All posts by Cathy

About Cathy

I may have retired from work but there's no way I've retired from life! 'So what do you do' someone asked me. 'I live, love and laugh' I replied. 'oh and travel as much as possible' Come along and join in my life and travels - I'll be happy to have you there with me.

No wonder I couldn’t find it…

Or possibly – The reason I’ve never been able to find it

A long time ago I read a book by Joanne Harris called Chocolat.  Thoroughly enjoyed it and noticed (on Goodreads) a few years later the author had written a sequel.  Nope not in my library but I could always live in hope of finding it in a second hand bookshop or an op shop.

In the meantime I’ve read and enjoyed more of her books but could not get my hands on the Chocolat sequel I’d been hunting for.  This is what I’ve been looking for  –  The Girl with No Shadow.   

The Girl with No Shadow
(Chocolat #2)
by Joanne Harris (Goodreads Author)

The wind has always dictated Vianne Rocher’s every move, buffeting her from the French village of Lansquenet-sous-Tannes to the crowded streets of Paris. Cloaked in a new identity, that of widow Yanne Charbonneau, she opens a chocolaterie on a small Montmartre street, determined to still the wind at last and keep her daughters, Anouk and baby Rosette, safe.

Shaky Internet yesterday (thank you NBN linesmen) so I popped down to the library to use theirs – had a browse along the shelves and found this – The Lollipop Shoes by Joanne Harris which was put on the pile that came home with me.

The Lollipop Shoes
(Chocolat #2)
by Joanne Harris (Goodreads Author

The wind has always dictated Vianne Rocher’s every move, buffeting her from the French village of Lansquenet-sous-Tannes to the crowded streets of Paris. Cloaked in a new identity, that of widow Yanne Charbonneau, she opens a chocolaterie on a small Montmartre street, determined to still the wind at last and keep her daughters, Anouk and baby Rosette, safe.

What I’ve added is the Goodreads  ‘book blurb’ for both books  – notice anything familiar?  It would appear the same book was published under two different titles.  The first one (the one I’ve been hunting for) was the title in the US – the second one was the title in the rest of the world.  It would have been a real fluke if I had found it here in Australia!

Anyway I’m pleased I found the book I’ve been looking for all this time……even if it was by chance  – let’s just hope it lives up to its reviews and I enjoy it.😊

I’ve been thinking…..

Thinking about how quickly this month is going by.

Here we are into the third week already, there’s something marked on most of the  upcoming days and I’m still trying to get to grips with things that happened during the first week!

  • Thinking about how most of Victoria must be fed up with our changeable weather.  What we think of as Spring weather (dry sunny and pleasantly warm) seems to be taking a long time to arrive – cold wet and windy are the order of the day with a teaser thrown in here and there.
  • Thinking about the days we spent with no landline and consequently no internet courtesy (it finally turned out) of the NBN line layers working in our and nearby streets.  The Telstra technician who came (read that as finally turned up days later) to ‘find’ the fault……over $100 to pay if it was on our side of the socket (entry point) nil if on the other……mentioned it could (more than likely, would) happen again if ‘they’ had to work in the pit opposite our house.
  • Thinking about for one reason or another I seem to have spent an awful lot of time waiting  these past weeks.  So many queues – so many waiting rooms.  Luckily I plan for delays and take a book (or knitting) –  good for some situations, a bit awkward in some 😊
  • Thinking about a CT scan and how previous findings marked moderate are now read as severe.  How changes happen without you really noticing until, bam, they are very noticeable.
  • Thinking about other readings (BP) and how they have suddenly changed.  Family history and pain can do that, the GP said.  We’ll change your medication- ‘cept the chosen one may have side effects.  Like what, I asked.  Oh swollen ankles, nothing to worry about.  Well we’ll cross that bridge when or if we get to it.


