Uta’s Diary, Beginning of December 2015

3 Dec

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Just now I am thinking back to Christmas 1962. On the 18th of December we went by train to Sydney to visit our daughter Gaby in Prince Henry Hospital. When we left in the morning it must have been pretty cold for we were wearing thick winter coats.

Five year old Gaby was in the hospital’s respiratory ward. By the time we arrived she was already propped up in a wheelchair and waiting for us in the enclosed verandah so that her four year old sister and 2 and a half year old brother were allowed to see her. (Naturally very young children would not have been allowed to enter the respiratory ward, where visitors had to enter with a mask and wearing a white gown.) The verandah was decorated for Christmas as shown in the above picture. It was quite warm there, so we soon took off our winter coats.

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My goodness, this was fifty-three years ago! How time flies – – – Last Tuesday, the first of December, was our official start of summer and the temperature at our place was 35C, which we thought was what an Australian summer should be like. But the following day, on Wednesday, it was only between 18 and 22C. Did we have changes like that in the middle of summer some sixty years ago? I can remember some very hot Christmases, but also some fairly cool ones. So we have to be prepared for either close to 20C or close to 40C. On Christmas Day we always love to go to the beach or somewhere in the country. I never like the idea of cooking a hot Christmas dinner on Christmas Day, and I think we never did this, but some people do this, even on a very hot day in Australia. But then, sometimes to cook a Christmas dinner might be all right if they are lucky and it doesn’t get too hot on Christmad Day.

Here is something else I do remember: Travelling to Australia as migrants from Germany on the big ocean liner STRATHAIRD in 1959, we had the opportunity to go to some English lessons on board the ship. The teacher told us a bit about the climate in Australia. She said Melbourne was a city that was known for great variations in temperature. The standard saying was, that Melbourne could have four seasons in one day! She also said that rich people liked to stay in Queensland during the winter months which were always pleasantly warm there, whereas the summer months they preferred to stay in Tasmania. She said Tasmania was too cold in winter but in summer it was a beautiful place. Strange that I should still remember this introduction to Australian weather conditions.

12 Responses to “Uta’s Diary, Beginning of December 2015”

  1. gerard oosterman December 3, 2015 at 4:57 pm #

    If it is of any consolation. This morning it was 9c so we put on both heaters. Yet, three days ago it reached almost 40C. In Victoria it has been snowing.
    I remember my dad heating a day before Christmas in Sydney. He said ‘tomorrow is Christmas and we are heating.” The heating was done at that time with a kerosene heater. It used to give massive headaches as if times were not hard enough.

    • auntyuta December 3, 2015 at 5:43 pm #

      We loved our little kerosene heater, Gerard. We could put a pot with water on top of it to boil the water! 🙂 When we first moved into our ‘garage’, the kerosene heater was our only source of heating. But the heater did its job. No worries. I can’t remember any headache. I believe kerosene was very affordable.:-)

  2. berlioz1935 December 3, 2015 at 5:28 pm #

    I remember the teacher on the ship very well. She was Australian, but during the war she lived in Cologne. She tried to explain cricket and Australian Rules football to us.

    • auntyuta December 3, 2015 at 5:47 pm #

      Thanks, Peter, for reminding me of all this. Do you mean as an Australian she was able to live in Cologne during World War Two?

      • berlioz1935 December 3, 2015 at 5:54 pm #

        Yes, she lived among the Germans and was not interned. Perhaps she was married to a German. She did not tell us. Cologne was heavily bombed and she lived through it.

    • gerard oosterman December 4, 2015 at 8:27 am #

      Back in 1966 and on our way back to Australia from Finland, I was asked to teach English to Greek and Italian migrants on the boat. I loved it and so did the students. It was great fun with lots of laughs.

      • auntyuta December 4, 2015 at 11:10 am #

        I too have good memories about these English classes, Gerard. I had no problem understanding the teacher’s accent. This changed a lot once we were in Australia.
        Maybe you could go back to teaching English to some migrants? I am sure English teachers are still very much needed.

      • berlioz1935 December 4, 2015 at 12:38 pm #

        Good on you. Greek and Italian people are great to be with.

  3. elizabeth2560 December 4, 2015 at 10:31 am #

    1959 was the same year I started school so I remember the year very well. In many ways, it seems like yesterday.

    • auntyuta December 4, 2015 at 11:01 am #

      It is true, Elizabeth, some years we do remember very well because of special events. I feel I have to catch up on a bit of reading. But somehow I often feel a bit snowed under these days. Only three more weeks to Christmas!

  4. aussieian2011 December 4, 2015 at 5:48 pm #

    Christmas time and memory’s come back to all of us Uta, it’s great to remember those special moments. Your education on the climates still stands true today, I have lived in both Tasmania and Queensland, Tasmania is extremely cold in Winter, but beautiful.
    My kindest regards to you both, and best wishes for Christmas and the New Year.
    I am leaving to spend Christmas in Chile, Ana is already there and I will leave on the 20th December coming back in February,
    Best wishes.
    Ian aka Emu

    • auntyuta December 4, 2015 at 6:19 pm #

      Thank you, Ian, and best wishes for Christmas and the New Year to you, and Ana. Have a great time in Chile. Looking forward to what you have to tell about Chile. 🙂
      Cheers, Uta and Peter

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