On my mind…..

The time for our winter trip up north is getting really close which means over the past few months we’ve been thinking about the M word and the B word.  Those two words  ‘Money and Budgets’ – are bandied around a lot on the Internet and can be the bane of our lives if we aren’t able to manage them properly.

Money matters – doesn’t it – as far as I’m concerned it most certainly does – some months it seems there isn’t going to be enough to go round, then somehow we manage to scrape through.
Gas and Electric prices are on the move, health insurance is supposedly rising again next month, so many items in the supermarket are going up and don’t mention the cost of petrol– these are what are affecting us at the moment. I’ve nearly always shopped with a list but recently have even taken to using a calculator as well – just to keep an eye on the total of the ticket!


We all have different methods of keeping check on where the cash is and what we spend it on; mine is no more special that anyone else’s and I certainly don’t always keep to the budget we have decided on at the beginning of each year.

For me, I find it helps if I keep a physical record of purchases and payments – anyone remember my exercise books from a few years ago?  It was an idea that helped us when life was a little more difficult than it is now. These days I use a ‘very simple’ cash in/cash out plus reports app called Spending Tracker….

It doesn’t provide you with more money nor will it stop you spending money you ‘don’t have’ but if you record what you do spend (and there are lots of categories for that to happen) it will show you visually where you are overspending; to me its a help because I need to know we are able to survive (and also save a bit) on what we do receive.

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Sitting here on a rather cool morning wondering if it’s maybe a bit early to start gathering together warmish weather clothing to take up to Bowen? From the look of the weather forecast it’s not as if it’s going to be worn down here in the next 5 weeks.
Perhaps I’ll just make myself another cuppa and have breakfast instead – then gather my bathers and towel together ready for exercise in the pool time later this morning

Oh, and what tricks do you have for keeping an eye on your finances?.
Is there enough to go round or have you had to cut back again?

Looking at life..May

When I think of May here in Victoria I’m reminded of rain – years ago the state school year was made up of 3 terms (not 4 as these days) – beginning the year in hot summery February the weeks would go by, cooling off gradually until the ‘pre winter month’ of May arrived and with it school holidays. And as sure as fate it always rained….and trying to entertain several youngsters in those conditions when cash was short was trying to say the least.
This Melbourne related climate change – climate ready pdf (interesting reading dated 2015) mentions the wet 1970’s years and the whats/hows since then and into the future.

All in all it’s been a better month than the last one ….colder definitely, but full of ‘new/ish’ things to see and do. Things I didn’t tell you about 😊.
But first something I’m more than delighted about

Photo from another year – showing the sunny side of life

New in the shops from early this month – Imperial mandarins – my favourite ray of sunshine during winter in Melbourne.
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A brand new experience was missing the turnoff on the Eastern Freeway at Springvale Road and having to pay the toll for Ringwood
Never did that before. 
These days there’s no need for us to have an etag, there are ways and means to get around our big city and out into the bush toll free so a nearly $10 charge to drive through a very long tunnel instead of familiar roads was a costly reminder to concentrate on where I was going. 

My reason for having my head in the clouds was I’d been over the other side of the city doing something new – wandering around a very old cemetery trying to locate the gravesite of a distant relative – my GtGtAunt Eliza.

She was a new chum a long time ago, migrating from Co Fermanagh to Australia with her husband in 1855, experiencing the excitement of a new challenging life in a new country as a young bride over 160yrs ago.
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A new local ‘exercise physiologist’ came along to Probus to chat about Exercise and Ageing…. complete with step and hand weights he certainly opened the eyes of some of the more elderly members on things like the importance of balance and strength. Seeing a couple of giggling seniors attempting the ‘drunk test’ or as the site below calls it ‘heel/toe or tightrope walking was certainly a new event.


There were new medical ‘things’ to think about:-
usual thyroid medication being substituted with another brand (same ingredients same strength) one that joy of joys doesn’t need to be kept in the fridge. No more trying to prise tiny little tabs out of their foil wrapping hoping they don’t break into little pieces – because the new ones come loose in a bottle.
new pain areas to contend with this month – a knee that swelled and was hot plus excruciatingly painful when bent at a certain degree. The doc thought it might be gout – that certainly was a new one. Waiting for blood results to exclude that and work on the premise it’s….yes…you guessed right – my friend OsteoA making itself known in a new place.
Too bad the cherry season has finished here.
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This month’s new learning experience has been Billy Joel’s Lullabye (Goodnight, my angel) a song unknown to many of the choir. With its rather slow tempo (and almost mournful sound) it has been producing some weird noises from a group of seniors who have a liking for upbeat and just sing for the fun of it. I’m sure it’ll be wonderful when we’ve mastered it. We’ve a fair way to go before we sound like this – but we’ll have a jolly good try at doing so

And finally a new blog theme was what I wanted – ‘a new me’ – well I didn’t change much because the one I decided on has a similar but not quite the same look as previously (sounds like a weight loss program doesn’t it😊).
It did bring a new little problem with comments not being visible on the home page – hopefully everyone knows the drill now. There have been several new followers as well…thank you for joining. I/we don’t blog for comments or followers but it’s nice to attract both.
(I’m still having the most awful time trying to comment…..anywhere)

That been snippets of my life during May….what was yours like?
Oh and if you think the month of April sped by at a rate of knots, I’m beginning to wonder if someone put some energy drink in May’s cup instead of water. She’s moved along much too quickly!

