I've been in North Queensland for the past couple of weeks, mostly at hospital attending to my Grandmother, with the occasional foray out into the real world. It has been a long time since I was in North Queensland (almost 10 years) and that meant that I could afford to view things with a certain detachment, even occasional fondness and nostalgia. I guess that because I was there for my Grandma and surrounded by family I hadn't seen for such a long time, images and objects kept coming up that reminded me of my childhood in the tropical North.
Right near the hospital in Townsville is quite a beautiful park featuring a range of varieties of palm tree, and at the entrance is an old restored school house that is an almost perfect example of traditional North Queensland architecture. It looks very like the house my Grandmother owned in Cordelia, and the thing that really hit me was the multi-coloured window glass. Each window was divided into 4 panes of glass, and each pane was of a different colour - exactly like the windows in Grandma's old house. This was once very common in old houses in the North, but they have almost all disappeared - wooden windows rot quickly in the tropical damp, and aluminium frames have been too tempting to pass up in most cases.
I'm not sure why these multi-coloured windows were so popular, or if they served any other than decorative purpose. I should imagine that the height of their popularity would have been the 1950s, though it could have been much earlier (their inclusion in this scrupulously restored house suggests that they carry a longer vintage).
So here they are, these lovely little coloured windows. A small feature, certainly, but one so completely unique and evocative that the very sight of them caused a tremor of nostalgia.