Friday Five Newsletter 2018.12.21
Westprint Friday Five – Friday December 21st 2018
“Camping isn’t time spent, it’s time invested.”
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Jo & Graeme, Bev & John and Carolyn wish you a Merry Christmas with peace and goodwill to one and all.
Thank you to you all for another year of your friendship, support and custom.
Thank you to our loyal customers. We appreciate you more than we can put into words. The map industry is a tough business in Australia at the moment as things like Google maps and Amazon continue their march across the planet. We hope that by continuing to share our passion for the Australian bush we will be able to remain a small but viable business for a while yet.
There is a meme on the internet that each time you buy from a small business someone does a happy jig. We’re not much for jigging here, but we do appreciate every sale we make, big or small. Likewise, we appreciate your feedback. Positive feedback, of course, makes us float on air while negative feedback gives us something to aim at improving.
To those who send articles and comments for the Friday Five, you are much appreciated. We usually have a lot of information sent about what’s on during the first few months and then emails taper off. I am happy to include details of your club/local events well ahead of time. At least six weeks’ notice is preferred, but if you have a last-minute event (or forget to send earlier) please send us a note. Even if we can’t get a notice in the Friday Five, we can put something up on our Facebook page.
Have you checked out our Facebook page? The most popular post is the Friday afternoon ‘Where Am I?’ quiz. Check it out and see if you know where the photos have been taken. And if you have any photos you think would be suitable please send them to me. I have many photos, but Australia is a big country and I haven’t seen nearly enough of it.
We hope that you can all find some time for quiet peace and good cheer over the Christmas break.
A special thank you to all those who take the time to write articles and answer queries posted in the Friday Five. You make my job so much easier.
Wishing everyone a happy and healthy 2019.
Jo and Graeme, John and Bev & Carolyn.
Jo’s top ten gifts you can give for free
- Compliments (genuine only – no fakes allowed)
(Okay, there are eleven – I couldn’t decide which to leave out)
Another Thank You
In addition to my appreciation to all our customers and Friday Five contributors I would like to add my thanks to Carolyn. Carolyn has worked part-time for us for nearly a year now. While John is one of the most computer literate people I know, he has decided that internet sales and invoicing are too complicated these days. He is going to stick to easy stuff like research, basic cartography and photo restoration! Without Carolyn to keep things under control here Graeme and I wouldn’t be able to travel. In addition to doing her job well, she also always has a smile for everyone, even when she is trying to avoid choosing sides in the he said/she said conversations that happen occasionally. Her outback knowledge isn’t as vast as John’s (but none of us have his expertise), but she will always endeavor to find the answer to any queries you have. We’ve given her some time off look forward to her being back on deck at the start of the school year.
Christmas traditions from yesteryear.
From the West Australian, Tuesday 24 December 1929.
Tradition regulates most customs connected with Christmas. Evergreen decorations have been used since ancient times when the great feast of Saturn was held in December and the people decorated the temples with such green things as they could find. The Christian custom is the same transferred to Him who was born in Bethlehem on the first Christmas Day. The holly or holy-tree is called Christ's thorn in Germany and Scandinavia, from its use in church decorations and its habit of putting forth scarlet berries at Christmas time. The early Christians gave an emblematic turn to the custom referring to the 'righteous branch,' and justifying the custom from Isaiah LX., 13— "The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee; the fir-tree; the pine-tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary." The golden glory of the Christmas-tree in Western Australia