Articulate English: Apostrophe Of Possession

Sadly, many children have no idea when it comes to using the apostrophe of possession correctly. They will be writing when, suddenly, they presumably think to themselves that they haven’t used one of those ‘commas in the air’ and proceed to use one in a word that bears no connection to ownership.

Even worse, from what I have witnessed on television, quite a few adults do not place such an apostrophe in the correct position, either!

I trust that the following is of help to those who are unsure.

I find that if one inverts the relevant part of a sentence, where to place the apostrophe of possession becomes more obvious.

Example: the babys bottle becomes “the bottle of the baby”

In this instance the apostrophe is placed after the last word in the inversion, which, in this case is ‘baby’. All that remains to be done then, is to add the ess: the baby’s bottle.

Example: the babies bottles becomes “the bottles of the babies”

As ‘babies’ is plural, we only add the apostrophe after the last word ‘babies’, hence, the babies’ bottles.

Example: Smithville Girls High School becomes “Smithville High School (for) Girls”.

Again, the same rule applies and the apostrophe is placed after the last word, namely ‘Girls’.

As ‘Girls’ is plural no ess needs to be added: Smithville Girls’ High School.

Example: Mothers Day becomes “a day for mothers”

Applying the same rule, it becomes Mothers’ Day.


Sometimes a second ess should be sounded and, therefore, added.

Examples: Spartacus’ sword (“the sword of Spartacus”) becomes Spartacus’s sword.

Hughes’ boatshed (“the boatshed of the Hugheses”) becomes Hughes’s boatshed.

Amos’ pride (“the pride of Amos”) becomes Amos’s pride.


Floored Pillow: Saturday, 22nd October, 1977

I arose at 5.15 a.m. and whilst Tiki was outside on the toilet, I sneaked back into our double bed and threw her pillow on to the floor. She invariably does this to my pillow when I don’t retire for the night at the time that she does.

A pair of jeans purchased at Fletcher Jones cost me twenty-one dollars and forty-five cents and a pair of casual trousers in Kenrays, thirty-five dollars. Tiki, with some prompting from me, bought three pounds of T-bone steak for one dollar and ninety-nine cents.

We arrived home at ten minutes past twelve and watched the remainder of “International Pop Proms” on Channel Seven. The British programme featured Georgie Fame singing his hit of 1965, “Yeh Yeh”; Vicky Leandros, performing her classic, “Come What May”, from 1972, and the American vocalist, Johnny Mathis, delivering a medley of mostly recent songs.

As we travelled down the hill at The Spit, en route to North Head, I listened to the broadcast of the weight-for-age W.S. Cox Plate from Moonee Valley. “Family Of Man” ridden by New Zealand jockey, Brent Thomson, defeated “Raffindale” and “Vice Regal” respectively. The favourite, “Luskin Star”, finished unplaced for the first time in his thirteen starts.

North Head was the victim of a heavy overcast and a strong wind, as we parked to view the harbour and the city. At the tip of the promontory, where I’d not been before, we walked and ran to the railing and peered down three hundred feet into the water below. Empty, concrete emplacements along the cliffs’ edges once contained artillery. However, this afternoon, they only contained primitive traces of habitation and the smell of urine.

A visit to “Brutus” followed. After which Tiki drove us home by ten past six, having passed through some intermittent rain.

“Echo Of The Wild”, a documentary on animals, screened on Channel Nine from half past six. Channel Seven’s authority on the cinema, Bill Collins, introduced the movie, “The Lost World”, at 7.30. This offering, from 1960, features the late English actor, Michael “The Third Man” Rennie, Jill St. John, David “Five Fingers”/”Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea” Hedison and Fernando “Run For Your Life” Lamas.

Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II’s royal coaches were on display, in Miranda Fair, this morning.

Merle Haggard

Bakersfield, California was the birthplace of Merle Ronald Haggard, in April of 1937. The death of his father, when Merle was just nine years of age, had a profound effect upon him and, as a juvenile, he became associated with crime.

Convicted of robbery, in 1957, Merle was sentenced to spend time in gaol. It was while he was incarcerated in San Quentin Prison, in 1958, that he attended a show performed for the prisoners by Johnny Cash. Motivated by the concert he had witnessed, he joined the prison’s band.

Merle was paroled in 1960 and once he had adjusted to life on the outside, found that he could procure a living by playing in nightclubs. This eventually led to the opportunity to record, and, in 1964, his first entry to the country chart reached its zenith at No.19. A duet, “Just Between The Two Of Us”, recorded with his then wife, Bonnie Owens, followed and although it did not rise above No.28, it remained on the chart for twenty-six weeks.

Merle’s first entry to the Top Ten, “(My Friend’s Are Gonna Be) Strangers” eventuated in 1965. The year he formed his backing group, The Strangers.

“Swinging Doors”, “The Bottle Let Me Down” and his first number one, “The Fugitive”, appeared in 1966, as did the awards they brought. “Swinging Doors” and “The Bottle Let Me Down” had both been written by Merle and it was this ability to write songs, that was to propel him into the top echelon of country recording artists.

