Daily Life

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)

Daily Life, Monday Musings, Monday Mutterings

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?

Friday Fun, Fun Friday

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

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

Family history, Monday Memories, Monday Musings

You know how it is…..

You know how it is, you’re having a conversation with someone, the topic changes and you’re left behind.  That’s when you need a back up memory aka someone to remind you of the things you’ve forgotten 😊

One minute I’m chatting to my next sister about what life in India must have been like during the late 1800s for our Gt Grandparents.  Even with the ‘perks’ a soldier of his rank (colour sgt) would have had,  the climate and environment would have been something neither would have encountered before.  Likewise for many of the ordinary rank soldiers who would have been going on patrol up country.

Then a short while later we are talking about hop picking.  For a few years during the late 1940s/ early 1950s we lived in Cosham Hampshire – Dad had been posted away and Mum was always looking for ways to earn some extra pennies.  I could remember during the summer school holidays travelling on an old bus along with what seemed like every local woman and crying baby up Wymering Lane and over the nearby Portsdown Hill to huge fields full of enormous poles with vines hanging down. Then having to carry bags full of ‘stuff’ my mother deemed we needed for the day.  Next sister sent me this old photo to remind me of the look and feel of the hop fields.

She remembers different things to me, mothers singing in the bus, primus stoves and enamel tea pots, green coloured flasks with corks in the top, door stop sandwiches (no sliced bread).  Being allowed to get dirty, running amok amongst the tall hop poles barefooted or in the previous years gutties with the toes cut out…..because our feet had grown and there was no spare cash to buy new ones.  You can tell from those memories who was the younger one with less responsibilities!

Lots of laughter because when she mentioned gutties I thought she said putties and had returned to soldiers in India 😊

No, those canvas shoes we wore during the summer.  They made your feet sweat and we had to clean them outside with some pastey white stuff.  Blanco I told her, made the laces go stiff and the white stuff used to come off, floating in the air like a fine dust

But weren’t they called Sand Shoes? Gym Shoes? Plimsolls?  No, Dad called them Gutties, something else I’d forgotten. That’s what they’re called in Northern Ireland

Looking at these photos and the dress she had on she remarked she’d never forgotten how she had to wear my old clothes.

So I had to remind her about no extra cash and everything being passed on.  There don’t seem to be any photos to prove otherwise but we think our little sister also wore the same dress one summer.  Not the shoes tho’ – they’d had the toes cut out so we could get another summer’s ’round the house or playing in the street’ wear out of them 😊






As you can see all these years later I still wear those white canvas shoes during the summer.  Perfect for round the house or down the beach. No need for all that messy while stuff these days – I just chuck them in the washing machine and hang them on the line to dry  and if the toes wear through, no worries, they’ll be right for gardening the next year 😊

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What memories have you relived recently – or maybe memories you’ve been reminded about

I see no wrong in admitting you’ve forgotten something – to me being reminded in some circumstances makes the memory fresh again

Daily Life, Friday Fun, Fun Friday

It’s just not funny anymore……

It’s just not funny,  I said to myself.

You’re talking away to yourself in here, said The Golfer

And what are you doing down on the floor?

Well it’s like this,  I said.

When I start off everything’s fine and dandy

It’s between here

and here

The problems start.

I know there are things I can practise at the gym

so I can get to here

Without falling over!

Come on, I’ll help you up,  said The Golfer

I’ve got a friend who had the same problem

He said the practice of putting more water with it helped enormously!

Not funny,  said I.

Ouch, that’s not funny either, said The Golfer.  Watch it or I’ll let go of you and where will you be then?

Back on the floor with only one leg in my knickers, said I 😊😊

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

(Funny true story – but unfunny because it’s happening more frequently)

graphics source

Weather, winter

It’s arrived….

