Moreidlethoughts Weblog

humour,art,gardens, books and whatever idle thoughts float through my mind (it's a very draughty mind.)



As I was writing the previous post, my much-loved countryman, Sir Howard Morrison, was leaving the stage for the last time.

This is pretty much the way I remember him (picture nz), as thefounder of the Howard Morrison Quartet, as no doubt, do many other “oldies.”

But he did much more besides sing silly songs about All Blacks. And for his great social contributions my country salutes him.


I’m in a bit of  “turn-back-the-clock” mode (or mood?) just now. Possibly, unearthing all those old books and other “stuff” kicked things off.

I was talking with friends about some of the things we do to make the best of mistakes. (Those of you who dabble in the visual arts know what I’m on about, don’t you!) I frequently turn drawings upside down, or tear them into their separate parts, I “re-purpose” (dunno who came up with that silly word, but I love it!) books, prints, writing. All this probably means I’m an unfocussed amateur.

But I’ve never quite gone as far as a woman I knew, many years ago…

In the remote country town, before hot water was on-tap, folks boiled water in enormous old coppers. Explanation for kiddies: a big (maybe 50+ litres) copper vessel was set in a concrete holder, with a small fireplace beneath. Wood burned in the fireplace heated water in the copper, which, when hot enough, was ladled out to wash tub/kitchen sink/ bathtub.

Now, this friend of mine (yes, come to think of it, she was artistic and easily distracted by landscape opportunities) “lit the copper” one morning, in order to do some laundry. But she forgot to close the firebox door…and went off to paint a picture or sew some cushions or whatever…

When she came back into the wash house (nobody in those days was fancy enough to call it the utility room!) the place stank to high heaven of burning linoleum!

What to do! What to do! Well, J’s solution was to rip up the scorched linoleum and stain the floorboards! Of course, the stain was still tacky when her husband came home so there was no question of his having a bath!IMG copperFrom my sketchbook.

I may be off-blog for the next few days. Perhaps I should leave some links to keep you entertained? Isn’t that rather like telling sweet-toothed children the box of chocolates must last more than half an hour?

Oh! You want to know why I’ll be away?

  • Pool Party>>
    Come to our Pool Party…. We’re having music and a Barbecue.

See you soon…


Author: dinahmow

A New Zealander, currently living in tropical Queensland,Australia (with 2 cats and one Main Man).Old enough to remember George VI, white tennis balls and life-before-television.You want more? Read the blog!


  1. Is that about the same time you all crowded around the radio to listen to your “stories”? 🙂 Seriously, I do love these quotidian vignettes of a bygone era (pretentious, wot?) so keep ’em comin’. After you’re back that is.


  2. andrea…Yes, life was pretty primitive.We lived for 3 years without hot water on tap and another 3 before Mother got an electric washing machine. Which was one of those agitator drums with a mangle attached.
    Radio? Most people still said “wireless.”
    Perhaps one day I’ll share the Tale of Mister Scissors.


  3. No! that picture is crazy!!!


  4. marie…just think “camping.”
    Actually, we were all glad of wood stoves and coppers as electricity was often shut down for hours at a time, several times a week . Ironically, we were a hydro-electric town!


  5. marie…oops! I think you mean the picture of the lads’ pool party!


  6. What an entertaining tale! And here you are going to have a pool party – quite different to the old copper and its ladelling! enjoy, I wish I could join in1


  7. ronelle…ah! you comment has just come through.
    That pool party is scary, yes? One assumes all those wires were dead?


  8. Pingback: INVERTING THE HOUR GLASS | Moreidlethoughts Weblog

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