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. http://cranethie.com

It all adds up…..

I had a friend once who needed to save some ’spending money’ for a holiday she was planning. She decided to give up buying all those glossy monthly magazines she loved.
So after opening an account at the library, she then opened an account at a different bank to the one she normally used.

When the library received it’s copies of those same magazines she’d borrow them, then magazine in hand go into the bank and deposit the cost price into the savings account.

She said it was a win – win situation for her. She didn’t miss out on something she enjoyed and little by little (by paying herself the price of the magazine) her spending money grew.

~ ~ ~ ~

I gave up buying books a long time ago, they were going up in price and after retiring my attitude to some things changed. I began to resent all that money just sitting there on the book shelves so my library card very quickly became my book credit card.

But it wasn’t until a few months ago I began to wonder just how much I was actually saving. I didn’t (like my friend did) go the whole hog and physically save the cash…mine was saved virtually.

I’d seen an idea on another blog where the blogger wondered if…..using library books only ….she could ’save’ an amount equal to her yearly council rates.
My curiosity didn’t stretch that far – I just wondered how much all these books I was reading….wherever they came from…..would have cost in the real world.
Like her I used an Australian online bookshop Booktopia to ’price’ my books and to make it easy any price ending over 50¢ was rounded up, anything under 50¢ went down and anything at 50¢ stayed as is.

Well, as the title says….it all adds up….I worked out that the cost of those 52 books I read to achieve my Goodreads challenge would have been in the region of ….

1240AUD – 676GBP – 909USD

So it’s a good job I I gave up buying because I’d never be able to afford it if I did!
How about you – do you have a money tree dedicated to books growing in your back garden?


The heat is on….

We all have our likes and dislikes don’t we?
Things we will do willingly – others we baulk at.

Any time I was asked to provide something for a cake stall I’d offer a cash donation instead or put myself down for double time manning the stall.
Cake or scone making were not my idea of good fun.

Same with knitting donations.
I’ll willingly knit all sorts of items for my chosen charities…..except for one.

Guess what item my group decided on for their latest winter drive?
The one item on my ’really do not enjoy making’ list 😊

2 down – ????more to go!

So as strange as it might seem here on the first day of Summer, the heat is on for each of us to make as many of these (in different sizes) as we can by the time we meet again mid February

Which will go a long way to making sure the stock cupboard will be full at the start of the cold weather next May.

What I’ve got against them is a mystery, because the toddler size is so easy to knit – and so adaptable as well. They don’t have to have stripes – they could be completely plain if you want and it doesn’t have to be a single rib band… 2×2 could work just as well.


Are there things you’ll do but not enjoy…..things you do, not because you have to or want to….things you do while muttering under your breath the whole time….and then wonder what all the fuss was about when you finish?

And if you’d like to find out a little more of what other people have been up to – you really must visit…..  Unraveled Wednesday  hosted by Kat…….As Kat Knits.  

There’s lots of knitting of a far higher standard than my Nana Knits there plus reading as well. I wrote about my recent readings the other day – which you’ll find HERE.

Read-a-lot November

Towards the end of October I mentioned the Goodreads challenge I ‘work’ on each year. What with one thing or another I was way behind and had wondered whether I’d actually finish or not …….but look – this just popped up …….I did it!


So the question is – how did that happen a whole month before I intended it to?

Well, it would seem that because of all that cold wet weather we had over the past few weeks I didn’t feel like getting my hands dirty in the garden (plus the fact If I got down I couldn’t get up) so when a lot of my ordered library books all turned up at the same time I chose to sit around and do nothing but read. Not a hard choice at all – agreed😊

Out of all those I read, one stood out. One which looked like a smallish quick to read book that turned into a really great read by a new to me author. A crime/mystery set in Melbourne during WW2 involving the newly formed Homicide division of Vic Police. Very easy to read, mostly dialogue with a little bit of possibly unintentional humour in the writing

The bathroom was tiled in green…..and the reflected light gave a bilious cast to the very dead face of the man who lay in the generously proportioned bath.  He looked to be in his sixties and was fully clothed; his features were remarkably composed, given that the back of his head and his brains were spread across the chip heater and the wall behind.”