It arrived about 8pm this evening  – The Winter Solstice that is

The half way mark of the year – for us in the Southern Hemisphere                         ‘the shortest day’

From now on the days will become longer – the hours of daylight will lengthen

Look – this week it goes from 9.32.28 to 9.33.19

We gain 16 secs of daylight 😊

Just wish it would get warmer 😎  

Information source

Words for Wednesday

Words for Wednesday (on Thursday)

Words for wednesday is a weekly meme using words or pictures as prompts.
Bloggers are encouraged to make what they will of them

Lee has chosen these words to use on this second Wednesday in June
Attitude, Uphill, Insight, Lessons, Upheaval, Canopy
Patience, Engage, Humility, Strategy, Fortitude, Forbearance

This is what I’ve made of them – using one set or both, why don’t you have a go
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Old love – New love

‘If you have the right attitude you can’t fail to obtain the degree you applied for, said the facilitator of Heather’s class.

Leaving the lecture the three friends pottered over to the Uni cafe, grinning at each other as they stood in line.

Heather listened quietly as the other two chatted on, ‘Old Higgins must have the patience of a saint having to deal with a new intake of students every March’

She knew that her Pa had been chums with ‘Old Higgins’ at Melbourne – Father’s constant companion had been Higgin’s son jokingly called Higgins Minor by all and sundry. Although of similar ages Mother had had a fling with ‘young Higgins’ as she called him but father won through because…..in her mind…..he rode and played tennis in a far superior manner and didn’t talk about excavations, artifacts or midden heaps.

Heather couldn’t understand her mother’s reasoning because she herself disliked horses intensely and as long as she could remember all she’d wanted to do was go on a dig, walk uphill and down dale to visit an archeological site and maybe find something of interest. Each time he visited she would constantly engage with her father’s friend, trying to gain an insight into the lives of those who’d gone before.

Family all agreed she had faced the upheaval caused by her father’s death with strength and fortitude beyond her years. Her mother had shown great humility in coming up with a plan of action that would allow Heather to continue attending her prestigious city school. This strategy had involved asking the school for forbearance on school fees, then organising in association with the local club a summer programme of tennis lessons on their personal court at home.

All through this Heather, much to her mother’s chagrin, had kept alive her desire to study archaeology. And here she was, about to begin her first year, and she just knew dear Old Higgins would become her favourite professor.

There was just one thing she couldn’t understand though.

On one of the recent hot days she’d wandered down to the tennis court and even further on towards the back of the block where some trees with high branches had formed a shady overhead canopy; she’d stopped in her tracks when she saw her mother and ‘young Higgins’ sitting together on one of the wooden benches – holding hands and looking longingly into each others eyes.

Now what was that all about she wondered??

Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday- seen in Waikiki

Seen on TheBus making our way to Diamond Head Trail Waikiki
27 April 2017

I’ve never noticed a steering wheel as high as that – horizontal or otherwise
Or maybe our bus drivers have a different set up

This driver certainly didn’t look comfortable – and wasn’t open to ‘chatting’

Decided it was a bit too hot when we got there – there’s always another time😊

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Wordless Wednesday occurs all over the internet each Wednesday, when bloggers let photos speak for themselves.
Click in the link below and see what others have to say ‘Wordlessly’ (or almost)

Wordless Wednesday hub


Family history

Where oh where have my little men gone……

Oh where oh where can they be?

My paternal grandad (the one who was gone before I arrived) had two brothers plus several half brothers  Deaths in Ireland in the mid 1800s were frequent so his father was married twice.

The habit of giving children family given names – 1st son usually got their paternal grandfather’s name (plus more sometimes) likewise for daughters being given grandmother’s names and so on – makes it so hard to pin point and attach the correct John, James,  or Archibald (who calls their child Archibald – my family obviously because it seems like there are hundreds of them out there) or even anyone else for that matter to the correct family.  John Smith could have 5 sons who each have a son, which means there you are, theres 5 more John Smiths often with only a few years between them 😊

When my gt grandad named the boys in his second family he obviously couldn’t carry on the way he was going – he’d used up all the male names from both his and his deceased wife’s extended families which meant the new sons ended up with slightly different ones that originated in the new wife’s family.

