Monday 17th June 2019

My First Job. 22/51. #LifeThisWeek. 61/2019.

My First Job. 22/51. #LifeThisWeek. 61/2019.

By the time I was 14 I was already booked for babysitting gigs with our neighbours. I sometimes stayed overnight so I could tend to the darlings while the parents slept in. I think my love of kids and helping them started then. I was paid and I continued to do this, social life and school life not withstanding, until I left home to teach in country N.S.W.

Dad, who had/has the protestant work ethic insisted I come and work in his office (he was chief accountant in a relatively large company) as a ‘mail girl’. Sounds sexist now but back then it was a role for a younger woman. I became a kind of extra for some of my school holidays once I reached 15. I liked a couple of things about that role. It was a paid one AND even though I had a lot of errands to do walking or by bus, I got to know the layout of Sydney’s streets which serve me well to this day! Except that the GPO is now a hotel, and the Bank of New South Wales is now Westpac etc.

But those were not the real first jobs.

Just before I finished my first job, came graduation as a teacher in 1969!

My First Job.

I was a jewellery shop assistant for each of my school holidays in Year 12, and then in my teachers’ college breaks for 1968 and 1969.

It was a family-owned business, and again, Dad had the connections because this family and his were from Wollongong. My place of work was on the Corso in Manly just four shops back from the beach. In those days, the Corso was not a pedestrian mall at any point and the pace of Manly was much more cruisy and not “quite” so touristy.

Brickwoods Jewellers was, I think, where the icecream shop is now, past the vodaphone sign

I learned how to wrap parcels well here. I also learned how to clean the shop windows effectively with newspaper and metho. I also learned that cleaning was a large part of my day. Still, the family was lovely, and when it was time for me to go teaching in the country I was farewelled and treated well.

Then I met my now husband and we became engaged in late 1970.

Where did we go for ring selection? Back to Brickwoods in Manly.

I had always been a silver girl (never gold) and knew my rings would be white gold. I wanted a particular style in the engagement ring. It had a diamond in it but for me, I wanted a sapphire. Fiance said whatever I wanted but gave me a dollar limit. It was, ahem, $90 I think or maybe $100. My jeweller arranged for it to be handmade in the city and the night it was ready to be picked up, we enjoyed a drink at the old Menzies hotel on 23 December and my fiance left me….

To go to Jerilderie for a family Christmas and to discuss the wedding…which was coming up in the following January. To read more about all that, go here.

My job taught me a lot about jewellery over the years that has stayed with me. I may not have much jewellery but my photo here shows two of the rings bought from my former workplace. They have been adjusted size-wise up and then down. They are very special. The eternity ring was made some 20 years later by a jeweller near our then Sydney home.

I have such fond memories of those times. Some lunchtimes, then boyfriend (not the fiance) would arrive at lunchtime when he was on Uni holidays and we would go for a drive to North Head for lunch. Ah youth..what a time.

What was your first job?
Did you like it?

Denyse.

Kell also has a Monday linkup here. Join in!

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!

23/51 My Best Birthday Cake. 10/6/19

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I Remember. 46/52. #LifeThisWeek 2018.117.

I Remember. 46/52. #LifeThisWeek 2018.117.

This post, originally written last week for Share Your Snaps was not sitting right for that prompt and then I saw this one.

I Remember.

 

I have noticed in the years past that I get tense, twitchy and tetchy in November. I used to think it was because I was tired and the end of the school year is nigh. I no longer have that reason. I now think and feel it is related to my birthday on the last day of November.

My birthday approaching brings a mixed bag of feelings:

  • sad (older)
  • contentment (glad to be here post cancer)
  • regret (not appreciating some of the people in my life more)
  • resentment (because some of those people, hello my parents, raised me in a way that I felt special BUT I perceived that was the case only if I was/am thin, achieving, managing financially)
  • anticipation of both negative and positive aspects of the day which celebrates me.

I know this might sound grouchy and somewhat mean-spirited but instead of pretending and pushing my November feelings and thoughts away, I have admitted them…and along with these pictures, may help heal me  for future Novembers.

November is:

  • my parents’ wedding anniversary
  • armistice day – this year 100 years since 11.11.1918
  • anniversary of my aunt’s early death
  • getting ready for Christmas
  • remembering my teaching/principal roles at this time of the year
  • my birthday

 

Do you have memories of any times which leave you somewhat like my birthday month does?
I am deliberately choosing to post about gratitude this November and so far these are the images.

Share your photos and your stories anytime here!

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!

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

Next Week’s Optional Prompt: 47/52. Best Cake I Have Eaten. 19/11/18.


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Letter to 20 year old Me. #LifeThisWeek. 40/52. 2017.115.

