Monday 27th March 2017

My Week 4 Intention. Savour The Positive Pt 1. 2017.12.

My Week 4 Intention. Savour The Positive Pt 1. 2017.12.

Last week I know I benefitted from my intention of kindness and it was brought home to me even more after a stressful time on Tuesday. I had to summon up the courage to drive a long way (45 minutes) on a super hot day to the periodontist who I HAD to see about my poor gums. I did it, but it was at a physical and emotional cost the next day when my IBS struck and I couldn’t go out. But, instead of my ‘old ways’ of talking to myself and thinking I had ‘failed’ I was able to be kindly towards myself in word and action and be a friend to myself!

Being a friend to yourself takes practice!

It was also lovingly helpful to have so many commenters who understood what I was writing about when they read my post last week. Thank you all! This kindness that is spreading around is GOOD!

Building upon this, and wanting to continue to learn more about how our thinking can distort our feelings (and vice versa) I have become a firm fan of the work of Rick Hanson PhD & his collaborator  Richard Mendius MD. He speaks from years of research about the ‘neurons which fire together wire together’ and how we CAN affect our health by too much of the negative messages,  self-talk and so on.

I have been listening to him speak with  Richard Mendius about  and in doing so, am beginning to make some subtle but helpful changes to my daily experiences.

My Intention Week 4/52. 

My intention this week is to ensure I am taking time to SAVOUR positive experiences of all kinds including these:

knowing I am loved and have a person who is my best friend to talk to, hug and be companion to every single day

that the world of nature just outside my house in the form of my small garden offers me opportunities to observe, smell and touch to let the memories flood my brain

I know this needs to be on-going so next week will be an update and more about what I have learned via the lessons and meditations from this CD program.

Have a good week everyone.


I join Leanne and friends here for the Lovin Life Linky on Thursdays.


Norwest Sydney Remembered. 2017.11.

Norwest Sydney Remembered. 2017.11.

We moved from our country teaching posts to Sydney in 1978. We were fortunate to be able to buy a new house and land package at Kellyville, on the fringe of Castle Hill and almost semi-rural area for $44,600. (today’s value: $900k) We raised our two children here, and then in 1993 succumbed to the lure of a new house, and an easy-to-obtain mortgage to buy land at the newly created Bella Vista (suburb) and build an architect designed house. All for around $400,000.

It was wonderful being almost pioneers on the old land that was inhabited firstly by the original owners, and then by the early settlers including John and Elizabeth MacArthur. In fact, the house we built looked up to the original Bella Vista farm (still there in part for historic purposes and appreciation of current citizens) so it always felt like being a part of history too.

Over the years much has already happened to the area, see the timeline here and we bought our land in 1993 and moved to the house in January 1994.


Seven Hills Farm


Aboriginal custodianship of the Cumberland Plain by the Darug people


European settlement and exploration of the Cumberland plain commenced


Seven Hills was sub-divided by the Crown into a series of grants to free settlers including 500 acres was transferred to James Robertson


Stock Farm was sold to John Macarthur along with 1,250 sheep. Bella Vista Farm Park still contains the historic homestead and farm buildings with a single avenue of bunya Pines and is open for public recreation.


North Sydney Brick and Tile Company Limited (Norbrik)

Norbrik purchased a total of a thousand acres of land with part being used for their brick and tile manufacturing plant which operated on part of the site from 1956 to 2002.


Norbrik investigated alternate uses for the site and came up with the concept of a business park where people worked, lived and played.


Baulkham Hills Shire Council and the New South Wales State government rezoned the land as Employment land.


First Stage of Norwest Business Park

The first large-scale business park in Australia of some 377ha was brought to the market. Subdivision works were completed for Stage 1 and construction of buildings commenced in the early 90′s with Australia Post, Cathay Pacific and Hillsong Church acquiring land and commencing construction in 1993.

The first residential development took place in the Bella Vista Village precinct.


We sold our house in 1997 for $474,000 (today’s value: $1.5million) and moved to a suburb across Old Windsor Road, Glenwood, which had been a large dairy farming property. We purchased this house and land package for around $300,000.(today’s value:$950k)

Over the decades housing sprang up on both sides of Old Windsor Road as did the multitude of businesses and other commercial enterprises such as schools, hospitals, churches and retirement places. Much changed in that time and the establishment of a ‘centre’ with a man-made lake gave the area some quiet spaces and pleasant areas to view and rest.

