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Coping with the weather

A view of the sleepout in 1998

The house was hot during warm weather. For some years a wood stove burned in the kitchen which, like Grandma’s sleep-out, faced north and had sunlight on its walls for much of the day. The weatherboard wash house in the backyard was unlined, with an iron roof. A wood fire heated boiling water in a copper on Mondays, when Elsie and Grandma did the weekly wash by hand.

During the 1920s a lattice wall on the verandah screened an extra bed and deck chairs so the family could sit or sleep outside, perhaps enjoying a sea breeze, on hot nights.

In cold weather the lounge and kitchen fireplaces added warmth to the house, but knee rugs and warm beds were needed at night time. After power points were installed during the 1930s an electric radiator was bought for the dining room.

[Grandma’s] was a pretty hot room. It got the full blaze of the sun from early morning and all day. I know she really sweated it out ...

... [keeping warm out in my sleepout] was always a difficulty. I didn’t have any radiators or anything like that. Put another jumper on ... go to bed and keep warm. Winter time was a problem. I’d stay inside I guess around the fire until it was time to go to bed.'’ [13]
John F Curtin 2004

A evening away from the house
Elsie M Macleod describes a Monday night ritual of John & Elsie Curtin. 1994/5. JCPML00012/1

Next: Growing up in Cottesloe

  • Cigarette_box_presented_to_John_Curtin_by_Westralian_Worker_staff_1928.jpg
    Cigarette_box_presented_to_John_Curtin_by_Westralian_Worker_staff_1928.jpg
    Cigarette box presented to John Curtin by Westralian Worker staff 1928
  • Curtin_family_in_the_lounge_at_their_Cottesloe_house_1937.jpg
    Curtin_family_in_the_lounge_at_their_Cottesloe_house_1937.jpg
    Curtin family in the lounge at their Cottesloe house 1937
  • Elsie_Curtin_and_daughter_Elsie_hear_John_Curtin_is_Prime_Minister_1941.jpg
    Elsie_Curtin_and_daughter_Elsie_hear_John_Curtin_is_Prime_Minister_1941.jpg
    Elsie Curtin and daughter Elsie hear John Curtin is Prime Minister 1941
  • Elsie_Curtin_at_home_1945.jpg
    Elsie_Curtin_at_home_1945.jpg
    Elsie Curtin at home 1945
  • John_Curtin_at_a_garden_party_for_Canberra_Hospital_Auxilliary_1941.jpg
    John_Curtin_at_a_garden_party_for_Canberra_Hospital_Auxilliary_1941.jpg
    John Curtin at a garden party for Canberra Hospital Auxilliary 1941
  • The_kitchen_1998.jpg
    The_kitchen_1998.jpg
    The kitchen 1998
  • The_lounge_1998.jpg
    The_lounge_1998.jpg
    The lounge 1998
  • The_lounge_and_extension_1998.jpg
    The_lounge_and_extension_1998.jpg
    The lounge and extension 1998
  • The_sleep_out_1998.jpg
    The_sleep_out_1998.jpg
    The sleep out 1998
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