is surely a striking response to this prophecy. The custom *of Christmas-trees laden with gifts comes from Germany and has origin in obscure Scandinavian and Egyptian legends. The Christmas tree was introduced into England by the Prince Consort, husband of Queen Victoria, in 1840. The Christmas box was a small gratuity given to servants, retainers, etc., on Boxing-Day (the day after Christmas Day). In the early days of Christianity boxes were placed, in churches for promiscuous charities, and opened on Christmas Day. The contents were distributed next day by the priests, and called 'the dole of the Christmas box,' or the 'box money.' It was customary for the heads of houses to give small sums of money to their subordinates 'to put into the box' before mass on Christmas Day. Somewhat later, apprentices in England carried a box round to their masters' customers for small gratuities. The custom died out gradually after 1830. Christmas carols are sung in commemoration of the song of the angels to the shepherds of the nativity. In olden days the bishops with the clergy used to sing carols and play games on Christmas Day. The earliest Christmas hymn, Corde natus ex parentis, 'Of the Father's Love Begotten,' still sung in the Church of England, was written by a Spanish Chris tian poet, born at Saragossa in the 4th century, formerly an advocate to the court of Honorius. who, having lost the imperial favour, retired to a monastery and wrote religious poems ‘to atone for a misspent youth’. The popular German Christmas songs date from the 11th century, and Christmas carols generally from the 13th century. The hymn Adeste fideles. 'O Come All Ye Faithful.' was composed as late as the 17th century, by John Reading, writer also of 'Dulce, Domum.' The custom of the Christmas stocking comes from Belgium. Santa Claus hails from Holland, and old England originated the cheery greeting, 'A Merry Christmas.' French children range their shoes on the hearth-stone on Christmas Eve for the Christ-child to fill with toys or sweets. In Denmark and Sweden, the Christmas box or gift is known as julklapp. The delivery of the julklapp is peculiar. Small presents are wrapped first in fringed tissue paper, then done up in common brown paper, and sometimes wrapped in strips of cloth until round like a ball, covered with a thin layer of dough and browned in the oven, finally pinned up in a napkin, tied in white wrapping paper and tied with pink string. Other gifts are enclosed in labelled bundles of hay, rolls of cotton or wool, with inner wrappings variously as sorted. Julklapps are delivered early on Christmas morning after a loud knock at the bedroom door, by hurling the packages on to the sleeper's chest. Later in the day they may be landed in someone's lap after a sharp tap at door or window. In short, the julklapps may come from any and every direction when least expected, and surprise and excitement is thus kept up from early morn until late at night on Christmas Day. The Polish custom is for the children of a household to search for their Christmas gifts which have previously been hidden in all manner of places about the home. The keeping of Christmas, which takes its name from the old English Cristes Maeses (Mass of Christ) was repugnant to the Puritans and Nonconformists, and forbidden under the Commonwealth in 1644. December 25 was ordered to be observed as a market day, and the eating of plum pudding and mince pies denounced as heathen practices. At the Restoration, the Church of England revived the festival, but the Scottish Presbyterians and English Nonconformists alike refused the observance. In the Roman Catholic Church, it has been the rule since the 9th century to celebrate three masses on Christ mas Day— at midnight, at daybreak, and before noon.
The West Australian 1929.
A Christmas wish.
Dear Santa, for Christmas I would like a fat bank account and a thin body. Please don’t confuse it like you did last year.
Christmas in the Bush – a children’s story.
By Edith Costello. Sydney Mail Wednesday 21 December 1910.
It only wanted a week to Christmas. The weather was very hot, and Mrs. Kangaroo was glad that her cousin, Mrs. Rock Wallaby, had popped in that afternoon, as it gave her a rest from housekeeping, and she was just longing for what she called 'a good, old-fashioned, cosy chat.'
