Through different eyes….

This is what greeted me on opening the blinds yesterday.

A cool start to the morning with a Chicken Little sky that definitely looked as though it was falling – not dropping acorns but low foggy cloud lol

Oh this looks like it’s going to be a Chair – Book – Coffee – Morning 😊

Wanting/needing something different to sink my teeth into I had a little think and up to the plate stepped Peter Pan!

Discovered lurking in my iBooks whilst I was doing a tidy up/ clear out on the iPad……. you know, that cull you do when you realise all those things you ‘saved’ weren’t really that necessary after all.  Articles you kept to read later, patterns you were going to knit sometime, timetables that have now changed….get the picture.

Years ago someone put me onto a site called Project Gutenberg ( where you are able to download books – as in old classics and the like – for free.  It’s amazing what can be found there.  Anyway, at the time I had an interest in children’s literature, particularly books that for some reason I’d never read as a child, and this was my chance to have them at my fingertips without waiting for a library hold to appear.  Some may go – some may stay. We’ll just have to see how I feel.   Like the crockery in the laundry cupboard, they don’t take up much room and they’re always available if I want/need them lol

So yesterday I spent a little time with Peter, Tinker Bell, Wendy, John and Michael.  Also Mr & Mrs Darling and the big Newfoundland dog Nana they employed as a nurse (nanny)

A bit like Alice in Wonderland – an old book I ‘read’ for the first time last year – it’s Total Fantasy!

I haven’t read too much yet but I’ve ‘turned’ page after page enthralled yet mystified…..first it’s sweet….then it’s sour.

…..So he told her about the beginning of fairies…..…“You see, Wendy, when the first baby laughed for the first time, its laugh broke into a thousand pieces, and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies.”
And so,” he went on good naturedly, “there ought to be one fairy for every boy and girl.”
Ought to be?  Isn’t there?”
“No, you see children know such a lot now, they soon don’t believe in fairies, and every time a child says, ‘I don’t believe in fairies,’ there is a fairy somewhere that falls down dead.”…..

And then there were The Lost Boys!

……“Who are they?”
“They are the children who fall out of their perambulators when the nurse is looking the other way. If they are not claimed in seven days they are sent far away to the Neverland to defray expenses. I’m captain.”
“What fun it must be!”
“Yes,” said cunning Peter, “but we are rather lonely. You see we have no female companionship.”
“Are none of the others girls?”
“Oh, no; girls, you know, are much too clever to fall out of their prams.”…..

Excerpt From: J. M. Barrie. “Peter Pan.” iBooks.

I didn’t get too far because by mid morning nature had changed her mind and this was what was to been seen outside the window 😎  There were some garden jobs needed doing and this was a good day to do them!

And here we are on a very dark Monday morning.  With a bit of luck today will be pleasantly warm (26c/78f) sunny and dry as will the rest of the week – or so the weather man says.

But back to Peter and Wendy and what’s on my mind…….I’m wondering do you think I’ll read too much into it reading as an adult… it a child’s story best read ‘to them’ so the words can be absorbed giving their imagination and reasoning time to work….rather than them read the story themselves and miss a lot.

It’s nearly brekkie time now, porridge, yogurt with fresh strawberries and a nice cuppa tea this morning.  The Golfer will be off out ‘you know where’ so I’ll settle down later (or maybe even earlier) and read a bit more in the sunshine  😎

What are you planning to do this Monday- have you read any children’s books such as Peter Pan as an adult, through different eyes?

It’s definitely not easy….

Down here in Australia a laundry on the south side of the house means limited sunshine.  Creamy white walls and  white appliances don’t always make a difference and a quick glance in there one morning last week made me think I was looking into the black hole of Calcutta.  Oh bummer, The Golfer had been up in the cupboard trying to find something and walked away without closing the overhead doors.

A little awkward for short of stature me because the cupboards were put up many years ago well before this particular freezer was bought; however it’s amazing what you can do with a long handled broom instead of resorting to bringing the steps in and leaning over😊

When it was a bit lighter I began to wonder exactly what was up there in those cupboards – wondering when it was last used and would it be used again

It was full of all the things used ‘occasionally’ –  bowls, plates, serving dishes, glasses, assorted  items used for family gatherings, long ago dinner parties, ladies coffee mornings, even BBQs.  Lots of glass and pottery but also some lovely old fashioned china bits.  The cupboard beside the freezer was littered with things we’d used recently but not returned ……the bowls I use for Christmas puddings needed to go elsewhere as well as the orange ‘weighs a ton’ casserole with the posh French name I inherited from my aunt.

Why so much?  Big families needed lots of extra stuff.  We entertained a lot.  I was working and wanted it all  But like lots of us – not just any ol’ thing!

During the 1980s the big dept stores like Myer David Jones, Harris Scarfe, had the most wonderful sales of bowls and platters and glasses. Popular brands of the day like  Orrefors – Kosta Boda – Krosno – even Bohemia (who as well as their famous cut crystal bowls made table glassware in plain simple lines like the Nancy ones) all made their way home with me.  

