Lockdown and Home Schooling: Umaynah (aged 11)


My grandfather was Australian, born and brought up in Australia.  Rumour has it that he was from a sheep-farming family.  I suspect there is no evidence to support this assertion but it comes from a stereotypical view that all Australians are sheep farmers.  However, we are talking about 100 years ago.  I never met him, my Dad never met him.  He died in 1919, in a Quarantine Ship in Sydney Harbour, from Spanish Flu along with up to 50 million people across the world, between 1918 and early 1920.  Over 500 million people across the world were affected, one-third of the world’s population.  The Spanish Flu Pandemic was handled in a strange way; a pandemic after the First World War was going to affect morale and so details were underplayed in a very political manner.  Is this sounding a bit like COVID-19?

I don’t have a picture of my grandfather; I don’t know whereabouts he came from in Australia; I don’t know anything about his family.  The only thing I know is his name because it was on my Dad’s birth certificate: Jack Craufurd.  Australia holds a bit of a fascination for me; I have thought about going, seeing if I could trace my grandfather’s family but then part of me  thinks ‘let sleeping dogs lie’.  However, Australians love a tea towel and, although I have never been there, I have loads.

Umaynah is the daughter of someone I worked with between 1999 and 2015; she still works in the same place and we are still in touch.  Umaynah is one of the children affected by Home Schooling who took up the challenge of writing a 7 Day Diary about Life Under Lockdown.  Completing the Diary, I asked her if she wanted another challenge and she eagerly accepted.  I asked her to find out 15 facts about Western Australia (because I have a tea towel of Western Australia).  While I know which side of Australia the west is, I’m not sure I ever thought about the fact that there was actually an area called ‘Western Australia’.  This task wouldn’t necessarily be easy.  Umaynah found out some really interesting facts, things I’d never heard of (I did check that these facts were not a figment of Umaynah’s imagination; sorry Umaynah).  The second part of the challenge was to use some of the facts, not necessarily all, and write a Tea Towel Blog, which would then be part of ‘We’re all in this together’; what I didn’t say was, that if it is good enough for a proper Blog, it would be published there too (www.myteatowels.wordpress.com).  It is good enough and will be published there too.  Here is Umaynah’s ‘take’ on Western Australia:

“When Lockdown started, I was feeling quite bored and upset as I could not meet my friends and family.  So, when my Mum’s former boss, Barbara, asked if I would like to take part in a variety of challenges, I thought it would be a good way to use up some of the free time I have.

Above is a very colourful tea towel of a map of Western Australia.  My second challenge that I was given, was to find 15 facts about Western Australia.  To find the facts, I started by writing down the different headings for each fact.  Once I was done, I searched each heading and found more detail about them.  Some of the facts that I found out, and thought were very interesting, are:

The capital city: the capital city of Western Australia is Perth.  It is known to be one of the most isolated cities in the world.  As you can see on the tea towel, Perth is in the south west part of Australia and it is the only city in Western Australia on its own and not surrounded by towns.  This is why it is known as an isolated city.

Tourist Attractions: Western Australia has a lot of tourist attractions, some of which are Western Australia Museum, Perth Zoo, King Park Botanical Gardens, Swan Bells, Krajini National Park and St Martins Tower. 

Ancestry and Immigration: Western Australia’s population is made up of people whose families are originally from different countries which are England, Australia, Ireland,Scotland, Italy, China, Germany, India Netherlands, Philippines, New Zealand and South Africa.

Before I started doing this challenge I did not know a lot about Western Australia.  I have enjoyed learning about it, although I don’t think I would want to go there.  I have found out that there are many species of venomous spiders in Australia!!”

I think this is a really good way of using random facts and bringing a piece together.  It will be a Tea Towel Blog.  In my usual way, I got distracted by the Swan Bells and needed to find out more.  Now there is a place I would like to visit.

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