“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” ~~ John 3:16-17.
On Australia Day this year – 26th January – the usual debate of who “owns” Australia broke out yet again. During one news channel interview, the interviewer ask the interviewee a very thought-provoking question. Without going into too much background as it is not a topic I wish to debate, although it adds context to my story, was this – If indigenous Australians were declared the “owners” of Australia, and all other nationalities of people were required to leave the country and go “home”, where in the world would the descendents of the early settlers, for example, move to, when Australia is the only home they have known for several generations?
This question opened up an interesting conversation between husband and myself. While I am a first generation Australian, my husband’s family, on all sides of his family tree, have lived in Australia for well over 100 years. The first of his ancestors arrived in 1833, while another early arrival was in 1853, that of Richard Hatton and his son, William. In every line of husband’s family tree, he is at least a fourth-generation Australian. After so many generations, the roots of his family tree are well anchored in this land.
William Hatton, husband’s two-times great-grandfather, was an early settler in the Tweed Valley region. William arrived in Australia in 1857 with his father, Richard. With Hattons Bluff being a well known landmark in the area, I have often asked husband in more recent years if his family might have a connection to Hattons Bluff. Husband didn’t know, and not being overly fond of family history, seemed disinclined to find out.
After the Australia Day debate, I became super-curious. Who was Hattons Bluff named after? Even if husband isn’t overly interested, I am the mother of four people who can confidentally claim to have roots in Australia which can be traced back seven generations. Besides, if there’s a story to be found, I want to know about it. 😉
As I searched for information about Hattons Bluff which could potentially tie into my husband’s Hatton family, I found several old photos of the area. I am sharing three of these photos today, however, I cannot add a credit for any photographers as no names were listed. Undoubtedly, these photos have been passed along through the generation and the owner, or owners, have kindly shared the images online. For this, I thank them.
These photos, and the information I discovered online have confirmed that Hattons Bluff was named after my husband’s two-times great-grandfather, William Hatton. Husband’s grandmother shared many memories about her mother, a daughter of William named Emma Hatton, in the early years of our relationship, and I have racked my brain to try and recall if she ever told us about her family’s connection to this local landmark. I don’t think she did, but perhaps she did tell us and we were too young to appreciate the magnitude of the knowledge. Or perhaps it wasn’t an important enough story to share. Perhaps she took for granted her place in this country, in this state, in the Tweed Valley region, just as my husband does.
For me, it is a surreal concept to imagine, knowing that you are walking in the footsteps of a previous generation – indeed several generations – of people who if it were not for them, you wouldn’t exist. My husband really doesn’t know how lucky he is to have that immensely strong connection to the land on which he lives today.
Or does he?
This morning, as the rising sun battled with clouds to find a place to shine upon earth, husband noted the mist, swirling around the south and western base of Hattons Bluff. It’s well defined this morning, he announced.
Do I detect just the teenist note of familial pride creeping in? 😉
Words seem to escape me tonight. What does one say as the year 2020 draws to a close?
I could state the obvious, that this year has been an extremely difficult year for many people, but we all know that. It’s hardly a profound statement.
It has definitely been a year of change – we all know that as well.
So I will tell you all some new news, about my day filled with magical moments. 🙂
It rained overnight, washing away the dusty air in the valley. I awoke to a crystal clear – picture perfect, I would say – scene of Mount Warning.
As always, when Forrest and Brontë enjoyed some time in the sun, it was my Labrador, Brontë, who kept watch.
Raindrops from our overnight shower clung to my potted Petunias. I love these colours so much! Pink and purple flowers in my garden make my heart sing!
Inside the house, Bowie boy posed beautifully for the camera. ❤
And when my little granddaughter came to visit, she was very excited to finally try a piece of the Christmas cake she has been eyeing off every time she has visited since Christmas Day.
While I had my camera out, Aurora told her Mummy and Daddy to say “cheese,” then she took her own photo. Don’t you just love the imagination of children? And Aurora’s curls? ❤
Miss Tibbs prefers to hide when visitors arrive. I found her after my visitors had left, in her usual place on my sewing table.
Around sunset, a sudden noise alerted me to a change in the weather. It had remained sunny most of the day – the sun was still shining – but a sudden gush of rain fell from a huge unexpected cloud that had rolled in from the coast.
We had the most spectacular sunshower. I took a few photos from my veranda, as the rain really was quite heavy, and had whipped up a windy squall from the south.
So the day that began crystal-clear-perfect ended with a brilliant sunshower. Two incredibly stunning, yet totally different views of Mount Warning. What a way to end the year!
I feel a tad sorry for the year 2020. It has taken a bad rap, particularly since March. But was it the fault of the year that so many things went awry? I don’t believe it was. Every year, we experience the good and the bad situations that life offers, and we can’t claim 2020 to be all “bad” can we?
For me, 2020 was the year my grandson, Eli, was born. It is also the year I learned that I have two more grandsons on the way. The units I completed at university were two of my most enjoyable units so far, and I was graded with a high distinction for both units. I have had the opportunity to spend more time at home, therefore more time in my garden. Since July, I have blogged every day and made more friends in the blogging community.
No, 2020 wasn’t all bad, not for me at least.
As we welcome in the New Year of 2021, we are presented with a brand new opportunity to begin again, with a clean slate. No mistakes, no problems, just a choice of how we will react to the good moments, and the bad, that 2021 presents us with. ❤
She made it! The Queen of my pets, beautiful Phoebe, celebrated her twentieth birthday on Sunday. Or should I say her people-family celebrated for her. I’m sure Phoebe thought it was just another day of sleeping, eating and having snuggles with her people.
Phoebe gave us quite a scare just over a week ago. We thought she wouldn’t see her twentieth – that’s ninety-six in human years – but after spending a night at the vets on an intravenous drip containing fluids and antibiotics, she came home again the next day. She amazed our wonderful vet by pulling through! He was convinced we’d all but lost her.
I wasn’t convinced. I needed to find out the problem before I could make that unmentionable decision. And I’m so glad I did.
She’s still on medication for a severe infection, but look at her now – bright-eyed, happy, and purring with contentment.
Phoebe was born on the 3rd February 1999. My kids – who were all still little ones at that time – found her in a pet shop. How could any of us resist her? We brought her home with us in April 1999, and she’s ‘grown up’ with my children, various dogs, birds, cats who have lived here temporarily when one of my children have moved back home, and she takes our busy household in her stride.
For the first ten years that we had Phoebe she was an outdoor cat, venturing out every morning, returning home either when it rained, or it was time for dinner. After she came indoors for her meal, that’s where she stayed for the night, usually curled up on the end of my bed. When we started to notice her panic when we let her outdoors, we decided to keep her inside. We’ve been told that she probably started to lose her eyesight around that time. And in the last couple of years we’ve noticed her hearing isn’t the best either. When the arthritis set in, she stopped jumping up onto my bed at night, but she still loves to curl up on a comfy chair.
It would be lovely if Phoebe made it to another birthday, and maybe she will. But for now, I’m just so thankful she’s well. And happy. ❤