So before I closed the doors I looked and remembered the happiness, the fun and laughter associated with it all – and decided it could stay there a wee while longer.  It’s not doing any harm, it’s out of the way, some of it does actually get used (now and again) and I’m sure the girls will find homes for the pieces they don’t want😊

Everything back in place….needed the steps after all.  Now it’s clean and tidy.

Maybe I’m not just ready to do a lot of death cleaning yet.  How about you?

Three books on the table…..

I updated my Books read 2019 page and realised it’s been a lean read month.  A total of just 3 books.  These are my thoughts – not reviews 😎

I finally finished Wild Fire the last of The Shetland series by Ann Cleeves. I enjoyed this one more than the others, it seemed to move along at a faster pace than the previous 7 yet finished in a strange bland way.  Jimmy Perez seems to have finally accepted Fran’s death and is willing to move away from his beloved place way up in the north of Scotland to make a life with his new love.  I’m not sure it will work out – he being her subordinate but as I said, with it being the last in the series there’ll be no more murders for him to solve.

Now to the other two.

Both of which involved widows, younger persons, family, superstitions, folklore, talk of faeries plus a murder.  Both with unexpected endings!

The Brimstone Wedding is a newish/oldish novel (1996) written by Barbara Vine aka Ruth Rendell.  Set in modern day Essex but with flashbacks to post WW2

Unlike the other residents of Middleton Hall, Stella is smart and elegant and in control. She keeps her secrets to herself, revealing nothing of her past.  Only Jenny, her young care assistant seems aware that her heart harbours a dark painful mystery.  And only she can prevent Stella from carrying it to the grave.

The Good People, Hannah Kent’s second novel (2016). Set in 1825, in a remote valley lying between the mountains of south-west Ireland, near the Flesk River of Killarney.

Nôra Leahy has lost her daughter and her husband in the same year, and now is burdened with the care of her four year old grandson……Unable to care for the child alone, Nôra hires a fourteen year old servant girl, Mary, who soon hears the whispers in the valley about the blasted creature causing grief to fall upon the widow’s house.  

They sound so different yet are alike.  Both full of expressions thoughts customs and deeds belonging to another time yet still retained in some lives today.

These are some of the modern girl’s handed down from her Nan:-

  • Don’t take dead people’s clothes because the clothes of the dead won’t wear long – they fret for the person who owned them
  • Blood must be shed at a funeral or the dead person’s ghost will walk
  • There’s wearing blue, it’s a lucky colour and provides protection but don’t wear green because that’s what the fairies wear  Touching wood for luck, picking ferns for luck and the throwing salt over the shoulder – to blind the devil so he does you no harm.

Whereas the thoughts and beliefs and way of life of Nôra and others in the valley would have been handed down for many generations.

A big mention in the book is given to the  ritual of the wake – before the funeral not after.

Throwing ashes at the outside door to banish those (the fairies) that would stop the soul passing into another world.

A young pregnant woman is told she shouldn’t be in a corpse house (house with a dead person inside) so is told ‘you have the right to leave.  Before you breathe death in and infect your child. Put salt in your pocket and leave’

As well as salt; charcoal and cinders/ashes play a big part in protecting the mind, body and the spirit.

But what I really liked about this book were all the little sayings and words of wisdom:-

  • A man’s mouth often broke his nose.
  • Your tongue collects no dust with all the stories you tell.
  • It’s a lonely place without a man’s shirt on the washing line
  • Constant company wears out its welcome
  • What ‘that’ one knows at cow-time the whole countryside will be repeating before moon-rise.

And the one that had me in tears because I could see and hear my Dad saying it

  • I’m sorry for your loss.

Then there’s the way family/kin are described:-

Blood tied.  Bound to her by marriage.

“I’m a relation of the widow.  My man is the brother of Nôra’s dead sister’s husband”

Plus a sentiment that is often mentioned/ spoken about these days:-

An old woman without a man is the next best thing to a ghost..  No one needs her, folks are afraid of her, but mostly she isn’t seen.

So here it is early Monday morning again – just where ‘did’ last week go – I’m sitting here with my coffee thinking about, musing, pondering or maybe that should be wondering what I’ll be reading this month – April.

What about you – what’s on your bookshelf reading list for April?

Ever been had….

OMG, what ever is that charge for?  That was the initial reaction to a charge on our credit card.  Certainly didn’t recognise the merchant’s name and certainly didn’t purchase anything for that amount.

I’ll backtrack a little and mention we will be travelling o/s again later this year, so as you have to for some countries, we needed a ‘visa’  – only this one isn’t actually a visa as such but an authorisation to enter a country.  Although I don’t think it’s necessary to identify the country involved I think most travellers will be aware of the one I mean.

As our previous one had just ‘run out I’m trying to get things organised for this trip before we tootle off up north rather than having a list of things to do at the last minute when we get back so I urged someone to get on with it now while we thought about it.

