18 September 2017

You wouldn't be dead for quids

I bought our first mobile phone in 1990, three years after mobile calls started in Australia. The phone was Hanno's 50th birthday present; he will turn 77 tomorrow. Our first phone, a large Nokia, was not the old brick type but it wasn't far from it. In those days you could choose your own number; we still have that number.  However, the phones we have now are a far cry from that Nokia because when I slip my phone into my apron pocket every morning, it's not so I can easily answer every call, it's to take photos and listen to the radio. When we first bought iPhones, it was a non-event for me. I saw it as just another piece of technology that I wasn't particularly interested in. Now I use my phone numerous times every day but I rarely check for emails, messages or answer phone calls, my phone serves me in different ways.  However, when either Hanno or I go out alone, we keep in touch using our phones and when one of us is shopping alone, we can Facetime to show something to the person at home - and that's usually me.

At the moment I'm getting ready for the annual Aussie Backyard Bird Count, which I do on my phone. It will take place on 23 - 29 October. You can download a free app on your phone which will give you all the details. You have a week in which to use the app to register the birds you see in your backyard in a 20 minute period during the week.  If you don't see any birds, or only a few, that is valuable information, so they want your survey too. The app gives you several ways to identify the birds if you're not sure of what you're looking at. You can practise your bird watching skills in the lead up to the count by using the app as a field guide so it will give you a general understanding of which birds use your backyard for water, food and shelter.  It's a great project for adults and older children and you can sign up as an under 18s group (schools, cubs, guides etc.). The data collected from all over Australia goes towards a greater understanding our our bird life so that strategies can be developed to help any of them that are in crisis.

Many of the photos I show you in this blog are taken on my phone camera. I use an app called Camera+ which allows me to adjust the exposure and zoom in and out, although that affects the quality slightly. After taking the photo, there are a number of advanced editing features that will produce great photos, but even the ones I take, which I don't edit, are passable. It looks like its only available for iPhone or iPad, and there is a small fee now for the download, but I think it's worth it.

Yesterday morning I downloaded the new ABC radio app, Listen.  I had to. It was Sunday morning, I wanted to work in the bush house and I also wanted to listen to Australia All Over. So with earphones in and the app on my phone, I was set.

This radio program has been on the ABC on Sunday mornings for longer than I care to remember. It's sometimes inspiring, occasionally annoying and it reminds me of all of us living simple lives. People ring up and talk about what they're doing. It's usually ordinary stuff - baking for the CWA, cooking real food, riding horses, swimming, walking, fund raising, gardening, plowing crops, working at their jobs and a million other things. And yes, they are all normal people who talk about life with a passion.  I love listening because there is such a diverse group of people who call themselves Australian. You hear familiar stories and surprising ones, all things you'd never know about because they're deemed to be too common and not worth air time. I think that everyone has a story to tell and it is sometimes those who look the least likely who have the most amazing tales to tell.

So there I was, cleaning up the benches in my bush house, earphones in and doing this and that to piece together my own ordinary life. After I finished in the bush house, I went inside and made lunch - nothing fancy, cold leftovers from Saturday's pork roast rack, accompanied by potato salad with poached eggs, backyard tomatoes, lettuce and sliced pickled beetroot. I doubt you'd see it on any menu but it used up the leftovers, was easy to prepare and it was delicious plain food. Outside the birds were swooping in, the sky was blue and clear and there was the smell of a few neighbourhood lunches being cooked. Honestly, you wouldn't be dead for quids.

I have no affiliation with any of these organisations. I'm just relaying my own experiences to you.