For Mrs. Kangaroo had something on her mind. It had been on her mind ever since December ushered in the Christmas Bells, and put great clusters of dainty pink and green on the branches of the Christmas Bush. The Spirit of Christmas was in the air. It was in the tree; in the half dried-up creek; in the half-baked grass; in the scorching westerlies that swept across the scrub ; and everyone felt it, and ceased to wonder why, instead of grumbling and fretting as they would at other times, they were making light of all discomforts, and looking forward with strange thrills of anticipation to the delights that were to come. And Mrs. Kangaroo felt it most of all, for she was an old grandmother now, with many grandchildren romping about her, teasing and worrying as grandchildren are apt to do; and the whole family, relying on her oft-tried experience, were now looking to her to devise some new scheme for the Christmas Day treat. But she could devise no new scheme, try as she might; and this is what was on her mind. 'Yes,' she was saying, as she untied her large working apron, and handed a cup of tea to her visitor. 'Yes, Christmas is very near now, and I'm fair puzzled to know what to do for the youngsters. You see, they've all got into the habit of letting me arrange their entertainments for them, though they're willing enough to help; I'll. give them that credit. But the cry is always for something fresh, and that's just what I can't give. them.' She sighed as she set down her cup, and look ed earnestly at her guest. 'Can't you suggest something?' she said, Mrs. Rock Wallaby pulled her bonnet over her eyes, puckered her brows, and remained silent so very long that her hostess thought she had fallen asleep. Suddenly, however, she started up, upsetting her tea all over the clean table-cloth, and, clapping her cousin on the shoulder— 'I have it,' she exclaimed. 'The very thing.' 'What?' said Mrs. Kangaroo, scarcely noticing the accident, which at another time would have annoyed her. 'You've really got an idea?' 'Yes. What do you say to a big Christmas dinner— plum-pudding, mince pies, hot sausages — you know — and a Christmas-tree, and a dance for everybody at night?' Mrs. Kangaroo gasped. 'It sounds splendid,' she said, 'but I don't quite see how it's to be done. I can manage the dinner and the rest, but I don't know anything about a Christmas Tree. How do you do it?' Mrs. Rock Wallaby drew closer to her companion, and discreetly lowered her voice so that three young kangaroos who were listening at the chinks of the door could not hear what she said. 'It is this way,' she explained. 'You remember the time those barbarians captured -me, when I was quite young, don't you? Well, they took me to live in a great city, and kept me in a garden with a high fence round it. One Christmas night they had a party; and I looked through the windows and this is what I saw: In the centre of the room growing out of a great green tub was a tree all hung with candles and pretty things— presents, you know — and there were a lot of beautifully-dressed children. They danced round the tree and had such fun; and then someone, wearing a shiny coat and a cap of frosted silver, 'Father Christmas,' they called him to the children. - And, I remember, one little girl cried because some other little girl got the doll she wanted; and a little boy exchanged a ship with another little boy for a bucking donkey, and then wanted his ship back again, and the other wouldn't give it, and there was such a to-do; but Father Christ mas soon made them friends again. And then they had dances and games till I grew tired of watching them.' At this point a curious shuffling and whispering was heard outside. 'Those children, again!' remarked Mrs. Kangaroo, going to the door. Only three disappearing tails were visible, but their grandmother knew they were not out of: earshot. ' 'Here, Hoppy!' she called to the eldest 'You can take the others with you into the pantry and help yourselves to anything you like, but for goodness sake let me have a quiet half-hour; It's not often I have a visitor.' That evening, Mrs. Kangaroo told her husband of the new plan as they took their usual ramble after tea down the old coach road near the crossing at the creek. Suddenly Mr. Kangaroo's keen eyes spied something large and square lying beneath a clump of bushes. 'What's that?' he said, pointing it out to his wife. Mrs. Kangaroo fumbled for her spectacles. 'Why, it looks like a box,' she replied, peering as well as she could through the gathering dusk. 'It must have dropped from the coach. I heard Leapy saying there was an accident here last night.' They approached the thing cautiously, tap ped it gently, and Mr. Kangaroo even kicked it to test its strength. 'It's cardboard,', he said at last, 'and not very heavy. Let's take it home.' So, between them, by dint of much pulling and pushing, they got it safely inside the kitchen, and, the cord having become loose, it was an easy matter to remove the lid. A layer of tin-foil. A layer of tissue paper. Mrs. Kangaroo peeped beneath and gave a cry. Then she peeped again. Then her husband peeped. Then Mrs. Kangaroo peeped once more.
'Now I know what Mrs. Rock Wallaby meant when she described that Christmas Tree,' she remarked. 'I confess I didn't quite understand all she said about it this afternoon.' But what the box contained was only told in confidence when Mrs. Kangaroo paid her a return visit the following day. Great was the excitement among the bush families when invitations for the Christmas party were sent abroad. Mrs. Kangaroo asked them all, young and old, not omitting her many feathered friends.