Bad move Catherine!

Seeing the word associated with the document in the merchant’s name on the C.C. I ‘gently’ asked The Golfer which online site he actually used.  Was it the official one?  Can’t remember – so I ‘gently’ asked him to check the browsing history and find out.  Something that usually only costs USD14 shouldn’t be costing USD89 !  Well over AUD100  – each!

More ‘gentle’ persuasion (and investigation) revealed he (The Golfer) had used a website toting a service that would ‘assist Australians’ to get this authorisation for an undisclosed……. until the applicant had pressed enter for the last time…..fee.  Which he says he didn’t really notice!

So after a little look online I discovered it’s been going on for years, we weren’t the first (and probably won’t be the last) to be charged large overinflated amounts for this simple request.

Thinking we’d been scammed and wouldn’t get what we paid for we checked the official site and discovered our e’s’t’a  electronic authorisation to enter had been granted and was attached to our passports. Phew!!

We just paid far more than necessary by getting it from a well presented ‘third party’ website offering a service – nothing illegal or fraudulent – just not the actual official site!

Bad move Golfer!!

So he got in touch with them (via the email they sent) and ‘politely’ asked for a refund – ‘not possible’ to cancel your request because the document had already been processed but they would look at giving ‘some’ of our money back’.

Some is better than none I suppose….the credit did arrive last week….but I wonder how many others (or first timers  not knowing the real cost) have been taken in, not querying the amount?

And I wonder how much is refunded when the site owners are ‘found out’ and wonder at all the monies they do make from their efforts?

So the moral of the story is – check check and recheck anything to do with official documents.

Or you’ll never lose that nasty taste in your mouth and the feeling of being hoodwinked.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

That’s my sorry tale on this Monday – the morning I sit here with a coffee and muse about things in my life

So what traveller’s tales of woe are you willing to disclose?
Have you ever been taken for a ride in the past – were you able to come out of it smiling

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?

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 😊

 ~ ~ ~ ~

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

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… 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…  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.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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 ??

Monday Musings….

Just a few thoughts running through my mind early this Monday morning

As you can see it’s a bit of a weighty problem

It’s all to do with my homesick kilos.  They leave home for quite a while then decide to move back in again  I really need them to move out permanently!

Because of them this how I feel – Very big

Just like this wide load seen on a country road during one of our trips to Queensland 😎

I was beginning to think those pesky little Cs could have been the problem so I asked Maxine what the answer was 😊











You’d never guess what……it seems the answer was right under my nose……I’d been using shampoo in the shower as soap!  Don’t laugh but it seems I should have been using washing up liquid instead!    Well we learn something new each day 😊😊

Oh the joys of first world problems lol

I’m about to put the kettle on – come on in, sit down, and tell me

How’s your Monday’s going?

Sins of the fathers…..

These past few days weeks I’ve been engrossed with chasing people round the WWW in order to add them to a long list of family members I have noted on one of those online history sites. Yes, that love of family is getting to me again and I decided to have my DNA looked at

Over the years some interesting facts have emerged where The Golfer’s family has been concerned. For someone with no links to Australia previously he was tickled pink to discover a convict lurking in the past. He lurked alright one night to the point of ‘breaking a curtilage and larceny therein’ for which he received 14 yrs transportation! Unfortunately after receiving his ticket of leave and being noted on one census said convict has disappeared from the face of the earth.

With his (The Golfer’s) father’s family coming from a rural Essex background we discovered he had loads of farm workers……ag labourers was the term used……and other delights such as husbandman, shepherd, vermin catcher – mole catcher – rat catcher, stockman on farm – thatcher and blacksmith. At one time in his life his father was a chimney sweep!

His maternal Gt Grandmother played a big part in his life but no Gt Grandfather was ever seen or spoken about. Seems he walked off and joined the navy early in the marriage only returning home a few times – after a lot of digging we discovered why.

Like a lot of sailors he did have a girl in another port – one he obviously liked better than Granny C because he ended up marrying her. All the while Granny C was alive and well living back in Colchester with The Golfer’s family! So we added a documented bigamist as well to the tree 🙂

And of course with him always having a book in his hand The Golfer was really taken by the fact that one of his paternal GtGt aunts in the ‘Dorset Line’ as he calls it) married a cousin of Thomas Hardy, the author.

My Irish Armagh based family seems quite tame compared to his being mostly land based ag labourers or textile workers (silk weavers mainly) and one whose occupation was noted as being a sugar boiler on one daughter’s marriage certificate moving up to confectioner in later ones. Many of those from Armagh migrated over to Canada and USA which makes it difficult to trace because of the number of people from the same extended families having their children around the same time and giving them similar or the same names.  Also the added bonus of a lot of them relying on others to record names for them – my father was adamant one family’s name was Muldoon yet I’ve found documents where it is recorded as McIldoon/McEldoon/Meldoon 😟

Now where my mother’s family was concerned it was well known that my maternal grandfather loved the ladies. Rumour had it he fathered a child with his sister in law but those who could enlighten me and my sisters are long gone so we let that one pass. However a few years ago I found some thing online that had me wondering about the lovely old gentleman I shared a birthday with.

