Choose life. Life is wonderful.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Time to Start Blogging Again

Time to start blogging again - to look at the positives in my life and also to keep my friends in Canada up to date with things going on over here. 

My mother recovered from her broken leg. She limps a little bit but is back to her lively self, zooming around the place in her old Mazda.

I have been through some down times and some up times, but as always am enjoying the run up to Christmas.

 I am tutoring for Custom Training Illawarra. in Unanderra. I am absolutely loving it.

I am working mainly with boys in 2nd and 3rd class who have reading problems. Helping kids with reading problems is my passion. I find it fascinating. I also help with a bit of essay writing, creative writing, geography and maths for a range of students in primary school and secondary school

Most of my previous experience with teaching reading had been with students around 15 and 16. I have learnt that teaching reading to 8 and 9 year olds requires a very different approach - a more holistic approach with lots of colouring and gluing.

P and I went for a bike ride along Lake Illawarra yesterday - just from the Berkeley Harbour along to The Yacht Club. It was a beautiful morning. P bought me a new bike. I had started falling off my last one when I stopped. This one is much better. I can step on and off it much easier.

The scenery around the Lake was beautiful.

I really enjoyed the ride,didn't fall off once and I am getting my confidence back again. I had really thought my bike riding days were over, but lovely P bought me the new bike as a surprise.

Interesting sites

Tiny Houses
Photo source
This site has a lot of interesting examples of Tiny Houses.

Click here to read more.

Abandoned places
Photo source

 Some beautiful abandoned places. Click here to see more.

Electricity From Plants.
Photo source

A Dutch company harnesses electricity from living plants, and then uses it to power cell phone chargers, Wi-Fi hotspots, and now over 300 LED streetlights in two sites in the Netherlands. Click here to read more.

Friday, 24 April 2015


You have freedom when you’re easy in your harness. – Robert Frost - See more at:

To live is so startling, it leaves but little room for other occupations.
Emily Dickinson, letter

You have freedom when you’re easy in your harness. – Robert Frost - See more at:
You have freedom when you’re easy in your harness. – Robert Frost - See more at:

It has been a few weeks since my last post. In some ways it has been very eventful and in other ways not so.

Four weeks ago my 83 year old mother fell and broke her leg and her arm. Luckily she is very fit but this has still meant 2 weeks in hospital and constant care after that.

My brother lives in a flat underneath Mum's house and is self employed so has some flexible hours. I am retired so I have been staying at Mum's for the last 2 weeks.

I'm in charge of the cooking. It is strange cooking for 4 every night after only cooking for two for so long. P:-) comes around every night for dinner to join my brother Mum and me. When I last lived at home, close to 40 years ago, I couldn't cook a thing. Now I like to think I am quite proficient.

Today I saw a beautiful cobweb outside Mum's bedroom window - full of insects and raindrops.

Mum has a lovely garden, although the photos below do not do it justice

It is Autumn here on the Eastern Coast of Australia - not a time when the garden is at its best.

It has been raining and windy here for days. My brother took Mum, me and P:-) for a drive to see the big seas. We ate fish and chips in the car as we looked out across the foaming water towards the steelworks.

The time goes very quickly. While P;-) and I see each other every day it has been nice staying with people. I live on my own and, although I have plenty to do and lots of friends, sometimes I do get lonely.

Interesting sites


 Seaweed clad house
Photo credit
This house in Sweden is clad in seaweed. it is based on an old traditional technique. Click here to see more.


7 spectacular spits
Photo credit
 This article is really interesting. It is about the 7 most spectacular spits on earth. Click here to read more.

 Pictures leap off the page
Photo credit
 Alessandro Diddi does amazing 3D pictures that seem to leap off the page. Click here to read more.

Friday, 13 March 2015


Photo source

It has been a few weeks since I last posted. Perhaps the most interesting thing we have done is take a trip to Merry Beach with some of P:-)'s family - a few sons and daughters and grand children.

We had a great time as we always do at Merry Beach, camped by the beach.

Our camp is pretty basic but we have all we need.

There were plenty of kangaroos around.

And lots of lorikeets....

...which were very noisy at times.

We toasted marshmallows....

...and visited Mogo Zoo.

We got a new barbecue for Christmas. It was great cooking by the beach side.

Alas, all too soon it was time to leave.

P:-) and I seem to be slow packing up but this time we managed it without too much of a rush.

Interesting sites
 Earth sheltered houses
Photo source
The earth sheltered house uses the ground as insulating blanket which effectively protects it from temperature extremes, wind, rain and extreme weather events. An earth sheltered home is energy-efficient, quiet, freeze-proof and low maintenance. Aesthetically an earth sheltered home blends in with the natural environment, leaving more yard space and more space for wildlife.
 Click here to see more.


 Instruments played by the wind
Photo source

There is a variety of instruments that are played only by the wind, ranging from those small enough to sit on your windowsill to massive pieces of modern art and poorly-designed skyscrapers. This is a really interesting look at some Aeolian harps and other noise making structures. There are some videos with good sound effects. Click here  to find out more.


Photo source

In 2014, Germany’s capacity for wind power generation jumped to more than double the previous year’s figures, thanks to the work of 543 offshore wind turbines that have established Germany’s offshore wind power capacity at 2.35 gigawatts (GW). This is just a stepping stone for Germany on its way to a goal of having 6.5 GW of wind energy infrastructure installed and connected by 2020.
Click here to read more.

Monday, 16 February 2015


Faeries In My Garden

The Fairy Song
White coral bells
Upon a slender stalk;
Deck my garden walk.

