Time Marches on so Quickly

I don’t know where the time goes. I work and go on holidays and try to commit time to writing, blogs, travelogues, reviews, and yet I never have enough time to do all the things I want to do. I always have lots of excuses too. To busy, too tired, too unmotivated.


I need a planner or a diary or an event minder or a daily notice board that makes me do some of the things I want to do. I planned to write 10 pages for my Weekend Notes reviews in the month of April. I am only at 5 pages. It is so hard to get those last 5 pages written. I am aiming for such a small commitment from myself. Come on Cassie you can do it.


I really like writing for WordPress too. I come in here and there are always lovely comments from other WordPress authors. The words of encouragement help me to want to achieve bigger and better things.


I recently went on a holiday to Queensland with my parents. Now that is a whole new blog right there. I will write that blog later on. I am on annual leave from work and I am so bored. My holiday in Queensland ended prematurely so I have lots of time on my hands and I don’t know what to do with it.


I travelled to Warrnambool for a day away. It is really lovely down at Warrnambool. It’s down from Geelong, down the coast. It is a lovely coastal town. My mate lives there. We went out for tea and to the movies. I stayed over at his home. Then headed back the next day. I drove to some nice beaches before I headed home to Geelong. There in lies another blog. I am back WordPress. I hope that I can stay here and write more often.


Maybe that could be one of my goals. To write a blog every day on WordPress. I definitely need a daily planner so I can set goals and mark them off.


Oh gosh I do get distracted easily. I accidentally fell into Facebook world and I got lost and couldn’t find my way back, lol. ( I really don’t like the expression lol – laugh out loud – I do laugh out loud and often.) So I am back now and I would like to post this blog. I am going to accompany my daughter and granddaughter to playgroup this morning.

Jazzy, in the arms of her favourite Aunty

I started writing this post a few days ago. We went to playgroup and my little granddaughter had fun. As I’m the nanny, I just sat back and read a book and stayed out of the way. Jazzy played and played. She loves playgroup. It is a great playgroup. It’s run by our local city council so I think they get funded by the council. They have some great toys, inside and out, paint, paper, playdough. The leader does some great activities with the children. Last week they were making Mother’s Day Cards. It’s Mother’s Day in Australia today – May 8th, so Happy Mother’s Day to all the mums out there!

Jazzy having a dip in the pool

I try to stay away from Facebook. It really does take up lots of my time. I would rather be writing on WordPress or writing my reviews on WeekendNotes. I need to discipline myself more.

The river at Euroa, Victoria

Like I said above, there are a few blogs I would like to write about, including my holiday to Queensland, my dating adventures with men, and oh I don’t know, just life.

I hope you are all well and happy and healthy! Love to you all from CameraPenTravel / Cassandra.

The Author, Cassandra







Hello to my wordpress family


I have so much going on in my life. I don’t have time to sleep sometimes. Well I do really. I just don’t sleep enough.

How are you all? How is life going for everybody? I hope you are all well and happy and healthy.


Me! I am well. I have had a few hiccups on my journey to happiness. Do you want to hear about them? Probably not! I am a very positive and happy person and I enjoy my job. I am a personal care worker. I work in an aged care facility.

My job entails getting residents out of bed in the morning, taking them to the toilet, and then showering or washing them and getting them dressed. I shave the male residents who cannot shave themselves. Now there is a challenge. Imagine being a female and having to shave a man’s face, especially if you have never shaved somebody before. I am getting better at it, but it can be quite nerve wracking. I prefer to use electric shavers rather than a hand held disposable razor. There is less blood shed that way.


I love my job. I enjoy the interaction with my residents. We don’t get to spend much time with them apart from their daily routine of getting out of bed and getting dressed for the day. Sometimes you can chat to the resident while you get them ready. It is a hard job as we often come to work to find that a resident has passed away. It’s a part of my job and it’s reality. My residents are not usually going to get well and go home. We are God’s waiting room or heaven’s waiting room and we nurse our residents until they pass on.

There can be sad moments and funny moments. There is a lot of scary moments too. We deal with people with dementia. Sometimes a dementia resident can be violent or angry or frustrated or all three of these emotions. You learn to duck out of the way of punches. You get hit and punched and pinched and scratched. Are you interested in working in Aged Care yet? It really is a rewarding job, apart from the physical and verbal threats.


I have met some lovely old people, and I have heard some wonderful stories. A lot of my residents lived through the depression in Australia so they hate to hear about wastage of any description. I horrified one of my residents when my shoes got wet while I was showering him. He told me my shoes were getting wet. I said “Oh that’s okay. They only cost me $12.00 from Kmart.” The poor man was incensed. He thought I was very wasteful.

For me the best part of my job is when a resident thanks me for helping them. I feel very humble sometimes. I am being paid to look after them, after all. It is part of my job to help them, however I try to make their lives as comfortable as I can and I always try my hardest to give them a nice start to their day.


Apart from my work, I have been busy trying to be busy. I find that when I come home from work, I just sit and rest for a while, put my feet up and have a coffee. My work is very physical and I am always exhausted when I get home. After I have sat and had a coffee and watched a bit of television, I try to spend some time on the computer writing my pages for Weekend Notes. I often find a week has gone by and I haven’t written anything. Sigh. I don’t have enough hours in a day.

Oh and there is the dating. I try to fit dating into my life on top of work and my children and grandchildren and parents. I have started to go out and meet men and there is a whole other story in this little adventure. I think that will be my next article. I might call it “meeting the weirdos” or “Cassie’s adventurous dating tales” or some such funny or unfunny title. There are some nice men out there and some weird men and some kind men and oh just all sorts of different men out there.


Well it is late and I want to go and write a few Weekend Notes pages before I retire to bed. Please drop by and say hello and let me know you are out there following my pages or having a read of them. Cheers from Cassie


Australia Day 2016


Happy Australia Day

Australia Day is celebrated on January 26th. It fell on a Tuesday this year so the weekend was a bit weird, in that usually when Australia Day falls on a weekend, the weekend day becomes a public holiday and most of the Australia Day activities are held during the weekend. This year there were activities being held from Friday 22nd January all the way through to Tuesday January 26th.

Australia Day celebrates the anniversary of the 1788 arrival of the First Fleet of British Ships at Port Jackson, New South Wales. It also marks the raising of the Flag of Great Britain at the site by Governor Arthur Phillip.

Kangaroos hopping across the landscape

There are lots of different opinions about Australia Day and what it means to people. There are also many different ways to celebrate Australia Day. People celebrate by having family gatherings with the barbecue in the backyard and a game of cricket. Or families go out and enjoy a picnic or barbecue at the beach, a park or out in the bush. At this time of the year a lot of families are away holidaying so they would be holding a barbecue or picnic at the caravan park or camping ground they are staying at. Other events that occur on Australia Day are parades, free days for families and children, usually put on by local councils, citizenship ceremonies, Australia Day Honours List, Australian of the Year presentation and the Triple J Hottest 100.

Ayres Rock, Australia: A Kangaroo warning road sign in the desert near Uluru
Ayres Rock, Australia: A Kangaroo warning road sign in the desert near Uluru

When I was younger the day didn’t hold much significance as it was just another long weekend and we had a day off school, generally on the Monday. It was also a long weekend for our working parents so we would have a long weekend with our family. As I grew older and started working, the day still didn’t have much significance to me. It was just another day off which meant we had a long weekend. I don’t think I really started to look at the significance behind the Australia Day event until the last 10 years or so.

If you are overseas and reading this article, you may not know much about Australia Day. It’s a celebration of Australia becoming a nation. Celebrations in present day Australia reflect the diverse society we live in. Celebrations are marked by community and family events. People reflect on Australian History. There are official community awards such as Citizenship Ceremonies which welcome new immigrants into the Australian Community.

The name of the public holiday has evolved over time. The date of January 26th has been named “Anniversary Day”, “Foundation Day”, and “ANA Day (The Australian Natives’ Association)“. The date of 26th January 1788 marked the proclamation of British sovereignity over the eastern seaboard of Australia – which was known as New Holland at that time.