“I Threw Away The Rose”, which ascended to No.2, in 1967, commenced a succession of thirty-seven hits in the Top Ten of which a staggering twenty-three reached number one. The first of these twenty-three, “Branded Man”, arrived before the year had finished.

Three more followed in 1968: “Sing Me Back Home”, “The Legend Of Bonnie And Clyde” and “Mama Tried”. A personal favourite of mine, “Mama Tried” featured in the film, ‘Killers Three’, which also heralded Merle’s debut as an actor.

Merle’s biggest hit, “Okie From Muskogee”, released in 1969, was destined to be named as the Country Music Association’s ‘Single of the Year’.

Having recorded on the label, Capitol, for twelve years — alongside the influential Buck Owens — Merle switched to MCA, and, in 1981, to Epic. This also marked the year in which his autobiography, ‘Sing Me Back Home’, was published.

By the end of 1990 Merle Haggard’s singles had visited America’s country chart on one hundred and two occasions. Thirty-eight of them having reached number one. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall Of Fame, in Nashville, in 1994.

Merle died on the sixth of April, 2016, precisely seventy-nine years after his birth.


Working Like ‘Dogs’: Sunday, 23rd October, 1977

I awoke at 5.00 a.m. and arose by half past five because I couldn’t regain sleep. I jogged and walked to the first newsagent on Kiora Road to buy a copy of “The Sun-Herald”. The telephone rang at a quarter to eight as I was reading the paper in the lounge room.

It was an enthusiastic “Dad”, asking for my permission to come and commence to dig the post holes for the side fence. He was disagreeing with “Mum”, as to their time of arrival. “Mum” kept insisting that it would be ten o’clock while he was just as insistent that they would arrive in ten minutes.

Between 8.00 and 9.00 I listened to 2KY’s tribute to Bing Crosby, which was narrated by John Burles. Bing told of his early days, when he was an alcoholic and of how he was sentenced to sixty days’ gaol for driving whilst drunk.

I was washing last night’s dishes when “Dad” knocked at the back door. He and I dismantled what remained of the old fence and dug the first of an estimated ten post holes. While this was easy, the digging of the second was far harder. We struck impenetrable rock at a depth of eighteen inches. “Dad”, recognising that such holes would not suffice, decided that we should alternately extend the holes by two feet on opposite sides and he would call upon his brother-in-law to weld a metal support to the bottom of each of the lengths of sturdy pipe, which we propose to use as the posts.

Despite having dug four holes with a crow-bar, I still was called upon to ask our neighbour, who had been just standing around and observing us, to relieve me. Without stating as much, it was obvious to us that he did not want a fence constructed. Presumably, because it would deprive his children of the run of the two backyards.

We knocked off at a quarter past eleven to enjoy a cup of tea and biscuits. “Dad” and I continued to dig, as the neighbour, a schoolteacher, cut up a few of the old palings for his barbecue.

By lunchtime my hands had developed numerous blisters and I was employing and discarding sticking plasters with rapidity. “Dad’s” old military shovels only exacerbated the situation in this regard as they were guilty of pinching the skin on our hands.

He had shown me how to dig holes in rock by rotating the crow-bar a little with each blow and when we stopped for lunch, only one and a half holes remained to be dug.

Our neighbour’s lack of assistance was only surpassed by his young son’s rudeness. He informed “Dad” that he was going to bury him and kept referring to the pair of us as “dogs”.

We mercifully finished the digging by half past two and after having placed the pipes in the back of “Dad’s” ute, gratefully entered the lounge room and sat in front of “The Bellboy”. The film, which bears the copyright of 1960, features Jerry Lewis and Milton Berle.

I chose to have a cup of tea while “Dad” opted for something stronger: a Scotch and dry. Tiki provided me with some cream, ‘Skin Repair’, to rub into my painful hands.

“Dad” and Wendy left at four o’clock as the A.B.C.’s live telecast of the latest qualifier in soccer’s World Cup was commencing in Seoul, South Korea. The match became a drab affair, with neither South Korea nor Australia able to find the opponent’s net.

“Mum” departed at ten to six and, at half past the hour, we witnessed ‘The Secret Of The Pond’, which comes under the mantle of “The Wonderful World Of Disney”. An hour later and it was the turn of “The Bionic Woman” on Channel Ten. It was followed by the opening episode of “The Moneychangers”. It stars Kirk Douglas, Christopher Plummer, Jean Peters, Anne Baxter and Timothy Bottoms.

Formerly Mrs Howard Hughes, the appearance of Jean Peters is only her second since her marriage, in 1957.


Operation Pending: Monday, 24th October, 1977

“The Big Match”, at 6.00 p.m., was only viewed for thirty minutes. It contained the highlights of the match from the Second Division, which was played between Crystal Palace and Southampton. The former stars, Alan Ball and Peter Osgood, were playing for the latter.

We drove to the hospital, where “Mum” had admitted herself an hour earlier. She was found to be in a cheerful mood, regardless of the fact that she was scheduled to have an operation on the top vertebrae of her spine tomorrow at 7.45 a.m.

