Choose life. Life is wonderful.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014


If you find that thing you love, it doesn’t necessarily matter whether you do it well or not—you just need to do it.

Stanley Tucci

P:-) and I took another quick trip to Davistown - a drive of around 3 hours. We camped in the backyard of an old family property of P:-)'s family. Sadly it has just been sold so this was our last time there. We took P:-)'s boat and the gazebo instead of the caravan, planning to spend some time on Brisbane Waters.

We arrived on Monday afternoon, just in time for a rather ominous storm front to appear in the sky.

It looked very nasty but thank goodness the following storm wasn't quite as terrible as we had expected. Plenty of wind and rain and we had to hold onto the walls of the gazebo to stop it blowing down but we got through it OK.

However, that was just the beginning of 2 days of rain which meant we couldn't take the boat out.

On day 2 another storm was forecast which was supposed to be bigger than the one the previous day. P:-) reinforced the gazebo with pieces of board he found around the place and old chairs that had been put out to be taken  to the tip. It all worked beautifully. 

It didn't look very pretty but supported the gazebo through the next lot of wind and pouring rain.

After a night of heavy rain we woke the next morning to light drizzle. There was water lying everywhere.

But the gazebo was still standing and everything inside was relatively dry.

Day 3 we bought our bait and finally put the boat in the water. 

But sadly, we were destined to go nowhere. The motor refused to start. It kept spluttering and dying. A good Samaritan came to our aid and found what was wrong with the motor but it was not fixable on the spot and required some new parts being bought.

A lone pelican watched as P:-) checked out the outboard motor on the boat ramp.

I'd like to share another collage of pictures taken in the back yard.

The axle in the picture in the lower right hand corner is actually from a T Model Ford.

Sadly we only had 3 days and soon it was time to pack up again.

For P:-) it was a last good-bye to a little house that had been in his immediate family and then extended family for over 100 years. P:-) had spent much of his time as a child and young man here and it was a tangible link with his parents whom he had lost when he was only young. The little old house will be pulled down by the new owners, and a new home built in its place - the end of an era.

Interesting sites

 10 strange buildings
Photo source

Some very interesting buildings from all over the world. Click here to see more.

 Oasis in heart of Sahara

Photo source
Guelta d'Archei is an oasis, or rather a guelta, in the heart of the Sahara desert. A guelta is a peculiar type of wetland, typical of desert regions, formed when underground water in lowland depressions spills to the surface and creates permanent pools and reservoirs.Everyday, hundreds of camels are herded into the knee deep water of the guelta by passing caravans for them to drink and rest. Dung from thousands of camels excreted over hundreds of years have turned the water black. Lurking in the black waters is a small group of surviving Nile crocodiles. Click here to see more.

Dogs with unique coats

Photo source
These dogs have amazing and unusual colours. Some of these are the results of rare genetic variations or conditions.

These amazing dogs have such unusual colors and markings that once you see them, you’ll never be able to forget them.
Some of these markings are a result of a rare genetic variations or conditions, but all of these dogs are undeniably beautiful.

These amazing dogs have such unusual colors and markings that once you see them, you’ll never be able to forget them.
Some of these markings are a result of a rare genetic variations or conditions, but all of these dogs are undeniably beautiful.

These amazing dogs have such unusual colors and markings that once you see them, you’ll never be able to forget them.
Some of these markings are a result of a rare genetic variations or conditions, but all of these dogs are undeniably beautiful.

Click here to see more. 

Saturday, 11 October 2014


P:-) and I spent a week at Davistown near Gosford. P:-)'s family and extended family have owned an old house there for over a hundred years and it has finally been sold. We camped in the back yard. Below is the old house.

Here are a couple of pictures of the house taken from across the water at Empire Bay. It is the house with the green roof.

Below is the view we see from our camp, across the water to Empire Bay.

We camp in the back yard with electricity provided by P:-)'s cousin next door.

I made a new awning for one of the bed ends and was quite pleased with the way it turned out.

