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. https://cranethie.wordpress.com/

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??

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)

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.

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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

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 😎💕

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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.



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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!

Yes, it’s Friday…

No Fun Friday here today though

Mr Insomnia……my friend from long ago…..has decided to visit again

I’m not feeling the best – in fact I’m feeling b…..awful

So am having a break for a while

Might be just for a week – maybe longer

Just until….well, just until I can pinpoint the cause

And send it on its way 😊

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?’

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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)

It does actually happen…..

This little car park ticket showed me yesterday that there are still some good things happening out there.

I’d planned to go to one of those big discount pharmacy chemist warehouse type stores late morning after the Musical Memories activity had finished at the nursing home.  Now normally I’d combine the visit with other shopping but that wasn’t the case yesterday, so given I had a choice of three branches out in the eastern suburbs and being an indecisive Libran (meaning I’m terrible at making choices) I was all in a dither 😊

I could drive 12 kms down the road to the branch at Chirnside Park (medium sized shopping centre) and try to get a spot in the car park there. Oh yeah, school hols just started lots of things for kids to do mothers and babies and kids all over the place maybe not.

Or I could drive on a further 4km to a branch in Lilydale – reasonable idea, larger shop more products wouldn’t be any ‘entertainment’ going on but further from home wih no guarantee of a parking spot.

And lastly there was one of the original branches in Ringwood just a little way back up the road from the nursing home but in the most awkward place on the main highway with minimal parking at the rear. Lots of recent development around there –  huge enlargement to Eastland means traffic here there and everywhere and my car only knows one way in and out of that place and it’s nowhere near where I needed to go!

Rationilising with myself I came up with the idea that if I went back to Ringwood I could easily get onto Mt Dandenong Road from there when I’d  finished, which meant I could be home in 15 minutes. So, decision made.  A gap in the traffic could get me over into the right hand lane, make a Uturn and come at the store from a different spot on Maroondah Highway.  Good thinking Catherine – now to find somewhere to park!

And what about the parking ticket I hear you say

Well as I drove into the (badly signed entrance to the) car park there was a car facing me almost in my path with an arm sticking out the driver’s window.

Coming alongside a voice yelled out – Would you like this?

What is it?

The pay and display ticket  There’s still some time left!  I’ve finished what I had to do in less time than I thought and there’s still three quarters of an hour left.

I was a bit taken aback……because I didn’t realise it was pay to park….as I said badly signed frontage and entrance…..but didn’t say no.

I was in and out of the shop in less than 10 minutes and still can’t get over how disappointed I felt when I couldn’t pass the remaining 20 on to another short stay parker 😎

So now it’s my turn – my turn to spread the love and pay it foward (quietly)

Almost like a new job….

It was almost like moving to a new place of employment – a new job – a new place to find my spot in the pecking order.

For several years now I’ve been involved in a group – a singing group – in other words a choir.  For a while there I needed something to make me ‘happy’ and discovered a music group and associated choir.  I was in heaven.  Some time to myself (if you could be by yourself surrounded by other voices) making a noise and feeling good.

We met once a week, in the evening about a half hours drive from home.  Their repertoire was a bit like the Ancient and Modern Hymn Book – some new, some familiar, some old yet modern enough for me (and most of the others) to know all the words.

When I joined we were led by a fabulously ‘young’ musician who had studied a whole range of styles and methods both here in Australia and abroad and like many students of classical music also had his own jazz band (on the side) 😊  He had a way of making us feel we’d achieved something special.  Then as he put it – his career and studies were getting in the way and he just couldn’t spare the time as little as it was, so he had to move on.  Sighs all round – we need to find a new conductor

So after a long lead in time we found what we thought was a good choice for a conductor.  Very different in that she is more dogmatic in her ways, my way or no way.  This is what I want and expect you to provide. With the ‘you’ being mostly mature age people who go (yes to learn, but also to have fun) numbers dropped quite quickly – yet were expanded by others (from other groups) wanting a ‘leader’ who thought that way.

Of course I was away interstate over a lot of the winters so didn’t have to contend with those 30 minute drives in whatever weather turned up.  Some winters I was a bit crook so didn’t go – didn’t want to infect others or couldn’t sing what with coughing a lot or not having a voice lol

As the season began to change it was getting to the point that I was finding excuses not to go – but I really missed it.

So earlier this year I decided to do away with these self conceived problems _ a dominant almost unyielding leader plus an unwelcome night time drive – and joined the ‘day group’.  The organisation only has one group that meets in the daytime – in Camberwell.  Miles away from home – 45 minute drive or 30 mins on the train (plus time to and from the station and a walk down Camberwell Road to the hall) so about an hour door to door.

Honestly, as I mentioned above, I thought it was going to be almost like taking on a new job.  Like finding the right spot to sit in the hall……. with the Altos, yes but on which chair?  What time is the break, where is coffee served?

First discovery was the friendliness of the others.  There is no pecking order.  None of this…. we’re sopranos – you’re altos – and  never the twain shall meet.  Oh and the men are over there.

With two helpful ‘assistants’ and a vibrant ‘witty funny’ conductor who keeps all that under check, there is a style of leadership that means you can’t help but follow directions because you want the song to sound great.  The voices blend together, harmonise like magic with no one type overpowering the other. It’s almost like the first point in ‘The One Minute Manager’ – People who feel good about themselves produce good results!

Yes it’s a bit of a trudge on a Tuesday morning especially these really cold ones but guess what – I’m enjoying my singing again and being happy and feeling good inside myself is all that matters (to me at least)

Has anything been bothering you recently that you found a solution to?

What about your fears and worries – did they disappear or were they realised?

Make ’em laugh…

I have to thank Jean at cheerfulmonk.com for introducing me to this site called      they can talk.  It can be found HERE

They certainly talk alright and the talk makes me laugh as well!

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This sounds like caravanning friends of mine who during last Summer decided they wouldn’t be wintering this year in Queensland

Nothing worse than a whinging Australian Grey Nomad 😎

Quite a while ago I was at a ‘retirement conference’ and overheard the beginning of a conversation.

‘Have you seen my husband?  What does he look like?                                                    Well, he’s grey haired and wearing glasses.

I once had a cat who thought like this!

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

You can find more funny talk HERE

Wordless Wednesday – Meet Marvin

I first met Marvin on the web many years ago – No words could describe him.

Still can’t think of any words to describe him 😊😊

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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 Hub