Monthly Archives: August 2015

From Eating In to Eating Out

2015.07A-26The idea of eating out at a cafe didn’t exist when i was growing up.  We ate at home, or sometimes had Sunday night tea at a friend’s house. Only on the occasional  visit to Melbourne would there be a modest meal in a cafe.   The Wattle Cafe springs to mind.

As a teenager I would be allowed a rare milk shake in a Milk Bar – but not a Malted milk, I didn’t like them.  And the height of luxury was a Banana Split for 9d (nine pence).  A potential luxury was the fish and chips shop but my mother didn’t trust the freshness of the fish as it had to be brought up from Melbourne.  The chips were another matter.  I adored them;  those lovely, dirty, tasty chips cooked in  fat which had  acquired a flavour all of its own.  I used to call them dirty chips as the chips my mother made were  so pale and golden and evenly toned, these days a food photographer’s delight.  But like the other treats dirty chips were a rarity.  (Note to self – when did refrigerated trucks come into being for the transport of fressh food ?}

And so I don’t have any early cafe pictures.

But now it is a different story.  Eating out is common but so is a visit to a cafe simply for a coffee.  Sometimes it is in the company of a friend but often in the company of a book.


Barwon Edge is built on the river flats of the Barwon River at Geelong.  It used to be a Turf Farm but a few years ago the drought forced the transfer of the Turf Farm to another district.  We lost a Turf Farm but we gained a most attractive restaurant/cafe on the bank above the river, level with the tree tops.


Barwon EdgeBarwon Edge - river





It provides a coffee break for people using the walking path along the river. It is also a popular place for friends to meet for lunch.   On the other side, away from the river, remains a large grassed area and at the front door three pools provide a place  for displays of feeding the fish.  A pleasant interlude between two suburbs.


Barwon Edge - lunchbarwon-edge-1






But if it’s just coffee and a book there’s no need for a cafe – just a takeaway coffee in the car down at the Balliang Sanctuary a hop, step and a jump along the river from Barwon Edge.  Lots of lovely water birds to watch.

Or why bother with a cafe when you can have it all at home – food, coffee, book, cryptic crossword , radio, TV program,  remote control, everything  but the kitchen sink at your fingertips.

Dinner 2balliang3






And for more Cafe related stories go to this week’s Sepia Saturday

Two Coppers and an Ape Knee

1921     George V was on the throne of England,   Billy Hughes was Prime Minister of Australia, Harry Lawson (from Castlemaine)  was Premier of Victoria and Charlie Chaplin starred in “The Kid”.  Ginger Meggs made his first appearance in a comic strip, Australia beat England 5-0 at cricket (howzat ?} and Tom Tansey used three coins – – two pennies and one halfpenny — as a fob  to weight the end of his watch chain, with the help of a black grosgrain ribbon.Fob Watch Halfpenny b Fob Watch Penny back bSince the  Crimes (Currency) Act 1981 (Australia) it has been a criminal offence to deface or destroy current Australian currency coins but in the past it was quite common to punch a hole in coins and use them as a fob.     Fob Watch 1 bAnd do I have a photo showing Tom wearing his watch ?  Unfortunately no.  There are plenty  of photos of Tom in band uniform and but very few family photos of him.  And so it is hard to work out exactly how Tom wore his pocket watch.  The map and two shields on the black grosgrain ribbon seem to suggest that this ribbon may have been worn horizontally with a chain and watch attached  He may have kept his pocket watch in his trouser pocket or his waistcoat pocket.  He may have attached the chain through a buttonhole.  He may have ……I will probably never know.

Tom&Amelia 1940s Sydney

Tom In Sydney in the 1940s but no sign of a watch chain,

Fob Watch Three coins b

And so — two pence and a halfpenny

–                        tuppence and a ha’penny

–                                two coppers and a ha’penny

–                                         two coppers and an ape knee

More Money, Money, Money stories to be found in this week’s

Sepia Saturday