living a life of dreams

van 1

Mist filled the valleys and the hollows throughout the countryside as I drove to work these past two mornings. The mornings have had that autumn feeling that I have longed for, but the days continue hot. The misty morns touch the countryside with romance and fantasy.

A week or two ago, I  caught sight of a woman driving a hot pink ice cream van down the highway. I don’t think it was still used as an ice cream van, there was no large ice cream cone attached to its roof and it didn’t play the tune Greensleeves, but there was no mistaking its origins.

The idea of buying an pink ice cream van and driving around the countryside seems appealing to me, somehow. Have you ever seen anyone who doesn’t smile when they see or hear an ice cream van? It always brings back happy memories of childhood, doesn’t it?

I fancied the adventure I might have, driving here and there at will, bringing smiles to people. They might wake and I would be parked outside, sitting beside my pink van, taking tea in the morning sun; or I could watch the sun set, before bedding down for a night in my little van. A trail of smiles would follow in my wake.

Just me, a large teapot, and my van. Sigh…



Carter, Jeff, 1928-2010. Orphaned joey wearing a winter overcoat made from an old sweater sleeve, Foxground, New South Wales, 1968


Everyone in the northern hemisphere seems to be heralding the arrival of spring, and considering the winter that you have experienced, I can understand.

We here in the southern hemisphere are however on a different seasonal calendar. We are waiting for autumn.

Here in  our patch of subtropical Queensland, we are yet to experience a day below 30C. It has been an extremely hot summer with day after day over 35C and nights that did not allow enough cooling to be comfortable. I am so over summer, so over sweating, and teenage boy body odour after lunch sport, and fruit flies, mosquitoes, snakes, hail storms and cyclones, mould in the bathroom and having to drive in boiling hot cars at the end of the day.

Send me days to wear woollens, and nights to light fires. I need meals  that are warm and comforting, and excuses to simmer thick soups. Socks and boots and fingerless gloves. Scarves!

Bring it on!

Autumn in the Adelaide Hills, South Australia

Autumn in the Adelaide Hills, South Australia


Thank you for your commitment, love, loyalty and patience


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To each and everyone of my wonderful and unique 1000+ followers, those real and pretend …

thank you 1

 “We have to recognise that there cannot be relationships unless there is commitment, unless there is loyalty, unless there is love, patience, persistence.”
― Cornel West, Breaking Bread: Insurgent Black Intellectual Life

the placebo effect

glamour peek

There is so much going on in my life  and on the home front, that I find going to work on a Monday very difficult. So, I have started to make more of an effort.

Monday is now the day for one of my best outfits. Sometimes, I even clasp the pearls around the neck. Sleek, sophisticated, it means nothing to anyone else, except me and that is all that matters.

Wednesdays are “formal day” at our school where all students have to wear full day uniform. Absolutely no sports clothing. Teachers had also taken to dressing more formally on a Wednesday to model the correct behaviour for students, something many of them don’t get at home. Male teachers wear ties, in even the summer heat. Raise the bar, don’t lower it.

I like it, for not only does it make me feel better about myself and my work, but I think I teach better as well. I am more professional and more committed. I know, the clothes we wear are nothing more than a placebo but if it helps me hang onto the precipice a little bit longer, I am not going to dismiss it.

SELF- R E S P E C T gets me out the door and on the road again.


fly away Peter, fly away Paul

flamingo solo

Sitting beside my mother’s bedside, I prattled on with all the extended family news that I could foster. Mum’s sister had a growth removed from her bowel; one of her brother’s has to have his pacemaker reset, another brother has given up a lifetime of farming due to ill health and Dad’s sister, Elizabeth, has died, leaving just one sibling, another sister, from a family of 18 children, now. Not happy news for a woman who may be slipping away as well.

I was able to share one exciting piece of family news, in that the granddaughter of one of Mum’s sisters, is having a novel published later this year. I promised Mum that I would obtain a copy and read it to her once it is published.

