Welcome to my blog.

My blog expresses my views and thoughts and in no way intends to offend however that does not guarantee it wont.

I write in a stream of consciousness and sometimes the odd typo or bad grammar may appear - please excuse these.

Please feel free to leave a comment if something inspires you to do so.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sentimental Sundays - Happy Birthday

On this day, 37 years ago, I gave birth to my first child.
Happy Birthday Christie, you have been a blessing from the moment you were born.

an earlier post for those new to my blog.

Sentimental Sundays - A Grandfather Never Known

Aubrey John - 17.2.1896-17.11.1940

This is the only photo I have of my paternal Grandfather, taken with my aunt on his shoulders in about 1924-25.

My Grandma's second husband was my Grandpa and it was not until I was a teenager that I even knew that Grandfather Aubrey even existed.

So I know little about this Grandfather of mine. My Grandmother did not speak of him at all to me and I believe through bits and pieces that he did not treat her that well. My father was only 8 when he died and does not have a lot of memories of him either and so he is in a sense my Grandfather Never Known.

The bare facts I do know are that he was a champion amateur cyclist and a qualified electrician and he died of a melanoma that was on his back and not diagnosed until it was well and truly in his blood system.

When I started the genealogy journey through our families I visited our cemetery to find his grave in a state of disrepair with his name spelled incorrectly ... part of me feels I would love to know more about this man with the black hair and strong face, but there are some stories that are never told.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Water Walking Week 2 Wrap Up

Week 2 done and dusted - walked for an hour, mainly in the deep water on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I love it, I think I am addicted and already lamenting the fact our local pool closes over Winter. That means I will have to find somewhere else or just not Water Walk for 6 months.

I have had cramps in my feet a lot this week while sleeping and a few little ones threatening in my calves, but apart from that no soreness - just a sense of well-being.

Next week I am going to try going every weekday before work, may do shorter sessions on Tuesday and Thursday but at the moment my commitment to JB is M, W, F so that way I won't derail myself if for some reason I can't do the whole 5 days.

See you at the pool - I will be the one with the big smile and dressed in clothes rather than bathers - although you never know I might actually find some bathers for larger ladies that are not just sized up versions of slim ladies bathers some time in the near future.

Photo A Day - February Challenge

I mentioned in an earlier post about the Photo A Day Year Long Challenge and being realistic I knew I could not commit to that - although Amanda took up that challenge and is going great guns.

So choosing the shortest month I decided to try too and post a photo a day in February - wish me luck, join in if you would like (let me know and I will link to your blog) and if you have the time, pop in daily to see a little bit of my world.

The fun starts on Monday - oh and isn't that scary - January is nearly gone already!!!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Memories On Mondays - Connections

One way of having connections back through time is through heirlooms, they don't have to be big or expensive, just something that has passed down through generations of the family.

I have a beautiful vase and a painting that I loved as a child - both were my maternal grandmothers and my mother passed them on to me a few year's after my Grandma Win had died. From my paternal grandmother I have a jewelry box that she was given on the her 21st birthday (I will write more about that in another post) and 2 cane/wicker chairs.

Me as a little 'un in Grandma's big chair

I remember Grandma Grace having one of the chairs in her home while I was growing up and my parents had an identical one, which was originally Grandmas too, she had given it to my Mum when I was born as it was a good chair to breast-fed in.

and with my Mum in Grandma's chair during the same visit

When my Mum and Dad divorced Mum kept the chair and so it moved with us, Mum even lent it to me when I had my first 2 daughters to breast-fed in thus continuing the tradition. Numerous photos of my first grand-daughter and her Mum where also taken in the chair when visiting my mother's house.

I had always asked Mum if I could have the chair one day either when she no longer wanted it or if she could will it to me if she so decided.

Grandma Grace had also kept her chair and when she died my Dad gave it to my Mum so the pair of chairs could be back together again. Mum had her chair recovered a few years earlier and was lucky to be able to match the same fabric so she could get Grandma's chair recovered too.

I felt quite blessed when Mum passed the chairs on to me a few years ago. My eldest daughter now covets them so I know that they will have a good home to go to - although if all 4 of my children decide they want them a King Solomon decision might have to be made. Can you will 2 chairs between 4 - maybe they can have them a year about?

Some of the cane/wicker is slowing unwinding and there a few gaps in some of the bottom cane-work of the one my Grandma had kept, but given their age they are in a remarkably good condition. I would love to have them patched but as the older cane has darkened naturally with age I am not sure that it would look right (or even if it is still possible).

