J is for Jobs

My workload was not onerous as a child but I was expected to make my bed, set the table correctly and help with the dishes.  The animals had to be fed so the dogs were given dog biscuits and pollard mixed with hot water in the morning and Tuckerbox (canned dog food) in the afternoon.  The hens were also given pollard and hot water in the morning and wheat in the afternoon.  Feeding them was usually my job but I enjoyed the reception I received from the animals when their food arrived.  I would let the dogs off their chains and they would scamper madly up and down the drive.  As their job was to bark when a customer arrived they were chained to a long wire which gave them room to run up and down during the day.


Our veggie garden had raised beds just like this one.

My father and mother had a large vegetable garden and I was given a plot to grow radishes as they matured quickly.  I moved onto carrots and corn which took longer but were more useful.  Often when I was in fantasyland making my own fun I would be dragged back to reality and told to do some work in the garden. Indoor activities were frowned upon during the day. Even reading books was an evening activitiy.

A Warm Ray identical to ours.



Collecting woodchips for the Warm Ray from the woodheap  was another job and as I grew older splitting wood with the tomahawk was added to my chores.  I learnt how to set the fire in the winter and clean the ash out of the tray.  At night we filled hot water bottles.  Each morning, now cold, they were emptied onto the garden.




Australian Geographic Magazine April 2016

On the other side of the road, across the Hume Highway, was a deep waterhole which had originally been a blue metal pit.  Beside it was a water pump which channelled water under the highway to a dam on our side. I was keen to learn how to operate the pump on my own and found it fairly simple, with just the flick of a few levers.  The scariest thing about it was when the metal door of the pump was opened a dozen or so long legged huntsman spiders ran around over the surface of the control board.  It was necessary to wait patiently until they had calmed down after the intrusion and then gingerly set the controls and switches to set the pump in motion.

Huntsmen spiders were treated with respect as they ate the insect pests in the home and garden.  They generally appeared inside during  wet weather.  My mother set a good example to her daughter by removing them with a broom and returning them to the outdoors.  I’m pleased to see my daughter does this too.  They are not venomous.  They just look scary.


3 thoughts on “J is for Jobs

  1. I think your childhood outdoor jobs would be more interesting than my childhood indoor jobs. Our chores mostly involved cleaning the house, and Mom kept us to a strict schedule. I’m glad she did, because that installed a no-nonsense work ethic that has served me well throughout my life: certain unpleasant chores must be done, whether you like it or not. Just do your chores quickly so that you can spend time on activities you enjoy. Basta!
    @RhondaGilmour from
    Late Blooming Rose

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s