Wednesday 27th May 2020

My Moving House Stories. Pt.1. 2018.34.

My Moving House Stories. Pt.1. 2018.34.

Maybe I have some ‘moving house stories’ to share because I am 68!

Let’s go. Oh. At the beginning, of course!

All of my houses have been in New South Wales, Australia.

I was born in Wollongong, south of Sydney and lived there until the end of 1959.

This pic taken by me a few years back. Mum and Dad built this house aided by family and friends. I was brought home from hospital to this house in 1949 and my brother nearly 3 years later. I remember every room of that house!

House Move #1: Wollongong to Balgowlah Heights in Sydney (near Manly on the Sydney map). I wrote about that last week here.

Built as a one-off by the owner builders who sold it to Mum and Dad, this house is split level. Living areas as you go in, and you downstairs to bedrooms and more living space and out to…the pool Dad put in for him and the grandkids!!

As a 10 year old what I remember most about the move was the excitement of a house with stairs, starting a new school at the end of the year and how close we lived to the Harbour. It was a great place to live aged 10 to 20 and I will always be grateful for that.

House Move #2: Adult life and graduating as a teacher at 20 meant a move from home. From Sydney to Barraba. Barraba is north of Tamworth on the map. The best part was starting my career as a teacher and having my first class, being in a very social group of staff in a share house AND meeting my husband-t0-be at the end of that year. I also was totally not great at house-sharing. I was wanting to be ‘out and about’.

Share house: with 3 other teachers from Barraba Central. My bedroom at the front (awnings) was a shared one. The school is over the road so it was not far to walk!

House Move #3: Married Life begins as a 21 year old! In a house on a property outside Narrabri and within driving distance of my school and my husband’s. Also pregnant and in my 2nd year of teaching, I was glad to be married to a man who had already set up a home so at least one of us knew what we were doing! It was a lonely time once I had our daughter. My home-making skills became cooking…and eating…and then, after two more years  my husband got a new school, I did too. Our daughter was still a toddler. So another move was happening! I was 23.

Last year my husband took a trip back to where we both taught and lived. Here’s a rundown of Maules Creek:

Maules Creek

Maules Creek is a hamlet burrowed in the picturesque foothills of Mt Kaputar National Park. It is accessed from Narrabri by taking Old Gunnedah Road, crossing the Harparary Bridge and then turning onto the Maules Creek Road to head for “the hills”. The rugged and enchanting landscape hides a deep rich black soil, perfectly suited to farming. As a result, the region harbours some of the country’s leading cattle studs.
Water flows from the mountains, trickling through Melaleuca-lined creeks to arrive crystal clear. Many beautiful locations along the river provide captivating hideaways for picnics or quiet time in the presence of nature. The size and grandeur of the Nandewar Ranges viewed from the Maules Creek area is spectacular.
To the South of Maules Creek is Leard Forest, which predominantly features pine, iron bark and gum trees. Parts of the forest are being mined for high quality coal deposits.
Whitehaven Coal started building its open cut coal mine in the Leard Forest in January 2014. Whitehaven also runs the nearby Tarrawonga coal mine, and Idemitsu operates Boggabri Coal, also an open cut coal mine.

The playground of Fairfax PS where my hub taught from 1968-1969 ( a one teacher school) and then in 1972 & 1973 I taught there as it was a 2 teacher school. Our baby daughter was cared for in the house in the distance by my principal’s wife (her godmother).

Driving from Narrabri to Maules Creek, last year, my husband came to the sign leading to the property we once called ‘home’ Violet Downs. All given to crops now.

 

House Move #4: The Department of Education paid for our move and it was in the Christmas holidays. We were hanging out in the cool of my parents’ house for most of the school hols but eventually had to drive to the new school residence and school at Merriwagga (Black Stump territory) ..in the heat of Western NSW. Mum came along to help with our young daughter. Mum was a great help but we were soooo hot. Dad tried to send a cooler unit by train from Sydney but there were  none. We ‘did’ survive and Mum was glad to get back to the coast. This home was a very comfy one and we entertained a lot. We even put an above-ground pool in. I taught at Hillston and travelled each day with our daughter in the back, going to the deputy principal’s house where his wife cared for her like she was hers! We stayed there for 3 years. I was 26 when we moved on. Read about Merriwagga and its history here. 

https://www.google.com.au/search?q=images+merriwagga+school&source=lnms&tbm=isch

The school buildings are now a caravan park. We lived in the residence (not shown) alongside.