  1. Oh, I had a chuckle at those words, "Wouldn't be dead for quids!" because a lovely elderly gentleman said them to me not that long ago. I was walking along an ocean foreshore and he passed me by going flat out. I thought, "Hmmm...not as fit as I thought I was!" I kept on walking, watching him disappearing in the distance, until he did a sudden u-turn and headed back my way. Somewhat tongue in cheek, I said to him, "Hey, that's cheating. You haven't reached the end yet!" And his reply was, "Nope, gotta turn back now, get back in time for happy hour at the RSL. Wouldn't be dead for quids on a day like this!" Not sure if it was the blue-sky day itself or the beer he was looking forward to having with his mates down the RSL the most, but he certainly was glad to be alive. Have a great day, Rhonda! Meg:)

  2. Goodmorning Rhonda,
    Isn't technology amazing, I marvel at the new phones all the time, I do have an iPhone but it is an old model, it does take fantastic photos though. I often wonder what my darling Mum and Dad would think about modern phones, Dad thought a pocket calculator was the bomb! He would be just blown away by what phones can do now. I too keep my phone in my apron when I go out into the garden and also in my pocket when I take the dogs for a walk, I just feel safer that way. Have a lovely day.

  3. Rhonda, please wish Hanno a happy birthday for me. I hope he is now feeling well again. Yes, Macca has been around for ages hasn't he and he is no doubt as popular as ever. I am off to see some of the Carnival of Flowers Expos today. There is a Teapot Extravaganza one on that you would love. There are over 400 teapots!

  4. Thank you Rhonda, I will be joining in to the backyard bird watching. Phones certainly have come a long way and help us stay connected in so many ways other than calls.
    Wishing Hanno a very happy birthday for tomorrow. Cheers Wendy

  5. Rhonda, I resisted having a personal mobile phone til about 12 months ago. My husband and I shared one for many years which he kept with him. I was either at home, out with him or at work with a phone right next to me so I never had a need for a mobile phone. Having said that I would not enjoy being without my smartphone now that I am used to having one. I find it a very useful tool to help me keep organised.

    Happy birthday Hanno!

  6. Good morning Rhonda
    I also use my phone a lot. To listen to the radio, take photos of my kids, video of my kids, check emails. When I'm at work I use it as wifi.
    I still find the ease that I can take video of my children amazing. I will have many more videos of the 5 year old than his siblings.
    I love the photo of your lunch, simple but delicious. We have started to eat lunches like yours over the past week as the weather has started to warm up, salad and meat is what we have felt like.

  7. I've been building my knowledge and skill set for a while preparing for when I can live the simple life. I do what I can in this season of my life. This post inspires and invigorates me to keep striving for that simple life :)
    Your posts are bliss!

  8. Sorry, this not phone related. I am interested in making my own laundry detergent . Is your recipe suitable for cold water washing?
    Cheers, Annette

    1. Yes it is, annette. I rarely use warm or hot water for washing.

  9. Hi Rhonda, thanks as usual for your gentle words that encourage and enthuse me. I've searched your blog for a potato salad recipe but can't find one. Would you mind sharing if possible please. Also, not entirely related, but what is a good fabric to make an apron out of. Thanks so much. Helen

    1. Helen, waxy potatoes for potato salad, well cooked. If you undercooked your potatoes it won't matter what you make it with, the salad won't be any good. I add a splash of white vinegar over the cooked potatoes when they're straight out tof the saucepan and draining in a colander. When cool, add anything you fancy. I always use red onion, boiled or poached egg, salt, pepper and pickled cucumbers - chopped, and I sometimes add things like parsley, chives, capsicum or celery chopped finely, depending on what you have on hand.
      Aprons are best made with cotton, linen or a blend of both. You can also recycle old dresses, doona covers, pillow cases etc.

    2. Thanks for that Rhonda, I do have some waxy potatoes so I'll try it out. There is no mayo or anything mentioned as a "sauce" - is it just the runny egg making it look like that?

    3. Helen, sorry, I forgot to tell you about the mayo. Use homemade or good quality mayo, not too much. I used two tablespoons for the amount I made. The eggs add their yolks to the mix and you get a light, yellow mayo dressing. Good luck.

    hope you have a wonderful day!
    great post as usual Rhonda
    thanx for sharing
    selina from kilkivan qld

  11. I so enjoy reading about your daily life and what you are cooking for lunch! Thank you!

  12. I think your lunch looks fancy and delicious. You are so good with technology. I still have a Jitterbug flip phone, but I do have a mini ipad. It's a lot of fun to upload photos. I see some incredible birds in my garden here: woodpeckers, red tailed hawks, road runners, mourning doves, robins, sparrows, and gold finches. The straw mulch and variety of trees really attracts them. They love the birdbath, too.

