Dd – is for Delightful, Delicious & Delectable

FAMILY HISTORY THROUGH THE ALPHABET CHALLENGE

Researching and writing about the lives of family can sometimes make me sad. When this happens, there are a number of useful strategies which soon have me bouncing back. My “Weird, Wild & Wonderful” blog is aways a happy place to play. Trawling “You Tube” for fun, ridiculous and romantic songs is another favourite and sometimes writing about amusing incidents from childhood like “Dad, fencing and Nana”, which are passed on to my descendants through this blog, soon get the chuckles going again.

Needing comforting and cheering up after my latest two posts to “Family History Through the Alphabet Challenge”, one about “Baby Crout” and the other “Cousin Lizzie”, I mused over the letter Dd and immediately “Delightful, Delicious & Delectable” jumped into my head. It’s just a little story from childhood which brings back fond memories. Maybe it will trigger some happy thoughts for you too…

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It’s 1950 in the working class suburb of Queenstown, South Australia, and just a couple of miles “up the track” from Port Adelaide where dad and grandpa worked “on the wharf”. Picture a large family kitchen with four hungry “tykes” sitting around the table, waiting for breakfast, and amazed to see their dad busy at the task. Why dad? … I have no idea. Maybe I do, but don’t want to think about it as it may bring back the sadness…

The four of us – 1950. (c) 2012 C.Crout-Habel

Anyway, dad put four bowls in front of us announcing They’re POBS – Mam used to make them for me.” Well, I’d never tasted anything so delicious and delectable in all of my four years. Sixty two years later, and still a feeling of calm envelopes me with the very thought. So, what were these magical “POBS” and what made them special? The breakfast dad put before us that day was simply a bowl filled with cubes of white bread, sprinkled with sugar and moistened with warm milk but oh so so delicious. Over the years, and on rare occasions, dad served us POBS but mum never did. Right from the start mum’s POBS were rejected… they just didn’t taste the same.

This South Australian girl knew no other person who ate POBS, or even knew what they were. I figured it was just a fun name that my Yorkshire born dad and his “mam” used for a bowl of bread, sugar and milk until, in 1995, I visited his home town of Windhill, Shipley, Yorkshire, England. Seeking the whereabouts of dad’s childhood home I met up with a delightful group of elderly people at the Windhill Community Centre, Church Street, Windhill. They named themselves the “Windhill Memories Group”, were amazed that Harry Crout’s daughter had come visiting, all the way from Australia, and happily shared their memories. Lillian Moorhouse was one who maintained contact and would sometimes send copies of her pencil drawings of  “Windhill of Yesteryear”. One day a booklet arrived titled “HOMECURES OF YESTERYEAR” and there on page 5, to my amazement, was a description for POBS – not a made up family name at all!…

HOMECURES OF YESTERYEAR by Lillian Moorhouse, page 5.

Years later, with a “search” on Wikipedia, I discovered that POBS are a traditional Lancashire dish. The internet also has many forums & discussion groups where talk about POBS arises. It was here I learnt that POB stands for “Pieces Of Bread” and also that a crushed up Oxo cube, sprinkled on bread and covered with hot water falls into the same category. What a surprise to discover that POBS were also enjoyed by others.

To ensure that this simple meal lived up to the title of “Delightful, Delicious & Delectable”  it had to be served in the appropriate dish – one of mum’s small, rimmed, white bowls which were dotted with tiny pink flowers and edged with gold.

So … a delightful, delicious, and delectable meal, of bread and milk, needed to be prepared by dad and served in the appropriate dish to make my day.  🙂 … happy memories.

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SOURCES: HOMECURES OF YESTERYEAR by Lillian Moorhouse © Lillian Moorhouse Reg. BB/818 No 33371. Published by: Windhill Memories Group. N.E.W.C.A. Church Street, Windhill, Shipley, Yorkshire, England.

Copyright © 2012. Catherine Crout-Habel. Seeking Susan ~ Meeting Marie ~ Finding Family

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Merry Month of May – Music Meme

Some of my earliest childhood memories are of mum singing as she went about her daily work, always with a song on her lips and a tune in her heart.  So, it’s with great pleasure that I take up Pauline’s “Merry Month of May Music Meme”.

It’s been fun reflecting and writing about “My first live concert” and “Music to get married by” … now I’ll enjoy working through the entire list, proposed by Pauline, and then reading the reflections of others. 🙂

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(1)   Song(s)/Music from your childhood: The Littlest Angel,  Little White Bull, Where Will The Baby’s Dimple Be?, Davy Crockett, Little Blue Coupe, Rawhide, Ghost Riders in the Sky, the Naughty Lady of Shady Lane.