So you don’t think I’ve only had ‘pain in the a****’ things to think about…..I’ve been

  • Thinking about how pleased I am that choir rehearsals have begun again (for me that is). There is a U3A promotional concert tomorrow morning so it’s been hectic but fun catching up on songs learnt and practiced while we were away.
  • Thinking about how lucky we are here in Melbourne to attract international exhibitions at the NGV.  The decision we made to leave The Terracotta Warriors until the last week was so well worth the long wait in line.  A late afternoon slot meant there were no crowds, giving us room to move and look at things from different angles.
  • Thinking how glad we checked the pile of gift cards languishing in the bedroom – we forget when they run out – and there was a Gold Class (cinema) one, obviously a present from last year because it was due to expire this month.   The Golfer signed up for a new seniors scheme run by the cinema chain which meant we received discount on the seats as well as food; and you know how they charge like a wounded bull so we were able to have more to eat than originally planned 😊
  • Oh and Downton Abbey was what we saw.  I didn’t watch the tv series so not knowing all the back story, to me it was just a grand showy film about the goings on in a ‘big house’ – twists and turns and what seemed to me an ending that left a way for another production about the same characters.

And then there was someone and something I’ve been thinking of for a few weeks now.

Not long after my dear friend died last month her daughters popped in with a gift.  They’d been ‘spreading their mother’s love’ around her friends and would like us to have something of hers.  A bag of mill ends  from Spotlight 😊  Their mother knit for various charities and that was what they wanted us (the recipients) to do.  No problem where I was concerned- I was to knit something for charity and they’d drop in again sometime to see what I’d come up with.

They did pop in again- Just the other day – And this is what I showed themTwo small cardigans (size 3 months) and enough wool left for two more 😊

Are you willing to share the Good, the Bad and the Ugly in your life at the moment?

Do you know what today is?….

Today- the first Friday in October is World Smile Day.

Started in 1999 by Harvey Ball the creator of the smiley face (😊) who thought that we, all of us worldwide  should devote one day each year to smiles and kind acts  source

The weather today was the opposite of the past two days, cold and damp so I didn’t go far, just down to the local woollies to pick up a few bits.  Even though you really want to, trying to smile when your aching doesn’t always happen but I did succeed in making someone else smile.

There’s a promotion on at the moment where the supermarket chain is giving away gardens  (little containers of seeds/soil) in an attempt to get children interested in growing their own food.  Well, not quite giving them away – spend so much and then you get one (or two or more!)

There was a mum standing behind me In the lineup at the till and the children with her were getting restless (slightly understated there lol) so as my ‘few bits’ ended up being quite a few bits and i usually say no thank you when offered the giveaways I decided to offer them to the family instead.  Well you’d have thought all their Christmases had come at once – lots of smiles all round.  Which had me smiling as well 😊  We all need to remember:-

There once was a time….

Oh yes, there once was a time when I could do lots of things without making a noise 🙄

They really were good times 😊

After groaning  outloud and following up with a quick ‘ouch’ trying to put my shoes on at the GP’s yesterday I ended up having another CT scan on my lower back.  It’s a few years since the initial diagnosis so we’ll see what changes have happened in that time.  Spinal Stenosis can be a pain- in your back, hips, legs, even your bumalumsky lol

October has arrived- dry and sunny and quite warm at the moment…..although I do believe the weather gods have plans to change that.  I changed some of the bedding, removing the ‘spare’ queen size quilt that is used for really cold nights;  since we came back it’s been sitting on the chair looking very forlorn so today I thought a bit of sunshine to air it off would be good and then pack it away for ‘hopefully’ a very long time!

There once was a time when I’d bound down the back steps to hang it over the big line in the back garden but today I got The Golfer to drape it over the little whirligig on the deck.  It was an easy option to get him to do it before he tootled off to the city – I’ll be able to bring it in later without getting tangled up in the line – sure as fate if it was on the big one I’d end up with it over my head as I tried to dislodge it, then fall flat on my face trying to get up the steps!

October means birthdays – mine and The Golfers.  It also means a frantic look through the gift cards in the cupboard to see if any expire this month!

There was a time when businesses would acknowledge customers on their  birthday- you’d get cards in the post, discounts on lots of services, I remember (many many years ago) one of my hairdressers gave a free shampoo and set.  Mine just texts a Happy Birthday greeting now.  One place The Golfer does get a gift from is the club… one time it was a free meal and drink for himself (plus a tiddly little birthday cake) and similar value meal for a guest.Not these days now – just a monetry voucher.