  13. "Honestly, you wouldn't be dead for quids." What a great expression. It´s a new one for me. It´s not time for our Swedish bird count yet but watching the birds that visit our garden pond all day is one of the simple things that give us both great pleasure. The excitment when we realise there´s a new visitor we haven´t seen before. Out comes the ancient bird book and soon we´re agreed on what it is. Our birds are not as exotic as yours but we do get robins, sparrow, goldfinches, woodpeckers and at certain times bullfinches. Building our pond was the best thing we ever did in our garden. We have full view from kitchen and living room windows.
    How did we manage without our mobile phones before? We did but oh how convenient they are. All those photos of grandchildren and pets and gardens and new visiting birds...
    Happy Birthday to Hanno - he´s a year ahead of me. It´s a good life isn´t it? I think we appreciate the important things of life as we grow older - and older. lol.
    Best wishes to you both from an autumnal Sweden


  14. I purchased my first mobile phone in 2001. Our kids both have phones which they use for emergencies only or if they are out somewhere without us. I need to know we can contact each other if need be. If they need me they call my phone then hang up, I call them back. If it's urgent they know not to hesitate and just call. Their $30 plans last 6 months and we roll the balance over at the end of each 6 month period.
    I'm with some of your other readers in that your lunch looks perfect. Simple, nutritious, filling and just plain yum.

  15. Your blog post are always so informative Rhonda, thank you. Happy Birthday to Hanno. 'Wouldn't be dead for quids' goes hand in hand in my family with 'we live like kings'. A saying introduced to me by my long gone grandmother as we ate fresh apricots from her tree.

  16. My husband pretty much had to force me to carry my phone. These days I too mainly use it to take photos, listen to podcasts.

    Recently I wanted to show a photo to a friend, and when I didn't find my phone in my bag my friend asked if I wanted her to ring it for me. I shrugged and said I wasn't worried, it was either in the car or at home. She looked at me and said that I was the first person she had seen in a long time who didn't go into a panic about their phone not being with them.

  17. I was like you with my old mobile phone, now I have a 2 year old iphone that son David upgraded from and I'm finding it great. Took it on a holiday to the Kimberley which I and best friend just came back from. Used it for photos, along with all the "flash" photographers with their zoom lenses and tripods and heavy equipment. They laughed when I got out of the bus with my iphone, must say, having downloaded them to my computer, they are marvellous, haven't had to delete any, and are as good as the photos sent to me on the "cloud", taken by the professionals. Use the phone for all sorts now, and son keeps an eye on where I am driving to his place (4 hours away), like having an extra guardian angel.

  18. Hello Rhonda, your pot/cup of tea post and talking about the bird count and fussing around in our backyards all comes together so nicely.
    We love sitting outside with a good cuppa watching the birds and taking in the peace and satisfaction of being able to enjoy our yard.At the moment we have Finches, Fairy wrens & Bul Buls nesting in the back yard. A lovely Dove is sitting on eggs out the front.Thanks for the reminder for the Bird Count.
    Yummy looking lunch!

  19. Great post Rhonda, with lots of good information. We have done the backyard bird count for the last 2 years. I have just discovered podcasts and have been using my phone to listen while I get some housework done, it is wonderful! "The Slow Home" podcasts are really good. And it seems Hanno and I share a birthday. I turned the big 4-0 on Tuesday! Happy Birthday Hanno, I hope he had a lovely day!

    1. Happy 40th birthday, Belinda. :- ) I love podcasts too. I was one of Brooke's early guests on The Slow Home.

  20. What a lovely post today.
    That is a wonderful lunch.
    I make Japanese potato salad. You cut and boil the potatoes with some chunks of carrot.
    After draining the potatoes/carrots add a splash of vinegar then with a fork mash them leaving some chunks. I add Japanese Mayo just a very small amount, mixes with the mashed part and you will not miss the over mayo kind. So good.

    cheers, parsnip

  21. Enjoying reading your blog! While I don't read devotedly every day, I find my way back here again and again and it feels like visiting a friend. Thanks for sharing your days. Happy birthday to Hanno


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