Tag Archives: Life this Week

Easy Peasy Dessert

Do you remember the post (Afternoon Tea with a Difference) where I told you about the ‘virtual’ events that were held years ago – well here’s another little story along the same lines (this one is from Feb 2011 ) plus the photos that went with it.

The theme this time was to talk about the easiest dessert in your repertoire
That was a laugh because desserts didn’t come high on my list of cooking skills
Anyway after a bit of head scratching – no….ice cream cake from the supermarket wasn’t what the organisers were after…. I finally came up with something

~ ~ ~ ~

Hot humid sticky days in Summer often mean a lack of interest in heavy food
So on those days when you just can’t be bothered
and fresh fruit just doesn’t do it for you
I’ve gone back to one of the nicest easiest desserts (and at times snacks) there is

Good old fashioned Jelly – called Jello in some parts of the world.

Here in Australia it comes as flavoured crystals.
but in England I only remember it coming as flavoured gelatin cubes.  

So simple to make – dissolve in boiling water – add some cold
then pop in fridge to set
Takes no effort to eat – it just slides down the throat
Just the thing when you are feeling unwell
Lovely and cold when your body is hot
Fabulous with Ice Cream or Yoghurt
Along with Fruit and Custard and Cake (of some sort) you have the makings of a Trifle.

When the children were little I’d often add a tin of mandarin oranges which seemed to stretch it a bit further –  we  happened to have strawberries on hand the other day
So I chopped up a few and added them to the red jelly mix
(Our fridge lives in the laundry which means the washing machine is close by
A flat lid plus a clear chopping board makes a great handy bench at times)

Gone are the days of the large jelly mould I’d use when the children were little
you know the sort with the fluted edges.
that also needed two packets of crystals so it was firm enough to unmould.
 The tupperware one was my favourite, the one with a lid (so nothing ‘dropped into’ the jelly while it was in the fridge) as well as changeable bottoms that became the pattern on the top when it was unmoulded.  

These days when there are just us two I use these little ramekins as moulds
One liquid mix just fits nicely into the four and they don’t take up much fridge space

We tend to eat it directly from the little bowls
A nice little snack together with ice cream or yogurt, tea and a biscuit

If I wanted I could make it look more interesting
By placing chopped jelly in a bowl along with the yoghurt
Adding a cup of coffee and slightly ‘different ’ biscuits

And then of course for an after dinner treat
I could change direction again – make it a bit ‘posher’ – and present it like this

This kind of dessert was first recorded as jelly by Hannah Glasse in her 18th century book The Art of Cookery https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gelatin_dessert

Gosh didn’t that week go by quickly, it just seems like yesterday when I was sitting here in the early hours of the morning, cup of tea in hand chatting away to whoever was listening. Cooking hasn’t been top of the ‘want to do’ this past week. Simple (read comfort type) meals…..sausage & mash is a favourite of The Golfer’s and quick and easy to prepare. My favourite fruit (Imperial mandarins) is back so afters seemed to be quick and easy as well. Mandarins, water melon, bananas, cheese & crackers plus almonds/walnuts…..even hot custard one evening. No jelly though…. need to pick up a packet when I next do a shop!


Now I’m off to put the kettle on and decide on brekky – me thinks porridge, brown sugar and sultanas on top sounds good this morning.
There’s a date with a syringe and a hypodermic needle coming up in a couple of days so a bit of housework needs to be done in case I have a reaction, although all should be well seeing as this is the 2nd one and there was no problem with the first. I’d be interested to know if anyone had a reaction to their second AstraZeneca shot.

Oh, and do visit Denyse’s blog to see the latest edition of Life this week – there’s always people to meet over there.
Linking to Senior Salon  – hosted by Esme

AND…..big thanks to Gigi (gigi-hawaii) for her post that reminded me of this fun easy peasy dessert 😊

And – hopefully – The Golfer and our ISP have finally fixed whatever the problem has been with our internet. If it drops out again I’m going have a hissy fit down the telephone line into some poor unsuspecting workers ear. Also I’m hoping I’ve fixed my ‘commenting on blogger blogs problem’. Had to sign out not just of Google but my old blogger account as well – something I’ve haven’t done for years. Lots of head scratching and looking through ‘notes’ to find the correct p/word.

Pussy cat Pussy cat where have you been……

We had cold and wet and gale force wind in copious quantities last week in Melbourne, we also had days with no power after a ‘ginormous’ storm went through but just before all that happened I did a bit of indoor ‘ techie type’ clutter clearing’…… this time it was sorting out old photo folders (again)
I had a little smile when I came across these two …..I’d read somewhere about taking photos as reminders of items/objects you’ve enjoyed but no longer want/need
So during a previous ‘clearing out’ blitz, that’s just what I did.
Took photos of these two very large almost brand new mugs that had spent a lot of unused time in the cupboard….. just before I passed them onto someone else 😊

I’ll keep the photos a while longer – not to remember the mugs – but as a memory of the recently departed friend who gave them to me.

In the cold of the very early morning I’m enjoying my first cup of tea and thinking of my ‘darling B’ ……she who lived such a gentle life, and left this world in a gentle sort of way. Settling down for the night, not waking in the morning – just as she would have liked. Quietly peacefully at ease.

She talked continuously about ‘ feeding the heart to nourish the soul ‘, introduced me to the concept of loving kindness and all it involved, lived a lifestyle practising what she preached many years before it became trendy. Gifting to me gave her as much joy as it gave me.

She had many friends who appreciated the quiet peaceful life she led, her ‘going away party’ was small and simple, limited by restrictions…..
but there’s another ‘friends as well as family’ gathering being planned for later….where she’ll be the centre of attention as we celebrate her life 😊❤️

Denyse is the host of Life this week  – do pop over
because you never know who you’ll see there.
Linking to Senior Salon – hosted by Esme
As the old advertising slogan goes:- You’ll never never know If you never never go!

ps – B even suggested the people I could pass the mugs on to.
pps – I live in the foothills of The Dandenongs. This is what went through

https://www.9news.com.au/national/weather-news-victoria-thousands-without-power-as-destructive-storms-lash-state/c36b2a57-3eb9-4178-90f4-f9eb9a455e9c

They’re leaving home….

