Monday 8th August 2022

Scenes From Where We Live (For Now). #LifesStories. 37/2022.

Scenes From Where We Live (For Now). #LifesStories. 37/2022.

I do enjoy sharing stories with images, and this post for the second last #lifesstories link up is just that!

Those who have read the blog for some years will know that we both decided, after selling our Sydney house, and having SOME money left, to buy new cars, and rent a place on New South Wales Central Coast while we consider life ahead and where we might live….

Oh how we think we are in charge of our lives but there are many forces at play aren’t there?

As it turned out, not quite the end game we imagined.

Not in our wildest dreams…OK, maybe an exaggeration but let’s say if we had “expected the unexpected” then maybe there would have been some more to consider. But nope, here’s a bit about where we live now…and some of the story. In photos. Mostly.

BUT before I start, this IS the second last link up here on a Monday. More info here, and for Monday 20 June, the last of the #LifesStories I hope you will join me in a bit of a sentimental journey that I have called Endings and Beginnings.

What we left and where we moved to settle (we thought) 

The reasons for moving house included:

  • I could no longer work. I was 65 and again, heading towards an emotional overload if I did not stop work. That was a big reason.
  • My husband had decided that Sydney was too busy with traffic and that it was time to live in quieter areas, which we then thought would be the southern end of Central Coast of NSW.
  • We needed to use the money from the sale, to pay off the mortgage, and have enough left for us to get two new vehicles (very important for the driving up and down the M1 as it would turn out in 2017…) and have a solid amount behind us to supplement our now part aged pensions and my husband’s super.
  • The extended family dynamics were changing and we had been told there was no need for “grandchild care” in 2015…and to be honest, it was somewhat of a relief, even though we knew a new (8th) grandchild was coming….

And we moved here: a decision made quickly, and with hindsight far toooo quickly. But I will say, it was also because we had a certain time to be out of our house and “I” needed to know where we were living next.

The House That Was a Mistake…And Expensive to Rent (even then).

What We Did Next. Sigh! 

My health suffered as I did what I could to try to transition to my ‘new life’.

My husband was actually very busy and loving what he was doing. Studying for his counselling degree, volunteering at lifeline and doing renovations at his brother’s house.

I did go back to Sydney quite a bit initially but no longer living there proved both sad and strange but we had made this choice, so “on with it’.

Except it was no easy with me getting more IBS, and the house being very uncomfortable so, a decision was made once we saw a single level house at the northern end of the coast for about $200 LESS per week, and we moved. Still had to keep paying rent on the old place as well until lease ran out.

Happ(ier) Life, Happ(ier) Wife?

We were both pleased with the new-to-us place, which was a similar vintage to one we had sold in Sydney. It was in Gorokan. And I admit there were a lot more places to explore for some time in late 2015 and into 2016.

We even celebrated our 45th Wedding Anniversary with our kids and their kids not knowing that life, as an extended  family, was going to change for some of the members and that it would not be great. It’s all settled to a certain degree but massive changes are hard on all.

In fact, 2016 into 2017 was a time of distress for me. B was still doing some of his study and had a counselling role with Lifeline, and did occasional work at his brother’s down south.

Unfortunately my health changed for the worst and cancer was diagnosed. There is all about that here.

The Central Coast And Scenes of Beauty Which Abound. 

I’ve been so fortunate in the past 7+ years to have places of natural beauty to visit, become part of, and enjoy in all the various weather conditions.

Nature is indeed healing and for me emotionally and physically it’s played a big role in distracting me from what my current health status was, and in healing.

I now seek refuge in nature to explore feelings which include appreciation for all that is good too.

So, a range of images from both the south and northern ends of the N.S.W. Central Coast and beyond. In all seasons!

So much has changed in the recent years for so many of us.

The escalating house prices meant that even ‘future us’ could no longer afford to even consider buying. What changes there have been in real estate. This year, our rent for this modern 4 bedroom home has risen $90 a week. And whilst we accept we are fortunate to be living in a comfortable house, other matters have made us consider:

  • Is this where we want to live our ‘older years’ lives? Not sure, specifically, but it is highly unlikely it will be continuing here.


  • Has our time here on the Central Coast been valuable to us both of the years? Yes. In some ways.


  • In our future years, will we be better moving closer to our extended family for some support. From us and for us, maybe?


  • The isolation of us from those we love most has been exaggerated by the two+ years of Covid and the resultant lockdowns and lack of ability to travel to and from family in Sydney. For example, my elderly Dad is on the Northern Beaches, and our adult kids are in places spread far apart but in a general area called ‘nor west Sydney’ and ‘the hills’.


  • As grandkids grew and their weekends became filled with sport and parental visits and more it was clear we would not be seeing them drive the almost 2 hours to and from our place to visit . We had hopes for most school holidays to have one visit but it was not always possible.


  • Seeing my elderly father in his independent unit and calling on his family only as needed made me think about our needs. This may not be a need for us for some time but up where we live, we have each other and that is it.