True, she debated a long while whether she should Invite the emus, remembering their past conduct, but the spirit of goodwill conquered, and the emus were so delighted that they not only promised to come but also undertook to provide the plum pudding, which so greatly pleased their hostess that she confided to her husband that she had hopes of the emus after all. And now the |bush resounded with the hum and bustle of preparation. Everyone wished to contribute to the entertainment, and the birds gathered together each day to practise new songs and carols. The dawn of Christmas morning was heralded by the kookaburras, who flew in company to the old gum tree outside the kangaroos' home, and wakened them with their anthem of joy, which had been specially composed for the occasion.
All hail, Christmas!
All hail, Christmas!
Songs of mirth and right good cheer
Greet its advent far and near.
All hail, Christmas! In a moment the bush was astir.
Greetings were exchanged; young: voices shrilled and chattered; the birds poured forth their choicest lays, and the very leaves whispered to each other as they rustled in the early breeze, that Christmas had come. Twelve o'clock was the time appointed for the feast, but long before that hour every member of the great bush family had arrived. The wallabies and paddymelons came first, dressed In their long holiday coats. and creamy vests; then the jaunty opossoms with the little ones on their backs, and the funny native bears in their best frocks and white kid gloves. The sleepy wombats, and sulky old Bill Platypus, who lived by himself down the creek brought up the rear, all decked out in his beautiful velvet suit, the envy of his neighbours. Above, in the branches of the blue gums the bird family took up their position, each vying with the other in beauty of dress, or sweetness or quaintness of song; while the great brown king of all sat on the topmost bough and superintended the whole. It was a highly satisfactory Christmas dinner, for each had brought their own favourite dish, and Mrs. Kangaroo had provided many new and delicious dainties. If there was any; disappointment at all it was the pudding. For Mrs. Emu had made it according to the recipe in the 'Emu's Cookery Book,' which, substituted stones for plums, pebbles for cur rants, and finely sliced glass bottle for lemon peel. It certainly looked very nice with its sprig of Christmas bush stuck in the top, but when put to the proof, it was found to be uneatable, except by Mrs, Emu's own family. Some of the young ones began to cry, and the situation was becoming serious, when Mrs. Kangaroo, with her usual tact, changed the current of their thoughts with, a box of bon-bons. Then a mighty clatter arose. No one had seen such things before, except Mrs. Rock Wallaby. 'What are we to do with them?' cried the children. 'Pull them,' said she. 'I'll show you.' 'Here,' Bill-,' turning to Mr. Platypus, who was sitting somewhat apart from the rest and looking sulkier than ever, 'take this end, and - pull.' Crack! Mr. Platypus rolled over on his back. 'I'm— I'm shot,' he gasped. 'No, you're not. You're all right. Jump up and see what's in your half; there's nothing in mine; there'll likely be a present in it.' At the word 'present' Mr. Bill slowly picked himself up, and gingerly surveyed 'the bit of the cracker he still held. It unrolled, and out dropped a funny little paper cap. Mrs. Rock Wallaby pounced upon it. 'Just what I wanted to complete my toilette,' she said, and popped it on her head. After that there was a great deal of cracking and banging and tying on of aprons and bon nets, which especially delighted the young ones. The moon was peeping over the western hills before the dinner party broke up, and the birds began to clear their throats for their evening song. 'Oh, no; don't sing it yet,' cried Mrs. Kangaroo. 'There's more to follow. It's the children's turn now. Come along.' She led the way to a sheltered spot quite hidden from sight by the surrounding brushwood, and there, in - the middle of a patch of sunbaked grass, stood a young Christmas bush in all the glory of its bell-like blossoms with presents hanging In tempting profusion from every bough. There were dolls gay with tinsel and lace, strings of bright beads, toy boats, shining balls, a Noah's ark, a cricket bat, and a Teddy Bear right at the top holding in his arms a tiny Union Jack. How the youngsters capered! They kept dancing round the wonderful tree, shouting and gesticulating in a manner truly grotesque. 'Now join hands,' said Mrs. Kangaroo, when they were at last still from sheer weariness, 'and sing this song. It doesn't matter much about the tune— anyone will do.' And this is what they sang in the most hideous discord, but which sounded like sweet music to themselves, the kookaburras mean while clattering out a noisy accompaniment:
This is our first great Christmas tree,
With presents gaily drest;
And Father Christmas now has come
To give us of his best.