I often walked around the Lake at Norwest Shops. Grandchildren who accompanied me over the years enjoyed feeding the ducks. This was a fun thing to do but sadly those ducks were over-fed and the waterways added many fish of dubious species as well such as carp.

It was in 2014 I took these photos. We have not lived nearby since then and I do know that changes have been made, of course, with even more buildings for both business and residential purposes. There is a rail system being added to the area to hopefully reduce to huge road traffic component of living away from good public transport. However, all in all, the area no longer held any appeal for us after all the years so we have moved on!

Family and friends who remain do so because of location, work and school/study commitments, relationships and more…. and because it’s Sydney!! We have retired to the Central Coast of NSW about 90 minutes drive north.

Do you know the history of where you live?

Are you familiar with this part of Sydney?

Let me know more in the comments!


Joining photography link up friends here:

Jen, SueSteph and Trish

On the weekend I add my post to the Ultimate Rabbit Hole here with Sammie and Paula and new friends too.


San Francisco DID Steal My Heart. 2017.7.

San Francisco DID Steal My Heart. 2017.7.

Eleven years ago this week I visited San Francisco for 2 nights and almost 3 days.

It was one of those overseas trips where I tried to cram in as much as I could as I would never be sure I would be back. My first trip and my last so far! I wrote about it here.  I was a solo traveller. By choice!

I chose to travel to Hawaii first where I stayed for some nights, then across to the Mainland of USA.

The 3rd city I visited there was the delightful San Francisco.

My blogging friend K, is an expat Aussie living there now and when she posted a pic on Instagram about a wet day in SF, I was reminded of MY wet day for a morning tour. This is her blog and it’s full of cool facts, pics and stories about her life in the US of A.

Here are the photos. They are not great quality as they were taken from a bus AND it was wet!

Did I mention that??

Have you visited San Francisco?

What are your memories?

I thought it was like Sydney and I loved it!

On another occasion I will write about the tour to Alcatraz. It was both amazing and terrifying!


Joining with photography friends here:





and on the weekend with the Ultimate Rabbit Hole crew where Sammie gets the news out fast along with Karin and the newly-wed Paula!


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.


Sydney Vistas From 2014. 366/308.

Sydney Vistas From 2014. 366/308.

I often ventured into the city when we lived in Sydney for a solo photography day and a chance to see my city.

These pics, deliberately capturing different vistas, are from that mid-year visit in 2014 where The Rocks was the focus.

I miss seeing the city, especially as I know it has already changed around the harbour at Barangaroo but I am not visiting anytime soon. Traffic!


Walking almost ‘under’ The Harbour Bridge. Details of the Southern Pylons can be seen.


From the edge of the water, near The Rocks, with the AMP Building (originally the tallest building in the city in 1960s) prominent. Dad’s office was located in that building.


Old Wharves and Storage Buildings Now Converted for Offices, Cafes etc. The Rocks.


From the walk under The Bridge looking to the famous Sydney Opera House with an iconic Ferry going past.


Viewed from The Rocks, this iconic building is one which was for public housing and its future is yet to be determined by the current NSW Government.

Do you know Sydney well?

Have you visited The Rocks?


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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 Stephs Joy



My Favourite K-6 Teachers. 366/299.

My Favourite K-6 Teachers. 366/299.

The qualities which make a teacher a favourite for us may be as individual as we are!

My favourite teachers were the ones who recognised in me what I needed to thrive and learn.

Here are my memories of those people and what those memories mean to me.

Year 3 Mr Lytton.

He replaced a cranky and not so nice female teacher some time in Year 3 and from the outset made such a pivotal year, first one in primary school relevant for me. He was strict but he knew that I needed some classroom responsibilities and I was assigned them.

Year 4 Mr Parker.

I was in a class over over 40. That’s what it was like then, even in suburban Wollongong, but he knew that I, along with a few classmates, needed academic challenges and we got them. I was delighted to have my spelling and reading ability  recognised at age 9 and to win a class award at the end of that year even though we had just moved away to a new place and school in Sydney.


Year 5 Mr Duffy.