  • One catalyst for change and thinking our future health needs though was when our GP of over 5 years announced he was moving away and to an area at least 30 minutes drive away. This made us think carefully about our current health needs being met with a new group of G.P.s or what did we need to do?


So, how about popping back in two weeks to find out what we are now planning to do!!

Thank you for joining in this second last of the LifesStories link up too.

See you on 20 June.

Maybe add an old post if you choose, it’s going to be fun send off…except I cannot promise anything other than virtual fireworks…etc!!


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  1. This was a very interesting post to read Denyse and I do hope you have some good news for us all when we catch up on your plans in a future post. The nature around you is so relaxing and tranquil although I know the beaches can get a bit wild at times especially of late. Your words and photos all tell the story.

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      Thanks so much Deb. I do enjoy the places I get to visit here a great deal.

      I am now making more memories!

      I know you are probably enjoying some coastal climate right now too but sadly, the wind has blown up big time here. Can’t even go outside!!

      My future post is about gratitude, a bit of bloggy history and yes an outline of what is likely to be “next” for us two!

      Take care,


  2. I love the pics you post of your area – the water and being able to access it obviously brings you both joy and wellbeing, but it’s true, our needs and priorities change with age. Take care…

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      Thanks so much Jo. You have actually nailed it in your succinct response.

      I will share more of what our plans are, and they can only be plans for now, and I am grateful you can see what becomes more important as we age.

      I am relishing the time to make many more coastal memories!!

      Take care,


  3. It’s interesting how both our posts today are reflecting back on where we were and where we are now. You certainly have had a lot happen over the years and you’ve lived in some beautiful places with access to some glorious displays of nature! I am keen to see what you plan to do next. I’m not sure that I can link up for your final link up because I am having my eye surgeries on 20th (right eye) and 21st (left eye) and so won’t be able to read and comment and so on. I ‘may’ link up something and leave the commenting until I can or I might choose to not link up at all. I’m not sure at this point. Regardless I want to thank you for so many years of a wonderful link up keeping bloggers sharing and connecting. I will miss it but I wish you all the best for whatever is coming next! xo

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      I am looking forward to reading your story Min.

      Thanks for your kind words, support and loyalty to my link up.

      Seeing a friendly bloggy icon that is yours is a delight as we go back all the way to those ‘earlier’ years.

      Please don’t even consider joining in the last link up. Your eyes and recovery as the highest priority.

      Your words here are generous and genuine. I won’t be stopping blogging for now but the link up.

      Take care, and I wish you a trouble-free recovery.


  4. I love this recap of your last few years and that you’ve included your thought processes. Getting older with the changes it brings definitely isn’t easy. Our plan to move into town is based on reasons of ageing and the future. I’m looking forward to your next instalment with what’s to come for you. I do agree with you tgst having nature around you is a huge positive.

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      Thanks so much Jennifer, what a time you have had. I am so sorry about the broken arm..hope this recovery goes well.

      Your decision to move into town in some ways mirrors ours. I get it. I will outline more next time, at least what I can share now!

      I will miss easy access to the ocean in my future but I will relish what I have now till we eventually move.

      Take care,


  5. Such an interesting post – I can relate to the response to changes and the desire to be closer to family – all the feels! I think the Central Coast is a sensational spot and if we were staying, I’d seriously consider a move up the coast. Can’t wait to find out what you two have planned!

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      You nailed it with your comment and yours & David’s choice to return to the UK.

      It took a few thoughts about the ‘why’ of being here after our lease ends next year and suddenly there were no reasons. No sense of belonging up here for us, at all.

      That’s why, I guess, for reasons of our ageing and our health, we are considering our future care.

      More next time, even though nothing is set firmly.

      This area is beautiful but I need more than that. I need “people”….

      Take care,


  6. Oh the twists and turns of life….they make us who (and what) we are.
    Wanting to do this – content to do that – unhappy with this – yet missing it when not able to. Understanding life meant to be lived is the key, it’ll keep on moving whether we like it or not- no matter how much we yell ‘stop the world, I want to get off’ it’s not going to happen……
    unless like you have – ‘looked at the terms and conditions’ and decided you’re not going to settle for what’s in your contract at the moment.
    It sounds a bit daft when I write it like that Denyse but from the sound of it, sometimes we have to make decisions in our favour. Looking forward to reading about what you have in mind for both you and B – no matter what, one thing is guaranteed – it’ll be interesting!

    I’ve really enjoyed being part of your blogging community Denyse, I’ll miss your link up, reading about your life and getting a glimpse of others (well those I haven’t subscribed to) – being able to showcase our blogs to a wider audience in this way seems to be a thing of the past. I have fun writing mine, it isn’t as young, hip and modern as some but then it’s about ‘my’ life

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      Thanks so much Cathy, for your kind and understanding response.

      Yes, this contract of our life was written by whom??

