Over the halfway mark now, in terms of days, and the story is jogging along to its conclusion - then I'll need to go back and fill in the gaps and check facts. This is something I've spent enormous amounts of time on, to ensure it is as factual as I can make it. Dialogue and details around action of 150-200 years ago has been fictionalised to enliven the text, but everything else is factual in terms of names, dates, historical events and the activities of the people written about.
Excerpt from Day 16 is more of Eugene's story.
Today we read in the newspapers, hear on the radio and see on the television programs regarding problems with waste disposal, but in our family there was very little in the way of waste and we never had need of a garbage can. All items of food came to us in their natural state. Milk straight from the cow meant there was no need for cartons, vegies came from our own garden and our meat was never pre-packed. There was no food packaged in cartons or tins and any waste was recycled or put to some use.
For many who lived beyond the range of electricity, a lamp provided a source of light during the hours of darkness. The lamp was fuelled by kerosene which was supplied in square four gallon tins. These tins became one of the most useful items. When empty, it was cut diagonally from corner to corner and it then became two dishes to be used for washing up, one for washing in and the other for draining. These tins were also used for boiling clothes in with part of an old broom handle used as a pot stick. With a wire handle attached the tin could be used to carry water in. This same tin was used to boil up all the left over vegetable peelings which, with pollard added, were fed to pigs and fowls. For fruit picking the tin would be cut in half and with a fencing wire handle, it could be secured around the waist. The kerosene tine was also placed conveniently under the toilet seat in the bush dunny. This was a name given to the outside toilets by the early settlers and it was a small building situated at a respectable distance from the house. It was not a fixed structure and could be easily moved when the pit needed to be filled in. For this reason it was easy to push over when playing a joke on the occupant. We always made sure neither our mother or father were the occupants when playing this trick.