Now for something different!..

The recent middle of May Saturday morning (that’d be the one just gone, the 13th) in my suburb east of Melbourne was cold with a heavy sky. The front looked no better out of a dirty window than it did in real life out the back. There was a strange weird look to everything. Some might say it’s late Autumn- others early winter. Whatever….it takes some getting used to!


I spent the morning trawling for something I remembered from years ago….one of those memes bloggers used to take part in
And it’s Just right for Musing over on a Monday morning😊

What you do is, make a google search for “unfortunately (Your name here)”….
don’t forget the quotation marks!

Here a just a few of the ones that came up for my name…..
“Unfortunately Catherine”

Family hero.

  • Unfortunately, Catherine dropped hers. My parents asked if anyone would share and I said I would. But then I started licking the ice cream right in her face without letting her taste it. She cried, but still never got to taste it.

Citizen of Bay City Michigan

  • Unfortunately, Catherine died at the age of 40, on May 19, 1907 from a hemorrhage. The story passed down is that her death was caused by an interrupted pregnancy.

Character in Movie

  • Unfortunately, Catherine gets involved too deeply with Thomas to keep a professional distance to the case. Fortunately, Thomas seems to fall for her, too

Historical figure

  • Unfortunately, Catherine’s competence as a diplomat didn’t override her fertility shortcomings in her husband’s eyes. After twenty-three years of marriage, the couple had only produced one living daughter, the future Mary I of England. Henry, desiring a legitimate son, sought a legal separation.

Another historical figure

  • Unfortunately, Catherine’s successor and son, Paul I, did not share many of these views. His personal relationship with Catherine was poor.

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It appears that bad luck seems to follow me all over the place and I certainly didn’t have any luck with men.
Why don’t you give it a try – see how you go.


And this is the reason Melburnians find it difficult to know what to wear at this time of the year.
Cool misty photos above – taken early. Temperature 8c/46f.
These below – taken in bright sunshine mid afternoon. Temperature 13c/55f.
That sunshine makes all the difference

Same grubby window – sorry about blind reflection
Outside- different angle

Why, Why, Delilah…

Delilah – who will always be associated with hair and beauty might possibly know the answer to my question

Why does the conditioner last longer than the shampoo?

Why do I always end up with half empty bottles of conditioner
but no shampoo left to go with them?

New furniture was delivered

And it didn’t cost me a cent!

Over the years I’ve mentioned a certain bench in the local park
It’s about half way up a slight rise in the land – about the time you start to think ‘this path is definitely not flat’

The first photo I took of it was way back in 2009. Victoria was still in drought and everything had a dry crisp look to it. The council were just beginning to develop the reserve but because of the lack of rain it took a while. It was also about that time my back condition worsened and I stayed closer to home – so even though I might have wandered round the duck pond I didn’t venture ‘up the hill’ and snap what I jokingly called my bench for quite a while.


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The drought broke, plantings were made, everything greened up – and flourished.

It’s taken aawhile for the changes to be realised (a great deal of the work is done by volunteers) there have been additions and removals, Australian native plants grown, left to their own devices, most have survived, growing strong and sturdy (sometimes a little too rampantly so have been cut back, some died
And for some reason it has become almost a tradition that I take a photo when I walk up that way…..which means you are able to see how much the little bare area next to a couple of established gums has changed.
Some photos are better than others – (time of day, various cameras, iPads & phones, where I was standing, zooming in or not, plus some cropping) but if you click or use the finger slide method to enlarge you’ll get a fair idea of how it has ‘grown’


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Rain and more rain (thanks to La Niña) Covid restrictions as well as a temperamental back that had me doing other exercises rather than walking stopped me going up there for another couple of years and look what I discovered the other day – a very swish looking new bench. Much more upmarket than the simple wooden ones.


It’s Monday morning again….I’ve been sitting here for a little while with my usual early cuppa in hand thinking about the many changes that are going to be made to the area…..

….catering for changing population wants/needs/attitudes/expectations rather than those happy with more natural surroundings…..…..

Hopefully as long as the green space is still here in our suburb (and it doesn’t get swallowed up by ‘new improvements’) all will be well.

Anyway I must get on – can’t sit here for much longer – changes at my usual pool (urgent repairs/closure) meant the users have had to go elsewhere – I’ll talk about the ‘new’ one some other time. Let’s just say it is different 🙁

And talking of Mondays, it’s the start of the 2nd week of the month, how did that happen? Is anyone else concerned about the speed with which the weeks and months are passing by this year?