There was a person looking for family of this man (who has quite a distinctive set of given names) It was suggested he was actually married and had a child (names and dates were given) but knowing that on the dates given I had a legal grandmother in Belfast raising my mother’s older brother I just put it to the back of my mind.

I was checking my ‘DNA matches’ online last week and something jumped out and had me squirming in my chair. The names and dates in a tree matched those in the online plea from a few years back so……….

He was away a lot during WW1 – was he where my grandma thought he was?  Some documents prove where he was part of the time – being mentioned in dispatches for bravery one of them but……..

Was my grandfather a bigamist as well??

How come I didn’t remember that….

I’m not one for going to see film adaptations of best selling books…. I’ve been known to sit there in the cinema muttering ‘that’s not the way it was in the book….. so often say no when asked if I’d like to see XYZ.

However there is the odd time I will go along, usually when it’s been a while since I read the book and (hanging head in shame) don’t actually remember all the characters and goings on that took place.  When that happens I can sit there and actually enjoy the film without pulling it to pieces.

Last week we went to see The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and I enjoyed it – I did have a vague idea of the story linbut there was a lot I didn’t remember so it looks like I’ll have to reborrow the library book to remind myself of the bits I’d forgotten 😊

It was close to the end of the film when this aeroplane(1) called a Dakota or DC3 landed on a beach and The Golfer nudged me asking if I remembered flying in one of them.

No, when was that?

1964 from Singapore to Penang!

How could I forget that!

Many years ago, almost another lifetime ago, I was the daughter of a serving airman (yes an airforce brat – ‘Born Raised and Travelled’) and then went on to be the wife of a serving airman – for the first 30 years of my life I was associated with service life and all it entailed.  Over the years I’ve flown in loads of different types of aircraft but couldn’t remember this one with it’s propellers and bulky almost clunky look.

The Golfer had been posted to Butterworth (on the Malaysian mainland across from Penang Island) and we arrived in Singapore tired and weary from the very long flight from Stanstead… non stop flights in those days meant a long stop over in Colombo on the way which lengthened the journey.  The plane we flew out on had been full of servicemen with just a few families so no restrictions on staying in your seats in those days meant I had plenty of babysitters for the two little ones we had with us. We’d expected to stay overnight in Singapore and were surprised when told there was an aircraft going up to Butterworth fairly soon and we were on it.

Now in my defence it was dark and very hot when we’d arrived in Singapore, the temperature difference between the cool almost cold March in England and hot moist tropical right on the equator that greeted us was enormous and I was trying to cope with two tetchy children so didn’t take much notice of the size and shape as we trundled up the steps.  It was an ‘aeroplane’ and that’s all I was bothered about 😊

I’ll tell you what though- I certainly remember stopping in my tracks when I saw what the seating was and how it was arranged!  About a dozen Air Force personnel and my little family sat sideways on – paratrooper style (2) on the jump style seats that lined the inside of the ‘plane.!!  And yes, that is the door to the cockpit at the far end 😟







My life has been nothing but interesting – well, the bits I remember 😊😎

It’s early Monday morning.  I’ve been sitting here thinking about past times for quite a while – best start thinking about tonight’s dinner or The Golfer will be home from ‘you know where ‘ later on and I won’t have a clue what to feed him.

Is Monday a musing day for you – or is it all go go go?

1. Source

2. Source


I wonder what the neighbours would say…..

There are lots of ‘community clubs’ around the different suburbs here in Melbourne – they are a bit like the local hotel/pub in that a liquor license is involved but that’s where the similarity ends.  This one is fairly local to me

All would have a bistro serving meals most of the day and evening, a lounge and bar as well as snacks and coffee bar service, TAB outlet complete with big screens to watch several different sports, lots of entertainment and of course a ‘gaming room’ full of poker machines (and free coffee!)

Some people think they are nasty immoral places catering to ‘poor unfortunate souls with a gambling addiction’. Others think of them as a club where they can go to meet friends during the day, have a drink or a meal in relative comfort and not go near the pokies.

More upmarket ones will also have a courtesy bus pick up and drop off service which allows members and their guests the pleasure of being able to drink (within reason) and get there and back safely without the hassle of drink drive regulations.  And getting there in a comfortable mini bus is a boon to older members who don’t drive so they will ‘drop in’ more frequently.

Win win – happy customers- more profit for the club.

Melbourne has just hosted a Food Truck Extravaganza in the city – loads of mobile kitchens serving different varieties of food all the one spot. It would have been fun but unfortunately we couldn’t get there.  Imagining all those vans travelling the suburbs sent me off in search of something I’d often wondered about, something my imagination runs riot at the thought of…… MOBILE WOOL SHOPS or YARN TRUCKS.

