wallabies, but instead has a ceramic cat that will hang over her resting place...made by my friend.

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    1. Thank you B. Rogers for your kind words. Commiserations on the passing of Betty Boop. I have monuments in my garden (Grand Purl Baa would cough a lot at the word garden - it bears little resemblance to a garden as such) to celebrate the dearly departed - budgies, guinea pigs and the like.

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  3. In looking at everyone's posts, I'm beginning to see a pattern of small backyards with little or no grass for kids to play on. In later years when my siblings and I were older, my Dad built a terrace & fence & put in a nice lawn in our backyard while my Mom planted flowers & rhubarb chard (was pretty but we could eat it, too). When we were growing up, however, our backyard was nothing but dirt & all the neighborhood children came to play in our wonderful child-friendly yard! (And I'm pretty sure all the neighbors with nice backyards/gardens thought that was just fine.)

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    1. Yes, it's amazing what kids will play in...dirt is sometimes best particularly if the company is great ! :)

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  4. What a nice bunch of backyard photos. That guy in the chair looks pretty dapper.

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    1. I call the guy in the chair Spiv. Would just love to know what his story was.

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  5. What a fun collection of yards and fences. I do think your mother was about ready to step over that playpen -- she seemed tall enough to get out on will. The Belle/Barbara/Spinach caption is how my family tends to comment about pictures too. Funny!

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    1. Thank you Wendy. I was surprised I had so many in the end.

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  6. Sorry to read about Wes - he was obviously a great helper. Back yards are important places for all sorts of activities including being photographed.

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    1. Dear Anne - yes he was a great helper...of the soul. This has been a great theme for contemplating the humble back yard.

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  7. You are making me think that I should have done a different type of post this week. Backyards really are full of memories!

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    1. I need to spend more time in my back yard me thinks.

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  8. If I wasn't convinced before you have confirmed that there must be many backyards for me to explore in my photo archives. I just can;t think why I haven't done it before. Our large backyard during the war was the one everyone could play in safely, separated as it was from the vegetable plots but with access to an apple tree to climb.

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    1. Dear Bob. Who knew huh? So many different ones to explore.

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  9. A fine collection of back yard photographs. Back yards just have that look. One can nearly always tell when a photograph was taken at the back of the house.

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    1. Thank you for your kind remarks anyjazz. I think people look more relaxed in their back yard.

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  10. I especially like the ladies with the spinach and your mother with the bike.

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    1. Oh I'm glad you liked the one with Mum and the bike. I agonized over putting that one in because it is not very flattering of her - it was at her awkward age - that would be the one I seem to be going through at the moment and that is taking such a long time to get over ;)

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  11. Oh I do like your last photos too. What a wonderful family collection you have of backyards and fences, and as your photos show, we're always sure to give our best smiles when riding our bikes!

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    1. Thank you Karen. I need to get back on a bike soonish ;)

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  12. Loved your backyard pics -- particularly your mom on the bike and the spinach pics --- and who wouldn't love the guy looking cool with the cigarette hanging out of his mouth. great pics.

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    1. Thank you Joan. It was fun finding photos and putting them together for the post this week.

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  13. I like backyard photos with vegetables so I was drawn to the spinach one.

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    1. I do like a bit of spinach myself Kristin!

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  14. Great range of backyard photos and the spinach one is very funny. The BBQ looks like fun too.

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    1. Thank you Little Nell. I was particularly chuffed to find the BBQ one...yet another photo that I have "missed" or "passed over" but bears further closer examination and discussion.

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  15. Yet more corrugated iron fences - I guess they must have been a feature of practically every Australian backyard in that era.

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    1. But I'm only seeing timber Brett or have I gone mad?

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    2. What's that in photos 1 and 2?

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    3. Well when you look at Photo 1 it does look a bit like the side view of a water tank but in photo 2 it looks like an add-on extension to the house doesn't it and whilst it might be corrugated iron I'm yet to be convinced. I don't know why I'm being pig headed. Maybe it's because I'm used to seeing thinner strips or more pronounced nails holding it all together and there seem to be gaps between the strips which makes me think its timber.

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    4. No you mention it, I can see what you mean. Yes, it looks to me like an extension or lean-to shelter. However, if you look at where the panel abuts against the wall of the house, you can see the typical wavy profile of corrugated iron - at least that's what I've convinced myself.

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  16. Huge collection of backyard photos - I didn't have nearly so many - country families have a big backyard, a paddock usually. My mum's veggie patch was as big as the house and we had bikes with bigger tyres for all the dirt roads.

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    1. Yes I agree Jackie...back yards are really a suburban thing aren't they? I'd much prefer a paddock :)

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  17. Oh you funny girl. Were you testing me? I loved your back yard post and so read all the way to the end - and there was a Wes tribute. Lovely girl. Thank you.

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    1. Hoorah! You passed the test. Phew. xxxx

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  18. Lovely stories and memories of a variety of your back yards. Sorry about your friend the mouser Wes.

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  19. Belle and Barbara look like a lot of fun. I like that photo a lot. What a great collection.

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