Alphabet Blogging, Fun

A is for ………………..

Well none other than Alphabet Blogging

It’s been like a Friday Date this past 26 weeks
People were dropping by on Friday to see what the I thought
about the letters of the alphabet.

Mum who blogs at Mum’s Simply Living Blog wondered what we could come up with if we blogged about the letters of the alphabet.

The catch was they all come in reverse order.

We are up to A this week
so it looks like we are now at the end of the Fun Fridays
with Mum and her Alphabet Blogging that is

I’m hoping you enjoyed the fun
I’m all done – all finished
for the moment
I’m must away and see what I can come up with for next Friday lol

that’s a fun word if ever there was one
Look here at this link to see all the ways it can used

There were others who took the challenge
Read all about it here

Alphabet Blogging, Daily Life, Fun

B is for………………..

Mum’s Aphabet Blogging challenge has been and gone

It’s been a week of blah weather

Beastly phone line causing bad internet connections

A bu*gger of funeral that had me blubbering

 Words are not coming easily so I’d best be off

Because all I will do is blather and babble

Pop over to Mum’s to see other contributions to Alphabet Blogging


Alphabet Blogging, Family, Family history

D is for………………..

When the word Daughter crops up it’s often associated with the word Mother

Today I want to say thank you to my Father, who loved his 3 daughters

From me (the oldest) all the way down to the youngest!

 I know that each of us in our own special way
had control of our own little corner of his heart.

Nearly 11 with my Dad and sisters

Without Fathers there would be no Daughters.

Pop over to Mum’s blog to see what others have said about the letter D

Alphabet Blogging, Fun, Victoria

E is for………………….

My goodness it seems like it was only yesterday and I was talking about letters of the alphabet with Mum.
So today for the letter E – we could look at Entertainment, Exercise, Enjoyment
But no, today I have chosen – Entrances and Exits.

A few years ago (2010) I had to go up to the city – I had some time to spare so was able to have a look at (and photograph) some marvellous Entrances and Exits in the city known in the late 1800s as Marvellous Melbourne

Flinders Street Station
One of our most easily recognised Entrance and Exits
right on the intersection of Flinders Street, Swanston Street and St Kilda Road.

Flinders Street Station

For many years this was the place to meet
‘Meet you on the steps under the clocks’
was the saying.
the clocks were related to each of the train lines
and gave the time of the next one on that line
as well as the platform it would  leave from
Like many things these days they have been replaced
by an electronic board inside the forecourt 🙂

Flinders Street Station 1

Across the road on one of the corners of Swanston Street
is St Paul’s Anglican Cathedral
photo source

St Pauls Cathedral

This is the Great West Door from the street
(strange angle I know but the footpath wasn’t level!)

Cathedral GWD 1

Closer view2 GWD close

and from the inside looking out showing off the beautiful stain glass3 GWD Inside

Just up Swanston Street on the same side you’ll find
Melbourne Town Hall
photo sourcemelbourne-australia-townhall

The large entrance is surrounded by pillars and posts
(and people passing by lol)

Town Hall Almost directly across the road is the heritage listed Manchester Unity Building
photo sourceManchester_Unity_Building

just inside in the lobby was this banks of doors – (entrances and exits??)
Of course they are for the Lifts
or Elevators as they are called in some parts of the world.

Imagine waiting there and being able to admire the handiwork of the doors as well as the mosaic mural of the shield and motto of the company.

Lifts Man Unity Building

Lift door

Then it’s across the road to Collins Street
to see the heritage listed Regent Theatre 

exterior regent theatre melbourne photo source

with its glamorous wide stepped entrance foyer.
We’ve been to many shows here and it is a grand special feeling walking through those doors at the top – one of the nicest theatres in town

Regent Theatre stairs

Chandeliers and the beautiful window above the doors !

Regent Theatre  Window

Time to make our way home and for some its time for a drink.
Well not for me – but right acoss from the station is Young and Jacksons

Young and Jacksons

photo source
Ready to quench the thirst of many a worker on a hot day
Home to Chloe

I just looked at the door
and wondered who walked in and out on their way to the station that hot day 🙂Young and Jackson

Do pop over to Mum’s blog and see what others have written about the letter E

Alphabet Blogging, Blogging, Cats, Fun

F is for……………..

