Posted by: Bruce | February 12, 2017

Street Photography, Sydney 1941 – 1942.

Ed McCann contacted me after seeing my post on Sydney street photography in the 1940’s with photo by photographer G. McGrath. I have two such posts, here and here (desperately seeking Norma), and Ed advised that he too has an image by G. Mc Grath. A couple of messages later and ………

ted-having-joined-the-army-1942_sydney-2. Image by G.McGrath of McCann

I think it fitting to use Eds’ words in describing the photo.

‘I am happy for you to add the photo taken by G. McGrath to your blog. It was taken I believe around the end of 1941 early 1942 in Sydney.

On the left (in overcoat) is Joseph McCann who became Mayor of Bankstown after WWII. He was also a school teacher in the Bankstown/Revesby Area of Sydney. During the war he was in the airforce. He is seen in the photo with his future mother-in-law Mrs Francis in downtown Sydney. On the right in uniform is my father Edward McCann (known as ‘Ned’ by the family and his friends called him ‘Ted’). He was a sawyer at a mill in Botany before joining up.  He met his wife Jean (nee Smith) from Lidcombe, NSW and married in 1944′.

Joseph and Edward were from a family of 10 (8 brothers and sisters). They sailed with their parents (Joseph & Mary McCann nee Traynor) from Ireland (County Kildare_Newbridge/Suncroft Parish) in 1925. On arrival in Australia they settled initially in the Redfern /Newtown area, then Ryde before settling in Georges Hall.

Ed, thanks for reading and contributing with an interesting bit of history.

Words for today:   Family history – a blast from the past.

More to come:    Same blog time, same blog channel

Posted by: Bruce | February 5, 2017

John Laws v/s Steve Price – no slinging match here.

dailymail-co-ukFriday Feb 3, 2017 found me on the road, radio tuned to the John Laws Show. Two items on talkback caused my stubby pencil to scratch upon a page.

Item 1 – An interview by John Laws with Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull.

I listened with interest, not catching the whole interview, and decided that Mr Turnbull P.M. appears to be a pretty decent guy. I didn’t agree with all that he said but that’s another issue. John Laws described him, amongst other words, as a gentleman.

turnandshortMy final impression from this interview was the PM’s description of the Opposition Leader. “Unlike myself, the Opposition Leader Bill Shorten is not his own man. He is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Labour Party and told what to do”.

Of course, this rocket up Bill Shortens nose was delivered in genteel style.

Item 2 – Laws v/s Price

I didn’t quite catch how the subject of Steve Price (radio announcer) arose but John Laws was saying that apparently Steve Price gave him a serve on the show, ‘I’m a Celebrity, get me out of here’. It just aired Thursday night.

John Laws calmly mused why Mr Price had stuck it to him but said he was not going to get into a slinging match with the funny little fat man. It’s not my fault that Price  flops a breakfast show every time then ends up on nightshift.

download-1Mr Laws also said that ‘Stevie’ will end up doing the midnight to dawn shift if he continues to flop the shows.

After a short interval, John Laws mentioned that Mr Price has a bad temper, was also known as the Angry Ant. He wasn’t worried if Mr Price came to the station to front him.”What’s he going to do, reach up to his full length and hit me in the naval?”.

A little later a caller mentioned Steve Price reaching the knee caps of John Laws. My drive was over.

I guess that wasn’t a slinging match.

There’s a little history with these two…..

Words for today;       Slinging match – Political and personal styles

More to come;   same blog time, same blog channel

Posted by: Bruce | January 26, 2017

Australia Day 2017 – arse with an ‘r’

If you have a few minutes to waste, the following words of questionable substance may be helpful……

“Zzeeeeebra”, said the boy to John Laws. I don’t remember the topic that produced the word zebra, though I do recall the pronunciation of the Z. It  was not as in zed, bed, red, fled or wed, but was zzzeeeeeee as in tree, free, three, thee, tee-hee.

This was a month or two ago, driving, when a mum called the John Laws Show (talk back radio) and talked briefly to Mr Laws before passing the phone to her young son 12 or 13 years of age.

“It’s ZED not ZEEEE!” yelled I to no-one; “this is ‘straya’ not America”. Other listeners probably reacted similarly as did John Laws who, in a pleasant manner, promptly mentioned how Aussie’s pronounce the letter Z. The young guy was fine with the correction but seemingly oblivious to his Aussie faux pas. I wonder of his mum’s thoughts (nothing said) and if he changed his zeeees to zeds after that day?

I also wonder about the three (3) R’s at school. Have our teachers lost the battle? Do they start lessons with “I want you all to open your Facebooks to Chapter 3, Section 2 – Arse Vs Ass”. Will Aussie kids grow to spell and speak American?

Ubiquitous on-screen, a visual depository for language degenerated via the keyboard, are such gems as #kickass, #badass and #lmao. Now #lmao and others of ilk, being time and text saving acronyms rarely used in real time face to face conversation, have paved the way for naughty words with immunity. Additionally and curiously, a lot of Aussies use American #versions and look very un-dudey Aussies doing so.

