For those unaccustomed to Aussie tradition, we have an old one that dates backs yonks (eons)
Billy Tea. A metal pot with a lid and a wire handle, strung over a fire, filled with water and when it's boiled throw in enough tea to your taste and take off the fire.
But there's more to 'Billy Tea' than just a drink.
There's the smell that lingers. The 'essence of billy'. Tarry, eucalypt aroma glued to a fire blackened billy.
It’s an aroma that nothing matches. To me it’s a clean beautiful aroma intertwined with pleasant memories.
My daughter still remarks on that when I talked to her about 'bushwalking with children'.
Poems and ballads go before us, none more classic than
I've humped my bluey in all the states
With my old black billy the best of mates;
For years I've camped and toiled and tramped
Over roads that are rough and hilly;
with my highly sensible indispensable,
Old Black Billy
My old black billy, my old black billy;
whether the wind is warm or chilly,
I al-ways find when shadows fall,
My old black bill-y's the best mate of all!
I've carried my swag on the parched Paroo,
Where water is scarce and the houses few:
On many a track on the great outback,
Where the heat would drive you silly;
I've carried my sensible, indispensable,
Old Black billy.
When my tramping days are o'er.
And I drop my swag at the Golden Door,
Saint Peter will stare when he sees me there,
Then he'll say, "Poor wandering Willie,
Come in with your sensible, indispensable,
Old Black Billy."
Words: Edward Harrington.
When out working in the bush I often take the billy and have a cuppa.
At Middlesex, Tasmania, lunch break