It’s time for the letter F in mum’s weekly alphabet blogging challenge
And today is going to be Fun Friday
In fact it’s going to be Feline Fun Friday!

Q: What colour is a happy cat?
A: Puuurple

Q: What is a cats favourite dessert?
A: Mice pudding

Q: What kind of work does a weak cat do?
A: Light mouse work

Cats at Work

Cat Joke 2

Now this one could come under the heading of:
Flippin Heck!
Fancy that!
or even
For cryin out loud!
but do watch this short video because in actual fact
it is just Feline Fun on Friday for your enjoyment

Mum is hosting Alphabet Blogging
pop over and see what others have found for the letter F

Next Friday the letter will be E – Perhaps you’d like to join in

Alphabet Blogging, Blogging, Fun

G is for………..

Friday is usually Mum’s Alphabet Blogging day but Oops I missed Friday
So am here on Saturday
which is still Friday in the UK and other parts of the world lol

We are now up to (well down to in this case) the letter G
What’s it to be
Going to – Got to – Grab it – Give it – Gunna do this

No, my word of the day is Gumboots
or Wellington Boots as they are known elsewhere.
Some of my grandchildren call them ‘Gumbies’ – I just call them my ‘Wellies’

A long rubber boot
An item of rubber footwear used for keeping the feet and legs dry
They have gone from being a royal fashion statement in their early days when designed by the Duke of Wellington to almost being staple footwear in some societies.

These are mine – plain and simple in blue 🙂

gum boot 2

These I saw for sale in one of our large shopping centres
Multi coloured – back to being a fashion statement


Seems like we enjoy paying homage to the Gumboot

Did you know there is a Gum Boot Song

There is also Gum Boot Dancing

Here in Australia we have a Golden Gumboot Big Thing's_big_things

~ Golden Gumboot at Tully ~
~ Golden Gumboot at Tully ~

golden gumboot sign

There is a roaring trade in Gum Boot acessories
The Duke would have had a ‘man’ to help with taking his off and cleaning them – we could use one of these if we wished

gum boot set

 I tend to use the top step to the deck or if it’s raining my back door step:)

And to keep you comfortable there are fleecy socks that don’t ride down
with instructions on how to put them on!

over the topover the top gumboot socks

Today could turn out to be a Great day – have got to do some Gardening
Showers forecast so might need to get my Gum Boots out!
Where are yours – will they be in use today??

And as I’m a glutton for finding out about things if you are interested you can:
Read about the history of Wellies HERE
Read about how they are made HERE

Do pop over to Mum’s blog and see what others have written about the letter G

Alphabet Blogging, Blogging, Fun

H is for…………………..

Friday has arrived – once again It’s Mum’s alphabet blogging day
And the letter of the week is H

How do you think about where you live
House v Home

If you happen to show someone the building
Do you say – that is our house or that is our home?

There are lots of ideas out there on the WWW.
Most seem to conclude that
A house is a physical structure with walls a roof and a door
A home can be anywhere you live, that place, that structure made pleasant and safe by the people who live there

So what about you?
What are your thoughts

Is it just
A House – something that you are living in
A Home – the place where you are living but also where you feel comfortable and safe.

Are you content and thankful just to have a roof over your head
do you feel you must have things around you that you are able to relate to.
Things that prove this place is yours – give you a sense of identity

‘Home is where the Heart is’

We often talk about the ‘family home’
Does that mean that those who are single, widowed or divorced, those with no one to love or share their place with live in a home or is it just a house?

Do those owners of immaculate places have a house or a home ?

Does owning the place make any difference?
To me it does
I know on the few occasions we have rented I found I couldn’t form an attachment to the ‘House’.  That’s all it was – A House we were living in.

Because of circumstances at those times, we were actually renting fully furnished so there wasn’t much we could do to make the place ‘ours’.  Yes, we had some bits and pieces and knick knacks to dot here and there around the house but
We could never change the paint colour, decorate or alter in any other form, and in some cases not even put a nail in the wall to hang pictures.
So I never felt it was our ‘Home’

I’d love to know how others have felt if they’ve experienced living that way.  Does being able to put your stamp on rented premises make it more homelike for you or have you accepted what has been offered as
‘this is it at the moment’.