The holiday was not known as Australia Day until a century later. Records of celebrations on 26th January do date back to 1808. The first official celebration of the formation of New South Wales (New South Wales became a separate state in 1818) was held in 1818.

In 1901, on New Year’s Day, the British colonies of Australia formed a Federation, marking the birth of modern Australia. Australian people were looking for a day of unity and celebration. In 1935 all the Australian states and territories had adopted use of the term “Australia Day” to mark the date of the birth of Australia. It wasn’t until 1994 that the date of January 26th was consistently marked as a public holiday by all states and territories.

Sydney Harbour, the Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge

Australia consists of six states and two territories. The states are Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, and Tasmania. The territories are the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and Northern Territory.

Australia’s National Anthem

I wanted to speak about some of the significant songs that Australia and Australians love. Songs that mean a lot to some people. I am currently watching the debate on ABC News 24 about different views about Australia Day. Our Indigenous People want it, Australia Day, to be marked as a day of National Mourning as it was the day that Australia was overtaken by Europeans, who took over the land and wiped out entire generations of Aboriginals. There is another article building up here. I will address that in another post. Our Indigenous people marched and protested Australia Day. They call it Invasion Day, the day that Europeans came to Australia and took over a country that was already owned and cared for by its people – The Aboriginals or the Indigenous tribes of Australia.

When I was young, and attending primary school, we used to sing “God Save Our Queen” every Monday morning. It was our national anthem. We would assemble in the quadrangle, raise the flag and sing the National Anthem before we filed into school. In 1984 “God Save Our Queen” was replaced by “Advance Australia Fair” as the National Anthem. Prior to that God Save Our Queen was sung as Australia was governed by Britain, and so we sang the patriotic song to honor the Queen of England.

Sydney Harbour Bridge

In 1951, to celebrate the golden jubilee of the Federation of Australia, there was a competition for a new national anthem. The song that won the competition was called “This Land of Mine” and was written by Henry Krips, an Austrian born conductor. This song never became the National Anthem.


The Australion Coat of Arms, flanked by the Kangaroo and Emu

In 1973 another competition was started to find a new anthem that could represent Australia with distinction. The Australian Council for the Arts organised a contest which was called “The Australian National Anthem Quest”. None of the entries were considered worthy by the Council for the Arts. The contest ended with suggestions for Advance Australia Fair, Waltzing Matilda and Song of Australia.

The Australian Dingo

The Fraser government reinstated “God Save Our Queen” for royal, vice-regal, defence and loyal toast occasions in January 1976. The national song was chosen during the 1977 referendum – with Advance Australia Fair receiving 43.29% of votes, defeating the three alternatives – Waltzing Matilda, Song of Australia and God Save Our Queen.

Advance Australia Fair was adopted as the Australian national anthem on 19th April 1984, by a proclamation of the Governor General Sir Ninian Stephen. God Save Our Queen is now known as the Royal Anthem, and it is played alongside the Australian National Anthem at public engagements attended by the Royal Family.

The reason that I mention the National Anthem is because there are so many songs that could have been chosen to represent what Australia is, and what it means to people. Below are the words of the National Anthem as sung at special occasions. I have never learned the words myself as I don’t often attend an occasion where the anthem is sung.

A Koala – not a koala bear


“Australians all let us rejoice,

For we are young and free;

We’ve golden soil and wealth for toil;

Our home is girt by sea;

Our land abounds in nature’s gifts

Of beauty rich and rare;

In history’s page, let every stage

Advance Australia Fair.

In joyful strains then let us sing,

Advance Australia Fair.


Beneath our radiant Southern Cross

We’ll toil with hearts and hands;

To make this Commonwealth of ours

Renowned of all the lands;

For those who’ve come across the seas

We’ve boundless plains to share;

With courage let us all combine

To Advance Australia Fair.

In joyful strains then let us sing,

Advance Australia Fair.”

Okay I think I know the first six lines. I really should learn all the words to our National Anthem. I remember the referendum. A few other songs were bandied about. A lot of Aussies thought that “I am Australian” should have been the National Anthem.

Kangaroo at Sunrise

Here are the lyrics to I Am Australian. The lyrics were written by Bruce Woodley and Dobe Newton, in 1987, with music by Bruce Woodley


“I came from the dream-time, from the dusty red soil plains
I am the ancient heart, the keeper of the flame.
I stood upon the rocky shore, I watched the tall ships come.
For forty thousand years I’ve been the first Australian.

We are one, but we are many
And from all the lands on earth we come
We share a dream and sing with one voice:
I am, you are, we are Australian

I came upon the prison ship, bowed down by iron chains.
I cleared the land, endured the lash and waited for the rains.
I’m a settler, I’m a farmer’s wife on a dry and barren run
A convict then a free man, I became Australian.

We are one, but we are many
And from all the lands on earth we come
We share a dream and sing with one voice:
I am, you are, we are Australian

I’m the daughter of a digger who sought the mother lode
The girl became a woman on the long and dusty road
I’m a child of the depression, I saw the good times come
I’m a bushy, I’m a battler, I am Australian

We are one, but we are many
And from all the lands on earth we come
We share a dream and sing with one voice:
I am, you are, we are Australian

I’m a teller of stories, I’m a singer of songs
I am Albert Namatjira, I paint the ghostly gums
I am Clancy on his horse, I’m Ned Kelly on the run
I’m the one who waltzed Matilda, I am Australian

We are one, but we are many
And from all the lands on earth we come
We share a dream and sing with one voice:
I am, you are, we are Australian

We are one, but we are many
And from all the lands on earth we come
We share a dream and sing with one voice:
I am, you are, we are Australian

We are one, but we are many
And from all the lands on earth we come
We share a dream and sing with one voice:
I am, you are, we are Australian

I’m the hot wind from the desert, I’m the black soil of the plains
I’m the mountains and the valleys, I’m the drought and flooding rains
I am the rock, I am the sky, the rivers when they run
The spirit of this great land, I am Australian

We are one, but we are many
And from all the lands on earth we come
We share a dream and sing with one voice:
I am, you are, we are Australian
I am, you are, we are Australian!”

I think that the second song, I am Australian, represents the Australian landscape and the Australian way of life much better than our present National Anthem.

Finally there is a lovely poem written by a 19 year old woman, which I would like to share with you. It is called My Country and was written by Dorothea McKellar.


“The love of field and coppice
Of green and shaded lanes,
Of ordered woods and gardens
Is running in your veins.
Strong love of grey-blue distance,
Brown streams and soft, dim skies
I know, but cannot share it,
My love is otherwise.

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror
The wide brown land for me!

The stark white ring-barked forests,
All tragic to the moon,
The sapphire-misted mountains,
The hot gold hush of noon,
Green tangle of the brushes
Where lithe lianas coil,
And orchids deck the tree-tops,
And ferns the warm dark soil.

Core of my heart, my country!
Her pitiless blue sky,
When, sick at heart, around us
We see the cattle die
But then the grey clouds gather,
And we can bless again
The drumming of an army,
The steady soaking rain.

Core of my heart, my country!
Land of the rainbow gold,
For flood and fire and famine
She pays us back threefold.
Over the thirsty paddocks,
Watch, after many days,
The filmy veil of greenness
That thickens as we gaze …

An opal-hearted country,
A wilful, lavish land
All you who have not loved her,
You will not understand
though Earth holds many splendours,
Wherever I may die,
I know to what brown country
My homing thoughts will fly. ”

I wanted to end this article by singing the praises of Australia. It is a lovely part of the world. It is an island and a continent. We do “throw shrimps on the barbie” as Paul Hogan said in an advertisement campaign. However you are more likely to find that we chuck a snag (put a sausage) on the barbie (barbecue), or cook a lamb chop, a loin chop, or hamburgers or patties. We do our barbecues in style – with salads, bread and butter, plates and knives and forks. If we do sweets you can expect to eat a pavlova, fruit salad, or sometimes cakes or other yummy desserts.

We do not have kangaroos hopping down our main streets. We do have kangaroos, koalas, dingoes, wombats, echidnas, emu and platypus living out in the bush and rivers (the platypus), and some of our zoos also house our wildlife to protect the species. Australia has the most unique landscape and wildlife, due to being an island, and being separated from other continents.