A nest of ducklings hatched in the garden. There are wild ducks all around the place and they wander in and out of the yards.

We found the empty shells left and then spotted the mother and her ducklings.


To start with the ducklings would stay very close - bunched up against their mother.

After a day or so the little ducklings seemed to get a lot braver, still staying close to their mother but scattering out a little.

An evening walk led to a beautiful sunset.

Smoke from burning off at Kincumber enhanced the orange sky.

We took a drive to MacMaster's  Beach and stopped at this lookout on the way back.

 You can see Palm Beach in the distance.

I couldn't resist  including this collage of photos taken in the back yard,

We had a lovely, relaxing few days. But finally had to pack up for home.

An inquisitive  stick insect came along and landed on my craft supplies waiting to be packed, to check out what was going on. Maybe he wanted to come but I flicked him away before he was swallowed up in the van.

While we were away I spent time making a felt name for P:-)'s grand-daughter Isabel for her birthday. (It is more readable when it is vertical.)

Isabel loves butterflies.

We are in the process of planning another quick trip to Davistown before the business is finished. So next post should have some more from Davistown.

Interesting sites

 Could you live in a Tiny House?

Photo source

 Motivated by soaring house prices, you’ll-be-paying-it-off-until-you-die mortgages and environmental concerns – plus the realisation that the bigger your house is, the longer it takes to clean – there’s a new generation of home-owners who are doing something radically different. Building tiny houses, that are small enough to be towed along by a car. They have wheels, which means you can take your tiny house anywhere with you (while also complying with zoning regulations). Click here to read more. 


 Footbinding in China

Photo source
The practice of foot binding, which was banned in China in 1911 but carried on until women had the bandages forcibly removed, results in feet that are disfigured for life as the toes are broken beneath the soles of the feet. Photographer Jo Farrell is on a mission to photograph a dying fragment of Chinese culture: foot binding. Click here to read more. 

 Budapest Christmas Tram
Photo source

 In 2009 the Budapest Transport Company started a beautiful festive tradition of covering some of its trams in LEDs. But the beautiful appearance of these glittering vehicles is not the only thing that delights the locals. During the Christmas season, anyone with a regular ticket or public transport travel pass can ride the Christmas trams, which makes them a fun and budget-friendly way of getting around Budapest.Click here  to read more.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014


At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.
Albert Schweitzer

The last couple of weeks I have been slowed down by a knee injury. After a week I visited the GP and started on some anti-inflammatory medication which has made all the difference.

I just came across this quote by Leo Babauta.

Once you’re back on track, you’ll feel great. Movement begets movement, and happiness as well.

It is certainly true that I feel a lot happier now I am can move again.

The powers that be have put new types of globes in the street lights. I have one at the front of my house. It is so light now that I could read a book by it I have my herbs planted nearby and it is really easy to go out at night and harvest the herbs.

My front footpath at night.
After undergoing the driest August for years we have had quite a damp September - the first month of Spring. This has meant the occasional rainbow. I couldn't resist a few photos of this one.

Rainbow from the front of my house
The ornamental plums on the footpath next door are in blossom.

P:-) has 2 rabbits living in his front yard. They are very cute - a brown one and a white one. They disappear for a couple of days and then they reappear. I hope they stay safe.

P:-)'s youngest son M had his birthday recently and his wife K made a beautiful cake. M loves Mustang cars ( and had one until his first baby was born) so K made him a Mustang cake with edible silver mustangs.

The cake was a delicious caramel mud cake.

And finally, I came across this bug on a tree in my front yard. I don't know what it is and it was quite small but quite impressive.

Maybe if you know it or can identify it you could leave the information in a comment. Thanks.

 Interesting sites

 Island residence

Photo source

 Nestled in the richly wooded grounds of a narrow strip of land on the island of Chappaquiddick near Edgartown, Massachusetts, this single-family residence is part of a collection of environment- and landscape-centric interventions that blur the boundaries between structures and landscape, and between inside and outside. Comprised of four structures – a 6,300 SF main residence, a 630 SF garage, a 270 SF storage shed, and a 130 SF boat house – the site is bounded by the ocean to the west and by a well-protected, shallow bay to the east.
Click here to see more.