(2)   Song(s)Music from your teenage years:Rock Around the Clock, Blue Suede Shoes, Jailhouse Rock, Little Bear, Peppermint Twist, Good Golly Miss Molly, Flaming Star, Wooden Heart, Coming Down With Love, Rock a Billy, Blowin’ in the Wind, Lemon Tree, We’re All Going on a Summer Holiday, and lots more… 

(3)   First live concert you attended: Johnny O’Keefe Show… The 2nd and last teenage concert I went to was the Beatles

(4)   Songs your parents sang along to:  Dad: only 2 that I remember.. “The Naughty Lady of Shady Lane & Cock of the North” (opening words only… when he played it on the piano). Mum sang all the time…  My favourite was “Hi Lilly Hi Lilly Hi Lo” which she sang so beautifully and with such feeling.   

 (5)   Song(s)/Music your grandparents sang/played: Don’t remember Grandpa ever singing but he used to whistle tunelessly through his teeth. My youngest son, who never knew my Grandfather, whistles EXACTLY like him 🙂  ~~~  Nana died when I was very young & only remember her being ill but mum used to tell me how Nana would rock my eldest brother to sleep, singing “What will we do with a Drunken Sailor” and one time she rocked so hard the chair, Nana & the baby ended up backwards on the floor.

(6)   Did your family have sing-a-longs at home or a neighbours: Mum used to buy copies of the “Boomerang Song Book” every time a new one came out and she and I would learn the words of all the new songs and sing to our hearts content.  Sometimes my brothers would join in. For years, every Christmas Eve, mum & I would sit out the front and sing Christmas Carols for hours.  My mum, my girlfriend and her mum (Margaret & Mrs Jordan) used to drive regularly from Adelaide to Mildura (to visit their “rellies’) and we’d sing all the way there and back.  My unanswered question still is: … what did “The Sergeant Major” DO after that second kiss???… they never would tell us but would just laugh their heads off …

(7)   Did you have a musical instrument at home:  Mum bought  a 2nd hand Pianola from a work colleague’s brother so I could learn to play and my brother who didn’t have the use of one arm could still be involved in the music making. She bought it on “Layby” and seemed to take forever for her to pay it off.  My eldest brother had a guitar. My youngest played piano and was very good at “Alley Cat”. Dad taught himself the Piano Accordian, mouth organ, piano. He used to play “the spoons” & graduated to a set of “bones” (yep real bones which I still have) Dad also made an apparatus for himself which would hold the Mouth Organ so he could play the Piano Accordian and the Mouth Organ at the same time…

(8)   What instruments do you play (if any): Piano very badly,  Irish Whistle reasonably OK… with tunes I know but takes a long while to learn them.  Bodhrán quite well and I love this best of all 🙂

(9)   What instruments do you wish you could play: Wish I could pay Piano & Irish Whistle properly…

(10)  Do do/did you play in a band or orchestra:  Used to play with “Celtic Music Club” which are a part of the “South Australian Irish Australian Association”. We’d play for a “Bush Dance” at club once a month, St Patricks Day and at various country festivals.  Also used to be one of the “musos” every Friday night at the Governor Hindmarsh Hotel.  It’s the companionship in the “making” of the music that’s the joy and I love the “protocols” when playing in such a group. e.g. who is permitted to initiate a tune etc…  

(11)  Do you/did you sing in a choir: Only at Primary School because I was forced to and used to get growled at for singing out of tune… so then I’d pretend to sing and get into trouble for that.  Was a bit of a no winner…

(12)  Music you fell in love to/with or were married to: “We’ll Build a World of Our Own” … also when hubby and I were first dating we went to see the movie “Dr Zhvago” and I loved “Lara’s Theme”. “My Guy” by Mary Wells – I used to go into the top room and play it REALLY loud at the time that mum was so critical of my boyfriend/ fiance who later became my husband.

(13)  Romantic music memories: A boyfriend was “lead guitarist” in a cover band for “The Shadows”.  My girlfriend’s boyfriend played “rhythm guitar”. We’d go to their concerts, sit at a table close to the band, carry their guitars & act very smug and superior when the other girls were “swooning”.  My excuse is that I was very young and I thought that was so so romantic. ha ha ha…

(14)  Favourite music genre(s): Folk Music, Country & Western, Celtic Music, Australian Bush Ballads.  I love the Bagpipes.

(15)  Favourite classical music:  Because I was a dancer… it’s Swan Lake, Giselle & Nutcracker Suite 

(16)  Favourite opera/light opera:  mmmhhh???

