autumn · gardening · inspiration

Passing the time; no car, wet weather….


The past week has been yet another seven days of drizzling rain, spurts of dazzling sunlight, taken over a few minutes later by the rain again. What can one do?

A dessert spoon set, now 73 years old, given to my parents for a wedding present in 1939.

After pondering this question for a minuscule moment, I returned to the computer. With a “to do” list to work on, I have taken complete and utter advantage of the rainy weather and continued on my merry way, indoors.

My mum would heat these curling irons on the stove, to curl her hair.

I rarely stay sitting in front of the keyboard for long. I don’t know if others are the same as me, but I need a change of scenery, maybe every half hour, perhaps to get a drink, pat the animals or do some ironing; whatever I do, it just has to be away from the computer for a few minutes.

They opened to wrap around the hair, leave for a few minutes, then voilà! Curls, (so long as they weren't so hot they singed your hair!)

Yesterday afternoon I had the inspiration to take photos. It was wet outside, so I worked on a display using a few old treasures, to photograph a new header for my blog “Memoirs of My Life”. Have a look if you like, I’ve added the link into the blog title, and I’m really pleased with the results!

Sorting photos, another job on my 'to do' list.

The photos were turning out so well for me. The light in the room must have been just right at that time of day, so while I felt inspired, I took a few extra photos, just for fun.

An unfinished doily that my Mum was working on, over 18 years ago. I will finish it, one day...

I even decided to add a post at “Memoirs”, after taking photos of a damaged photo album, which I am repairing. It’s a shame that the original album has been ruined, and I am hopeful that the restored version will be treasured for generations.

This letter, sent from Australia to England in 1946, was brought back to Australia by my Grandmother, who the letter had been sent to.

As much as I would really enjoy spending some time gardening (the weeds are running rampant!) I don’t hold up too much hope in the near future. During the time it has taken me to write this, it has alternated between sun and rain four times! If you hear a huge “hooray” over the next couple of days, it will no doubt be me. The rain will have stopped and I’ll be heading outdoors.

What is a cat to do, other than curl up on the chair on the veranda!

Here’s hoping. My fingers are crossed….

~ ~ ~

Australia · Changes · gardening · Mount Warning · Tweed Valley · vision

A Break in the Clouds

Hello Mount Warning!

I’ve spent all of this week at home, blogging my little fingers off at the computer keyboard and simply enjoying two of my favorite pastimes ~ writing, and recording family history.

The weather has been very obliging during my week indoors as well. It has rained, constantly, all week. So imagine that, I haven’t begrudged spending time behind my keyboard one little bit in favour of being out in my garden, because there hasn’t been any sun! 😉

During one of my frequent breaks from the computer this morning, to put on a load of washing and grab a cup of tea, I happened to look out the window, and there it was…the Magical Mountain had returned!

Mount Warning hasn’t made an appearance this week at all, in fact we’ve had so much mist that our back garden has rarely made an appearance! Even with a mass of white clouds in front of the mountain it looked as magical as ever.

Even the sun is trying to make an appearance!

You never know, I could even be able to do some gardening this weekend, if this change in the weather continues. 🙂

Wherever you are in the world, and however you chose to spend your time this weekend, me and the Magical Mountain wish you a simply “Magical Weekend”! 🙂




A Sense of Spirit · concepts · making contact · signs from spirits

The Car with Spirit

My father loved vehicles of any description throughout his entire life. It didn’t matter to him whether they travelled by road, rail, water or air, or if they were old, new, or what model they were, he showed an interest in them all. If it had a motor, he wanted to know about it.

When Dad was gone, it was left to me and my three sisters to dispose of all of his worldly belongings and as the one who lived only ten minutes from his home, I became the designated seller of his car.

Naively, I thought it would be easy to sell a car, just place an advert in the local paper and it would ‘walk out the door’.

How wrong I was! As time went on, it appeared that Dad had his own plans regarding the disposal of his final vehicle.

After what seemed like forever, a neighbour bought the car for his daughter, a learner driver. He would fix up the car for her and it would be a great “first car”.

I had considered buying my sister’s shares in the car and keeping it for my eldest son, who would be learning to drive soon himself, but decided against that idea, as the car would have sat idle in our yard, no doubt deteriorating due to lack of use, for the next two years, until my son would be old enough to drive.

When the time came for my son to buy his first car I gave him “the motherly talk”, the one that goes, “don’t spend too much, but buy a decent car, but if you pay too little you will only be buying someone else’s problems; no car is worth wasting any amount of money on if it is too cheap, you never know where it has been, who has owned it or how it has been treated,” etc. etc……..

