|Taken for my Sweet16th Birthday...I'd just cut my hair...having had long plaits until then. I'm not sure if I've ever been "sweet"!|Summer, 1961......Even shorter hair...on Mooloolaba Beach
|Me on the left with my workmates at Tozer & Jeffery, Solicitors, Gympie....(Growing my hair once more). Three of us remain good friends to this day....|
|Two views of Laguna Bay, Noosa Heads' main beach|
And, the above video clips are the reasons why we didn't need to go to a gym!!
After completing primary school at Gympie’s Central School, which was situated a short distance up the road a bit, and around the corner from my childhood home, I attended Gympie State High School. As mentioned in previous posts, I left high school at the age of 15 years, about three months before my 16th birthday.
Uniforms were not part of primary school, but they were compulsory items of clothing at high school.
There were a few grumbles about the non-flattering uniforms, but that didn't matter. The grumblings were ignored. At least, the uniform ruling about uniforms saved on the purses of our parents. Wearing of the unattractive uniforms, no doubt, eased peer pressure in that we didn't feel we had to 'keep up with the Jones', or the doctors’ and solicitors’ kids.
At high school uniforms were the rule, so I
conformed. No choice was given. I doubt it did me any harm, even if the uniform
wasn’t becoming. We weren’t meant to be
‘fashion plates’ at school, anyway.
I don't think it hurts the kids to wear uniforms...at school, and for sport.
I've not worn a uniform of any description since my high school days...which, as I am sure you are aware...was many eons ago. During my working life I never wanted to wear a uniform.
At my first work-place after leaving school, the legal office, my workmates and I had a brain-wave one day. Believing we had a world-shattering idea, we decided to design and make a uniform for us to wear to work each day.
“It will save us money” was the reason we came up with to convince ourselves. Into our “Christian Dior” mind-set we delved. After agreeing upon a design, off to the haberdashery we went to purchase the necessary material etc.
I think we wore our smart, dark green, sheath-dresses with their crisp, white collars and white buttons down the front about two times...three at the most...before we discarded them. The wearing of the smart, crisp uniforms didn’t last out the week!
Uniformity was not what we wanted. It wasn’t who we were.
When I was cooking in restaurants I created my own "uniform" because I didn't want to conform. Self-taught, I wasn’t a “ticketed” chef”. I didn’t have the “papers”...just a huge pile of recipe books, an open mind, an imagination, and the will to do well...to cook well.
My belief was, I hadn’t earned the right to wear a chef’s uniform. My “uniform”, when I cooked in restaurants, etc., was a pair of leggings (usually black) with a longish white tee shirt.
In the early 90s, the boss of a company I was employed by at the time.....Morris Catering (Morris Corporation, Australia)....told me during one of his visits I had to wear a chef’s outfit. He told me he would organise a uniform to be sent to me after he’d returned to the Head Office in south-east Queensland.
However, I stood my ground. He changed his tune when I told him I wouldn’t be doing so, and when I explained to him my legitimate reason for my firm stance.
“Schoolies’ Week”: Where school leavers toss their uniforms, and sensibilities to the wind, and into the ocean! I think “Schoolies’ Week” is a load of hogwash!
I'd already been working a couple of years earning my own living at the age of these kids are who go crazy...out of control...at coastal areas this time each year!
Schoolies' Week may bring a lot of money to the coastal communities, but it also brings added pressures and problems. All one has to do is read the daily newspapers and watch the daily news reports....it’s going on presently....
What occurred at Noosa Heads’ main beach last weekend is a prime, disturbing, frustrating example.
“A popular beach on the Sunshine Coast was closed for cleaning and safety today after scores of school-leavers trashed its sands. Broken glass and rubbish lay strewn across Noosa's Main Beach, with sections of the sand taped-off and Nippers cancelled.”
When I was a teenager working in a legal office in Gympie, without fail, every weekend during the spring/summer months, about three, sometimes four girlfriends and I went to the coast, either Mooloolaba or Noosa. Noosa became our beach of choice after a year of frequenting Mooloolaba. Noosa Heads was (still is) also closer to Gympie.
From the ages of 15 and 16 years forth, off to the coast we did go.
We spent the days, from early morning, sometimes hitting the beach at 6am, until late afternoon as the sun made its western descent, surfing (body-surfing, and board).
Summer nights were spent dancing our feet off at the dances, and various record hops.
On long weekends, midnight-to-dawn record hops were organised. Dancing through those evenings was the norm. We’d attend the earlier record hops first, before moving onto the late ones, later.
I remember a few instances where I had blisters on the soles of my feet from 'rockin' & rollin' all night long...twisting the night away! Shoes weren’t mandatory! Regularly they were kicked off half way through the evening as we kicked up our heels. Oh! How we loved to dance...how we loved the music!