(17)  Favourite musical: Bye Bye Birdie, Cats, Jesus Christ Superstar

(18)  Favourite pop:  Don’t Worry Be Happy, Shuttupa ya Face, Pushbike Song,

(19)  Favourite world/ethnic: Celtic

(20)  Favourite jazz: Jazz does nothing for me at all

(21)  Favourite country or folk: So many it’s hard to pick but particularly like Johnny Cash; Ring of Fire, Walke the Line, Folsom Prison Blues. Also Peter, Paul & Mary… The Seekers

(22)  Favourite movie/show musical: South Pacific, Oklahoma, West Side Story,

(23)  Favourite sound tracks:  As above

(24)  What music do you like to dance to: Age & infirmity have curtailed my dancing but I’d dance to anything.   Earliest memory of music to dance to is “Sway”.  I was very tiny, dad would push back the kitchen table and he’d dance me around the highly polished lino floor with me standing on his feet.  This is how I learnt to dance. Mum & Dad were beautiful dancers.

(25)  What dances did you do as a teenager:  Started with jive and then moved with the trends… to the Twist, the Stomp etc. My three brothers & I would gather our friends & records and we’d regularly have “record parties” at various houses on a Saturday night. I used to wear out a pair of moccasins each night and it took hours to starch & iron the petticoats…  I also enjoyed “progressive dances” like “Military Two Step” and “Canadian ???” The “Duke of Erin” was another favourite but not many my age enjoyed those … and I also loved any sort of ballroom… the “old chaps” were the best to dance these with.  

(26)  Do you use music for caller ID on your mobile:  No

(27)  What songs do you use for caller ID:

(28)  What songs do your children like or listen to: Now they’re adult I can’t really say … as children “Aga Doo” was a particular favourite. Mr Clicketty Cane, Spaghetti Bolognaise, Alice the Camel .  Teenagers… Redgum, Uncanny Xmen, Cold Chisel, Abba were some of their favourites. My youngest Grandson adores “Celtic Thunder” and tells me Damien is his favourite.  Grandaughter is mad about “New Direction” … or is is “One Direction”??? … {chuckle}

(29)  Favourite live music concerts as an adult: Lord of the Dance, Cats

(30)  Silly music memories from your family:  Purple People Eater, A-hab the A-Rab, The Thing, The Battle of New Orleans, Itsy Bitsy Teen Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini, My Old Man’s a Dustman, Does Your Chewing Gum Lose it’s Flavour on the Bedpost Overnight… are some of the tunes.  Silliest family fun thing was that we’d go to the “Drive-in Theatre” every Saturday and whilst waiting for it to get dark music would be played over the speakers. When “The Little Blue Coupe” was popular we used to take turns in beeping the car horn in time with “beep” in the lyrics. Loads of fun …

(31)  Silliest song you can think of: “The Thing” – just WHAT was it he found on the beach “that bright & sunny day” and couldn’t get rid of ??? …

(32)  Pet hate in music/singing:  None really, except neighbours playing really loud music early hours of the morning with “base” turned up SO high it makes my walls vibrate… grrr

(33)  A song that captures famiy history for you:  Bound for South Australia” and also “The Song of Australia”… then there are the songs like “Just a wee Deoch & Doras” which reflect my heritage.

(34)  If you could ony play 5 albumns (assume no iPolds or mp3) for the rest of your life what would they be: Songs of the Protest Era, Treasury of Australian Music (2 records), Hard Day’s Night, Oklahoma

(35)  Favourite artists (go ahead and list as many as you like):  Elvis Presley (but only in the early days), Roy Orbison, Petula Clerk, Rod Stewart, Abba, the Beatles, Dig Richards, Cliff Richard, Little Patty, Johnny O’Keefe, Cilla Black, Tommy Steele etc… 

Thanks Pauline… the remembering has been great fun.

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Merry Month of May – Music to get married by

Some of my earliest childhood memories are of mum singing as she went about her daily work, always with a song on her lips and a tune in her heart. So it’s with great pleasure that  take up Pauline’s “Merry Month of May Music (& Melody) Meme”.

It’ll be fun retrieving memories and reflecting on how music and song has been, and continues to be, an important part of my life, especially when the going gets tough. It’s also an opportunity to share a little of my own life story with my beloved children, and grandchildren, and have fun doing it 🙂

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The theme I’ve chosen today relates to the date, i.e.10 May 2012, which is  my 45th Wedding Anniversary and was prompted by Pauline’s suggestion of “Music you fell in love to/with or were married to”. 