The following may help undo what the un-dudes do. I’ll be brief, or not brief.

thecatholicthing-orgArse or Ass?

Our language in Oz is Australian English, in America it’s American English.

We say ARSE with an R. Remember I mentioned the three (3) R’s? Well this is where we use one of them. It’s ARSE, ARSE, ARSE. The R’s give ARSE a little class.

We don’t say ASS here. Americans say Ass there. Here an ass (spelled ASS) or donkey is a domestic critter related to the horse family who get together and produce a mule. An arse (spelled ARSE) is that bit of body we carry around and which nearly always points to the ground. An ASS and ARSE are not the same, they are not interchangeable, they are different. Maybe it’s worth knowing that an ASS might ARSE about in a grassy field. Maybe not.

For non-believers, substitute DONKEY for ASS and we get:   #kick donkey or #bad donkey. Sounds a little #sad donkey doesn’t it? What about #fat donkey, #big donkey, #tight donkey, #kissmy donkey? If you’re Aussie it’s ARSE.


This one is uni-bummed due to only the letter A being shown. Users don’t have to specify Australian or American version. You may want to though, once you subconsciously slip donkey into the A slot. Laugh my donkey off. A bit funny. Incidently and by the way, whatever happened to LMHO, as in laugh my head off? Who replaced the Head with an Arse?

I do have an issue with the LMAO acronym though when it expands to LMFAO. I generally stop reading after this one appears. There is plenty of reading matter elsewhere that doesn’t need  the F word to get by.

It occurred to me though, that perhaps I’m a little hasty here. Perhaps the writer wasn’t using the screen to show they know a grubby swear word. Perhaps the F represents an adjective to the A for Arse component of the acronym. Eg……

mirror-co-ukLMFAO could contain;   FabulousArse, FlabbyArse, FrozenArse, FatArse, FantasticArse.

It seems arse and donkey both work with these adjectives but not the grubby (F) word.

There are more, but I’m done.

Word for today;      Arse   – a crude, rude and vulgar noun or verb

More to come;    same blog time, same blog channel

Posted by: Bruce | December 28, 2016

The wonders of me – mirror, mirror on the wall.

A month or two back, at a moment in time upon which I’d rather not dwell, life took myself and son into a shop known for, amongst many things, office products and stationery. The objective was earphones for my son (essential), a notebook and fountain pen ink for myself (not essential, I just like stationery). We parted ways.

images-1I’d envisioned a notebook with alphabetical indexing and started looking. Around twenty seconds into the search a young lady offered assistance. Her product knowledge took us a few aisles away to a solitary notebook which didn’t really hit the spot, though an alternative caught my eye. My son returned, his mission complete and ready to go. The assistant still with me and happily chatting. I liked her.

A few minutes were all I needed but now my sons’ departure clock was ticking. As I checked the other book, a word, amongst those being delivered from the outset, ripped my eyes back to her.

Elders. Did she say elders? She liked to help her elders, always brought up to respect her elders, has two teenage kids about my sons’ age she tells to respect their elders? Who was she talking to? I looked, my head doing a Linda Blair in the Exorcist.

As the world muted and shrunk to this moment, I looked carefully at her face and figured her to be in her late thirties; maybe, just maybe early forties. Older than I first thought, but that didn’t help me, only made it worse. I was a bit of a late starter in the father arena  but tagged as an elder? My pulse surely was audible. My hair hurt.

Turning to look at my son, confirmation that ‘elders’ had indeed been used was in his face. He must have made a quick assessment because, including himself in the conversation, he called me Dad.

The topic of elders ceased in an awkward, but pretend not, manner and shortly she left to help others. I thanked her and felt a little sympathy for her. Unintentionally she had realised the taste of her foot. I was not his grandfather.

Being considered an elder threw me a little. No, stuff it, a lot. My ego made sure of that as fast as possible. I thought of things to say to her, to show I’m not old, not elder material. Things like………

Didn’t she realise that I suffer from a rare hair condition known as “Jet black to grey in just one day” triggered by kids? I’m not old enough for an age pension, I don’t use a walking stick, I’ve still got a head of hair and most of my teeth (I was asked that once, a fine memory). I don’t have ‘long johns’ sticking out the bottom of my pants. I don’t wear braces to keep up giant pants to cover the long johns. No giant Y-fronts for me either, no sir-eeeeeee. I still manage a few push-ups and plank for a minute or two to keep in shape. Didn’t you quickly help me because I looked okay in  an older guy kind of way? (The forever male in me never seems to quit). You thought I might get lost in the store or fall asleep in the office chair section? Don’t you see, I’m not sporting a walking frame or shuffling in slippers or clip clopping in sandals with walk socks to the knees? I can still ride a motor bike and click a new tab! Nooooooooooo.

downloadDoes any of this matter? No. Yes.

And so I wondered. Is it true? Is this the end of the line as a male? Can I face the mirror again?

An elder, I said to my son. I’ve been called an elder. Let’s go home.

Word for today;      Elder – not yet.

More to come;     same blog time, same blog channel.

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