Australia · blessings · colours · dad · family · father · garden flowers · in my garden · Mount Warning · remembering · spring · Tweed Valley

Finding Colour on a Grey Spring Day

Well, the beautiful day of sunshine and blue skies on Saturday was short-lived. Yesterday we had rain, and the mountain went into hiding behind mist and clouds for the day. Today the weather wasn’t much better – grey and more grey. When I took the photo of the mountain at least I captured the image of a bird flying by, but the day was so dull I didn’t have enough bright light to even identify the bird.

So that was the view of the mountain today. No colour. No pizzazz. Nothing. But luckily I have a couple of plants blooming that I haven’t added photos of here recently.

I have had a tiny potted succulent sitting on the table on my back patio for a few years now, and last year it burst into flower for the first time. The flowers lasted for quite a few weeks and looked just lovely. Now they are flowering again. I have no idea what the name of the plant is, but the flowers definitely add interest to the plant, and colour to the garden on a grey day.

These pretty purple flowers belong to another pot plant and since buying the plant in January this year it hasn’t stopped flowering. The flowers did wane slightly during winter, but during the last couple of weeks it has had a new lease on life. This is a Scaevola “Seaside” – I know the name because I wrote it in a gardening journal which is a very handy thing to have. Being a drought-tolerant ground cover, I’m thinking I should buy some more Scaevolas to plant in my front garden.

My last spot of colour is a climbing Allamanda. I must have had this plant for well over ten years now and it always seems to be in flower. It really flourishes during the warmer weather though.

Yesterday was Father’s Day in Australia and as it turned out, with no visible mountain to take a photo of I was able to devote Silent Sunday to my dear old Dad. He’s been gone now for twenty-two years but I can still close my eyes and conjure an image of him in my minds eye as clear as if he were still here with me today. Knowing him as I do/did, I know how he would have enjoyed the internet, and would have loved browsing through my ever-expanding book collection. He would have enjoyed all of the babies – his great-grandchildren – being born into my family now, and he would have got such a kick out of me working on my degree. Oh the things I have read and learned about that I would have loved to have discussed with him! Missing him still hurts at times, especially on days when I know he would have spent the day with me, such as Father’s Day. There’s an old saying though, it’s better to have loved and lost … I’m sure you know the rest. ❤

Me and my father in 1993, just after we lost my mum.
Changes · dad · father · inspiration · new beginnings

Prattlings of a blogger out of hibernation.


How fast the last seven weeks have flown by. Seven weeks, since I last added a post here at Home Life!

My regular routine kicked in toward the end of last year, which is being overly busy around the end of the year and the beginning of the new year, with work. I should be used to it by now, I’ve been working the same way for the last twenty-seven years.

The weather is turning cooler at night, bringing beautiful folds of mist to the valley in the mornings.
The weather is turning cooler at night, bringing beautiful folds of mist to the valley in the mornings.

Twenty-seven years! I can hardly believe that I’ve done the same work, year in, year out, for that amount of time.

Making school uniforms from home has had its benefits throughout those years. It helps that I love to sew, the business has grown (or shrunk!) depending on the stage my life has been at, at various times. It has been a portable business too. I began the business when living in Sydney and it moved north with me twenty-one years ago and continued to flourish. And you know what the best part of my business has been? I have been at home for my children, during their growing years.

My children are all grown up now though, all except for Adam, but he is a teenager and will be finished school by the end of next year. And being a boy, he isn’t demanding either!

Miss Tibbs is always contented, so long as she has food and a warm place to snuggle.
Miss Tibbs is always contented, so long as she has food and a warm place to snuggle.

I’ve been thinking about me lately, about what I want to do myself, where I want to be, the work I want to do. I think the time has come for change.

During the last couple of weeks I’ve caught up on life, you know, cleaning the house, tidying a few things up, getting through some paperwork and sorting through my desk. Doing the things I don’t have time to do when I’m making uniforms for schools.

This week I began catching up with some of my blogging friends. I haven’t caught up with everyone yet, but I will. And I’ve written, lots.

Little Butcher Bird, waiting for his breakfast.
Little Butcher Bird, waiting for his breakfast.

On my family history blog, I’ve added a story of some old postcards, from Whitley Bay. Next, I’m looking forward to writing about my grandfather. I’m really loving the way this blog is progressing, albeit slowly! All of the posts I write seem to come together so effortlessly and I really love the look of the website. It’s very personal to me, like my baby, and a site which I am hoping that future generations will also appreciate in time.

It’s been nearly a year since I wrote for “A Sense of Spirit”, but I finally did so yesterday. I have so many ideas of stories to add there, yet when I do begin to write them, sometimes the words don’t come easy. Yesterday’s post, however, simply bubbled onto the page! When I feel what I am writing, deep in my heart, the words flow so easily. On the downside, the writing can leave me emotionally exhausted! I must attempt to at least write one post a week there though.

Tibouchinas flower spring and autumn. They are now covered in beautiful autumn purpleness.
Tibouchinas flower spring and autumn. They are now covered in beautiful autumn purple-ness.