Australia is a lovely country, with such beauty and landscapes, with vast plains, deserts, beaches, sweeping roads, lush rain forests, and so much more. The songs and poem above describe our lovely country. I hope that if you ever want to come over to Australia, that you will let me know. I will throw another shrimp on the barbie, chill a few beers in an esky and welcome you with warm arms. Come on over and visit my wonderful country. I hope the songs and poem above have inspired you to come and have a holiday in this wonderful land. Oh and I hope the writings of Cassandra have inspired you too!

Map of Australia




Bad can lead to good

It is January 22nd 2016. I really don’t know where the time goes sometimes. I work 9 days a fortnight so that does take up some time. I also spend time with my mum and dad. I enjoy their company and I like to make sure they are both okay. They are in their 70’s and still living in their own home and looking after each other. So I just keep an eye on them.

I just read an article and as I was replying to the article, leaving a comment, this article grew. I recently had to ask my daughter to leave my home. It was the hardest thing to do and it led me into a really bad tail spin of depression.

I won’t divulge most of the course of events that led me to evict my own daughter. I am not proud of evicting her and it was very hard to do. I am a very soft person, and I don’t like confrontation, and I think I probably spoil my children too much and give them too much.

clean floors, just needs to be painted now

It was just after Christmas, it was almost her birthday and she is a single parent with a 2 year old daughter, my granddaughter. So it didn’t come easy, kicking her out of my home. It happened not long after Christmas. My daughter, we’ll call her Melissa, was staying with her sister. Her sister’s partner asked her to leave, and gave her six weeks notice to move out. After six weeks Melissa hadn’t found a place to move to, so I had said if she couldn’t find anywhere else to go then she could come back home.

I had set up a bed for her in my lounge room so that her daughter had a room to herself. When Melissa moved home, she took over the lounge room and the dining room and had lots of her belongings and the baby’s belongings spread throughout the house. It was a mess. I allowed the mess to continue, as it was easier to put up with the mess rather than argue with the lazy girl, who spent most of her time sleeping.

not too much clutter on the floor now

I work hard in Aged Care. I am a personal care worker. We work very hard and my work is very physical. I would work hard and then drive home. I was often quite stressed about going home because I knew I was going home to a mess, and possible an argument if I asked Melissa to do any housework.

I would go home and the place would be a mess. Dirty dishes all over the benches, dirty washing thrown behind my couch, toys everywhere, books everywhere (the books that my granddaughter would just push out of the shelf where they were stored and throw them all over the floor), wet washing in the washing machine or in a basket in the laundry.

lounge room and dining room

I really didn’t want to go home. I would walk in the door, put the kettle on, run a sink of water and do the dishes. Then I would clean off the couch because it was usually covered in stuff, toys, clothes, unfolded washing, books, paper. Then I would clear my dining room table off, it was usually covered with mess too. Then I would just sit on the couch and veg. out for a while because I was exhausted.

If I spoke to Melissa about the dishes there was an argument. “I’ll do the dishes at the end of the day”, she would say. Or “Their not all my dishes. Why should I do everybody’s dishes.” My son also lives at home. My son and I would probably make 2 or 3 dirty dishes each in the morning, a cup and a spoon each for our morning coffee. So Melissa had all these excuses why she wouldn’t do the dishes. They were mostly hers and her daughters. I asked her to wash her dishes after every meal. It rarely happened. The washing! Well she was tired and needed to sleep because she has a baby and she was up with her all night.

beautiful uncluttered clean floors

I have four children. I didn’t sleep during the day because I was up with the children. I also did the dishes and washing regularly as they needed to be done. I don’t think I was unreasonable expecting her to do her dishes and washing and keep my house clean.

What I should have come home to, being as Melissa is 24 years old, and not a child, I should have come home to a clean house and a cooked meal every night. It didn’t happen very often. Sometimes Melissa would cook spaghetti bolognaise. She does cook a nice spag bog. This was a rare occasion though, and if she cooked she wouldn’t do the dishes, because “I cooked the meal so I am not doing the dishes.”

my clean home

So the catalyst for evicting Melissa was when I decided to move the double bed from the lounge room back in to the back bedroom where Melissa’s daughter was sleeping. When Melissa was living here before she moved out, both the bed and the cot were in the back room.  I moved the bed to my lounge room to allow my granddaughter to stay in a good sleep routine. They each had their own room at my other daughter’s house.

I moved the bed into the back bedroom the day after Christmas. Melissa wasn’t at home. When the bed was moved, there was wall to wall rubbish under the bed. It was quite disgusting. There was dirty clothes, used tissues, used muesli bar wrappers, half eaten muesli bars, paper, junk, mail, and more stuff. I had help to move the bed. After my helpers left, I started to clean the space where the bed had stood. It took me an hour and half to clean up all the rubbish. I sorted as I went so that I didn’t throw out important paperwork.  It was unbelievable that this woman, my daughter, would leave such a mess under her bed. I’m pretty sure I taught her how to use a rubbish bin.

The mess behind the couch was almost as bad. My other daughter, we’ll call her Tamara, and I spent a few days taking all the clothing to the laundry (my laundry) and washing it and hanging it out on the line. Then the washing would come in and be folded and placed in Melissa’s bedroom. Once the mess behind the couch was sorted and removed, Melissa decided to bring out ALL her daughter’s toys and spread them around the lounge room, behind the couch, where we had just cleaned up all the mess.

just loving the clean uncluttered floors

Melissa and Tamara were both angry with me for moving the bed. Let me emphasize, this is my house and I moved the bed because I was sick of the mess, and I was too embarrassed to let my friends come and visit me, and I had asked Melissa to clean up her mess many times. It usually ended in an argument. She was tired. She needed sleep. Her daughter had kept her up all night. When my son and I came into the kitchen to get ready for work, we were noisy (according to Melissa) and woke her up. We were in the kitchen getting breakfast or coffee and getting ready to go to work. That was another reason I moved the bed, because Melissa told me I am too noisy in the morning, getting ready for work and I woke her up because I was so noisy.

I decided that if I move the bed into the back room, then we will not wake her up while we are getting ready for work. There would be two doors between us and her and she would not be able to growl about us waking her up, getting ready to go to work. Let me emphasize that too – GETTING READY FOR WORK! While Melissa would be laying in bed, sleeping and she would have 2 sleeps during the day because she was so tired.

renovations will be ongoing

So once the bed was moved I also moved furniture to the back bedroom. I moved a chest of drawers in there and Melissa gave me a serve for that. Then I told her I wanted her to clean up some of Jacinta’s (the granddaughter) toys and put them away as Jacinta cannot possible play with all the toys that Melissa had put out – every single toy that Jacinta owned was now in my lounge room behind the couch. Jacinta couldn’t even play there because the toys were jam packed in there. I asked Melissa to pack up “some of her toys” and I went to buy some garbage bags to store some of the soft toys in.

When I got home from the shopping centre Melissa was in a foul mood and Jacinta was crying. “What’s wrong with Jacinta?” I asked Melissa. Melissa replied “she’s upset because I am packing up all her toys.” I said “you don’t have to pack up all her toys, just some, she can’t play with them all, and I am moving them from behind the couch, and I never said you have to pack up all her toys.”

A sample of the toys

As I was trying to say this to Melissa she started on me. She told me I said to pack up all the toys. She said a whole lot of other stuff that I really cannot remember. When I was trying to speak she kept speaking over me. She was so angry. When I tried to defend myself and speak to her and tell her “not all the toys, just some of them” she kept speaking over me. Then I raised my voice because she wouldn’t let me speak. Then she started saying “don’t argue in front of my daughter, she’s really sensitive, she picks up on these things, etc, etc.” I told Melissa that I was just trying to tell her what I had said. So the argument got heated because I was trying to have my say, but Melissa wouldn’t let me speak, then she didn’t want to argue in front of her daughter, then I was being inconsiderate because I wouldn’t stop speaking or arguing in front of Jacinta.