‘Our Big Girl’ left home last week. She and ‘her partner’ left their old home in the hands of its new owners and drove out of Melbourne towing her new home (a spanking new little…..very little….Jayco Pop Top Journey Outback caravan). They’re taking 12 months worth of leave (accrued annual, long service and sick) to do The Big Lap. Yes they’ve done all the planning, sold up everything and anything they didn’t ‘love’ including house, rented a storage unit for things they couldn’t part with, and are now off to drive around (and discover) our Wide Brown Land.


This is a photo of my Mum and Dad taken many years ago – I think at the time they were on holiday in Skegness (a seaside town on the east coast of England). Dad stayed on in the RAF after the war which meant we lived in many places, and after we all left home they became great travellers enjoying time away now and again both in the UK and in Europe. They did venture ‘down under’, loved it here but found it a long way – nearly 24hrs travelling as opposed to just a few across The Channel and beyond.

Now this is a photo of The Golfer’s Mother and Father (my in-laws) taken many years ago – at the time they were spending a few days visiting one of his sisters, a four hour drive from their home. They weren’t one for ‘holidays’ away from home and I remember my sister-in-law writing and saying how her Mother was on tenterhooks the whole time she was there. Seemingly she had a very relieved look on her face as they were leaving for home.

Both of these couples had their birthdays and also the days of their deaths in the first half of the year so we both (The Golfer and I) can be a bit pensive during those months . It all seems to come to a head about this time of the year and we need time to ourselves.

Amongst many things, my parents gave me a love of music and dance , love, laughter and travel – my in-laws gave me a respect for a simple way of life. My father in-law was a country boy born in the small rural village of Boxted in Essex (East Anglia) and for most of his working life was a chimney sweep.

Sometimes when I look at this saying I have hanging on the wall (author unknown)

There are but two things we can give our children;
One is roots, the other is wings.

it makes me think of them and the legacy they left of being adventurous as well as enjoying life both at home and away.

So very different -yet so very much alike – both couples had one thing in common.

To see me, The Golfer and our family enjoy life and prosper
When we told them we were leaving, migrating to Australia.
and it was possible they wouldn’t see us again
‘Go for it’ they all said.
Move on…live your new life
But never forget where you’ve come from

Just before leaving time – 1972

Sitting here with my early cup of tea I’m thinking of how many times I’ve wished my children well, sent them on their way to enjoy new lives with the reminder to remember their roots. Some have returned a little worse for wear needing home comforts/love for a while longer- others have revelled in new found freedom

How have you felt when ‘leaving’ has cropped up in your world
It’s a word with many emotions attached

~ ~ ~ ~

Do visit Denyse’s blog to see the latest edition of Life this week  – you’ll find lots of interesting people over there.
Linking to Senior Salon hosted by Esme

(Oh and OBG hasn’t gone far – their first planned stop was Bright in the High Country…..just 4hrs up the road. Plans for a few days stay have now been extended to 7 (and possibly more) courtesy of the statewide lockdown we here in Victoria have been put into, which isn’t too bad as there’s lots of things to do up there even at this time of the year with its cooler temps (-2c/29f overnight) .. ….except there are only 5 reasons they (like us) are allowed to leave home, straying from the van park for exercise is limited to 2hrs within a 5km radius. Pubs restaurants and cafes are closed so no pub lunches in front of blazing fires either)

Something new…

Honestly, I’ve come to the conclusion that if I don’t think about what I’m doing at bedtime, I could actually do myself some damage.

Not me

So when I was shopping the other week a couple of pairs of silky pyjamas went into the trolley.

Why you ask??

So I can roll over in bed is the answer 😊

Colder nights mean thicker pyjamas that for some reason cling to the sheets which means I’m waking up feeling a bit ‘strangled’ in places, floundering about straightening tops and bottoms and having to sit up to roll over. Any attempt to do it lying down often results in some strong language coming out of my mouth as twisting can cause discs and nerves to come in contact with each other – I’m certainly not happy when that happens

It’s a different story when I wear my slippery silky pyjamas – they just slide and glide over the bottom sheet so there’s no friction at all. Unfortunately I’m down to two pairs in the cupboard which are being worn continuously …..except for the nights when I forget and put on the ‘thick’ ones and end up getting ‘stuck’ and worse, in pain…….so it was time to seek out some more.

Job done and I was all ready to ‘tap and go’ when this slogan caught my eye.
Sleep warm and cosy with this soft touch sheet set

Does anyone remember a couple of years ago when soft and cuddly bedding was what I wanted but what I ended up with were sheets like velcro ? Well I brought them out of hibernation for another chance turn on the bed….even with silky pjs on it still felt like trying to roll over on velcro…..guess they are maybe possibly definitely going to the op shop!

So warm and cosy in soft touch sheets sounded very interesting 😊

A little fondle of the sample and I was hooked.
It reminded me of the brushed nylon sheets we had back in the 1960s, similar…..not the same, thicker but softer.
…..They are constructed from washed microfibre that gives them a relaxed look and soft texture. These everyday sheets are lightweight, easy to care for and naturally wrinkle resistant…..
Oh I’m easily pleased
One queen size set went into the trolley!

And now I’m definitely pleased.
They are smooth, warm and cosy with not a hint of velcro to be found, they received both mine and The Golfer’s seal of approval … so much so that after a week of sleeps with them on the bed in my new silky pjs, then a look at how they laundered, I nipped back to the shop and came home with another set.

I have been thinking about this over my early cup of tea and realise that over the years I’ve never given much thought to sleepwear and bedding – you needed it so bought it. Soft warm comfortable new pjs is a new ‘well into retirement’ necessary requirement as is soft warm/cool comfortable new bedding. If my mother discovered what my thoughts on both of those things were she’d say I was going soft in my old age.
but golly, it’s good to be pampered now and again isn’t it.

Denyse hosts Life this week – why don’t you pop in to read the latest episode.

He’s been at it again….