Have there been any changes (big, little, horrendous) to your way of life recently?

Sharing with Denyse’s weekly link up Wednesday’s Words & Pics .

Gosh, what am I going to do with that…

My initial reaction to a gift I was given late last year

…..”Mum ordered this online – it’s described as Pale Marigold but isn’t exactly what she thought it would be, she thinks it’s too bright . She knows you knit for charity and you’ll welcome it..

(‘Mum’ is a longtime friend who moved to another suburb
daughter lives locally)
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By the time I took this photo back in early March (for a post I had in mind but never got round to) I’d had a rethink – yes, it’s a bit bright – not quite orange..not quite yellow…youngsters like bright, I’d rephrased my thoughts to something like – Never look a gift horse In the mouth – because I knew it would be welcome wherever it went and by whoever wore it.

So another tried and true pattern had come out of the pile. Styled for a little girl, with a lace panel on the front and sleeves but easily adapted for a boy by leaving them off.
Then I got sidetracked and this was put to one side – it’s only just recently I’ve been able to say that from the 300gms I’d been gifted I managed to produce both a jumper/sweater and cardigan (similar sizing) adding the same lacy design to both of them

With a mind going round in circles recently, I’ve begun to take slow walks again.
The piles of recently fallen leaves at the local park reminded me that nothing (or very little) lasts forever and to enjoy life in whatever way you can.
Those thoughts plus the addition of some beautiful sunny days helped chase the blues away

So what if I had to drive to a place that was within walking distance – those extra 500m downhill one way (then uphill coming back – with no conveniently placed roadside benches,) would have had me exhausted.
It’s what happens there that makes the difference 😊

Feeding the inner child

And the book I began – In a Strange Room – well unlike the knitting, I didn’t return and finish it…..it’s sitting on the shelf waiting for me to pick it up – sometime.

It’s Wednesday again
the first Wednesday in a (another) new month
This time it’s the first Wednesday in May 2023.

So I’m sharing today’s post at Denyse’s weekly link up called Wednesday’s Words & Pics . Why don’t you pop over and see who’s there this week

( Does anyone know where April went?)


Rolling back the Years…..

Back in January at the beginning of the year coffee morning with a group of lady friends there were the usual observations from some about ‘another year down, wonder how many more there will be to come?’ For ladies of a certain age that’s always an unknown.

This get together was a special one
Sadly our ‘oldest lady’ was not there….and would not be at any of our gatherings again.
We needed to process the news of her death, accept she wanted a family only funeral – to pay our respects and say goodbye in our own way
So much of the morning was taken up with consoling her daughter (who’d popped in to say hello) and sharing memories of ‘our Marge’.***

(I don’t remember if I’ve recounted this story before- but here goes)

** Like the time when late one year she was really down in the dumps, she had lost family and friends and the passing of time was beginning to get her down.

However after the ‘festive’ break she seemed to have put all that behind her because over coffee she had us in stitches relating snippets of fun from her big family Christmas get together where her youngest grandaughter had made a model of a time machine that would ‘roll back the years’ and ‘make Nanny happy again’.

Like several of the ladies she’d been in Australia for many many years yet was the only one who still talked about her life in England.

‘Think of that she said, I can go back to living in the little village where we all knew each other, where there was a corner shop (who delivered) and a greengrocer, the post office was in the front room of Mrs What’s Her Names’
‘Oh, and lots of other good things I can’t quite think of at the moment’.
(had trouble with her memory at times😊)

One of us laughed and said it sounds a bit like the village where Milly Molly Mandy lived with her Mother and Father, in the same little cottage as Aunty and Uncle along with Grandma and Grandpa.  Another said, don’t forget Billy Blunt, little friend Susan and Toby the dog!

Of course some of the newer younger ones had never heard of the little girl in the striped dress or the books a lot of us had read in our childhood so out came the phones to see what they could find out.

After that it was Reminisce Central at the table with talk of all those trades who delivered to the door – mobile shops!  First and foremost there was The Coalman!  Then the milkman and his horse later overtaken by electric carts, the baker who came with a big basket on his arm, a greengrocer who had a van with sides that lifted up to display all the fruit and veg.  I mentioned we had a fish and chip van and a long Co-op grocery shop that came once a week similar in size to some of the mobile libraries seen on the roads these days

When the younger ‘girls’ started talking about ordering online and not having been in a shop for years Marge was all ears.
Close to 90yrs, unlike some of her friends she was neither a computer or mobile phone user so she still couldn’t get her head round ‘ordering somewhere in the sky and it arriving the next day’
……’How do you know you’ll get what you asked for if you don’t talk to a real person’
‘It would be lovely to have things home delivered the way they used to……but I would miss having a chat with the man at the corner shop!’

Sitting here with my early cuppa I’m still feeling the loss of the group’s ‘elder’ who played such a big part in welcoming ‘new chums’ for many years. It would be great if we could roll back time and have our fun loving Marge with us again – we’ll just have to imagine her having a real long chin wag with whoever was manning the pearly gates the day she arrived 😊

What’s on ‘your’ mind this Monday- would you like to tell us about it?