Letter to 20 year old Me. #LifeThisWeek. 40/52. 2017.115.

Prefacing my letter with this photograph. My eldest granddaughter is the age I am writing about. In fact she will be 21 before year’s end as I was too around this time of year. Thanks J for the inspiration and the LOVE you share with me and many. In fact, by co-incidence, J has posted her Sunday night vid on You Tube about her at 20! Neither of us knew what the other was up to. Love this.

 

Dear Denyse,

I remember you being 20 so well. It was the last year of teachers’ college. You were acing the pracs at the schools you were sent to and in fact those schools were great but you had something else on your mind. You were ready to flee Sydney weren’t you as your boyfriend of almost 3 years was going to a regional area for his first job after graduating Uni?  No longer a Northern Beaches girl like your friends from school, you were about to go BUSH…in fact to Barraba NSW that January 1970 but wait. There is a little more to remember before you became loaded with class teaching responsibilities and being ‘dropped’ by the long-term boyfriend….and not being sure of what was ahead after that.

Graduation as a teacher aged 20. End of 1969.

Social life aged 20. Uni balls were the best!

Teacher’s College mates and yes, pigtails on me.

So, in 1970 you had some highs and lows. However, you also had one of the best times socially as in the country back then teachers tended to group together and have dinners and parties and it was good. On October 17 1970 something VERY important to you then and now happened. You met the man who would become your life’s partner. He was a young 21 year old in his 3rd year of teaching in a small school beyond the mountains where you were teaching. But once the love grew and GREW, you no longer wanted to be apart. In fact, after becoming engaged just before your 21st birthday something else grew. A wee baby was on her way – we did not know that yet – and even though that was a surprise, we both knew…we are together for life!!

Wedding Day 1971. Dad, Mum, Bro, Gran, B & Me, Poppy, Papa

It was not an ideal beginning to our marriage but you know what, Miss 20, you chose well as did your B. Despite some criticism from your parents, in particular your mother, you shone. Marriage is a hard road and you learned that early. B was and is always a great life partner and you know what? In all the ups and downs, health scares, financial matters, relationship changes with our kids, welcoming grandkids into our lives, having to retire early, and more, we have shown that OUR decision to be together for the rest of our lives was the BEST. Coming up to 47 years since we met this very week!!

So, a little bit of what was ahead for you in some snapshots. Gosh look at you. You have always been self-conscious of your weight. Do you remember in teachers’ college PE class you rated yourself fat? I know, a bit of something wrong there. I think though, that you also thought you were NOT a fashion plate like your Mum and that you actually enjoyed learning and education whereas your mum was the true home-maker mum who never worked once she had kids. Your dad supported you there but both parents often made you feel a little less than OK by veiled and actual comments about your weight. Yep. Always there and even now, as you have been diagnosed with cancer and lost a lot of weight I can tell that you ‘worry’ about putting it back on. Many women, in case you did not know, have similar battles in their hearts and minds, so take comfort and be kind. As your B would say “treat yourself like a friend”. I didn’t know how to do that properly until I was 67 so sorry, Miss 20 and beyond, you have had a rather torrid time with self-talk.

Let’s go with the show!

I would love to add some photos of our children, Miss 20,  but for privacy reasons I cannot.  We had two children in the end. Ironically after falling pregnant with our daughter it took another 7.5 years for our son to come along. I had a lot of medical and then surgical intervention for that to occur. I would add too, that as a young mother about to turn 30 you had another significant challenge in life occur when the severe and chronic illness of your B meant he was medically retired from teaching. The next 4 years, until he steered himself towards better health and recovery, were exhausting and busy to say the least. In fact, your parents stepped in to help out in  ways which supported  you so you are grateful for those times even though it is still hard to let the ‘judgy’ times heal and let go. But this time saw you embark upon more self-education and career path moves and you completed two degrees, B.Ed and M.Ed, along with raising two kids (by now B was at home helping majorly both in a physical sense as he managed the house and started a tutoring business) and going for a 3 work promotions where you eventually became a school principal.

Then came retirement for you. I know. In this day and age retirement is nothing like you saw for your dad. In fact, you retired a few times. Once in 2003 after having a health breakdown at work and not being allowed by your doctor to return, second when you had gone to a teaching role in 2004 and then by age 60 in 2010 had decided enough was enough…and thirdly in 2015 when you surrendered your part-time roles at University teaching pre-service students, closed your business as an education consultant and ceased working for NSW  BOSTES.

I know that at 20 I would have had no idea of what a blog might be or of course social media. But what I did know, into my late 50s is that I am an early adopter. I like technologies that work for me and do not need too much technical prowess from me. I also know that at 20 I loved photography but not nearly as much as I do now.

