Modern conveniences

posted in: Life and things | 0

When I was kid I used to collect matchbox tops. Remember Redheads? Everybody used matches. My dad smoked (roll-your-owns using tobacco from a pouch put into paper wrappers) and of course you needed matches to light the stove, the fire, the copper, the kerosene heater, the barbecue etc etc. Anyway, Redheads used to print different designs on the box tops to encourage sales. I especially liked the flags of the world collection but there were lots of different designs – prime ministers, cricketers, race horses, Australian animals, and so on.

Apparently, Redheads are still around but (surprise surprise) they’re no longer made in Australia. The company was bought out by Swedish Matches. You can buy them at Woolies (imported from Sweden) for $3.50 a box.

So, why I have been indulging in matchbox nostalgia?

Well, you see, a couple of days ago we were subjected to a scheduled power outage. Ergon Energy had to do something to all the power poles in the street so we’d be in the dark(so to speak) for about 5 hours. All good. We dutifully made sure our tablets and mobile phones were fully charged.

The power duly stopped and we found out sneaky little things you need power for. The first was tea. I suppose we could have filled a thermos or two but it didn’t occur to us. Being tealess for five hours would have been a chore but all was not lost – we cook with gas. We have a camping kettle which we could boil on the stove. But the gas rings come with electric starters. Um…

I fossicked in the drawers where we keep candles for real power outages at night. Candles but no matches. Fortunately, Peter found the gas lighter thingy (long handle, has a trigger) to light the gas ring and we settled down to read on our tablets. (It was pointed out some time later that we do, in fact, have several cigarette lighters. But they’re not in the same place as the candles.) Just as well we still cook with gas. Rest assured we won’t be availing ourselves of the Government’s offer to subsidise a switch to an electric appliance. We had enough trouble when we moved here getting rid of the electric stove for a gas model.

But reading on a tablet isn’t the same for us. We use our big desktops to browse the newspapers, play games, and write stuff (in Peter’s case comments in the newspapers, in mine, blogs and books). Neither of us can come to grips with the idea of doing all that on a mobile phone. As an aside, isn’t it interesting that we still call them newspapers?

Power was eventually restored so after I reset the clock on the microwave it was back to business as usual.

Which brings me to another point. The world is moving inexorably to an oil-free future. Isn’t it? Electric cars, solar panels, wind farms etc etc. We’ll be leaving the fossil fuels in the ground. Won’t we? This little video is only about 1 minute long but will keep you thinking for a bit longer.

Needless to say, I’ve been watching the new Star Wars mini-series, Ahsoka. It didn’t really float my boat – too many light sabre duels, too much magic. But I persevered, and I will be waiting excitedly for the next series – because of Grand Admiral Thrawn. And if all that didn’t mean much to you, that’s okay, just move on. Otherwise…

This is a compilation of reference to Thrawn, with takes from the Mandalorian, Rebels, and others

Peter and I did our civic duty early and went to a polling station where we printed ‘NO’ in clear letters in the box on the voting form for the Voice referendum.

And here’s a picture of one of our little mates deciding whether to take the plunge.

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