So when associated with an unusual surname you’d think they’d be easy to find in amongst all the online records available on various family history sites.  You’d think??  I’ve found the correct birth records for all three brothers plus 1901 Irish census and they’re filed away…… I’ve located a marriage certificate, 1911 Irish census record as well as a death cert. for my grandad (my dad’s dad) but nothing more for the other two.

The trouble is so many in their family or extended family from other counties all with the same surname (and lots with the same given names) decided life would be better elsewhere and hopped on ships to sail to other lands.  Paasenger records are interesting in that sometimes the name recorded could be a full set of given names plus family name or any one of abreviations/nicknames the person is called…..  Alexander James could be that or Alex or Alec Or James (if his father has the same name) or even Jimmy!

Then there’s the case of illiteracy…….lack of reading and writing skills……….or even bad hearing in a noisy environment…..where names spoken aren’t always transcribed with the same spelling.  My father was adamant one of his grandmothers was a Muldoon – yes that, plus McIldoon or McEldoon or M’Eldoon which I’ve found on legal docs.  Same with his other grandma – she’s recorded as being Mary M’Endoo or McAdoo or McAdor!  Northern Ireland accents could fool even the locals lol

That little saying up above is what my dad told me when I gave him his first grandchild.  Tell him about where the family came from but don’t stop him flying away to see what the rest of the world is like.

Now if anyone knows where my Thomas Henry ***** and his brother Joseph Arthur ***** are could you tell them their gt niece Catherine is looking for them 😊😎

Daily Life, Monday Musings

Gotta do what you gotta do….

Yes I know not great english but my interpretation would be ‘when you’re left with lemons…..make lemonade!’

Although in this case I chose to pick up the ‘lemons’

The little Butternut pumpkin is the one I choose for winter soups. It’s usually nicely sized …..and I can cut (and peel) it easily.  I know other pumpkins can be used but half the time I can’t even pick them up let alone cut the skin off (and I don’t like the taste when they’ve been in the oven) so it’s the Butternut for me.

The cost of fruit and vegatables fluctuates greatly with seasons and once again, in what seems to be an annual trend, because of previous weather events we had been warned of price rises.  At the moment,  Butternuts…in my mind…. have an exhorbitant price attached to them so as I’m going to be peeling and seeding (in other words tossing some of it) I’ve been loathe to buy them.

Carrots on the other hand seem to be really cheap.  Carrots are a staple in our house…..no matter what time of the year there’s always some in the fridge.  In summer they are grated or thinly sliced julienne style with salads – in winter, well you name it they turn up in just about everything cooked in our kitchen

Oh look at that, said Catherine when she saw an enormous 5kg bag of carrots going for $2.

And how long do you think it’ll take you to use all of them said The Golfer!

These days with there only being the two of us I usually don’t buy fruit and veg in bulk ……..unless I know we use it regularly, it will last or I have something special in mind but also…. because He with the long elephantine memory will always remind me of the times he’s discovered things in the fridge I’ve forgotten I’ve even bought!

So with those words having been spoken (and knowing The Golfer, who doesn’t usually come grocery shopping with me, would object to backtracking through the shop to pick them up later) I had to do a bit of quick thinking.  How many casseroles did I have in mind to make during the next week?  Soup??  Usually made with other root vegetables.  What do I have in the fridge at home?  Oh blow it, pick them up.  They’ll keep out in the freezing cold garage!

Broccoli or as known to some of our grandchildren in their very young days as green forest… as opposed to white forest…which was the name for cauliflower 😊 is another veg we use a lot of. It’s usually sold by weight and I find it ‘fun’ to watch shoppers choosing their broccoli – some just pick up a piece and carry on while others turn the pieces over and over to find those with the thinnest stems because they will be throwing that part away and don’t want to pay for something they won’t be eating.

