Saturday 17th November 2018

Observations in October #4. 2018.110.

Observations in October #4. 2018.110.

     Honouring Teachers – World Teachers’ Day – 26 October 2018.

In October, usually around the beginning of the month, it is World Teachers’ Day. This event is celebrated  annually world wide and came as a result of a United Nations declaration. Because we in Australia are often on a school holiday break when the rest of the world celebrates, the last Friday in October is set aside for honouring, appreciating and celebrating teachers.

Teachers may be those working in classrooms, they maybe those helping others become teachers at University, some may still be at school themselves but know they want to be a teacher. There are those in leadership roles at schools, within the systems of education and at the training level.

Each person would be honoured if the community in general, not only parents and kids in schools, celebrated and appreciated teachers!

 

World Teachers’ Day in Australia Date in the current year: October 26, 2018

All Australian teachers have a special holiday, that is known as World Teachers’ Day. It’s celebrated on the last Friday in October and it doesn’t coincide with actual World Teachers’ Day.

International holiday of World Teacher’s Day was established by UNESCO on October 5, 1994 and since then it’s annually celebrated on this day in many countries around the world. However, many countries also have their National Teachers’ Days or move World Day to another day, as it was made in Australia. The thing is that Australian schools go on a holiday at this time in October, that’s why the holiday is celebrated on the last Friday in October. If it coincides with Halloween, the festive events may be postponed to November.

Every year the NeiTA Foundation (National Excellence in Teaching Awards) and ASG (Australian Scholarships Group) announce the national teaching recipients of the ASG Community Merit Awards on this day. All teachers and members of school government are encouraged to participate in the events, that are organized across Australia. All willing participants have to register and wait for confirmation and official invitation.

https://anydayguide.com/calendar/3115

I want to thank teachers who helped guide me (and inspire me to become a teacher) in classrooms from Gwynneville P.S. to Balgowlah Heights P.S. and onto Manly Girls High School. Thanks especially to Mr Parker from G.P.S.(in this photo) and Mr Duffy (Yr 5 at B.H.P.S.) and those who recognised my strengths at M.G.H.S. Miss Lyon is one stand out.

Then, as regular readers know, I went on to train and become a K-6 teacher, ending up as a school principal and there is more about that here and here.

And when I retired ‘the first time’ as I had to resign, I literally had to fight for my service medal via a series of letters. My career should not have finished that way but it did. Thanks to staff shortage and my work overload. In the end, I got my medallion of service….and it has the wrong date on it. Sigh. I KNOW the right one though! I would always recommend teachers join the Union. It helped me in many ways when my employer and superannuation fund did not.

My list of schools where I taught is here:

 

  1. Barraba Central School. 1970
  2. Fairfax Public School. 1971-1972.
  3. Hillston Central School. 1973-1975.
  4. Weilmoringle Public School. 1976-1977.
  5. Cherrybrook Public School. Term 1 1978.
  6. Jasper Road Public School. Term 2 1978 – part 1982.
  7. Acting Promotion to: Seven Hills West Public School. Part 1982. (Assistant Principal – teaching)
  8. Promotion to: Walters Road Public School. 1983-1984. (Executive Teacher – teaching)
  9. Promotion to: Seven Hills West Public School. 1985-1987. (Assistant Principal – teaching)
  10. Promotion to: Shalvey Public School. 1988-1998.  (Deputy Principal – non-teaching) (Acting Principal): part 1994
  11. Acting Promotion to: Rooty Hill Public School. Terms 3 & 4 1998. (Principal – non-teaching)
  12. Promotion to: Richmond Public School. (Principal) *first retirement: 2003.
  13. Kellyville Ridge Public School. Part-time teacher: Release From Face to Face & English as a Second Language. 2004-2006.
  14. Hebersham Public School. Part-time teacher. English as a Second Language. Terms 1 & 2. 2007
  15. Kellyville Ridge Public School. Part-time teacher. English as a Second Language. Terms 3 & 4 2007 until end 2009. *retirement from schools 2010 although I continued working in them as a University  Advisor/Tutor until end 2014.