Oh, don't you wish
That you could
Hear them ring?
That can happen only
When the faeries sing!"

Sharon Lovejoy

I wish I had fairies singing in my garden!

I do have a fairy door and a new little pal to go next to it.

This cute hedgehog was a Christmas present from my daughter J who understands my love of fairies and toadstools.

J has just had an exhibition at Gallery 9 in Darlinghurst, Sydney. Here are a few pictures of her unusual sculptures on show.

This last one is called Gollum and sold on the opening night.

P and I took a drive to picturesque Shellharbour Village.

We stopped for lunch at a kerbside cafe on the main street.

I treated myself to 2 potato scallops.

They were the most delicious scallops I have ever had. Not that I have many. I watch my diet too carefully for that.

We went for a walk along the foreshore and came across this very precocious raven by the swimming pool.

It just sat on the post as we walked by. This type of raven is native to Australia.

Speaking of native birds, the lyrebird has been back at my back door again.......

...and the Catbirds have been picking my unripened mangoes and eating them.

These photos are taken through my lounge room window and not very good, but you get the idea.

I love to see the native birds that come to my garden.

And finally a lovely white toadstool that came up on my footpath.

Interesting sites

 35 beautiful restaurants 

Photo source
There’s nothing like eating a delicious meal with a magnificent view. Here are
Click here to see 35 of the most beautiful places in the world to dine.


36 Random animal facts 

Photo source

Earth is home to about 1 million known animal species, each one representing an ancient tome of biological trivia.
Click here to read 36 interesting and random facts about animals.


 Beautiful wetlands

Photo source
Click here  to see 16 pictures of beautiful wetlands.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015


I have reached the stage now where luxury is not in fine possessions but in carefree possessions, and the greatest luxury of all would be the completely expendable.


Nan Fairbrother, The House in the Country

The holidays are over. How quickly they went. I am retired now so it doesn't make such a difference as it once did, but it means back to the old routines.

P:-) and I volunteer every Thursday evening at Manna House where people come in off the street for a free meal. People come for all sorts of reasons. For some of them it is a meal they would otherwise not get. Others come for the company.

It has been lovely to have a break from Manna House since Christmas. This is our last week off and we will start again on the 5th February, so this is our last free week.

P:-) and I spent a few days last week helping P:-)'s daughter M paint her new classroom. She will be teaching kindergarten two days a week and wanted to spruce the room up.

Don't the new colours look great!

Here are some pictures of it complete.

 M is a super keen teacher and we are very proud of her.

I must confess I spent more time playing with M's little daughter S, than I did painting.

I think I had the best deal.

On Friday P:-) and I took a short trip to Davistown on the Central Coast of NSW. P:-)'s family has had a holiday house here for years. It has just been sold but as yet is still vacant and the new owners kindly gave us permission to camp in the back yard as we have done many times before.

We have a caravan that pops up and out, affording us two comfortable double beds - plenty of room to spread out at night and have a good sleep.The caravan is a 1981 model - vintage. We bought it sight unseen from eBay 4 years ago for a cheap price. It is very basic but we have great fun in it.

The reason for our short holiday was a reunion of P:-)'s family in the park opposite the old house. P:-) has cousins who live next door so it was just across the road for them. Others came from various areas of Sydney and Wollongong.

 P:-) has very nice relatives and I really enjoyed the day as I think did all involved. We were lucky to have good weather.

While were were there some ducks set out in formation down Cockle Creek.

The next day, Sunday 25th, was quite hot. The early morning view across the lake was very still and peaceful.

 Later, during the heat of the day,I couldn't resist this shot of the sky through the awning.

 We spent most of the day under the awning, trying to keep cool.

A mother duck wandered around the yard with her ducklings. We had seen them when they first hatched in October.
Then there had been 14 of them. Now there were only 5 left, but they had tripled in size.

 Apparently kookaburras and other birds prey on the ducklings when they are young. They were much harder to photograph this time. Perhaps the mother was more wary after losing so many of her little ones.

I had thought these ducks were native but have been told this is not the case. I would love to know the breed.

On Monday26th, Australia Day, the rain set in.

We spent the day sheltering and then packed up in the rain on Tuesday. There is nothing worse than packing up in rain. Garbage bags come in very handy to put wet things in.

We drove home in rain.

 We came home to more rain. But I will never tire of the view from my back window.

My daughter J has an exhibition on in Gallery 9 at Darlinghurst. Here is the link for the advert.
 Advert for Jade's exhibition

Just a final note. I grew up by Towradgi Beach in Wollongong. My father, James Edwards, was one of the initial surf club  members in 1947 and captain. This is a link with a little about it.

Interesting sites

 Tiny eco home in Romania

Photo source
 The Soleta ZeroEnergy One is a prototype eco home in Romania. Click here to read more.

Harry Potter in Lego

Photo source

 This project features architecturally accurate recreations of the Harry Potter sets such as the Great Hall, the Quidditch Courtyard, the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom and the bridge over the Clock Tower. About 10,000 LEGO bricks were used for the L-shaped, nearly 4 meters long structure of the school’s central staircase alone.
Click here to see more. 

Cabinet from disused pallets

Photo source
 Handy with a table saw and a hammer? If you’re looking for a new furniture project to take on, then check out the latest tutorial from avid DIY builder and passionate recycler James Higginson. In this how-to edition, Higginson shows us how to build some fabulous cabinets entirely from disused pallets!
 Click here to see the tutorial.