Does this strike you as a beautiful home?
Snapped in Far North Queensland by The Golfer
(where else but near a golf course lol)
A Bowerbird’s Bower aka as a folly
(Possibly belonging to a Great Bowerbird)

~ Bower Bird's Folly ~
~ Bower Bird’s Folly ~

Bower Bird 2

I used to think these were actually the home of the Bowerbird
but it seems that is not so.  They are built by the male to try and entice the female to come by and see what a jolly good fella he is.
They would make a lovely home tho.  Fully furnished and decorated, ready to move in.

The bowers aren’t nests for raising kids; they are bachelor pads designed to attract and seduce one or more mates. When a female arrives to inspect the bower, the male struts and sings. He hopes to convince her to enter the bower, where mating takes place. The female then flies off to build a nest close by, leaving the male to try to convince another female to join in a romantic tryst.

This link explains about all the different sorts of decorations – not always blue
Bowerbird Blues

How to seduce a bird using interior decoration  

Alphabet Blogging is hosted by Mum
Pop over to see what others have found for the letter H

Next week will be the letter G -why don’t you join in too


Alphabet Blogging, Blogging, Daily Life, Fun

I is for……………..

Alphabet Blogging is using the letter I this week

So I thought ‘What about Ironing’??

Ironing is the use of a heated tool (an iron) to remove wrinkles from fabric
A Laundry Maid Ironing circa 1765-82 by Henry Robert Morland 1716-1797

A Laundry Maid Ironing
Henry Morland 1716-1797

Now I have to say – Ironing and me don’t go together
I don’t like Ironing at all – no, not one little bit

I hang clothes on the line in a very precise way
then when they are dry all I do is
either fold them neatly to go in a drawer or hang them in the wardrobe

The Golfer was in the forces when we met and was used to ironing his shirts
When we married and I jokingly said
‘I don’t do cooked breakfasts or iron shirts’
he didn’t appear to be upset in any way
About the shirts that is lol

For most of his working life he wore business type shirts
and they had to be done ‘just so’
so as far as I was concerned
the best person to do them was him himself 🙂

Consequently The Golfer has always ironed his own shirts.
220px-Ironing_a_shirt Now it’s confession time
I used to ‘take in’ Ironing
Yes I would willingly do it for other people.

When the children we small we needed extra cash
and I needed to be at home with them
I did what I had to
Even if it was something I didn’t particularly like.

Not something you readily admitted to in those days.

After a while I quite enjoyed doing it
There was a sense of satisfaction seeing all the garments
folded neatly in baskets waiting to be picked up

Didn’t do it when the chldren were running around
‘Safety and sticky fingers to think about’
Clients would drop off one day and pick up the next
so it was usually done during ‘sleep time’ or in the evenings watching tv

I gave it up when they were older and we had more cash
It was hard enough then keeping up with ours
let alone taking in more lol

These days the iron only comes out if necessary
not as a matter of course.
Modern materials and appliances make life a lot easier
There are steamers and ‘ooh la la’ irons with bells and whistles attached
that enable you to breeze through the job so so quickly

However I’m still the first to admit
I don’t like Ironing – no not one little bit

What about you??


Alphabet Blogging is hosted by Mum
Pop over to see what others have found for the letter I

Alphabet Blogging, Blogging, Fun

K is for…………….

Slow off the mark this week – or should it be last week
W/press would not co-operate so here is Friday’s Alphabet Blogging Post

A very long time ago we learned about Kinetic Energy at school
Do not ask me to explain it – all I remember is the words car, a hill and motion
Drive to the top and you have the potential to keep on going up and down for quite a while

~ ~ Kinetic Energy ~ ~
~ ~ Kinetic Energy ~ ~

Naturally there was a formula involved – definitely forgotten now!

The teacher then went on to say we all have potential so if we put our minds to work we could achieve lots more than if we sat around doing nothing with all that energy pent up inside us.

Well at least I think that’s what he said lol

I’ll just keep on keeping on and hope I can produce the energy to do it
Kinetic or otherwise 🙂

If you are really interested in the above
click here, here or here

– – – – – – – – – –

Alphabet Blogging  is hosted by Mum
Pop over to see what others have found for the letter

Alphabet Blogging, Daily Life, Fun, Music

L is for…………….