Am I imagining this….

Does the inner square appear to be moving?

I found it online before Christmas when I was poorly with Covid

Wish I’d made a note of where
I might find the reason for the illusion

Yesterday was…Anzac Day

Yesterday (April 25th) was Anzac Day
A day that was originallydevised to honour the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who served in the Gallipoli Campaign, their first engagement in the First World War (1914–1918).

A day that nowcommemorates all Australians and New Zealanders “who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations” and “the contribution and suffering of all those who have served.

A few years ago a painting of a digger called Bluey caught my eye in an exhibition.

Here’s another that stopped me in my tracks a few weeks ago
Hanging in the entry to Dandenong RSL

This one is of an imaginary very young WW1 digger called Bertie
Highlighting not the heroism but the invisible trauma of war

Bertie – 2014. Artist – Zoe Panagiotopoulos.

First Prize in Anzac Category at Cardinia Grand Art Show 2014.
Zoe Panagiotopoulos’s description below

Click/ tap or finger slide to enlarge

Sharing today’s post at Denyse’s weekly link up called Wednesday’s Words & Pic

Whether to laugh or cry…..that is the question

I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry the other morning – after several sunny days (when I had other things to do) we woke to this….and it poured all day.
I had planned to cut back the floppy branches on a just about finished flowering Oleander on the fence line because every time it rains I get soaked dripped on when I go to that side of the car.
No gardening done – and I got dripped on when I had to get something out of the car

Wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry when I opened my inbox and this turned up.
Those ‘roving reporters’ who take candid shots at functions are a real pain.
I’d like to know who took away my teeth (they’re definitely there) and gifted me what looks like 10 extra kgs of fat body weight….plus I can’t even remember what I said that was so funny!

Poor little M (2yr old gt grandson) didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when mummy said, it’s time for your first haircut.
He’s a Big Boy now…..and we all know ice lollies make everything feel better

And I definitely had that same – ‘not sure whether to laugh or cry feeling’ – the other day when pre planning some ‘activities’ to take to Bowen. Have to be prepared you know….there’s only 12 weeks before we leave 😊
Great….there’s enough of all three colours left to knit one each of The Trio.
Bummer – after checking dye lots discovered all the Denim Blue weren’t the same
Going to be some serious thinking about how to use it…..sleeves from one- back/front from the others maybe.

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It’s Monday morning again- first one in April – and I’m wondering what this week has in store for us all. No pool exercises for me today, I’m off to the ‘flu jab clinic
Where hopefully there’ll be lots of laughter and no tears
What is in store for you this week – what are you hoping for?

Oh and it’s not a laughing matter and possible crying would be taking it too far- but I’ve accidentally deleted some comments waiting approval from Friday’s post.
So….if you made one and can’t see it, please write another so I can publish it


Looking at life…March

I’m not a fan of March – it’s not a relaxing month like January, or a ‘looking forward’ one like February when everything reopens ….it’s a long one, filled not with promises but just a realisation that things will change….a month I associate with ‘letting go’.
I accept the season changes – there’s not much we can do about that….it’s the letting go of the light that bothers me, that gradual loss of daylight. I don’t mind the cooler temperatures (to a point) but that loss of light drags me down
It’s also a month to let go of possessions – publicly on the kerb or privately at the op shop. I finally accepted there were so many much loved but now unneeded items and (sadly) let them go….…including my last pair of well used tap shoes

Centre stage wearing red shoes in a charity concert many years ago

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March is the month we ‘let go’ of Dad’s hand and left him to lie in the little graveyard opposite the pub in a little village in Nottinghamshire.….that’s the building on the bend with the white front. Mum joined him a few years later and we jokingly imagine the two of them, Irish to the core – both partial to a drink or two – lying there, cursing us, not being able to get to the pub


So what else has happened over the past few weeks
It’s been what I call a ‘trampoline’ month full of ups & downs – good/bad – happy/sad

We went to the cinema to see – What’s love got to do with it – discovered the gift card had expired and (unlike other cards that were honoured because of covid) this chain said ‘Sorry no go’ so paid our way. After a bit of online discussion (by The Golfer) with the parent company we now have a card loaded with the outstanding amount from the other one😊

My hairdresser J finally retired – a sole trader, he just closed up without selling the business….oh dear we’re back to going through that awful position of looking for a new one. Been there – done that – and returned to J! After a strange conversation with a stranger (don’t ask) I’ve found another one….. close to home in a suburb I don’t normally visit. And he’s good, really good….and slightly less expensive as well!😊

Annoyed on returning to my parked car to discover that somehow somebody had managed to break the glass on one of my rear lights fitting…..
More than annoyed when discovered the whole light fitting had to be replaced not just the cover. Not cheap to buy from and have fitted at the dealer!
The Golfer to the rescue again….many phone calls later to businesses in suburbs I never knew existed he finally located one; way out past Dandenong. Less than $100 v several hundred…good man…paid for our lunch on our ‘day trip’ to pick it up plus was able to fit it himself😊