This was repeated three times, and at the last line a figure emerged from behind the trees arrayed In a long white cloak and hood edged with soft glistening fur and carrying a small pair of shears in his hand. 'Father Christmas! Father Christmas!' cried the youngsters; but, of course, they all recognised though they pretended they didn't, the tall form of Grandfather Kangaroo. He was none the less welcome for that, though, especially when he dexterously clipped the pretty gifts from the tree and 'handed them one by one to the waiting little ones, until the very last was taken down. Some of them did not quite know what to do with their new possessions, never having seen anything like them before; but that didn't matter; they were all pleased with their toys, and not a bit envious of little Ringie Opossum, who won the coveted prize of all, the Teddy Bear. 'Wherever did you get all the things?' asked Mrs. Wombat of her hostess, as they stood together watching the antics of their offspring. But Mrs! Kangaroo preserved a pleased, silence. She was rather fond of a secret. Mrs. Rock Wallaby also wore a gratified air of mystery and turned a deaf ear to all inquiries. And so, the happy bush-folk danced and hopped and sang and played till the long sum mons of the curlew rang clear and shrill across the scrub; the moon slipped away to rest, and the merry stars laughed their way out of the evening blue. Then the birds knew that the time had come for their parting song. A great hush fell on all as the sweet notes floated out on the Summer air: —
Wild things of the Bush-land,
Wild birds of the tree,
Their farewells now offer,
Glad Christmas, to thee.
Farewell, farewell, Christmas.
And the hills and the gum trees and the wild bush and everything that dwelt there caught up the refrain and joined, each in its own way, in a year's farewell to the happiest day of all.
Gundagai Times and Tumut, Adelong and Murrumbidgee District Advertiser Friday 23 December 1881.
Mince one pound of beef suet, stone one pound of raisins; wash and dry the same quantity of currants; to these add one pound of bread crumbs and six ounces of flour, half a pound of moist sugar, two teaspoonfuls of mixed spice, quarter pound of orange peel minced, and a teaspoonful of salt. Mix all these ingredients together and put them in a basin; add eight eggs well beaten, half a pint of milk, a glassful of brandy, and the grated rind and juice of a lemon; mix thoroughly and boil the pudding in a basin or mould for eight hours. The top of the pudding should be covered with a plain flour and water crust.
A selection of Christmas jokes designed to make the jokes you find in Christmas bon-bons seem good.
What does a frog do if his car breaks down? He gets it toad away.
What lies at the bottom of the sea and shivers? A nervous wreck.
Why did Santa's helper see the doctor? Because he had a low "elf" esteem.
Who is Santa's favourite singer? Elf-is Presley.
What do you get if you cross Santa with a duck? A Christmas Quacker.
What lies in a pram and wobbles? A jelly baby.
What do Santa's little helpers learn at school? The elf-abet.
What do you call a three-legged donkey? A wonky donkey.
What do you get if you cross a Christmas tree with an apple? A pineapple.
What athlete is warmest in winter? A long jumper.
What do you get if you cross a hen with a bedside clock? An alarm cluck.
"Waiter! This coffee tastes like mud." "Yes sir, it's fresh ground."
What did the fish say when it swam into a wall? Dam.
What do you call a man who plays with leaves? Russell.
Did you hear about the man who bought a paper shop? It blew away.
What do you call a penguin in the Sahara Desert? Lost.
What did the Policeman say to the stomach? You're under a vest.
What did the grape say when it got stepped on? Nothing, it just gave off a little wine.
My favourite quote about Christmas comes from the Grinch
(and for those of you with good memories, I used this last year…but I still like it. Jo.)
And the Grinch, with his grinch-feet ice-cold in the snow,
Stood puzzling and puzzling: "How could it be so?"
"It came without ribbons! It came without tags!"
"It came without packages, boxes or bags!"
And he puzzled three hours, till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before!
"Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store."
"Maybe Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!"
Wishing you all a little bit more this Christmas. We’ll be back on board in in 2019.
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