Saturday 17th 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.





View From Here. #LifeThisWeek 23/52. 2017.77.

View From Here. #LifeThisWeek 23/52. 2017.77.

I love to get out and about with my iphone for photo opps that come my way and sometimes I like to add one of the cameras too.

Knowing that I won’t be able to get ‘out and about’ soon following my forthcoming surgery (still no date) I went to my favourite local beach on the last day of Autumn. That beach is Soldier’s Beach located at Norah Head on the N.S.W. Central Coast about 90 minutes drive from Sydney.

Sure it was windy and much colder than my last visit but it did my heart and soul good to be there, in the elements, admiring the:

View From Here:

The steps from the surf club down to the sand…and the beach.

Look to the left (north) ….to the rock platform.

Half-way point down the steps looking east. Did not see any whales but the migration north has already commenced!

The view to my right and to the south. The wind and clouds made exceptional patterns.

This view…a more distant one south, showing the rugged beauty of this beach.

Yes, I did beach writing: Cancer Sucks.

Looking back up to where the carpark is…the west. The dunes get a workout in the extremes of tides at times.

Yep. A selfie..while I still have the top (fake) teeth. Wind coming from the south!!

Have you been out and about in your local area recently?

What’s the view from where you are?


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

* 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 “Public Holidays”.


I See Mandalas. 2017.73.

I See Mandalas. 2017.73.

It’s no secret I love mandalas. I have not been creating them as regularly in the past months as I have been drawn (geddit!) to pattern making.

Nevertheless, I still see mandalas and here are some I noticed in nature.

Do you see patterns and mandalas in nature?


Time for a link up called Lovin’ Life over here with Leanne and friends.

Joining with Sammie and friends here for The Ultimate Rabbit Hole on the weekend.



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!


Get Grounded! 366/318.

Get Grounded! 366/318.

Recently I realised that I had been leaving something out of my routines that I needed to both nurture and refresh myself.

It has been at least 2 months since I walked on the beach. Yet, back in summer I was there almost every day!

I put that right and stayed on the edge of the waves to capture these special seconds of time as I became grounded.

(apologies if you do not like looking at feet!)

Do you ever feel the benefits of being grounded? Sometimes a walk outside on grass is helpful too.

I hope your weekend is a good one!


Thanks to these blogging friends for Photo Link Ups!

Trish at My Little Drummer Boys

Sue at Image-in-ing

Jen at Pierced Wonderings

Steph at Stephsjoy

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Favourites From Nature. 366/120.

Favourites From Nature. 366/120.

Today I am selecting photos from the past 4 months and they are ones I haven’t posted yet. They’re all from nature and I love getting into the outdoors here on the Central Coast.



Aftermath of January’s heavy rain.



Wyong River over-full after flooding.



Rock Platform and Seagull at Soldiers Beach.



My afternoon beach walk at Lakes Beach.



Crow at Norah Head, below the Lighthouse.



Cockatoos in the trees Toukley.


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Joining with photography friends here:

Trish at My Little Drummer Boys.

Sue at Image-In-Ing.

Jen at Pierced Wonderings.





Never Been Here Before. 366/70.

Never Been Here Before. 366/70.

Last month I took myself on one of my ‘new’ pastimes …getting to know places I have seen on maps and heard about but never visited.

This time it was to Catherine Hill Bay.

map catherine hill bay

Here’s what I learned when I did some research after my visit:

Name Origin

After the schooner “Catherine Hill” which ran aground on the beach area on the 21st June 1867.

Early Land Grants

As of April 1865, Jacob L. Montefiore, Thomas Hale, Robert Saddington and Charles Parbury. In 1888 their land passed into the ownership of the Wallarah Coal Company.

Early Industries

The New Wallsend Company began coal mining operations from a tunnel just above the beach near the jetty during 1873 and the first shipment was made from the newly constructed jetty on 17th December 1873. The mine employed some 70 men in 1874, but was closed for economic reasons in March 1877, resulting in many people leaving the area.

Another coal company, Pope, Hardie and Co. (later the Lake Macquarie Coal Co.) began to sink a shaft in July 1875, but this came to nothing. The London based Wallarah Coal Co. acquired 1200 acres in the area from Messrs. Parbury, Saddington and Lamb in September 1888. The first coal was shipped from this mine in January 1890. A Saw Mill existed in 1897. Chinese gardens were situated at the end of Lindsay Street over the creek in 1898.

