A little bit risque this poem, but the dunny and the choko vine are/was inseparable in many or if not all of the Terrace houses all over the world. We lived at Grandma’s Terrace on and off for many years, where was the Dunny, that’s right, down the back yard covered by the Choko Vine.


This piece of Australiana has been flogged to death, so handle it folks.

 112 Palmer Street, WOOLLOOMOOLOO, AINT THERE NOW. About 1945 / 59, we lived on and off, it was Grand Ma’s house, a

Residential, a Terrace House, a Tenement actually. And you guessed it; it had the ‘classic little room’ right down the back yard,

complete with the daily newspaper, end of story.

It was resplendently covered with a shroud of CHOKO VINE, laden with fruit, the clean skin variety. I have often cogitated why they

grow so profuse in the vicinity of the DUNNY, PERHAPS IT IS THE ESTERS OF OZONE, and MIXED WITH OTHER GROWTH



CHOKOS’ are described as being a vine vegetable, I will dispute this assumption, I WILL SUGGEST THAT this plant is AC / DC, it can be ambidextrous, alternative, it can be a fruit or a vegetable, I describe it as a VEGAPPLE. AND, I will prove my theory by handing down Grannies’ secret recipes’, you mustn’t tell a soul now, OK.


WOOLLOOMOOLOO CHOKO KILPATRICK “MORNAY”, Grand Ma Isabella Lovegrove, nee Menzies. 

You will need several smaller chokos’, sliced into halves seed removed. Bacon, BEGA CHEESE, (Matured), ‘Woster Sauce, garlic, red CHILLI, (mild) and pepper and salt make up the other ingredients. For Italian people; substitute the bacon with thicker slices of PANCETTA / PROSUITTO, use mozzarella cheese, sliced or grated.

Large pot, parboil the halved “vegetables” till tender, not too soft, drain. Bacon sliced into portions so as to cover the choko, cheese grated, garlic and chili finely sliced.

At this stage you put another Penny in the coal gas meter, (I got plenty if you need some). Fry the bacon until not quite crisp, place on absorbent paper, place the halved chokos in a baking tray, maybe a cup cake baking tray. A tea spoon of  ‘Woster in the cavity, and some garlic and chili, pepper and salt. Bacon to cover the chokos, grated cheese, BEGA please, place in slow oven and bake until cheese is just runny.

Remove and serve with a lamb chop, hogget of course, sprinkle with more ‘Woster, YUM BLOODY YUM, to me ethnic mates, multi beano.




The chokos are peeled, halved and the seed removed, parboil until they are just tender, remove and drain and place in the frig. We make syrup with sugar and water to a runny texture, use warm water. Add some Treacle. (Grand Ma’s secret).

Grand Ma would have made a plum pudding, she would pour the syrup over the chilled “CHOKO FRUIT’ and return to the ice box until cold. Some pudd, some now called PEARS AND SYRUP, some vanilla custard and BLOODY YUM YUM again.


 THE DUNNY AND THE CHOKO VINE. ©John d farley 2008

Inseparable I feels, an enigma if you will.

Woolloomooloo is the locale half way up the hill.

112 Palmer Street to be correct, Grand Ma’s place of liven’.

Down the back the dunny graced by choko vine, and it was our place of respite, some say by God was given’.


Complete with daily news, albeit torn asunder.

One went to meditate and move the world and empty old Gusunder.

Toilet humor is not my scene, but this is true grit my friends

The place to go was down the back, ‘caus the Dunny relieved the bends.


All up and down the back lane the dunny stood at guard.

Chokos concealed these pillboxes; this was to be their camouflage

Amazing how cool it was, great place to lose some time.

I recon  it all comes down to Grand Ma’s lush green choko vine.


I’ve done a lot of research; my yarn is one of many you ‘ll find reference by the score.

What about the night time visit when the rain came down and a cyclone wind did roar.

The chokos bang on the dunny roof the candle takes a fit.

And you’re sitting there in cogitation, well hell is not like it.


Now Redbacks make a home in this remarkable of places.

My good mate Johnnie Arthur can attest to this; he got bitten once, where?

Well folks I can’t go there so I’ll save you all red faces.

Well this concludes my little yarn about the national source of humor.

If people think the Dunny’s over, then folks that’s just a rumor


I’ve been to Boonoke; Bundemar and Woolloomooloo travllin’ all the time, and rhyming’ gives me joy.

But what goes with Woolloomooloo, except dunny and the choko vine, and the paperboy.

So folks, I’ve tried to keep you occupied it’s really time to go, I hope you enjoyed the time.

But don’t be misled; history lives in all of us… THERE WILL ALWAYS BE A DUNNY AND A LUSH GREEN CHOKO VINE.


John Farley 2008.

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