Friday 27th May 2022

The Month That Was : March 2022. #LifesStories #LinkUp. 21/2022.

And look what’s back! A Link Up HERE.

New(ish) Name: Life’s Stories.

Publishing Every Second Monday, from today with Link Up.


The Month That Was : March 2022. 21/2022.

As I am now doing an end of month catch up for my word of the year, posts for end of month will focus on  images and some experiences that have been part of this month.


Let’s go: March 2022.

Early March is the anniversary of Mum’s death. I paid tribute here to her life, fifteen years since her passing. Gosh.

Mum would have loved this camellia. Grown by dear B. Autumn time is ace.

You started out with a lot of rain and that was NOT fun in many, many places. Severe flooding and more. It did not directly affect us. We also stayed off the roads around here which can be severely affected by water and run off from paddocks and streets. Yes we still have paddocks!

I managed to visit places to check the Wyong River and it was both amazing and terrifying. When I saw its speed and force coming down from the hills, to the lake and then eventually into the ocean, I saw its power. No-one could survive in that water…and I saw debris and even a whole tree!

I went back to Soldiers Beach where I always find some grounding and this was no exception. Whilst it is a shame to see the beach erosion and rocks exposed, it “is” what nature does over time. And an east coast low is one that caused much havoc and heartache further north and west of us and I cannot fathom the awfulness of having the levels of water which inundated homes, schools, public buildings, churches and shops. And it is still threatening more. AND people are no longer in their homes…it’s tragic.

My Dad went to hospital after a cut on his leg turned nasty and an infection developed. At 98 he DID not find hospital comfortable event though his treatment was excellent and he was home after 2 days. I visited him 10 days later and whilst he was recovered from the infection, the experience left him shaken. He shared lots with me. And I did not take any photos.

Dad has decided against that, and he hates seeing himself (limited anyway these days with macular degeneration) as he looks so old. He does. It was too dangerous on the roads for me to come immediately he was home. My ‘pit’ stop here at St. Ives.

I also had another trip back down home town Manly memory lane, enjoying some beach shots after the awful rains and heavy seas. I ventured to North Head for a scenic lookout but it was closed! I managed a couple of shots from the side of the road. I slowly wended my way back down steep hills where I did my driver’s licence test in 1967, to land at Little Manly Cove. A lovely spot that is still special and in my memory from the 1960s.


Schools are doing it tough with Covid being the main reason.

In our family, adults and kids have been affected with doses of Covid (despite being fully vaccinated) and the virus has affected all in different ways. The places for gathering of crowds are doing a “great job” of spreading covid it seems, and the public officials and governments are doing little in year 3 to care or cater for changes. 

Yes there is a Federal election coming and we shall see ‘the promises’ of the parties unfurled. In N.S.W. we have another year to wait thanks to fixed terms.

Meanwhile, we as over 65s will be getting a 4th vaccine, along with our flu immunisations. Neither of us want/needs to be sick as we have underlying health conditions. Fingers crossed we stay OK.

This shot, from harmony day at school, delighted Grandma to see her 2nd youngest & youngest granddaughters.

Our youngest granddaughter celebrates her 7th birthday and I think with great fondness and excitement of the pre-dawn drive from the Central Coast to her parents’ then home, where her siblings awaited with their Aunt, on the homecoming of their father to catch us all up.

A very early morning…driving back to be Grandma on a baby’s BIRTH day

And I have had some health procedures…as they say, not related to my head and neck cancer, but to parts of me where there is skin…I cannot say anymore. However, what I did find out OUCHIE is how much local anaesthetics hurt. I thought the one in my cheek was awful but that paled into comparison by the one(s) in a place I cannot say. And the gynaecologist told me “I have never had to put so much local in….” sorry, I didn’t say because “OUCHIE x 10”. Biopsies for face/arm seem OK as have no news (as in the good news part). Second procedure I will hear more about soon to confirm what I have. I may decide to share privately because I had never known of it. Sigh. Being a woman..of older year, not fun…NO photos!