I want to thank all of those teachers who have taught my children and grandchildren. Several come to mind who had lasting good influences on them. I also want to thank my colleagues, some of whom are no longer with us, but I know that all of my work and social life in schools has been enhanced by so many great and caring staff members. I remain a connected person in education: I follow colleagues on twitter, have been part of #teachmeets, and get updates from my membership of the Retired Primary Principals Association of N.S.W.

Finally, of course, I want to pay tribute to the thousands of children who passed through the classrooms and playgrounds where I worked. Some of course are old enough to be grandparents!

Have you thanked any teachers lately?

Are you a teacher who feels you are appreciated in your community?

Tell me more about how it is for you!

Denyse.

Joining in with Leanne for Lovin’ Life Linky here. Happy Thursday everyone.

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Reading Books Rocks. 2018.106.

Reading Books Rocks. 2018.106.

Recently I re-discovered reading…books!

I have always wanted to read and books were a firm favourite. I recall my mum, who was not a book-reader, saying to me in my early teen years that I could not borrow books from the library if I was going to spend all my time reading. I have the feeling she wanted me to be a bit more active helping her around the house!

I continued to read, long after “lights out”, as my room was on another floor to my parents’ bedroom so I continued my habit of reading. Fiction. School stories based on English lives, and many others. Loved them.

I had already been the library prefect at primary school so books were part of me!

But what happened to me over the past decade or so?

I suspect busy-ness caring for others, the introduction of the iphone, ipad and quick grabs of reading along with finding little to interest me in the preferred fiction  areas. Oh, I read Maeve Binchy, Joanna Trollope and Rosamund Pilcher in my 40s but by the time I got to my late 50s and 60s I found not a lot that was in my interest in fiction.

I switched to non-fiction and biographies and memoirs mostly.

Then in the last 4 years I have struggled to read a book because of:

  • lack of ability to concentrate
  • being drawn to the quick fix of social media more
  • the newspaper being enough of a read
  • nothing that held my interest and attention like I found in my earlier years

I joined the local libraries and borrowed some books, which mostly were returned unread. I trawled internet book sites and did make purchases but they are all in the:

  1. self-help
  2. learning about mindfulness
  3. understanding anxiety and depression
  4. life as per: Pema Chodron, Tara Brach, Brene Brown, Anne Lamott

These were ‘lifelines’ as I tried to understand and accept my life as it had changed 2015-mid 2017.

What was missing?

Escapism. Yet, I could not concentrate. I needed to move around and move on to something else especially as cancer entered my life.

Then in the past months as my cancer surgeries and treatments have been completed or are finishing, my mind is less on high alert and I am able to take time to sit and read.

I still, on occasion, feel the pull of checking my iphone,  but I am improving.

I may not yet be reading for long stretches or much fiction, but I am reading…B O O K S.

Lately I have been buying because some new release books were on my list of “MUST READ”.

Here they are:

I liked to call the lovely time after lunch when I was teaching: D rop E verything A nd R ead time so now I am giving myself that time-out too.

Do you recall that time for reading at school?

Maybe it was when your kids went to school. I hear some schools have continued the tradition and that makes this old teacher very happy!

What books do you enjoy reading?

Do you buy or borrow?

Denyse.

Joining Kylie here for I Blog on Tuesdays and Sue and Leanne’s link on Wednesdays called Midlife Share The Love here.

 

 

 

 

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Best Friend Stories. 41/52. #LifeThisWeek. 2018.102.

Best Friend Stories. 41/52. #LifeThisWeek. 2018.102.

I have always envied those who can keep a long-time friendship going, claiming best friends from school days and more.

I reviewed some photos of mine before writing and i can see, in my case, why this is not so.

I would not like to think I am a bad friend but I do agree that over time friendships change and move on.