The only other patient in her room was watching a television that she had rented from the hospital. Rather than do likewise, “Dad” and Wendy, both of whom were already there when we arrived, returned home to get the small portable, which would only receive channels Two and Ten, in black and white.

We left her to watch “The Rockford Files” and arrived home in time to view the second edition of “The Moneychangers” on Channel Ten. The English actress, Joan Collins, swims naked in a pool, in order to seduce the character that is being portrayed by the Canadian actor, Christopher Plummer.


Victorians See The Light!: Tuesday, 25th October, 1977

It has been a gloriously sunny day, accompanied by a maximum temperature of twenty-one degrees Celsius. En route to Tiki’s parents’, I visited the florist shop, Shire, to buy some flowers for her mother. Whilst there I had a change of mind and spent ten dollars, instead, on a pot plant summising that it would hopefully still be extant long after flowers had withered and been discarded. “Mum” had arrived home after 3.00 p.m., having had her vexatious neck manipulated. She had opted out of the operation, which had been scheduled for this morning, after having given the matter considerable thought overnight.

The strike within Victoria’s power industry, ended today after an arduous eleven weeks. Nineteen seventy-seven has certainly been a year of strikes!

“The Dave Allen Show” followed “Willesee”. The diminutive, Irish comedian, who is a chain-smoker, certainly is a talent! Albeit, an irreverent one.

We left at twenty past eight, in order to be home in time for the third instalment of “The Moneychangers”.

Silver Jubilee Year: Wednesday, 26th October, 1977

“Dad” arrived at half past seven on a bright, sunny morning. He delivered the galvanised pipes that now have a shorter and narrower length of piping welded at right angles to the end of each.

After work, we arrived at Tiki’s parents’ by half past five. Her father already had their old Westinghouse kitchen stove disconnected and I helped him carry it out to his red Chrysler Valiant ‘Town and Country’ utility. He is to deliver it to a mate’s weekender at Wyangala Dam tomorrow.

It was dark by seven o’clock. “The Royal Family”, screened on Channel Seven from half past seven. The programme is in honour of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, in this, the year of her Silver Jubilee.

Tiki washed the dishes while I dried them. Her mother is still in agony, in spite of having had her neck manipulated yesterday. More than a decade ago her car was rammed from behind and she received whiplash from the sudden impact.

We returned home by half past eight and watched the fourth and final episode of “The Moneychangers”. Kirk Douglas plays the part of a wonderful person, while the character portrayed by Christopher Plummer is the complete antithesis.

“You Drive!”: Thursday, 27th October, 1977

As we were about to leave for work, we noticed that about half of the contents from our garbage bin laid strewn on the nature strip, in front of our property. I moved to pick up the rubbish but Tiki told me to leave it, informing me that she would ring Sutherland Council and register a complaint.

After work, we transported a number of cardboard boxes to Tiki’s parents’. Her mother is going to use them, in which to store the goods from her old kitchen cupboards. “Dad” had left for Wyangala Dam at one o’clock this afternoon. Next week he is going to tear out the existing cupboards to make way for new ones. We stayed there until half past five.

As we entered Kiora Road we could not help but notice that smoke was being emitted from the steering column of the ‘Galant’. This had transpired immediately after Tiki’s activation of the car’s blinker. I told her that we should ask her mother to drive us to work tomorrow, however, she chose not to concur and commanded me to drive on until we had reached home.

Tiki removed everything from the cupboards in our kitchen so that she could then respray them with ‘Baygon’, in an attempt to put an end to the plague of moths to which we have been subjected.

At seven o’clock, on his show, “Willesee”, Michael Willesee interviewed the Prime Minister, Malcolm Fraser, as well as his predecessor, Gough Whitlam, because it was officially announced today that a federal election is to be held on the tenth of December.

Tiki, meanwhile, washed the dishes, and, at half past seven on Channel Seven, we watched a most impressive wildlife documentary, “The Predators”, that is narrated by the actor, Robert Redford.

We left at nine o’clock to walk through Miranda and Gymea via a route that surrounds an area we now refer to as the “block”. I have now walked five hundred and ninety-one miles. The humidity made today’s maximum temperature of twenty-five degrees Celsius, appear to be considerably warmer.

Today I have had Crystal Gayle’s current release, “Don’t It Make Your Brown Eyes Blue”, on the brain.


Holiday Account: Friday, 28th October, 1977

Having awoken at 5.55 a.m., I arose five minutes later to shower and wash my hair. Tiki dried it for me, with the use of her ‘Carmen’. We departed at twenty-five past seven with me behind the wheel of the ‘Galant’, just in case there was anything wrong with the electrical wiring within its steering column.

On the way home from work, Tiki parked in the large dirt car park at the south-eastern corner of The Kingsway and Kiora Road. We crossed the latter to the building society where she deposited sixty-five dollars to bring the account’s balance, that we hope one day will go towards a Fijian holiday, to five hundred dollars.

As we have received no worthwhile rain in months, I watered both the front and back lawns. Sydney’s maximum temperature reached twenty-five degrees Celsius. Yet, again, it felt as though it was warmer than that.