I didn’t do it on purpose
at the time it was easier for him to do it than me.
Just look at what he came home with this time.
Theres no point in me complaining about him bring home unnecessary stuff because
I did ask him to look around and maybe pick up something ‘interesting’.
Interesting- adjective
Unusual, arousing curiosity or interest, holding or catching the attention, strange or different

They definitely caught his attention 😊

We have lots of little shops out here in the eastern suburbs that sell ‘interesting’ food stuffs. Little corner like asian shops where as you walk in you get the feeling you’re walking in to an Aladdin’s cave as well as slightly bigger bordering on small supermarkets selling ‘international’ bits and pieces.

When our loose leaf Chinese Green and Oolong tea is getting low it means a trip to one in Croydon to hunt through the shelves jam packed with things I’ve never heard of but look very interesting…….if I was confident enough to try.

It’s the only one locally where loose leaf is available rather than just tea bags and as they move things around the ‘teas’ are never where they were before, which means I’m constantly getting lost in unfamiliar territory trying to make sense of packets in very unfamiliar languages – now I’ve got into the habit of taking the tin along and asking for help. Which in turn makes other shoppers in there curious and they all have a go at finding my tea. It’s a very relaxed environment with lots of interesting chatter between shoppers and owners…..not that I can understand a word they’re saying to each other…or me at times…interesting to say the least😊

Further up Main Street is what we used to call ‘the dutch shop’ (now goes by a more upmarket name) where for years it was the only place I could get sweet soy sauce (ketjap manis) and the lovely oval almond cakes we enjoy. Now it has branched out and specialises in food from all over Europe, if The Golfer is curious to know if things he ate as a child still taste the same he’ll pop in there for English sweeties…..an international food mart indeed. If you’re a European migrant hankering for home, they have so many unusual products that something might catch your attention as you look at the interesting catalogue

And for real modern ‘interesting’ stuff there’s the chain that buys up weird and wonderful unheard of imported brands plus well known but nearly out of date products, also non sellers with what you think are surplus ingredients the manufacturer wants to get rid of. It began by buying and on selling goods that came off the conveyor belt looking ‘not quite right’. Perfectly ok, but maybe not the right shape or size. Now it’s all about clearance and discounts- buy now before it’s gone but occasionally they do have some ‘interesting- wonder what that tastes like’ things on the shelf

Guess where The Golfer picked up the chips with the ‘interesting flavours’ 😊

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I’m slowly catching up on the new daylight hours after our recent time change- it’s dark at the moment, the sky starts to lighten about 6.30am, so there’s still a bit of time left to enjoy another cup of tea before the day proper starts.
The Golfer is all set with tea for a while now (Oolong is his morning choice, mine is Dilmah Premium Ceylon….I’m not a strong tea lover) and as I was able to get a soft pack refill for him the other day he can continue to use the old tin caddy.
Our gain….the op shop’s loss!

And I just have time to wonder if anything interesting in the form of strange, different or unusual will happen this week. Here’s to an interesting one for you too!

Do visit Denyse’s blog to see the latest edition of Life this week – you’ll find lots of interesting people over there

Learning to Love…

Sometimes we just have to slow down and learn to love ourselves.
As I’ve found out recently

There’s one in you who’s sweet.
There’s one in you who’s mean.
Can you love them both?
Can you let them both be seen?

Can you love the one who tries?
And love her when she fails?
Can you love the one who lies?
And love the one who wails?

Can you love your tears?
Can you love your worry?
Can you love your darkest fears?
Can you love your fury?

Can you love indifference?
Love the one who clings?
Can you love the vibrant one?
Love the one who sings?

Can you love your addict?
Can you love your thief?
Can you love your vanity?
Can you love your grief?

Can you love your inner child?
And your body as you age?
Can you love your wild side?
Release her from her cage?

Can you love the one fulfilled?
And the one who’s not?
Can you love the one who’s chilled?
And whose temper’s hot?

Can you love the weakling?
The one who’s sometimes sick?
Can you love the warrior?
Who fights through thin and thick?

Can you love your crazy?
Can you love your sane?
Can you love your foolish heart?
Love your scattered brain?

There’s one in you who’s bored.
And one who’s often stressed.
Can you love them both at once?
And she who tries her best?

If the answer’s “no.”
To some of the above.
Then can you love the one in you.
Who’s learning how to love?

Leah Pearlman.
Dharma Comics
Inside Coaching

Pop over and say hello to Denyse – she’s hosting the latest edition of Life this week

Good Better Best

Just doing a bit of thinking out loud as I enjoy my early morning tea…… letting you know because this will probably end up as a lot of unorganised thoughts, that’s how much my mind is wandering these days.

Anyway, I’ve been thinking about the word good:-
very satisfactory, enjoyable, pleasant or interesting (source)

I’m not sure how ‘you’ would describe them (interesting maybe) but I recently learnt/discovered what I think are two really good words
Ones I hope to keep memorised remember and can pull out when I need impress other crafters…..who probably know them anyway 😊

SABLE– A common knitting acronym that stands for:-
Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy.”
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, At Knit’s End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much

TINKING – Tinking is the process of un-knitting your work
You would do this if you made a mistake somewhere in your row, but you don’t want to rip out your work. Tinking allows you to undo your knitting and fix your mistake. Tink is knit spelled backward.
https://newstitchaday.com/tinking/

It’s possibly a generational thing but do any of you remember this ‘rhyme/saying’ that was drummed into us at home as well as at school?

Good Better Best
Never let it rest
Until your good becomes better
And your better best

Parents and teachers had a lot to answer for in those days didn’t they…….wonder if it’s mentioned these days? I did also wonder if it was just a strict 20th century way of supposedly encouraging children along but it seems it’s been in use since 1897 source.

Better is described as – of a higher standard, or more suitable, pleasing or effective than other things or people (source)

And best is – of the highest quality, or being the most suitable, pleasing or effective type of thing or person. (Source)

BUT thinking about it I still wonder….and you might have your own thoughts

Why wasn’t our good good enough
Why did it have to be better
And more to the point, why did it have to be the best
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Now when you’re pottering around the internet and find a web site
that says if you add all these ingredients together

the result would beseriously amazing– my eyes prick up.
Well actually all I look for or rather all I want is something that tastes good
But if seriously amazing is promised that’s even better!

