Australia · blessings · family · grandchildren · happiness · Mount Warning · new beginnings · Tweed Valley · winter

Introducing …

This afternoon I met my two-day-old baby grandson, Eli.

I couldn’t mention his arrival before as the proud parents needed time to catch their breaths and recover from Eli’s birth before making their announcement.

Now I can tell the world about this incredibly gorgeous little man who has captured all of our hearts with his sweet little face, bright eyes, and tiny cooing sounds. He’s adorable! We are all so very blessed to have Eli choose our family to be a part of. ❤

There’s nothing in the world that could take the spotlight off Eli today! So it was actually serendipitous that Mount Warning has spent most of the day hiding behind a combination of smoke from a nearby fire and dust stirred up by gusting winds. I took a photo anyway …

… but if there’s one photo I could add today that may just overshadow the photo of my first meeting with Eli, it’s one of Eli meeting his cousin, my beautiful granddaughter Aurora! ❤


blessings · challenges · Christmas · family · gratitude · happiness · In My World · new beginnings · photography · summer · unbreakable bonds

New Beginnings

Christmas Day 2018

As the year 2019 begins, my family is happy, which is all that I have wished for.

This time last year though, I had a different story to tell, although it wasn’t a situation I wished to talk about at the time. On the day of my grandson’s first birthday in July, my daughter-in-law ceremoniously decided she was leaving, moving one-thousand kilometres away, to live with her parents. My son had two choices – stay here and lose his son, or follow his wife, which was really no choice at all. Obviously, he left too.

To be married in March 2019.

For the next six months, I didn’t see my grandson. My son, however, couldn’t cope with being away from his family. He was torn between his birth family, and the one he had created. So in desperation, he tried living and working here during the week, and flying home to his other family for the weekend.

It was a massive strain on him. He was miserable. And I knew there were problems in his marriage.

Fun for the family, Christmas 2018.

As Christmas approached, I felt absolutely no enthusiasm. I felt my youngest son’s pain, and at times I felt as if my heart was bleeding for him. Consequentially, I didn’t buy any Christmas gifts, I gave my family money and asked them to spend it as they pleased.

The Christmas tree looked so bare without the usual array of gifts, but when my family arrived that situation changed as brightly packaged gifts began to mount beneath the tree.

Meeting the right person at the right time! ❤ Christmas 2018.

During the afternoon, we all went outside for a photo session. My heart wasn’t in it though, my son would be missing from the photos. It would be a permanent reminder of the unfortunate split in our family.

At one point, my eldest daughter and her husband handed each family member an envelope, instructing us to open our envelopes together. I imagined I would read my card later, once I had gone inside and had put my reading glasses on. But that all changed when I took out the card, which read –

Jingle bells, jingle bells,

jingle all the way …

Oh what fun

It is to say,

A baby is on the way!

Due to arrive

August 2018.

I was going to be a Nana again! 

Many reasons to smile again …

Fast forward to Christmas 2018 – My youngest son is home again. His ex had chosen another significant day to ceremoniously (again!!) announce the end of their marriage on their third wedding anniversary. But this year, he’s smiling again.

My auntie dunked me!

My boy is back.

My family are all friendly with one another again, just like they used to be (before the x joined the family).

Aunt Em loves me!

And most importantly, my grandson was here to help his four-month-old baby cousin, Aurora Ebony, celebrate her first Christmas. 🙂

Aurora’s Mummy and Daddy getting into the spirit of Christmas.

I think the photos speak louder than any words I could choose.

And in 2019, we have two weddings to look forward to! My eldest son is to be married in March, followed by my youngest daughter who will be married in April. ❤

Christmas 2018 photo session. 🙂

A year ago, I couldn’t write about my life, or my family. This year, we have everything to celebrate!

I’ll be Flower Girl at my Aunt Em’s wedding in April!

I wanted to share this brief version of the story of my 2018 to let anyone who is suffering know that nothing stays the same. Change is inevitable. And there is always hope for a better future.

Uncle Ben and Braxton.

For 2019, I wish everyone a year of happiness, a year of joy, good health and prosperity. A year where even if your life isn’t going completely to plan, know that there is always hope for a brighter future. xx

Watching the New Year’s Eve fireworks on TV with Nana and Poppy. NYE 2018.
Baby Aurora, New Year’s Day 2019.




