Monday 19th March 2018

Beach or Bush. #LifeThisWeek 37/52. 2017.109.

Beach or Bush. #LifeThisWeek 37/52. 2017.109.

People talk of, and actually do in some cases, making ‘sea-changes’ and ‘tree-changes’ in life.

In our case we moved away from the hustle, bustle and mortgage-laden house in Sydney’s north-western suburbs to retire closer to the east coast. We both came from coastal upbringings as kids and teens and then our careers took us to the NSW countryside…the Bush as it is affectionately known. When we moved TO Sydney in 1978 it was to be closer to medical services, buy a house, settle into new roles at schools in the area and to be somewhat closer to family and, as it turned out, to have a second child.

The reasons to STAY there after almost 30 years dissipated so it was time for us. In renting on the NSW Central Coast – it’s a large regional area about 1.5 hours from the heart of Sydney – we have found the northern end where we are now, preferable for us in terms of cost of living and access to what we need. Nevertheless, we really have NO IDEA of where will eventually BUY again as we do not yet have the final funds. So, the idea of doing some investigating, via here for our choice of Beach or Bush was born.

Enjoy the pics and the words and see if you can work out what is my preference by the end!


If you had to make a choice of Beach or Bush what would yours be?


I link up here too on Mondays: Alicia’s Open Slather and Kell’s Mummy Mondays.

Life This Week kicks off for the remaining 3 months of the year with this: Beach or Bush. 37/52.

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! *Posts deemed by me, the owner of the blog and the link-up, to be unsuitable for my audience will be deleted without notice. * THANK you for linking up today! Next Week: Movies.





A.N.Z.A.C. Day. #LifeThisWeek 17/52. 2017.59.

A.N.Z.A.C. Day. #LifeThisWeek 17/52. 2017.59.

I like A.N.Z.A.C. Day as a day of commemoration and reflection. It is not ever a day for celebration.

My knowledge of A.N.Z.A.C. Days goes back to when I was a Brownie and a Guide and we would be part of ceremony at Manly N.S.W. for the Morning Service. I wrote essays about A.N.Z.A.C. Day as part of my Modern History studies in the H.S.C. fifty years ago. It was said ‘this was when Australia became a nation in its own right.’

The day, 25th April, is the anniversary of the landings of Australian, New Zealand and Allied Forces at the bottom of the cliffs where the enemy was ready in the field. The many soldiers who lost their lives and gave themselves in battle there, and elsewhere, are never to be forgotten.

To know more about the first A.N.Z.A.C. Day and beyond, go here.

Now, we commemorate all of the wars where Australia has served. Far too many, of course.

2016 Poppy Project in Terrigal NSW.

How I remember A.N.Z.A.C. Day.

  • I often go to a local service if that is possible. I like to be part of the sense of community where I can. In 2015 and 2016 I did just that here on the Central Coast.
  • I think about my paternal grandfather who I never met. My Dad’s Dad. He was not quite 21 years old when he convinced his mother (he was an only son) to sign the papers so he could enlist. He fought in France. He survived and returned with a War Bride. My Grandmother who then lost her husband in an awful workplace accident some years later, leaving her with 4 children to rear alone. My Dad was #2 child.

One of these young men is my paternal grandfather. I do not know and even ough Dad is still around, the quality of the photo makes it difficult for identification. These are Aussies through and through!

Dad’s father: Andrew’s Certificate of Discharge in 1920. The war ended in late 1918 but of course, our troops had to be repatriated and as he became engaged to an English lass, she came to Australia in 1919-1920. Unsure of exact date. He was 24 on discharge.

  • I usually make A.N.Z.A.C. biscuits and may even tune into the March on TV in Sydney. I also might pop over to one of the local Services in the morning. I like to pay my respects and show appreciation.

I have a ‘thing’ about writing A.N.Z.A.C this way….because it is shortened for: Australia New Zealand Army Corps. The word is pronounced as ANZAC. The word is also carefully guarded by Australia and its use needs to be approved for any commercial use so as not to diminish the reverence with which the name is held. 

I decided that whilst I could have added more, I would refrain!

My Dad is someone who finds A.N.Z.A.C. Day difficult because he was restricted from serving as his family and friends did due to being in a ‘protected industry’. Instead, he volunteered in his local community as well as worked at the Steelworks as a trainee clerk.

My last word: It’s weird but if there had not been this War and the meeting of my paternal grandparents then…I would not have been born.

What does A.N.Z.A.C. Day mean for you?

Are there any special things you do on A.N.Z.A.C. Day?