As Mum drifted off to sleep, I was left to my own thoughts, and I contemplated how lucky that young cousin was to have the freedom and the courage to write a novel. Now that people marry and have children at a later period in their lives, they are free to unfold the edges of their creativity. Parents are now more able, and willing to support adult children into their late twenties to facilitate that freedom too. More part time jobs to fuel survival and alternatives.

My birthday is is a couple of weeks. I will be 57. I have never worried about “age”, but lately I have wondered where the time has gone. I find myself thinking thoughts and then the realisation that I am facing down 60 comes into my reality. In the truth of things, there is more life behind me than there is in front of me. How did this happen? How did my friends get to be this age too? My siblings are already in their sixties. What were we doing while this was happening to us? Did they realise?

Some would say that we were putting one foot in front of the other, doing the best we could throughout each day, but I don’t know. What is it that we do, only to turn our heads and see the face in the mirror is changed?

All so fast, so very, very fast.

the revolving door policy

team meeting inspiration. Verner Panton . 1963-64

You know how you have an empty nest, then a kid comes back, and then maybe goes away again. and maybe another kid will nest again for awhile? Well, this weekend we got a kid, a husband and a grandchild; for six to nine months.

Daughter, husband and Petite Fille’s home is undergoing major renovations. It means they need to vacant for the project. They had somewhere to moved to, but on the day of moving things went majorly astray, and with little more than a phone call we found ourselves welcoming them back home.

Because we haven’t had time to prepare, we are presently bursting at the seams, with our stuff and their stuff, and we all know how much stuff a toddler travels with! I have had to rescue a stuffed lemur from Augie Dog’s jaws more than once today.

Over the next week or so we will sort through things and move furniture around and maybe Son will have to move rooms, so that Petite Fille can be in her own room and near her parents. We have yet to discuss that one with Son… it is his birthday today and we thought we would allow him at least another day in ignorance.

This afternoon I was sitting outside in the late afternoon shade as Petite Fille played at making mud dams out of the pebble path Son had crafted so meticulously a few months ago, while son-in-law, Mr Boy, cooked sausages and potatoes on the bar-b-cue. Daughter1 was in the kitchen cooking more vegetables, and Mr FD was watching football on the television.  Son and his mate were playing computer games. The parrots were performing their afternoon socialising and Augie Dog was asleep by the patio door. The thought occurred to me that I am an incredibly lucky woman, to live where I do, have the family I have and to be gifted with this precious time with our granddaughter, Petite Fille.

Now, someone just remind me of that thought over the next few months. I suspect I may just need some intense reminding from time to time…

great story

nothing but blue skies and a pas de deux

We woke to the most beautiful blue sky morning. It was if the world was apologising for being so cruel in the last few days. The morning air had that autumn feeling, but any autumn changes are some weeks away.

It was the type of morning that made one want to get up and do something, something energetic. I curtailed the instinct with a cup of tea, and then another cup of tea. Moderation in all things.

tea Sanka 1952

Lunch time, I did venture out to pick tomatoes and salad leaves from our vegetable garden. By this time it was 33C outside and very, very muggy. Humid.

I pulled on my rain boots as the going was muddy, but I was rewarded by deep ruby red tomatoes and lush green salad leaves. Back in the house I was struggling to get my boots off, so asked Mr FD to assist.

Mr FD was sitting down so I had to stand beside his chair as he pulled on my boots. My frets were sweaty from the heavy foot ware, which made it a little tough – well, if it was easier I would have accomplished it myself, right?

One tug, two. Mr FD must have been under the impression I was third years younger and as flexible as a practising prima ballerina, because he kept raising my leg higher and higher. When it was level with my hip, I yelled “enough”. Oddly, the boot came away then.

Repeat on the second boot.

Afterwards, Mr FD commented, “Oh, I hope you can walk tomorrow, and not dislocated a hip or anything.”

Mr FD’s powers of hindsight are unparalleled.