“It’s Latin’, he said.  Do you read Latin, Sergeant? No, sir.  Latin isn’t big in Jewish families.

as well as a lot of ’not known to me’ history of military matters and ‘unsavoury political groups’ evident at that time.

The Holiday Murders ~ Robert Gott – (2013)

Book blurb:-……If only the killings had stopped at two. The police are desperate to come to grips with an extraordinary and disquieting upsurge of violence. For Constable Helen Lord, it is an opportunity to make her mark in a male-dominated world where she is patronised as a novelty. For Detective Joe Sable, the investigation forces a reassessment of his indifference to his Jewish heritage. Racing against the clock, the police uncover simmering tensions among secretive local Nazi sympathisers as a psychopathic fascist usurper makes his move.

And guess what….this is No.1 in a series 😊

There were several all involving babies.  Also their mothers, their fathers, and the lengths they will go to protect each other.

  • Harnessing Peacocks ~ Mary Wesley – (1985). Hebe sits in the darkness and listens to her hypocritical grandparents and her older siblings discuss how her unexpected pregnancy must be terminated to avoid the shame it will bring. 
  • The Couple Next Door ~ Shari Lapena – (2016) Your neighbour told you that she didn’t want your six-month-old daughter at the dinner party. Nothing personal, she just couldn’t stand her crying.
  • The Foundling ~ Stacey Halls – (2020) Six years after leaving her illegitimate daughter Clara at London’s Foundling Hospital, Bess Bright returns to reclaim the child she has never known.
  • The Sister’s Gift ~Barbara Hannay – (2020) Two sisters, one baby and the best of intentions…

As well as a couple of others seen or recommended on other blogs.  It’s hard to go past those ‘books read’ lists….you never know what you’ll find !  

  • The Long Call ~ Anne Cleeves –  (2019) In North Devon, where two rivers converge and run into the sea, Detective Matthew Venn stands outside the church as his father’s funeral takes place
  • Death of a Busybody ~ George Bellairs – (1942) The eponymous nosy parker in Death of a Busybody is Miss Ethel Tither. She has made herself deeply unpopular in the quintessentially English village of Hilary Magna, since she goes out of her way to snoop on people, and interfere with their lives. 

If you’re interested, all the 2021 challenge books are listed in the Books Read page under the header photo. Hopefully there’ll be more added at the end of December

Pardon….say that again

Like many other bloggers I keep a record of the books I read – I even keep lists here on the blog. See Books Read above. Just occasionally readers will comment on the books, more often on a post I’ve written but I ‘have’ received one or two on the book page itself. Which is surprising but nice just the same.

Until, like recently, when there were loads of them……this sort of them

They’re not the nasty ‘don’t want them on my blog’ ones…..just strange ’english is not my first language’ type and with WordPress’s system of skimming off into another folder what they think is spam, I have the option of ’publish or delete’ (by the way, nothing in there ever does get published)

The fun (if there is fun in checking spam comments) is seeing those recent ones on the book pages…..funny to read – not funny if you click on the links they provide – (which obviously I haven’t….shown you or clicked) So I thought you might like a giggle – just remember these are all on pages containing lists of books I’ve read not postings on the main blog

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Am I weird in wanting to rewrite them so they read correctly??

Fun Friday – the day we leave the troubles of the week behind

How come….

Note arrived from brother accompanied by this ’photo’

How come If mum was Irish and we never lived in Yorkshire, she put this on the tea table?

Actually she added sliced tomatoes as well but I’ve no idea why she put onions, cucumber and tomato into a marinade of vinegar then served it along with cold cuts.

All I know is I disliked it then and still do……like my salads clean – naked – no dressing at all.

Vinegar goes on Fish and Chips 😊

~ ~ ~ ~

Is it truly a Yorkshire dish?