Lunch in a special spot in Olinda on a warm sunny day
Coffee in another in Montrose on a cool cloudy one

Hot water bottle in bed for my toes some nights
That’s Melbourne in March 😊

There’s been more ‘getting to know you’ occasions/monthly meetings with my new groups.
Happy to be in the new book club, discovering new authors – shame I don’t have the inclination to read their books.
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Happy to be involved with the new Probus club – shame I had to leave my previous one because of the difficult circumstances. I miss those Ladies but the new ones are very friendly and welcoming, knowledgeable and fun too😊
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Happy to have joined the new choir, sad my happy-go-lucky one folded….but am now being exposed to new music and attitudes
Who knew there was an alto voice part written for Bye Bye Blackbird. Yes it’s pitched a bit lower than the upbeat melody part – and sounds a bit ‘flat’ sung separately but blends in nicely when both parts are sung together


And I can’t leave without saying something did happen to put me in a better frame of mind

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Beach Days – Imagination v Reality

Platja de la Fragata – Bruce Bingham

Even though there’s been no sitting on the beach for us this Summer it won’t be long before we do so.
Our booking request was made – and accepted- deposit has been sent – and received – so it looks like our annual trek/trip to FNQ for the Winter is on again this year😎

On the beach – Dorothy Mary Braund

Sharing with a new monthly link up – ‘What’s been on your calendar’. .
Looking at Life – March

And Don’t Forget – if you want to see it best……Click/ tap or finger slide to enlarge

Looking at Life – February

Forget the ‘yarn snobs’…it’s a Long Weekend!

I should have known better….it’s not as if I don’t have enough to keep me busy during the week….anyway I said maybe when a friend asked …..and then allowed myself to be persuaded……to go along with her to a newly formed ‘drop in’ craft group…..held at one of our larger local libraries
That’s where I came across it again. It being almost a ‘wool/yarn one-upmanship’
A certain type of snobbery that lingers amongst some members of the craft community

Settling in for the morning I spent a lot of time fielding various questions

  • What are you knitting?
  • What are you using?
  • Why on earth are you using that?
  • Oh I wouldn’t use that in a million years!
  • My dear, you should be buying this, that and the other
  • I spin (and dye) my own…always have….always will!

It’s difficult explaining to some the needs and wants of charity knitting. Charities need knitters to provide something warm for someone/something to wear – some will accept items knit with wool (natural fibre) others prefer acrylic (man made). Pros and cons for each yarn. Some refugee charities want flame resistant wool only; because donations are sent to ‘camps’ where open fires are used. Some homeless/ disadvantaged charities ask for acrylic; because laundering and drying (when possible) is a great deal easier.

I’ve often spoken about my choice of yarn to knit with (for charities) and this was the first time ever I had to defend it (plus my choice of using straight needles rather than circular or even DPNs). It was all rather strange and a bit disappointing. I then discovered this was actually an established group (who mentioned they preferred to be called fibre artists). who’d moved to the library – a cheaper meeting place option for them but advertising the group was part of ‘the deal’. 
I said goodbye ‘nicely’ and left wondering if I’d return.
My friend had no issues and was all for it….
Somehow I think my answer is no.

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All that is now at the back of my mind as I slowly wake up this early Monday morning here in Melbourne- the 2nd Monday in March is an annual public holiday to ‘celebrate’ Labour Day – giving us a long weekend…..which Australians never say no to😊
It’s been almost like BC – before Covid – so much to see and do, things going on in the city – statewide as well. Moomba’s been the main one, with the parade and the Birdman Rally back again this year, and there’s been festivals associated with (to name a few) Potato, Food and Wine, Light, Music (folk, jazz, bush, Celtic) plus cultural ones as well


Labour Day celebrates the achievements of workers advocating eight hours for work, eight hours for recreation, and eight hours for rest.source

So why the photo of an umbrella – stapler – desiccated coconut and a pillow

Well these will be handy in some places in the world

Because it seems 13 March 2023 is




and the pillow is especially for those who turned their clocks forward last night

National Napping Day

Oh and here’s a little gem about a March 13th happening
(from the days before professional soccer players ruled the game)

In 1875 March 13th was on a Saturday. The Royal Engineers played against the Old Etonians in the fourth Football Association Challenge Cup Final.

* ……The first match was notable chiefly because it was played in a “howling gale”. The conditions considerably favoured the Etonians team, which had the wind at its backs for all but 10 minutes of the 90, and all 30 minutes of extra time (teams in this period changed ends after every goal- this game was the last to feature this rule)

This game was a draw…..the replay(which The Engineers won) was 3 days later

Cuthbert Ottaway (Old Etonians) received an ankle injury and did not recover in time for the replay…

*…..Etonians also lost the services of three other players who had prior commitments. Unable to obtain adequate replacements, the Old Boys arrived at the ground an hour late and lost the delayed replay 0–2



Linking to  Wednesday’s Words & Pics hosted by Denyse. 