So, this next and current life stage Miss 20, is getting a little bit easier but also a little bit scarier as I approach 70. OK, not for 2 more years but hey, it happens. Life. And of course, death. You’ve experienced the deaths of 4 of the people who loved you from the photo at your wedding. Dad remains well and in fact praises you now. Yes. He has written you some healing letters and often shows his appreciation for you as his daughter and is proud of you. He tells you that! So, remember it. And in terms of new life…Miss 20 GD above might have been first, but since then you have become Grandma (Miss 20, I love that name!) to 8 children. 6 girls and 2 boys.

Of course, no-one ever wants to get sick, Miss 20 do they? You have always been fearful of that. The past few years saw your anxiety levels skyrocket as you made 3 major life transitions and your well-known IBS decided to return. It all helped you lose weight but that was not the point. Then, knowing your teeth were always trouble some you had gum problems. These were found to be cancer and you had major surgery. I am delighted to say it is highly likely the cancer has gone. But you will continue to need check ups just as you need more surgeries soon.

It is hard to decide where to end this letter so for now, it will be open-ended. I am hopeful that my recollections can soothe my 67 year old self as I recount some of the stand-outs told to my 20 year old self…and that you remember you are LOVED by many so it’s time to add you to that list too.

All my love,

Denyse xx

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

Thank you for joining this week’s link up here:

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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My Mondays. #LifeThisWeek 19/52. 2017.65.

My Mondays. #LifeThisWeek 19/52. 2017.65.

http://successify.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Monday-Motivation.jpg

Mondays do have a flavour all of their own don’t they? I’m going to tell about some of My Mondays. As a Principal. 1999-2003. As a Grandma. 2008-2014. As a Retiree. 2015 – All three Mondays have memories for me, and of course, the present status as a retiree means that this one is the freshest!

As a Principal. 1999-2003.

http://www.lovethispic.com/uploaded_images/111441-Monday-Again.jpg

Mostly Mondays would actually start on Sunday afternoons and evenings as my planning for the week ahead continued and I heard from staff members who may need to be absent the next day. I would spend Sunday night getting ready for my Monday mornings and from memory, not one was ever the same!

  • Leave home after breakfast and reading at least the front page of the paper and drive the 30 minutes west to school. No mobile phone so no idea of what might lie ahead when I arrived.
  • Often 2nd to arrive in the carpark as one staff member was always there before me!
  • School was unlocked as the cleaners were still there. Phew, no evidence of any vandalism over the weekend meant a less stressful start to the day.
  • Into my office, unpack my bag and computer and check that the morning’s organisation (and the week ahead) was on the whiteboard and planner for staff as they arrived.
  • Say g’day to most people as they arrived via the staffroom and grab myself a cuppa on the off-chance I might drink it hot. Put lunch in fridge and hope to actually have it at lunchtime.
  • Out to the playground as the children and parents start arriving to say hello, and to see that all is as ‘ship shape’ as it can be in an ageing play area and in classrooms.
  • Once the line-up bell goes, I’d step up the microphone and lead the school in the weekly anthem, flag raising and announce any messages, wishing everyone a ‘good morning’ as the classes and teachers left for their rooms.
  • Walking back to the admin block and office, chat with my staff and see what phone calls I will need to return and what mail (snail) there is to manage. Emails were only starting as I finished up as a principal.

As a Grandma. 2008-2014.

http://cache.lovethispic.com/uploaded_images/blogs/15-Best-Good-Morning-Happy-Monday-Quotes-5614-2.jpg

Even when I had returned to work part-time (after my principal role had finished) we offered to care for our grandchildren while their parents worked and studied. For more than 6 years this was a part-time role and much loved. We cared for up to 3 grandchildren at one time. When some came to us they were as young as 4 months. It was a learning curve again but much loved. My most recent memories of Mondays are documented here!

  • In the years gone by the children’s parents would bring the kids to us but in 2013-14 the crazy roads of NorthWestern Sydney meant that the parents would battle traffic twice getting to us, then getting to their workplaces, so I made the offer to drive to their house on Mondays to do ‘pick-up.’
  • Leave home after breakfast and reading at least one part of the paper to arrive and pick up two little people I love and help them into car seats and hopefully have a non-tearful departure. Most times it was.
  • Drive slowly home to our place via places with no traffic…we’d sometimes drive out to Riverstone and the back of Rouse Hill (this is pre-BIG developments) and see the horses and the animals in the paddocks.
  • At our place and warmly greeted by their Papa and into the house.
  • I would have placed the various toys and activities out for the day and the children would head for where they were.
  • A morning of play, chat, snacks and engagement with our grandkids mean outside, inside and sometimes to the park.
  • Morning tea of course and time for a cuppa for us.