In “Memoirs of my Life” I remembered my dad’s birthday. He would have turned ninety-three last weekend, if he were still here. I added a photo on the post of the two of us, hand in hand, taken only about a month after we lost my mum. Dad was so sad at that time and seemed to never smile, so unusual for him as he was such a happy man. I love the photo though.

This week, I have even written a few poems, something that I used to do years ago, yet haven’t even attempted in the longest time. Surprisingly the words seemed to flow easily and I even started up a brand new baby blog to add them to. (I’m not promoting that blog here, by the way!) An awful lot of poets have already discovered the new blog, adding “likes” to some of my poems. I feel rather wary of some of the poetry I have read by some of these people though, as I have read what I would describe as some really “dark” words! Poems that include glass to cut with, and rivers of blood. Eeeeekk! Perhaps I live a very sheltered life, but I prefer to read poetry with meaning, or at the very least, uplifting! Having said that, some of the poems I have read have really made me smile; a good thing!

Palm trees, wighed down with bunches of palm seeds, looking stunning against the mist.
Palm trees, weighed down with bunches of palm seeds, looking stunning against the mist.

So, while I have been writing, and contemplating change, I have decided that I will see if I can find a buyer for my little business. I would hate to just leave my customers high and dry, with no supplier of their school shirts. Besides, I have more sewing machines than I need, if I stop with this business. There is someone out there who is looking for just what I have to sell, so when they find me, and I find them, we will both be happy!

When I think of selling my business, I feel so liberated! Time for me, to keep up-to-date with my life, all year round! Time to take more walks, to take more photos, to start up something new, something that fits my life more comfortably, work-wise!

My lovely friend, Larry the Kookaburra, is still frequenting my garden restaurant.
My lovely friend, Larry the Kookaburra, is still frequenting my garden restaurant.

Having spent so much time in “blogging hibernation”, I have prattled on a bit today! I’ve added a few photos to break up my ramblings a bit, with no particular theme, just photos taken recently that I like.

It’s good to be back and I sincerely hope that this time I’m back, I won’t be disappearing for weeks on end, ever again. 🙂

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. 🙂

father · friends · music · old house · piano · spiritual · vision

Revisiting Ghosts of the Past

The Old Home
“The more enlightened our houses are, the more their walls ooze ghosts”. ~ Italo Calvino

When I had the chance to wander freely around the home and garden of one of my best friends from my childhood, I did not want to miss the chance to take photos, lots of photos. Who knew when I would have an opportunity like this again, if ever?

It surprised me just how many features of this old house, built in 1915, had remained with me for all of these years, and upon seeing them again were just how my memory had remembered them. Now, I wouldn’t have to leave my memories to chance, I would have photographs to remind me.

As we didn’t have access to the inside of the house (yes, we checked every door!), my photos were taken mostly through both windows and flyscreens, so please excuse the poor quality of most of them. You will, however, be able to make out some of the features, such as the old fireplaces and wooden floors.

Neglected Features

It was an absolute stroke of luck when I aimed my camera at one of the windows to take an inside photo, when I happened to notice I had a “person” also in my photo. Can you see them, on the left hand side this shot?

Ghostly Image?

The light of the day shone at just the right angle to pick up Adam’s reflection in the glass. With all of his worries about the old house being spooky, he got a kick out of seeing his own “ghostly” image in one of the photos!

Back in the days when this old home had been loved and cared for by my friend’s family, there had been a lovely old piano in one of the rooms. I had asked my friend’s father during one of my visits if I could “play” the piano. I explained to him that I didn’t really mean I could play the piano, I just liked mucking around on them, because I loved them so much.

He asked if I would like to learn a tune. Of course, I said yes!

During each of my visits from then on, we would have a “lesson”, and true to his word he taught me how to play my first tune on the piano.

My own children have heard this story for years and I have taught each of them how to play my song. To this day, that tune is the only one I can play, although I have an old piano of my own and two of my children can play, one of them being Adam. I wish I could tell you what the tune is called, but I haven’t got a clue!

Of course, I had told Adam that this was thee house where I had learned how to “play piano”, showing him exactly where it had been in the house back then.

With the old house now being unoccupied the rooms were bare, so you can imagine my doubt when Adam went ahead of me, peered through a window, and announced, “Mum, here’s your piano”!

Ghosts of the Past

How could that be? What were the odds, that within this old empty home, the one piece of furniture remaining would be a piano?

Can you see it there, all alone against the wall?

Who knows whether it was “my” original piano or not, but it was indeed a piano!

Maybe Adam was right, maybe the home and garden did have spooks in it. But one thing I know without a shadow of a doubt, I wasn’t afraid, just filled with the joy of revisiting my old memories and resurrecting some ghosts of the past.

“Apparitions are often confused with hauntings. The difference is that apparitions are “live” (intelligent consciousness) and hauntings are “recordings.” ~ Loyd Auerbach