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My kids love hearing ‘I remember when’ stories from when I was a young child. So much has changed, so very quickly over the last few decades. It’s almost impossible to imagine being back in a world without mobile phones, Minecraft and McDonald’s. How DID we survive?

Who remembers when plum puddings were not a desert but little plants that one could pull out of the garden and eat the roots?

I remember as a child, honey suckle flowers that would be in my mother’s garden, I’d suck the juice out of the flower.

The tar on the road would bubble on a hot summer’s day and kids would pop the little bubbles and taste the tar.

Anyone remember the Dunny Man?

I remember when the toilet was an old drum with a seat and squares of newspaper had been cut up and hung on a nail behind the door. When the toilet was full the ‘Dunny’ man would come late at night and hoist the drum up on his shoulder and carry it away! But not before replacing it with an empty one.

I remember going to a milk farm and watching cows be milked and then drinking the warm milk and having a white moustache from the delicious thick cream. Oh yes, we knew that milk didn’t come from the shop packed in a plastic bottle. Do our kids?

Paddock To Plate

As a child we would also pick up cow’s manure from paddocks to take home to fertilise our vegetable garden that was overflowing with spinach, tomatoes and herbs. In those days even the neighbors grew their own ‘veggies’. Tomatoes tasted like tomatoes!

Or how about knocking the chickens head off with an axe (no buying from Coles neatly packaged) and watching the chicken end up in the laundry tub having its feathers plucked and then served up for tea!

Yum!

How about having dripping on bread or fresh cream and jam on bread, baked rice puddings and crumbing one’s own cutlets.

The list is endless, another time and another place. Time never stands still and we’re always moving forward. But it’s not always for the better.

Who else has wonderful memories of life when it seemed much easier? What do you remember from your childhood? Tell us in the comments below.

  • Aw, I forgotten about the bread and dripping – how nanny would soak bread in the drippings off the roast, and then when it set, we’d have it spread with salt and pepper on top. I still love it today, and if I roast meat in a roasting bag, I always pour out the fat and drip into a small bowl and stick it in the frig to have later. And I’m now 76!!

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  • I was born in UK, at the end of the war, and we lived with my mom’s parents until Dad came home, and we then moved into army quarters, but I do remember quite a few of the older houses had “long drops” where you sat on a toilet seat that was on the top of a long pipe that was sunk into the ground, with a metal hinged plate at the bottom of the pipe, and when it got a bit heavy, it would empty with a clang, into the sewers below. And I remember the dunny men, when we first moved to New Zealand, and my mom was horrified, we’d been living in West Africa, and she said even they had indoor toilets!!! I was friends with a bunch of lads and one of them was a “lavendar lady” who used to pickup the pans, and I’ll never forget his thick old army greatcoat that he used to wear. He used to pong a bit!!! Good old days, no computers, kids used to play outside until it got dark, we climbed trees, made ourselves camps out in the woods, and generally had a wonderful time!!

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  • I’m 52 and I remember outhouses but they were no longer in use. I do remember some of the antics we’d get up to as kids. Digging holes to see how deep we’d have to get to strike water. Swinging on the clothes line and getting in trouble. Climbing Dad’s back shed to get the macadamia nuts off the roof then smashing them on a crease in the concrete with a brick. Helping Dad clean the freshly killed chooks and pigeons. And not the dunny man but I do remember the garbo and there were no wheelie bins back then. Ours had to run up our long easement to the back yard and pick up and carry a metal rubbish bin on his shoulder, tip it into the back of the truck then bring it right back up to the back of the house again. They bred ‘em tough in those days! :) Also the milkman, again, a run up the easement and our stairs. I also remember dogs roaming the streets because the rules weren’t so strict back then. You’d just take your chances and hope it wasn’t nasty lol.


    • Those memories are just great! Thanks for sharing.

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  • I’m a bit young for these but iv definitely had milk straight from the cow, it’s so different to milk from the shop haha I remember black and white tvs that you had to play with the arial to get the fuzzy channels to work slightly, watching VHS and the tape skipping because it had been watched to much and I remember making traffic light toffees with my mum and my Nanna.


    • They are great memories. I use to snap the tapes because they would become tangled in the tape deck.