Then Melissa served up her final words that got her evicted. She has a nasty temper and she was on her last warning that if she ever spoke to me the way she had in the past then she would have to leave. Three times since she had moved back from Tamara’s she had told me what she thought of me, in no uncertain terms. I am not going to repeat the words here, because they are so disgusting. When she said these words to me I just said “that’s it, you’re out of here, just go.” And that was it. She had to leave. I am extremely patient and kind and considerate. In short I am a bit of a door mat for my children. But this time I stuck to my guns. I am not going to be abused any more. Not only did she call me a very unpleasant name, she got in my face and said to me (well screamed at me) “what are you going to do about it” and I told her nothing. I believe that Melissa wanted me to hit her or smack her or retaliate in some way so that she had an excuse to lay into me. And I believe that she would have laid into me if I raised a hand to her.

The same corner, cleaned up

So I finally did it and it wasn’t easy. I told her she had to leave. She went up to her bedroom and closed the door and stayed in there for about an hour. Then she took some clothes in bags for her and Jacinta and headed off in a taxi. As she was leaving, I told her that if she apologises then she is welcome to stay. I don’t remember what she said. I got an sms later from her that said “If you deserved an apology btw, you’d have gotten it by now”. So I am not expecting an apology any time soon. Melissa is living with her father now and she is safe and has a roof over her head for her and Jacinta.

So how can something so bad lead to good? At first, after it all happened and I evicted Melissa and Jacinta, I did spiral into depression. I feel bad that I kicked her out, but she was warned and she knew that if she continued to be disrespectful, she would have to leave my house. At the end of the day, Melissa was in control of her own destiny and when she opened her mouth and called me the most unpleasant of names, she had to leave. It had happened three times prior to this occasion. I feel bad and I will continue to feel bad for sending her on her way, however I deserve respect from my own children and she did not have any respect for me at all. Even now she thinks she is right and I am wrong. She told me she was defending her daughter and she would do it again, if it was warranted.

clean floors and surfaces

She has not learned or grown from this incident. I hope that she will grow and learn and be more respectful to other people. I love her and want her to be happy, but not at my expense. I had many sleepless nights after this incident as I feel bad and I judge myself and I think it could have been handled better. I am my own worst critic. I don’t know how I could have handled it better in the heat of the moment. I do know that I deserve the best and I deserve to be respected. I couldn’t sleep for nights, night after night, tossing and turning, feeling bad, feeling guilty. I was at work looking and feeling like a zombie, asleep on my feet. I finally came home and had a long, relaxing salt bath and that night I was able to sleep and I was able to kick start my sleeping pattern.

After Melissa moved out I started to get my life back, and get my house under control. I have cleaned my dining room and lounge room. My floors are clean. There is space to move around my house. I am now able to come home and relax.

I look forward to coming home now. My house is clean and it is so easy to keep it clean. I come home and change out of my work uniform and put my feel up and chill out on the couch in front of the television. I am now cooking meals for my son and I as my kitchen is clean and the dishes are all done. I used to lose all motivation to cook as the kitchen was so messy.

nice place to come home to 

So the good that came out of this awful situation is that my house is clean and is staying clean. I enjoy coming home to my clean house. I am not so stressed now as I was always getting stressed and upset heading home because I would face a mess and usually an argument. I look forward to walking in the front door to total calm and cleanliness. I have escaped the tyranny of one of my adult children, I stood up to her verbal abuse and she was asked to leave my home. I dug myself out of the depression that I spiralled into and I am feeling better and stronger. I have gone from loss to strength, from mess to cleanliness, from a storm every day at home to calm and order. And now I enjoy coming home after work.

Sometimes things have a way of working out, and for me this has worked out to be the best thing I did, even though at the time it was hard to live through. And as Mr Potato Head says in “Toy Story” I have guilt. I am also very happy and content to come home to my little patch of paradise.


What gives you happiness?

I was given a Calendar of quotes called “Chinese Wisdom 365 – A thoughtful quote for every day – from the wisest thinkers.”

beautiful cactus flower

January 17th reads “So if loss of what gives you happiness causes you distress when it fades, you can now understand that such happiness is worthless. It is said, those who lose themselves in their desire for things also lose their innate nature.” by Chaung Tzu

I read this a few times, both agreeing and disagreeing with it. I read it a few more times, trying to discern the message within this quote. Now I think I get it. If you break it down into smaller parts it does make sense.

sunrises make me happy

So if there is something in your life that makes you happy, and if you lose it, and it causes you distress, then your happiness was worthless. This is okay if you are talking about inanimate objects. However when it comes to a person that you love, if you lose a loved one, and they made you happy, whether it’s a lover / boyfriend / girlfriend / husband / wife or a child, then this quote becomes a bit harder to take, I think. What do other people think?

If you love your wife or husband and they make you happy, then if you lose them, I don’t think that your happiness when you were together is or was worthless.

my granddaughter makes me happy

If we are discussing inanimate objects, like the new iPad or new Samsung phone you’ve just bought, and if you lose the object or drop it or it gets run over or stolen, and you feel unhappy about the object being lost or broken or stolen, then maybe you could say that your happiness was worthless. I think the word worthless is what I cannot swallow. Maybe your happiness at having a new thing, a new object, is but a fleeting happiness. When the novelty of the object fades away, you will move on to having another favourite object.  Maybe this quote is more to do with our society being very materialistic.

cheesecake makes me happy

We just have to have the latest and the greatest. As a society, people are very materialistic and want to have the best, the latest, the most amazing, gadgets. And then we upgrade the gadgets so that our latest gadget is current. If I lose a phone or break it, which I have done numerous times, broken them, I get angry that it is damaged. I wouldn’t say that this device is linked directly to my happiness. I might feel frustrated or angry that I cannot make phone calls, or that I have lost all my contacts. I rely on other things to make me happy.

nature reflections make me feel at peace

What am I trying to say? My children make me feel happy. My grand children make me feel happy. I am ultimately responsible for my own happiness. Being outdoors makes me happy. Walking along the beach makes me happy. Spending time with my family and friends makes me happy. I like to spend time with friends and family. I also like getting out and about in the great outdoors. Going for a walk makes me happy. So for me, my happiness is not defined by the things that I own. It’s more about enjoying the time that I am able to spend with friends, and family and the time that I can get outside and spend time at the beach or in the bush.

I like my job and I enjoy the work that I do. It is hard work and I am glad when my day has finished and I can go home and relax. My job doesn’t make me happy because I would much rather be at home, pottering around in my garden. This doesn’t pay the bills so I go to work, to pay my bills, to earn money to live, to buy food, for the necessities in life. And also so that I can save up money to go on holidays. My job doesn’t make me happy, while I am at work, because it is such hard work. I do get joy from the people I work with, my fellow work mates and the clients that I work with. I think that I would be much happier if I had a rich husband who looked after me financially so I could stay at home and play in the garden. NOT! I like being independent and supporting myself and it is very good for my self esteem to know that I am not relying on anybody else to pay my way in life.

clouds and the sky make me feel in awe of nature

The 2nd part of the quote reads “It is said, those who lose themselves in their desire for things also lose their innate nature.” I think this part of the quote does make sense. And I believe that I may have touched on this part of the quote above. It’s a bit like trying to be better than the Jones. If Mr Jones buys a gold statue and sets it up on his front lawn, then in order to compete and have a higher stature (not statue, sorry for the pun) than him, we would have to go and buy a bigger gold statue and set it up in our front yard. Do people aspire to be better than Mr Jones? I think a lot of people do. I buy things to make my life better or easier, such as a new heater or air conditioner. This has nothing to do with a desire to be better than my neighbours.

Wow that quote has really taken on a life of its own. If I look at the quote again, for me personally, I feel that it is saying that “if you adore the golden statue and it turns to copper, and you feel unhappy because your beautiful gold statue was a fake, then you must be a very shallow person to love and adore this statue. The statue did not make you happy nor will it ever make you happy if you rely on an object to make you happy.

I love this little girl

On the other hand if you lose someone who makes you happy, then this pain of loss is a lot different than the pain of losing an object. And if you love things in life and get rapt up in your desire for bigger and better, and trying to be better than the Jones’s, then you will probably never truly find real happiness.

