Two Good Ol’ Girls

It’s officially been the warmest July (winter) on record though we’ve still lost a couple of Australian Icons.

Last week we lost MARGARET FULTON, aged 94 years. Scottish-born Fulton was the first food and cooking writer in Australia, a journalist, and commentator, with 25 cookbooks to her name.

She was awarded the Medal of Australia in 1983 “ in recognition of service to the media as a journalist and writer in the field of cookery”. In 1998, Fulton was added to the list of 100 Australian Living Treasures by the National Trust of Australia.

In all honesty, I never owned a copy, though my m-i-l swore by hers and probably prevented my death by poisoning.

A personal thanks to Ms Fulton who single handedly changed Australian cuisine from post Depression “ meat and three veg”, and for showing my mother’s generation that afternoon tea did not mean freshly picked radishes from the garden, curly celery – My God, do you remember this? – a packet of Jatz crackers, and a salt shaker. 

Only days ago we lost 89 year old DORIS GODDARD. 

Goddard, the legendary publican who was known for putting the Hollywood in Sydney’s beloved Hollywood Hotel, Surry Hills, which she purchased in 1977 before the suburb was gentrified (and in the days when I was too fearful to walk those streets). She cemented herself as a Sydney icon, famous for pulling out her guitar and serenading fellow drinkers at the bar.

As a young woman Goddard travelled the world as a cabaret singer and actress playing bit-parts opposite the likes of Katharine Hepburn, Mel Gibson, Piper Laurie, Bob Hope and Sid James.

At this year’s Vivid festival held in Sydney Goddard was honoured when the Hollywood was made a canvas for visual effects house Heckler’s 50 Iconic Women projection. Goddard herself was inducted as the 51st iconic woman, alongside the likes of Kate Moss, Brigitte Bardot, Amy Winehouse and Queen Elizabeth II.

My favourite memory of Goddard is in the role of a Danish shot-putter opposite Bill Travers in Geordie, released in 1955.

Geordie is one of those nice little movies. No saloon brawls, no profanities, no car chases, no explosives. Remember those? The book of the same name was written by David Harry Walker a Scottish-born Canadian novelist.

It is the account of a young Highlander saddled in boyhood with the title Wee, for obvious reasons, and of the astounding results which followed a course of body building. He becomes the top-ranked hammer thrower at the Highland Games and is chosen to represent the UK in the Olympics at Melbourne, Australia. Of course, he wants to compete in his kilt which becomes an issue.

Thirty one years ago I gave my daughter Geordie as her middle name.  Damn those hormones. 

Only a few years ago a reporter asked Ms Goddard the secret of her success.

Sweetheart,” she said, “I have been happy no matter where I am. You have to make the f***ing most of what you’ve got on the day you’ve got it. No one’s going to give it to you.”  

Bless ‘em.

7 thoughts on “Two Good Ol’ Girls

  1. wiseassvegan

    Wow I loved this post!
    loved the quote, loved your writing, loved the fact that Australia knows how to honor exceptional people, and sorry- but I also really liked your mother’s freshly picked radishes+ celery+ crackers and a salt shaker as afternoon tea…..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL. You know what’s really made me
      apprehensive recently? You know when you say or do something that you are totally aware is something your parents would have done, and you shake your head thinking that you are becoming your parents?
      Well, last week I planted radishes. My mother has been gone nearly 50 years and I don’t think I’ve eaten a radish in all that time. But I now have a garden bed full of them. Weird or what?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. wiseassvegan

        I know exactly what you are talking about…The two concepts you mentioned: growing old(er?) and becoming our parents, are most definitely prominent in my life as I mature…the complicated relationship some of us (well -me) have with our childhood certainly carves a certain path , that can alter many times as we acknowledge Freud’s wisdom…

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Because back in the 70s before it was gentrified it was an extremely rough neighbourhood and full of druggies. Close to the city and lots of bad types living in homes that were built when Sydney was first populated in the early 1800s and had never had any upkeep.Then the restaurateurs moved in along with developers and artisans, and it is now totally unaffordable.


      1. Oh, it sounds like Alphabet City in Manhattan. I once knew someone who was a squatter. I wonder if if he is now l iving the good life as they are now unaffordable. We have many sections of good and bad in our area also. If you don’t know the areas, you can be scared easily.


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