In the most recent years I let a friendship slide – we had moved away from Sydney – as my anxiety grew and I knew I was not able to travel back to see this friend. Nevertheless, I did make contact after a year, and she happily caught me up and I felt a sort of re-connection. Then I got cancer. She is not on social media and to be honest, maintaining friendships was not high on my priority in recovery and beyond. Nevertheless, knowing I was risking being rejected I wrote her an email, letting her know of my health status and that, for the present, I could probably meet up in Sydney again for a coffee. We met up for coffee over many years. No response. Nothing. I suspect, I did leave it too late but I also know I did something to offer the hand of friendship again.

Chronological Order of Best Friends. 

Early 1950s.

Dad tells me I had imaginary friends at this age. I think one was called Pinky. I do not remember but I believe him. I am off to the Dapto Show with my Aunty. Didn’t I dress well then?

Late 1950s

I am in second row from the bottom, 2nd in from the right. I am next to my best friend at Gwynneville P.S. in Wollongong: Helen. We played outside school hours and went to each other’s houses. She and I competed, along with Warwick, in front row, second in from left, for first, second and third place in class. Check the class numbers people!

We stayed in touch via letters and some visits when we had moved to Sydney at the end of this year. I do know, amongst the trivia in my head, that her birthday is 27 September.

Early 1960s

It would be untruthful to say anyone here was a BEST friend but some were indeed friends. I am 3rd from left in front, and my friend, who also came to the same high school as me in 1962, is first on the left front row. We were passing acquaintances once we chose our subjects for the ‘new H.S.C.’ and saw each other (and sang together) on the school bus from Balgowlah Hts to Brookvale where our High School was.

I went my way to teachers’ college and teaching as she went her way to Uni and became an architect. Our parents still lived in the same suburb and saw each other as ‘waving’ aquaintances I guess. Then, with the era of Facebook, we found each other in the past 5 years…and guess what, we had been living relatively close to each other in the Hills District of Sydney for decades! We met up before we left Sydney and I love her memory about all things where I lived because she was there from birth. It’s a great connection and I know her birthday too. She is 1 month and 5 days older than me. Ann.

Late 1960s

Last year of High School – 1967. I am far right. We were ‘besties’ in the senior years of High School. It became apparent though, that I was the one who needed to buckle down and study in that final year as I really wanted to a tertiary education to become a teacher. My friends had boyfriends then that each married. About 2-3 years out of school, and they trained in secretarial work. We went to each other’s weddings (I think!) and they came to ours. From time to time, when we returned to Sydney for school holidays we had a catch up but I could already see my social world as a country-side teacher was not in keeping with theirs. Many years later, via a social media forum I think, we did have a reunion of sorts and even more recently my Dad saw Julie (on the left) being a personal home carer to someone in his retirement place. She said “Are you Mr Simpson, Denyse’s Dad?” That is one good memory. No, we have not met up. Julie, Sue, Pauline.

From then to now.

As teachers, much of our social life is connected where we are teaching. We had friends in each of the country towns and when we moved back to Sydney, we continued seeing people once a year. I had female friendships groups at school and always enjoyed the connections. Once I became a Deputy Principal then Principal, I moved into more work-related social networks. However, after my health breakdown as a principal, I eventually went to teach in a friend’s school and had a kind and lovely relationship with two of the administration ladies. These ladies stayed in touch when we left Sydney and after my cancer diagnosis and surgeries arranged to come and visit. This is just lovely. We still do keep in touch via social media due to distance. Luisa and Marg.

But the one person who keeps top status as my best friend is this man. The one I married. Just for something different, a photo of me with him in late 2016 before cancer.

So, what are your best friend stories?

Denyse.

Today I link with Alicia here: for Open Slather and Kel here for Mummy Mondays. Do visit them too and link up!

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’s Optional Prompt: 42/52. What I Have Learned Lately. 15/10/18.


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Mindfulness, Mandalas & Self-Care!* 2018.97.

Mindfulness,Mandalas & Self-Care!* 2018.97.

This post will eventually make sense…please read on. If you too value self-care.