Happiness lies within you. It cannot be bought by shiny toys. It cannot be paid for. For a person to achieve true happiness, I think you need to learn to love yourself and you need to be happy with what you have, make the best of the skills and experiences that you have had, and live your life to the fullest, trying to be a good person.

kookaburra in the old gum tree

I would like to hear what other people think about this quote and what it means to them. Do you think that I have got close to the mark, analysing this quote?




New Years Resolutions 2016

IMG_7820I used to always make New Years Resolutions and never keep them. You know how it is? I will give up alcohol, stop drinking (same thing as giving up alcohol), lose weight, clean my house, etc. etc.

And every year the resolutions would fall by the way side. So I didn’t even make a resolution this year as 2015 gave way to 2016. There has been some problems in my private life which have now led me to re-think things. Now I just want to be happy and healthy and sane. And 2016 is going to be the year that I lose weight and start to feel good about myself, and the year that I stop being bullied by people who claim they love me.


I have just put up a calendar for 2016. On the first page is the following resolutions that somebody / anybody could try and achieve. I thought I would put it here on my post and then maybe write a bit about each one of those resolutions, what they mean to me, what I would like to achieve. And maybe in a few months time I will revisit this post and see how my life is progressing.


This year:

A bad habit I am going to break . . . . .

A new skill I’d like to learn . . . . .

A good deed I’m going to do . . . .

A place I’d like to visit . . . . . .

A book I’d like to read . . . . . .

A letter I’d like to write . . . . .

A new dish I’m going to try . . . . .

I’m going to be better at . . . . .

I invite other authors to borrow the resolutions above and write their own posts about what they will achieve / want to achieve in 2016.


A bad habit I am going to break – Picking my nose, no just joking. I don’t pick my nose. I think the worst habit that I have is being a hoarder. I collect stuff that I don’t need and keep it just in case I need it one day. I see things on the side of the road that other people have discarded and I bring them home. I don’t need these things however that doesn’t stop me picking them up and bringing them home.

A new skill I’d like to learn – I am currently trying to complete a course in Disability so I think that will be my skill I would like to learn. I want to finish the certificate and gain work in this area.

A good deed I’m going to do – I often write web pages about fundraising events that are happening in Geelong. This year I would like to attend some of these events and achieve two goals – as most of the fundraising events are runs or walks, I would like to enter the runs and walks and get fit, and also donate money to whichever charity the event is supporting.


A place I’d like to visit – New South Wales isn’t a place, it’s a state. I would like to travel slowly across New South Wales and stop and smell the roses, take photos and visit some of the museums, art galleries and wineries at some of the beautiful towns in New South Wales. If you read my post The year that was and the year ahead about my trip across New South Wales, you would see that my quick trip didn’t give me the chance to see any of the tourism spots that my sister and I drove through.

A book I’d like to read – I read a lot. I would like to re-read some books that I have read recently. I often get given books so I don’t really have a favourite author or particular genre that I read. I read anything and everything. I guess I would like to re-read Shades of Grey. I would like to read the Jerilderie Letter by Ned Kelly, and I would like to re-read The true story of the Kelly Gang by Peter Carr.

A letter I’d like to write – I haven’t seen my best friend in years. I would like to visit her and also to write her lots of letters. I also like to write to my granddaughter so I guess I would like to finish writing a letter to Cianna. I often write articles and letters and complete them or send them, so I think as well as writing letters I also need to post them to the person they are being written to.


A new dish I’m going to try – I usually eat chicken parmigiana when I go out for meals at hotels. I would like to learn how to cook myself a chicken parmi. I also like to eat omelettes so I would like to master cooking a great omelette.

I’m going to be better at – Gosh this one is hard.

I would like to be better at resolving problems without losing my temper.

I would like to have a great relationship with all my children without letting them walk all over me.

I would like to be a better parent, friend, sister, and daughter. I feel that sometimes I am so ensconced in my own personal problems that I don’t listen to others or dedicate myself to them.

Finally I would like to be better at being happy!

I will finish this post now and come back in a few months to let you know how my achievements are progressing.

I do enjoy writing and posting on Word Press and I have met some really wonderful people on here. Thank you all for being my friend, for your kindness and comments.




The Year That Was & The Year Ahead

In 2015 I was bitten by the travel bug. On a whim and a prayer, I decided to drive over 1600 kilometres away to deliver a bed to a princess.

I live in Geelong, Victoria. My daughter moved to Lismore, NSW. When my daughter moved, she left a whole lot of boxes and bags in my lounge room. It was really depressing to look at the boxes. So I decided to take a trip to Lismore to deliver some of her belongings to her. Oh and I also wanted to take my granddaughter’s bed to her, (Cianna is the princess who needed her bed) as she had a new bed that had been left behind in Geelong. Hayley and Cianna flew up to Lismore. I decided to drive there. It is a trip of 1,690 kms.

I applied for leave at work. I only applied for about six days as I had the whole trip planned out to the minute and I thought I would be home in time to start work on my next rostered day.  (I work in Aged Care and we work to a roster, so my next shift after the trip would be the next Monday.)

I had planned time off work. I asked Dad if could I borrow his ute and my son said I could borrow his trailer. So we had everything in place. My sister said she would come with me for company. Dad and Corey and I packed the trailer and ute the night before I was due to leave. Now there is a story there. That damn trailer was the bane of my existence!

The trailer was full to the top. It had a cage on it so we could fit quite a bit in it. The princess bed was safe and sound at the bottom of the ute. There were bags and bags of clothes and shoes and we packed some of Cianna’s toys to take up to her. My Dad and son Corey tied a tarp over the trailer. It was an old tarp and it was a bit frayed. But it covered the trailer and all the items in the trailer. Talk about famous last words! My son said that he wasn’t happy with the tarp and we had a tarp in the shed that could have been put over the top of all the stuff in the trailer. Anyway the trailer was covered and that’s all that mattered!

I worked on the Monday before I headed off. I wanted to get to Wodonga the first night. I finished work at 3.15, got home, changed out of my uniform and headed off to Wodonga on the first leg of my epic journey. Or as the trip was dubbed “the Thelma and Louise trip”.  As I left the driveway of my house, I felt the weight of the trailer behind me. It was quite heavy. Dad’s ute is an automatic and she pulled the load okay, but I could feel it.

The ute, and trailer, loaded and ready to go.

The first part of the journey was probably the most stressful, well there were other stressful moments and lots of laughs too.  When I left Geelong the traffic was okay. As I got into Melbourne, I hit peak traffic on the Western Ring Road. Traffic was bumper to bumper and we were driving slowly, on and off the brakes. My hands were sweaty and it was quite nerve wracking, as I had this heavy load of stuff on the trailer behind me, and the traffic was heavy and we were literally on the brakes, off the brakes, inching along slowly, for about 20 kms.

Orange rope added to the trailer, to secure the tarp
1st stop, Donnybrook Rd Melbourne, bought more rope.


I finally got through Melbourne and on to the Hume Highway. The traffic eased a bit.  I wasn’t happy with the trailer as the tarp was flapping around a bit behind me, so I stopped at the Donnybrook Road service station and bought some rope and tried to secure the tarp a bit better.  I also took the opportunity to change out of my runners into my slippers. My feet were sore from a big day at work.

Slippers for my poor sore feet.

After Donnybrook Road, the trip was quite easy. I have travelled to Wodonga quite a few times to visit my sister Jodie and her partner Wayne. So it was just a few clicks up the freeway to Wodonga. I did stop at Glenrowan for coffee. I was feeling a bit tired by then and I smsed Jodie and told her I was tired and needed coffee and a sister hug. I couldn’t wait to get to Wodonga and put my feet up and have a rest.


Did you miss me? I just went and hung my washing out. Even on New Year’s Day I still have to hang out the washing. Where is my maid?

I got to Wodonga at about 9.30, 10.00ish. I stopped for my first gas refill. I stopped at a service station just off the Hume Highway in Wodonga. Gas! I pulled up to the bowser and tried to do up the Gas pump to the car. Nope it wasn’t happening. I couldn’t screw the pump up to the gas inlet on the ute.  So here I was, heading off on a trip across NSW and I couldn’t even do up the gas nozzle to the car. What was I thinking? Was I insane?