Almost like new again…..

From the amount of photos I post from there
You must think I spend all of my a lot of time at the library.
That’s not quite true…. it’s just that things ‘catch my eye’ when I am there

Last November I was thinking how tired and weathered the outside seating looked
It’s no wonder when you think of all the rain we’ve had over the past couple of years

12 November 2022
6 March 2023

See what a fresh coat of stain can do…..looking almost like new again.
I wouldn’t mind a fresh coat of something if it’d make me new again!

My ‘dry eyes’ problem has re-emerged …..red & prickly – wet & watery – you name it It’s there plus running out of the optometrist recommend drops hasn’t helped either. It means a trip to a discount chemist or pay the earth at our local pharmacy so in the meantime I’ve been limiting book reading as well as screen time. Thank goodness for posts already scheduled then published over the past week

Say goodbye to February…..

This might be of interest to some of you – I find it fascinating.
AI – artificial intelligence.

WordPress is trialling a new experimental ‘robotic’ feature
‘AI paragraph ‘
Enter a title and it will come up with some paragraphs relevant to those words.
I tried it several times and received a similar but different ‘post’ each time.
(I’ve copied and pasted some to form this one post but there were more
each slightly different to the other – skip to the end if you don’t want to read them all)
(geared to northern hemisphere)

There are other online ways and means to get similar results
No wonder schools and other educational organisations are concerned.
ChatGPT writes smart essays

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Say goodbye to February 1

February is finally drawing to a close and it’s time to bid farewell to the shortest month of the year.  As the days get longer we are excitedly preparing for the upcoming months and all the fun activities that come with them.

Even if the nights might remain cool for some time there’s no denying the promise of spring is already in the air   Now that February departures its time to welcome back blooming flowers lighter clothing and a sense of renewal that has been absent since the beginning of winter 

Let’s make the most of these last days. Whether you decide to hit the ski fields for one last run embrace a cozy evening at home or start planning for upcoming holidays make sure you take the time to enjoy what February has to offer before bidding this month farewell 

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Say goodbye to February 2

February is coming to an end, and with its end comes the welcoming of the new season, spring! It’s time to say goodbye to the winter blues and hello to the new green leaves of spring.

The March days ahead are full of possibilities and adventure, with warmer temperatures and longer days. This is the perfect time to break out your warm clothing, get outside, and enjoy the change in the environment. Perhaps you could pick some flowers or start your own garden – the opportunities are endless.

Take some time this month to make memories and explore the beautiful outdoors. Laugh with your loved ones and make plans for the days ahead. You will soon be surrounded with the colors of the new season – from the fresh blooms of vibrant yellows and purples, to the deep greens of trees coming back to life.

As February comes to an end, take some time to reflect and appreciate the beauty of the natural world around you. When you find yourself missing this winter month, remember the memories you created and all the exciting things to look forward to in the months ahead. Say goodbye to February and hello to the beautiful season of spring!

~ ~ ~ ~
Say goodbye to February 3

We bid farewell to February – a month of cold days and shorter days. But as we move into March, we can look forward to exciting new things and warm days ahead. Soon the birds will be singing, the trees will be budding, and the grass will be growing lush and green – a renewed and vibrant landscape.

As we take time to appreciate the beauty of Spring, let us take a moment to consider all that this month has meant both to us, and the world. February filled us with the spirit of love, joy, and togetherness, and amidst the winter weather we found creative ways to stay connected to each other and the world.

Say goodbye to February, but also thank it for all it has given us. Here’s to a wonderful start to March, a month that will no doubt be packed full of new experiences, exciting moments, and unbeatable beauty.

~ ~ ~ ~
Say goodbye to February 4

February has been a busy and eventful month. We said hello to longer days and new beginnings, celebrated Valentine’s Day and perhaps even enjoyed the last cold snaps of winter.

But now, it’s time to say goodbye to February and move into March with all of the new possibilities that it brings. As the days get longer with more sunshine, and the temperature begins to rise, so do our spirits. We enjoy nature that’s seemingly coming alive before our eyes as gardens and parks begin to bloom. The birds are singing. The sky is full of color. Oh, March!

It’s time to start thinking of warmer days and outdoor activities like hiking, biking, playing outdoor sports and simply taking some time to enjoy the beauty of nature. This is a great time of year to get active and promote wellness in our lives.

Let’s say goodbye to February and hello to the possibilities that March brings us.

~ ~ ~ ~

AI – artificial intelligence.

Something to think about on Monday morning as I enjoy my early morning cuppa.
A machine able to write my blog posts – interesting and on the surface FUN.
Hmm…I wonder if it’s clever enough to fix my commenting on other blogs problem???

Looking at life….February

‘So how’s your February been’ someone asked at book club
‘Not too bad’ I replied. Getting used to some of those little changes I spoke about at the end of January and finding answers to others that had been bothering me.