But Dad had plans of his own. He knew just the car that his grandson wouldn’t have to pay too much for, and we knew exactly where it had been – his car.

The time had also come for our neighbour’s daughter to upgrade her car. Dad’s car came back on the market at exactly the right time.

It felt “right” when my Dad’s car was driven back into our own driveway. My son had to go to work for a few hours that day, (he had a casual job on the weekends as he was still a student at school) and the car would be waiting for him when he arrived home.

My husband and I decided to get a head start for our son by vacuuming out the car, although we found that the back door on the passenger side wouldn’t open. We knew that the door had opened when we had the car before but now the door appeared to be locked, even though it wasn’t.

When my son arrived home we mentioned the problem with the door. What we hadn’t realised was that our son had opened all the doors of the car (part of his “new car” inspection!) before he left for work that day.

My boy walked up to the car and opened the “locked” door, with ease!

At that moment, I knew that my father had intended his car to go to my son.

For the next two years, Dad’s car didn’t miss a beat. My son finished school and started his first full time job immediately. He already had a decent deposit saved, ready to upgrade to a newer car, and within three weeks of starting work full time he decided to start looking around for his new car.

My boy had a very clear image of the car he wanted; red, fairly new and manual gear.

Again, I gave him the “mother talk”; “don’t fall in love with the first car you see; don’t let those used car salesmen talk you into anything; don’t expect to find your dream car immediately, it could take months of searching”, etc. etc…….

Within less than an hour, he called me on the phone. “Mum, I’ve found my car!”

“What did I tell you?” I groaned.

He immediately interrupted me. “I know, but I’ve found a red Holden, a manual, just over a year old, way below market price and still under new car warranty. I’ve already been approved for finance, so long as you will put your name on the loan with me.”

What could I say? My boy was right. I also knew that my Dad had again guided his grandson to this car, just as he had with his own old car. Dad was a “Holden Man”; my son had found a Holden. The car was red; Dad’s favourite colour (and also, luckily, my son’s!) The new car was a manual, my son’s preferred choice, although very rare in this model of car. My Dad would drive nothing other than a manual.

But the story doesn’t end there.

Dad’s car would be traded in on the new car, so the day my boy was to collect the car, he drove home after work, allowing plenty of time to remove his personal belongings from Dad’s car. He took his little brother with him, telling me he still had a fair amount of petrol in the car and would take my younger son for a final drive in his old car.

I was at work that day, but would be arriving home before my boy would be leaving to collect his new red car.

Shortly after, my son phoned me; he had crashed the old car! He assured me that neither of them had been injured, even though I could hear my younger son, he was only six at the time, crying in the background.

With my heart where my stomach had been, and my stomach now located in my throat, I went to rescue my two boys, somewhere on a gravel road which ran alongside the river, a road that we could see in the distance from the back of our home.

When I reached the scene of the accident, it was difficult to imagine what had happened, with both of my son’s waiting beside the car, not far from the side of a straight stretch in the road. The car was parked slightly in a sugarcane field and at first glance appeared to have no damage to it.

My eldest son was angry with himself, saying he must have been speeding and hit a pot-hole in the road. When I looked along the road, there was not a pot-hole in sight. The car had flipped over and righted itself in the sugarcane field.

Once my stomach and heart had relocated themselves back into their correct positions, we were able to calmly drive my two boys and Dad’s old car, now sporting a broken windscreen, home.

Later that night, as my son reflected on the day’s events and we all puzzled over how the car had flipped over on a straight stretch of road, without pot-holes, my son told me something that he felt was strange about the accident and had been playing on his mind.

Although at first he had though the car must have gained speed, he had later remembered having slowed down to point out to his little brother where our house was, in amongst the trees and up in the hills. We could see the road and river from our home; we could also see our home from the road.

The road running alongside the river was, and still is, a very quiet road. My son remembered slowing down considerably, as there was no other traffic in site, to point out where our house was.

He also remembered feeling something happening to the car. He knew instinctively that there was something amiss, and had time to put his arm around his little brother for protection, before the car had time to flip over.

The whole incident had happened, as he described it, “in slow motion”.

Now, I never spoke to my son about my belief in the spirit world, as he had only been a boy of eight years of age when my mother had left us. He had told me at that time that he was afraid that his grandma might appear to him and it would frighten him, so I assured him that his grandmother wouldn’t do any such thing, as she would know he was afraid and wouldn’t wish to scare him, but the day the car flipped, he had his own theories about the accident, which he shared with me.