As a Retiree. 2015 –

http://leftbrainbuddha.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Mindful-Monday.jpg

It still is quite a shock that my Mondays are ’empty’ of roles and activities based on other people’s needs as well as mine and it actually makes Mondays not as distinct as the beginning of the (formerly) working week. However, there are some routines and that is always helpful I find in retirement.

  • With no reason to be up nearly as early as in my previous life, I might be up around 8.00-8.30.
  • Morning paper brought in by my husband who will have been up for a while and had his breakfast.
  • Every 2nd Monday he goes to his brother’s to do some outside renovation work so I am alone for the day.
  • After my breakfast with the paper…which I can read all the way through as I have time, I turn to social media.
  • The blog needs attention and as it is Monday and my hosted Link Up there is some work to be done.
  • Later in the morning I will meditate as is my daily practice.
  • Morning tea might be quite late – but is often a cuppa with something homemade and I may read some of the magazine supplements from the weekend.
  • Art will be something else to do and perhaps a walk outside in the garden.

So, what do your Mondays look like? Ever had Monday-itis?

I am joining Alicia here this Monday for Open Slather and Kell here for Mummy Mondays.

Denyse.   Thanks for linking up today for Life This Week. Here are the rules for the link-up “Life This Week” is a link up that runs every Monday and remains live for until Thursday at 5 p.m.during that week.

* You can link up something old or new, just come on in.

* Please add just ONE post each week!

* Feel free to go with the prompt for the week to add your ‘take’ on the prompt. Or not.

* Please do stay to comment on my post as I always reply and it’s a bloggy thing to do!

* Check out what others are up to by leaving a comment because we all love our comments, right!

* Add a link back to this blog in your post somewhere. I don’t have a ‘button’ so a link in text is fine!

*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 “Favourite Junk Food”.


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Back To Routines. #LifeThisWeek 5/52. 2017.17.

Back To Routines. #LifeThisWeek 5/52. 2017.17.

Yawn!

Str- e- tch!

Oh, here we go, back to routines!

Is this how it is for you right now?

I chose this prompt for this week as it is, for most of us, back to whatever routines form our lives.

We have, in many cases, had some time off from the usual routines and now it’s back to real life!

In our case, it’s actually been interesting NOT to have to get back to real life because we are retired from paid work, family responsibilities now our kids have well and truly left home and needing to be anywhere, somewhere by a certain time.

However there are days where we need to attend appointments and in my husband’s case perform his volunteer roles but we can take our day at a more leisurely pace. I know I needed routine in my life as a mother and a professional and it was via lists, preparation of meals and clothes ready to wear and generally having a running diary both in my head and on the fridge calendar.

Now, there are some routines I need to follow: eating meals, going for a walk, doing the blog and so on but it is less-timetabled and more free. It has taken me some time to become used to it all but now…love life with fewer routines!!

This sums up me in quite a few ways! The old me really.

I am someone who enjoys helping others and I also did some on-line research about the value of routines and agree that they are good for consistency and a smoothly operating family life…as best as can happen! I love this site that is Australian based and has many, many more helpful ideas for families.

Why routines are good for parents
Routines take some effort to create. But once established, they have lots of benefits:
* They free up time for you to think about other things while you work.
* Regular and consistent routines can help you feel like you’re doing a good job as a parent.
* When things are hectic, routines can help you feel more organised, which lowers stress.
* A routine will help you complete your daily tasks efficiently.
* As children get better at following a routine by themselves, you can give fewer instructions and nag less.
* Routines free you from having to constantly resolve disputes and make decisions. If Sunday night is pizza night, no-one needs to argue about what’s for dinner. Source: here.

What does “Back To Routine” mean for you?

Have you had a break from routine?

Do you find you can keep to a routine most days?

Can you give yourself permission to vary the routine and have some extra fun?

Denyse.

 

Here are the rules for the link-up “Life This Week” is a link up that runs every Monday and remains live for until Thursday at 5 p.m.during that week.
* You can link up something old or new, just come on in.
* Please add just ONE post each week!
* Feel free to go with the prompt for the week to add your ‘take’ on the prompt. Or not.
* Please do stay to comment on my post as I always reply and it’s a bloggy thing to do!
* Check out what others are up to by leaving a comment because we all love our comments, right!
* Add a link back to this blog in your post somewhere. I don’t have a ‘button’ so a link in text is fine!
* THANK you for linking up today! Do come back next week. Next week’s prompt is “What’s Enough Money?”.


I link up here with Alicia on Mondays and here with Kell too! Pop over and link up too!

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