Writing – 9 January 2019 – Life Seventy-Five Years Ago

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Writing – 9 January 2019 – Life Seventy-Five Years Ago

Today I’m writing about my life seventy-five years ago, I’m still struggling to come up with something interesting for my readers, may need to go back to writing poetry, as my followers have drifted away now I have change my ideas because of the new editor. So here it goes, my memories as a child living in a tin shack under the mountain in Taranaki New Zealand.

The winter months were the hardest living right under Mount Egmont/Taranaki reserve, snow would fall for days sometimes, everything would be covered with snow, water pipelines no longer worked as they were frozen up, they would be frozen for days.

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No washing was done in the concrete copper boiler, as we couldn’t get any water into the bowl with frozen pipes. So washing was done by hand by melting ice in a pot, on the coal range, which was kept going by the dry wood in the shed which had been saved in the summer months.I often wonder how my mother managed in those days with five children and cloth nappies to wash and dry.

Needless to say in the winter the washing was dried beside a fire inside, and the house was always damp, sometime we were made to put on clean damp clothes that were not properly dry, I hated that, no wonder when I was eight I ended up in hospital with Double Pneumonia.

There were no such things as fridges, there were outside safes which were always on the south side of the house, where the sun never shone to keep the meat and milk as cool as possible.

Have you ever wondered why there were outhouses (called long drops)?

There were no such things as flushing toilets in the 1940’s, I remembered hating it in the semi dark before we went to bed walking down the long path to the outside loo, the smell would make me feel quiet sick, no spray in those days other than the smell of Jeyes fluid it was everywhere in those days as it sterilised the place especially the seat which you couldn’t avoid sitting on and as for toilet paper, we used newspaper, who thinks they are hard done-by these days?

What I think was even worse was using the china potty if you need to go through the night, we had one in every bedroom, I can still see my mother collecting them everyday and empty them some where outside not sure where and wasn’t very interested to know anyhow.

When the snow had melted enough we would go outside and play dressed in warm homemade sweaters and longs, but one thing I remember was those hand knitted gloves, playing in the icy snow, those wet gloves would stick to our fingers, sometimes we ended up having very frost bitten fingers so sore we couldn’t put them near the fire to warm up because they were too painful. We soon learnt not to get our glove wet when playing in the snow, if that was at all possible.

Well thats a little about “what everybody calls the good old days”, I would love you to comment about those days, see what other memories we can come up with.



  1. Enjoyed your post. It’s amazing how far we’ve come and how we take for granted all the modern conveniences. I’m 58 and I do remember staying with my grandmother- having to use the outhouse (which I was frightened to death of because of flies and spiders) We also had bedpans when we stayed with her LOL. We’ve come a long way.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, Elsie, you really have some seemingly tough memories there and I can imagine
    the evening “loo run” was a bit scary. 🙂 I do agree that it must have been tough on the women to keep up with washing and such. Did you have your own Well? Did you have electricity?

    You can’t beat the view though. 😊 .
    I have no such dramatic stories to tell as water and heating and such were there.
    As was central heating.

    p.s. How long did you live there?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Miriam, Sorry I didn’t get back to you yesterday, had a busy day, no time spend on my computer. We had power, we were farming, but my parents were very poor, and they lived the simple way of life to try and make ends meet. I lived there for nine years, before my parents moved and gave up farming, we moved to town and my father worked for the district council sweeping streets etc. Thanks for commenting, I always appreciate your question. Have a great day.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. My mom used to have us shovel snow for a path out to the clothesline where she would hang the wash. Then bring it in later to dry in kitchen. Seemed ridiculous to me. Wet mittens are something I haven’t thought about in years!😉 We had those chamber pots until I was three. The mountain is gorgeous!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, those days were a challenge to the average family. Yes I think Mountain is always beautiful, every day it looks different depending on the weather, rain, snow or sunshine. Hope all is well with you.


  4. Good heavens, if it’s your birthday, happy birthday! I don’t go back 75 years, yet ;-), but I go back far enough to remember coal deliveries, milk deliveries, wringer washers (ugh, and OW!), baths on Sat. nights in a clawfoot tub, and of course, girdles! There was no such thing as pantyhose until I was halfway through high school!

    Liked by 1 person

    • No it’s not my birthday, I’m 78, so I’m allowing three years that I don’t know a lot as a toddle just taking life as it comes. Yes baths Saturday night which we bathe with two in the bath at a time, as the years when by, I wondered why all of a sudden I bathe separately and wonder why I had a towel wrapped around me and told to go to my bedroom to dry and get dress, my breast had started to develop, but I hadn’t even notice it until I was told. When I started working at the age of 15, I wore stockings held up by a girdle belt, that was hard trying to make sure the seam of the stockings were straight at the back. Thanks for bringing back those memories. Have a great day.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Firstly cheers to your continued good health.🤗🤗You really have gone through so much, like my folks. I did not know it snows in Taranaki! 9 Jan 2019…can I wish you a happy birthday too🎁🎂🌹🏵🌸🌻🌷

    Liked by 1 person

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