The main one is all those blood tests came back normal- nothing to see there at all.
GP has been scratching his head, suggested that yes, maybe a sudden change in weather could put people off colour, I’m feeling much better so we’ll just plod along as usual.

The local gym being flooded in a January storm (planned reopening March) hasn’t helped the fitness intentions we discussed – means I’m back to using our equipment at home and we all know what that means. Those little 30/60 secs break between sets sometimes result in a longer than necessary sit down often with hot drink and…..don’t tell anyone

maybe even a sweet biscuit!.

So I’ve been using the pool more often which has certainly loosened up the back so much so there was a little bit of gardening going on. All that rain brought on another flush of roses – plus oodles more weeds. We enjoyed the last of them (the roses not the weeds) on the outside table and this week, just like the lady in Gilbert’s painting, I’ve been tidying up and dead heading

Gardening – Victor Gabriel Gilbert

Of course there has been knitting – the big boys jumpers are done! I’ll tell you about them on Wednesday as well as something new I’ve been tackling.

Now we’re back in the swing of things there are two book clubs to enjoy- one, the casual ‘what did you read’ the other, the ‘discuss the book we all read’ one….both different yet similar
My summer reading – which often involved just lounging around – not quite like the lady in Hettinger’s painting but not far off – has once again been sparse

* A Month of Sundays – Liz Byrski (bc).
* Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont – Elizabeth Taylor
* The Leisure Seeker – Michael Zadoorian
* The Flower Girls – Alice Clark-Platts

Reading – David Hettinger

The new choir rehearsals have been fun – with a new class conductor making it a different experience for returning members as well as new.

A very well ‘seasoned’ teacher/conductor – with a background in opera (and a liking for light entertainment), a new ‘program’, no previously used songs – this move for me is proving to be very interesting and I’m enjoying every minute…..first rehearsal Bette introduced this to the class. Something I knew from elsewhere but quite unknown to many of the others. It may not be everyones cup of tea (a simple round) but when it comes together (aka when everyone knows what’s what) with all four voice types in the choir (soprano, alto, tenor & bass) singing their part it will sound ‘superb’

Artist is Jennifer Cooke (Sing with Jen)


There has been one little thing I’ve been coming to terms with this month.
Some might remember ‘our big girl’ and her partner leaving Melbourne back in 2021 – pulling their home behind them
eager to see parts of Australia they’d never been to before.
Well, they travelled and travelled, enjoying every minute – extended their leave
and travelled some more……then out of the blue decided they needed to put down roots
They’ve just taken possession of a new beach side home, way over on the far coast in WA. On the other side of the country – 3,489kms away!
With an hours drive to Tullamarine, 4hr flight to Perth plus an hours drive north – don’t think we’ll be popping in for a cuppa. Might need to stay a week at least😎

And that’s February (and supposedly Summer) all but over
We’re at the end of the last week…..next stop is Autumn (well the official ‘March 1st’ date that is)….hopefully the warm weather will continue but the fire risk go down. Many plants came to grief in some heavy rain early in the month – Agapanthus heads have been lopped, various ground covers cut back ….some are saying it’s time to slow down but there’s always an exception to the rule…..the roses and the flowering gum beside the library were still in bloom a couple of days ago. Big smiles all round.

Sharing with a new monthly link up – ‘What’s been on your calendar’
Looking at Life – February

U is for….

U is for Unload

A couple of definitions of unload are:
To dispose of, to dump
To relieve of something burdensome, unburden

Once or twice a year -depending on where you actually live
most shires and councils
have what we call hard rubbish collections

It is a service for every household
whereby you can leave all those things
enormous or small – broken or otherwise – that you want to get rid of
on the nature strip out the front of your house
and a big truck comes along and does the deed for you

It lets you get rid of it – to unload – to unburden – For Free

It frees you from the thought of having to organise all that moving
lifting and paying!!

This is what happens here at this time of the year
Starting this week in my local area

Thats it in theory
In practice its slightly different!

It’s when that old saying
‘One Man’s Junk is Another Man’s Treasure’
comes into play
and the Hunters and Gathers come out.

Little cars and big utes will glide by, suddenly stop and drivers pick through the piles.  Even when times are not hard like they are now it seems as though everyone is out for a bargain – turning into scavengers – in many cases utilising their skills
by upcycling their gains
Unloading others of their useable cast offs before the council truck arrives!

The going rate on scrap metal must have gone up lol
Anything that looks ‘metal’ goes in a flash – washing machines, dryers, bicycles, as well as various other metal bits and pieces are swooped on and removed almost as soon as it hits the nature strip.

Anyway, judging by my ‘nosiness’ while out walking
(yes, I’ve had a little squizzy at some piles here and there)
I think sales in TVs must have rocketed.  From what I’ve seen
just about every house I’ve passed has at least one sitting on the grass.
It surely can’t be the result of the switch to digital that so many older people with older sets were upset over – that happened over 20 yrs ago.
Obviously bigger and better is the way to go – or are those new ‘you beaut’ ones not lasting as long
I wonder if they will have a truck just for them (tvs) on their own.

