Recently married, she starts a notebook on 15 February 1962. Each day she enters each purchase she makes along with its cost and the total expenditure. She travels to work by train or bus or tram, she buys fish fingers and margarine as well as butter, MJB instant coffee and has the occasional treat – an icy-pole a small cake or a cherry ripe. For dinner, they eat chops, garfish, liver, tripe, brains, and vegetables. She has more than a passing interest in continental foods. Her list contains knackerbrod, gefilte fish, veal, yoghurt and marzipan. She also buys garlic sausage and Kraft Cheese.


She is doing up a chair. She buys webbing and silk upholstery material, buys paint stripper and turpentine. She buys Tattslotto tickets and bulbs for the garden. She buys Home Beautiful, The TV Times, The Australian Women’s Weekly and Woman’s Day. She has a party and buys flowers to brighten up the house. She serves cashew nuts and olives to her guests when they arrive. She has a buffet style dinner and prepares a pork and prune casserole and Italian-photostyle baked fish. For dessert there is a Pavlova with passionfruit and strawberries as well as a frozen cheesecake. This party costs her just over two pounds.


I rescued her notebook from the rubbish. It contains a snapshot of 1960s domestic life in Australia.