So I asked the girl behind the counter if she could help me. No deal. She didn’t know why I couldn’t do the nozzle up and she couldn’t leave the register to help me. I called Jodie and Wayne, and told them I couldn’t do the nozzle up. Before they could arrive to help me, I tried another nozzle and it worked and I had filled the ute up with gas before Jodie and Wayne arrived. So I paid for my gas and headed back to Jodie and Wayne’s. Ash, Jodie’s son, had cooked a roast and had saved me a plate. So I ate my roast tea and was soon in bed, trying to get some sleep before the next leg of the trip.

I’m not sure what town this was. It was our first toilet stop after Wodonga.

So next day, bright and early, Jodie and I headed off. Jodie packed clothes and a doona and pillow. Wayne looked at the tarp, tied on with my orange rope that I bought at Donnybrook Road service station. He thought to himself that he should add his tarp to the trailer, and tie it on more securely. In his defence, he did have the man flu. And he didn’t tie on another tarp but he did tighten the orange rope that I had added.

Beautiful autumn tones in the trees

So we headed off into the wild blue yonder, Jodie and I, the ute and the trailer, off on a big adventure across New South Wales. I don’t get out much and I have hardly seen all of Victoria, let alone travelled across New South Wales. When we headed off on our epic Thelma and Louise trip, I had never been to any of the towns that we drove through in NSW. I had plotted my trip and had also plotted how long it would take  between each town and each stop, and how long it was between stops.

The trailer done up like a birthday present. We tried to secure the tarp.

My plan was to be at Tamworth by nightfall on the 2nd day, Tuesday, and to arrive at Lismore by about 3.00pm the next day to catch up with Hayley and have lunch with her in Lismore. Hayley had said to us to try and get to Lismore before 3.00pm and to try and get to Rock Valley, just out of Lismore (where they were living) before dark. Well best laid plans don’t often work out.

Look at how dark the sky was.

We often had to stop to take toilet breaks. Sometimes at road side stops or service stations and sometimes on the side of the road, so that Jodie could go to the toilet. We often had to stop in the middle of nowhere so she could take a wee break.

This rainbow followed us for ages.

Funniest moments! We stopped for a wee break. Jodie went running to the back of the car to have a wee, then bolted to the front of the car. When she got back into the car I asked her what happened. She said “big spider, big web.”

The double rainbow. No frogs were harmed on this road trip.

We had a long trip to our first night stop, due to not knowing the roads real well and lots of toilet stops. It set my schedule back a lot. Oh well. What could I do? Not much. Just roll with it. We made it to Coonabarabran by dark on Tuesday night. We got a motel room and parked our ute and trailer in the motel parking space. We went to a supermarket and bought bread rolls and butter and meat, pickles and cheese. We had a small tea of buns and meat and cheese and pickles. It had been a long day and we were both really tired.

The motel in Coonabarabran

There was a double bed and a single bed in the room. Jodie got the double bed and I opted for the single bed. I just wanted sleep and I don’t sleep well with others. So we got some sleep . In the morning we packed and Jodie tried to reverse the ute and trailer out of the motel car park. A lovely young man came and helped us and he reversed the car and turned it around for us. We headed off, trying to make up time and get to Lismore to catch up with Hayley for lunch.

Sunrise in Coonabarabran

I smsed Hayley and told her we weren’t going to be in Lismore at lunch time so she stayed home and cooked us pumpkin risotto.  I had planned to get to Tamworth on the Tuesday night. Due to our tight time schedule, we did go through Tamworth, the home of country music, but we only stopped for a toilet break.

On the way to Lismore, after we left Coonabarabran

I would like to redo my trip again, only slowly and I would like to stop at all the towns we drove through and take some time to look around and visit some of the museums, art galleries, hotels, restaurants, and rivers and lakes and wineries.

The road stretches on ahead

So the 3rd day on the road and we headed towards Lismore. Due to our tight time schedule most of our meals were takeaway meals at maccas or other takeaway stores. We stopped for petrol, food and toilet breaks. We went through some lovely towns on our massive, quick road trip. I will come back and do it all again.

Beautiful landscape in NSW, with great cloud formations

We drove through towns called Wagga Wagga, Temora, West Wyalong, Forbes, Parkes, Coonabarabran, Gunnedah, Tamworth, Uralla, Armadale, Glenn Innes and Casino. So you can look up our trip on Google and see where we traveled, if you like. It was a long, quick, mega trip with lots of driving, not much touring and just trying hard to reach our goal of Lismore.

Tamworth, Landcruiser Country

We stopped at one town to buy tie downs to try and secure the tarp better. At another town we bought a big waterproof tarp and tried to secure that over the load to try and keep it dry and to try and stop the tarp from flying out the side of the trailer as we travelled.

At the top of the hill, Uralla

We did our best and I think we got to Lismore at about 5.00pm. It was starting to get dark. We contacted Hayley and she sent us some directions on how to get to her place at Rock Valley. Rock Valley is 20kms out of Lismore. It is right on the edge of a rainforest. There is a track into the rainforest that takes you into the property where Hayley was living.

St Kilda Hotel, Armadale

We headed out on the road to Rock Valley. The instructions were not very clear and were better understood if you were driving in daylight. One part of the directions read “turn left after the green house” and as it was pitch black by the time we were on the Cawongla Road, we couldn’t see any green house. Jodie stopped a man who was driving along the same road. He realized we were after the M.O. (multiple occupancy) and he said you had to head over two cattle grids. That sounded familiar and Hayley had mentioned cattle grids and M.O. so this kind man took us to the driveway we needed to turn in to.

At Rock Valley

We headed over two cattle grids. We started to drive up a bush track. It was dark and we were on a narrow track with trees close to the side of the track. As we drove up we had no idea where we were or if we had to turn off or keep on heading up the track. We came to a steep part of the track. An ominous sign on the side of the road said “engage first gear” and then we got bogged. The trailer would not follow us up the track and the ute was threatening to bog down in the muddy track. So we parked the ute, left the lights on and headed up the track on foot. Jodie was a lot more calm than I was.

The bush not far from the house in Rock Valley

I sometimes get to a point where I just seem to have a mini meltdown. We walked up this track in the dark, using our phone torches as lights. My torch went out as my phone battery died. We came to a fork in the road. Jodie said we had to take the left path so we did. I would have kept on walking up the hill in the dark. We finally got to the house and Cianna came out and gave me a hug. It was worth the whole trip to have a hug from my gorgeous little granddaughter.

The house in Rock Valley

We went inside and chatted. Hayley came down the track with me to unhook the trailer so that the track was clear for other people living on the M.O. It is a one way track or a single track and vehicles can only go up or down in single file, so we had to move the ute and the trailer. We unhooked the trailer and left it on the side of the track, and Hayley drove the ute up the track to the house. It was wet season and the track was wet and slippery. At the house where Hayley was staying there was  grass up near the house and no drive way. So we eventually managed to bog the ute.

Flowers in the forest

The first night we got there, we ate pumpkin risotto and sat around and chatted. We set up Cianna’s bed. Cianna slept with Hayley, and Jodie and I had a single bed each to sleep in. We had both bought our own doonas and pillows.

On a bush track near the house in Rock Valley

Cianna was attending a country school so the next morning (Thursday) Hayley and I took her to school. To get to school Cianna and Hayley usually had to walk down the track to meet the bus. It is a walk of about 2kms. It would take them about 20 to 25 minutes to walk down there.

The bush around the house is lovely. It is lush tropical rainforest. There are just trees and bushes, shrubs and small waterways all around the property. It is very pretty.

Lush rainforest Rock Valley

The beauty of the forest is breathtaking. Hayley and Cianna sent us some lovely photos of the rain forest. The only draw back to the location is that Hayley didn’t have a car so she was very isolated.

We stayed with Hayley and Cianna Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. We made a few trips up and down the hill to take their belongings from the trailer, into the ute and then up to the house. We weren’t game to bring the trailer up in case we got it bogged. It was very wet and mushy up near the house.