Joining friends who also have Monday Link-Ups: Alicia here for Open Slather and Kell here for Mummy Mondays. Thank you for linking up for #lifethisweek. 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!

*Posts deemed by me, the owner of the blog and the link-up, to be unsuitable for my audience will be deleted without notice.

* THANK you for linking up today! Do come back next week. Next week’s prompt is “Taking Stock”.


Daylight Saving Is OVER. #LifeThisWeek 14/52. 2017.50.

Daylight Saving Is OVER. #LifeThisWeek 13/52. 2017.50.

In Australia the 6 month daylight saving period is over as of 2 April 2017.

Not all parts of Australia take part and not everyone is a fan of it. I used to find the four month period of it better way back. I guess a lot of how we feel about daylight saving is personal and circumstantial .

I did write about it 6 months ago here. 

Hot days which stretch longer than necessary I find personally challenging and then I also do not like the darker mornings as it comes to a close. Nevertheless I understand that its purpose is for energy saving and using what natural light there is available. I am old enough to remember when it started in the early 1970s and I also recall daylight saving starting earlier in 2000 when Sydney hosted the Olympics.

I did some research too about the history of daylight saving in Australia and add it here for you!

How and when did Daylight Saving Time get started in Australia?

Daylight Saving Time (DST) had its beginning in Australia during World War I. The Commonwealth used its wartime powers to require all Australian states and territories to put into place DST. 1917 was officially the first year DST was used across the country. It was in force between 1 January and 25 March (late summer in Australia). It was discontinued after the war, but World War II saw its return for three consecutive summers.

It began with a late summer start on 1 January 1942 followed by a full summer (September – March) later that year. Tasmania may be our smallest state, but they had great influence on why we have DST in Australia today. The Tasmanian state government implemented Daylight Savings in the summer of 1967 to save power which saved water. A severe drought in the state made it imperative that DST be used to help the situation. As it turned out, they liked having DST in Tasmania so much so that they have continued it ever since. Because it was such a success, the Tasmanian state government pushed to get Daylight Saving Time used Australia-wide.

By 1971 legislation was passed by all states, except the Northern Territory and Western Australia, to run a trial period. Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia made it permanent in 1972. Currently Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia do not have Daylight Savings. Often confusing dates and changes although efforts have been made to unify DST dates across Australia, the Federal Government has kept it the responsibility of individual state and territory governments to decide when and if Daylight Savings will be implemented locally.

As a result, DST has varied at times depending on local issues. For example New South Wales extended DST in 1981-2 because of power shortages. During the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games special Daylight Savings Times were observed by some, but not all. This lack of uniformity is blamed for the serious problems in scheduling and reduced hours available to work with others across state lines. Daylight Saving Time also means Australia has 5 time zones when in effect.

I posted a photo on Saturday as a reminder to my Instagram and Facebook followers that it was the night to remember to put the clocks back and saw that not everyone was happy for it to be over. So, are you a fan or not? How much does your life change when daylight saving begins or ends?

It’s back again on 1 October 2017 by the way!

Thanks for being part of Life This Week on Monday 3 April 2017.


Joining Alicia for Open Slather and Kell for Mummy Mondays.

Thanks for linking up this week.

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 prompt is “Easter”.


Australia. 2017.15.

Australia. 2017.15.

Yesterday was Australia Day. It is remembering that on 26 January 1788 a white settlement commenced within Sydney Harbour at Port Jackson. It is close to where Circular Quay is, the ferry terminals and just around from the Opera House to the east, and Sydney Harbour Bridge to the west.

However, it is not a day of celebration for many Australians, the original Australians, who regard this as a day of sorrow. My thoughts are that Australia needs to change to date to reconcile with all who are Australian. However, this is very much a contentious option at present.

I have therefore gone with a traditional (Anglo if you will) view of my country. Australia so very well captured in the essence of this poem by Dorothea Mackellar. The photos which follow are mine. Again I have tried to capture the essence of my country.


My Country
The love of field and coppice
Of green and shaded lanes,
Of ordered woods and gardens
Is running in your veins.
Strong love of grey-blue distance,
Brown streams and soft, dim skies
I know, but cannot share it,
My love is otherwise.

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror
The wide brown land for me!

The stark white ring-barked forests,
All tragic to the moon,
The sapphire-misted mountains,
The hot gold hush of noon,
Green tangle of the brushes
Where lithe lianas coil,
And orchids deck the tree-tops,
And ferns the warm dark soil.

Core of my heart, my country!
Her pitiless blue sky,
When, sick at heart, around us
We see the cattle die
But then the grey clouds gather,
And we can bless again
The drumming of an army,
The steady soaking rain.