I received a little ‘card’ from the optician the other day.  Oh that’s great, I thought until I turned it over.  Always a catch isn’t there.  Spend $400 to get $100 off – yes 25% – there was a time when I would have jumped at the offer but no good to me now, my days of dressing to impress are long gone lol

Oh dear, look at the time  – it’s nearly 2 o’clock – I spent some time fiddling about on here this morning changing my theme again.  Hopefully I’ll settle on this one even if I can’t get the photos to enlarge if they’re ‘clicked on’

Bye for now.


Have you read?….









‘When you want to, you’ll find a way to do it’

My mother’s words when she decided I needed to sort out a problem myself.

Those words always come to mind when I use the above trick of using the coasters to keep my page open….so I can read and knit at the same time.  It can get a bit windy on the deck and I couldn’t keep the page open so a long time ago came up with the idea of propping the book against the circle of friends and using the coaster.  I found a way 😊

Reading’s been slow since we got home, after devouring (10) books while we were in Bowen, I’ve only read two in the last three weeks.  Two I thoroughly enjoyed.

Written by Australian author Joy Dettman and set in Melbourne I wizzed through   The Silent Inheritance (2016) in just a few days.

It started slowly as all the characters were introduced- then became more interesting as each of their stories developed and their lives became entwined.  A serial killer, bits of humour, past lives, families plus a lottery windfall,  with an ending I thought was possible yet was surprised when it actually turned out that way.

Page 9:-  For 20yrs the company had rented spacious rooms in an elderly building where an elderly lift made frequent requests for retirement.  It appeared too to be losing it’s memory.  He’d hit the ground floor button but was delivered to the basement car park

~ ~ ~

 The Girl in the Ice (2016) written by Robert Bryndza (a new to me author) was completely different.  Described as a crime thriller/mystery it certainly was a page turner with short chapters that added just enough to the story to keep you wanting more.

A new police officer (with a past), police procedure, families, more murders brought into the mix, red herrings, little bits of ‘thoughts,’ from the murderer and an ending I certainly didn’t see coming

Book Blurb:- when a young boy discovers the body of a woman beneath a thick sheet of ice in a South London park, Detective Erika Foster is called in to lead the murder investigation.  The victim, a beautiful young socialite, appeared to have the perfect life.  Yet when Erika begins to dig deeper, she starts to connect the dots between the murder and the killings of three prostitutes, all found strangled, hands bound and dumped in water around London.

~ ~ ~ ~

Talking of endings, its coming to the end of a coolish Monday, the last Monday in September….gosh where did this month go?  After a quick walk this morning I met with a friend and passed on both books for her to read (and hopefully enjoy).   Then I spent a quiet afternoon trying to decide what would be my next charity project.

And of course being Monday I took a little time over my afternoon green tea (giving the morning coffee up for while) wondering, wondering when I can get hold of another of the Erika Foster series (7 in all!) and whether Joy Dettman will  bring those same Melbourne characters to life in another book?  There ‘was’ a finish to the storyline yet it was a very open ending which could lead to series.

Oh and back to my original question- I’d be interested to know if any of you have read either of these books?  If so what were your thoughts?

It’s not all lying around in the sun you know…

That’s what I told an acquaintance (a friend of a friend) the other day…..after she said, “I’d get bored stiff sitting about in the sun all day”

Well I said….’I only visit my special little bay, maybe three mornings a week, for about two hours. Arrive about 9.15am, pack up and leave about 11am…..back to the cabin just in time for coffee with The Golfer when he finished his morning round’

You see, you can take a book along and read on the beach or close your eyes and enjoy the fresh sea air BUT you can’t (or at least I can’t) do any Winter Knitting!  Never mind not wanting sand in your sarnies…..sand in your sweaters is just not on lol

I decided to concentrate on small woollies this year (newborn- 6months), took just two of my basic patterns with me, some white, some solids plus a lot of small balls of this and that…..and came up with 10 little baby cardigans.

Three with crossover fronts – an easy fit for newborns.

Crisp yellow or blue stripes old size 18” (3-6 months) in a timeless medium button style.

Same size but with not enough of the green, pink or grey to make a complete garment, after a little bit of thinking, a bit of visualising, I ended up with two of what I call – half & halves.

Same size again, using the same stitch count, here are three solids made to look a bit different by adding a rib pattern on a couple and a few purl  rows on the ‘right’ side of another.