The rainforest from the second story of the house

On Saturday morning we had to leave, as Jodie and I were both due to start work on Monday. We went down to the bottom of the track and hitched the trailer up to the ute. Most of Hayley’s belongings had got wet on the trip up. We drove through some heavy rain heading in to Coonabarabran, on the way up. The famous tarp had shredded and had worked its way through all of Hayley’s clothing.

As we left the M.O. the cage of the trailer came adrift and swung off the side of the trailer. The four bolts holding the cage on had worked loose. We stopped and tied the cage on with our tie downs. And headed off to Lismore. Our tie downs did a great job and the cage was held on securely. We went back the way we had come. Lismore, Casino, and on to Geelong. We had lunch at Glenn Innes on the Saturday, after we had left Lismore and Hayley and Cianna.

Graffiti at Lismore

It wasn’t that easy. We lost our trailer. We headed towards Coonabarabran, hoping to make it there before dark. As we went past Gunnedah, and with Jodie driving, in pitch black darkness, no street lights, the trailer came away from the ute. We were driving along and all of a sudden there was a loud banging noise at the back of the ute. The three bolts that held the trailer to the towball yoke had come undone and the trailer was bouncing along behind us, held on only by the chains. It made an almighty noise as it banged along behind us. We stopped the ute and went back to see what had happened. The tow ball was still attached to the ute. The trailer wasn’t. So we undid the trailer and pushed it in to the bushes on the side of the road. We unhitched the yoke and towball and removed everything from the trailer and toolbox. Then we headed to Coonabarabran to find a room for the night.

Graffiti parrot at Lismore

We didn’t realise we were closer to Gunnedah when the trailer broke, and we probably should have headed back there for the night. It was late and dark and we were both tired. So we headed to Coonabarabran. We got a motel for the night and bought tea and settled down for the night. In the morning we tried to organise for someone to help us to get the trailer towed or fixed. My car insurance company wouldn’t help me. We finally headed back to see if we could find the trailer and perhaps get it fixed. We drove back 96kms and then drove even further back. The trailer wasn’t there. Somebody had stolen it. So not only did our trailer break, and not only did we backtrack to find it, adding an extra 2 hours to our trip, when we drove back to get it fixed, it was gone, stolen!

Street Art Lismore

I had phoned my son the night before, after the trailer broke. I told him what had happened. He said if we couldn’t get the trailer fixed that it was okay and not to worry too much about it. It was only a trailer. Just leave it on the side of the road if we couldn’t get it repaired. When we realised it had been stolen, it was a relief that we wouldn’t have to tow the blessed thing all the way home to Geelong. Jodie and I just laughed when we realised that somebody had pinched it.

Sunrise at Rock Valley

So with no trailer to worry about, we headed off on our drive home. This was the Sunday. We were now 2 hours behind schedule. We were not going to make it back to Wodonga til late Sunday and we were both not going to be able to go to work on the Monday. I wanted to drive home to Geelong on the Sunday night but I was too tired and Jodie and Wayne didn’t want me driving home in the dark, late at night, being so tired.

So I phoned work and cancelled my Monday shift. We got in to Wodonga quite late. I slept over and headed home in the morning.

Still sunrise over Rock Valley

Now I realise how much I have digressed! I originally started by saying that I was hit by the travel bug last year – 2015. In 2016 I want to travel a lot more. I really enjoyed my road trip with my sister and would love to travel around Australia a bit.

The road in to the houses at Rock Valley

2015 also saw me doing a lot of work to my house. I have had my home for 28 years and have never really spent much money on the house. So in 2015 I got new blinds for my house. The blinds are day and night blinds, so the night blinds block out the light and heat. I also bought central ducted heating. I am about to have an air conditioning unit installed. Then it is time to buy a new stove as my stove is not well.

So out with the old and in with the new. Here’s to 2015. It was a good  year for me as I went on a great road trip and I managed to lose my son’s trailer in the process. He wasn’t really too upset and I will buy him another trailer soon. In 2016, after I have finished spending up big on appliances for my home, I will start saving up for another road trip.

Keep your eyes on this space and follow my journeys. I am sure you will be amused by the many funny things that happen to me on my next adventure.

Would I do this trip again? Oh yeah. But no trailer this time. Jodie says she will come on another road trip with me as long as we don’t pull a trailer behind us.





The Birthday

Holding shot glasses

Christmas Day is the birth of Jesus Christ. We celebrate Christmas more as a commercial holiday these days. I have four days to shop before Christmas and I have only just thought about what to buy. I think I will venture over to my local shopping centre today, after the weather cools a bit.

This is me and my daughter

Speaking of birthdays, it is my birthday in two days, December 22nd, and I am going out for tea tonight – Sunday 20th December – to celebrate. I often have a messed up birthday, being so close to Christmas. This year I organized it and planned it myself and I have about 10 to 12 people coming to attend my birthday tea.

Sunny Day in Geelong

Christmas is a really bad time of the year to celebrate a birthday. Everybody is always really busy, doing last minute shopping, having pre-Christmas celebrations, off on holidays. So sometimes my birthday ends up being a very quiet affair.

Out with friends

I have to work tomorrow so I won’t be playing up. I am also driving my daughter and granddaughter to the hotel, where we are going for tea. So I will only have a drink or two and then drive home and hopefully get to bed early, in preparation for work tomorrow. In honour of my birthday I thought I would share a few photos of myself with the Word Press world. So here I am.

Cassie McQueen

Does anybody else have a Christmas birthday? My brother’s birthday is December 24th. He was born two years before me. What a bad time of the year for a birthday. At least we get to share it with Jesus Christ.

At the pub

For all the December babies out there, happy birthday! For everybody else, Merry Christmas. And here’s to a great New Year in 2016.

The author

Geelong, Victoria, Australia, past and present

St Helen’s Beach, Geelong, looking out over Corio Bay

NOW: I live in a lovely city called Geelong.  Geelong has a long history of different industries which have shaped her. Starting with the wool trade, Geelong went from strength to strength, becoming the 2nd largest city in Victoria.

North Shore beach, Geelong, looking out over Corio Bay

THEN: In 1838 Geelong was proclaimed a town. In 1838 Geelong was developing as a Victorian Port. The piers and jetties in Geelong became an important part of the growing wool trade and established Geelong as a major player in the wool industry. The end result of the wool trade is that Geelong has been left with some beautiful heritage listed buildings. You can see some of the original structures still standing, with the shell of the building remaining, while the inside of the building has been gutted and remade into a shopping centre or a university, to name a few of the changes that have occurred.

St Mary’s Basilica Church, Geelong

NOW: One of Geelong’s most important industries now is tourism. Geelong had to evolve and look for other ways to earn a living once the wool industry declined. Now that tourism is a major drawcard for Geelong, you can dine in fine restaurants, stay in five star accomodation, and visit some wonderful tourism spots. We have The Great Ocean Road, the Geelong Waterfront, the Wool Museum and many other wonderful places to visit. There are art galleries, restaurants and cafes, fine dining at hotels, refurbished hotels, parks and playgrounds, and lovely coastal beaches.

THEN: Before tourism and hospitality became important to Geelong, wool was the major trade, with wool being carted into Geelong on horse and cart, and eventually being shipped out from the various wharves.  Cities in Victoria, like Ballarat and Bendigo, were riding on the wave of gold, gold fields, gold discoveries and the influx of people coming to the gold fields to make their fortune.

Geelong is said to have been built on the back of the golden fleece – wool. For a small developing city, wool was what made Geelong and decided her identity. The buildings which remain from the wool era show the wealth of the wool growing industry, and have created the city’s identity.

During the early days of Geelong’s history, while Geelong was still a part of the colony, her major trade was wool. Geelong was close to the farm lands of the western district. Having a good port close to the farms helped to establish the wool industry.

Osborne House, North Geelong

Geelong’s entire waterfront was a wool mecca in the early 1900s, with huge wool stores lining the foreshore. The wool was delivered to the wool stores and held there, waiting for ships to arrive at Cunningham Pier or Yarra Street Pier. It was a thriving, busy place with horses and carts moving wool around, and ships being loaded with wool.