I was 17years old and Steve was 16 when we met, fell in love and before long decided that a life together was what we wanted more than anything else in the world. Incidentally I’m now horrified at the thought of my 14 year old  Grandson making such a decision in a little over 2 years time, but that’s life, eh? … 

Not surprisingly neither sets of parents were happy, however they did agree to our Engagement, which happened on 27 Apr 1966, and it wasn’t until plans were well under way for the Wedding to take place the following Dec 12, that first one set of parents withdrew permission and then the other. Then the first changed their minds but the second continued with their refusal. It was like being on an emotional roller coaster.

At that time you could only marry under the age of 21 with the approval of parents or a Judge and Court Order… so, we eloped. Steve joined the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and, after basic training at Edinburgh Air Base, South Australia, was posted to Wagga Wagga, New South Wales. I followed him, lived in the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA), gained employment as Secretary to the OC (Officer Commanding) at the Base and we applied to the Court for permission to marry.

It was all very romantic and my favourite song, at the time, was “We’ll Build a World of our Own” by the “Seekers”.

Sadly the marriage ended after 20 years, almost to the day, and the following song personifies this.

Life is full of ups and downs, happiness and sadness, joy and pain and so it was with our marriage.  Without the pain you can not know the joy and it’s the happy times, the fun, laughter and especially our beautiful children, and now grandchildren, which remains with me and continues to enrich my daily life.  Thanks Steve.

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Let's go Merry Month of May-ing

Let’s go a Merry Month of May-ing

 Copyright © 2012. Catherine Crout-Habel. Seeking Susan ~ Meeting Marie ~ Finding Family

Happy Birthday Jarren…

 Remembering Jarren Vaughan Habel

A Birthday Memorium for my beautiful baby boy Jarren Vaughan Habel.

Jarren Vaughan Habel, 3 days old

Born 13 Apr 1970 at Midland Hospital, Midland, Western Australia. Much loved second child of Catherine Ann (Crout) Habel and Stephen Louis Andrew Habel and adored by his big brother, Cullen Andrew. 

At the age of 6 weeks, Jarren contracted “measles“, passed on by the un-vaccinated child of one of his father’s work colleagues. Anti-biotics were administered immediately and he was soon back to his old self. However,

Jarren Vaughan & Cullen Andrew Habel - May 1970

within a week, or so, he developed a persistent “cold” which the doctor diagnosed as a “teething cold”. The doctor kept prescribing anti-biotics and one morning I was shocked to find Jarren dead in his cot.  As the cause of death was unknown an autopsy was held which showed my beautiful baby boy died of  “complications” from the measles. One entire lung had been destroyed and he had lived for all those months on ony half a lung.  We were told that it was only the anti-biotics which kept him alive and that, even if his persistent colds had been correctly diagnosed, he would have died anyway. Cold comfort indeed.

Jarren died at home, 16 Caladenia Way, Koongamia, Western Australia on 16 Sep 1970 at the age of 5 months and 3 days. His father had left for work and only his 3 year old brother, and I, were home.  Jarren seemed to be sleeping very late and as the time passed I began getting rather nervous so popped a piece of chocolate into my mouth to give some courage. Some wondered why I suddenly didn’t like the taste of chocolate any more.

Jarren was buried in a tiny little white coffin, decorated with golden angels, at Midland Cemetery, Midland, Western Australia.  All the way to the cemetery I kept looking for the hearse and was horrified when the “boot” of the car we were travelling in was opened and there he was.  Yes, the inside of the “boot” was decorated with velvet etc., but I was still horrified.

It rained continuously the morning of Jarren’s funeral and  the wildflowers,

Jarren, six weeks old, with mummy

lining the narrow country road, glistened with raindrops as though the world was crying with me as we drew closer and closer to the burial ground and the moment of final separation from my beautiful baby boy.  They lowered his tiny body in the tiny white coffin into the tiny hole in the ground and, consumed with grief, I turned my eyes to the heavens, the rain stopped, the clouds parted and the sun shone through with a blinding intensity that was other worldly – my life changed forever.

It’s been said that the death of a beloved child brings to the parents a pain which is indescribable.  It has been so for me.

My only consolation is to tell Jarren’s story and urge all who hear it to pass on the message that a parent choosing not to vaccinate against so-called “childhood illnesses” put the lives of the very young, who are unable to be vaccinated, at great risk.

May you always RIP, my darling.

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© Copyright 2012. Catherine Crout-Habel. Seeking Susan ~ Meeting Marie ~ Finding Family