Did we ever find the answer??

I’m not sure what the question was or even if there was an answer

These turned up in a box out in the garage

I remember them as interesting reads at a time when I needed a bit of encouragement

Thinking back, I wasn’t a sheep, following along with everyone else, but strangely was ambitious yet didn’t want to be ’the big boss’ – what I was really interested in was what ’the big boss’ thought and how they might have gone about things.

At that time the words ’self improvement’ never entered my mind – what these books (and more) gave me (because they were always being mentioned in the staff room) was a small insight into how and why some of my colleagues and ’superiors’ thought (and acted) in those days.

I’m still cross we lent the ever popular Think and Grow Rich to a ’friend’ never to see it again yet still remember Hill’s first principle of success being Desire.

Anyway that was a long time ago now and guess what……Of all the advice I gleaned at the time …Dress Well and Be Nice …is what I remember the most 😊

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I had a week off from the blog, not writing or reading or answering comments……because ’The Back’ ‘flared up’ and has been a problem again I’ve been indulging in a self pity party – not wanting to talk to anyone, feeling angry (it’s not fair!) knowing tears don’t solve anything yet wallowing in misery. Which has got to stop!

I feel another quiet week coming up I think. A warm sunny one I hope
It’ll soon be breakfast time – time for another cup of tea…..will it be cereal, toast and marmalade this morning or porridge with cinnamon sugar and a handful of sultanas?
Then afterwards maybe I’ll dip into those books again and refresh my memory on how to Think Big – Win Friends – Look Good – Read Body Language – and Communicate Well With Everyone 😊

Curious to know if anyone else read these or any similar books and did you find them useful at the time? As some of them are still in print people must think the ideas haven’t dated and are still be relevant to life in the 21st century.

Just because

Those old phones have a lot to say for themselves don’t they 😊



Life was much simpler when these were in use – small neat fitted comfortably into my hand – there was an awful lot of talk done on this one!

And just because I’m not in a talkative mood right now doesn’t mean I can’t smile 😊


Fun Friday – the day we leave the troubles of the week behind

Guess what….

Not sure if you’re aware of this

and I’m wondering how you might feel about the fact

that we might be in for another wet summer here in Australia


The ENSO Outlook remains at La Niña ALERT. This means that the El Niño-Southern Oscillation is currently neutral, but the chance of La Niña forming in the coming months is around 70%. This is roughly three times the normal likelihood of an event forming in any year.”

A La Niña ALERT is not a guarantee that La Niña will occur, rather it is an indication that most of the typical precursors of an event are in place. La Niña events increase the chance of above average spring and summer rainfall in northern and eastern Australia ”

source 26/10/2021 – http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/enso/outlook/

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/sep/15/bureau-of-meteorology-warns-of-floods-with-double-likelihood-of-la-nina-predicted-for-australia

Not in my house…..

Yes, it’s Monday!

For years Monday was always referred to as Wash Day……that gave it the rest of the week to get it dry and ironed before Sunday. But did you know that for a long time wash day (known as the great/grand wash only came round
maybe every three to six months.

If like me you’re a fan of everything old and interesting have a look at this site – lots of quirky facts there about what is described as domestic paraphernalia….. fabulous info about things from around the house. Want to know about washing machines pre 1800…look no further than here. Tablecloths in the middle ages, mangles, history of pressure cooker….it’s all there.

Unlike a lot of my friends (even in these days of ’automatic washing machines’) Wash Day in my house has never been on a set day. Two adults + five children = a lot of people = an awful lot of clothes to be laundered ….so when there was a load out came the washing machine. My granny would have turned in her grave if she’d have known I washed on a Sunday but it did happen…..now and again.

I wonder if I’m the only one who loves the sight of a line full of laundry blowing in the wind? There’s a soft gentle comfortable look about it..….yes, even if it’s a line full of mens shirts, jocks and socks
Which is really strange because I’m the least domesticated person you’d ever come across – I’m sure there are many like me who would much rather sit with a book than do housework. There was more play with the children than housework when they were little as well.