Working backwards we have arrived at the letter L in Mum’s Alphabet Challenge
And knowing me it could only stand for…..
Live Love and Laugh

This has been my mantra for quite a few years now


A long time ago I was having one of those ‘down’ days I am prone to
and saw this quote
“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.”

That sort of made realise I was not going anywhere living the way I was
So a change in attitude was needed and now I strive to:-

Live each day to the full
Love as much as I can – in any way I can
Laugh everyday

Doesn’t always work but I try:)

So how have I gone this week
Well a break in the wet weather has allowed me to get outside
To live in the fresh air for a while – to clear my head
To look at my surroundings and I love it.

I’m loving the water exercise classes at the Leisure Centre

~ ~ Not my class, but very similar ~ ~
~ ~ Not my class, but very similar ~ ~

Thinking I was getting in a rut I changed my day
Different instructor – different range of people
(not just ‘older’ ladies)
Learning different actions and routines
Loving every minute with new ‘more friendly friends’

Listening to the bouncy music needed to keep us on the go
(Well known songs – singing along in my head)
Looking at all the children (tiny tots and toddlers)
taking their ‘Aquatic Education Classes’

I burst out laughing
when all of a sudden I heard all these voices in the water around me
shouting out the chorus to this

Seems they feel it’s ‘their song’ as the instructor does just that!

Bend me, shape me
Anyway you want me
Long as you love me
It’s all right
Bend me, shape me
Anyway you want me
You got the power to turn on the light

Mum is hosting Alphabet Blogging
pop over and see what others have found for the letter L

Why don’t you join in next Friday – the letter will be K

Alphabet Blogging, Fun, Music

O is for……………

Well, looks like another week has passed by (not sure where it went lol)
and here we are again wondering
what letter today is dedicated to at Mum’s Alphabet Blogging Challenge

Today’s letter is O
and that means I can show you a clip from one of my favourite musicals

Did you know
it was the first musical written by Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein?
It opened on Broadway in 1943 and tells the story of the growing romance between Curly Mclain and and Laurey Williams.

The film version was first screened in 1955
with Gordon McRae and Shirley Jones in the lead roles

I’m sure a lot of you will know some of the songs from the muscial
‘The Surrey with the fringe on top’
‘People will say we’re in love’
as well as my favourite

Oh what a beautiful morning
sung by Gordon McRae

Mum is hosting Alphabet Blogging
pop over and see what others have found for the letter O

Next Friday the letter will be N – Perhaps you’d like to join in


Alphabet Blogging, Blogging, Daily Life, Family, Fun, Music

P is for……………

Alphabet Blogging time with Mum again and this week’s letter is P

In our house P will always stand for Pleasure 
Pleasure:- A feeling of happy satisfaction and enjoyment
The state or feeling of being pleased or gratified

We always used to laugh at my Dad when he’d talk about soaking his feet
Last year I told you how he called it ‘one of his life’s little pleasures’
I’m not sure if he ever realised how much pleasure it gave us to hear him sing

Singing DadWhen she was tiny he’d sing this song to my little sister Patsy
who I’m sure didn’t realise it was about a boy lol

And this one that had us all in fits of laughter

This past few weeks I’ve started to pick my way through those boxes of photos and place them in albums.  And oh how I’m glad I did so as I was finally able to find these ones taken one Christmas not that long ago.
Lots of fun and smiles that day – a day that brought pleasure to us all

~ ~ Merry Christmas Grandma  2003 ~ ~
~ ~ Merry Christmas Grandma 2003 ~ ~

And also a day that proved a simple $5 toy could bring such a feeling of happy satisfaction and enjoyment aka PLEASURE to all the grandkids there that day 🙂

~ ~ Wait for it ~ ~
~ ~ Wait for it ~ ~
~ ~ Where'd it go?? ~ ~
~ ~ Where’d it go?? ~ ~

What sort of things give you pleasure?
Do you get pleasure from the little things in life?

