Sunday 17th February 2019

Appreciation. #LTW16. 366/341.

Appreciation. #LTW16. 366/341.

This is the last post in the “Life This Week” LINK UP series for 2016.

It’s been great having so many blogging friends, old and new, join in each week.

I appreciate you all very much!

Today’s post is about my appreciation for the man I met in 1970 and married in 1971.

He is a modest person so I did have to ask him if it would be fine by him for me to write this and he agreed.

Our long marriage has seen us deal with many wins, struggles and more. Most do! However, I am concentrating on more recent times.

From the time in early 2014 he could see I was no longer wanting to work, through to selling the house at year’s end 2014, moving away from Sydney in early 2015, renting a place we hated for 10 months in 2015, and moving again in late 2015 to where we are more settled now…even though we are renting. One day we will buy!

These last three years have challenged me emotionally and have given me cause to feel more stressed about my life. Over time it has affected me and of course, my relationship. Major life shifts and changes can do that to a person. Especially one like me who needs her security and her sense of who she is and what she does.

Throughout all of the time, there has been one person here for me and ready to listen, advise and offer his love and security. I am a tough person to like when I am feeling insecure and sad. I push away because I am embarrassed by how upset I become.  I lost a sense of independence for a while and the notion of who I am.

So my list of appreciation for my dear husband B comprises:

  • his gentle patience displayed no matter how many times I ‘lose’ it over whatever emotional issue I am dwelling on
  • the ready cuddle or hug IF I need solace after my tears..sometimes I have even rejected that because I am actually mad with myself
  • his reminders that I have the skills and energy inside me to keep on keeping on
  • his kind and listening ear and he gets what I mean and then helps me see the ways in which I can get through this
  • words of encouragement  as he senses how well I am doing now compared to how I was doing
  • shared chats, laughter and repeated viewing of my old favourite Downton Abbey to enjoy the experience together
  • his understanding that there are some days/nights where I still need reassurance I am doing OK in my healthy life change
  • and when he agrees to an annual photo of the two of us then I am even more appreciative of his warm hug, gentle smile and loving demeanour.


The Two of Us. December 2016.

The Two of Us. January 1971.

Thank you B. I love you!

That’s my post on appreciation.

Did you write a post this week or are you linking up an older one?

As it’s Summer and Christmas Holidays in Australia I do not expect many bloggers to link up this Boxing Day!

Those who do, thank you!


Alicia is having a break today but Kell is running her link up here.

The ” Life This Week” prompt list from 2 January 2017- 27 February 2017 is on the Home Page and listed here too.


This Time Next Week. #LTW15. 366/338.

This Time Next Week. #LTW15. 366/338.

This time next week it will be Monday 26 December and for us in Australia (and elsewhere!) it’s Boxing Day.

The day after Christmas Day. Called Boxing Day because of one tradition I believe which stem from the English one where presents were in boxes and handed out on the day after the religious day that was 25 December.

The focus on Christmas Day was the gathering of family for church services recognising the birth of Jesus Christ and then eating a meal together at home.

So…what are some of the current and past Boxing Day traditions for me and many?


In no particular order they are:

  • waking to a quieter and less busy day than Christmas Day and knowing that the fridge is groaning with leftovers, yet funnily, you can still be hungry and you are glad you over-catered! But, eventually you tire of the ham and you seek this for help….


  • if you are a keen shopper (read: LOVE specials and crowds) then you will have jumped in the car, arrived in a closed up city to find the SALES are not only crazy but they are not always specials you want..but you enjoy it for the heck of it.


  • Around the middle of the day, it’s time to put the TV on…or to find a vantage spot around Sydney Harbour if you are a fan of the big sailing event called The Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. It is serious stuff. The vessels come in all sizes and crewed by many men and women. Where I grew up we could walk to Dobroyd Head and watch the fleet leave Sydney harbour, and head south. To Hobart. Of course, the wind would determine a fast or slow race. A safe one too.



  • In THIS household here is what will be happening at around 10.00 a.m. The comfy recliner chair will be occupied by my husband. The TV will be on to Channel 9. The announcers will welcome everyone to the Boxing Day test in Melbourne. Then for the next 4-5 days this will be the custom for all cricket fans and it’s meant to be good for the refreshing of the soul and the body after a BUSY year. I pop in and watch from time to time.