Wouldn’t it be great to have a van draw up and park outside your door offering all sorts of lovely coloured goodies.  You could ooh and aah to your hearts content over all the new stock without the hassle of going to the shop. There is loads of information on the net and loads of images showing just the thing I visualised however they seem to be a big thing in parts of the United States but not here in Australia.

Look at this …..isn’t it eye catching with those huge great big balls of wool on the roof.  Imagine that out in the street.  I wonder what the neighbours would say about that 😊😎

Well this brightly coloured van isn’t quite what I thought it was.

Remember those courtesy buses I mentioned above…….that’s just what this is….. A courtesy bus to take you to the wool shop.

I reckon a free ride across New York in the Flying Fingers Yarn Bus for a knitter would be like a ride in a fire engine for a child.  Great fun if you could get it 😊😎

One thing leads to another….

Both of my sisters live in different countries to me – I am here in Australia……next sister is in England…..and baby sister is in Cyprus.  The phone lines run expensively hot some days but there are also times when a quick question needs just a quick answer and a text/ sms is all that’s needed. Well that’s the idea.  Sometimes answers provoke more questions and long forgotten thoughts and ideas come pouring out that might not have done so if we’d been on the phone.

Take the other day.

I was having one of those silly can’t settle nights…..finding it hard to drift off to sleep again after a midnight trip to the loo ……thinking about some knitting I had on the go, and as happens my mind wandered, this time to ‘when did I learn to knit’  I don’t remember a time when I couldn’t knit but have no memory of being taught.  I must have been shown the basics some time- was it from mum or school?  No, not Mum because even though she was a good knitter she didn’t have the patience to teach.  If the truth be told she didn’t have much patience with me – full stop!

So mid morning our time curiosity got the better of me and out came the phone. Sisters dear…..when did you learn to knit……who taught you?

LOL – Next sister answered almost immediately- up for one of her nocturnal loo visits she heard her phone ding – it seems dad taught her.  She recalled him chanting the knitting mantra most of us have heard and used ‘needle in, wool round, pull through, slip off’. She suggested maybe Mum’s aunts did the teaching – mum had gone to live with them during the war and the timing with my age was right.  Could of been them because Dad was away at that time

We were laughing (10c a text and she’s laughing virtually at 2am her time) about most people my age (she being nearly five years younger) knowing how to knit and she wrote ‘all you war babies must have come out clicking, wearing knitted matinee coats, bonnets bootees and mittens – 

and then







a little snippet concerning mum and her knitting came flying cross the world, something she had never told ‘us’ but ‘had’ told our grown up baby brother one day when he’d been talking about women at work being stressed……obviously not a good day for her because she let rip.

Next sister wrote “She was pregnant with you, dad was abroad, it was a lovely day and she was knitting for you (in Wellingborough where she lived at the time and where I was born) she was sitting near the open window of an upstairs room ……the day the house was bombed.

She told little brother ‘that’ was stress modern girls wouldn’t understand’

Then my darling ‘naughty’ sister added the words – Bet she dropped a few stitches!!

As I said I’d never heard that story before so asked Mr G**gle for information on ‘bombing Northampton 1942’ and he came up with a special edition of a newspaper that had news clips from the second world war.  And there on the front page dated August 1942 was a piece about the war coming to Wellingborough.

Although I gained an insight into a possible reason Mum was always tense especially when there was thundery stormy weather, little sister confirmed mum didn’t teach any of us (she learnt at school) so I’m still none the wiser as to who taught me to knit lol

Were there any snippets in your life  that came to light many years after the event?

Today was Monday…..

A touchy Internet connection for the best part of last week meant little if any blog browsing for me.  I’d find something interesting and lose it so a fair amount of knitting was done to compensate.   The Golfer took me out to lunch and we finally got some rain, they were a plus – someone decided to let their car get up close and personal with my little Lance 2, which definitely was a minus.

Oh how I’d really like a larger storage cupboard in the laundry because I had to pop out to the garage really really early this Monday morning aka today to retrieve a 12 pack of loo rolls and shivered in my shoes.  All thoughts of replacing the empty pack went out the window yesterday as the rain came tumbling down – definitely wouldn’t want to have to revert to this though.

My family immediate never did but I vaguely remember my granny in Belfast had an outside lav/loo looking very much like this.

The cooler temps this morning meant it was out with the short sleeves and iin with the long as well as a rummage through the wardrobe last night for some lightweight jeans to wear to my volunteer ‘job’ this morning.

I laughed years ago when the volunteer coordinator at the nursing home said, ‘You don’t have to be dressed to kill, just neat and tidy.  Some of ‘our ladies’ will not be backward in coming forward to tell you what they think of your dress style.  True to her word one resident (who, sadly not with us now, had previously been a hairdresser and also owned a clothing shop) would always pass a compliment on my hair or one item of clothing.  She would also be known to suggest when it ‘might be time for a trim’

So still reeling from the unfolding details of the ball tampering scandal enveloping the Australian cricket team I went off to spend the morning encouraging some of the oldies to remember tunes they would have been familiar with in their younger days.  We are getting closer to the mid 1950s music but still feature songs from the early 1900s and WW1 era because some of the ladies are well on their way to 100.  There’s something about seeing a person close their eyes and mouth the words of a song yet be unable to hold what many would (unfortunately) describe as ‘a sensible conversation’ that makes me realise the powerful effect music has on the mind.

