Wednesday 19th January 2022

Back To. 3/51 #LifeThisWeek. 7/2021.

Back To. 3/51 #LifeThisWeek. 7/2021.

Around this time of year, mid January for over 50 years,  this was it for me:

Back To School time.

With my principal’s hat back on and teacher one too, in case it’s helpful I have a post about going back to school and starting school here and believe this is still relevant. I always like to share this graphic too: courtesy of Kelly Exeter and me.


Not the actual ‘back to school’ but getting ready for being a school student, staff member, teacher, assistant principal, parent or principal.

This video link to a timely post about starting school is helpful.

It’s a reminder from the calendar here in my southern hemisphere that mid-Summer school holidays is also:

‘Back to’ …time.


Back to Normal.

Here’s something we have heard a LOT in COVID times.

  • “When can we be back to normal?”
  • “Is it possible to be back to normal once the pandemic has taken over?”
  • “What might normal be like?”

Did we take ‘normal’ for granted pre-COVID?

I am guessing if you are thinking a bit like most of us, and I am one, that there is no ‘back to pre-covid’ times which means, of course, what we took for granted as ‘normal’ is not happening.

I met my daughter for brunch recently. We both had masks on before sitting down to eat. We both needed to check in via the Service NSW app. We were in a restaurant that is part of a book store. In fact, I had a small morning tea here for my 70th birthday. This time round, the seating was different and more spaced out. No long table.

I think, as many are, that the term ‘new normal’ whether we like it or not is here to stay.

Back to Work.

Last year many of us (OK not us retirees) learned that there was a different way to work. That is if our job could be done from home. Working from home became the ‘normal’ and now, here in Australia, in our 10th month of living with the different states’ and territories’ rules about travel, transportation and working face to face who knows what “back to work” in 2021 looks like.

Back to Having Visitors In the House.

At the time of writing and publication N.S.W. rules under COVID health restrictions are that “we” the household of two, can only have 5 visitors to our home on one day. We live on the Central Coast, counted as part of the greater Sydney area. Governed by this, and with a hefty fine for non-compliance ($1000 each) we now have to hold our much-longed for Golden Wedding Anniversary lunch for our family over 2 days: one group on Friday 22 Jan, the other on the actual date the Saturday. It will be done according to the rules but still won’t feel as celebratory without each of our family being present. But…you do what you have to do.

Our Wedding Day. 1971


The last word on ‘Back to’ is that we can never recapture what was.

Just as we might long for it, time and circumstances along with we humans all change over time.

I hope your week, whatever it contains, goes well.

Stay safe, everyone.


Link Up 223.

Life This Week. Link Up #223

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  1. Love the prompt Denyse and I don’t think we will ever get back to the ‘normal’ we once new pre-COVID. I also agree we can never capture back what was but we can cherish the memories. Lovely wedding photo and you still have that smile that lights up a room. #lifethisweek

    • Thank you Sue, and I am loving your blogging being back. Yes, for anyone saying we are going back to normal appears has no insight into the changes we are already making to learn to live with COVID.

      You have an exciting venture in your life soon, Mother of the Groom!

      That is a different role that Mother of the Bride but equally as important. I do hope you outfit shopping/choosing is fun.

      Yes, our wedding anniversary reminds me a lot of what we have and we are very fortunate to be in love and still deeply love each other…let alone actually like each other too, Thanks for the smile comment.

      Always appreciate your kindness and connection.
      Take care,

  2. There was so much to think about in your post. A reminder of the ways our lives have changed over the past year. I loved what that you said “ we can never recapture what was” Thst is so true in many areas of our lives

    • Thanks you Jennifer, I found it that way when writing it.

      I learned over and over in the first couple of years moving away from the family and Sydney that times cannot be recaptured. I learned too that the memories were great and to appreciate them but not to over-expect to capture similar ones again. It took me a LONG while to reach that point, with the meditation and learning I was doing.

      Take care, and I so appreciate your support of talking about ageing in future posts too.


  3. Denyse, Changes are constant, aren’t they? I looked back to one of my past trips and shared some photos in my post. Wishing you and your husband a lovely Golden Wedding Anniversary lunch this coming weekend. Stay safe and well. #lifethisweek

    • Thanks Natalie, they are indeed. As my meditation teacher says on Calm, everything is impermanent.