I don't sit in them often now, one sits in the spare room hosting a collection of teddies comfortably on it's cushions and the other sits in my study. Each time I look at them I am reminded of my Grandma Grace and my connection to her back through time. Somehow that is rather comforting to my heart and soul.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Week 1 Water Walking Wrap Up

Week 1 Wrap Up: 3 sessions completed, Day 1 40 mins, Day 2 45 mins and Day 3 normal walking 30 mins and deep water walking with aid of noodle 10 mins (and some almost drowning while I tried to sort out my legs when deep water walking - wasn't really almost drowning, just being out of control and slowly sliding over onto my side - someone should have had a camera). JB and I certainly had fun this morning.

Week 2 will be another 3 day week then Week 3 will step up to 5 days with the 3 long sessions followed by a shorter session the next day. Will need to take it easy on Day 1 next week as I had an injection into my L4/5 facet joint this morning and the advice was 'take it easy' - so that I will.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Today's Bliss ....

Day off work

Beautiful blue skies

Driving with the sunroof open, wind in my hair

Facial and pedicure (red toe nails)

Movies with my eldest grand-daughter

Hubby cooking tea

Bliss ....

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Did I Get It Wrong

I was originally going to do this as a Memories on Mondays post, but then thought that maybe it was better just as a normal post that talks about what we remember and why.

I've blogged before about my love/hate relationship with my Dad. I always felt growing up that I was never good enough for him, that his life always took precedent over his love for me. I'm not sure that this is not true, but in the process of scanning photos I found these.

Now in all these photos I am no more than 3 which is
pretty obvious in the first couple.

So did I get it wrong, did he actually love me more when I was a child than I give him credit for? Am I being too hard on him? Is it that we are just such different people that as an adult I would not choose him for a friend?

Could it be that my memories have been warped by the upheaval of our lives, that I am tainting my own memories of when I was very young by the bitterness that I thought I had left behind?

The fact remains I really do not like who my father is now, he is a polar opposite of me, but maybe just maybe when I was young, before I learned to talk back and question his motives and authority, he was more loving and caring that I give him credit for.

Memories - strange things sometimes.

Monday, January 18, 2010

One Small Step For Mankind (Well Me Anyway)

So I did it, water walking for 40 mins - with some small 15 sec breaks every few laps. I got over my trepidation of making a fool of myself - helped by having my 'sister' JB with me and the fact there must have been 30-40 other people there - most over 65 in all sorts of 'bathers'.

My lower back and left ankle have not liked the experience and are now letting me know it, but we will see how that goes, I might need to get an ankle brace.

I loved being in the water especially on a hot morning (30C at 6am) although that pool felt a little cold upon entering.

So I am officially a water walker for the rest of the summer at least. Thanks again to Amanda, Sofie and Madmother for your blog support and to JB for being there for me and not judging me in any way, shape or form - love you JB.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sentimental Sundays - My First Love

There is nothing that matches your first love, the first time you feel the stirring of something unexpected and wonderful, the first time you tentatively kiss, the first time you fight and make-up, the tentative fumblings doing things you know your Mum would just die if she knew about, the first time you have a friendship ring, the first time you gossip with your girlfriends about him, the first date, meeting his parents, thinking that this is the love that will last forever.

My first love - lets call him N was 3 years older than me, I was 14 he was 17 and I thought he was the most gorgeous guy I had ever met. We were set up by a friend of my Mum's as N needed a date to take to his leaving formal at school. He went to an all boys school and was shy and didn't have a girl friend, I was all eager to move to the ranks of 'having a boyfriend' so off we went to his formal having only met once before. It was the most awkward night of my life, not knowing his friends and not really knowing him - but he was wonderful and attentive and made me feel like a princess.

Over the summer holidays we got to know each other better and spent wonderful hours driving around in his Dad's Monaro (rev head me just loved this bit), going to the drive in with my little brother as chaperon (LOL), going to the movies and beach, just hanging at his house with his friends. We dated all through 1970.

He was fun but he started to get very serious and talked about getting married - I was only turning 15 that year and wanted to run away with my girlfriend Anna and see Australia. He gave me a friendship ring for my 15th birthday and suddenly there was this commitment that I was not ready for, I was so young and so was he.

We continued to date into 1971 and I really did have very deep feelings for him but I wanted more than being married, I wanted to dance with the wind in my hair on the top of some remote mountain, I wanted to drive fast cars and become a hippy and sing and dance and be free but all he wanted was me.