A rutile plant operated in the 1960’s. The modern day Wallarah mining operation belonged to Coal & Allied and ceased operations on 2004.

Early Transport

In the mid -1870’s there were only two means of transport from the town to Newcastle. One was overland to the Lake entrance at Swansea, which was crossed by boat. Horses swam across. The other route was via the Lake itself, and by the late 1870’s a ferry called at Reece’s wharf, which was situated over the hills, some three miles from Catherine Hill Bay.

The ferry disembarked at Cockle Creek or Speers Point and travellers then went overland to connect with Public Transport at Wallsend. Bullocks were used to transport goods from Reece’s wharf to the town. In 1874 the steamer “Susannah Cuthbert” carried mail and passengers to Sydney twice weekly but in 1875 the service was discontinued due to lack of patronage. A bus service to Broadmeadow began in 1931. In 1958 the government bus service was terminated and A & I Presland ran a private service.


The Wallarah Coal Co. built a four kilometre rail line from its first mine site, down to the coal loading jetty. It was built between 1889 and 1890. Steam trains delivered the coal to the jetty in large wooden hoppers.

First School

During the few flourishing years of the New Wallsend Coal Co. operations, 1873 to 1877, a petition was presented to the Government to establish a school there, but on grounds of uncertainty of the coal trade, the request was refused. However, some thirteen years later in January 1890 the first school commenced. It was housed in the original Church of England building, located behind the Wallarah hotel. At the start of the school year of 1892, the school occupied the larger premises of the United Free Methodist Church, located on the Montifiores street hill, looking south to Moonee Beach.

The enrolment for that year was seventy five children. A purpose built public school was opened in 1895 on the hill between the villages of Middle Camp and the Bay. In 1915 a larger school and teachers residence was opened at the Middle Camp site. Enrolments for 1920 were one hundred and forty five children. By 1946 there were only eighty seven children enrolled. With enrolments down to only seven students, the Catherine Hill Bay Public School closed in 1985.

source: Swansea Business Chamber.

Catherine Hill Bay was hosting some surfing competitions on this day of my visit. I also saw that there is a large housing/land development now taking shape near Moonee Beach. This was a controversial development when first mooted decades ago and has, as it seems, been modified significantly in scope. Land/house prices for existing places exceed $600K. Its appearance, in many ways, belies it current market value.


Do you know this area of NSW?

It was around 40 minutes drive up the coast from where we now live.


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Joining Anne at Domesblissity for Thriving on Thursdays here.

Joining Grace for Flog Your Blog Friday over here on Friday.


She(doesn’t)Sell Seashells. 366/65.

She(doesn’t)Sell Seashells. 366/65.

For the past year and more I have walked beaches…for my health and for photography and every so often….to collect shells.

Last year I was ‘into’ teensy tiny ones.


Collage of tiny shells and ‘groups of shells’ made into paper weights.


They have been incorporated into my artworks and to be honest I love them.

I am aware of the need to conserve nature  but the shells I have collected…with love of course… have not had any animals left in them and have been deposited by the waves way up the beach. Sometimes though, the huge seas have left them on the shore.


Deposited by the rough waves last weekend.


This year I am besotted by the shapes and colours and perfection of the bigger items.

Yes I collect them.


A collection to play with, rearrange and to appreciate their unique designs and beauty.

I use them as a tactile experience. Have you ever just played with shells lately? My 2 year old granddaughter taught me something about that recently when she created her own ‘rainbow’ as she named it by putting some of these shells (when they were all loose) into an arc shape.


Here’s what I have collected and what I have done with these creations from nature as they make me very relaxed and happy working with them, touching them, looking and them….and now sharing!



Feathers also collected over the months, added to a shell giving a bird-like quality!


Shell Mobiles outside. Made by me…thanks to hub for some ‘hole’ help for threading.

I certainly thank Mother Nature for letting me find them and respectfully acknowledge their first home. The sea. I also do not sell my seashells!


This Beach is so beautiful and changeable. Love it.


I think I have this habit from my late mum…and in a way, I am honouring her today as I continue and remember that 9 years ago Mum passed away aged 82. Love you Mum! XXXX

Do you collect shells or stones on the beach?

What do you do with them?


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Joining the lovely Sammie and friends for The Ultimate Rabbit Hole here.

And thanking Alicia for her Open Slather linky on Mondays here.