NOW: Nowadays the world has access to new types of synthetic materials, so there is not so much reliance on wool. Acrylic skeins of wool can be purchased much more cheaply than a skein of pure wool, so unless you are a dyed in the wool knitter, you would probably go for the cheaper version of acrylic rather than pure wool for your knitting projects.

Steampacket Garden, lawn expanse, Geelong Waterfront

When you walk around Geelong now, you can still see traces of the history of the great wool trade. The woollen mills around the city are gone. Cunningham Pier has become a tourist and fishing spot. It was the major pier for Geelong, with cargo ships sailing in and out. Now there are restaurants and car parking on the pier. You can still see the railway lines from the early days of trade. Some of the huge stores are still standing, their buildings reused.

Deakin University Waterfront Campus was once a woolstore. If you walk around inside the building you can see the old structure, with magnificent wooden beams and the original brickwork still standing. The Westfield Shopping Complex was built inside an old wool store, and although a lot of the original structure is not visible inside the complex, the outside facade is still there.

Some Bollards, Geelong Waterfront

The Wool Museum, which is a wonderful place to visit, and which will feature in one of my articles, is built inside one of the old wool stores. It is housed inside a bluestone building which dates back to 1872. On the corner of Brougham Street and Moorabool Street, the Wool Museum has so much history inside its walls. It really is a good starting point if you want to learn a bit about Geelong’s wool history.

I recently visited the Wool Museum myself and I was fascinated by the displays and exhibitions at the Wool Museum. But there is another article in that story.

North Shore Beach, Moonlight, Swans, Geelong

There is a lot to do in Geelong. I am totally biased as I live in Geelong, however I love this city and I enjoy telling people about the place. There is always so much on offer. If you enjoy history, then you can learn a lot about Geelong through the museums. If you like to dine out, or dine in, there are many restaurants and cafes and hotels for dining experiences. If you have young children there are many playgrounds and parks to visit.

The Carousel, Geelong Waterfront

Along the Geelong Waterfront you can take a long walk along the walking paths, check out the Bollards, have a ride on The Carousel, or walk to Eastern Beach and have a dip in the pools, or sit in the shade and have a picnic, or take a ride on the Ferris Wheel. This is the Geelong Waterfront in brief. You could spend a whole day at the Geelong Waterfront. It is usually a great place to meet friends for a lunch date.

Ocean Grove front Beach, Geelong

Locals and visitors flock to the Geelong Waterfront, especially during the weekends. The walking tracks lead from one side of the city (and Corio Bay) to the other. You can park and walk from anywhere along the waterfront. The walking track leads from St Helen’s beach, North Geelong to Eastern Beach and Eastern Park. The city and the waterfront face Corio Bay, the bay that is in front of the city of Geelong.

For a great holiday destination, Geelong is the place to come and play. Stay in Geelong or head to the beaches for swimming, fishing, picnics and barbecues. We do have some beautiful beaches. Here is a photo of the sunset at Ocean Grove.

Sunset at Ocean Grove beach

Continuing the walking tracks dialogue, if you parked at St Helen’s beach and took a walk along the walking tracks towards the Geelong Waterfront, you would meet some lovely characters in The Bollards. The Bollards trace the history of Geelong, with old bollards redesigned to portray famous people from the history of Geelong. They depict the old bathing houses, the old style beach wear and almost every bollard has a rabbit or two on the bollard. Geelong also has an infamous link to the history of the rabbit.

The walking track meanders along the waterfront from St Helen’s beach, past Rippleside beach towards the central Waterfront. As you walk along, you’ll walk along Western Beach frontage. There are small piers jutting out in to the water and you will usually see a few people fishing off the piers. The walk continues past playgrounds, the youth skate park, Cunningham Pier and on towards The Carousel.

There is the Poppy Kettle playground, Transvaal Square, Steampacket Garden, towards Eastern Beach. Steampacket Garden is a lovely expanse of lawn that is the locality of craft markets and car shows. There is a Thomas the tank train (small scale and doesn’t run on rails) which tours the walking tracks, from The Carousel to Eastern Beach (for a small price).

There really is a lot to see and do on the Geelong Waterfront. It is a good place to meet with your friends, to hold a family gathering, to play tourist, to take in the sights and scenery, and to get to know Geelong. Dine at The Wharf Shed, le Parisien, Fisherman’s Pier, the Kiosk at Eastern Beach, or try the seafood straight from the Mussel Boat.

Geelong Playspace, Eastern Park

There are numerous playgrounds along the way. There is a playground at St Helens beach, at Rippleside, beside Cunningham Pier, at Eastern Beach and at Eastern Park. There are also lots of toilet blocks, which is important if you have young children with you. They always want to go to the toilet.

If you live on a budget, like I do, you can visit Geelong Waterfront and still have a cheap day out. You don’t always have to dine in luxury. I watch every cent that I earn and I do live frugally, not cheaply. Young children like to play, and Geelong has plenty of playgrounds for the little ones, and also for the bigger children.

I sometimes take my granddaugher out for the day. We pack water bottles, sunscreen and hats, and jackets, because Geelong weather can be unpredictable. We can walk along the waterfront, she can play at the playgrounds and we have our own drinks. I don’t buy food along the waterfront, unless I am out with friends, as it is pricey. Don’t let that stop you if you are foodie and want to try out all the different restaurants. Foodies will pay for quality food! I like quality food, however when you live on a tight budget it makes sense to dine out on special occasions and then live cheaply at other times.

When my granddaughter and I head out we will walk and play, then usualy end up at Maccas. I am not a fan of Maccas, however their meals are affordable and their restaurants and toilets are clean.

When you take your family out, you can pack a picnic or barbecue food, a picnic blanket, sunscreen, hats, and a picnic basket and dine out in style on the hills and lawns along the waterfront, with spectacular views of Corio Bay. There are lots of picnic spots and the barbecues dotted along the watefront are free to use.

Cunningham Pier, Geelong Waterfront

THEN: To get to the beautiful Waterfront we see today, the Waterfront went through many changes. I remember going to Eastern Beach for a swim when we were teenagers. The Waterfront didn’t have much to offer in those days. Now it has become a great, lovely, attractive place to visit.

NOW: I realise, as I re-read my writing, that there are a few articles here to be written. This is a really brief introduction to my home town. It is a lovely city, the 2nd largest city in Victoria. It is still not too big, however it is growing, with lots of new housing estates being established. Geelong is close to the beaches, there are lots of wineries, some becoming well known in Australia and oversees. There are a lot of touristy places to visit and the natural wonders of the beaches and The Great Ocean Road scenery beckon. Please come and see Geelong if you head to Australia from overseas. It really is worth the visit and I will be your personal tour guide if you let me know you are coming.

I originally started to write this blog for one of my new friends on Word Press. He told me he likes my work and my photos however there isn’t enough information in my writing yet to let him know where I live. So Glenn here is a start to sharing my home town with you. This is a really brief summary of the town where I live, and of my country. There will be more blogs to follow soon. Enjoy!

A quick few words about Australia. It is a country, and a continent. Australia is surrounded by the Indian and Pacific oceans. The major cities are Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Canberra (our capital city), Hobart, Darwin and Geelong of course!

Australia is famous for (or well known for) the Great Barrier Reef, Sydney Opera House, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Uluru (or Ayers Rock), the Great Ocean Road and the vast outback (large interior desert wilderness). Australia also has many animals that are unique to Australia – the platypus, koala, kangaroo, wombat and dingo.

map of australia
Image courtesy of Google Maps



Goal Setting, Blog Goal Setting

20151213_201806 My goal for 2016 is to make a living from blogging! If I could earn a good income from my blogging I could give up my current full time job, to stay at home and pound the keyboard to make a living.

I have only been on Word Press for a short time, and I have started to make friends on this site. I enjoy the interaction and supportive comments from other bloggers. So I guess another goal would be to continue to communicate with my blogging friends and to not neglect them.

I joined Blogging 101 and didn’t do a whole lot of the set activities as I was busy elsewhere in my life. I would like to prioritise my life and make writing a higher priority.

Oh and I saw that somebody posted they wanted 300 followers. I would be happy with 50 people following my blogs. There you go, a few goals for my blogging web site.