He was my first love, but he got very possessive and wanted to know everything I did and everywhere I went. He wanted me to himself and tried to keep me from spending time with my friends. I started to feel smothered and overwhelmed that someone could love me this much. The more I tried to break free, the tighter he seemed to hold on - until one day it was all to much and I told him I couldn't go down this path. He was devastated, he stalked me for months, he rang me and wrote to me and followed me around even when I first started dating my first husband he would be there following us in his car.

This is one of the last photos taken of us together and when I look at it I can see the tension in my face and the intensity in his. Goodness we were so young.

I often wonder where he is and how he is doing, I know that I broke his heart and for that I am truly sorry. I hope he found another love and that he is as happy as I am. I don't think you every forget your first love.

Oh and somewhere in the hundreds of photos I have in boxes there is one of me dressed to go on our first date - when I find it I will scan and share.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Overwhelming Fear

Ever been so terrified that you feel physically sick? Ever been so terrified that every part of you wants to not do what you need to do? Ever feel so mad at yourself about your own idiosyncrasies?

Well that is me today.

Some days I just feel such an idiot about who I am. I am getting worked up over something that to some people would seem like nothing. So why am I making it such a big deal? I can't actually answer that except to say it is just me.

So maybe you are wondering what all the fuss is about? Maybe not too - LOL.

Well on Monday morning at 6am I am meeting one of my 'sisters' at the local pool and we are going to water walk. So, I hear you ask in cyberspace - Whats the big deal?

Well I don't have bathers, can't get bathers because I am too overweight - well that is not technically true - I can get bathers that make me look like someone dressed in sausage skin - and a really badly made lumpy sausage at that.

So this is part of the problem, you see I hate drawing attention to myself, the introverted part of me just hates being the centre of attention, loathes it in fact.

So I say to myself - well what a big head you have - as if people are actually going to pay attention to you, they are too busy with themselves - and this is most probably the truest thing I have ever said. But what if they don't, I hate what my body is, I never put it out on show and here I am going to the swimming pool - the place where you feel most exposed.

To make matters worse, having no bathers means I will be wearing Lycra cycle pants and a loose top - so won't this make people look more - would I be better to just squash myself into some bathers - and let it all hang out - at least then I am sort of wearing what you should wear.

So come Monday morning there is going to be a lot of self talk to just get me there. So hey JB I might need a hug, but make it afterwards because if you do it first I may end up in a puddle of tears.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Memories on Mondays - The Harrings

My Paternal Great Grandparents - Alice Mary (Nicholls) and George Henry Harring

I don't have a lot of memories of Grandpa Harring as he died just before I turned 6, but I do remember him as a quiet man. Through later genealogy research I found he had a very hard childhood and came over to WA from NSW to start a new life as a young man. He met and married Alice and developed a lot of North Perth by building houses and shops.

Grandma is another story - I remember her as being tiny, but very feisty. I remember they had this big house they built but the only place you ever sat was in their kitchen - on special occasions you were allowed to go into the lounge and on those occasions Grandma used to play the piano - I used to love to hear her play.

The kitchen at Grandma and Grandpas was always cosy, there was always a kettle on and cups of tea being had. The tablecloth was always covered with newspaper - just in case there were spills - I don't know if that was only when children came to visit but it was always there when I was there. Children were supposed to be seen and not heard, but I always remember that never stopped me being part of the conversations.

Grandma's kitchen always had a work in progress - a string of silver milk bottle tops (those were the days when milk came in glass bottles and was delivered to your door). Grandma would wash them and add them to the string - when it got long enough she would use them in the garden to stop the birds eating the grapes.

Grandma and Grandpa's house was full of dark jarrah furniture - big beds, big cupboards and big wardrobes. They never pulled the big heavy drapes back in any of the rooms and so as kids we used to peek into the rooms as we passed and wonderful what could be hiding in there.

The kitchen was the only room where there was light and warmth. After my Dad and Mum divorced in 1967 I saw little of this Grandma, but I still remember her in her old cardigan, with her hair pinned up sitting in her kitchen drinking cups of tea.

The Harrings - back when roads were still sand
circa 1907

Saturday, January 9, 2010

I recently asked the question whether to have a Sentimental Sunday or a Memories on Monday series of posts where I scanned old photos/slides and wrote about them.

The vote was 50/50 and so I am having the 1st and 3rd Sunday of every month as Sentimental Sundays and the 2nd and 4th Monday of every month as Memories on Monday. I aim to please.

I would love you to join in, if and when you feel like sharing some of your memories, I will post your link on my blog (with your permission of course) so that others may also read along.

So first cab of the rank this month will be Memories on Mondays on Monday 11th Jan. Hope to see you back here then.

A Dilemma

When I won a recent blog award I had to blog about 10 things you didn't know about me, remember that Number 1 was my loathing for cockroaches? No, well check here.

Thursday night, blissfully working on my computer, and what should appear right in front of me - yep you guessed it a cockroach - so quick scream, while propelling myself backward in my chair across the room, thankfully it has wheels - although on carpet not an easy task, and trying to watch where it went (the cockroach not the chair) so my hubby could come and kill it for me. He comes running with flyspray in hand (as soon as he hears a scream from me he knows there is something to kill), by this time the bloody thing has disappeared from view even though I am watching it (I think they have cloaking devices - fellow StarTrek fans will know what I mean). So hubby sprays in the general direction.

Now another thing I revealed in my 10 thing post (point number 9) was that I stack things, mainly papers, on flat surfaces, well my desk it flat - go figure what is stacked there. And obviously that was where the cockroach had run. So out it comes staggering around, all the time I am over in the corner near the door ready to run into the hall if it somehow launches itself in my general direction (and this wasn't even a flying one). But worst of all, another one also appears out the papers - I mean to say since when do they eat paper? And of course the first dose of flyspray does nothing to kill them, it just pisses them off and makes them run everywhere. So here is hubby trying to kill two, which obviously have a plan of attack as they go in different directions. Being the hunter that he is, he manages to get them both, which was not an easy task as one ended up under the desk and the other on top of the desk.

So I decide it is time for me to put this particular pile of papers and stuff away, with hubby shaking everything to make sure there are no more retched things hiding in there to scare me. You know my life philosophy - good out of bad - well here is a classic example - now my desk is pretty much clear of papers.

Phew, disaster averted.

Yeah right, less than 30 minutes later out of the corner of my eye, what do I spy, another bloody cockroach as bold as brass, sitting on the shelf next to my photo albums, which by the way is right next to where I am sitting. Another scream, and my warrior is back with the trusty can of flyspray and the battle begins again, with my retreating to the other side of the room.

Now this is my study, there are no food stuffs in my study, so what is attracting them here, and why do they only come out at night - go figure what is in the brain of a cockroach - I can't.

So I decide to buy one of those aerosol puffy flyspray things to have in my study, that should keep the buggers away.

But now I have a dilemma - this particular flyspray has a strong perfumed scent and if you remember point 7 in the same blog post - I am allergic to all forms of perfume.

So I sit here now with regular squirts of flyspray permeating the room and while I sit here sneezing my head off with my sinuses going haywire it is safe in the knowledge there are no more cockroaches - but at what price. Of course, knowing my luck, our cockroaches are immune to flyspray and are happily hiding just waiting to jump out at me tonight or worse still moving to the next room of the house - my bedroom.

So remove the flyspray thingy and give my sinuses a break and risk the cockroaches coming back or just start taking more anti-histamines?

A Gift

gift (noun - something voluntarily transferred by one person to another without compensation/the act of giving)

grate•ful (adjective - appreciative of benefits received)

gra•cious (adjective - pleasantly kind, benevolent, and courteous)

source Websters Dictionary

If someone out the kindness of their heart gives you a gift, it is wise to be gracious in your acceptance, you may also be grateful - but I suppose that may depend on the gift.

I am sure that for most of us the following may be our thought process:

I not worthy of the gift bestowed

The gift cost too much

What am I going to do with this gift (more so if the gift is not something you particularly want)

Maybe we should instead do the following:

Think, WOW, someone has taken the time to think of me

Think, WOW, someone cares for me

Think, WOW, this is going to make my life easier/special (if of course the gift is something that will do that for you).

And so on receiving gifts, should we not just accept them as gifts, should we question the motives or concern ourselves with our worthiness. Should we not be grateful that someone took the time to think of us, to do their best to choose something they thought we needed? And above all, should we not be gracious to the giver?

I myself have been known to give 'the look' at receiving some presents (although in my defense that has never been done knowingly, it is just that my face sometimes expresses more than I realise) - and to my family I apologise for that now for I should have be gracious.

I recently have given a gift to someone very important in my life - the response has been such that I wish I had never ever thought of doing so. I know that person never consciously thought their response would upset me (and the issue has been raised and resolved), but it did - but it has also taught me a lesson and so from this point on I will be gracious and grateful for all that I receive because someone took the time to think of me.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Menopausal Brain - Madness

Time : just before Christmas

Scene : our kitchen

Premise : Hubby about to go to Brumbys for bread


Me - Honey while you are there can you get some hot cross buns for Christmas Day

Him - Pardon?

Me - You know, can you see if they still have any hot cross buns left I said I would bring some

Him - What?

Me (thinking he is deaf so saying it slight louder) - hot cross buns - 3 boxes please

Him - Why would you want hot cross buns?

Me - What are you talking about, are you mad?

Him - Honey that is what you said 3 times, think about it.

Me (after thinking about it) - Right that is what I said, but you know what I meant - fruit mince pies!!

Time : New Year's Eve (at midnight)

Scene : Our friends loungeroom

Premise : kiss each other to celebrate

What actually occurred: I kissed hubby on the cheek instead of the mouth, he was aiming for my mouth, but for some reason I aimed for his cheek. Then we spent 5 mins laughing ourselves silly. My only defence I had kissed someone else on the cheek when they left about 30 mins earlier (poor excuse I know).

So ladies, watch out for these signs of menopausal madness - I am sure there will be many more to come.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Will It Be Sentimental Sundays or Memories on Mondays?

My eldest daughter over at childhood101 posted about holidays when she was little, which got me thinking as I was going through my photo album of her (to let her know how old she was in this photo) that I really should scan a lot of my old photos. This in turn led me to contemplate sharing a photo and the story behind it. Now should I do it as Sentimental Sundays or Memories on Mondays? Let me know what you think, and while you do that I will start with the stories (yes there is a recent and an older story) behind this photo.

This photo was taken in 1974 at the beach at Gracetown in the South West of Australia. I was around 18 1/2 and Christie probably around 14 months. My first hubby built a shack at Gracetown with his Dad over a number of years and we used to go down there every spare moment we had. We loved the relaxed atmosphere, he would go surfing and Christie and I would go swimming (this was before my fear of sharks got out of hand, but I would only go if I could see the sandy bottom) and we would all go fishing for herring or whiting. During that summer we lived at Bunbury (also south of Perth) right over from the road from the beach and every morning I would take Christie over there to play - it was the only time I have ever had a tan that lasted any length of time. I really enjoyed those mornings on the beach, we were back home by 10.30 so never got sunburnt.

Now the new story - Christie asked me on FB how to round corners on a photo for her post. She then said something like you will laugh when you see which ones I am using (there was another of just her). I replied - I might grimace if it is one of me. To which she replied, well it is of you looking windswept, then she wrote and buxom. I replied, the one of me in the water with you at Gracetown? She was puzzled how I had guessed - well - this is the only pic of me in bathers where I look both windswept and buxom and so how could I ever forget. Oh, and this was me, when I still loved the way I looked so another reason not to forget.

So, shall is be Sentimental Sundays or Memories on Mondays? Look forward to your thoughts.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

I Wish I Knew

When my m-i-l died she left a lot of untold stories, probably some she didn't even know herself, including this one. When we where dividing up her bits and pieces (boy that sounds callus) we found 4 very old material and cardboard postcards, sent to my m-i-l's mother during the 1st World War. All the children took one of the four and to make it random they drew the cards blindly. The one we got was a Happy Birthday Postcard, beautifully embroidered with the following message on the back.

Dear Flo

Just a card and a little present from London for your 19th birthday. Will you let me know if you receive them. I am up on my 4 days leave I will tell you all about it later. It may be a little late but still better late than never. This is all for the present dear. Errol.

This would have bee sent in 1917 - who was Errol - he doesn't appear to be her brother as I can only find sisters in my genealogy search, he is not her husband who she married when she was about 22 - his name was Keith. He wasn't her father either. Maybe a cousin?

Who he was and what happened to him - I wish I knew, but it is another story left floating in time.

My imagination thinks he was a boyfriend who didn't return from the war - although there was no love written on the card or even any kisses. But that sort of seems romantic although tragic.

A Challenge

I recently read of a challenge where you take a photo every day of the year and blog about it - that's 365 photos and posts - it intrigued me. But I know my limitations eg amount of time once I am back to work and motivation to switch my brain on to do something once I get home. Just doesn't seem likely that I would do it so instead I have decided that February will be the month I take a photo every day and then blog about it. Would you like to join me?


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