And we had a bit of a cull of books, texts and more. Some people are coming to pick up quite a few and it is pleasing to share these as we no longer work nor volunteer in the places.


Some fun with messages to and from my fave Aussie author: Trent Dalton. I bought my tickets to the Newcastle Writers Festival on line and had to share the news with him. We met there 3 years ago after Boy Swallows Universe’s publication. This time, he is there to talk about Love Stories (which I AM trying to finish by next Saturday) and in the book he mentions the Dalai Lama…hence our chat!


I have spent some time reflecting as March ends and I am reminded of what I like to do most:

  • stay connected with others, including via social media and blogging
  • have a cup of coffee somewhere most days
  • chat with my husband, especially at our night time catch up around 9 p.m.
  • enjoy being in nature which is pretty easy to do where we live right now
  • make something art/design wise that is just for me and the process
  • reduce my attention (hyper vigilance) on health matters…a tough assignment but I know I need to do this, as my G.P. and I talked about it recently.

And during the weekend before this post goes live, we attended a one year old’s birthday morning tea. His family lives next door and it was cool to catch up with them. During the one year of his life, as the family was in lockdown as we were, this family got some of the packs of little cakes that our grandkids couldn’t enjoy. It was special to be able to connect and share the joy of a little’s one birthday!

And some more from nature. Love the chance to get out into nature that is relatively close by…and before it rained some more!

The two of us never have a reason to dress up much at all these days in retirement with a social and work-type life non-existent (it’s fine!) so we did for the birthday party and I just had to capture these…

And even thought it is not quite over, March, you can march on.

Bring on April where I will be sharing more about my goal to be more self compassionate.

So pleased to have found “the middle ground” for my link up and hosting.

Yay for changes of mind, kind blogging friends and a patient Tanya who helps make my blog images. Thank you!


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  1. Good to see you back with more frequency! I might be off for April for School holidays, so if I’m MIA, it’s not cos I’ve forgotten. Anyway, a lot there, Hope all is good with the proceedures. And yes, so much Women’s medical stuff becomes an issue as you age. I am dealing with internal combustion at the moment. It’s driving me crazy!
    I am off to St Ives today, to visit Mum. So I thought your picture was timely.
    Glad your dad is okay. And sorry about your mum Time doesn’t make it easier, just different.
    Take care and enjoy the Dalton!

    • Thanks so much. It really IS good to be back but I also think I needed to find that balance and it seems I have. The blog is part of my life and I am grateful for it and for connections with people such as you!!

      The St Ives connection…I admit we used to make St Ives, Telegraph Rd, the Mona Vale Rd end, the meeting point with my parents back in the 1980s-90s when they could have a grandchild or two to have a little holiday. So many memories.

      The Showground loo is a good chance for me to ‘stretch my legs’ before the drive down Powderworks Rd to Pittwater Road.

      Hope your visit to Mum goes OK. And yes, to school hols! I tend to forget them now because “retired for long time”.

      Great to have your words of encouragement always.


  2. You both look great dressed up too! Post lockdown I’m dressing up a bit more just because I may not get to do it as much (and didn’t in lockdowns)

    • Thank you, I said that to B. Wow, haven’t seen you looking like that for a LONG time.

      I too am doing what you are…using the so-called going out clothes more each day.

      I am getting back to a coffee out each day and loving that!


  3. I’m loving your decision to try fortnightly link ups Denyse and the name Life Stories is perfect! Sorry to hear about your procedures. We do seem to have more medical issues to be dealt with as we get older don’t we? I’ve got a few medical appointments including two procedures coming up for myself too! I’m glad your Dad is ok but yes those things do shake them up when they’re elderly I know. 15 years without your Mum. I bet in some ways that seems ages but in others it was like yesterday. It’s been 4.3 years since my Dad passed away already. Great photo’s of you and B there at the end. Hope you have a great week. Heavy rain here again today – not needed at all!!

