Sunday, June 10, 2007

A bit late

We went to a swapmeet this morning at Kardinya Shopping centre. Kardinya is the site of the first K Mart in Western Australia(?). I remember people travelling from all over to shop at this new store. Earlier, supermarkets sounded the death knell for corner shops and this K Mart looked like doing the same for department stores. Not so!

There are a few friendly corner-type stores around, one being the Fremantle General Store. The old corner store didn't have to bother with use-by dates. We checked to see if a can of something was still OK by looking at the ends to see if they were blown. Sugar came to the store in a hessian bag and was scaled out using a sugar scoop. Very little packaged food then!
When I was a lad, the bread was delivered by horse and cart and milk was delivered into a billy can left on the front verandah. The milk was randomly checked by some government person with a hydrometer to see if the milkman was watering our milk down. Another great scam stymied by the introduction of bottles.

Tom The Cheap, Tom Wardle, later to become Sir Thomas Wardle, started the first supermarkets in W.A. and no doubt he pinched the idea from the U.S. They were very successful with the first personal shopping experience for Western Australians where they actually selected their own purchases before paying at a checkout. Previously shoppers had to tell the storekeeper what they wanted and the item(s) were put on the counter and added up before money exchanged hands. No plastic shopping bags then.

Anyway we bought a few things at the swapmeet. I bought two 1 litre bottles of 'torch fuel' for one dollar each from a stall that was obviously a fire sale from a hardware store. This torch fuel is actually kerosene which normally sells for about three times that amount. I will go back and get a few more...great for cleaning. Also picked up a couple of video tapes for 50c each.

Joan bought a couple of books including an old book titled Sketching and Rendering in Pencil.

No comments: