Did you ever see such joy?

With the publicity that surrounds the troubles and woes in the world these days it can sometimes be difficult to know what news is real and what is fake.  Occasionally I get extremely fed up with it all and that’s when I take time out from watching and listening to ‘serious’ stuff, coming back to life by moving aimlessly around the web looking for a bit of light relief – and ‘that’s’ when I discover little gems that keep me from wondering ” are we all going bonkers and the end of the world is nigh”

This little video is doing the rounds again on social media.

I will unashamedly say it is just a ‘joy to watch’ and can’t keep the smile off my face as I do so.

Train travel is part of my makeup- 90% of the males on my father’s paternal line worked ‘on the railways’  in Northern Ireland.  My grandad (who I never knew, he being gone before I arrived) worked his way up from a general railway worker (aka labourer) through Fireman to Engine Driver.  I do so love train travel – but sadly (unlike Madeline) I don’t have a record of my first ride 😔

Just watch and enjoy – and smile 😎😊



It’s been a while…..

Mmm, it certainly has been a while….those just ‘for a few weeks’ turned out to be nearly 13 😦

Lots of days reading and walking beaches, lots of days preparing for more ‘away from home’ time, lots of days enjoying faraway places, walking on beaches on tropical islands never visited before, reading and walking on a cruise ship promenade deck as well as watching the ocean pass by as we wended our way home – all that and more.

I took very few photos on our latest trip – it was another ‘rest and relaxation’ ‘enjoy the moment’ one with no strenuous outings.  We did however visit the final home of Robert Louis Stevenson (author of Kidnapped and Treasure Island among many other books)  – a now large rambling house near Apia in Samoa which has been turned into a museum.  I would have loved to spent hours browsing but you know how time is limited when you are on an organised tour 🙂

Anyway I’m home again – spending days enjoying the familiar surroundings of our suburb here in the outer east of Melbourne.  Hopefully over the next few weeks once the ‘silly season’ has finished I’ll get back to regular chats.

Bye for now

PS – I must just add this thought



Just for a few weeks…..

The worldwide interest in Tiny Houses means there are often some ‘interesting’ programmes to watch about them on tv.  There’s a certain something about dinky little houses, some with living space on various levels, some even on wheels so they are towable reminiscent of ‘gypsy’ caravans. Sometimes I think it would be great to live in one – then usually have second thoughts when I think about the things I need around me to live the sort of life I enjoy.  There’d be a tiny house on my block- as well as countless outbuildings to house the assorted paraphernalia stuff I’m referring to above 😏

So each time we decide to come here on our winter trip and I remember the size of the cabin I say to myself ‘it’s just for a few weeks’.  We have the same cabin booked each time so I’m aware I’ll be living in Four rooms in One  for those few weeks so bring the amount of clothing and assorted ‘stuff’ I feel I can handle for that time.

There’s a bedroom with large picture window and hanging space for clothing

A beautifully appointed kitchen/diner with up to date appliances and a small sitting area with comfortable couch


The bathroom (shower/hand basin/toilet) is tucked away behind the sliding panelled door, the view from the ‘kitchen’ window is palm greenery and with  only 9 steps from the mirror end to the window by the bed there’s not a huge amount of floor space, storage is almost negligible yet it doesn’t feel cramped.

Years ago (2008) after our first visit to Bowen I mentioned our little ‘holiday home’ and how small it was to my mum.  I must have caught her on a grumpy day because she quickly retaliated that living in one room is the norm in some parts of the world, reminding me of the term ‘bedsit’ and because of them loads of people actually have a roof over their heads.

Could I live permanently by choice in this little space – I don’t think so.  It’s fun for a few weeks but that’s my limit  Necessity is a different matter altogether.

How about you?  Could you live in a tiny space or do you need room to move (and store your ‘stuff


I once…

Sitting here in the shade this morning, feeling lovely and comfortable in the warmth of the Queensland winter I tried to catch up on some blog reading.  Slow internet here in the van park (and town generally) has made browsing a bit hit and miss so rather than be annoyed I decided a ‘no gadget time’ wouldn’t be a bad thing – until curiosity got the better of me 😎

Anyway, a blogger who hasn’t been well for quite a while, let slip this morning that she had once been a surfer.  That got me thinking about things we might have done over the years that others who know us now would never envisage us doing.

Now as you all know – because it’s certainly not a secret – I’m definitely not a winter person.  Yet once upon a time things were very different.

Many years ago there was a winter sport I loved.

I once spent as many hours as I could snow skiing.

What about you?

Is there anything your younger self did that others couldn’t see you doing?


What lies beyond…..

What lies beyond the trees?

My favourite walking beach of course 😎

Queens Beach  Bowen Far North Queensland

Looking left

Looking right

After 4 long days driving 2,500 kms we are at our journeys end

blue skies – warm sunny days – time to relax

And visit my favourite sitting and reading beach – Rose Bay also at Bowen

As you can see after inspecting this morning all present and correct and waiting to be enjoyed


Just one of the things you can encounter……

So we’d not long started off on Friday morning, travelling from Goondiwindi to Rockhampton in beautiful Queensland when the Highway Patrol appeared with lights flashing, wand waving out the driver’s window to shepherd us all off the bitumen

Then the second one came along making sure we’d really moved over

Then the Pilot car turned up with lights flashing

Because…..this was on the move

Special measures need to be taken when some oversize loads are moved around from place to place.

This would have been going on all the way from where they were coming from to wherever they were going

Have you guessed where I’m going??

Daily Life

Me and my big M……

I really should think before I open my mouth 😊

Chatting with friends in a café recently the topic turned to sport.  With these friends it could be Spring Summer Autumn or Winter – you’ll find the topic of conversation often turns to sport lol

Well, you’d have thought I’d suggested the Pope was an atheist from the gasps when I casually mentioned I wasn’t keen on female sports reporters.

They can have all the knowledge in the world but (to me) as soon as they start to talk it always sounds as though they are trying too hard.  Trying to impress or even outdo male companions on panels or those sharing the commentary of a game……. and don’t get me started on seeing them going into the rooms at half time.

Definitely wasn’t the most politically correct thing to admit to them but it’s my personal feeling!

In amongst the chat that followed that disclosure I mentioned that I also felt uncomfortable watching them play ‘rough’ sports that have always been associated with men like soccer, rugby and aussie rules football.  I realise women have had a very hard time infiltrating these sports and good on the ones who have made a name for themselves doing so but if I choose not to watch them that’s my choice.

Well that went down like a lead balloon!

One person continually tells us she ‘can’t stand’ a particular male commentator and we all accept it.  There’s none of the disparaging remarks that came my way the other day.  How can you be so sexist – how can you be so narrow minded – no amount of discussion gave way to them understanding that not everybody likes the same thing.

I didn’t dare to also say I preferred AFL (aussie rules footy) or NRL (rugby league) to Soccer.  Most of these ladies are English expats and even after being here since the 1960/70s the majority of them still follow their (old) local teams.  I have loathed that style of football since I was a child and don’t intend to start liking it now (but I don’t think I’ll mention that to  them)

Monday Musings

Ever been had….

OMG, what ever is that charge for?  That was the initial reaction to a charge on our credit card.  Certainly didn’t recognise the merchant’s name and certainly didn’t purchase anything for that amount.

I’ll backtrack a little and mention we will be travelling o/s again later this year, so as you have to for some countries, we needed a ‘visa’  – only this one isn’t actually a visa as such but an authorisation to enter a country.  Although I don’t think it’s necessary to identify the country involved I think most travellers will be aware of the one I mean.

As our previous one had just ‘run out I’m trying to get things organised for this trip before we tootle off up north rather than having a list of things to do at the last minute when we get back so I urged someone to get on with it now while we thought about it.

Bad move Catherine!

Seeing the word associated with the document in the merchant’s name on the C.C. I ‘gently’ asked The Golfer which online site he actually used.  Was it the official one?  Can’t remember – so I ‘gently’ asked him to check the browsing history and find out.  Something that usually only costs USD14 shouldn’t be costing USD89 !  Well over AUD100  – each!

More ‘gentle’ persuasion (and investigation) revealed he (The Golfer) had used a website toting a service that would ‘assist Australians’ to get this authorisation for an undisclosed……. until the applicant had pressed enter for the last time…..fee.  Which he says he didn’t really notice!

So after a little look online I discovered it’s been going on for years, we weren’t the first (and probably won’t be the last) to be charged large overinflated amounts for this simple request.

Thinking we’d been scammed and wouldn’t get what we paid for we checked the official site and discovered our e’s’t’a  electronic authorisation to enter had been granted and was attached to our passports. Phew!!

We just paid far more than necessary by getting it from a well presented ‘third party’ website offering a service – nothing illegal or fraudulent – just not the actual official site!

Bad move Golfer!!

So he got in touch with them (via the email they sent) and ‘politely’ asked for a refund – ‘not possible’ to cancel your request because the document had already been processed but they would look at giving ‘some’ of our money back’.

Some is better than none I suppose….the credit did arrive last week….but I wonder how many others (or first timers  not knowing the real cost) have been taken in, not querying the amount?

And I wonder how much is refunded when the site owners are ‘found out’ and wonder at all the monies they do make from their efforts?

So the moral of the story is – check check and recheck anything to do with official documents.

Or you’ll never lose that nasty taste in your mouth and the feeling of being hoodwinked.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

That’s my sorry tale on this Monday – the morning I sit here with a coffee and muse about things in my life

So what traveller’s tales of woe are you willing to disclose?
Have you ever been taken for a ride in the past – were you able to come out of it smiling

Daily Life

Out with the old – in with the new…..

A little bit of the old found at the park during my recent visit – last seasons leaves all crisp and crunchy and brown.  Just lying there, waiting expectantly, waiting to feel little feet scuffling through them and then to be tossed in the air.  All jolly good fun 😊

Below is a little bit of the new (winter bulbs and Flowering Quince) blooming in my rather neglected garden on a rainy day day last week.  A sorely needed treat because I’m feeling decided ‘off’.

An elderly neighbour was whisked suddenly into hospital during the night, a dear friend is also in hospital….a bit poorly her husband said….very very sick was the description I got from a mutual friend.  The Golfer stuffed up an important deed and I need a hairdresser’s appointment but as usual in my own disorganised way have left it too late. Will have to get it done somewhere else.

Life goes on I suppose


Would it be allowed today?

A little bit of light relief after my ‘troubles and woes’ of the last couple of days 😎💕

~ ~ ~ ~

Fed up with being inside on the rainy days of a couple of weeks ago I took advantage of some sunshine last week to take a walk in the park.  The one with the wetlands, long windy paths, views of The Dandenongs and lots of things to keep busy energetic little ones happy.

Little ones like these I could see way up in the distance – mums busy chatting, one with a stroller the other carrying a little girl and the little boy full of beans running ahead.  (I used zoom making sure their faces weren’t visible)

I’d seen them earlier – in and on some of secret places where little ones like these along with their Mums and Dads and maybe big brothers and sisters like to meet.










There are so many pieces of equipment there in the special area of the park designated for children it’s often crowded at the weekend but not so on this day.  A beautiful sunny day but oh so cold, only the hardy were out and about.



~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

And look what turned up on fb that very same day.  I know it’s been doing the rounds for a while but it brought a smile to my face as I remembered when the boys stopped running and pushing and jumped on to spin round with the screaming girls.  And then that awful feeling of floundering around with a spinning head when it stopped 😊

Are any of you old enough to remember them?

I’m curious to know if it would be allowed in any of the playgrounds today


Please let me know

Well I’ve found what I think is a ‘softer’ look so we’ll stay with this one for a while 🙂

The title and header have been rearranged however there is still a lot of white space there still (which for some reason bothers me) – does it look softer than the previous one i.e. the one I had there yesterday?

In a comment on the last post Angela mentioned seeing advertisements – another blogger had also alluded to this a while ago but I didn’t think any more about it – SO could you let me know if they are still there.  When I log out and have a look there’s nothing there so it could just be a haphazard arrangement.

I vaguely remember WordPress saying something about them to keep the site ‘free’ (and yes I know blogger is free but I’ve been there done that and it ended up in tears 😦 ) so if all else fails and they still appear I might (might) have to pay to have my own domain.  Hoping it doesn’t come to that.

As they say – just looking at life in a different way should help.  Here’s hoping it does.

Frustration point here at the moment – wondering if….. well….. we’ll have to wait and see 🙂



Seeing if this works

Hoping this posts as the ‘new’ header
Still having to use the app – nothing happening on the iPad using Safari or Chrome.

Just get a blue screen with a big W in the centre 😩

It’s quite clumsy, certainly not the easiest way to go about things but as The Golfer has first dibs on the PC when he’s home I’m happy I’m not shut out altogether.

Another day tomorrow- here’s hoping it gets easier 😎


All change

Well maybe the problem was because my theme had been ‘retired’ so I’m hoping that changing to another theme will help with my blog problem.

Not sure if I’m all that keen on what I’ve chosen and I’ll try to find another header picture – at least I can access to post on the PC.  I know my iPad has been playing up but I wouldn’t think that was the problem because all other websites were ok.

Anyway we’ll go with this (free) one for a while even though there is an awful lot of white space 🙂

Bye for now



Have had to download the WordPress app because I couldn’t get into the blog any other way. 😟

Couldn’t log in or open it up on the PC or the iPad 😟

Only half the little ‘thingamejigs’ are there – those things that let you go bold or add a table

Is anyone else on WordPress having troubles this morning ?



There are days when all I hear is my mother’s voice

‘Everything comes to those who wait!  –  Patience is a virtue!

There are days I even acknowledge she might have been right 😊😎

Thanks for all the comments on my sleeplessness post.  Things are a bit better – I’m dropping off more quickly and staying asleep longer.  Yes, there’s been some of those dreaded 2hour cycles and there are still some of those ‘why can’t I go back to sleep moments’ but they are definitely much less frequent than before.

The bedroom got a deeper clean than usual, I turned the mattress, then wondering if these really cold nights could’ve been part of the problem added another blanket beneath the sheepskin underlay and finished off by changing my pillows to some from the spare room bed.  At the moment I’m trying out a few handy hints – wind down earlier, no screens before bed, bed socks to keep the feet warm, turn the clock face away They may be making a difference or the problem could just be going away naturally – whichever it is I’m definitely feeling more alive now.

I had to laugh as my GP more or less said the same as Mum would have – no pills to begin with, take it slowly, try working things out and often it just happens when you least expect it!

Patience has been needed on my part to deal with this cold Winter.

Yes mum, I’m waiting patiently.  I know that in just a couple of weeks I’ll be able to dip my toes into the Coral Sea while I relax at Rose Bay in Bowen.

Just wish it would hurry up and arrive 😎

Meanwhile I’ll just think about what to wear tomorrow.  We’re off to the theeateter – going to see the Mamma Mia musical (thank you children for our chrissy present, I’m sure it will be worth the wait). Going in by train so it’ll be a bit on the chilly side because the forecast a little while ago was…….going down to 1c overnight, going up to 13c. Somehow I don’t think it’ll be a posh frock day, more of a boots, trousers and jumper day!

Words for Wednesday

Early one morning…

Sunrise Tuesday 3 July 2018

Early morning thoughts

She’d been so entranced by the early morning sunrise she hadn’t heard the door open behind her.  She stood very still as she sensed the footsteps getting closer.

‘You’re up early’, he said.

‘Mmmm, I woke and couldn’t drop off again, got up and made myself a cup of tea.  Saw this wonderful mix of colours out here so left the warmth of the kitchen to come outside for a better look’

‘And what’s on the agenda for today?’ he asked as he turned to go back inside.

Patsy was caught unawares by that one.  ‘Maybe a bit of shopping, possibly call in at the Animal Shelter with those old towels, I might even go to the gym.   I’ll just play it by ear as the day goes by’

There was no way she was going to tell him exactly what she had planned for her day. It was going to be a mixture of pain and pleasure which she was sure he wouldn’t understand.

She stood there a while longer then suddenly felt the chilly early morning air seeping into her bones

Upermost in her mind was their upcoming trip to Rome.  She was so looking forward to feeling the warmth of the European summer sun which meant it was time to get her legs waxed.  

‘Now what shall I have for breakfast, she muttered to herself, oh, and what time was that appointment?’

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Words for Wednesday is a weekly meme where words or pictures are given as prompts   Vest at The Daily Gaggle is providing the prompts for July – these are today’s

Footsteps – Warmth – Shelter – Mixture – Chilly – Summer

(the sunrise photo was taken from my back deck at 7.30 am yesterday morning)