      The trouble is we humans want to capture something we love and pin it down. Cannot do that and it is what made me very unwell in some respects as I wrestled with what ‘was’ and what ‘is’ back in 2015. The Telling My Story Chapters in 2 parts is coming up in a few weeks time.

      Thank you for your kind and warm wishes. There WILL be a post of course, sometime after and photos!

      Take care,

  4. What a fabulous word prompt Denyse. I’m sorry I didn’t play along with it … but I guess when I think about it – I did go ‘back to’ Mount Tamborine which I haven’t visited for a long time! I love that wedding photo of yours! Look how young and happy you look – still with the same amazing smile. I agree that what was normal pre-covid will never return. We will get a new normal but it will be different to our previous normal. It’s a reminder to never take today for granted! Have a wonderful week! xo

    • Thanks so much Min, love your noticing my smile too.

      I am in agreement re things changing for all time.

      I still have to plant it in my head to wear a mask everywhere I am outside the house or car. I forgot today when I got petrol.

      Take care,

  5. I like the idea of a ‘back to’ time. I’ve been contemplating what Covid related changes might stay. There are certainly some I appreciate.

    • I agree that ‘back to’ moments, celebrations and so on are fun, Deb.

      We went to a ‘back to’ school celebration for one of the schools where we both taught in the 1960s and 70s and the organising group did not believe B was the teacher they remembered!! Greying hair and age will do that to you.

      Covid is making us more careful when out and about but I am also cautious about not lingering long for a coffee any more.

      Take care,

  6. Great back to pics and thoughts Denyse. I’ve gone with a similar theme in my post today looking back at when we moved to the country 30 years ago ready to start a new school year.
    I love your wedding photo, like you we were married in the holidays – us teachers had to use the time wisely!
    I agree we will never recapture pre-covid times and life is forever changing and we move on. I do hope you enjoy your protracted wedding anniversary celebrations. – just think of it as getting 2 parties instead of just 1! Congratulations again to you both.

    • Thanks Deb. Yes, moving with the Dept in January Holidays was something we did as a family 4 times.

      They were always hot days too. My mum came down to Merriwagga to help with our daughter who was 1 and a half. Mum will NEVER forget the heat, even desperate enough for cooling, she drank a beer in the night. Dad, back in Sydney as trying to source a water cooler for us to use in the house and they were in short supply.

      I like your idea of treating the celebrations as two. We will have fun no matter what! Thanks for your kind wishes too.

      Take care,

  7. Please don’t remind me about back to school! I love having my kids home all the time. Advertising drives me nuts as there are so many ads about back to school sales etc. Many of the ads were running prior to Christmas! Bleh!

    I’ll take another lock down please – in winter. That was fantastic! 😀

    • Hi Jody, yes I get that! I hated that shops like Officeworks were ready on Boxing Day for Back to School. Believe me as teachers we never liked the reminders either.

      I am glad you got some special time at home…and by the water…with the kids!

      Take care,


  8. Hey Denyse, I missed last week due to family illness, but happy to be back. Sharing a post from my youth and the early days of my blog(11 months ago). I appreciate what you say about normal and the future. I think it is a waste of energy wanting things to get back to the way they were. But I also think we can be hopeful about the future. I am sorry that COVID restrictions put a damper on a full celebration of your anniversary, but trust you and your husband will enjoy a quiet remembrance. Blessings, Michele

    • Thank you so much Michele for your kind and thoughtful words about our celebrations.

      We are not into anything particularly flash and do appreciate the significance the anniversary is for us. We are still saying “50 years, wow!”.

      Too much emotional energy is wasted isn’t it on ‘wishing and hoping’ for back to…normal, whatever and if only those people could find gratitude for what was and then be prepared to move on…

      Your country is going through immense stress at the moment as we here in Australia are watching and waiting for the change of presidency to occur with no violence and that there can be a resumption of quality in leadership.

      I hope everything is going as well as it can for you and yours,

      Take care,

  9. It’s back to work for me today, but yes, our back to normal is now a moving target. Even the new normal is ever-changing.