Privacy during a flight
Photo source

The ‘b-tourist’ is made of an elastic fabric that fits many seats sizes. After assembling the piece, it offers one their own private space to quietly eat, read a book, watch a movie and to sleep without being disturbed. the side of the material has a pocket inserted into it where one can place small items they may wish to keep close by during the flight. Plastic rings are also applied along the edge, which enable the width to be easily adjusted.
I like the look of this. Click here to see more.

 Migraines - what are they?

Photo source
No one knows for sure the exact mechanisms that cause migraines, but we do know it’s a neurobiological disorder. If you suffer from migraines or know somebody who does, you should find this article very interesting.Click here  to read more

Sunday, 24 August 2014


Allow yourself to be a beginner. No one starts off being excellent. 

No one starts off being excellent.
Most things you are good at you have to work at. Sometimes that means failure.

"The trick is that I learned it’s completely fine to try and fail, to put yourself out there and not be perfect, to say hello to someone and have them not instantly love you, to create something and have people judge you." (Leo Babauta)

Time is ticking by. I promised myself I was going to start some type of business to supplement my pension, but so far I haven't done this.

I have been trying to make presents to save some money, but find it very time consuming. 

I think I may try tutoring again. My specialty is reading and spelling disorders. If you have a problem reading or spelling then I am your woman. I studied this as part of my Master's degree - quite a few years ago now - but that was my primary role when I first started working at The Annexe, a small alternative school for students with major behavioral problems. I have never met a teenager who doesn't want to read well. I have never met a child or teenager I couldn't help. But I lost a lot of my confidence after being made redundant, even though The Annexe closed through lack of funding.

But I think it might be time to step out and give it a go.

How to start?


The local fruit market I go to has a notice board where people pin up their business cards (which luckily I had printed a couple of years ago when I first heard I was being made redundant), and other advertising.
This is my business card.

My business card

I'm not sure if I have the right information on it.

I need to design some sort of A4 size ad. I don't have a coloured printer so I shall have to do something by hand - or at least colour it by hand. I want it to be something that looks professional but stands out.

I plan to offer people a free lesson first. I am good at what I do, but I want to charge $50 an hour which is the current going rate for one on one tutoring. If  I offer a free lesson first I might be able to hook them.

Now I have written this down I will really have to do something about it. I will be at the fruit market on Friday so I will aim for then.

There was a new bird outside my window today making a lot of noise - pretty noise. I used my What Bird Is That Book and identified it as a Golden Whistler.

Golden Whistler

I haven't seen this bird around before, but it seems it is quite common in the forests of the east coast of Australia.

I cooked some yummy mushroom soup tonight. it is really simple and tasty. Here is the recipe.

Mushroom soup recipe

I buy mushrooms already chopped and on special at Woohworths. These can be frozen until you need them. I bought this lot of mushrooms for $2.19 for 500g a couple of weeks ago.

Soup before it is blended

Mushroom soup
In the end we didn't eat it. P:-) rang to say he had hurt his knee and wasn't coming over so it has gone into the freezer for next Sunday night.

Jasper the grand-dog has gone home.

I really miss him. I would love to have a little dog of my own but I am out too much. Maybe one day.

Interesting sites


Family lives in a Tiny House

Photo source

Scott Stewart (owner of the Slabtown Customs company and designer/builder) gives you a complete tour of their Flipped Loft tiny home while it’s furnished and being lived in. It’s a tiny home for a family of four! Click here to see a couple of interesting videos.

 Volcanoes under Antarctica

Photo source
Antarctica is a land of ice. But dive below the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, and you'll find fire as well, in the form of subglacial volcanoes. Click here to read all about it.

 Spring babies

Photo source

Around the world, animals new to this earth experience life. In zoos and in nature, photographers captured a variety of species during these moments. Click here here to see some beautiful photos.