      I know there is probably nothing dramatic in what we may choose to do, but as I said in this post what was right for us in 2015 isn’t seeming that way in our early 70s in 2023.

      Do keep in touch. My blog does have a subscription through blog lovin’ (top right hand corner) if you haven’t already..and I will do the same for yours.

      Your perspective and writing has always added a touch of interest and differing views to mine which I have found really helpful.

      Keep on keeping on!!


  7. Hi Denyse – it was interesting reading a bit more of your (more recent) story. We’ve had similar discussions about where to spend our later years, we’ll definitely downsize our home….but neither of us want to move to the city to be near our adult kids. We’ve found that their generation seems to have a lot less of a sense of obligation towards elder care and we’d end up away from friends and relying on our “kids” seeing us regularly (which will probably not happen). So, our plan is to eventually move into a retirement village in our general area – one with good facilities like a pool, gym etc. It will give us security, nice neighbours, and a some support without needing to rely on family. Our g/girls and their parents will visit less and less as the years go by, so this seems to be our best option – it’s a tough one to make the right call though isn’t it?

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      Thanks Leanne for your perspective and sharing your thoughts.

      There has never been an expectation in our family to ‘care for us’ at all. However, what I note, as Dad is much older now, is that his son, is someone he can ask for help as needed. He does not do it much and he has a couple of friends where he is too. Everyone else from his life…is no longer here!

      In the friendship vein, B and I made friends through our careers but now almost 20 years later, things have moved on with those groups and here there has been no-one with whom we can say we share anything in common.

      So, whilst I will outline what our plans may be, it is clear for us, that our time living here has served its purpose in our lives and we will move to where ‘home’ feels like it is for us more!

      Take care,


  8. Lovely pics!

  9. So you’re moving somewhere in Sydney? How exciting. I think even thought you speak of a lot of turmoil in those years, your photos are lovely and show a different story. I think there’s a lesson in that somewhere. I like your ‘support from us and for us’ bit. Well put. See you ONE LAST TIME for #Lifestories

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      Shhhh! But our plan is exactly that…not saying more for now. But when the time is right, the time is right. Denyse

  10. Denyse, Yes, life has a way of shifting plans for us. We downsized in Ohio with the plan to spend half time in Florida. Then cancer, disliking the back & forth, and two siblings passed away and I realized that plan was not the right one. Hubby really wanted to live in Florida full time. So we sold both houses and bought a different one here in Florida. (Yes, we’ve bought 2 and sold 3 houses in less than 4 years!) We actually do not consider this our final one even, but it’s the right one for now. With no close family, we do look to friends for connection and think at some point we might be in a living situation like your dad. I’ve said before, life is series of transitions. And you’re about to make a new one. I’m looking forward to hearing what your plan is!

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      Thanks Patricia! You sure do get it. And I see where your priorities are now too. We would LOVE to have the ability to buy again but that won’t/can’t happen because of past choices. However, saying “yes” to a possibility I thought might happen more into our future is likely to be the plan for the next step! Come on along on 20 June. Even though I know you are all having summer!
      We are actually in one of our coolest winters for some time!


  11. Congratulations Denyse for hosting this link party for 5 straight years – what a spirit of resilience!
    Wishing you the best of the best in the next chapters of your life!

    H Emma

  12. I appreciate the look back, Denyse, and am especially eager to hear your plans for the future. Life certainly is full of twists and turns, isn’t it? I couldn’t have guessed where my life would take me 40+ years ago when I was graduating from high school…or even 23 years ago when I married my husband. Wishing you all the best and looking forward to your next post!

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      Thanks Christie, it is both daunting and exciting in one…like most ‘life’ plans!

      And you my friend have your own special time in your life right now.

      You are so right about the twists and turns.

      I appreciate you visiting to read and comment too!


  13. So much to think about. So many question marks. Our 2 story 4 bedroom home is okay now but I don’t want to be cleaning and keeping up with it forever. We have a sellers’ market in the U.S. and houses are bringing top dollar but we would have to turn around and spend every penny we made on this place in trying to buy a much smaller place. For now, I am closing the door on the extra bathroom and bedrooms to keep them clean for company. And we are living in our den, bedroom and kitchen.

    We have one child here in the same city with us, one child 500 miles away across state in eastern Texas. My husband’s children are not in a place to help us if we needed it so we don’t really consider them in our decisions.

    I think it is important as we get older to be in the same city/town with one someone…one grand or one child who could help us in an emergency. So we are probably staying put in El Paso. And will just move from our current home to a retirement community when the time comes.

    Hope you figure out the best solution for you.

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      One of the best things about blogging is the sharing with others!

      Thanks so much Leslie for your words and your thinking on this matter that has become more important as we age.

      Our situation is one which is not ideal because we have no house to live in that we can call ours any more…that is a story told ages ago…

      But we have each other, a reasonable level of fitness for over 70s and the planning to see us back in the city where we also will have greater access to health care too.

      It was great to read of your current situation and ideas for plans ahead.

      Take care,