Things have been pretty serious around this blog lately so with yesterday’s light-hearted post about my last purchase. See what I did and why here, if you want a bit of a laugh at me and my laminator woes.

And as if to give me a reason to relax more was necessary I had a somewhat disconcerting couple of days where my gut rumbled and I refused to listen (as I can do) until, some IBS** (also written about a lot here and here) decided to remind me about:

*WHY I NEED TO PRACTISE BETTER SELF-CARE.

From way back I have been an achiever.

I like to do and see the reward in the finished product or event or whatever it is.

I like to plan and see things through to their end.

In other words, I DO (not the marriage one) almost all of the time and until something stops me** I keep on keeping on.

Self-care of and for me is MY responsibility and coming out of a major life event as having cancer you’d think I would have it sorted. Things like this would be taken into consideration:

  • physical ability to carry out what I am choosing to do
  • physical ability and stamina to keep going with such activities
  • knowing when to take a rest and stop for a while
  • understanding that my ageing body is not quite at all like it used to be as it has also fought cancer
  • remembering that I “am retired” and much of my day is for me to choose how to spend it

And generally I do, until I don’t and that is what happened last week**…

Yes, I am getting to the mandalas & mindfulness soon!

It was not much at first, but for a day or two, I could feel my breathing being more about “sighing” as in things were an effort. I also found myself jumping from one self-determined task to another with a view to getting them done.

 No-one else had set me any tasks but me. At times, I am loving the busy-ness and the physicality of getting out and about, making the bookmarks for The Big Hug Box, getting the shopping done, making some meals for us both and blogging responsibilities along with deciding to learn how to do hand-lettering via a couple of on-line courses.

I loved driving an hour to catch up with a friend for morning tea on Tuesday and driving to the beach on Monday to walk down many steps to the rock platform. I was BUSY. I genuinely loved doing it too.

And by Friday my gut grumbled and sent me to the loo more and more until Saturday morning when it said “ENOUGH” and let me know it with some IBS.

OH. I know why, I silently said and did not get angry but instead I got grateful. For my body’s reminder when my mind would not listen.

I stopped. I calmed me with better breathing techniques. I sat with NO iphone near me and read two papers. I rested. I coloured a magical and big mandala and then I knew what to do …MUCH more mindfully engage with what I love.

One of these is making mandalas and the other is remembering to be mindful more.

I was brought into the present moment (the only one we experience!) and sat and contemplated this design started a week or so ago and how I would colour it. I spent some magical moments here doing so and then selecting the colours to do so.

My breathing returned to normal pace, my gut is quiet, my husband is pleased I have done this of my own volition, and I am chastened by it and know that yes, I can be the saboteur of my own self-care. I sat outside admiring the pansies and was uplifted by their beauty in my mindful state.

What about you?

What do you get as a sign you need to stop and do/be differently?

Since Saturday I have a social media & iphone free hour from 12.30 to 1.30. It’s going well.

Tell me more in the comments.

Denyse.

Joining with Kylie here for I Blog On Tuesdays and with Sue and Leanne for Midlife Share The Love Link here on Wednesdays.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Have You Ever? 38/52. #LifeThisWeek is 2! 2018.93.

Have You Ever? 38/52. #LifeThisWeek is 2! 2018.93.

I have said in previous posts that sometimes my reason for an optional prompt is not always remembered when I get to it, which is why THIS one is very simple…or complex depending on how I decide to respond.

But before that!

It’s time to mark a special occasion. It was on Monday 12 September 2016 that the first link up for #LifeThisWeek debuted. As many of you will recall, Kirsty had retired I Must Confess as a link up and I was able to introduce this one for bloggers who post (and link) on Mondays.

In the two years much has happened to me and to you, my blogging buddies and readers, but what has not changed at all is the community, the conversations and the connections we make as we read and then comment on others’ posts.

So, biggest thank you goes to you all. Without you there is no link up!

#LifeThisWeek is going into 2019 and I am delighted about that as I hope you are too.