Mum is hosting Alphabet Blogging
pop over and see what others have found for the letter P

Perhaps you’d like to join in – next Friday’s letter is O




Alphabet Blogging, Fun, Humour

Q is for……………

As you can see I’ve somehow messed up my sidebar.
Hopefully I’ll have it fixed soon

Well, here it is Friday again – time for Alphabet Blogging with Mum
and the Letter of the Week is Q
To begin with I thought Q would stump me
(After all it is the most rarely used letter in the modern English language)

But have no fear – this is what I came up with
The word of the day is:

Q is for question

 About the Alphabet !
(and I acknowledge this is not my work but from a very old email)

Q: In what way are the letter “A” and “noon” alike?
A: Both of them are in the middle of the “day”.

Q: What letter of the alphabet is an insect?
A: B. (bee)

Q: What letter is a body of water?
A: C. (sea)

Q: What letter is a part of the head?
A: I. (eye)

Q: What letter is a drink?
A: T. (tea)

Q: What letter is a vegetable?
A: P. (pea)

Q: What letter is an exclamation?
A: O. (oh!)

Q: What letter is looking for causes ?
A: Y. (why)

Q: What four letters frighten a thief?
A: O.I.C.U. (Oh I see you!)

Q: In what way can the letter “A” help a deaf lady?
A: It can make “her” “hear”.

Q: Which is the loudest vowel?
A: The letter “I”. It is always in the midst of noise

Q: Why is “U” the happiest letter?
A: Because it is in the middle of “fun”.

Q: What is the end of everything?
A: The letter “g”.

Fun video from Australian comedy show
(about letters of the alphabet)

Mum is hosting Alphabet Blogging
pop over and see what others have found for the letter Q

Perhaps you’d like to join in – next Friday’s letter is P

Alaska, Alphabet Blogging, Australia, Blogging, Daily Life

R is for ………………..

It’s Friday again and time for Alphabet Blogging with Mum

Right then – this week the letter is R
And what I discovered is that:-
The letter R is the only letter in the modern Latin alphabet  (which is the one we use) in which the uppercase has a closed section and the lowercase does not.
Also that:-
The letter R is sometimes referred to as the littera canina (canine letter). This phrase has Latin origins: the Latin R was trilled to sound like a growling dog

Anyway for me the letter R stands for …….. Round

~ ~ Round benches Canada Place Vancouver ~ ~
~ ~ Round benches Canada Place Vancouver ~ ~
~ ~ Round the table Chinese style ~ ~
~ ~ Round the table Chinese style ~ ~
~ ~ Round weights for barbells ~ BodyPump anyone? ~ ~
~ Round weights for barbells ~ BodyPump anyone? ~

And R stands for ………………..Reflections

Right on my doorstep

~ ~ Runner duck and friends anticipating ~ ~
~ ~ Runner duck and friends anticipating ~ ~
~ ~ Runner ducks and friends leaving disappointed ~ ~
~ ~ Runner ducks and friends leaving disappointed ~ ~

 And far far away

~ ~ Reflection of glacier at waters edge ~ ~
~ ~ Reflection of glacier at waters edge ~ ~

So then I thought of………. Real and Reflecting

 There is a place for Real Life right on my doorstep – messy or otherwise

~ ~ An unguarded moment in Real Life ~ ~
~ ~ An unguarded moment in Real Life ~ ~







and there are refreshing and relaxing places for Reflecting on life

~ ~ Reflecting on life in Glacier Bay Alaska ~ ~
~ ~ Reflecting on life in Glacier Bay Alaska ~ ~

And are you ready for this Release:-
The Carpenters


 Mum is hosting Alphabet Blogging  –  pop over and see what others have found for the letter R

Perhaps you’d like to join in – next Friday’s letter is Q

Alphabet Blogging, Australia, Daily Life, Fun

S is for…………..

Ask most Aussies what S stands for and they will possibly say

Slip Slop Slap

The 1980 skin cancer prevention campaign suggested we
Slip on a shirt – Slop on some sunscreen – Slap on a hat

(Sorry about this but it looks like you’ll have to click on the youtube links
– they were embedded and visible –
but seem to have decided not to play ball the way I want them to)

Original version

Still relevant today with recent additions
Seek some shade – Slide on some sunnies

Updated version

Slip Slop Slap Seek Slide
Good advice no matter which country you live in

Do you have any campaigns like this in your country?

Mum is hosting Alphabet Blogging ZYX style pop over and see what others have found for the letter S

Perhaps you’d like to join in – next Friday’s letter is R

Alphabet Blogging, Australia, Blogging, Daily Life

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

Thats what happens here at this time of the year.