After having so many rainy days where everything had to be dried on the back deck, it was good to get some dry sunny days with a bit of a breeze so I was able to launder a woollen blanket, hang it on the big line and know It wouldn’t need all week to dry


What is a constant in my day (each and every day) however is an early cup of tea 🫖☕️

Putting the kettle on in the daylight is still a novelty – I can see how the day is beginning but have to go by the BOM forecast for how it may end. If the one from early evening yesterday is anything to go by it’ll be a case of close the window overnight …….or put the blanket back on the bed!

Linking to Life this Week hosted by Denyse at Denyse Whelan Blogs. 
Do pop over and see what others have been up to this week

Walking in sunshine…

Sunny not too hot days are just right for a wander round the local park, especially for my first one since getting home from Queensland.

(Photos will enlarge with a tap/click or using two finger spread)

Going in past the decorated toilet block…not too far from the playground. A load off parent’s mind not having to trail far when little ones say all of a sudden ’I need to go Mum’

Round to the fenced part of the ’lake’ where I ’met’ this lovely lady. “She’s a rescue and quite timid” ”She has a name but it doesn’t suit her so I’m thinking about another one” “Yes you can take her photo but don’t come too close”

So I stood at the railings and watched a little unnamed duck turning circles looking for something to eat before I took a couple of quick photos of the dog

But where to from there I wondered
Along the sunny straight but not narrow or along to the right and up the windy hill?

Right it was, because I knew as I walked past the wetland area I’d get a view of the hills with the TV masts sitting there on the top. There they are, in front of the clouds

And if you look really carefully you’ll see the (hopefully I’ve identified it correctly) Heron making its way past the pale green grasses near the shoreline. Then I lost sight of it (or thought I had) The bridge in the background is in honour of the person the ‘park’ is named after.

See the Purple Swamp Hens who’d come up out of the water and were entertaining me with their antics – it looked like there was a bit of ’Chase me Charlie’ ‘Hows your Father’ going on….possibly was….I’m not actually au fait with the mating habits of water birds. 😊

Anyway they didn’t seem bothered by me standing there and came right up the bank….and that’s when I saw it.

There it was – the one I thought I’d lost. The Heron
it was hiding out in the shade of that scraggly gum tree. Look how tall and elegant it is when on the lookout

And it was about that time when I knew I had to find somewhere to sit down. Sometimes the back plays up meaning my legs tingle and go numb……and because of the vagaries of the condition (spinal stenosis) sitting takes the pressure off the nerves and after a while I’m good to go. Luckily I knew just the place!

A short way on and a turn to the right brings me to the ’old trees’ ……visible in the photo showing the hills (pruned back but left standing for birds to use). Plus a very conveniently placed bench right near the bridge – short sit down, cross over the bridge and I’m there where I began near the car park. A slightly shorter walk than usual – better that than nothing I say!

This week I’m joining Elephant’s Child and others at Sunday Selections

Also Linking to Life this Week hosted by Denyse at Denyse Whelan Blogs. 
Do pop over and see what others have been up to this week

see https://www.weekendnotes.com/elizabeth-bridge-reserve/

No comment…..

The different blogging platforms are not playing nicely with each other.

For quite a while now I’ve not had comments go through on several blogs I read

Some days I can – some days I can’t

And it’s not always the same blogs

Just saying that If you haven’t heard from me for a whIle – that’s the reason why

Looks can be deceiving…

As you can see our PM (about four years ago when he was treasurer) on the premise of making a point, thought it would be a bit of fun to bring a piece of coal into The Chamber….. to add a bit of misplaced interest to his argument.
This week he has been representing Australia at a Climate Change Conference.
Whatever your views on this issue are I’m sure you’ll agree – this photograph (which has now appeared in worldwide publications)and the reason behind it will haunt him and our government for evermore.


During that week we spent in Mackay early last September we visited Artspace Mackay – a gallery that exhibits not just paintings but other forms of art.