On a lighter note I found this article last night on what is definitely a first world problem- what clothes are most comfortable to wear on a long haul flight

From there it was a 30 minute drive to the crash repair business in Knoxfield to leave Lance 2 in their capable hands.  Obtaining the other parties details meant the excess on our part was waived – and I got a ‘free’ ride home in a taxi.  Here’s hoping it gets done in the time quoted, not sure how I’ll cope….. or should I say we’ll cope……if I have to wait until after the Easter holiday.  Another first world problem 😊

And of course the first thing I remembered  when I arrived home was I should have popped into the shops to pick up some vegetables for dinner so it ended up being a seek and you might find ‘what’s left in the freezer’ meal.

Pumpkin soup found hiding down the bottom accompanied by garlic bread also lurking in the bottom.  Followed by…..wait for it….tinned creamed rice (a old comfort favourite of mine) with the last of what might be the last of the strawberries from the farm near the golf course and a dollop of strawberry jam.

Coffee with one of those lovely dutch almond fingers finished off my very cheap….but not nasty…Monday night meal.

The other news during the day has been the cold snap that has brought early SNOW to the High Country.  Mt Buller is just over a 2hr drive from my house- no wonder it was cold!

How was your Monday?  Do you have anything special planned?


And they’re off!……

The New Year came with all the festivities and thoughts of the future

Oh, let us enjoy this season we said, the year will begin all in good time!

Then all of a sudden

it seemed like we’d been lined up at the starters gate for quite a while

 Australia Day came and went – As did the start of the New School Year

And that’s when the starter’s gun went off – loud and clear

Since then it’s been go go go 😊😎

Last week the oldies in the Nursing Home who had missed the fun and games of their Musical Memories activity gave it their all (well all that they could remember), my choir had its first weekly rehearsal of the year, and talk at the first monthly book club get together for the year was about the oodles of books everybody read because it had been too hot to do anything else.  A busy day today began at the nursing home encouraging the residents who take part to exercise their brains by identifying the MM songs, then after picking up some books at the library designated for a February reading challenge I stopped talking about it and popped into the Leisure Centre to renew my gym membership.

It’s back to the pool tomorrow morning with the first meeting for 2018 of my local CWA Branch in the evening.  A Ladies Probus meeting on Wednesday morning followed by an assessment for a new exercise programme.  Thursday the new (to me) charity knitting group I mentioned a while back has their first gathering of the year so I’ll drop in to say Hello.

We have a new boundary fence going in some time this month so I’ve got some time earmarked to be spent clearing more of the fenceline on Friday.  My ‘tricky back’ means it can only be done in drips and drabs as I don’t want to be pencilling in visits to my lovely chiropractor on the calendar 😊

Then of course in the third week of the month there’s the mixed Probus group starting up again after the summer break as well as my VIEW club lunches .

Yes it sounds to me as if the Year Proper has finally begun.

Some people warned me I’d be bored stiff when I retired.  I’d miss the contact I’d had with the public all my working life.  Ha Ha don’t think there’s any chance of that happening.  Yet I’m very careful to make sure that tucked in amongst all these ‘voluntary commitments’ there is oodles of quiet time set aside for me to enjoy life.

By myself or with The Golfer.

When he’s not on the golf course that is 😊

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Maybe you’d like to tell what is happening in your life this Monday

Is it worth it…..

There are so many ways to communicate with others these days
Instagram – Twitter – Facebook – Blogs are just a few

And this is where I start a post with no idea of
where I’m going or where I’ll finish.😊

I do have accounts on all of those with minimal……in fact no…… personal information apart from a photo in my public profile.  You’d probably glean a bit about me from reading the blog avatar.

My personal fb account was to allow me to join craft (and other) groups, a few family and friends ‘found’ me and apart from newly discovered extended family (discovered via family research sites) I don’t go around asking others if I can be their ‘friend’.

Anyway about a year ago I kept getting ‘friend requests’ on this account – the odd thing was these were from strange men as well as male members of armed forces (soldiers sailors airmen – in uniform with rank displayed)  Obviously those requests were deleted.

Then the same thing happened on twitter – a medium I used for a while for various reasons but haven’t looked at for well over a year.  Lots of messages saying ‘so and so is now following you’  Once again strange men, many with no tweets recorded but following loads of women  Oh and also those new followers included women whose profiles described them as ‘se^xy’ looking for fun!  It took a while for me (not the most tech savvy person) to find the way to block them, unfollow people and sites I no longer had any interest in and to decide to make the account private.

