“Those cotton balls are a rockin’"

 Your article “Those cotton balls are a rockin’” (YT Oct) brought a very great smile as it reminded me of a practical joke from my younger days. My father had a small property and decided to grow a paddock of cotton for the mill.

The crop grew and eventually turned into large buds. It was near a pathway so it caught the eye of all the passers-by. One day I decided to give them something else to look at, so I took one of the buds and soaked it in some cochineal from my mother’s kitchen and put it back on the plant.

Wow, did I get some enquiries about how we had grown red cotton. I set to then, and put different colours in all the buds, taking each one out, dying it and putting it back. We had a lot of people talking about our cotton but had to call it a day when Dad harvested.
Edward Ryan    

With reference to the  article by David Parmiter (YT Nov), “Trapped by French into a trip to the old country”, which I enjoyed and thank you.

I would like to add as a matter of interest that my brother (he is a tenor) sang Roses of Picardy. He told me that the roses represented the World War I nurses.

“Roses are flow’ring in Picardy but there’s never a rose like you! And the roses will die with the summertime and our roads may be far apart, but there’s one rose that dies not in Picardy! ‘tis the rose that I keep in my heart!”.

As you can imagine, a tear would come to the eye whenever he sang it. Thank you for your good work. And I do remember the young Australians travelling over to Britain and Europe – we went by ship!

Vera Black

I particularly enjoyed the November edition of Your Time as it featured articles on one of my major interests – travel.

As always, I enjoyed reading David Parmiter’s Watch Your Language. His article this month struck a chord with me, as my wife and I recently visited the World War I battlefields of northern France. My wife’s great-uncle was killed in the Somme offensive in July 1916. Although his body was never found his name is inscribed on the wall of the Villers Bretonneux war memorial.

As with David, it made “a deep and lasting impression” to see the headstones at the war memorial, some with “Known Unto God” inscribed on them.

It’s difficult to understand why thousands of men lost their lives fighting over a few hundred metres of French countryside.

David is right in saying “consequences of the dire decisions made by ambitious and ignorant politicians a century ago”. Have we really learnt anything a hundred years down the track? Keep up the good work! I look forward to reading Edition 33.

Ian Wood

I do enjoy your magazine. It is very informative with an excellent balance of editorial and general public contributions.

I particularly like Allan Blackburn’s quiz, however, the November issue Q3 “what is the only chess piece that can move diagonally?” had the answer as “Bishop”. The King and Queen can also move diagonally!

Garry Pinkerton

I cannot resist pointing out a glaring error. Perhaps it is only a question of semantics but if Q3 were to read “what is the chess piece that can ONLY move diagonally” the answer would be the Bishop. But it is not the only chess piece that can move diagonally: both the King and Queen can move diagonally and so does the pawn when it captures.

Dmitri Perno

I always get a thrill when our copy of Your Time arrives at our pick-up spots.

Congratulations on such a warm and informative publication with interesting and diverse pieces throughout the magazine.

Leah Burgess

In the October issue was an article about Australian cotton by Styleboomer.

It said that Australia is becoming known for world class sustainable production.

While I was pleased to read that we are producing high quality cotton and that Australian farmers are being innovative and sustainable, I have some doubts.

Not that long ago it was in the news that some of our largest cotton growers have cheated and built unauthorised dams, canals and trenches, using much more water than was their allowance.

Unless we have a national institution supervising water use with a permanent person on duty, it is impossible to control how much water is really being used.  The estimates of the disgruntled neighbours is probably the most realistic.

So, whilst many cotton farmers are working very hard to produce a quality product in as sustainable a manner as possible, it’s not time yet for self-congratulations.

Meanwhile, we as consumers must be prepared to pay a bit more for quality Australian cotton clothing and linens.

We, and the Australian producers, are worth it.

Marianne Pietersen

Rita Malone’s article on “A Day at the Races” (YT, Nov) was so realistic, it seems like I was there, which I was!

It was just as she described! I had attended out of curiosity and to tick it off my bucket list! Not your normal Tuesday, considering Melbournians pack Flemington on their Cup holiday.

This time, unlike she experienced, it was a typical Melbourne weather surprise, albeit almost summer at home! But that’s Melbourne for you: wet, windy and cold, while Queensland sweltered!

Two friends and I found a corridor out of the wind, standing in a corner far from the madding crowd. Another four hours to the main race, with pre-race events happening consecutively. Shane Warne walked by and was shown the guest staircase to other high-flyers.

Crowds in their finery flowing into the main arena, wine and plastic glasses in hand, sharing hot food from the food vendors making a fortune themselves, soon packed the ground, leaving us to stand for hours on a staircase, with a slight view of the course.

The fashions were amazing, some even defying the weather and wearing so little, but, oh, so dignified! The young seemed not to notice the cold. To be seen was ultra-important at this highlighted social event of the year.

I made my way to the exit in my heels, when the big race began. Not being a gambler, I had seen all I needed. First past the post was me.

Been there, done that now!

Eloise Rowe

I enjoy Your Time magazine and the November edition struck a big chord with me, with the good the bad and the ugly, how the world has changed.

I think everybody should read that article as if we practised some of these things, what a wonderful place we would live in, with respect and consideration.

I was brought up to have respect for doctors and older people I knew the given names of all our neighbours but was taught to address them as Mr or Mrs, Sir or Madam. No way  would I have been game to say their given name. My brother passed away a couple of years ago and one of our neighbours was at the funeral.

I spoke to her and even though I am now 77 years old, I still addressed her as “Mrs …” as I had been brought up to do.

Allan Muhling