House Move #5: My husband’s teaching career was blooming, and my ability to have a second child was not. That was when we got the chance to go to one of most isolated schools in NSW as a teaching couple. He would be acting Principal and I would be his teaching staff, along with some teacher aides from the local Aboriginal community. It was again a move that the Department paid for but we still had to pack and be ready for the BIG truck making the trek of 2 days from the Riverina of NSW to almost the Queensland border, Weilmoringle. The house was elevated like a Queenslander and had some air-conditioners to fight the sometimes 50deg heat outside. I learned about how to cater lunch for visiting Specialists like the late Dr Fred Hollows, as well as how to teach co-operatively with my husband!! Living there was pioneer stuff and as we arrived in late January 1976, with a laden station wagon with us and supplies…so did the flood and we were ‘stuck’ for 10 weeks.

https://www.google.com.au/search?biw=1542&bih=868&tbm=isch&sa=1&ei=yPPSWvjgKYGR0QSBn4vwDQ

The school building has not changed much. Upstairs: classrooms and office. Downstairs: library, craft spaces. Building in background is a cottage used for visitors to the school and where I taught some cooking lessons. The school residence, not shown, is no longer occupied as our now adult daughter found when she did a trip down memory lane some years ago. Good to see the school is still operating!

This was a most challenging but awesome place to teach but not to live comfortably. Unfortunately this was when my husband’s physical ills became more evident. Clearly we needed to be closer to medical facilities, our daughter needed to go to school where her parents were not her teachers AND it was time for us to BUY a house in Sydney. That all happened by the time I was 28.

q=image+map+of+nsw&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi_ybeUs7naAhXGlJQKHa3vAnAQ_AUICigB

Next time I will write about the house moves within Sydney…and of course, the house moves OUT of Sydney!

Just re-reading this I see I moved house 4 times from age 20 to age 28.

Have you moved house much?

What were those moves about?

Tell me more!

Denyse.

Gratefully linking here each week:

Tuesdays with Kylie Purtell for I Blog On Tuesdays here.

Wednesdays with Sue and Leanne for MidLife Share The Love here.

Thursdays with Leanne for Lovin’ Life Linky here.

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Memories of Sydney I Knew. 2018.32.

UPDATE: Recently I was contacted by a writer for Chris O’Brien Lifehouse to share my story about my cancer as my professional team had let the organisation know I was blogging my way through this! It was published last week and it helped me to remember that I CAN do this…as the next surgery, on May 16 was something I was dreading. Now I realised, I have to do what I have to do to get well and use this mouth of mine as intended! Here is the link and whilst I was wanting to be more light-hearted this week, it is timely that it has been published. Denyse x

Memories of Sydney I Knew. 2018.32.

Aged 10, I  moved to Sydney’s Balgowlah Heights with my parents and brother when Dad received a work promotion.

Memories of coming to Sydney then, involved “NOT” finding a place to live on the southern side of the city as Mum and Dad had hoped because it would be closer to friends and family in their home towns of Wollongong and Dapto. It was getting pretty close to when we literally had to move from Gwynneville in Wollongong as people had bought our house and Dad was already commuting to Sydney.

Then one day, Dad was told of the somewhat newly developed area called Balgowlah Heights. Near Manly. Over the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Over we went in our Holden and I will never forget seeing the spans and patterns of the Bridge for the first time AND how we could pay the toll (which was per head in the car) to the man with our shillings or sixpences.

 

 

By December 1959 we had moved to what would be Mum and Dad’s house until Mum’s death in 2007, and Dad’s alone until he sold in 2011.

Dad & Mum – Around the late 1990s.

Driving up the old street recently. Cannot see ‘our house’ for the trees! I barely recognise the ‘old neighbourhood’ as most dwellings have been renovated.

But not ‘our old house’. Bought by architects in 2011 and with a young family then we know there are renovations coming but not sure when or what! The house (but not the garden) looks the same as when Mum and Dad lived there.

I lived there through my last 2 primary school years where I attended Balgowlah Heights P.S. and then to Manly Girls High School for my SIX years of schooling under the new Wyndham Scheme. Then in 1968 and 1969 I lived at home and commuted by Dad’s car, borrowing Mum’s or going by bus to the city and onto Balmain Teachers’ College.

I lived in Sydney’s northern beaches area from 10 to 20. Golden years for this teen and young woman!

The view from Arabanoo Lookout Balgowlah Heights down to Manly and beyond is Manly Beach.