Happy 2nd Birthday:

Have You Ever…been published in the media?

That is the question I decided to respond to. Well, yes I have.

In local newspapers when I was a school principal and stories were published about the school and its activities. I had my photo taken with my eldest granddaughter aged 4 at the Christmas Carols in the local park and that was very pleasant.

I have had articles written about my work when I was an Education Specialist helping families from Early Childhood centres navigate the starting school issues.

I have written to newspapers and have had letters to the editor published in both the Sydney Morning Herald and the Daily Telegraph.

Articles by me were published in the N.S.W. Parents and Citizens Journal for some time.

But…there is this one, and it is the one I want to highlight this time:

In April 2017 I did what I thought was a brave thing, and encouraged by an on-line friend who had done the same, I put my story (as asked in the questions on the site) for a year-long project called Celebrating Women. The aim of the founder, Dr Kirstin Ferguson was to have 2 women share their story a day for 2017 and that it was the spread the word around the world, of the very essence of these women. Not limited to Australia or by age or by career. I admit now, I wondered “me?” “really?” but sent in the responses and the photos.

And forgot about it as being diagnosed with cancer some weeks later, I was totally in another headspace when I got the email from Kirstin saying “your profile #298 and story is ready to go live on…(date named)”. I was feeling vulnerable and unsure about whether I wanted to share my profile as now the “word cancer’ was part of my story. I wrote to Kirstin about my feeling vulnerable and her kind words in response were that of course it was up to me but that maybe, my cancer diagnosis and news of my surgeries and treatments in the future would give others more insight into me.

I said yes. My story was published on 31 May, just 2 weeks after my cancer diagnosis.

My post about Celebrating Women is here.

Over the next year I was updating myself about the #CelebratingWomen stories and saw that Kirstin had been approached to write a book in conjunction with Catherine Fox about the project (which ended up with over 700 profiles by the way!). The book, called WomenKind has just been released and with my permission, Kirsten wrote this paragraph about me. I was very proud to see it when I leafed through a new-on-the-shelf version. My own copy is still winging its way to our place.

Have you ever…..?

Any optional prompt suggestions for next year’s Life This Week gratefully accepted in the comments!

Denyse.

Today I link with Alicia here: for Open Slather and Kel here for Mummy Mondays. Do visit them too and link up!

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’s Optional Prompt: 39/52. Last Thing I Bought. 24/9/18.

 


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September Stories. #1. 2018.89.

September Stories. #1. 2018.89.

I’ve enjoyed writing Thursday posts on a theme. There has been the  Just For July series and the Appreciation in August one just finished. I did give a lot of consideration to what September might be, and with the chance to tell stories in a more detailed form, here is the first! September Stories. I hope YOU enjoy too. Denyse.

Sixteen Years Ago.

But first:

I really enjoyed being a K-6 School Principal. I had waited till my late 40s to decide to ‘take the plunge’ and actively seek a principal’s role in a K-6 school in Sydney’s west.

Having been a relieving Principal in a school where I had been a Deputy Principal I knew that I did not want to apply for that role as I had been at that school for almost 10 years.

This was a much longer period than I usually stayed in one school and family reasons were part of this but I knew that to lead that school was fraught with trying to placate factions and being in conflict ethically with the old-fashioned and out-moded forms of discipline.

In the lead up to the end of the 1990s I was asked to relieve as a Principal is a larger school within the Western Sydney environment I knew well. This school already had a leadership team including Deputy Principals but it was the wish of the out-going (Long Service Leave first!) Principal that someone from out of the school be appointed. That was me.

What a baptism of fire this was!

Whilst I knew the general area, I was not knowledgable at all about the make-up of the student population – which was well into the 600s. I was to lead that school for Terms 3 and 4 when a principal would be appointed. There were special needs classes, there were children of high needs (intellectual and behavioural) in mainstream classes. Fortunately, it came with a non-teaching Deputy, who helped bring me up to speed with every new challenge including:

  • chasing a boy who was ready to jump the low fence and run onto the road. He stopped. In the playground.
  • finding another boy climbing to the roof of a building to escape the problem he had being in class.
  • having a mother of a girl scream at me over the desk “what are YOU going to DO ABOUT this, YOU”RE the PRINCIPAL”

“I really do not want to be a Principal” I said after a very hectic Term 3 leading into Term 4…but then again..