    • Thanks so much Min. Finding the middle ground has made me feel better about hosting the link up. I am self caring better with my goal of using self compassion too.

      I think I have been resisting some medical things because I thought my cancer had been enough to manage but you (and my GPs) are right. Ageing does mean more parts of us needing attention. And I have become more accepting of that.

      Dad, who really hasn’t been unconfident tiil now. is lonely and as he self-isolates mostly and cannot see people clearly it’s hard on an outgoing person. I do not think it will be long before we will be facing life’s decisions with Dad….but for now, each day going without a phone call is ‘good’. I will get down to see him more often too once the covid outbreak where he is settles.

      I hope you are OK…and you being a daughter-carer is one of love that can take its toll. Love that art continues to sustain us both!

      Thanks for your support of the blog’s link up!


  4. Well that was a month wasn’t it?? I love the dressing up, I try and wear something nicer than usual these days if I’m going out because I’ve missed it over the past few years You both look great and colourful! The rain has been awful and I feel so much for those impacted by floods and devastation. I’m also glad you’ve found the middle ground like Goldilocks with the linkup, I’m happy to join with you every fortnight! Thanks again for your insights and sharing your month with us. take care xx

    • IT so was…the month that was!

      I used to enjoy getting dressed up for meetings and catch ups and now they are basically not happening (my choice) I am taking the chance to do do even when it’s just to the local big shopping centre for coffee.

      For two weeks I couldn’t put anything on my face so I will enjoy adding some “toning down of the red and ageing” creams!!

      The Goldilocks tale is true!

      Glad you are back and have been such a wonderful supporter of my choice in this blog link up change. Again!!


  5. Hi Denyse – lovely to see the last couple of photos of you both so colourfully dressed and ready to get partying. Sorry to hear about your health concerns and I hope things turn out to be all okay. Lovely to be linking up fortnightly – stay well and I hope you avoid covid in all your travels around the countryside.

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      Thanks so much Leanne.

      Like many, we have had no need to ‘dress up’ much at all so it was a pleasant experience indeed.

      My health issues are, as they say, part of both ageing and being alive! I hope to find the results of the second biopsy soon and the ones from the skin specialist must have negative because “no news etc”.

      I admit I am still Covid-careful. I moved to a different table yesterday when I was having a coffee because of the proximity to many people with kids…and those kids are, it seems, where much of the Omicron infections have arisen. So many absences from schools and pre schools….

      It is good to be back here on a more regular basis and thank you for your kind wishes.


  6. I’m a bit the opposite on health matters Denyse. I’m very slack about following things up and rarely do I actually know / understand detail about my various autoimmune diseases or heart things etc.

    I am finally going to get a skin check late next month though. Given my dad ultimately succumbed to a rare type of skin cancer I should be more diligent in that respect. I used to go to a skin clinic before I left Brisbane a decade ago but my GP has just taken a couple of cursory glances over the past 10 years.

    And… I let my 6mth follow up to my cardiologist pass by and it’s now been a year so I really need to chase that up as well. Sigh….

    Good to see you back hosting!

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      Thanks for good wishes about the blog and hosting a link up. Think I might have found the right balance now Deb.

      Health. It really is annoying…because we have to care for ourselves as grown ups. I know I have had to be proactive due to my cancer history in dental and checks ups relating to my cancer…but the other stuff….

      I have been a resister. In so many way. I have wanted to NOT do more medical stuff or surgical in particular because I had enough. But, I have a pesky (and excellent) female GP I see for ‘that stuff’ and she made me see the Colo Rectal surgeon despite being “shit” scared…and that resulted in, over time, an amazing outcome for me who has struggled with some incontinence (stuff no-one talks about but I am here!)…..

      Then 2 weeks ago, she decided that the ‘female’ specific condition she has been treating me for, needed a next level opinion and OBY/GYN services. That meant another type of scary appointment too.

      She, who is in her late 30s I guess, told me off a bit for thinking nothing else could go wrong and how I had to accept this happens in ageing..and I am 72. So, a bit mad and a bit chastened I saw her point.