Dobroyd Point where many of us played as kids, learned to drive around its one-way road, played sport on the newly made Tania Oval…and just look at this view of the harbour and North Head & South Head.

Manly Beach. Iconic. My Dad used to walk here while he still could drive his car. We tended to swim further up at Queenscliff as a family and for me as a teen, it was to the ‘middle’ one between Manly and Queensie, North Steyne where I surfed and met friends…

From the walkway leading to Shelley Beach and Fairy Bower, this is the view looking back to Manly. Magical day!

Do you know Sydney?

What memories do you have of Sydney?

What places in Sydney do you enjoy visiting?

Denyse.

Joining with Kylie Purtell here for I Blog On Tuesdays.

On Wednesday I link here with Sue and Leanne for Midlife Share the Love Party.

Thursdays it’s time for the Lovin’ Life Linky with Leanne here.

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My Cancer Surgery #3. 2018.20.

My Cancer Surgery #3. 2018.20.

Since the diagnosis of cancer in my upper front gums and partially on the inside lip on the right hand side in May 2017 I have had three surgeries. The first, on Thursday 6th July 2017  has been written about in detail and in 3 parts…because it WAS huge!

Here are the links: Part One, Part Two, Part Three.

And over 4 months passed as a lot of healing needed to happen in my recovery at home. My leg was cared for by the Community Nurse who visited for 8 weeks over a few days each time, and my mouth, well it had to heal over time. Before the next surgery there were visits back to Chris O’Brien Lifehouse and to Westmead.

Then I had the second surgery. It was at relatively short notice and was for Day Only stay. So different to last time. But do read the post if you have not because it was a hard start to MY day with my husband driving me down on the same day.

Moving right along now to Cancer Surgery #3.

Again there was a long gap from the previous surgery to this one, but in this case let’s “blame” end of year and January …and that is fair enough because everyone needs a break. And my surgeon sure did! As did the team. But before this surgery and for some weeks in December and January we did not lose touch because as the ‘flap’ inside my mouth healed it was a bit unruly and decided to do things its way so we (ok, my husband) had to take regular photos INSIDE my mouth and send them to Professor Clark. And ‘things were OK’ he said so I managed to take my worry hat off.

I had better understanding of what would happen in Surgery #3 and as my husband agreed with my wish to drive down the night before it was a smooth start the next morning at 6.30 a.m. on an early February Sydney day to walk to Chris O’Brien Lifehouse to present me to pre-admission.

The pre-admission room and beds were full! 7th February was a popular day. This time my husband left me to go back to the apartment where we stayed overnight when I went to theatre. No waiting in the anaesthetic bay for an hour this time…I was ‘first’. Yay. Chatted to the same anesthetist from last surgery, also to my oral restorative dentist and once wheeled in and shuffled onto the bed, chatted oh so briefly to my surgeon.

Back in my waiting space within 2 hours….dressed in an hour…and we were on our way home (2 hours away) arriving there some 5 hours after I started surgery. There was ONE big surprise. How I looked!!

The ‘look’ was the foam squares (they were holding a stitch each) to add some movement but also stability to the stitches that were making MY NEW upper lip…from the skin graft from surgery #2 that was taken from my right thigh. I know, my body is a GIVER!!

The other part of the surgery was to add some ‘abutments’ – screws – to the gum/jaw area to allow for the skin there to keep healing BUT to add a cover – like a mouthguard called a stent – to protect this area.

Oh my goodness. That did fill up my mouth let me tell you, and make eating (and drinking coffee!) particularly challenging. In fact, I literally dipped my foam into a cup without realising (Initially I thought it was blood but it had a coffee aroma!) so I had to be very careful.

The foam – with stitches in –  also prevented me from washing my face and hair so my dear hub learned how to help do their hair wash over the laundry sink with me holding a washer to my face.

It was only a week of being like this as when we returned to Sydney for the check-up the stitches were removed AND the area in my mouth indicated that it was time for a visit to the Oral Restorative Surgeon to start planning the implanted teeth program.

Foam Blocks gone. Mouth very swollen due to stent and surgery.

Update #1.

On Friday 23 February we drove to Westmead to have the stent looked at and the condition of the gums. I was a little nervous as my mouth was stinky (food particles under the stent) and my oral restorative dentist had a broken hand and his colleague (who had attended each of my surgeries) would be undoing the stent and examining the gum with my regular person viewing and commenting.