” the old death bed regret” popped into my mind.

Did I want to think I should have given the principalship a go but I did not?”

Answer: NO.

Further Reasons!

As the last Term progressed, unless I did decide to start applying for Principal’s roles, I had this ultimatum delivered.

As a Deputy Principal who had needed to leave her original school (the 10 year one) because the school student population  was slowing and there was no longer a DP position, I had to accept any position as a DP and guess where I was appointed: to the school where I was currently Relieving Principal. 

Oh. No, I thought that was untenable and also once I knew who the new boss would be in the following year my hand was forced – in a way. So it was out with the application templates and late nights writing and honing these to match K-6 School Principals roles that I might fit.

It All Takes Time.

Back then, applications for Principal  were sent into the District Office for the Superintendent to look over with his/her panel of selectors. These were a parent from the school which was seeking a new principal, a staff member from that school, a principal of similar status as the role on offer and the Superintendent. If the application met with the panel’s approval, professional referees (nominated on the application) were called, and then if the panel thought they wanted to know more then the applicant was invited to a formal interview.

I went through this process over some weeks for a total of four times and got to interview but not the role. I was also still leading a school! I did get positive and helpful feedback particularly by one District Superintendent By the second last week of Term 4 I thought I was not going to get a Principal’s job but that was not true and within 2 days of school ending for Term 4, I was offered and I accepted the role of K-6 Principal in my own right.

Appointed As Principal.

The District Superintendent rang me to offer the position and of course I accepted it. Being so close to the end of the year, I could not visit the school until close to the end of the January holidays.

The words that rang in my ear, and were written to me by the District Superintendent echoed…and not nearly as much as in future years.

“Denyse, you have to bring this school into the next century and I know you are the one to do it. It won’t be easy and it will have challenges but you are the right fit for this”.

To Be Continued.

Next week, I will outline the story, in more detail about the meaning of Sixteen Years Ago.

Denyse.

Linking up with Leanne here for Lovin’ Life on Thursdays.

 

 

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Famous People I’ve Met. 33/52. #LifeThisWeek. 2018.74.

Famous People I’ve Met. 33/52. #LifeThisWeek. 2018.74.

This post was a bit of a trip down memory lane. I would say though, I do not have photos with many ‘famous’ people I have met. I have lived quite a long time (in my 69th year!) so I recall meeting:

  • singer Bobby Rydell when I was 12 at the airport. My Dad took me..I do not know why!
  • now ancient and still DJ on radio Bob Rogers as a teen but I barely recall where!
  • as a visitor to my school: Dr Karl Kruszelnicki and he was pretty disinterested but he came to speak to the kids of the OC classes and they lapped it up.
  • in the TV audience for a show headed by Tony Squires- as part of the Sydney Olympics and it was fun.
  • met author & public education champion Jane Caro on the morning I appeared on Weekend Sunrise
  • met the Morning Sunrise Team – of then Kochie, Mel and Mark when they did the show next to our house in 2014 but they did not impress me
  • was invited to and attended a small morning tea with then Senator Stephen Conroy and whilst he was communications minister for then Labor Govt, we talked of the NBN….and we know what happened next. Change of Govt…and somewhere along the line, Sen Conroy left politics.
  • had the entire (old) 2WS team broadcast their breakfast show from the school where I was principal and they were a delight!

The following people I did meet….at various functions in Sydney over a few years…

What can I add? Who Gets to Meet Santa Claus? Me!

Of the people in the photos above, I enjoyed meeting and felt privileged to meet:

Then NSW Governor Dr Marie Bashir. This gracious woman thanked me, then retired from NSW public schools for all I had done for public education in New South Wales. I was touched.