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  • I definitely dont remember the dunny man!!!

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  • I don’t recall any of these things, and frankly I’m rather grateful for it!


    • You would have to have lived it. Life in general was so much easier and children were safer. Houses could be left unlocked with no fear of being robbed. Today’s World is so much different and with COVID we are in a NEW world that will probably stay with us.

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  • I don’t recall the Dunny Man but I remember my Nan and Pops having an outside loo! When they finally got an inside one plumbed in, they were so excited. Unfortunately, the plumbing/drainage back then wasn’t the best so, when Pops flushed anything down the toilet, it popped up in their neighbour’s loo! Lol! He also loved his dripping on bread; and, on a Sunday, when Nan cooked Roast, he would always have his Yorkshire puds, potatoes and other vegetables first, and then eat the meat once he’d finished everything else …. I remember being able to run around the streets with other kids, barefoot, with no cares in the world, pick up bugs to inspect them, scream with delight while running under the sprinkler on a scorching hot day ….it isn’t like that anymore unfortunately and I believe kids nowadays miss out on so much … life was so less complicated back then …


    • Oh Yes the sprinkler on a scorching hot day was the best. As a kid I used to throwmy orange on the path so it cracked and then I’d suck the juice out! Thankfully ‘Sunnyboys’ were invented and I loved the frozen ice.

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  • The Dunny Man was before my time, but as a 50 year old, life was definitely much simpler growing up. Lots of time spent outside, in the sun, having fun, and expected home when it started to get dark and the streetlights were on. When TV finished at midnight and you were left with the screen logo; when you had to get up to change the channel; when you were happy to swing on the clothes line! Those were the days.

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  • I remember the dunny man and being able to walk the streets and feeling safe. How times have changed

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  • Don’t know him.

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  • I remember the honey suckle flowers! What about when ads on TV were actually really funny and clever? Like the dog that fell down the dunny and the different beer ads.


    • Oh my yes I had forgotten about them! Also Fred Flinstone my dad used to come home from work and watch the show laughing so loud my mum would scowl at him.

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  • I remember right down the back no lights so was dark in there cutting up squares of newspapers and pulling the string through the hole and hanging it off a nail in the loo and a hot day the smell was terrible


    • One never forgets that smell on a Summer’s day. The poor dunny man!

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  • Long before my time. I’m thankful to have a proper toilet and shower though


    • Yes me too ! We’re rather spoiled. When you travel rural area’s in the world you still can experience these situations and it really makes you feel grateful !

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  • I remember the dunny man, one of my uncle’s was a dunny man, I also remember watching my pop kill the chicken then help my nan pluck it. I absolutely loved the dripping pot, I use to try and get the jelly from the bottom, the good dripping on the top was used for making pastry etc.. Our next door neighbours brother was our milkman and a couple of our teachers also delivered our bread, we had Mr Whippy coming around all summer, and soft drinks were delivered in crates with different flavours, all in glass bottles. The first trampoline I saw was next to a shop, people could pay from a penny to have a go, depending on age and length if time on it. Things have changed so much in my lifetime, but my mum has scene way more changes, she still talks about how things were when she was young.


    • I used to go to the corner shop with threepence and get such a big bag of lollies! sanitary napkins used to be wrapped in brown paper from the chemist to save embarrassment. The Waltons man used to come to the door and sell my mum towels and sheets then would return every month for his payment. He’d cross off the amount on a little yellow card. Gee times were so simpler then.

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  • I’m not as old as to have had a Dunny man but I am from the free range generation, where you would take a packed lunch and be out roaming the neighbourhood all day (being checked on by any responsible adult who would tell you off or call your parents if you did wrong!). And not only do I remember pre mobile phone days I still don’t carry one with my. My husband and I share a phone and it literally stays in the house, just like an old landline. The world revolved long before phones and continues to rotate without me having a phone with me.


    • I too don’t have a mobile but a landline in the house. I love that you are from that generation. My generation along with the ‘dunny man’ was go out in the morning as kids and be back when the sun went down. Parents didn’t worry that much and we just had fun.



      • OMG I thought I was the only person who (until recently) shared a mobile phone with hubby. Unfortunately I need one for my job but I only use it for incoming calls.

    Reply

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