Rummaging around the cupboards this is what I found to work with:-
Lentils – Garlic…….crushed in jar – Onion and Carrot.
Chicken stock and potato water in freezer + extra made with vegetable stock powder
Coriander – Cumin – Salt/Pepper.
Lemon – slices in freezer or commercial lemon juice
Paprika – Bay Leaves…..no
Celery – no…..not nice however cooked.
Tinned Tomatoes……which had garlic and oregano flavours but what’s a different spice between friends 😊

Looked good after cooking – see below
I mashed it up a bit with the Bamix (wrong move….didn’t look so good) – not shown
Tasted really good

What was even better was how it tasted two days later
That’s when I remembered the big pot in the fridge
The one with the leftovers that should have gone into the freezer
Leftovers that ended up being dinner that evening

They tasted so good – in fact much much better than before – in fact Seriously Amazing

~ ~ ~ ~

Do visit Denyse’s blog to see the latest edition of Life this week – it’s all good over there




Do flowers remind you of people

Are there flowers in your life that are reminders of others
 People you have known during your life or have heard stories about

My mother grew Sweet Peas
No matter where we lived she would always find a place to grow them
My sister (who lived close to her) told me she was still growing them the summer she had her first stroke
BUT
Try as I may and have often done so I cannot get them to grow
No idea why, but they shrivel up and die
Autumn sowing or Spring planting doesn’t matter which
They just do not thrive

My Dad had a favourite that he grew in most of our gardens.
His gardening was usually confined to veggies but there was one small plant he always had growing somewhere in the garden
Said it reminded him of his Mum – our Granny
Over the years both my sisters have grown it as well.
It’s a real sentimental favourite with us.

That bank that runs alongside our front drive is a difficult spot and I’ve lost count of the number of plants been tried there
 The Golfer cleared more dead and dying out a few years ago and I stuck some Erigeron – Seaside Daisy – around about here and there.
Cuttings of Arctosis and Trailing Lantana (not a weed here in Victoria) thrived there as well as a ground cover Geranium (Cranesbill)

2009

Tucked away in one little corner where none of those others seemed to grow
is where I put a small pot of Dad’s favourite

The smallest flowering plant in my garden and one of the most loved
Snow in Summer – Cerastium tomentosum.
Over the next few summers it took over over that corner

I loved it – that little plant with soft grey foliage and tiny white flowers


Then my back took control of my life.
As well as me that little front garden really suffered
Because I couldn’t get down to keep things in order (trim/ cut back/weed) it really got out of hand so for the time being the slope has been returned to grass

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I’m just finishing off my first early morning cup of tea and thinking that as ‘the back’ is behaving itself quite well at the moment maybe I’ll have a go at redoing that slope.
Once Victoria has had its usual bucket load of Winter rains there’s no telling what might come about in Spring
It’s possible I’ll learn the secrets to growing Sweet Peas
But somehow I think that where that’s concerned, working this (discovered in the garage in a box of ‘might do one day’ things) cross stitch kit will be a better bet

Pop over to Denyse’s blog to see the latest edition of Life this week
Linking to #MondayMusings  hosted by Corrine at Everyday Gyaan

There’s always one…..

A long time ago (like back in the 1970/80s ) we’d gather the children together towards the end of November to take what we called our end of year breakup photo. It was a way of knowing there was at least one record of them all together each year…..copies were made and one went into each of the grandparents Christmas cards so they could see how much they’d grown during the year. (We were here in Melbourne- they were up there in the cold and often snowy UK). Anyway as is the norm someone would try to be funny….rabbit ears, tongues out, strange faces….


We did the same when grandchildren came along and as usual there’d be one who made a fuss. Or tried the tricks their parents did like little ‘bug eyed boy’

I was beginning to think it was a rerun of those days the other week trying to get a photograph of some cardigans before closing the ‘charity box’. The office had reopened so spent time checking seams (and buttons) getting things ready to send off. Strange I know but I do like to have a record of how most turn out, especially those engineered with pencil & paper (plus a few terse words) using a design from one pattern and sizing from another.
There’s the red one with the pockets finally finished, the grey cable has been done before, the royal blue is simply stocking stitch with a purl row on the right side every six rows (hard to see in that light) while the denim blue on the end was a definite pen/paper add /subtract job.

And just like with the children once you get them together they decided to have fun. Twisting this way and that, clothing disheveled, not looking at the camera, one even turned it’s back on me – lol I can assure you the rib band on the denim doesn’t droop and hang down like that but lies flat and even.

And for your…..’ ahhh aren’t they sweet’ moment…….here are some for the baby 12 month packs. Simple raglan mix and match – white always goes well with another soft colour which is good because it’s a great way to use up some half balls. And look….. the green/white striped one came good in the end.

It isn’t only ‘big kids’ who get to climb trees

So now that all of those cardigans plus quite a few more newborn size have finally made their way to Knit one Give one aka KOGO the time has come to concentrate on finishing some of the children’s jumpers on the go. And after that…..well take a look at this delightful photo of my (sadly late) blond curly haired little sister Patsy (aged about 3) forwarded to me a couple of weeks ago…….maybe just maybe, there might be some woolies coming up featuring little bunny rabbits 💕

It’s time for another cup of tea and a think about it.
My ‘word of the year’ is consider so I’ll have to think carefully about this one. Cardigans or Jumpers (sweaters). Size….can’t be too small or it will be dwarfed by the motif. Colour……practical for children in unknown circumstances or ‘soft and pretty’ because that’s what she was. I know there are graphs somewhere in amongst my patterns so guess what I’ll be doing today 😊😉

I’ve just had an (awful) thought…each of those children is now in their 50s and each of those grandchildren is in their 20s……so what does that make me???

Joining Denyse for the latest edition of Life this week – pop over and see how others fared.
Linking to #MondayMusings hosted by Corrine at Everyday Gyaan




Explore:- Travel, Investigate, Research,

Earlier in the year I read a book that definitely took my fancy.

The House between Tides…..Sarah Maine.
Her debut novel and one I’d definitely recommend.
Set in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides it’s centred around an old family home, a ‘crumbling mansion’ on an island that is only reached during low tides. Two timelines a century apart, two stories about the earlier inhabitants and the ‘last in the line’ who has come to explore the possibility of renovating and restoring the house to its earlier state only to discover it’s not as easy as she thought. Tucked into the storyline of an artist and his young wife, house parties, wildlife colonies, forbidden love, belligerent crofters, property rights plus a mysterious dead body are descriptions of sights and sounds of the island which catch you by surprise
The sand steamed slightly as the re-emergent sun turned the shallow pools into ripples of quicksilver”
so much so that they have you turning back the page to reread and savour again
BUT it was the access to the house at low tide that interested me.