The author & actor William McInnes as he has been narrating his stories to me, yes just me, right..for many years and I never tire of his voice, his tales and his genuine regard for all things Australian. I sat about one chair space from where he spoke and he was ‘just great’.

The then Prime Minister Julia Gillard impressed me with her brief chat to me about education and thanked me for my contribution. My opinion of her changed over time when she connected funding to schools via a very complicated system that negated what was the best of Gonski.

T.V. and media home designer and author Shaynna Blaze was so generous and kind in her one to one meeting with me. Admittedly it was a function where I paid some money to be in a small group who heard her speak. She even followed through with her congratulations when she heard our house had sold after I sent her a photo of ‘the decor including the cushions.’

Author and Neuropsychologist Kylie Ladd became a twitter follower and friend in 2010 and at Kerri Sackville’s first book launch in 2012 I got to meet Kylie. She is an unassuming and modest author who had written successful fiction for some time. I went to my then local Library at Castle Hill to be an supportive audience member for her talk in 2014 about Mothers and Daughters.

Have you met some famous people too?

How do people become famous?

I do think things have changed a lot in terms of fame when we consider social media’s impact.

Love to hear your thoughts.

Denyse.

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’s Optional Prompt: 34/52. My Hairstyle History. 20/8/18.

 


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Countries I Have Visited. 32/52, #LifeThisWeek. 2018.70.

Countries I Have Visited. 32/52, #LifeThisWeek. 2018.70.

This is a very short post.

I have visited the United States of America.

One country.

Oh, alright then, some details! But first some background.

My parents got to travel around the world a few times initially thanks to Dad’s work (seeing overseas plants and offices relating to the fertilizer company where he was Company Secretary. That same company sent him, a young Chief Accountant in 1966 on a round-world trip alone to visit cities where his company had affiliations and then to University of Hawaii where he attended a 6 week Summer School from the Harvard Business School. It changed his life, and broadened his interests from that time. He also fell in love with Hawaii and with Mum in latter years visited many 7 times, meeting old friends, playing golf and relaxing.

Why tell my readers this?

Well. I had heard his stories for 40 years when, with the blessing and financial support of my dear husband I got to plan a solo trip to the U.S.of A. and topping and tailing the 15 day trip with Hawaiian experiences.

The Day: 1.1.2006.

The hottest day ever (till then) of 44 degrees celsius both at home in Sydney’s west and at Mascot, that late afternoon. New Year’s Day. Melting at the airport because the electricity was so overloaded the air con stopped.

Our daughter (Happy Birthday TODAY, KT!)

drove a nervous but excited me to the airport early..because..that is ME. My flight with Hawaiian Airlines was due to leave at 10.p.m. She and her youngest got Maccas and went home.

I sweated it out with a brief thought to forget this and go home. I shooshed anxiety and when I got to priority board (I joined Hawaiian Air’s Premier Club & it was so worth it) I sighed with relief from the air-con on the plane, the attendants in Hawaiian garb and their friendly demeanour. I also had a window seat (as requested via the Premier Club and had that seat each time I flew with them. I could not fault Hawaiian Air. Ever!

https://www.ispot.tv/ad/AiIE/hawaiian-airlines-we-are-all-voyagers

Hawaii – Oahu and The Big Island.

For the girl who had never travelled OS before but was a hugely skilled planner the trip went well. Originally organised by the local Flight Centre with me adding more ($$) to this trip I fear would be the only one (looking like it 12 years later) so I got to experience as much as possible. The notion of being solo did not faze me at all. I have a presence that does not show fear and I am a confident walker and can talk to most people.

Dad asked me to have a Mai Tai under the Banyan Tree – next door to my hotel. I had a Pina Colada.

My itinerary: loosely!

I stayed at Waikiki Parc hotel, upgraded to an ocean view and loved it so much for its breakfasts (hello, guava juice), the staff who lent me a body board and stored some of my belongings when I went to the Mainland AND for being only one very small walkway from the sand and the water, and a lovely walk either by the road or along the sand to Waikiki Beach. I did a morning tour to the Arizona Memorial. Very sombre and very moving when you see the whole harbour.