Firstly, the precision with which the stent had been drilled into the current abutments was spot on and as each was loosened the stent eventually yielded and that stinky thing was GONE. The nurse and the specialist dentist did an amazing job of cleaning the area and as they always do for my visits, photos of the inside of my mouth were taken.

The BEST news was that the gums growing around the 5 abutments are doing as expected and there was now no need to put the stent back on. Phew. Phew. Phew. But now what? Well, I have my gums and abutments on display and have been given all the care instructions I need.

I will be returning to Westmead in 4 weeks to have a temporary prosthesis put in if all is well. 

I hesitated about publishing the photo of my mouth but then I wanted to explain it more:

The little silver things are the abutments with caps on – there are 5 – and they started off being attached to the fibula bone from my leg which was cut and made to fit my mouth*. I have only 5 abutments when they were hoping for 6 but my fibula bone was too narrow in one spot and broke. The redness is OK and the area above the ‘jaw’/gumline is the ‘flap’ which has been harvested from my right leg *and has been cut, stiched and used for different purposes such as burying a skin graft** to make my ‘new lip’ .

Update #2.

Whilst my dental team thought my gums were going well it was when they shared the photos from Friday with my surgeon, Professor Clark,  he saw some small issues with the gums that he thought will benefit from at least another week with the stent in. So….back to Westmead this Thursday for that. I understand the need to make things right and trust my team implicitly!

* part of surgery #1 ** part of surgery #2.

This will be the second last of Cancer posts for a while. I appreciate that there is support for me as I go through this but I also want to update readers too. However, the remaining post, Part Two of Eating after Gum Cancer Surgery will be published in two weeks. Unless there are good reasons for updates, there will be a cessation for a while. Thank you for your interest.

Denyse.

Joining with Kylie Purtell here on Tuesday for I Blog On Tuesday.
Joining here with Leanne for her Lovin Life Linky on Thursdays.
And I will also join with Sue and Leanne here for their Wednesday Link Up.
Thank you all for hosting!

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I Dislike Sydney’s Changes. 2018.15.

I Dislike Sydney’s Changes. 2018.15.

There I have said it.

I have been back to Sydney, crossing our wonderful Harbour Bridge many more times than I might have guessed when I was diagnosed with cancer in May 2017. I have also been out to the west of Sydney to the Oral Health Services at Westmead and certainly noticed how much more building work is proceeding. The traffic. Grrr. I know, Sydney is an awesome capital city. I love(d) her too.

I was fortunate to live in Sydney – Balgowlah Heights near Manly- from 1959 to 1970 then I went to the country to teach, get married and have one child. From 1978 until 2015 we lived in north-western Sydney. So, yes I think I might have an opinion!

Last week we drove to Sydney to stay the night before my surgery last Wednesday so that there would be a stress-free start to my Day Surgery and that was a top decision. It worked. However, I decided to use my ‘free time’ on Tuesday afternoon to have my little excursion around my old home town I guess. I am sharing photos and the letter I wrote to the Sydney Morning Herald. It did not get published but then again news of a certain Deputy PM and the stock market tumble were why.

My letter:

We left Sydney for The Central Coast the same week “powers that be” determined ripping up George St, adding more gateway links, extending Motorways… etc, etc, etc.
Yesterday before my 3rd surgery at a new needed & valued hospital called Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, I took a bus trip (opal card still worked!) & was astounded at the city’s disruption, noise from buildings & the fact that it’s a much slower development than ever.
When I lived in Sydney’s outer areas I enjoyed coming into the city. Not anymore!
The one thing that has not changed is the harbour & that I could ride a ferry to Zoo & return to re-connect my soul to Sydney there was my highlight.
Thank you kind bus drivers & ferry masters & attendants who helped this Senior find her way round again.

Snapshots of Sydney by me after my first real visit back in over 3 years.

However, I cannot say it was all disappointing because some things NEVER change (thank goodness!) and here they are:

Looking UP. Of course, and capturing Sydney’s varying architecture and Sydney Tower

Seagulls at Circular Quay and This Water….has not changed appearance since I first saw them in 1955.

 

It was great to see so many people enjoying the magical spot. A cruise ship was in too. I remember farewelling a friend off to England in 1965 from The Terminal.

 

Now Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) and I have always enjoyed the various installations there. I loved the fact that the Aboriginal Flag was flying.

 

And this was the icing on the cake. As always. Sydney Harbour on a Ferry. Using my opal card I did a round trip to the Zoo. Ah!

So, there it is. My recent visit to Sydney.