Now most of you know that whenever possible we ‘winter in Queensland’ – Far North Queensland…… at a place called Bowen. Just offshore from Bowen, well within sight of the town is a small island, an island with a lighthouse – one of Queensland’s oldest!

A couple of times during winter the day time tides are low enough for a very special event – Bowen’s Walk to the Lighthouse. Read all about it HERE. It has become a well organised community event, a yearly fixture on the town’s calendar enjoyed by locals as well as many of the seasonal visitors.

The start is always at Dalrymple Point – where you can wander down and begin the trek across the sandbar or just stand around, explore the foreshore and watch the others enjoying the experience. Whichever you choose don’t forget the coral can be rough on feet so shoes of some sort are needed….not your best Sunday ones because your feet are going to get wet at some point .

What do they do once the walkers have reached the island – wander round the base of the hill, scramble up the hill to enjoy the view, take in their surroundings and
explore the lighthouse!

Turning around to come back to the mainland you meet up with streams of walkers young and old all coming the other way.
The walk takes about 2 hrs – a bit more if you stop along the way
You never know who you might meet and what you might see

These giant Red Starfish are a favourite find for those who look around and explore the shallows. But then they are not hard to find as they are there for all to see
when the sea level drops

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Some years we’d try to visit other parts of Queensland
spend time in places we’d normally just pass by on our 4 day drive north from home
or plan an actual road trip to places unseen before …off the beaten track
where you never know what’s round the corner

Places you decide ‘you must go to’
ones to get to – to explore – to appreciate- before it’s too late
Like the trip we took in 2012

Exploring the Undara Lava Tubes

I know this isn’t my usual ‘words only’ Monday Musings post but for me it fits in
perfectly with the suggested topic for Life this Week.
EXPLORE.
In some ways this pandemic is reminding us of roads previously travelled and places previously explored – I think it’s nearly time to start thinking about finding new ones.
Given the chance what are you up for next?

In the meantime perhaps you’d like to dip into some of those days.
https://cranethie.com/2012/09/12/so-where-do-we-begin/
https://cranethie.com/2012/10/03/light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel/
https://cranethie.com/2012/10/10/butterflies-flowers-volcanoes-and-kangaroos/
https://cranethie.com/2012/11/28/who-got-a-surprise-at-mt-surprise/

You should find the photos will open/enlarge with a tap/click

Oh and pop over to Denyse Blogs to see how others are exploring

Thoughts from the pathway

Funny what you think about while walking along the street

A few years ago my doctor said I was overweight, I remember that visit quite clearly and for some reason when I was out walking the other day it popped back into my mind.

I wondered how people saw me at that time – was I chubby, plump or did I actually look fat?   I know I certainly didn’t want to look like those descriptions and was most put out when he actually said that with a height of 157cms/ 5ft 2ins weighing 74kgs/163lbs (over 11 stone) was not a good look.

His reasons for concern were raised BP and the hip pain I had complained about.  At that time it was my hip that bothered me more than my back.  With the loss of some of the kilos the hip pain vanished which was a good thing because at one stage I found it difficult to walk up any stairs and much to my annoyance had to use lifts or escalators to get around large shopping centres, multi-story buildings and car parks.

Of course when the back started to play up a couple of years later and exercise was the last thing on my mind one or two….or even more….kilos went back on again but now, knowing the cause of the back pain (spinal stenosis) and how it can fluctuate from day to day (meaning come and go but never go away permanently ) we are constantly working on forms of exercise

Anyway as I slowly sauntered my way back from the park I went on to think about ‘What DO I want to look like’ and ‘How would I like others to see me’.  I knew I didn’t want to be ‘skinny’ or ‘thin’ as that is not a good look especially on an on older person.

Though I have to admit, I don’t actually admit to being 78 very often, I have no idea what a 78yr old is supposed to feel or do so I just live my life the same as before ‘cept that at the moment there is a bit more emphasis on food and exercise.

Anyway back to body shape, my body shape.

I think I would like to look trim (sort of slim with shape) – trim seems to imply toned, in good condition, and that’s what I’d like to be.

Having a shaped body would be great – someone once described my shape as like an H – same at the top and bottom with not much of a waist so dresses with belts are out lol.

Yes, having a shaped body would be great and if there are no fatty bits flopping around it would be even better 🙂

Maybe toned would be a good thing, and I can achieve that by continuing with visits to the gym using the equipment and hand weights as well as walking for the fun of it…..oh and the back strengthening exercises as well

Half hour exercise a day and all that lol

I have just one recurring thought though….will I be satisfied when I am back down to the suggested goal weight or will I be greedy and want more?   Knowing how hard it has been to get this far how will I manage to achieve that – will it be feasible or will my mind say ‘Forget it?’

Time will tell I suppose – we’ll cross that path when we get there 🙂

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

It’s early Monday morning – the bin men will be round soon – circumstances have changed, the dreaded UK strain has reared its head and Victoria is back in lockdown AGAIN – for a very short 5day circuit breaker time.
Restrictions include…. Masks on inside and out ‘cept your own home, no visitors to home, 4 reasons only to leave home, 5 km radius from home zone, outdoor exercise with household or one other person only 2hr limit, no gym (or golf) so the bands and weights used last year have been getting some use on the back deck….work from home if you can which means the Australian Open can continue because professional tennis is a means of employment but without spectators because entertainment has been cancelled!

Time for breakfast then ponder how to fill the day. At home – Healthily
Such exciting times 😊
How do you manage to make your days interesting – exciting even – when restricted?