The Age Sport Cricket
Picture by WAYNE TAYLOR 26th December 2008
MCG boxing day test Australia v Sth Africa. Day 1.

  • Of course I cannot confirm that this is a true account of what happens everywhere on Boxing Day..but I had to include it!


So, what’s on the agenda for you, this time next week? Hope you have joined in the link up with this {optional} prompt.

From 2017 I am dropping the {optional} from the prompt because it was too wordy but the OPTIONAL bit remains by inference!

The first 9 prompts for 2017 will be up on Thursday…for those of you who are planners like me!

I hope the week ahead is not too busy and stressed.

For us it will be quiet but we are expecting 3 grown up grandkids to visit us for Early Christmas and I am doing to same by driving to Sydney to see my Dad before the crazy on the roads Day! We are a practical family.


P.S. The link up continues without a break for holidays…because I am not on holidays…I am retired.

Monday link ups I like and join are here: with Alicia, Kell and Sue! Thank you ladies.



Best Summer Holidays. #LTW14. 366/334.

Best Summer Holidays. #LTW14. 366/334.

This time of year when our adult children were kids, there was always a summer holiday coming up!

With school still in, and my husband’s business as a cabinet-maker in full swing getting things finished for Christmas, our summer holiday was the reward for the finish of a big year.

We lived in north-western Sydney and whilst we had the comforts of air-conditioning and a swimming pool, there was nothing like a holiday by the beach.

For some years we travelled up the N.S.W. coast staying at places such as Fingal Bay and Nelson Bay in the Port Stephens area. Other times we holidayed near Ballina and Nambucca Heads. But over the years, what we found spoiled the beach/summer holiday was the time spent in the car with the traffic. We are talking about the 1980s and I know conditions have changed but there are still bottlenecks at certain spots on the Pacific Highway.

credit: NSW Tourism

We found The Entrance on the N.S.W. Central Coast was ‘just right’ with travel time even in the heavy traffic of less than 2 hours door to door. We found a 2 bedroom unit overlooking the beach and the pool and that was BLISS. We must have stayed for at least 5 years in a row. Re-booking it for one week at the high January prices was our practice because that was when we could get away.

The days consisted of surfing, walking around the rocks exploring, going in the seawater pool, relaxing out on the balcony, taking in the view and just doing those great holiday things such as an ice-cream after tea, walking around the seawall and taking the kids to the night time carnivals. We’d sometimes hire a boat and go out on Tuggerah Lakes and fish. Whilst we never caught anything it was all part of the fun and memory-making.

View from the Unit meant we could see the kids in the pool. The Entrance Beach in 1990s was still very safe for swimming.

The holidays here stopped as the children became older and that was it for ‘family holidays’.

What we never thought about though was that one day this is where we would move to and settle somewhere nearby for the foreseeable future to live and retire. Those units we stayed in are still there, as is the pool below. What is sad is the fact that the storms over the past 2 years which have wreaked havoc on the N.S.W. coastline have cost The Entrance its beach. There is still a ‘beach’ but there is too much exposed rock for it to be deemed safe, for now, for surfing and swimming.

The Entrance Beach. 2015. Our Unit is above white pool building mid-right side.

Our unit was middle one with deck out front to left of large pines. 2015.

Where do you have Summer Holidays?

Has there been one tradition for you and your family?

Do you know The Entrance in N.S.W.?


Joining these bloggers on their Monday link ups too. Alicia here for Open Slather, Kell here for Mummy Mondays and Sue here for Over the Moon. Thank you ladies!

Thanks for linking up today for “Life This Week” #LTW14. Only 2 more left until the end of the year!

#LTW15  19 Dec “this time next week”  #LTW16 26 Dec “appreciation.”

The Link Up will continue into 2017 and the list of first 9 prompts will be out very soon!


My First Paid Job. #ltw13. 366/330.

My First Paid Job. #ltw13. 366/330.

The story behind this prompt today is that it was/is usual around the end of the year, after exams, for students to look for and get paid work. I know this is the case with my grandchildren and was with our children too.

But what about me?

In the mid 1960s there were few opportunities for part-time or casual work unless it was with a family member’s or friend’s business or it was something you started up for yourself such as babysitting or lawn mowing. I was a baby sitter for a few local families from around age 14 but it is my first paid job at 15 I will write about.

Of course, if you had left school by 15 (the earliest age…or maybe it was 14 and 9 months back then) your first paid job may have been your first employment since leaving school.


