Sunday 26th June 2022

Beginnings. Life This Week. #ltw1. 366/256.

Beginnings. Life This Week 1. 366/256.

Welcome to the first week of the new Link-Up called “Life This Week.” I’ve been writing about the  topic I named “life this week” all year each Monday.

Today’s prompt, which I am following is:-

Beginnings. “Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start” sang Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music. I began my life in Wollongong NSW as the first born to my parents.

At The Dapto Show age around 4.

At The Dapto Show age around 4.

Life was pretty ordinary in a good way from 1949 until 1959 when we made another beginning…. I began living on Sydney’s northern beaches and went to primary school in Year 5 & 6 there, and onto Manly Girls High School until 1967 where I was in the beginning… of the Higher School Certificate cohort. Yep, the first ones to do 6 years at high school instead of 5.

2nd Year of our 6 Years at High School.

2nd Year of our 6 Years at High School.

I knew I wanted to be a teacher but I didn’t get to teachers’ college at the beginning of the intake. No, I was not ‘good enough’ to be given my teachers’ scholarship in February 1968.  Instead, my offer came at the beginning of the first week of the first prac in April so I was thrown in the deep end and swam because I was ready to begin learning to be a teacher! That beginning was awesome and I knew it was the career for me.

In 1970 I began my first year of teaching and left home to teach in country NSW. That was it! Talk about a “get real” beginning. From a spoiled kid with Mum doing pretty much everything for me, to going into a shared house with other teachers. I was soon sorted out by them and I began to learn more about being independent, how to prepare a simple meal, and, reluctantly, how to clean the house. Later that year my life began the path of ‘forever love’ and more as I met my now husband and we began this life of ours that has been 46 years in the making this October.

At our Wedding Reception

At our Wedding Reception

Beginning life as a new bride, teaching in a new (to me) position at a two teachers school (with a male chauvinist boss – not the hub!), setting up a house together, and being pregnant were HUGE beginnings. Mothering a daughter in 1971 and staying home were contributing factors to my beginnings of over-eating to compensate for unhappiness and lack of social contact. There “were” always diets to begin..and we know they didn’t work out of course.

I love(d) being a teacher, especially those kids aged from around 5 to 8. These kids are at the beginning of their learning and I so enjoy being part of that. My teaching career took me, following my husband’s career path because that WAS how the NSW Dept of Education did that then, to places where I had to begin again in new, rural, and isolated communities. This was a challenging time to a couple in the 20s but we did it. And those 8 years hold great memories.

Many years of hairstyles, ages and weight up & down! LIFE!!

Many years of hairstyles, ages and weight up & down! LIFE!!

Then to the beginning of living in a house we mortgaged and lived in for over 14 years in Sydney’s northwest. We had a second child, after thinking that would never happen and we settled into suburban life with 2 kids, 2 cars, mortgage and 2 of us in full-time teaching jobs. In 1980 my career took off as my unwell husband had to medically retire. It didn’t feel like a ‘choice’ but I did it anyway.

Thus began for the next two decades more beginnings…as I studied two degrees (bachelors and masters of education over 7.5 years via distance education) as I taught and lead in K-6 schools in Western Sydney. I began many different programs to help kids improve learning and was committed to staff development and did all I could for teachers to improve and learn new skills. I was promoted three times to executive positions, finally as principal, in 5 primary schools.


Worked Hard For These….from 1970 to 2006.

Twenty years ago this year, I began a new role. That of grandmother. This was and remains one of my best ever gigs! Our 2 children have 4 children in each of their families and grandparenting 8 has been a wonderful time. We also began as regular carers to some of these lovely little people when I took some leave from teaching, and later, once I had partially retired. By the time I got to 60 it was time to retire. Again.

The first time was not one of choice but of ill-health. I had started my role of Principal in 1999 with great hopes and endeavoured to make the necessary changes within a school community but after almost 4 years it took its toll on me. I did have time out and whilst I was grateful, I really needed to be ‘back in schools’ so I made a beginning as a classroom teacher and ESL teacher in 2004. This was the school from which I was given a ‘retirement’ that I missed before. I began an education consulting role in pre-schools and also began a part-time, casual role as a University tutor and was an external observer for BOSTES. I chose to leave each of these paid roles with the last ones completed in  August 2015.

End 2009 last days as a teacher.

End 2009 last days as a teacher.

What about now? Before I finish, of course I made beginnings as a blogger in late 2010 and have been blogging in different platforms since then. Whilst I had hoped to make a niche for myself based on my education and schooling experiences, readers did not grow.  But I began to meet loads of lovely bloggers in both real life and virtually! Always fun. Mrs Whelan & Mrs Woog Early 2015, we made the beginning of the next part of our lives when we moved away from Sydney to start a life for two on the Central Coast and I “knew” then that blogging would be my daily go-to and it has proven so. I am so very pleased with how I have been accepted by the blogging community as I am way older than almost everyone! denyse whelan facebook profile picture Now, I am beginning my first link-up here, on the blog where I blog about many different topics. Today’s is Life This Week, and that is the name of the link-up! I hope that many bloggers decide to come on board and post here too!

What beginnings are you thinking about right now after reading some of mine? Thank you for reading….I realised that at my age there are loads of beginnings to note! Warm wishes to you all. Denyse. life 150

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 and 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!
  • Respect and tolerance however, are the hallmarks of acceptable on-line social behaviour and as my blog is family-friendly I will reserve the right to delete comments that may be offensive to me or others.
  • Tweet with the hashtag #ltw (adding the numeral for prompt) if you like.

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I am linking up with Alicia from One Mother Hen for Open Slather and with Kell at All Mum Said for Mummy Mondays. Thank you both for your bloggy friendships!