Lately the stems, you know the bit in the middle where the little stalks and the green flowery bits grow from, have been really thick.  Occasionally I’ll put them in with other bits if I’m making vegetable stock but last week it seemed like most of the weight was in the stems so after slicing and dicing them those pieces went into a chicken and veg soup.

Now that did turn out good – economical, what’s in the cupboard style, certainly not glossy cook book style.  As well as a small sliced raw chicken breast it included onions, the last of a packet of frozen mixed veg, also same of frozen peas and corn, some McKenzie’s dried soup mix, potatoes, broccoli stems, potato stock from the freezer mixed with chicken stock powder plus  several carrots.   After cooking I gave it a little whizz with Bamix using the chopping blade to ‘break up and circulate’ the chicken lol     Top shelf of freezer holds several tubs of Carrot Soup,…….. a fairly basic recipe, except I added some curry powder when I fried the onions and garlic to give it a bit of oomph…..plus  one remaining tub of the Chicken and Veg – well it was cold and that’s all there was left after having it for dinner two nights in row.

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And I’ll tell you what – my life must be fairly quiet at the moment if I’m relating what we had for dinner last week 😊

But then it’s Monday, the day I sit here thinking and chattering about anything and everything.

 So tell me, what did ‘you’ have for dinner last week ??

Skywatch Friday, Weather

Shine on silvery moon…..

Last weeks full moon was enormous!

Unfortunately this isn’t it!

I went out several times to try and take photos but no luck……. For some reason the camera I have now doesn’t take great night shots…..So these are some I took of another full moon……way back in May 2010.  That was when I had the old Blogspot blog also called Still Waters 😊

Nights like this always remind me of a special poem from my school days


Slowly, silently, now the moon
Walks the night in her silver shoon;

This way and that she peers, and sees
Silver fruit upon silver trees;

One by one the casements catch
Her beams beneath the silvery thatch;

Couched in his kennel, like a log
With paws of silver sleeps the dog;

From their shadowy cote, the white breasts peep
Of doves in silver feathered sleep;

A harvest mouse goes scampering by.
With silver claw and silver eye;

And moveless fish in the water gleam.
By silver reeds in a silver stream

Walter de la Mare 1873 – 1956

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Skywatch Friday is a  place to show off the beauty of the skies
Day time or night time there is always something to see if you look up to the sky

Follow the link and see what others have see above them this week
Maybe you could add your own

Words for Wednesday

Words for Wednesday

Words for Wednesday is a weekly meme using words or pictures as prompts            Bloggers are encouraged to make what they will of them

These are the words Lee has provided for the first Wednesday in June
Comedy – Shadows- Loss – Rainbow – Emotional – Heart 
Contradictions – Sensitive- Legendary- Engage – Forever – Never ending 

And this is what I made of them – perhaps you’d like to have a go also
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Thoughts of an old Thespian

Paul stood outside the doors of the local Little Theatre company thinking of all the times he had been onstage relishing the applause that came as the curtain dropped.

The night before he’d been to a special performance of the current production. A revival showcasing one of his favourite roles; a comedy about a young man in a country village who seemed to have all the young girls trying to catch his eye. The young man is portrayed as being sensitive and understanding but also a little slow on the uptake.

Paul’s thoughts went back to his time as leading man remembering how difficult that role had actually been. There were the never ending rehearsals, constant script revisions, a director whose instructions were full of contradictions; there was no wonder he, who was legendary for breaking the heart of more than one young actress had suffered the indignity of having taken forever to engage with ‘that woman’.

He had never forgiven his agent, he was the one who had been responsible for introducing her to the director, which resulted in Paul’s latest ‘young lady’ not getting the part. In his mind there was nothing worse than an emotional female and there he was having to cope with two of them!