I spent yesterday finishing off, sewing on buttons, checking I’d actually sewn all the seams and generally making them ready to hand over to the charity.

What’s next for my needles?  Thinking…..Thinking  lol.

I have a lot of wool still to use up and a few ideas in mind.   Maybe something a bit larger….possibly for 2yr olds??

It didn’t seem right…

It’s a funny feeling trying to enjoy life and yet be true to feelings lying down below that smiling facade.  It’s been such a sad time recently –

Firstly trying to console a granddaughter who’d been through a week of trauma waiting to find out where her longtime friend was.  She’d known her friend since their first day at school… from 5 yr olds in preps until graduating a short while ago at the end of year 12.  Always in the same class, going to each other’s home after school, seeing each other at the weekend.  All gone now when her friend and boyfriend died in their car in a nearby forest.  Two young local lives lost The rason why (or how) not known – the exact cause of the ‘accident’ hasn’t been released yet.

Then trying to cope with my own feelings of grief coupled with witnessing a family torn over their same grief.  My darling friend had always made it known that when the time came she wanted to be buried next to her first husband, her children’s father who had died young.  Her plot ‘was sitting there waiting’ she’d say.  There is a little problem in that when she remarried the family moved to another town and her daughters feel she should be buried here in Melbourne alongside the second husband.  After visting and paying my respects I left the girls in their mother’s kitchen in the middle of a rip roaring argument heated discussion over where their mother’s ashes were to go!

Over the past year or two my darling friend had become more housebound, missing out on coffe mornings and outings but loving it when others described their days out and trips away; videos and photos never seemed to bore her, she’d tell us we (plus travel shows) were her window to the world.

So when The Golfer reminded me we had tickets to the theatre on Sunday to see a show I’d been looking forward to, initially I was in that ‘not right to be happy’ mood, but remembering A’s positive attitude about not shirking and taking enjoyment from whatever means she could,  I decided not to wallow in my ‘it’s not fair’ state of mind, took some knitting to do on the train and put on an eager face.

And am so glad I did.

Using a stage with minimal set design, plus a few (continuously  rearranged) tables and chairs……a very small cast (playing a lot of roles) along with a handful of musicians told the story of the love and friendship shown to a lot of ‘unexpected visitors’ from away.  From away being their term for people from out of the Province.

Having visited Newfoundland twice, we’d experienced it ourselves. There’s a joke in the show that describes how (jokingly) the majority of Newfies have a problem with knock knock jokes.

“knock knock”……….”who’s there”…..”don’t know, but come on in”

Wrong season for Mummers but they did get an Ugly stick into it!

Box of chocolates time…

Thank you all for you comments on my post last Wednesday, I was going to follow up on the state of the garden by whingeing about creeping oxalis and how rampant it had become while I was away – it seems to have taken over and made itself quite at home in every spare patch of ground.

But then a couple of things happened to take my mind off such a mundane event.

The sudden death of a good friend a couple of days ago (Thursday) plus another friend being hospitalised with a stroke….both on the same day…has really knocked me for six.

So as I said – the chocolate box quote says it all.

“Life is like a box of chocolates- you never know what you’re going to get”

In again, begin again….

Recently a much needed about turn in attitude was called for…..accept what you can’t change and make what you can of what you’ve got.

‘Right’ is where I’d rather be but honestly ‘Left’ is becoming more ‘right’ these days so it’s almost like being back at the beginning again 😊

And talking of beginning again…..we’re home from sunning it up north….. like Michael Finnegan I’m here to begin again.  Complete with new attitude!!

Now going by the calendar Spring is supposed to be here but going by the recent overnight temperatures there seems to be an awful lot of Winter left…..however the days are getting warmer so I’m going to make the most of them.

I’m not sure what happened in our garden while we were away…..there’s so much damage to some of the plants and bushes it looks like a horde of elephants dropped in and had a party…..which means book reading is on hold (well, for the time being) and the secateurs will be at the ready.  It was so cold and wet before we left, apart from trimming the roses I left everything else to their own devices…….no whingeing , no moaning, no reason to, it’s not cold nor wet, the time to tame has finally arrived!!

Nothing stays the same…

Things change – we know they do.  Nothing stay the same forever. Yet when some changes happen we aren’t always pleased… are we.

