Sunday 22nd May 2022

Five Years Ago.116/2019.

Five Years Ago.116/2019.

In late 2014 so much happened to me: as an individual, a partner, mother and grandmother.

It’s timely to remember it and note parts of it.

You see, dear reader, I am an emotional person but also a very practical and organised one too. So when we decided mid 2014 that it was time for me to be able to quit all paid work as I was stressed and weary, and to finish up grandchild caring (we had been doing this lovingly since 2008) and that meant:

selling the house

paying out the mortgage

finding a place to rent on the Central Coast

buy a new vehicle each (the two we had were very much on their last legs so to speak)

and “then all would be better”.

True from one perspective: the practical but not from the emotional one for me and as regular readers know things did not go well for me. For quite some time.

Posts about the years 2015-early 2017 and how my life was affected may be found here (2015) and here (2016) and here (early 2017)


To give me some perspective now and to provide a photographic account of “this time 5 years ago” I offer:


House went on market & we accepted best offer on same day. Waiting for this sign to go up took a bit longer.


In the meantime, it was summer and as Papa tended the pool these grandkids made the most of what would no longer be ours in a few weeks.


We found a house to rent (unsuitable as we found later!) before Christmas that worked in with our settlement of mid Jan 2015 so we enlisted the family and up we travelled with some of our ‘stuff’. We had removalists on the day though.



The ‘last’ NSW Dept of Education School Spec for us (at the Entertainment Centre) made more special by our Yr 12 Drama Ensemble Member and Granddaughter playing the Nurse in a re-enactment based on the commemoration of WW1 A.N.Z.A.C. Centenary. I was in the audience watching with 2 of her siblings and her cousin.


And here she is, our dear GD, who was awarded top 10% in Drama for the HSC and is now, 5 years down the track, a graduate in Film Making from Australian Film Television and Radio School. She has her own film-making biz, so ask me if you want to know more!




I cannot leave this one out of my memories. Australian cricketer lost his life in a game when a ball hit him as he batted. In a tribute to Philip Hughes, we “put out our bats”. This is my husband’s from the 1960s. At the School Spectacular 2014 above, there was a segment added about his death as he was a public high school graduate and there was not a dry eye in the house as we sang “Come on Aussie Come on” in tribute to Philip.



I took a break from packing to drive to Mona Vale one evening and hear the funny and modest William McInnes talk about his (then) latest book Holidays. It was a joy to meet him and he is a very laidback and generous author. I used to listen to his A Man’s Got To Have a Hobby as a ‘comfort’ listen when I was stressed in those years. Lovely man with great family life stories to share.


It was hard, but I did it. Christmas decorating for the last time WITH the grandchildren. Practical me did not put a tree up nor did we do much inside the house but for the last time at Glenwood, the wooden decorations were up and some lights. Knowing it was last was hard but like I have said, I am still practical. This advent calendar was always filled with little chocolates for visiting grandchildren. We also had a tradition of “grandkids” only helping me do the tree sometime near the end of November. The older ones tell me they remember it well, so that makes me happy!


Then I was 65. Our daughter and her kids hosted us for a little afternoon tea with our son and his family. It was special of course and we took some pics to remember the occasion. We had Christmas Day together with both our kids and their kids for the last time hosted by our daughter and that was a little tinged with sadness but also knowing what was ahead was for us now.

That’s it for me.

Except for this: This photo (from instagram yesterday)  representing ‘then’ and ‘now’ of me visually but more words which helped make sense for the long and hard transition this has been for me. As transitions often are: getting married, moving from home,  becoming parents, starting new jobs, and so on. Mine happened to have three pretty big items: retirement, leaving Sydney, and moving from our family and all that was known.


What was life like for you 5 years ago?


Joining each Wednesday with Sue and Leanne here for Mid Life Share the Love Linky.

On Thursdays I link here for Lovin Life with Leanne and friends and on Fridays, it’s Open Slather here with Alicia.

Copyright © 2019 – All rights reserved.



  1. Such a great story Denyse and what a lot has happened in those years! I can’t believe the put out your bats tribute was 5 years ago! I also love William McInnes. Five years for me I had no grandchildren and my father and father in law were both was still alive and I was still working! So many changes. #mlstl

    • Yes those five years hold much more than the simple number of years passed for us both.