NO computers or technology at all other than a telephone in 1960s.

I was to remain in school until the Higher School Certificate examination in 1967 – which I wrote about here – and so it was with a a bit of a ‘push’ from Dad that my first paid job was in the Sydney office of the company where he was Chief Accountant. I began as an almost 15 year old in 1964 and continued in some of the school holidays until I found my next part-time work in 1967.

My role was to assist the full-time employees in the Mail Room. They were hard-working women, my Dad reminded me when I rang him to do a ‘fact check’! I was to become a Mail Girl. That always amused me!

In those days written communication was by mail. There were no faxes, emails and telephones were good but to have something in writing was essential for orders, invoices and all that. The mail room was also for internal mail i.e. from within departments in the company and for external mail. At specific times one of us, sometimes me, would deliver both internal mail and that from the GPO (the General Post Office). We would also collect it. Sometimes it would be memoranda and in envelopes where the addressee would need to respond, then leave for us to collect.

Twice in the day we (I) would walk to the GPO (still there!) in Martin Place to collect the mail from the company mail box outside or to go inside to collect items which needed signing. The office had their own postage/franking machine to apply paid notes/stamps to letters/packages but occasionally the machine itself would need to go the the GPO with one of us, along with a signed company cheque to have funds applied to it.

On other occasions I might be asked to go to the Bank of NSW (now Westpac) where the company had its funds to deposit cheques and to collect any documents. I was 15 and trusted to do this and I had a bag and never ever had cash on me but I was always alert (still am) and very sensible (mostly still am!)

I would sometimes do errands for the ‘boss’ – not Dad – and pick up items he had ordered from David Jones or other shops.

I did enjoy the office camaraderie and stayed right away from Dad (LOL) but then again, he was my lift to and from work!! I enjoyed pay day because it was cash in a little pay envelope with my hours and details on the front. I am sure none of it was saved…and I would have bought treats with it too.

Nevertheless I got some independence. I learned new skills. I learned so much about Sydney streets in those years from the walking to and from Circular Quay (occasionally we got money to use the bus) into the heart of the city that the knowledge has stayed with me forever. It’s been a blessing when I have gone to the city as an adult and tried to get around!


From Circular Quay up and down many of the city streets as far as Martin Place. credit:

The building where Dad’s company was located was a shining beacon back then as it was the tallest one in Sydney – possibly Australia – and it was very special to work there. This is the AMP Building (front one here) which even had a special  top floor viewing area for visitors. Dad’s office location was on the 21st floor and let me tell you the view was spectacular.


Dad’s office was on level 21. Cool views!

It’s been fun recalling my first paid job.

What was yours?


Joining Alicia here for Open Slather and Kell here for Mummy Mondays.

And for the weekend, I am linking here with Sammie, Karin and Paula! The Ultimate Rabbit Hole!

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I hope you are joining in Life This Week #ltw13 {optional} prompt My First Paid Job.


My Birthday. #LTW12. 366/325.

My Birthday. #LTW12. 366/325.

The first title I used for this week’s prompt was: My Birthday is Nigh. Sigh.

Then I decided, that’s a bit of a negative so deleted it.

I am proud to say it’s my birthday soon.

In fact it is on Wednesday.

The last day of November, the end of southern hemisphere’s Spring, the late Winston Churchill’s birthday and the end of the Financial Year in NSW Public Schools. I did NOT look forward to the often difficult day of the last event. To have it on my birthday as a principal meant I was certainly not the centre of attention. Making sure the financial and other statements of the school’s resources ‘added’ up and were squared way was the goal. As I preferred anyway!

There was one very interesting 30 November birthday though.

In 1999 I was 50 and in my first year as principal of a school. Unbelievably it was also the 50th for  my assistant principal. Exactly the same age. I remember a 50th Cake each and the staff enjoyed some morning tea celebrations. Nice one.

I wrote about some of my birthday views last week for Lovin Life Linky here.

When I checked some of my photos I was able to select some memorable birthdays and milestones for today.

My First Birthday.

Dad and I talked about this photo and his memories last week. Mum would have made this cake, and I am in the backyard of our Gwynneville house. For most of the year 1950 Dad had to work in Melbourne meaning he was away from home (and Mum & me) for many months and he told his employer he ‘had to be home by my daughter’s first birthday’ and indeed he was!


My 21st Birthday.