Now you’d think instagram would be harmless wouldn’t you.  Well you should see some of the people who decided to follow me.  Honestly I haven’t shared a photo for goodness knows how long but these ‘strange’ men and women seem to like looking at Kiera lol  More time spent looking for how to block them, unfollow a lot of people and make that account private.

Then there were the strange ridiculous and at times confronting comments that were arriving on the blog.  They came in clusters thankfully stopping for some reason towards the end of last year.  Luckily they didn’t all make it onto the blog proper- w/press scooped them up as they arrived and put them into spam folder for me to decide yea or nay.

So after an end of year break I start writing on Still Waters again and blow me down if I don’t start getting emails informing me – ‘people with very strange names @ outlook’ – have become followers. I consulted the help forums and lo and behold I’m not the only one getting them………WordPress were aware and were trying to (not sure what) do something about it.

I then discovered a feature available in the settings of my w/press blog  There is a way to remove/delete followers.  You learn something new every day  😊

I thought it was only the other party who could do that – you couldn’t block a follower.

So armed with this knowledge I went through my followers list checking their ‘credentials’ and deleting an enormous amount.  Most of whom were unknown to me.   People who hadn’t blogged for years, people whose blogs were closed/deleted,  bloggers from online courses never to be heard from since, others from ‘financial’ sites or travel places – you know all those people who follow because you wrote about something once (but never again)  I will admit to feeling a bit better once that had been done and of course if I’ve removed a live reader they can always refollow.

OK everyone, come on and help me here.  Am I the only one to have gone through all this rubbish – was I naive in thinking all those things couldn’t happen to me?  For a while there I even wondered if my name had been entered on a dating agency’s books 😊😊

Public blogs are like open jars of jam waiting for nasties and other strange things to fly in and ‘spoil’ the taste so I can’t complain.

However I’m curious to know about other people’s experiences with followers on those other sites.

It’s early Monday morning, and as is usual I’m sitting here with coffee pondering about my life in general.  

How’s yours going?  

Rolling back the years….

A beginning of the year coffee morning with my group of ladies brought the usual observations from some about ‘another year down, wonder how many more there will be to come’  Late last year the oldest lady was really down in the dumps, a bit like my friend B she had lost family and friends during 2017 and the passing of time was beginning to get her down.

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

Like a lot of us in the group she’s been here in Australia for many many years yet is the only one who still talks about her life in England.  Think of that she said, I can go back to living in the little village where we all knew each other, there was a corner shop (who delivered) and a greengrocer, the post office was in the front room of Mrs What’s Her Names (having trouble with her memory at times is my friend 😊) Oh and lots of other good things I can’t quite think of at the moment.

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

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

THIS  is what Mr Goog’le had to say 😊

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


We might have to keep our eye on our ‘elder stateswoman’ – well into her 80s and not a computer or mobile phone owner – we began to wonder if she had been ‘taken in’ by her grandaughter’s time machine when some of the younger ‘girls’ were talking about ‘this new invention called online shopping’ as she calls it.  It would be lovely to have things home delivered she said but I would miss having a chat with the man behind the counter in the corner shop!

But then always the joker in her younger days I wonder if maybe she hadn’t been ‘taken in’ but was just pulling our leg 😊

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

Row Row Row your boat….

Row Row Row your boat
Gently down the stream
Merrily Merrily Merrily Merrily
Life is but a dream

I’ve been plodding along living my life peacefully this past few weeks.  The days are getting longer, lighter earlier and staying light a bit later each day and even getting a (tiny) bit warmer.  Warm enough some days for open doors and windows and even – not have any heating on 😊

Not warm enough for salads yet – still a bit of stewing going on

All of which means I’m slowly emerging from my winter hibernation, starting to paddle about, leave the house willingly and actually enjoy being out and about.

With the arrival of better weather I’ve returned to choir after a break during those cold wet weeks – night driving in the wet was beginning to worry me so best not to do it.  I missed that weekly sing song so if we ‘winter at home’ again next year I’ll try to tee up with someone and arrange a lift.  No chance this year – locals close to me were either away or crook  Our ‘flu season is still going strong, thousands have been struck down with several unusually young ‘healthy’ deaths.  So I’m not sure if it was due to our ‘flu jabs or good luck the virus didn’t strike either of us.

A trip to the cinema last week to see Victoria and Abdul meant we were finally able to use the balance left on a gift card from last Christmas – the cinema at Chirnside Park has lots of little theatrettes so we thought it might be fun to mix and match…..two visits in the standard but very comfortable $10 seats and two in the more upmarket recliner $15 ones 😊

The Golfer decided on American Made & Dunkirk –  La La Land along with Victoria and Abdul were my choices.    So many ‘fabulous’ reviews for V & A and I’m probably in the minority here but it was a bit so so for me.  A truish story line, beautifully set and wittily acted but it didn’t seem quite right.

Honestly this change in seasons seems to have filled one of my friends with a sense of the ridiculous – she had me in a fit of giggles as she entertained me at lunch the other day.