My son told me that he believed his grandfather had given him a “driving lesson” as such, showing him how quickly and unexpectedly an accident could happen if he didn’t keep his wits about him. He told me that the whole incident had been “other worldly” and he had been trying to find a logical reason why it had happened, knowing full well that he hadn’t been speeding. He also believed that his grandfather had protected both himself and his little brother during the “lesson”.

Dad’s car eventually became scrap metal. Dad didn’t want anyone else to own his car. He had left his car, in his own way, to my son, and he’d arranged every incident in such a way that his wishes would be fulfilled.

A co-incidence of events? I don’t believe that for a minute!

Wherever you are, Dad, your grandson thanks you for leaving him your car. 🙂

dad · father · happiness · inspiration · new · new beginnings · spiritual

……And The Four Blogs Lived Happily Ever After

My Dad, looking out across the ocean. I love this photo but couldn't include it on his history page as I ran out of room!

“Whoever is happy will make others happy too.” ~ Anne Frank

Today, I have some really exciting news. It’s actually an announcement and about one of the items on my “to do list”.

Only a history buff or a complete and utter genealogy nut will appreciate the full extent of my excitement, although I do hope that those who are lacking in interest of the topic will feel enthused by my happiness regardless.

Imagine the sound of a drum roll at this point please; this announcement is monumental!

Two days ago, hit the internet airwaves, the blog I have dreamed of starting for years, where I can record my family history! I tried to call the blog Mottershead, (as that is my maiden name, so the beginning point of my history) but it was taken already, hence the name Jo Mottershead (that’s me!)

The theme I chose for the new blog is a free WordPress theme called “Chateâu” and I’m really happy with the look. No, more than happy, I’m ecstatic, tickled pink, couldn’t-have-wished-for-a-better-theme-if-it-was-made-to-order kind of happiness!

I would like to offer an invitation to everyone to visit my new website and please, don’t be shy about leaving a comment. All constructive criticism will be taken on board. It doesn’t hurt to have a proof reader, or multiple proof readers either.

I’ve already discovered also that I can link in to more personal stories from my family history website with stories I have written elsewhere. For example, while sorting through my parents old photos, (another item I’ve been tackling on my ‘to do list’) I have found photos taken of a shop my parents once owned. That is a story for my “Memoirs of my Life” site and can be linked in to the point of my father’s life story, where I can display the photos and tell about my parents buying the business, back in the 1970’s.

Last year I visited the grave (yes, I like graveyards, they’re full of history) of my Great-Uncle Albert and have written the story of that day at my “A Sense of Spirit” website, which can be linked into the post I write when I reach his story in my line of ancestry.

So my “Blog Family” is now complete. Each of my four blogs has its purpose  and can interact with one another, hopefully continuing to happily co-exist with each other for a long time to come, just as all good siblings should. 🙂

Australia · Changes · freedom · new beginnings

“Yours is the Earth and Everything that’s in it”

The SS New Australia

One of the most time consuming, although thoroughly enjoyable, items on my ‘to do’ list, is to sort through old photos I inherited from my parents. I have two brand new scrapbook style albums, which will become the new home for most of the photos, after they have all been scanned and labelled.

Another album I have to work on is a very old photographic record of my parents voyage in 1951, on the ship the “SS New Australia”, which brought them and their three young daughters from Southampton, England to Sydney, Australia, a journey taking them over one month, when they travelled across the world in search of a new and improved life.

In among a paper bag full of photos I discovered three restaurant menus, carefully saved and well preserved after all these years from their weeks on the “SS New Australia”.

On the back of one of the menus, printed Wednesday, December 6, 1950, I found a poem. As I read the poem, I couldn’t help but think what a thoughtful gesture it had been, giving these immigrants so much hope for their future lives, in particular with the line “Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it”.

As they embarked on their new lives, they had the whole world in the palm of their hand!

Note~ After deciding to record these thoughts here today and researching how many others there were on the same voyage as my parents (over 1,500 people) I happened to notice the date when they arrived at their destination of Sydney, Australia.

The Sydney Harbour Bridge in the early 1950's

The “SS New Australia” sailed into Sydney Harbour on the March 19, 1951, exactly sixty-one years ago today. And just by coincidence, today is the eightieth anniversary of the opening of the “Sydney Harbour Bridge”!

~ ~ ~

“If” by Rudyard Kipling

“If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

And make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or being lied about don’t deal in lies,

Or being hated don’t give way to hating,

And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master,

If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim,

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster,

And treat those two imposters just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,

And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings

And risk it on one turn of pitch and toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings

And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold On!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with Kings, nor lose the common touch,

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds worth of distance run,

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,

And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!”

Rudyard Kipling ~ Photo scanned from my book "The Cambridge Guide to Literature in English"