Memories of a rural childhood – R is for rocks, rhubarb and a raffle



Picking up rocks in winter was not fun! It was hard work but had to be done. One of the consequences of changing from horse to tractor-drawn implements was a greater depth of ploughing. In the top section of the paddock behind the cow shed, this resulted in pieces of mudstone being brought to the surface for a few years. Dad did most of the picking up, but my sister and I were roped in to do a lot of it too. After we placed the rocks into banana boxes, they were loaded onto the “carryall” and transported to any section of driveway that needed extra crushed rock. The process had to happen in winter because that was after the previous year’s potatoes had been harvested and before the soil needed to be worked up for the next crop.


I didn’t realise that rhubarb leaves were poisonous when I fed them to the chooks one day. Luckily Mum and Grandma found out and removed them before any damage was done!


Towards the end of a Church fete, one day, my sister and I had a few pennies to spend – just enough to combine in a guess how many – something – was in a jar. We each made a guess and chose the mean for our entry.  Miraculously we won a Royal Albert cup, saucer and plate set. It was carefully carried home and given to Mum. She kept it on display for many years, but never used it. The set is in my possession now. I really should try it out next time I make a “cuppa”!

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