I’ll share some of the other exhibits in the next few weeks but I must tell you that when I walked into one of the rooms and saw what I thought were lumps of coal on the floor I laughed and jokingly asked The Golfer if he knew if Mr Morrison had been in town.

Anyway after walking round and studying them for a while, still convinced it was coal I was looking at, I came to the conclusion they hadn’t just been scattered but had been ’placed’.
But why?
If you open/enlarge the information panel you’ll discover it wasn’t coal but small pieces of rock from the artist’s ’country’ – cleaned, painted black then varnished ‘to conceal their identity and protect their stories within colonial spaces.

Country at night by Hayley Millar-Baker

Yes looks can certainly be deceiving

If it affects you….

For some it would appear that they will do something they were loathe to do if it affects them

Our state government has mandated covid vaccination is necessary for various trades and occupations. ‘No jab – No job’

This has caused strife amongst the ranks, protests galore and even workers leaving their long held positions on principle.

There is one person in the group The Golfer plays with who wasn’t interested in the Covid vaccination. For months the others kept on at him about it but he kept saying ’I’ll take my chances.’

When restrIctions began to ease he could play, in fact up untIl quite recently he was still able to play – then the rules changed statewide. For many activities it’s now a case of ’vaccinated you’re welcome – unvaccinated you’re not’

Anyway when The Golfer’s friend discovered he wouldn’t be able to play unless he was vaccinated he suddenly changed his mind…..he booked and had his first dose a week ago. Friday was the last time he was allowed on the course, now nobody is even allowed through the gate into the grounds unless they are fully vaccinated (or show exemption)

He’s not happy at how long he has to wait for his second dose……

Nine months….

A length of time usually associated with birth, smiles and laughter

Nine months ago today my darling little sister died, a day filled with tears and sadness

When I thought of her today it was as if I’d turned a corner

There were no tears – just lots of smiles

I spent the day remembering the good times we’d shared that were filled with laughter

Clarborough July 2006
Paphos September 2014

Or nursing late night headaches 😎

Paphos September 2014

There are little things

This past couple of weeks have been full of little things that brought a smile to my face.

Like seeing the GP and having him tell me ’ maybe next script renewal (3 months time) we can combine two of these medications’. Seemingly the new combined pill works just as well as taking the two singly.

Like visiting the chiropractor and feeling supple and pain free…..which doesn’t always happen. Life is so much easier when it does.

Like leaving the podiatrist after having my feet pampered……knowing my nails had been cut without me having to twist and turn like a contortionist….something I am definitely finding harder to do.

Like seeing the smile on my brother’s face as he told me he had a new grandson, seeing the smile on The Golfer’s face as he told me the cafe at the golf club had reopened for table service, then being able to drive out there to have coffee in a proper cup 😊

Like reading an email from the pool revising their opening hours and usage. Come Monday I can return to doing what I enjoy…..things my body sometimes find impossible difficult on land yet I am able to do quite easily in the water…..like walking for instance. 😊

Like knowing the library will reopen on Monday, seeing the 8am school bus go by, getting an appointment with my hairdresser and making a note on the calendar as a reminder that face to face ’book club’ is startIng again next week. 😊😊

Like noticing the effect a week of pleasant sunny dryish days had on the roses. A bush overloaded with buds turned into a mass of delicious looking blooms.

Like gathering up remnants of a winter spent elsewhere. Reminders of places visited where little complimentary essentials were supplied – definitely not a new happening (motels have done this for years) these (and more) happened to find their way into my bag.
Tiny soaps and single tea and coffee serves to pass on to a ’ hard up friend’ who welcomes anything that will help stretch her pension a little bit further.

But my biggest smile came from seeing the bread bag ’tie’ was made from cardboard and not plastic.
Not a new innovation here – I just happened to photograph this one 😊

Linking to Life this Week hosted by Denyse at Denyse Whelan Blogs. 
Do pop over and see what others have been up to this week