Core of my heart, my country!
Land of the rainbow gold,
For flood and fire and famine
She pays us back threefold.
Over the thirsty paddocks,
Watch, after many days,
The filmy veil of greenness
That thickens as we gaze …

An opal-hearted country,
A wilful, lavish land
All you who have not loved her,
You will not understand
though Earth holds many splendours,
Wherever I may die,
I know to what brown country
My homing thoughts will fly.

Dorothea Mackellar


Fig tree in Sydney. Close to the harbour.

Manly Beach at sunrise. Manly was named after an Aboriginal person because of the ‘manly’ appearance. I grew up near here.

The Three Sisters. Aboriginal legends abound about these ‘ladies’ located in the heritage listed Blue Mountains beyond Sydney.

The Jamison Valley. Part of the Blue Mountains. In the early 1800s white explorers Blaxland, Wentworth and Lawson made their way across here.

Semi-rural Sydney scenes but more likely to be housing estates now and into the future.

Magical morning at the Central Coast.

Iconic Sydney. Ferries, Circular Quay and the Harbour Bridge. This is Port Jackson and where the first white settlement occurred.

Essence of the coast of Australia!

My now local area. Wyong River. Original land owners the Darkinjung people.

As Aussie as it comes..the bush and a track leading somewhere…

Walk by the Parramatta River in NSW and read these sculptures. All denote the original and then white settlement of the earliest founded place in NSW (other than Sydney)

Our wonderful coast…we are a country bound by oceans. This is the Pacific Ocean/Tasman Sea as it reaches east to New Zealand.

Thank you Australia for all you have given me in my life.


Joining photography friends who blog here:

Trish, Steph, Sue and Jen.






On the weekend I visit the Ultimate Rabbit Hole here with Sammie and 3 bloggers who also host the link up!


13 Years Of School. 366/316.

13 Years Of School. 366/316.

I usually write about education and schooling on Tuesdays and in preparing my post for yesterday on Exams I was reminded of the changes that took place in Australia’s schooling system over the decades.

I know that schools in Australia do not have common names for the starting year/grade of school. Still. I’ve written about that too. Sigh.

But, what each state and territory does have in common is that a child who begins school in Kindergarten, in NSW for example, will be at school for 13 years. It actually irks me when writers, media and so on talk about the ’12 years of schooling.’ Unless they have a reason to leave before the end of Year 12, they are in school for 13 years!

OK. I have that off my chest now.

So, here’s a little personal anecdote about me.

I was born in November 1949. My husband in February 1949.

He did 12 years at school. I did 13 years at school.


I could not start until I had turned 5, so even though I got to start in September 1954,  was in my first official year of school from 1955. My husband being an early in the year birthday guy, started in the beginning of 1954. Our families did not know we would take different paths because I guess back then the government didn’t know! Their change ideas emanated in the late 1950s following research from overseas.

It was determined in NSW that students commencing High School in 1962 would be the first cohort to complete 6 years of schooling. This was HUGE and that was me! It came about as part of a review by Dr Harold Wyndham and subsequently those of us affected were educated under the Wyndham Scheme. Let me tell you, some of it was policy on the run for us newbies.


Next year it is 50 years since I completed my Higher School Certificate! 50 years!!!

We had 4 years until the first external examination called The School Certificate. After passing that, students could choose to leave and get a job, go to tech or move on to the final 2 years and complete the Higher School Certificate. Usually those people were considering tertiary study of some kind.

My husband’s course through High School  was an external exam at the end of 3rd year called the Intermediate Certificate. Those who passed (he did) and who wanted to follow a tertiary or professional career went on to the end of 5th year to do the Leaving Certificate.

Look, there are always changes afoot. The HSC (NSW version) has changed quite a bit to ensure that it is inclusive of as many students’ needs as possible. There is no longer an external exam called the School Certificate. What has changed is that no student, thanks to a policy set in place by the Federal Government a few years ago, can leave school until age 17 without special permission, a transfer to a TAFE or another education place.

Have you been through the Higher School Certificate System?

If it was similar but called something different…because that is how Australia is…what did you do?

Would you be brave enough  to show your results?

I am too old to care these days!!


education 150

Joining the bloggers who blog on Tuesdays here with Kylie Purtell.



Census 2016. 366/217.

Census 2016. 366/217.

UPDATE: It’s Sunday evening and thanks to a very sore writing hand, I decided to complete the census on-line. After a quick read of the paper form, and checking my hub was OK with responses I’d be doing for him, it took around 10 minutes. Done.

In Australia there is a compulsory census every 4 years.

This year we ‘count’ ourselves!

