Saturday 17th November 2018

I Dislike Sydney’s Changes. 2018.15.

I Dislike Sydney’s Changes. 2018.15.

There I have said it.

I have been back to Sydney, crossing our wonderful Harbour Bridge many more times than I might have guessed when I was diagnosed with cancer in May 2017. I have also been out to the west of Sydney to the Oral Health Services at Westmead and certainly noticed how much more building work is proceeding. The traffic. Grrr. I know, Sydney is an awesome capital city. I love(d) her too.

I was fortunate to live in Sydney – Balgowlah Heights near Manly- from 1959 to 1970 then I went to the country to teach, get married and have one child. From 1978 until 2015 we lived in north-western Sydney. So, yes I think I might have an opinion!

Last week we drove to Sydney to stay the night before my surgery last Wednesday so that there would be a stress-free start to my Day Surgery and that was a top decision. It worked. However, I decided to use my ‘free time’ on Tuesday afternoon to have my little excursion around my old home town I guess. I am sharing photos and the letter I wrote to the Sydney Morning Herald. It did not get published but then again news of a certain Deputy PM and the stock market tumble were why.

My letter:

We left Sydney for The Central Coast the same week “powers that be” determined ripping up George St, adding more gateway links, extending Motorways… etc, etc, etc.
Yesterday before my 3rd surgery at a new needed & valued hospital called Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, I took a bus trip (opal card still worked!) & was astounded at the city’s disruption, noise from buildings & the fact that it’s a much slower development than ever.
When I lived in Sydney’s outer areas I enjoyed coming into the city. Not anymore!
The one thing that has not changed is the harbour & that I could ride a ferry to Zoo & return to re-connect my soul to Sydney there was my highlight.
Thank you kind bus drivers & ferry masters & attendants who helped this Senior find her way round again.

Snapshots of Sydney by me after my first real visit back in over 3 years.

However, I cannot say it was all disappointing because some things NEVER change (thank goodness!) and here they are:

Looking UP. Of course, and capturing Sydney’s varying architecture and Sydney Tower

Seagulls at Circular Quay and This Water….has not changed appearance since I first saw them in 1955.

 

It was great to see so many people enjoying the magical spot. A cruise ship was in too. I remember farewelling a friend off to England in 1965 from The Terminal.

 

Now Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) and I have always enjoyed the various installations there. I loved the fact that the Aboriginal Flag was flying.

 

And this was the icing on the cake. As always. Sydney Harbour on a Ferry. Using my opal card I did a round trip to the Zoo. Ah!

So, there it is. My recent visit to Sydney.

I wonder what you think of the changes if you are a Sydney-sider.

If you are not, have you been to Sydney?

I think of this place more as my hometown now ….the northern beaches too…rather than the place of my birth, Wollongong.

What’s your hometown?

Denyse.

Joining with Kylie here for I Blog on Tuesdays.

 

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January Days. Now & Past. 2018.4.

January Days. Now & Past. 2018.4.

Happy New Year!

Welcome Back!

Here’s to a great 2018 for us all.

This year, as I counted backwards on my fingers, is the 8th year I have been blogging. I started towards the end of 2010.

I blogged a lot in 2011  as newbie but who was completely engaged by blogging once I went to the first Aussie Bloggers’ Conference in March 2011.

And I was  even more engaged in blogging in 2012.

I slowed down as 2013 drew to an end and blogged most infrequently in 2014.

In 2015 I re-calibrated both myself and the blog to help me in the transition to retirement by blogging every day for 365 days. I did.

In 2016 I added some categories to blog within and by September 2016 began my Monday linky called Life This Week. Sometime later that year, I cut back my full-time blogging to only blogging on some days.

Into 2017 I was still blogging up to 3 days a week, then over time it reduced to 2 days. Mondays and Tuesdays.

This year I shall see how things go. I may add another day as some bloggers are coming up with another linky on Wednesdays.

What does that have to do with January?

Not a lot because, as much as I would like to share what I wrote back in those earlier years, I let those posts go when my blogs were filling up my account with my hosting service and I had to decided to delete two of the three blogs from 2010-2014. I did keep some of my education and schooling posts and have them in draft form if I ever want to refresh them.

In January  I often wrote about Back to School here and for many others. I am no longer doing those as I have fully retired from paid and upaid education roles. It is also time for others to take those tasks on and they will be more up to date.

So, to kick my post off for the first I Blog on Tuesdays & the second Lovin’ Life link up, I am going to add some photos from around this time of January for the past few years. January can be quite a busy time for many of us even if we are still on holidays or retired!

This week I will be meeting my daughter and her youngest who will be starting school this year and we will be buying her school shoes. That is a January tradition in our family.

I will travel to Sydney to see Dad for his 94th Birthday on Thursday taking him some goodies for a birthday morning tea which we will share with a couple who have been very kind to Dad during his time at Oceangrove.