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 – to unload – to unburden
For Free

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

Hard Rubbish 1

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 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.
Mind you it could be the result of the switch over to digital only era we have moved into – which so many older people are Upset over.
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.
click to enlarge

Hard Rubbish 2

A new version of urban sprawl 🙂

Mum is hosting Alphabet Blogging ZYX style
pop over and see what others
have found for the letter U

Perhaps you’d like to join in – next Friday’s letter is T

Alphabet Blogging, Australia, Blogging, Daily Life

V is for………………

Have you heard of Vinnies


I know many Australians have
It stands for anything to do with the St. Vincent De Paul’s Society

The St Vincent de Paul Society’s 40,000 members and volunteers work hard to assist people in need and combat social injustice across Australia. Internationally, the Society operates in 130 countries and has over 950,000 members.

They run fabulous op-shops called just that – Vinnies Shops

You’ll often find me at Vinnies
donating – actively looking for something – or just rummaging around
never knowing what might turn up timthumb

What I like about Vinnies unlike some of the other national charity shops
is that any money raised/profit at a local branch stays in that area
It doesn’t go into a national pot

Vinnies and other Opportunity shops or Op shops
as they are called here in Australia – known in other countries as
Thrift shops/ Charity shops
have come into their own over the past few years

I got to know them back in the 1970s
They were then, and still are, fabulous places to get a bargain
Children grew so fast so for us all those years ago – when as I’ve explained before we were a bit short of cash – so it was mostly the clothing line that made the journey home
But often there were books and sometimes toys.

There are lots of reasons people shop at Vinnies

It encourages recycling, saves useable stuff going to the tip.
others can use what you no longer need
Sheets and linens and crockery are usually a good buy
And of course theres also the chance you could find something that is collectable

These days it’s become trendy for some to be dressed in clothes bought there
(think Retro/Vintage)
so watch out as it isn’t always little old ladies you’ll bump into flicking the hangers along the rack lol

Like many I’m thrifty (but not to the point of being penny pinching)
and never pay full price if I can help it.
It’s not that many years ago I picked up 4 almost brand new tennis racquets
for the grandkids to use here in the backgarden

That’s me being frugal and thrifty – buying second hand things
with lots of life still left in them.  My small payment is also helping others.

I’ve been good at clearing out cupboards recently and the car is chockers with stuff to donate to our local Vinnies – might just have a look round the store while I’m there ‘cose you never know what you’ll find lol

Mum is hosting Alphabet Blogging
ZYX style
pop over and see what others
have found for the letter V

Alphabet Blogging, Blogging, Canada, Thoughts, Travel

W is for…………………….

When I thought of the letter W the first thing that came to mind was a post I wrote a few years ago.   It might be a little long for some but hang in there and you’ll find out what happens when you are in the Wrong place at the Wrong time

I’ll start by mentioning a 4 Corners programme I watched on ABC, (actually a BBC Panorama presentation) which was about a bomb plot.

So what’s new in that you ask, with all the problems in the world these days its nothing out of the ordinary.  Well this was a very interesting programme about a plot to cause damage to aircraft over the Atlantic and from evidence gained by British surveillance and presented in this doco, it was to take place in  August 2006.

The perpetrators had taken an interest in several American airlines and also a Canadian one, Air Canada. I was ok watching the programme until I heard that mentioned and then it all came back to me.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

We took one of our overseas trips in 2006 – this time it was to visit friends and rellies in the UK and then on to Nova Scotia for Dh’s aunt’s birthday. We flew to Halifax on August 10th but not after a very long wait in Heathrow airport, for that was the day all this came to a head and travel to and from that airport and airports around the world ground to a halt.

There was mention on the 6am news about problems at Heathrow so we left where we were staying much earlier than planned to take the hire car back and see what all the fuss what about. Good job we did as the expected 20-minute drive on the M25 took an hour and a half and was a nightmare. It’s not the easiest road to drive on at the best of time, traffic was banked up for miles, commuters making their way to work in the City as well as travellers trying to get to Heathrow. Police directing lanes at the Heathrow exits and motorists getting hot under the collar plus several accidents didn’t help

Flying isn’t one of the joys in my life and often I’m not in the best of moods as I approach airports at those times (meeting and greeting is different as I know we are turning round and driving straight home again) so the traffic problem certainly didn’t do much for my attitude let alone my BP that morning.