Joining Denyse for the latest edition of Life this Week – Self Care.
Linking to #MondayMusings hosted by Corrine at Everyday Gyaan

Time gone by

I hope this doesn’t distress anyone — It’s something I feel I must write.
A follow up to last weeks post
It is also a fairly lengthy post — so you may choose not to read it

It all began with a tight painful feeling in the chest and shortness of breath……an ambulance was called and it was off to the hospital where they ‘didn’t know for sure’ but thought the problem was ‘a travelling blood clot’ (pulmonary embolism). Various unknown tests done, oxygen levels low so assistance given which helped.
Tests ‘inconclusive’ MRI needed, no clot but ‘serious lung infection’ so decision made to be transferred to a hospital closer to home where lung specialist is.

Oxygen level going up, chosen antibiotics seem to be working, Covid test negative, possible if all goes well she could be home for Christmas. Happy once her phone was charged and she could talk (breathlessly) to family.
Days later (Christmas Eve) told not well enough to go home…..”seriously pissed off but knows it’s for the best”.

Sudden turn for the worse, now sedated and intubated to help with recovery…… then septicaemia (sepsis) reared its head, medication changed, next 48 hrs vital but so far response is good.
31 December: Condition – serious but stable
2 January: Condition – deteriorated now critical but stable

By 5 January Drs are taking a different tack.
Covid negative- responded to septicaemia treatment but original lung infection has re-emerged. Trying to wean her off life support but lungs keep collapsing so ‘they may ask permission to perform a tracheostomy’. Cardiologists are monitoring her heart, on steroids for weak muscles. They’ll keep trying to ‘wean’ her.
The next day her husband signed the consent form
No luck getting her to breathe on her own so operation went ahead four days later
Now being ventilated in a different manner.

Day after operation there is the first bleed – a known complication. Appears she has a ‘weak trachea’ ??..hence the bleeds so more steroids to try to strengthen it.
Days pass, problems getting her lungs to work on their own without the ventilator, other organs strong plus good brain activity. Drs say it’s just a matter of time before she responds.

19 January: Decision made to give blood transfusion because of trachea bleeds – blood count good, transfusion has not been rejected, no change in condition. Hopeful this will make a difference.
Couple of days later news she now has an infection….family told nothing to worry about “ it’s something that can happen if you’re in hospital for a long time….however (not actual words) it’s playing havoc with her vital organs, but don’t worry they are dealing with it”. (Bloody golden staph!)

Many days of no change, respiratory condition still the same, no progress. Has been un-sedated at times but not responding as they would like.

29 January: Not doing well, getting weaker, drs doing all they can 2 steps forward 1 back. Condition gone from critical stable to critical.

1 February — Goodnight Patricia ….sleep well my little one ❤️

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It’s been a difficult time for family spread over 3 ‘continents’ – a husband and a son….hers not his…. living locally, other children plus extended family in UK and us out here.

Because of different time zones communication was difficult (husband not internet savvy) so son set up a messenger group where he posted up dates. Even though we all spoke independently to each other it meant nobody could complain they ‘weren’t told that’ even if they read it at a different time to others. It also meant I was able to refresh my memory to be able to write this post.

Language could have been difficult – English is mainstream now not the 2nd language it used to be but it was a help to have son’s Cypriot partner available when meeting with specialists.

Covid regulations meant no visitors – same worldwide restrictions only eased in exceptional circumstances. After applying (and reapplying) to the hospital director husband was only allowed four very short visits in the eight weeks, he was reliant on daily bulletins same as everyone else. Patsy’s son none (except to ‘view his mother’).

COVID stopped any travel in its tracks. One of Patsy’s daughters booked early on to go and visit and help husband- then all flights cancelled. Sister planned on quarantine before being able to help nurse Patsy (for when she would be discharged) but it became difficult after flights were cancelled….and then sadly not necessary. Strongly voiced emotional disappointment.

Also something that happens many times after a traumatic event like this. Strongly felt views on ‘decisions taken at hospital’ are emerging, little cracks are appearing……..why the operation….we know it’s not what she would have chosen , why not have left her to recover slowly in her own good time (or not) how on earth was she infected with golden staph (we should sue them )

Now there are other ‘arrangements’ to make. Husband and son are doing that without the healing cocoon of family close by. Something that expats, still with strong ties to family (and a country) elsewhere, have to cope with.
Patsy is being repatriated to England- her long time wish – the decision made to honour her wish feasible but so difficult to execute (well, involved more than difficult) especially with a pandemic ‘raging’ . It will happen, all in good time. So will husband’s return to England sort out other legal ‘problems’ but nobody knows when.

