Introducing - Linda Tigell
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I grew up on a dairy farm, when dairying was done by hand, homework done by kerosene lighting, and washing done by boiling clothes in a copper vat.
I married when I was 19½. My husband was a timber feller at the time but he had a few different jobs until we started our own beekeeping business in about 1975, which we ran for around 30 years.
We had up to 1200 hives and began a beekeeping retail store as well. We made and exported beeswax, and imported beekeeping equipment.
How many grandchildren do you have?
I have four granddaughters, a grandson and a grandson–in–law.
What do you enjoy doing with them?
As the oldest is 21 and the youngest is 7, it depends on which one/s I’m with and what’s good at the time. With the older ones, just catching up with what is happening in their busy lives is good. The youngest enjoys playing Memory, What’s the time Mr Wolf, Monkey in the Middle, Mummys and Darlings [Darlings usually spend most of the time in school!].
What do you enjoy about being a Grandma? What is the hardest part?
Just spending time with my grandchildren, encouraging them, being able to help support them. They are a delight to be with. The hardest part is not being able to walk the hard times of life for them, knowing they have their own path to walk.
What are some of the greatest challenges you’ve faced?
Living in an old bondwood caravan, with a young baby. I washed the nappies by hand, there were no disposables in those days! We’d have to regularly move camp as the timber was felled.
When we were doing renovations, I picked up a circular saw and, because I was tired, I picked it up incorrectly, activating the trigger and cutting off my middle finger at the top joint and breaking and cutting my index finger.
As a right-handed person it meant I had to learn to work using only my left hand while I undertook therapy and adapted. I had to re-learn how to do things with my right hand - like writing and sewing. Using a computer keyboard was also a big challenge.
What are some of the things you never thought you’d do when you were younger?
When I was growing up we lived simply. I was self-taught in many things. I was 15 at the end of Grade 9 [back then that was the first year of high school] and I left school to help on my parents’ farm.
Girls weren’t expected to go on in their schooling, yet I learnt to manage a business and do bookkeeping. I also learnt to sew and have sewn many dresses for formals and weddings over the years.
What are some of the biggest changes in the world you have seen in your lifetime?
When I was growing up, we left our house windows and doors open when we went out for the day. Vehicles were left parked in the main street with windows down and doors unlocked, with no fear of any robbery.
A handshake was all that was needed to seal a contract. There didn’t seem to be as much pressure or stress, even though we had to do things manually.
Now we’ve moved from horse and buggy to GPS driven tractors, from hand milking to robotic dairies, from kerosene lights to electricity with appliances like fridges, TV, computers and the internet.
When we began school we started off writing on blackboards, progressing to slates then books. It’s much more multicultural now too, at school we were all of European descent.
What do you think is the biggest problem facing youth today?
Too much temptation. We live in a time where drugs, sex, internet, TV and video games are all very prevalent, often desensitising people from the norm and what is healthy.
Growing up, we had responsibilities and we worked together as a family. We got out and did things together. Kids today don’t have that as much and I think they miss out.
Do you have any tips for them?
Spend spare time wisely to improve your skills - anything to make you a more capable person will improve your life as you journey through.
What is your favourite breakfast food?
Usually rolled oats and yoghurt, followed by tea and toast.