Trying not to slip on the wet pathway he was all smiles as he made his way down to the coffee shop. It was a foggy damp day and there waiting for him, walking towards him, no, almost floating towards him, from out of the misty shadows was Rosie.

Once again they chuckled and recalled how on the night the show closed all those years ago, he had dropped into the jazz club to ‘drown his sorrows’ as well as ‘heal his wounds’ and there she was!

Sitting on the edge of the stage a la Judy Garland; singing her heart out; loving every minute of it.

Her loss went on to be his (and her) gain – she hadn’t left town but stayed to persue a different career.

Oh yes, there really was a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and he’d had no trouble engaging with it!

Travel, Wordless Wednesday

Almost Wordless Wednesday……seen in Kavala

Seen in Kavala Greece 
8 October 2014

Oh my goodness, you never know what is to be found in some towns
We knew there was lots to see here but nobody mentioned :-
The Kavala Aqueduct

Seen early on our way into the town centre.

One enormous structure right there ‘in your face’ no way of avoiding it!

Seen from up at the top of the castle – meandering it’s way through the town.
We didn’t have time to see where it began or ended but what we did see was inspiring.

And seen again on our way down.

Here in Melbourne there was an old saying’ meet you under the clocks’ meaning the clocks out the front of Flinders Street Station….. I wonder if the locals here say ‘meet you under the arches?’

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Wordless Wednesday occurs all over the internet each Wednesday, when bloggers let photos speak for themselves.
See what others have to say ‘Wordlessly’ (or almost)
Wordless Wednesday hub

Daily Life

Winter reading….

It’s been a while since our lazy summer days where I seemed to devour any book I got my hands on.  January, February and March saw me reading 28 books but since then things have definitely slowed down.  Slowed down to a crawl!  Well if the truth be told with only 2 books read since then slowed almost to a full stop !

However this will be partially rectified very soon because my friend has pointed me in the direction of another challenge similar to the one we undertook in January.

I know it sounds basic but this one’s an either/or – easy/hard challenge
Easy follow the As or the Bs – 6 books, no mix and match
Hard follow both A & B – 12 books in all
Also include some Australian authors

Also (as was suggested by another soon to be unfriended friend) I’m not naive and do realise I shouldn’t need challenges to encourage me to read but this way rather than choose willy nilly off the library shelves I get to look through the catalogue chasing something to fit the bill.

To begin with, my choices will be Bs, starting with an author I’ve never read before...

Delia Falconer – The Service of Clouds.

“It is 1907 and the Blue Mountains are filled with the grand dreams of elsewhere.  Eureka Jones, a young pharmcist’s assistant with historical eyes, falls in love with Harry Kitchings, a man who takes pictures of clouds and succumbs to the ‘madness of photography’. Their love turns the mountains blue “

And as winter began last week (June 1st). I’d best make a start 😊

So what’s been on your bookshelves recently. Maybe you could recommend some titles that would be a good fit for some of the Bs?

Daily Life, Weather

Hello Winter….

As always no amount of wishful thinking will change anything.  Yesterday June 1st was the day…..the day that is deemed to be the first day of Winter here in Australia.

Not cold enough for snow here in Melbourne but definitely cold.  Cold enough to see your breath oozing out of your mouth like the steam from a boiling kettle.


Well that’s what it was like at 7.30am when I drove down the the pool.  I know it sounds strange going to the pool in the Winter but I’ve got to keep this old body mobile and that’s the easiest way for me to do it.  The young lad on the desk said they’d turned the gas up so the water was a bit warmer….30c instead of 29.5c lol  Still felt cool cold to me when I got in 😟

What was good about the day – and quite a few others over the past couple of weeks – was the way the afternoon turned out to be quite warm  A bit like what I call desert weather……. Really cold overnight then dry sunny and warm(ish) as the day goes by.  And by the look of last night’s forecast that’s the way it’s going to be for the next few days

So all there is to say is:-

Where’s my thermal undies and it’s Beef Stew for dinner 😊