Inside the Arizona Memorial

I was there for 3 nights and then flew to The Big Island for 2 nights and hired a car there. I had hoped to visit the now very active volcano after finding out how to get to Hilo early one morning by car. I got lost and ended up back at Kona instead. Loved meeting new people and having new experiences. Took a gazillion photos but only a few are on my computer now.

Loved driving the Mustang

After returning to Oahu, I got an Hawaiian air flight to Los Angeles where, as was organised back in Sydney I was to be met by a driver to take me to my hotel in Beverly Hills. He was a no-show and that saw me on the mobile to his company to find that they had no booking but would see me Sunday to bring me back to LAX. Fortunately, as I am pretty resourceful and unafraid to seek help, I got on a shuttle bus and heard some Aussie accents and didn’t mind the scenic trip via UCLA on the way (very late now) to my hotel. Sorry Ma’m kitchen is closed. It was a snacks dinner.

Made my way to a good breakfast pretty early and readied myself for LA in a Day. It took in all the sights: I went to Venice Beach (so different to my idea of a beach) I loved using the ladies at Beverly Hills Hotel that was in Pretty Woman, did a bit of Hollywood Shopping for young starstruck granddaughters, was disappointed by the Hollywood sign and surprised myself by liking Universal Studios tour. I had a photo with Princes Fiona as Shrek was the “in movie”

What “Hollywood Sign?” Oh there!

Flew out on Sunday to Las Vegas after the promised Chauffeur limo drive I should have also had on Friday night.

Las Vegas. I just laughed out loud when I saw the poker machines at the end of the plane bridge. From then on, after checking in at Excalibur I smiled, observed and just took it all in. Saw Mamamia performed live, went through the Titanic exhibition and had a night Las Vegas tour culminating in taking in the view at the top of a tower. Oh, and met Elvis. Of course. Spent a wonderful day on a small bus excursion out to Hoover Dam and crossed the border. Great experience and saw some of the native American ventures as well.

Thank you very much

San Francisco. Really did steal my heart. I loved it. I felt ‘at home’. I can see why my Aussie expat friend Katherine is calling it home. Here is her blog. I stayed near the water and walked to have a crab lunch as my father insisted I do. I booked a tour of Alcatraz back in Australia and really found that tour amazing and quite sobering. I spent time going on the trolleys and finally finding a decent coffee. Sigh. Loved the bookstores, the music stores. Was not so pleased with the poverty I saw in the streets. Vietnam vets in particular.

Yes that is me with a few cameras (and a tour listening thingy)…

Back to LA. Waiting, waiting, waiting…for Trip Back to Honolulu.

My last days overseas were spent swimming in that warm water, walking to the photo developer near the statue of the Duke getting all of my pics developed before I got home, going to the Hawaiian markets and buying an extra bag to bring STUFF home in, and having a day tour of the North Shore. I had been singing Ride The Wild Surf on the school bus for years as a teenager and could not wait to see this beach. Nothing. Gentle waves. Boo, no wild surf. Still, we had a great tour driver and asking him a few questions found out that his job as a school teacher cannot keep up the mortgage payments on the house (housing was/is very expensive in Oahu) so he supplemented as a tour driver. I also saw a lot of poverty on some of the back streets.

What Wild Surf?

Home on 15 January 2006. Laden with stuff…for the kids. My lesson about that? Buy nothing! Bring back memories!

Now, that is a long story.

However I am going to finish with a wish.

I would like to visit the UK; specifically the areas where my grandparents lived: England and Scotland. I would also like to do a war sites/grave tour of France. This is unlikely to happen: due to my age…and money. BUT, I have decided not to give it away but to consider it.

What countries have you visited?

Denyse.
Joining with Alicia for Open Slather Here.

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Next Week’s Optional Prompt: 33/52.  Famous People I Have Met 13/8/18.


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