Then, all things being well and local Covid restrictions allowing it, children will be able to farewell their mother, grandchildren their Nana, and siblings their sister

~~~~~~~~~~~~

In a very reflective mood today, I like to think my early attempts at loving kindness meditation were felt by Patsy.
I’ve been assured she died peacefully with no pain, in a quiet warm safe environment

It’s nearly time for my second early morning cup of tea then to start the day. Supposed to be fair to middling 20c/68f cloudy with a low chance of rain……no grizzles from me about the rain because even though we’ve had enough of it lately to ‘float an ark’ I still have vivid memories of the 10yr Millennium Drought .

Joining Denyse for the latest edition of Life this week.

So what am I going to do….

It was a beautiful sunny day last Friday so B and I had coffee outside a local cafe and ‘caught up’ with things we hadn’t spoken about on the phone. It always amazes me that we can talk on the phone quite frequently and still find things to discuss in person 😊

‘So what am I going to do’ I asked her.
‘It’s been a b*gger of a week’ I said!
Just one of those weeks when it seemed as though the whole world was out to get me……one tiny piece at a time.

The internet has been playing up – it’s been so slow it’s obviously playing somewhere but definitely not in our house. The ISP says they don’t know what the problem is, maybe changing to the NBN might help except The Golfer is still holding out on that one.

The ironing board wouldn’t stay up so I had to resort to doing a few necessary bits Mother in Law style on the kitchen bench.
The Golfers mother always ironed on the table – using a thick blanket, the sheets she’d laundered that week with a very large piece of towelling on the top. Back then she ironed everything – including my F in Laws white cotton Y fronts!


We couldn’t remember the last time we’d had so much summer rain – the promised La Niña has been making itself known with flooding in states north of Victoria….the rivers are certainly running up there. In Melbourne we’ve had lots of wet days – some very humid – along with some rather nice ones (hot even) but not enough to say it’s the way summer usually is. The BOM is suggesting it’s reached its peak but it’s still going to be wet for the rest of the season over here in the east of Australia. With nearly 6 weeks of summer gone I suppose all we can hope for is a lovely sunny dry Autumn come March.

And that’s the reason for the white fly I discovered on one of the Fuchsias ☹️
As I’m not a pesticide user it means treating with diluted dishwashing liquid.
Which meant another trip to the big green barn for a new spray bottle.

And then there was the embarrassment (annoyance more like) of discovering after sewing two ‘side seams’ I’d actually sewn a sleeve to the back of a little cardigan…..something I don’t ever remember doing before. I did wonder why there were more rows of green above the last white stripe but thought …..maybe I’d miscounted the rows and knit a couple more than needed. Rustle around in the bag for the next piece and out popped the front and not the expected sleeve. Grrr!

‘Come on B help me out here’ was my plea.
‘My usual relaxation isn’t working……the lie down, tense and release each part of the body, quieten the mind and then breathe one. The one from old yoga days. I need something else.’

I’ll have to admit I have never practiced meditation but B has suggested something called ‘loving kindness meditation’. She ‘thinks’ a lot of my irritability/stress is to do with my sister’s illness and basically by quietly sending/reinforcing loving thoughts to her and myself things should in time get better.

And now here…as I’m enjoying an early cup of tea…..is where I have a question for you.
Have any of you had experience with this practice?
is it as simple a process as she suggested or is it difficult to accomplish?
I can see lots of reading and y/tube watching coming up as I consider it but look, any recommendations from you are welcome. Help me out readers please

Joining Corinne for this weeks  Monday Musings – sharing thoughts with others. 
Joining Denyse for the latest edition of Life this Week.
Joining Esme at her Senior Salon

When does it happen….

This is going to be a bit of a ramble so you’ll have to bear with me as I gather my thoughts together.
What I’m wondering is when do your children decide they are the parents and you are the child?
Did my daughters make a conscious decision to change roles…they were to be my surrogate mothers – I was now their daughter. How long did it take them to consider it. Did they have to think about it or has it been happening slowly …just below the surface ….and I’m only just noticing it.

Before Christmas we drove further east to Woori Yallock, to see a grandson’s ‘new’ house, his first house. One he’s saved hard for since he first started work, in fact right from his first ‘after school job’ in the local supermarket when he decided to deposit some of his pay into a designated ‘house account’ Now aged 25 that decision has paid off.
Anyway there were little ‘remarks’ from one of the girls as I went up to the high part of the back garden with its great view of the Yarra Ranges
“Be careful of the steps Mum, we don’t want you tripping.”

Someone called out to me while we were up…..of course I didn’t catch what they said.
”Mum, I reminded you to put your ‘ears’ in, did you do that.
Have you got your hearing aids in”

Then there were the ‘instructions ‘ on how to care for the lovely little succulent garden given to me at Christmas by the other girl. “They are so easy to look after Mum, especially for people of your age bracket”. “If you like I’ll explain slowly how you can get new plants from the older ones”

I was a little taken aback by that but did have a little smile at her new found hobby – role reversal of daughter talking to mother like you would a child…..didn’t like to remind her I’d been growing them for more years than I can remember and they’re not ‘just succulents’ but have names that I know ……..when I can remember them😊

(Of course, thinking about how hard a year it was for us all, maybe my girls had been good at covering up their feelings but subconsciously became tetchy with everyone …..including me.)

I mentioned the other day I had no ‘word ‘ chosen for this New Year……at the moment I’m seriously thinking about using consider – to think about. Thinking about it there’s lots of things I have to consider this year – so much to deliberate on – talk about- but as it’s only the first Monday of January I’ll reflect on it at another time.
First things first – I feel the need for another cup of tea coming on 😊

Have you come up with a word/ thought/saying to deliberate on…
Or is it all balderdash to you??

Joining Corinne for this weeks  Monday Musings  – sharing thoughts with others. 
Joining Denyse for the latest edition of Life this Week

I’m done….

I’m sure the best of us (and maybe even the worst of us) have had thoughts of family during this year. Like them or loathe them, live on their doorstep or on the other side of the world, I’m sure they entered our minds at some time or another. And like those times when you ‘can’t have’ something you seem to ‘want it’even more, that longing for family might have been more pronounced for some than it had ever been.

My close family is spread all over the place, some in the UK, some in the Middle East and us down here in The Colonies …..as my mother used to describe Australia. This separation has never bothered us, we are another generation in a long line of generations raised in military style, used to packing up and moving on every few years, settling in but ready to move again when necessary. Keeping in touch, knowing we would ‘catch up’ with extended family when the time was right.

Next sister – Me – Little sister – Baby brother 1998

My little sister Patsy is sick…….really sick.
And for the first time in a long time I miss her.

We had already planned to visit her again this year in Cyprus where she lives.
Well, that didn’t happen did it.

Looking ahead and making new plans to visit late next year has been one of the things that’s kept me going over the past few months.
Well, they aren’t looking too good either.

Our international border (in and out) closed back in March this year and with the way things are going……with the worldwide escalation of new cases – not a slowing down, and now a mutation, a new strain, a variant of the virus evident in the UK (and possibly other countries) I really can’t see it opening in March 2021 as has been mooted.