Moving to Sydney from Wollongong for me was hard. From being, as someone said, ‘the big fish in the little pond, to becoming the little fish in the big pond’ in a much larger school where there were more students of a higher academic level than I meant I took quite a bit of time to ‘settle.’ At the age of 10 and in the ‘senior years of primary school’ I craved acceptance. I did get it over time from the students, but what Mr Duffy did more than most was recognise my talents of organisation and liking to help. It was in his classroom that I ‘knew’ I wanted to become a teacher!

Year 6 Mr Woodhouse.

I really liked Mr Woodhouse because he gave us work which challenged us and helped us learn so much in readiness for the high school years ahead but he was a lovely fellow too! He made lessons interesting and great. I know I was given a great opportunity to grow by being in Mrs Woodhouse’s Year 6.

It has been interesting to note that each of these teachers were male. Many more men were in Primary Schools back then and it is sad that nowhere near that number enter K-6 teaching these days because of concerns fuelled by risk that they could be accused of inappropriate behaviour.

Do you have memories of favourite teachers too?

Share them in the comments, I would love to read about them.


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Joining the lovely Kylie Purtell here and fellow bloggers for I Blog On Tuesdays.





2 Months to Christmas Eve. #ltw7. 366/298.

2 Months to Christmas Eve. #ltw7. 366/298.

Adding this post here for #ChristmasLinkUp !

I chose this prompt and yet I am somewhat challenged by writing what’s ahead. Why? Christmas Eve is N O T H I N G like it used to be (for me) and I need to A C C E P T that. Ok, I did a year ago, so I am not going to wallow any more. Christmas and all that it brings to family life is completely different now that we are the retired couple who live away from the family. And the family has changed. For all the different reasons families do over time! We will be by ourselves for Christmas and getting used to the changes too. It is fine. Life is like this! So, for the prompt I am writing what Christmas Eve was back then, when our now grown kids with their own kids were the kids in 1980s. CHRISTMAS EVE:

  • traditions…we would go to Christmas Eve mass, then return home with Maccas for tea and have a sing-along with guitar (hub) and holding candles (kids) and making memories on the camera (me)
  • food prep for the next day, depending on who was hosting for Christmas Day for the extended family, would include peeling oh so many potatoes, along with pumpkin, carrots, sweet potatoes for the “baked dinner” of mammoth proportions which included chicken, pork, ham and turkey!
  • setting the table and finalising decorations for the area, along with added crockery containing sweets, chocolates, nuts, and the ‘christmas bon bons’
  • exciting time…because Santa is nearly here…before bedtime, a snack and a drink is left out for Santa by the kids, and some carrots and water for those tired and thirsty reindeer
  • longing for bed time (for the kids) on long, light evenings and then waiting…waiting…waiting..for them to go to sleep so present-packing into Santa’ bags (left under the tree for him) could commence
  • packing presents (once they were unearthed from the cupboards, back of wardrobes) and checking to ensure ‘the bags and contents looked even enough in terms of quality and quality’. Sigh. I sometimes failed this because I would forget what I had. So, a present or 3 might be held back for an upcoming birthday
  • lugging Santa bags to place at bottom of the child’s bed and hoping against all hope, no-one woke
  • relaxing by singing along with the Christmas Carols By Candlelight on TV and remember the lovely times of yesteryear
  • going to bed…excited and tired…not with sugar plums dancing around my head but lists of ‘to do’ for the BIG family lunch the next day

NOT our house but close-ish!! except: Summer! Credit:×768-1

So, what does 2 Months to Christmas Eve mean to you? Denyse. life 150 Thanks for linking up ( I hope you have!) whether it’s about the prompt or not! 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!
  • Respect and tolerance however, are the hallmarks of acceptable on-line social behaviour and as my blog is family-friendly I will reserve the right to delete comments that may be offensive to me or others.
  • Tweet with the hashtag #ltw (adding the numeral for prompt) if you like.
  • THANK you for linking up today! Do come back next week.

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The next 8 optional prompts taking us to the end of 2016 are now on the Home Page. I hope you will join in. Joining two Monday link-ups here: Thanks for hosting them…Alicia at One Mother Hen for Open Slather and Kell at All Mum Said for Mummy Mondays.