Hire car was returned and we caught the shuttle bus to the terminal, b……….traffic jams again and the driver wasn’t much help as he’d turned the radio off and hadn’t a clue what the problem was.

As we entered the terminal it was a sight to behold – Heathrow is always busy and crowded with travellers – but this was something else.

You couldn’t see the check in areas as there were enormous queues everywhere as well as people just sitting along the walls or wandering around dragging their luggage and looking weary – this was at 8.30 in the morning. We managed to locate the end of the Air Canada check in line and so the slow journey to the front began.

We were advised that the only things we could take on board were our travel docs and they had to be inside plastic bags, in other words no cabin/carry on baggage ‘cept ID, travel docs, necessary medications and clothing.  There were airport staff roaming around with plastic bags of all sorts of shapes and sizes some of which had to be replaced at check in as ‘they’ had stipulated a certain size and a certain size it had to be but the organisers hadn’t been given this info.. Also another part of the hold up at check in was travellers stopping in their tracks whilst waiting in the line to open their cases and try to fit things inside while others waited behind them.

One reason I always leave a little head room when I pack lol

Ladies were not happy – no handbags allowed onboard, if they didn’t fit in their luggage there was one of those plastic film wrap machines available to wrap them and they went into the hold as is. No food or drink allowed to be taken airside so kids were gorging on food (mainly chips and lollies/sweets brought along for the journey) and drinking water and soft drinks till it came out of their ears (or the other end lol)

The departure board indicated our flight to Halifax was delayed (no surprise) so we thought we’d get a coffee in one of the cafes upstairs before going through airside security – that was till we came out of the lift.

More queues – looked like thousands of people wending their way crocodile fashion from one end of that floor to the other. Staff walking up and down calling out, no drinks, no food – jars of baby food included, no papers or books and of all things no chewing gum were allowed airside, documents to be in plastic bags – over and over again. Lots of speculation and no real reasons but it seems there were concerns about minute detonators being carried in the pages of books and jell like substances maybe being used as well.

So we found the end of the queue and started shuffling – again

There was no shouting or anger; no pushing or shoving, in fact nobody showed any annoyance at all, just accepted all the disruptions. It was a bit like queuing for tickets to a concert or like, people chatting to complete strangers and even ‘saving places’ in the case of toilet breaks or even hunger breaks – the cafes were right alongside us at one point and the smell of bacon sandwiches was just too much for the lady in front of me lol

About 90 minutes later we reached the security area before airside and passed through after a very thorough security check, there was the now standard shoes and belts off plus any removable clothing eg coats and jackets, that all went in the travelling chute eas I call it – for us it was through the ‘door way’ scanner and then submit to a hand held scanner and pat down.  Waiting in line I watched as security insisted a baby have its nappy/diaper removed and lots of creams and other things removed from the toiletries bag the family had for the baby, then a rather old disabled lady was made to get out of her wheelchair and pass through the ‘door way’ scanner before almost collapsing into it again. All these passengers were using many different airlines – not just the one we were taking – so no wonder the lines were so long!!

Once through we started to walk forward taking everything in and I stopped in my tracks. Facing me are several large British policemen looking very businesslike with very large guns held across their chests (don’t ask me what they were, some sort of automatic things) now I’ve travelled a lot and been through a lot of airports and in all my travels I’ve never been so scared in my life, suddenly it all became real and I just wanted to be out of there and on my way.

Our flight was still delayed so with no sign of it boarding soon I finally got that longed for coffee and then went to buy a bottle of water to take on board reasoning that as it was in a ‘safe’ area it would have been ok – only to find there was none on sale.

There’s one thing I don’t do when flying and that’s eat, self explanatory – my stomach is churning so much there’s no point in putting food in it as it will all come back up again –there is one thing I do do and that’s drink water.

Rather than tip it away I’d drunk the two bottles I brought with me – it had been so hot in the departure area one went down there and the other in the queue upstairs so I wasn’t happy about not getting any to take onboard.

So many people walking around looking dazed didn’t much for my peace of mind either.