What a spoiled daughter I was for my 21st! Here I am with Mum and a cake she would have made. I had come home to Balgowlah Heights for the weekend from my life as a new teacher in Barraba. My almost fiance (now Hub!) drove me to the airport at Tamworth to fly home (alone) for family lunch (this one) and a friends from Sydney celebration that Saturday evening. What I had no idea about was a car which was waiting for me and that I would drive it back to Barraba the next day. Long story, the car was for me to part-pay back but it was awesome to have my first car. There WAS more (as my now husband was quite shocked to see the amount of what he calls ‘indulgence’) because my parents came to Tamworth on the Monday night and hosted a dinner party at a club for all of the staff from the school in Barraba and yes, my now husband was there. I was very spoiled… and grateful too. But by the time the next birthday came around…I was already a mum, and the car had to be sold to make way for a family-sized car.


My 65th Birthday.

This was a watershed birthday I guess. It was my last one in Sydney where we could have our children and grandchildren with us too. I am glad we celebrated then as birthdays are different now. This was taken at my daughter’s house with some of lovely grandkids in the background. My cake was made by my daughter and it was lovely (and somewhat sad) to be together with everyone I love…for the last time. Much has changed within our extended family as their families grow and change and that is life!



There are fewer pictures of me than anyone else on their birthdays as I am usually the family snapper. This of course means, not too much attention to moi!

How do I like my ideal birthday to be celebrated these days?

  1. To have my family remember it is my birthday and to have some kind of contact with them on the day – a card, a phone call is cool because we live away from them now.
  2. To have some shout-outs on social media – that is nice when you no longer see many people in a work or social setting

That’s it really. I will be spending the day quietly at home and I am fine with that. I do not need a cake and my hub will make sure I have a special card with loving words. We tend not to do presents any more as we buy what we need during the year. I must add, a voucher for iTunes is always appreciated!! Seriously thought, it is enough, these days, for me to be remembered on my birthday.

And I will be 67.

How did that happen?

What about you, are you a fuss-free birthday person or do you like all the ‘celebrations, cakes, food, wine and gifts’?

Thanks for joining in and I hope you linked up.

Joining Alicia here for Open Slather and Kell here for Mummy Mondays.


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The Time Has Come. 366/321.

The Time Has Come. 366/321.

I’ve been procrastinating….for about a decade!

The idea for a memoir has been there for a while I will admit.

But it has always seemed less important than say, writing a blog which I have been for 6 years now.

And it also seemed hard to get started because where would I.. ok, I know, at the beginning!

I have made some memory books for my parents’ anniversaries and special birthdays. In fact there are around 8 of them made from 1984 to 2006.

I’ve also kept books of memories for the grandchildren and have handed them over to them for keeping their memories from Grandma.

I have made small starts to ‘my story’ and then stopped because “boring”.

Who would want to read it anyway?

Then after my post here last week this happened:

From a friend and blogger, Rebecca Bowyer,  who is also a writer….

Oh how fascinating! Denyse, please write a memoir about education! It would be so interesting x

Here’s her website and she is also writing a book right now!

And so it is, after a few on-line convos with Bec, that I AM starting this challenge…writing my memoir.

To begin in the hardest act, and fortunately I had made a very small start which I continued and improved so now, I am planning to get on with the story, one story at a time.

Mind you I did tweet, taking a leaf out of Anne Lamott’s Book “Bird by Bird” that I am writing “Word by Word.”

IMG_0317 MY degrees & quals

Note Paper with yellow pencil

Have you ever thought about writing a story about your life or helped write the story of another?

What tips do you have?

What would you like to know more about me and my education story?

Thanks for reading and commenting …last week in particular where it was so encouraging about the story of the HSC and the end of school exams!


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Joining the lovely bloggers here as I always do on Tuesdays….Kylie Purtell is host.


News I Will Never Forget. #LTW11. 366/320.

News I Will Never Forget. #LTW11.  366/320.

Last Thursday I wrote a post about this. But I did not write about the news below.

This prompt came to me when I noted the date that would be close to “Life This Week 11.”

22 November.

This post goes live on 21 November 2016 but on 22 November 1963 came the news that shocked me to the core….and the whole world I guess.

The death, by assassination, of President John F. Kennedy.