      I too do not understand 100% my ‘female conditions’ and will ask more at my visit next week. I can no longer bury my head in the sand. Sigh.

      Reason I told you all of this? You are not alone. I hope you get a good skin check and you manage to see your cardiologist too.


  7. I’m not sure how you manage to pack so much into a month Denyse – I realise a lot of your tooing and froing has been health related but my March has been fairly mundane (in mind body and spirit) compared to yours.

    Like most of us I’ve been looking at wearing some ‘better’ clothes, these were for a couple of lunches that cropped up during the month…..oh dear are we going to have to do something about the extra kilos I’ve added to my body. Thankfully it was warm, the lunches were not formal, so I was able to put on some summer ‘tie at the waist’ 3/4s with a smart (dressy) T-shirt. Guess I’m going to be busier now with gym sessions marked for a couple of days a week

    I’m looking forward to hearing how your next two weeks unfold.
    Take care
    Cathy x

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      Ah Cathy, I am not sure I pack a lot of stuff into a month but when health issues come up, then of course it means drives to places and waiting for results and more.

      And as Dad had a trip to hospital in the week of the worst rain Sydney’s northern beaches had ever had, I needed to wait before I drove the 2 hours to see him. And he was glad to see me. My brother is the ‘on call’ one. I am very grateful.

      B and I can go out only for morning tea and that relates to both our physical conditions and eating away from home. It was special though to ‘dress up’ to visit our neighbours in a first, to attend their youngest 1st birthday.

      I am looking forward to a hair cut tomorrow as I have 4 week intervals between and fortunately for me (and her) the Covid iso has ended and she will be present to cut my hair.

      I put on just a few kilos in 106 days of lockdown (comfort eating for a reason) and because I am anti-diet having been “ruined” by the pressure of them over the decades, I made small changes to some parts of my eating day and I went back to my “comfortable for me & post head and neck cancer surgeries” weight. My clothes all feel OK.

      I send you my best as you return to the gym and more!


  8. Love the rainbow balloons; that party sounds like it was fun and you both look good “dressed” up. I don’t do much other than drive my kids around but I do try to dress nicely most days with jewelry and jeans and sweaters but hardly ever dress up either. Our families are extremely casual so even holidays are often just spent in jeans and normal clothes. Unless we have a wedding or funeral to go to I don’t ever wear heels or dresses.

    Hope all goes well with the biopsy results!

    • They were so cool, those balloons! All done via a structure that is apparently easy and done by my neighbour’s friend. She is a teacher too and says the balloons make a great display in the school library.

      We are very much out of the need to ‘dress up’ so the chance to do so on Sunday was special.

      I agree that most days I do now make an effort every day to add a nice top to jeans/shorts, and apply some makeup and earrings. There is no doubt about it being a feel good thing too.

      Thanks Joanne,


  9. Denyse I’m so happy that you decided to go fortnightly instead of monthly. I had already started to miss the weekly linkups so fortnightly will do me well. Your post made me smile, especially your conversation with Trent Dalton. He’s a wonderful author and really does seem to be a wonderful man. I do feel for your Dad and hope he’s ok. Sorry, Denyse I haven’t been around since Monday to read and share. My nephew was killed in a cycling accident on the weekend so my head has been elsewhere. But thanks for making me smile today.

    • Oh Jennifer… that is such shocking and awful news about your nephew and I am so very sorry.

      Life changes in a heartbeat they say and nothing truer than that.

      Never apologise for not commenting..just to blog and to share is enough. Truly.

      I am not sure why I didn’t go with the fortnightly thing first up, but maybe it was the right thing to do the month interval and THEN I could see my way back as I had missed it.

      So looking forward to seeing and hearing Trent. I do hope the forecast awful weather doesn’t stop me driving up. Fingers crossed.

      Again, I am so sorry to read about the sudden death of a family member.

      Take care, and thinking of you.