    • Oh gosh, back to work Jo! Booo but necessary. And of course, a different household now as well.

      I hope the changes and transitions for both you & G, along with S, go well.

      Take care,


  10. Wow your Golden Anniversary! Congratulations, an amazing achievement. What a shame you can’t have everybody there to celebrate at the same time. I wish you all the best for your anniversary, and hope that it goes well. Regards Christina

    • Thank you so much Christina.

      We were “only” 21 but back in the 1960s & early 70s we were all in full time work and pretty independent. Amazing the differences now.

      Yes, disappointed as the last time all of our family (2 kids, 8 grandkids and a partner) was together was at my 70th Birthday in late 2019. Covid has spoiled a lot for many people I know.

      Glad to be able to host two lunches…but even then my GD partner cannot come due to limits. Sigh.

      Take care,

  11. Hi Denyse – covid has been a strange experience for me. I think because it’s had a more minimal impact here in WA, I’ve found the positives have almost outweighed the negatives. I’d probably feel differently if I was a travel lover or had family in far flung places…..but for us it’s been pretty much life as normal with a few adjustments that almost feel “normal” these days. We don’t have mask wearing yet and that might mean another adjustment, but for now it’s pretty cruisy and I’m just so grateful every day for where we live!

    • Yes it would seem that way for WA and its population, Leanne. The remoteness and the ways in which your Premier is managing it for you are keeping COVID at bay.

      Sad for some friends of mine however whose adult kids are now living, studying and working in WA but cannot visit them. One friend had her daughter from Uni in WA fly home and of course, she had 14 days quarantine to be back in Qld, and then to go back to Uni, the same at the WA end.

      A friend locally has a husband whose work will take him back to helping the Navy in WA but first he has to stay 14 days in a hotel by himself.

      Not wonderful for families separated for sure.

      I am sure that it is a lovely way for you to view COVID and its fewer effects where you are and I see that is a very good way to see the changes affecting you.

      Take care,

  12. September was always back to school time for me. Each September since I retired, I get a feeling of wistfulness, missing the students and the relationships we developed over the years. I then remember the grinding schedule and am thankful for retirement. I love the graphic you shared “To My Child’s First Teacher”. It is a good reminder to teachers of students of every age!

    Happy Golden Anniversary! You and your hubby must have been babies when you got married. 🙂

    • SNAP! You get it too Laurie. So true, about those feelings and then the eventual sigh of relief that we are no longer tethered to the classroom and kids.

      I am glad you noticed the graphic. I made that when I could see how different it was going to be for my then very young grandchildren to be going to school and pre-school after such individual and kind grandparenting care with us! Notice it took me till I became a Grandma to realise.

      B and I were both 21 when we married. In those times, he had already been teaching for 3 years (early finisher to his studies- had his first school as a one teacher schoolie aged 18!) and I had been teaching for 1 year.

      Thanks so much for your kind wishes,

      Take care,


  13. I think there are a lot of things in the new normal that are quite positive, but people are scared and rushing back to forget 2020 happened. And we’re really not out of the woods yet.

    • Good one V, I agree.

      Taking greater care of hand hygiene for a start along with social distancing is something I continue to think comes as a good effect.

      The masks are necessary but personally find them hard to use with glasses but I am not having to do that for a long time each day.

      Take care,

      • I am very much hoping our mask mandate gets removed this week – as much as I have been wearing them regularly on public transport all year, it is uncomfortable in Brisbane summer humidity. Sweaty face, be gone!

        • I got out of the shops today and took mine off and went ‘oh so much cooler’ so it must be just awful in Brisbane’s summer.


  14. I hope you have a fabulous anniversary party!!

  15. Hopefully, the restrictions change in the next couple of days and you get a chance to celebrate on one day with everyone. Although, celebrating two days also seems pretty awesome! Happy Golden Anniversary in advance for Saturday! 🙂

    • Thanks so much Sanch. Been refreshing the NSW Covid info app and it remains at 5 visitors to the house. In a way it’s still OK to have it over 2 days because we will have more time to chat and catch up but the whole family IS my ideal. Even with 5 on the Saturday the partner of our second granddaughter won’t be able to attend.

      Your wedding anniversary wishes are appreciated!!