Yes, vaccines have ‘arrived’ but they won’t be available to the general population for quite a while and my personal thoughts are that the virus isn’t going to disappear ‘just like that’

Trying to look on the bright side of things I know Patsy is being given the best care available but it’s so hard to be upbeat when someone you love is in pain and there’s nothing you can do about it.

So I’ve decided I’m done with here for this year. I can’t concentrate anymore
I’ll be back in 2021.
Hopefully in a better frame of mind …..because I’ve been a real misery lately.
And hopefully having heard better news about my lovely little sister.

She (in yellow) and me Paphos 2014

Joining Corinne for this weeks  Monday Musings  – sharing thoughts with others. 
Joining Denyse for the latest edition of Life this Week

It’s all go go go

So, we had months and months of ‘nothing’……go nowhere – see nobody. Time enough for some to realise they really needed people in their lives…..time for others to realise this was how they liked it. Peaceful quiet homebodies who would venture out occasionally and as long as their basic needs (food home health) were covered were content to work with how things were.

I suppose we are lucky here in Victoria ….and other parts of Australia…..in that (apart from returning from overseas Australians who must do a mandatory 14 days) our long months of quarantine/restrictions are nearly over and our lives are slowly moving towards what is being called a COVIDsafe Summer.

We are definitely not back to where we were,…..45 days of no community transmission does not mean ‘it’s been beaten’, ….memories of 20,000 Victorian cases (700 a day at one point) plus over 800 Victorian deaths are still strong……we’re still ‘ruled’ by a combination of numbers and space/distance – there are some circumstances where The Mask is still required – but on the whole we can smile at others with uncovered faces 😎….

All that has meant that pubs, cafes and restaurants are doing a roaring trade again…..well those who have managed to survive financially or who are willing to try and trade out of their financial woes.
Also subject to new guidelines, leisure centres (gym and pools) have reopened – so more and more ‘retired oldies’ are braving the new world, exercising and meeting up with friends…..and most are enjoying it.

I now realise that because of a ‘we must get together’ need others had, after 2 (large, 12 people) lunches, 1 (small 6 person) coffee gathering, 1 book club meet plus 2 gym sessions in the last two and a half weeks I’m ‘peopled out’….
I’ve seen and been seen, compared experiences, reassured other’s we’re ok…
Selfishly, now, after such a short time, I want my quiet back…..

There are new things to do – books to read – maybe, just maybe places to go.
I’m working on some small waistcoats……similar to these HERE
Adding a band of fair isle means (just as before) I need quiet uninterrupted time.
plus pen paper and charts 😊

March 2012
March 2012
March 2012

So what’s on my mind this Monday afternoon?
I know I had a couple of episodes during this time when everything just ‘got to me’.
It’s been hard to put my finger on the cause – I’m confident living a quiet life wasn’t it.
Rightly or wrongly I’m putting it down to the uncertainty of the way things were.

Maybe this ‘new normal’ life’ we’re being offered needs to be filled with a mix of fast/slow – quiet/‘noisy’ days ….just like it was before!

How about you……do you have any ideas on how you will approach your ‘new life’.
When you get the chance that is 😊


Joining Corinne for this weeks  Monday Musings  – sharing thoughts with others. 
Joining Denyse for the latest edition of Life this Week

Seen Outside…..

Even though daily life activities here in Victoria are being expanded day by day, restrictions eased, doors opened that have been shut for months, we are still not able to travel long distances so I’m still reliving trips away to places far far from home. I’m thinking armchair travel is going to be a way of life for a little while yet.

I once saw the climate in Melbourne described as Temperate but quite variable…known for its changeable weather patterns …lol four seasons in one day isn’t far from the mark. It can be hot and dry, it can definitely be cold and wet but what it isn’t is tropical…..except on some really hot humid days we might get in the summertime 😎

So one of the things I look forward to seeing when we are out and about in Queensland ….because I’ve never seen them growing in Melbourne and they just seem to shout out Tropical ….are the beautiful Bougainvillea which seem to grow like weeds, they are everywhere. Bright bursts of colour climbing over and around anything and everything reminding me of the big climbing Banksia roses that do well down south.

This week I’ve been reminding myself of some seen on a trip in 2009
I hope you enjoy them as well

We saw this lovely pink and white bush in a car park of all the places at Winton.
all on its own and looking a little out of place amongst the natives.
Maybe self sown

The actual flowers are the little white ‘bits’ in the coloured bracts

But what I did like was the way some businesses used it decoratively.
This was a lovely white strain growing up an archwayin front of a cafe in Longreach
It had a really nice cool look to it and there didn’t seem to be any thorns on this one.
which is possibly why it was placed so very strategically in front of the cafe

You can see the little flowers more clearly here

Now this to me was the most appealing of all
Mountains of colour at several spots along the main street of Bowen
One side of Herbert Street is higher than the other
and there were several of these fabulous covered crossings along the street.
(sadly removed during a ‘street renovation’)

A beautifully shaded area under those enormous Bougainvillea shrubs
Those bench seats looked so inviting

Thank you Kay (at Musings) for the inspiration……for this post.
To enlarge click or use the two finger slide

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bougainvillea.
https://floridata.com/plant/553
https://www.abc.net.au/gardening/plant-finder/bougainvillea/9441670

Sunday Selections is hosted by Elephants Child.  Find Nature Notes at Rambling Woods. 
Denyse Whelan Blogs is the home of Life this Week
Linking also to  – Travel Tuesday – My Corner of the World – Our World Tuesday.

It’s happening slowly…..

The warm Spring weather has been playing hard to get so the garden has been coming to life really really slowly. It was so cold and miserable over Winter I’m only just (very slowly) warming up myself so at the moment it’s‘ chaos reigns’ out there I’m managing to do a bit of weeding and general tidying around and about but …strangely I’m noticing things that are emerging from places I didn’t think they were planted. I certainly don’t remember planting those Iris in that spot.

That little piece of white flowered snow in summer (Cerastium) next to the bluey mauve Brachyschome wasn’t there last year but I’m pleased to see it. It reminds me of my Dad, he used it a lot in odd spots. Set and forget he’d say!

The lavender under the washing line has been good this year – shame it’s nearly time to cut it back….The Golfer cut the grass the other day so it looks green and tidy from this angle …it certainly won’t look so green come later in the summer when it gets hot and dry. It’s hard to plan a time to cut when we’ve had rainy days because he likes it to dry out a bit but like in all things nature doesn’t play fair!

And of course there is the early flush of Spring roses to admire. The little ‘blue bed near the line’ as I jokingly call it has been mulched so it’s right to go but there’s still a lot of work to be done on the bed at the bottom of the garden. A Bad Back limits me at times and it didn’t play fair last year so even though it doesn’t look too bad from a distance it’s when I realised what I thought were some long leaves of Iris was actually invasive couch grass that has grown tall I knew I’d be trying for half hour time spots. Rain has stopped play at the moment 😢

The little blue bed near the line 😊

And a few from the bottom bed – names unknown.
(everything opens with a tap or a click)

Today I’m joining in the fun of Sunday Selections hosted by Elephants Child.
Nature Notes can be found at Rambling Woods.
Denyse Whelan Blogs is the home of Life this Week