We finally got on board after even more security checks, several hours later than we expected, those who had bought papers and books from the airside newsagents thinking it would be ok had to leave them behind – don’t ask, we never found out why – things that were ok airside one minute were suspect the next.

Duty free goods had to be handed over, the plastic bags identified with a large luggage label, and then the passenger was reassured they would be available for collection at the end of the journey. For some reason seeing all those bags with the labels attached lined up against a wall reminded me of film I’d seen of children being evacuated during the war with names on labels attached to their clothes lol

It was a strange flight; most passengers very quiet and subdued wondering if all was well in the hold. I did have a strange thought that I wasn’t sure if they were worried about any explosive problem or the fate of theiir duty free booze.  The hosties were fabulous, lots of soft drink and water available, papers as well (not sure how ones brought in from another newsagent were ok but those for sale from the airport newsagent weren’t) lots af attention not just for Business and First but for Economy as well.

When we arrived in St John’s Newfoundland 5 hours later we had to clear the plane of all luggage to go through their customs (as is the way) and it was so different to other flights when there is hustle and bustle at this time – we all just stood up and walked quietly off the plane – there was no hand luggage, so no groping around in the overhead lockers, just us and the plastic bags we took on board.

I did get a laugh at the baggage carousel watching grown men making sure their duty free bottles of grog were safe and sound before handing them over again for the next leg to Halifax.

End of story was we arrived much later than expected – the cousins picking us up had no idea what was going on on, no idea of the chaos on the other side of the Atlantic, just that the flight had been delayed.  Worldwide air travel was disrupted for weeks and procedures for carry on baggage reassessed.

Just one of those days to remember
when we were in the Wrong place at the Wrong time

Mum is hosting Alphabet Blogging
ZYX style
pop over and see what others have found for the letter W

Alphabet Blogging, Blogging, Family history, Fun

X is for ……………..

So what am I going to come up with for this one!!

X is the third most rarely used letter in the English language.
There are very few English words that start with X

Once you’ve read that you will realise X is a bugger of a letter
So once again what am I going to come up with for this one!!

Well I suppose here in Australia we could always show you this
Most people over 18 would know what it stood for lolXXXX

XXXX (pronounced fourex) is a brand of Australian beer brewed in Milton, Brisbane by Queensland brewers, Castlemaine Perkins. It enjoys wide popularity in the state of Queensland and is commonly found on-tap in most Queensland pubs and bars.

Then there is that saying –  X marks the spot
Supposedly from British army officers pinning a piece of paper with X on it
to the chest of someone about to be executed

Or it could it be a spot on a map
(like a pirates’s treasure map)


But the X our family is interested in is this one
The one The Golfer’s Great Grandmother Julia made
when she registered his Grandfather’s birth in 1878

you have to look carefully or click and enlarge

birth b 1 - Copy

These days we take reading and writing as a norm but evidently from what we see on this copy of the birth certificate it was a skill that eluded Dh’s ancestor – she was unable to write her name so made her mark with an X

Linking to Mum for her Alphabet Blogging
ZYX style

Alphabet Blogging, Blogging, Daily Life, Family history, Music

Y is for……………..

 Yesterday – the day before today
Yesterdays – A former period of time or of one’s life

I remember a little saying my Mum
would sometimes come out with

‘Yesterday is history; Tomorrow is a mystery.
But today is a gift, that’s why it is called the present’

Work on Family Histories is made up of Yesterdays 
The yesterdays I’m very interested in are
The past days and years that were lived by my and The Golfer’s family
So no matter what was said or done in the past,
those Yesterdays will always be of interest to me

And of course ‘Yesterday’ features quite a bit in songwriting

There’s the famous  ‘Yesterday’ written by Paul McCartney

This is favourite Yesterday of mine
Yesterday when I was young’
sung here by Charles Aznavour

So what did I do yesterday?
I brought in the recycling bin with it’s Yellow lid


Walked down the street and saw some Yellow flowers
Heard all the kids Yelling in the school playground
(Mind the road!)

And then I lunched on boiled eggs with great big Yellow Yolks and some Yogurt

~ Lunch in the sun ~ Yello yolked egg and Yogurt ~
~ Lunch in the sun ~ Yello yolked egg and Yogurt ~

What did you do Yesterday?

Linking to Mum for her Alphabet Blogging
ZYX style