      Life and its losses ….and some of its gains…we are going into the next five to ten years with even more promise and some ‘who knows what.’

      So pleased you are literally ‘where you are’ right now Deb. Marvellous!

      Denyse x

  2. So much has happened in those 5 years.I’ve just begun looking back at the last decade – given that we’re about to move into a new one and sometimes it feels as though you’re standing still and all of this is whirling around you. #MLSTL

    • The ten year thing is quite confronting.

      I chose the five as it is more easily remembere and still ‘fresh’.

      I still cannot fathom it’s 20 years since we “sang in the millenium”, worried about the C2K virus and went to the Olympics in our own backyard….

      Denyse x

  3. You had a bucketload of major changes in a very short period of time Denyse – end of career, end of babysitting, end of home ownership, birthday, Christmas, moving house….. No wonder it rattled your cage a bit at the time!
    5 years ago (in 3 days time) I started my blog – time has just flown by!
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂

    • That means, if I did my maths correctly, you started your blog on my 65th Birthday??

      Small world. Now look at us. “Knowing each other via blogging”.

      Yes, rattled my cage…for a very long time till I began to learn more about it but along came cancer and ‘whoosh’ I learned how to be more resilient than I ever imagined/

      Thanks for your kind words,

      Denyse x

  4. I love reading about your memories Denyse. They are so clear. I’m really surprised to hear that Phil Hughes died 5 years ago. It’s definitely been a half decade of changes for you #MLSTL

    • Thanks Jennifer. It has been. Ready for some less dramatic times.

      It’s so awful about Philip Hughes…always a sad time for me as I remember.

      Denyse x

  5. Thanks so much for sharing your story with us Denyse. So much has happened for you over the last 5 years but haven’t you come a long way!! Five years ago I was pretty much doing what I’m doing now which is a bit sad. I don’t think I’ve achieved much in that time really. More learning about myself I guess. I can’t believe it’s been 5 years since Phil Hughes died. That was such a terrible tragedy. I hope the next 5 years are lovely healthy and happy ones for you! xo #TeamLovinLife

    • I’d be giving myself credit for the learning Min! That takes a long time and we need to learn and let it become something within us then to integrate it. The last 2-3 years have shown me that and I am still at ‘learning’ stage not accomplished.

      The death of Philip Hughes was so tragic. No-one would ever expect it to happen in cricket. It seemed to unite us as a nation too back then.

      Denyse x

  6. You remind me of the word, “pragmatic,” Denyse. Emotional, yet practical. I extra love the photo of Papa and the grandkids. Congratulations on your granddaughter. I can see the family love in all of the photos. A lot has happened for me, too, in 5 years. Good to reflect. Thank you for a great post! #MLSTL and sharing SM

    • Thank you Erica, I appreciate your kind words and I will take them!!

      Five years sounds not much for you it seems, and me, so much change and challenge.

      I am looking forward to being re-connected with those now 8 grandchildren this weekend.

      Denyse x

  7. Lovely memories and some bittersweet Denyse. I’m reminded that we can only make decisions based on the information we have available to us at that time and hindsight is a wonderful thing.

    My first purchase here (the unit) wasn’t the right one, but I wouldn’t have known that unless I’d done it. Life teaches us lessons along the way.

    • Yes of course, “it is exactly that” but I have been somewhat burnt by some of our financial choices. Now with a much less reliable income, our future (mine in particular because I am the worrier) security is important to me because of some of those choices.

      Thanks for visiting!

      Denyse x

  8. Wow. Isn’t amazing how much can happen in a short amount of time? I love how you share the good, the bad, and the ugly about your transition. Because it isn’t always neat and tidy.

    5 years ago, I had been living in Texas for a year and moved onto my first boat. Since then, I became sober, lost 60 pounds, went through a horrific experience at my old job, found a job I loved, went on assistance while between jobs, ran multiple 5k’s, and saw my daughter (who has autism) be officially diagnosed with NOT having a speech disorder anymore! Wow!

    • Wow…right back at you Bethany.

      Changes once we look back at them…for the good and not so good…make us who we become today and I for one am glad about that…and I read that in your lovely comment.

      Thank you for sharing.

      Denyse x