The census asks us: who we live with, how old we are, where we live and so much more on Tuesday evening 9 August.

It’s become quite a discussion point however.

In the four years since we were last ‘counted’ there are heightened fears of security of the information we provide. People are asking, rightly so, about who will have access to the information and for how long. The answers are not 100% convincing given that these days on-line hacking is prevalent.

There is an option now to do the census on-line and I am certain this is hoped to be the preferred method.

On Tuesday we got our census pack. In the mail and half sticking out of the letter box on a rainy afternoon! Here’s what the ‘wet’ envelope contained:


In it was the form. I did not expect that as media said we’d get a log-in. We did a log-in as well. On the form.  So, I am somewhat bemused and confused.

I don’t know whether I trust either of the processes right now.

So many people trying to log-in and enter their info on one night… come on, Canberra bureaucrats do you really believe this will be ‘hitch-free?’

Then again, I may complete the form and MAIL it back. There is no census collector returning to get it as in previous years. Do I trust Australia Post’s security? Ummm.


So, how are you completing the Census this year?


P.S. I like that the census helps us with information and I have been fascinated to find the census rolls in the years that my forebears where young and living in the U.K.

P.P.S. Today, Friday, my letter was published in the Sydney Morning Herald. It was one of 10 about the Census!


stories 150

Joining with Anne at Domesblissity for Thriving on Thursdays and Grace on Friday for Flog Your Blog over here at With Some Grace.


Meeting the P.M. 366/215.

Meeting the P.M. 366/215.

When I lived in Sydney, my local M.P. and I became friends. She lived in the same suburb as us, and later we realised her husband went to school where I was a D.P. back in the 1980s.

Michelle Rowland invited me to a small local get-together in 2012 with the  local government reps and the then Federal Minister for NBN as she wanted me to let them know how important this technology change would be for homes and schools in our area. It was (and remains a huge disappointment) that the NBN (for where we used to live and now where we live) is nothing like what was foreshadowed. Thanks NOT to current P.M. But I am getting off track!

In early 2013 Michelle contacted me and asked if I would like to meet the Prime Minister Julia Gillard on her visit to a local centre for employment for those with disabilities. I would, thank you!

It was a ‘quiet’ event apparently, even though every representative of the national media were there once I got inside, I would not have known anything or anyone special was inside the building other than a very small police presence and a C1 vehicle with a driver standing beside it. I wasn’t asked for id and I was able to enter the building where Michelle met me briefly and explained that Julia was meeting and greeting with the families inside and would soon sit with a local community group for morning tea. She then offered me the opportunity to have a very brief chat to Julia by myself. Sure! That would be wonderful.

I wanted to let Julia Gillard know the importance of how much education and its continuation of funding to serve the students and schools of our local area (Sydney’s west has a high percentage of families of lower socio-economic status) was needed. The Gonski report had yet to be finalised.

Instead, the meeting was incredibly personal because after Michelle introduced me, Julia proceeded to thank me for what I had done to contribute to education over my long career. She agree to pose for some pics and when I asked her for her autograph, she was generous enough to write this.


I had a wonderful experience meeting the P.M.

Have you met one or more of our Prime Ministers?

Tell me more!


education 150

Joining in with folks over at Kylie Purtell’s blog for I Blog On Tuesdays.




Winter Garden. 366/211.

Winter Garden. 366/211.

It’s easy to love a spring, summer and autumn garden.

Winter gets the prize for last.

However, this winter, spent in a new area and house means I am learning more about winter in the garden here.

I took some shots this week:-

IMG_2886 (1)

The backyard (garden). Frangipani has shed almost all its leaves. Makes a huge difference to what else I can see in the garden. I added the little hanging baskets with pansies.


It’s a house we are renting so to personalise parts of it, flowers in pots on the verandah help cheer me up and give me some garden chores like watering most days.

IMG_2896 (1)

The original owners lived here from new for around 24 years. They planted a LOT of greenery for shade and privacy from the street.

IMG_2903 (1)

The owners put these no giant palms in and to be honest, they are a nuisance with how much they shed their fronds and we spend a lot of time trying to keep the place free of them! Lucky we have a regular vegetation pick up.


It is a pretty look at the entry to the house but a wee bit too shady for most of the winter’s day. This was around 3pm.

IMG_2910 (1)

I don’t know its name (and that is part of the fun of a garden we did not start) but it sure is pretty!

What does your garden look like in Winter?

Maybe you are viewing this from a ‘summer’ country…how is your garden growing?


photos 150

Happy Weekend coming up to photography friends with linkys:

Trish My Little Drummer Boys

Sue Image-In-Ing

Jen Pierced Wonderings