I was just about to turn 14. In ‘those days’ news came first by radio to Australia and as quickly as the technology of the time allowed to the television stations. There were 3 in Sydney, as I recall,  in 1963. The commercial ones were Channel 7 and 9. Channel 10 came later in the decade. Of course there was Channel 2. The Australian Broadcasting Commission (its name then). Black and white service only. Colour TV came in 1974.

I was in my bedroom and just stunned with the news. Everyone was. Time stood still for a while. How on earth could that happen? Happen it did, and then we saw, via black and white (and somewhat distorted images) on the TV news later what had occurred.


The world reeled.

This popular President, son of a career diplomat, who had a proud war service history, married to a beautiful woman, two delightful kids was DEAD. By bullets from an assassin.

There were days, weeks and then months of continued footage and more stories. The apparent gunman, Lee Harvey Oswald, was assassinated by Jack Ruby as he was led by Texas Police from the courts (as my memory serves) and this act was filmed and shown around the world.

The event of John F Kennedy’s assassination has been the conjecture of so many theories and made into books, movies and mini-series and I offer no response nor answer.

All I can say, it is news I will never forget. 53 years ago this week.




What is news you will never forget?

Did you decide not to follow the prompt this week?

How about considering next week’s prompt: BIRTHDAYS! Actually it’s YOUR Birthday but any birthday will do…LOL

Thanks for being part of Life This Week!


I also link here to two blogging friends who have Monday link ups : Alicia at One Mother Hen and Kell at All Mum Said.

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Here are the rules for the link-up “Life This Week” is a link up that runs every Monday and remains live for until Thursday at 5 p.m.during that week.

  • You can link up something old or new, just come on in.
  • Please add just ONE post each week!
  • Feel free to go with the prompt for the week to add your ‘take’ on the prompt. Or not.
  • Please do stay to comment on my post as I always reply and it’s a bloggy thing to do!
  • Check out what others are up to by leaving a comment because we all love our comments, right!
  • Add a link back to this blog in your post somewhere. I don’t have a ‘button’ so a link in text is fine!
  • THANK you for linking up today! Do come back next week.  #LTW12 = Birthdays! {optional} prompt.

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Exams. #LTW10. 366/315.

Exams. #LTW10. 366/315.

In determining the {optional} prompt this week I went back down memory lane to:

NOVEMBERS I remember!

When I was in high school this month was always the end of year exams.

However, as the first cohort of the NSW Higher School Certificate it was especially memorable. The exam concludes earlier now than back in 1967.

Seeing the Jacaranda trees with their purple hue, knowing the Melbourne Cup was happening and my parents were celebrating their Wedding Anniversary also meant:


Fast forward to days of being a student teacher, then teacher, post-grad university student and then university tutor/marker and there it is again, November AND Exams.

I could never admit I enjoyed any exam. I am someone who finds it hard to remember everything and under pressure to regurgitate and recall. However, thank goodness for being someone who was satisfied to ‘pass’ rather than gain any further merit up the line. I didn’t mind essay or short answer questions because I could use my words and hopefully convince the marker I knew something. 

My least favourite exams were in Maths and Science (not my best subjects ever!) but at least you got marks for showing how you worked. That’s what they said anyway. And, the ubiquitous multiple choice exam. No. Did.Not.Like.

I failed one exam at teacher’s college and it cost me. I was only allowed to be a conditionally-certificated teacher when I started until I re-sat the exam within my first years of teaching. The humiliation was high but I managed to pass that time. And get the full certification. The subject: Science.


Credit: Sydney University

Credit: The University of Sydney.

This article caught my eye in November and with it being prompt-centred, here it is. Great link to the Jacaranda Tree and Exams at Sydney University. Read more here

What stories do you have to tell about exams?

Share in the comments!

Thanks for linking up if you have. Lovely to see you.

I also link here with Alicia for Open Slather and with Kell here for Mummy Mondays. Check their link ups too!


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Here are the rules for the link-up “Life This Week” is a link up that runs every Monday and remains live for until Thursday at 5 p.m.during that week.

You can link up something old or new, just come on in.
Please add just ONE post each week!
Feel free to go with the prompt for the week to add your ‘take’ on the prompt. Or not.
Please do stay to comment on my post as I always reply and it’s a bloggy thing to do!
Check out what others are up to by leaving a comment because we all love our comments, right!
Add a link back to this blog in your post somewhere. I don’t have a ‘button’ so a link in text is fine!
THANK you for linking up today! Do come back next week.


Next week’s {optional} prompt is: #ltw11 News I Will Never Forget.