Ruminations and recipes from a small kitchen in a big city.


I told you it was cold.

The Weather Bureau agrees with me, having confirmed that last month was the coldest May since 1970, which for the majority of the population means forever.

But not for me! I remember 1970 as if it were yesterday! Maybe the day before.

So let’s indulge in a little nostalgic walk back in time to see what Kitchen Hand was up to during that freezing May.

- I caught the bus to school every day – a streamlined Ansair model still with 1950s styling: rounded edges, a sloping back, green glass windows and cream livery with a red pinstripe. Cool. It picked me up at the corner of my street and dropped me at Essendon Railway Station. I walked the last mile to school from there.

- It snowed in the school yard for the first time on record. It lasted probably five minutes and melted soon after that, but snow is snow.

- We dissected a mouse in science class. I thought, is this really necessary?

- Queen Elizabeth II’s motorcade rolled past the school on its way from Essendon Aerodrome to the city.

- We went on a school camp to Lerderderg Gorge, near Blackwood. Apart from the Alps, it is probably the coldest part of Victoria. We nearly froze. We had to plan and take along provisions appropriate for camping: canned meat, nuts, fruit cake, that kind of thing. I remember being amazed that my friend brought along a pack of Birds Eye frozen fish fingers. What was he thinking?

- Recession saw my father lose his job as a traveling salesman in the catering industry. Shortly after, he got another job in an allied trade, food manufacturing. He came home one day in a Holden HT station wagon, brand new, mid-olive green with green vinyl self-patterned upholstery and push-button radio.

- We spent two weeks of the May holidays at Inverloch and went to the beach every day, without swimming clothes because it was too cold to swim. However, we invariably ended up splashing each other and getting so wet we just went in the water in our normal clothes and ran home half frozen. I don’t know how my mother put up with us. Seven children and all their clothes wet.

- My youngest brother turned two.

- I was thirteen.

Was anyone else alive in 1970?

What do you remember?


Janis Gore said...

I can't remember much of anything from 13.

There was a young man in several of my classes who hung himself from his closet door, and my English teacher was in a car accident that killed her fiance, but there's nothing else I remember from that year. Or 14, either.

Now, Richard showed up at 15. Ahem.

Another Outspoken Female said...

My new primary school opened and I was one of the foundation pupils. It went from preps to form 2 - all squeezed into 4 composite classes. There wasn't any playground equipment to begin with, but we had a field, a hillside and our imagination. I was 6 and life was very easy :)

Terry Oglesby said...

I was eight, which meant I was in the third grade. I don't remember much from the third grade other than Linda Watts. And that's enough for me.

Kitchen Queen said...

I was in second grade and infatuated with the blondest guy I've ever known. It was heaven when he gave me an "engagement ring" from a ten-cent machine, and awful when he moved away just a few months later.

lucette said...

I was 20 in May, 1970, and I was living in Alabama on a Marine base--I'd just had my first baby, in April, and I was still amazed and puzzled to find myself a mother with a baby that everyone said looked just like me, and who cried (for a few weeks anyway) all the time.
We lived in a shotgun house, where you had to go through the bedroom to get to the kitchen. I could see ducks from the window over the sink. Our favorite cheap restaurant served German food (I figured out later that this was probably because of Werner von Braun, who had done his war-machine stuff at the Redstone Arsenal (the name of the base).
It wasn't cold that May (probably already in the 90s), but interestingly, I remember that the winter before had been quite a cold one for Alabama--they had some ice on the roads, and the temperature went below freezing, which it almost never did. I still remember very vividly a frozen water fountain in a park near our house--a tiny waterfall caught in the act of overflowing.

neil said...

I remember going away on cadet camp, and one boy managed to turn army rations into a pizza! Some bright spark got hold of a noise grenade, the washing machine was busy after that.

kitchen hand said...

Janis, I was also 15 when a certain girl showed up.

Outspoken female, my school just had a field, no equipment. I loved it. Lay on the grass and stared at the sky. For years.

Terry, I worked with a Linda Watts just last year. Now let me see, she would have been several years younger than me and you say you were eight years old in 1970, which means .... surely not! Also, no trace of an American accent.

Kitchen Queen, I had my first infatuation in third grade. Her name was Karen and I bought her chocolate. I think I still love her!

Beautiful memories, Lucette. Love the frozen fountain.

Tankeduptaco, pizza on camp, too good!

Ian T. said...

Yep, I was alive in 1970, but don't remember that much specific to the year, apart from Roald Dahl's [b]Fantastic Mr Fox[/b] came out that year (though I probably noticed that in the following year or two).