I wonder what you think of the changes if you are a Sydney-sider.

If you are not, have you been to Sydney?

I think of this place more as my hometown now ….the northern beaches too…rather than the place of my birth, Wollongong.

What’s your hometown?

Denyse.

Joining with Kylie here for I Blog on Tuesdays.

 

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The View From Here. 2017.90.

The View From Here. 2017.90.

Most regular readers know I have been away from the blog to face one of life’s BIG challenges, a cancer diagnosis and then surgery. If you want to know more, please look up May 2017 posts.

So, without much more to say, the single room I had at Chris O’Brien’s Lifehouse in Camperdown Sydney looked north and east so I had the BEST views for this visual person and photographer to savour!

Warning: I look pretty gross in some pics. That’s what happened when they cut the inside top of my mouth out!

Day Before: Pre-Op Admin. Last time I had (fake) top teeth. Outside Chris O’Brien Lifehouse.

 

Out of ICU on Day 3 I was moved to a room with this view at sunrise. Captured from me bed, through glass.

 

Not a bad place to be in hospital! It has only been open for surgical admissions for 2 years. The older building opposite are all part of R.P.A. Hospital.

 

My night nurse for 4 in a row was Roan and he and shared a passion for pics, so he’d come in before sunrise and capture some pics with me and me in them. He was the epitome of professionalism and patient-centred care. Looking south towards Newtown and Sydney Airport.

 

One day had three seasons in it!

 

Shot by Roan – I could not get that far on my balcony so he just shot away. Capturing Gloucester House, mid – left, a private hospital in the day where my beloved Mum had some of her hearing restored. I was 7! We lived in Wollongong and I remember how it was to visit her there. 60 years later, here I am looking at it each day.

 

Getting better every day and finally in a nightie. I must admit I stayed in the hospital garb because my face was…ummm…leaky!

 

Monday. At home. 11 days post surgery. Very pleased with my progress which is why was more than ready to come home on Saturday.

I am linking with lovely Kylie Purtell and friends here for I Blog On Tuesdays but won’t return as a part of #teamIBOT till next week.

OH and if you like joining in My Monday link-up called #LifeThisWeek the new prompts will be up on Thursday 20 here, ready for re-start Monday 24 July.

Denyse.

 

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My First Concert. #LifeThisWeek 25/52. 2017.81.

My First Concert. #LifeThisWeek 25/52. 2017.81.

My first REAL concert was 53 years ago THIS month. Yes, June 1964.

I was one of the millions around the world to embrace the fandom of The Beatles.

Those lovely lads from Liverpool. Paul McCartney (left rear), John Lennon (right rear) Ringo Starr (left front) George Harrison (right front)

I did not have a favourite like most. I just loved them all.

http://www.gigslutz.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/beatles.jpg

I had already bought my first 45 record (are you old enough to know what a 45 record is?) and that was Love Me Do and I Want to Hold Your Hand.

No credit available.

So, I was in what is now Year 9 and my Dad (bless him) bought tickets for me, my younger  brother and a friend of mine to attend one of their Sydney Stadium Concerts.

It was everything you see in the old films. Noisy as. Filled to the capacity with screaming people. Yes, me too. And

The Beatles.

Wow.

It remains a wonderful, wonderful memory now!

You really couldn’t hear much of what they were singing but we SAW them. It was amazing. Ringo Starr who had stayed in the UK to recover from illness was back with the boys and it was perfect.

http://www.smh.com.au/content/dam/images

The Sydney Stadium is no more but it was located near Rushcutters Bay and had a tin roof. They held fights and concerts there. It was not actually theatre in the round, not a bit! Mum and Dad dropped us off and went to dinner at Watsons Bay apparently and on their way back, they could hear the screaming!

I did scream but I think it was because everyone else did. My photo, with many others, was in the paper the next day. Gee I wish I had kept my memories!!

In 2014 to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Beatles Tour down under, the Powerhouse Museum put on a special exhibit. It was one my brother and I could not miss!

What was your first concert?

Do you know anyone who saw the Beatles in 1964?

I hope you link up this week on or off prompt.

Denyse.

Do join these other link ups on Mondays too. Alicia here for Open Slather and Kell here for Mummy Mondays.

* 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 on my post as I always reply and it’s a bloggy thing to do! * 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! *Posts deemed by me, the owner of the blog and the link-up, to be unsuitable for my audience will be deleted without notice. * THANK you for linking up today! Do come back next week. Next week’s prompt is “Halfway Review 2017”.


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