The trouble with all this ‘trawling aka car window shopping’ and then unburdening is that it starts to get messy.  Instead of the nice neat (as per council guidlines) separated piles of junk we end up with something like this

A new version of urban sprawl 😊

I’m still wondering if (after breakfast) there’s time (before the garbos arrive) for me
to do a bit more cruising the streets with a view to window shopping
through my car’s window

Linking to  Wednesday’s Words & Pics hosted by Denyse. 

On my mind….

Has been a changing look at the children’s swimming lessons.

These are the ones for babies and preschool children that are held in the teaching pool when I’m doing my little exercise routine in the big pool.

Early last year 2022 (in fact up until we went north in July) it was like a ‘mothers and babies club’ – lots of women, lots of babies, lots of toddlers and upwards.

Since getting home in October and still now in the New Year it’s become more like a men’s club.
So many men (could be fathers, grandfathers, uncles or some other ‘allowable person’) have been turning up carrying a child, holding a little ones hand, pushing a pusher…..with no accompanying female in sight.

No matter what, they’ve all done the necessaries, got in the water as required with the young babies or sat on the sidelines, towel in hand, giving encouragement to the older ones. Then wrapped/dried/ clothed and disappeared out the door.

I wonder was it the continuous ghastly wet weather we had, mothers staying at home with other children rather than wrestle them all in/out of the car. Or are they the full time house father, or unemployed giving ‘mum’ a hand or are maybe both parents working and it’s on their list of grandparent ‘duties’.
There’s no way I’ll find out the reason but I do hope they’re all enjoying it.

~ ~ ~ ~

It’s Monday morning, so if you need me – – once my brekky’s gone down
I’ll be…..at the pool

Oh and here’s a little P.S. to let you know I’m having a whale of a time (not!) I’m having a real problem commenting on blogspot blogs again…..Wordpress too at times. Some take – others disappear, so if you haven’t heard from me….there’s your reason why

New Year Small Changes….

The end of January has arrived. ……Australia Day has been and gone
Rain and flood have never been far away, fire has been making its presence known
There has been cricket and tennis as well as road cycling to watch
Many surprise wins, early disappointments plus shock eliminations.

Here in Victoria lots of little kids will begin the school year today
I wonder how many sets of twins will feature on the news this evening?

Sunrise and sunset times are changing.
Very slowly the days are becoming shorter – nightfall is arriving slightly earlier

Various community commitments, clubs and classes are returning
After the long summer break life in general is beginning again

So much happening which means just one thing – the year proper has now begun.
~ ~ ~ ~

I decided to take me out of the blog name and it’s back to being called ‘Still Waters’.
Not a big change, still about a life that appears to be
All smooth on the surface but really has lots going on underneath.

Trouble is I feel it’s getting a bit stale and what to write about is becoming a problem
I’m getting short on ideas – visitors & comments are down – so am open to suggestions.
~ ~ ~ .

Looking back to December 2021 I spent a bit of time mulling over this
Well, the votes at both clubs were taken in early 2022, the amalgamation went ahead. There was a very mixed reception to the move….on both sides.
I was all for it and gave it a go – but as the old saying goes ‘be careful what you wish for’ it turned out to be not quite what I’d envisioned. Some members love it – others haven’t been back.
Too many people – cramped seating – enclosed room, no windows, no natural daylight, mixed membership that included many ‘know it all old men’ who stifled discussions. One more meeting after returning from Bowen sealed it – I’d had enough.

About that time the news came that the choir I sang with would possibly fold in 2023.
Two of my pleasures out the window just like that.
~ ~ ~ ~

New Year Small Changes

Just by chance late last year I found (and joined) another smaller Probus branch. A Ladies Club who meet on a different day
Which has allowed me in 2023 to change the day of another social engagement.
Another choir meets not too far away. You might say a ‘slightly better one’.
Each choir has a sort of repertoire they’re known for.
My ‘old’ one was show tunes singalong oriented- this new one (under the U3A banner) sing more involved numbers, much in parts as well as acapella. Which I have missed since leaving the local Sing Australia group – driving to night time rehearsals was becoming a problem.
Big smiles when I gained a hotly sought after place on enrolment day so all is not lost

Not a change of day but a small change of volunteer responsibilities. A move to a different area in the aged care facility where I’m now assisting those who are at a different level of care, more in line with the qualifications I gained many years ago. A little less ‘meaningful’ chat than was over the tea trolley but definitely an understanding – many smiles and much laughter.

~ ~ ~~.
One thing that hasn’t changed over the years – my enjoyment of an early cup of tea
We’ve arrived at the last Monday in January so while I’m supping I’m going through folders and enjoying the recent colours of Summer.
Officially we have just one more month – I’m hoping it will hang around a lot longer just the same as Winter did 😎😊


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