We’ve been coming up here for over 10 years now and much has changed…the weather (cyclones and storms) has changed much of the infrastructure.  Money comes and money goes from this little community…..many business’ have closed… and yet others that seem to cater to tourism seem to be thriving

A great deal of the film/movie ‘Australia’ was shot here so it gained a bit of publicity from that…..some businesses are still ‘trading’ on the fact the ‘stars’ were regular customers and I’m sure some locals are still using their ‘extras’ work as ‘dinner party’ conversations 🙂

The lovely place we stay in each time we visit has changed hands.  Previously owned by a local couple, they purchased it (2005) as a very run down caravan park and transformed it into a clean welcoming friendly place with a 4* rating in all the tourist brochures, almost a home from home.  We did know it was up for sale – no investment money around – so each year we’d turn up and be met by Craig and Donna and know we were in good hands.

Anyway last January, just four months after we drove home in the September the new business owners took over.  Now it has a commercial feel about it.  No smiles in the office, a penny pinching feel about the place.  Lots of ‘signs’ about the place….do this, don’t do that.  Washing machines are now xx$ to use, the free to use BBQs are not free any more.  There is some free internet provided, we feel they changed providers because the  service is nothing like it used to be (‘better’ deals are not always better – they service is ‘lousy’ to put it politely)

Items in ours and the other cabins have been depleted, tiny things that ‘made’ the place different to any other cabin we’ve staying in during our travels.  We’ve used the same cabin for the last 8 years so were very familiar with the inventory.


~ ~ c~~c ~ ~c

So I wrote that after a ‘run in’ with the office.  I’m still ropable but coming back down to earth.  I’m in good health, the sun is shining, it’such much warmer than at home, and…..I’ll get over it.

Monday Musings are just that!  Non Verbal ‘Thinkings’ not meant to be Whinges….. but today I’m not in good form.  How’s your Monday shaping up??


Psst…Do I have a bargain for you!

You may or may not have seen this before – whichever way….Just enjoy 😊

iPads for sale

Real Good Opportunities at Best Bargains Galore

Hello everyone

If you are interested in getting an iPad I can get hold of them through a contact

Now these are legit, not off the back of a truck

They are from a cancelled hospital contract due to the governments cutbacks

However the numbers are limited

I have 20 going for less than half the price so it’s first come – first served

I have already sold one
(see pic below)

Get back to me quick as you can if you want one

You know what they say
– laugh and the world laughs with you –
Cry and you cry alone

Now you wouldn’t want to be lonely would you??

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Sometimes we need a Silly Saturday – today’s the day! Enjoy 😊😊


Terrible Internet here – drops out….at the drop of a hat!  We’ve been here a week tomorrow…..slowly settling in for the long haul !

People ask me every year – Why drive four days?

So the Golfer can play here

So I can play here

But mainly- So we can enjoy a little winter warmth 😎

See you next week….I hope 😊

You had one job….

It wasn’t the best start to the day!

I’d finished my one planned ‘job’ for the day … have a bit of a freezer clear out.   Oh look, four slices of fruit loaf left – just the thing for elevenses.  At 10.30! 😊

One last job – make coffee and fruit loaf for The Golfer and me.  Then we were off out for the day.

Being the polite dutiful wife person that I am…..I served him first – then popped the other two slices in the toaster….minus one corner that had somehow broken off in the freezer.

Result – burnt! And no more left to make me another serving 😥

How on earth could I manage that after all the times/years I’ve used this toaster and never burnt anything before?

Well I’m having the last laugh because I’ve relegated the little so and so back into the cupboard where he…..yes definitely a ‘he’ ….can wait ’til we return and put him to work again.  In a few weeks time!

Cool clear waters….

Cool it may be outside, the skies might have been clear for the past couple of days but we’re expecting lots of churning waters in the next 24hrs.  Still Waters they won’t be

Little things are sent to try us…..another of my mother’s sayings.

Like prices rising a dollar or two…not a lot yet when the total sale is recorded turns out to be more than a lot.

Like nipping into the local supermarket – in jeans runners and windcheater, hair pinned back, bare face – only to ‘bump into’ the only person you know who ‘dresses’ for grocery shopping.

