Friday, 21 November 2014

10 things worth bottling... plus a bit

Youre probably way too young to remember Jim Croces Time in a Bottle, but I was listening to it yesterday actually, I was singing along with it rather than listening anyway, it got stuck on repeat in my head. In a nice way. It wasnt bugging me in that pesky earworm way: it was just gently floating around so that I found myself humming it. And it set me to thinking. I do that sometimes.

The Aussie saying Its a bottler is pretty much defunct these days. My dad used it all the time to let us know that he thought something was special, wonderful, impressive. If a school report was declared a bottler, that was definitely a good thing. My guess is that this expression grew from the ultimate of accolades saved for really good blokes: His bloods worth bottling, an idiom that came down to us from the soldiers of World War 1. If someone displays such great courage and loyalty  that you want to preserve some of their essence for the future, bottle it. Stash some in a bottle to enjoy at another time.

Dad grew up in the bush and was full of classic Aussie sayings. If Mum was unable to settle at the dinner table because she first needed to get the mustard from the fridge, and the pepper from the pantry, fill the water glasses and let the dog out, hed say: For goodness sake, Margret, sit down and enjoy your meal. Youre up and down like a brides *nightie.

If it was me buzzing around unable to sit still, Id be told I was flitting around like a fart in a bottle... Which would definitely not be a bottler of a moment.

An expert in any given field was declared, with admiration, to be the full bottle. So, it naturally follows that if you were a rank amateur or worse, were totally ignorant then you were clearly not the full bottle. Yep, more proof that drinking is at the heart of all Australian 'kulcha'.

So, anyway, I ended up wondering, what in the spirit of Jim Croce would I save in a bottle? And, in no particular order, here are the first ten things that came to mind:

µ  The satisfied exhilaration of doing something you were sure you couldn't do
µ  Snuggling
µ  That instant when anticipation collides with actuality, exploding into fireworks inside your brain
µ  The weight of a sleeping baby in your arms on a still silent night
µ  Waking up in a holiday destination
µ  That glorious moment when youve been barracking** to near-exhaustion and your team comes through with a hard-fought win
µ  Rainbows
µ  Being greeted with a smile and a hug or a nudge and a wagging tail upon returning home
µ  A cool change sweeping in after a scorching summer day
µ  The smell of a puppy

I'm kind of hoping that the song runs for the same length of time it takes you to read this post. If this did not occur, your rate of reading is not four words per second. Just sayin'.

NB In the interest of cross-cultural communication: 
* nightie is a very commonly used abbreviation of nightgown
* *to barrack is another Australianism. In British English, barrack is a pejorative verb meaning to heckle and boo someone. In Australian English, it has positive connotations and means to yell support. Americans call it 'rooting' but in Australia you get arrested for doing that in public.


  1. I love Jim Croce - had all his albums. And love the weight of a sleeping babe in y arms. Also worth bottling? The good news my brother received after his second round of chemo.

  2. I love your dad's sayings, We have a similar one to the 'up and down like a bride's nightie'. Ours is 'up and down like a whore's drawers'! I would bottle the feeling you get when you discover you have FINALLY passed your driving test!

  3. Oh yes...that's so similar... Mr 16 is learning to drive ... with his nerves couldn't handle it.

  4. I would bottle that random surge of pure love that happens when you're just looking at one of your children doing something really normal, like you might even just be glancing at the back of their head or something and it just hits you. That is something worth bottling.

  5. I replied to this yonks ago and the wretched thing obviously didn't post... I still get that rush from Fraser sometimes... but don't tell him... he already hates me