Some of our supermarkets are having facelifts and installing these carousels to hold the plastic bags.  As one bag is filled the cashier gives it a turn and starts to fill the next one, after a few turns the bags reach the customer who then lifts them off and puts them in their trolley.   It appears the young cashier didn’t quite see the funny side when B asked if she could have a ride on the roundabout.  B is well into her 80s and not quite the slimmest of people!!

And then when she returned from visiting the “ladies’ she asked me how long there’s been a gents urinal over the lavatory pan.  With no idea what she meant I had to go and have a look.  The café had installed one of those water saving sets – a new special hand basin over the cistern unit.  Push the button to flush and the water comes out of the tap draining into the cistern – there’s no plug and it’s a regulated fill amount (same as any cistern) no need for a separate sink unit.  Only drawback I could see was washing your hands with cold water and remembering to put the lid down.  Wouldn’t want to lose a watch or bracelet while leaning over to get to the sink.

And I certainly seemed to be living in a dream the other day.

Put a load of washing on – came back expecting it to be finished – yes I’d put it on but didn’t close the lid (top loader) which meant it got as far as drain and spin then stopped.  Safety feature – doesn’t spin with the lid up.   Senior moment all right 😊

Didn’t help I’d been up to our local supermarket (one without the wiz bang plastic bag carousels) and as the young lad who was serving filled each bag he actually placed them straight into my trolley.  Now that’s never happened before – they get usually filled and put on the shelf beside the till for you to pick up.

When I said Thank You he replied – “I thought you looked rather weary today so decided you’d be my ‘good turn for the day'”  I wasn’t sure if I should be pleased or upset – he really did do me a good turn but did I really look that tired and weary??

So how are you all?
Have you been merrily rowing down the stream of life?

What are you dreaming about today?

What do you see?….

This little ‘colour’ photo was tucked into an old envelope amongst some things my mother gave me after my father died.  ‘You have it, she said. Don’t know why he brought it home.   It was the cause of a few ‘fights’ over the years’.

‘What do you see’, she asked me.

‘Looks like a very young Dad posing for the camera with a girl dressed in a Hawaiian grass skirt’, I replied.

‘I see a man with a secret’, was what she said.


It seems Dad spent some time in Hawaii during WW2 and this photo came home with him.  Mum found it, confronted him and he laughed and shrugged his shoulders.  ‘Nothing in it, he said.  All good harmless fun.  She sang, she danced and entertained us’ – us being lots of young men away from home, fighting for their lives and the lives of their loved ones.

Unfortunately my mother being my mother wouldn’t let it end there.  And over the years made reference to the photo – which for some reason Dad kept in his wallet.  No one knows why.  He’d take it out (just to annoy her, she said) look at it, then put it away.

Now the photo would have to have been taken mid 1940s and Dad died in 1990.  A long time for a bit of teasing to carry on.  If it was teasing 😊

I often wonder what it was that Dad didn’t want to (or maybe couldn’t) share with Mum.

Are there any ‘secrets’ you keep or have kept from your ‘loved ones’ ?
Ones that you are willing to share.

MicroBlog Monday can be found at Mel’s Blog


Wish ~ desire or hope for something to happen.

If wishes were fishes we’d all swim in riches!

A winter wish from a few years ago!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

These two photos taken in the early 1950s came to light the other day and a whole lot of emotions bubbled up to surface – some good some not so good.

Plus the word Wish….

I would have been about 9 in the first one – it was a happy day.  My grandad from Belfast had come over on the boat to visit us in England and an uncle plus his family were there also.  I had on a new dress and remember wishing I could wear it every day and that grandad didn’t have to go back home.

As we were growing up there were times when my sister would wish she didn’t have to wear ‘cast offs’ with turned up hems. She would never accept the fact that as much as she wished otherwise it wasn’t my fault I was growing out of clothes, she was growing as well, money didn’t grow on trees and she was next in line – as you can see in the second one.

You never get anything by wishing, my mother was fond of saying.  Hard work and determination is what’s needed!,

That was my mother, wearied from the war years, the one I wished would love me more than the sister she gave my clothes to.  If she loved me, she wouldn’t have got angry and cut (chopped) my hair off with her big scissors.  I remember squealing and shouting as she brushed it one morning, trying to untangle the knots before it was plaited for school, all the time saying to me ‘I wish you would be quiet and stand still’  Oh how I wished I’d done as I was told that day – my mother was no hairdresser and I went to school that morning looking a bit – odd 😊

It’s strange that all these years later I’m reflecting on this and wishing things had turned out differently – my mother and I never got on, my sister continued to get my ‘cast offs, I never grew my hair long, grandad went away back across the Irish Sea and I only got to see him 3 more times.

Oh, but listen to this, my sister still wears ‘cast offs’ – chosen very carefully with a good eye for what will suit her – from charity shops.

And….. the beach with a hammock turned up on Green Island Qld back in 2009……..still looking for the winning lotto ticket though 😊

MicroBlog Monday is found at Mel’s Blog