Like illness striking at the most annoying time.  Still waiting for improvement to see if The Golfer is able to drive at the end of the week.  He golfed yesterday, declaring his leg felt much better……maybe…possibly…,we’ll get off on time.

Like trying to roll over on those new sheets…….after a couple of washes they are definitely much softer yet as The Golfer says….it’s like trying to roll over Velcro.

Heres the blurb from the manufacturer’s website:-

For dreamy slumber made cosy and warm, opt for the brushed polyester feel of the Plain Thermal Flannelette Sheet Set from XXXX

Pure polyester in a microfibre finish for warmth and comfort
One side is brushed in a flannelette surface for a classically fluffy texture and plush feel
Easy care fabric is wrinkle resistant for lasting good looks
Generous wall on the fitted sheet so making the bed is a breeze and the sheet stays secured to the mattress throughout the night
Ideal for adding an extra layer of warmth to your bed in winter — so cosy and comfortable you’ll never want to leave the bed
Plain dye for an effortlessly stylish palette to complement your bed linens for years to come
All XXXX products comply with international ethical standards and undergo quality assurance tests to ensure your peace of mind

They were more likeable 2nd time on the bed and they did have a comfy warm feeling to them but obviously ‘Thermal Flanelette’  wasn’t what I thought it was.  Hopefully the warmer weather will have arrived when we get back in September so they can live at the back of the linen cupboard waiting for those really cold weeks in winter.  Next winter that is 😎

Old joke renewed..

Look what’s doing the rounds again – turned up in my inbox the other day 😊

The Barman and the Duck

A duck walks into a pub and orders a pint of beer and a ham sandwich.

The barman looks at him and says, ‘Hang on! You’re a duck.’

‘I see your eyes are working,’ replies the duck.

‘And you can talk!’ exclaims the barman.

‘I see your ears are working, too,’ says the duck.

‘Now if you don’t mind, can I have my beer and my sandwich please?’

‘Certainly, sorry about that,’ says the barman as he pulls the duck’s pint.

‘It’s just we don’t get many ducks in this pub. What are you doing round this way?’

‘I’m working on the building site across the road,’ explains the duck. ‘I’m a plasterer.’

The flabbergasted barman cannot believe the duck and wants to learn more, but takes the hint when the duck pulls out a newspaper from his bag and proceeds to read it.

So, the duck reads his paper, drinks his beer, eats his sandwich, bids the barman good day and leaves.

The same thing happens for two weeks.

Then one day the circus comes to town.

The ringmaster comes into the pub for a pint and the barman says to him,

‘You’re with the circus, aren’t you?’

‘ Well, I know this duck that could be just brilliant in your circus. He talks, drinks beer, eats sandwiches, reads the newspaper and everything!’

‘Sounds marvellous,’ says the ringmaster, handing over his business card. ‘Get him to give me a call.’

So the next day when the duck comes into the pub the barman says, ‘Hey Mr. Duck, I reckon I can line you up with a top job, paying really good money.’

‘I’m always looking for the next job,’ says the duck. ‘Where is it?’

‘At the circus,’ says the barman.

‘The circus?’ repeats the duck. ‘

That’s right,’ replies the barman.

‘The circus?’ the duck asks again.

‘That place with the big tent?’ ‘

Yeah,’ the barman replies.

‘With all the animals who live in cages, and performers who live in caravans?’ says the duck.

‘Of course,’ the barman replies.

‘And the tent has canvas sides and a big canvas roof with a hole in the middle?’ persists the duck.

‘That’s right!’ says the barman.

The duck shakes his head in amazement, and says ……………

‘Why the h……would they need a plasterer?’

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Fun Friday – the day we forget the worries of the week 😊

Teddy Bear Teddy Bear…Hong Kong style

Beside the escalators in the big ‘open all hours’  apm shopping centre Hong Kong

A shopping mall for the young and trendy

1 November 2017

You know all those craft supplies you have just waiting to be used…’s a Sweet Smelling, Soft and Flowery idea

~ ~ ~

And here’s one Just for the Young…

Wordless Wednesday occurs all over the Internet each Wednesday, when bloggers let photos speak for themselves.

Click the link below to see what bloggers have to say Wordlessly (or almost)

Wordless Wednesday.