As I write, it is the end of the most awful Sunday of HOT weather everywhere in most of NSW. We copped a temperature of over 40deg C and then…the worst thing happened. The power went off for around 70 minutes. It was close to hell on earth for us. Fortunately it kicked back on – there were district outages – and my hub could watch the Ashes and I could relax a little. Later on I drove over to the beach and the temperature was actually less than it shows in the photo.

Every day, for the past 5 weeks I have been enjoying getting dressed for a purpose. In other words, taking greater care of myself and having fun in the meantime. I also take myself out for coffee most days too. Sometimes I can even find something to eat that my poor mouth can manage. I often do a little art and journalling when I am out. It is a great experience and it sure is continuing in 2018! It’s the ultimate self-care.

I am committing via Instagram to post, on most days, a maximum of 3 photos:

1. Outfit of the Day. 2. Art/Creative 3. Noticing Nature.

So, how about you?

How has January been for you so far?

I would love to hear from you in the comments.

Denyse.

Joining my friend Kylie’s link up here called I Blog On Tuesdays.

And on my Dad’s 94th Birthday, I am linking with Leanne and friends here for Lovin’ Life.

 

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Christmas Plans. #LifeThisWeek 49/52. 2017.133.

Christmas Plans. #LifeThisWeek 49/52. 2017.133.

This Christmas our plans are very simple as on the day itself we will be ‘just us’.

And, shhhh, we actually don’t mind that much because for decades Christmas was a day of travelling, entertaining, eating and then resting…on Boxing Day! My lovely husband is going to cook a non-traditional Christmas roast of lamb as that is the meal I was able to eat some time ago. I am making a lemon meringue pie. It does not have to be tradition if I cannot eat something. I have missed Christmas cake, mince pies and of course anything crunchy but I reckon I can last till next Christmas for these!

So here’s a little photo collage of what Christmas is for us, two retirees living away from their adult kids and grandkids:

Every Christmas I get a ‘favourite’ tune or song and LOVE it …so much so it can be all I play in December. I love Christmas songs for their memories of teaching them to kids and being in choirs myself. This year I have found Sleigh Ride. One with no singing. Just this wonderful version added for your listening and viewing pleasure.

 

Then there is this one: only just found for those who like the words and choral voices.

Now, indulge me a little more with my look back at Christmas. I am still a bit of a kid with Christmas and I never actually let on to our kids Santa wasn’t real (he is too!) so I was determined, this year, to get a Santa photo. Here I am last Sunday. I have also included some other examples of Santa pics!

And so this is Christmas. I hope whatever your plans are that things are Merry and Bright.

Thank you all for being part of this community in 2017.

Life This Week is a special place of sharing and caring and it has sustained me through my difficult times.

For that I am most grateful.

We finish on 49 link ups because there is not one on Christmas Day and I was in hospital for 2 of them

We did well though I do believe!

The prompts for next year are on the Home Page and are part of this post too.

All good wishes to you and yours for now and into 2018.

Denyse.

Joining Alicia for Open Slather and Kell for Mummy Mondays for the last time in 2017. Thank you both.

 

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!


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Public Holidays. #LifeThisWeek 24/52. 2017.79.

Public Holidays. #LifeThisWeek 24/52. 2017.79.

I know that we have quite a few Public Holidays in Australia but I’ve decided to keep my focus on this one….

The June Long weekend  ( Public Holiday is Monday) – for the Queen’s Birthday  in New South Wales & some other states in Australia, it has rained and rained for the past two, including this one!
As I write, it is only Friday night and the rain is pouring down.

Earlier today I ventured out as I had not been anywhere for a few days thanks to the weather. I caught sight of my first whale spouting in 2017 and also captured a bird in flight as it was escaping the rain in our backyard this afternoon.

Reminiscing about the June Long Weekend of years and years ago I recalled that it was Cracker Night.

Until the government decided that people were getting injured by the fireworks..and fires…and so, it became banned. For the 1980s though, we still had a bonfire in our backyard (in suburbia) with the bonfire constructed safely, and fireworks were set up on the fence and on the grass outside. Our kids were still very young, so the mums and kids would stay up on the verandah for the fun. It WAS noisy and we had to make sure animals were inside. A few years later, the only fireworks that were allowed were those at organised functions which became fundraisers for schools and the like. Mind you, we couldn’t even buy fireworks then but as a  kids in the 1950s and 60s we could. I was not a brave person, so throw downs and sparklers were my limit. Oh and you can still buy sparklers at the supermarket.

https://crackernight.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/

 

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Did you have fun with fireworks when you were a kid?

What are your memories of public holidays?

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

I hope you link up here for Life This Week too!

* 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 “First Concert”.

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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?

Denyse.

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”.

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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
christmas-eve-1

NOT our house but close-ish!! except: Summer! Credit: http://chainimage.com/stocks/free-holiday-wallpaper-light-christmas-eve-wallpaper-1024×768-1

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.

life this week icons 150 2

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.

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