We certainly didn’t need to go to a gym to exercise. We walked everywhere; we swam; we surfed; we danced. Rarely were we still.
Alcohol wasn't part of the equation, neither were sex and drugs. Not within our group of fun-lovers, anyway. Looking back, I guess we were fairly innocent...but there was no harm in that. The surf, sun, sand and music were our drugs. We needed no others.
When alcohol was present, binge-drinking definitely didn’t play a role in helping us have fun. The legal drinking age back in the time I am describing was 21 years. We weren't supposed to be drinking. During Gympie’s ball season there were always pre-ball and post-ball parties...and I attended all the balls, and all the parties.
Although not totally abiding by the rules, my group of friends and I respected the rules. and we didn't abuse them when we had an alcoholic drink. Alcohol wasn’t a necessity. We knew how to have fun without it...and we did...have loads of fun.
I know in my case, and that of my mates, we still had our parents to answer to if we stepped over the line. We still had to return home after a night out...and had to face our parents. A friendly, happy parent is far more pleasant than an angry, disappointed one! You can guarantee our respective parents would have heard about our behaviour...if we’d stepped out of line...somehow or other. There were lots of 'bush-telegraphs" and “bush-tom-toms drums” around in those years.
I'm not saying we were a bunch of prudes...goody-two-shoes...we
weren't...but we had respect for our parents, and our own self. We understood where the lines were.
Many of today’s young people appear to lack respect for their parents, themselves. and/or each other, scoffing at authority. A lot of the time, I believe the blame belongs to the parents. It falls squarely on the shoulders of the parent/s. Adults have to be the “adults”...from the moment their child is born...if not before.
When I first relocated to this mountain, I cooked in a resort/hotel restaurant on the northern end of this plateau. On weekends, a 16 year old girl, who was still going to school...who was very “young: in many ways...was doing work experience in the kitchen, and table service in the restaurant.
Almost bursting with excitement, she was heading off to the Gold Coast for 'Schoolies' Week'.
Her parents loaded up the boot of their car with booze for their child to take to the coast. To the Gold Coast they drove the lass, depositing her there before returning back home to this area up here on the ‘hill”.
What a great message! What a tremendous example, I thought! (Hang on! I'll take my tongue out of my cheek,
and remove the sarcasm!)
To my way of thinking Schoolies’ Week is all a bit sad and crazy...reckless. Try as I might, I fail to understand “Schoolies’ Week”; or the reason for it. I know if I had kids attending 'Schoolies' I'd be worried sick. I would hope that I had instilled in them good values, and they had the good sense to remember the values, and retain pride in themselves.
There are too many dangerous traps for kids today to fall into, and too many bad characters around who prey on them, looking for the slightest, tiniest chink in their fragile young armour.
Perhaps, I sound like an old grouch...so be it....in the words of Popeye...”I yam what I yam...”
Parmesan Roasted Sweet Potatoes: Preheat oven 200C . Peel...optional...the only vegetables I peel are onions and garlic) and cut 2 sweet potatoes/kumara into thin slices. Place 2tsp minced garlic, 1tbs olive oil, 2tbs melted butter, 1/2tsp garlic salt, 4tbs grated Parmesan and 1/2tsp Italian seasoning in a Ziploc bag, or bowl; mix well. Add sweet potatoes; shake/toss until well coated. Lightly butter a baking dish; arrange coated sweet potatoes into a spiral. Sprinkle with a little Parmesan. Bake sweet potatoes 30-35mins. Serve warm; sprinkle with thyme, if desired.
Miso-Ginger Sweet Potatoes: Preheat oven 218C. Cut 2-3 sweet potatoes (kumara) in half lengthwise; place on baking paper-lined baking tray, cut side down. Brush or spray skin sides with olive oil. Roast 30-40 mins until fork tender (check at 30 mins, keeping in mind they need may need longer if very large). When tender, flip over and broil if they need more caramelisation. While they are roasting make the Shallot Ginger Miso “butter”. Heat 1/4c olive oil, butter or ghee ( or coconut oil instead of the olive oil, if preferred) over med-low heat, add about 1/2c finely diced shallot; carefully sauté until golden, stirring often, about 5-6mins. Add 2tsp finely minced ginger; cook 2-3 more minutes. Add 1tbs miso; using a fork, mash; add to the mixture, breaking it up as much as possible. It won’t get creamy, just mash the miso as best you can with the fork into the tiniest little bits; let these bits get slightly crispy, sautéing 2 mins or so. Turn heat off. When sweet potatoes are caramelised to your liking, place on a platter flesh side up, reheat the miso butter; pierce the flesh in a few spots using a spoon, (so miso butter can get down inside); then spoon a tablespoon or two of the sauce over each one, making sure to include the flavourful “brown bits” ( shallot, ginger, miso). Sprinkle with a little salt; sprinkle with chopped green stalks of shallot.