Australia · challenges · happiness · In My World · new beginnings

An Indulgence In Emotive Writing.

kookieAn intense wave of sadness came over me this morning, which I still feel as I begin to write. And I need to write now, before the feeling subsides, as I know it will. Let me explain.

Last year I spoke of wanting to write more. The longing to write has always been there, even before I could write. I would look at picture books as a child, before I could read, and make up my own stories. Writing, no matter whether my attempts are good or bad, is as natural as breathing to me.

I wanted, and still want, to learn how to be a better writer.

But I didn’t finish high school and acceptance into higher education, called university here in Australia, requires the successful completion of high school.

Rules change, so over the years I have occasionally contacted various universities to see if I could enroll without completing high school, and in short, always given the same answer – “no”.

Last year, I tried again. I made a phone call to a local university. I had scoured their web page and discovered they ran my dream course, ‘Creative Writing’. What was even better, I could take the course online – perfect! I could still work from home; still do the office work for our business; keep the house in order…

“Could” – if they accepted me.

I made the phone call, and initially I felt that same familiar deflated feeling, as the friendly young man on the phone told me that no, nothing had changed, I had to have finished high school, then he continued, had I completed any diplomas? Participated in any courses? I told him no, I had been too busy juggling the building and running of businesses for my entire working life, in between being a mother to four children.

“It sounds like you have a lot of life experience”, he went on. Yeah, sure I did, but that wouldn’t get me into university!

He continued… “I may have just the thing for you”.

That day, with the help of a friendly man who took the time to care, I had enrolled, at university!  It is a short course, just three months, full-time and online. All I have to do is pass, which guarantees me a place in my life-long dream course, Creative Writing.

So, here I am, two months into the course and what a learning experience it has been so far! After my first online lesson, my head was spinning at one-hundred miles an hour, at least! During that first lesson, our lovely teacher informed the class that at university we would be required to write in an academic, non-emotive way.

What had I gotten myself into??!!

During the first month of the course, I doubted my abilities and asked myself “Who am I trying to kid? I can’t do this”, then booted myself up the rear end, figuratively speaking, and continued.

To date, for the assignments I have submitted, I have been graded with one credit, three distinctions, and one high distinction. I’m coping. I don’t do much else with my days, other than sit at my computer and read, then write, then read some more, but on the 29th of May, the final assessments will be submitted. If I can hold it together for another four weeks and continue to receive at least a pass in my grades, my dream will begin.

During the weeks of writing in an academic, non-emotive manner, I have held onto my dream, with the ‘creative’ part of Creative Writing foremost in my mind!

So what led to the wave of sadness today? In class this morning, we were asked a question – ‘What is the purpose of writing?’ The usual answers were there, the “right” answers, ‘writing is to inform the reader’, and so on.

But that isn’t all that writing is meant to do!

I had to add another definition, my own, my familiar this-is-what-it’s-all-about definition. You can write to make the reader feel something. That’s what I want when I read, to feel something. That is what I want to convey when I write – a feeling.

Of course, it was pointed out that feelings have no place in academic writing. Yes, yes, yes, I know…

But oh, the wave of sadness! How I miss writing creatively! It’s like missing a loved one, or losing a limb!

This is the reason why I haven’t written anything about what is happening ‘In My World’ lately. I’ve had to learn a different style of writing, to get me to the course in which I will learn how to write in a completely opposite way to the one in which I am expected to write before I reach my goal.

Crazy, right!

As this morning’s lesson continued, I jotted down notes, (e.g. “back up your ‘gut-feeling’ with academic evidence”) as always. And beside those notes, I had another list of notes, those to follow as I wrote an emotive, non-academic post today, filled with all of the “I”, “me” and “my” words that I cared to indulge in! I feel like a reformed chocoholic who has fallen off the wagon! But in the nicest of ways. 😉

Before I go back to my academic alter ego, I’m sure you are wondering in which class I have been awarded a high distinction. Wonder no more, my friends. My high distinction was for…*drum roll*…Maths!

I know, right? Go figure!!

See you all next month. xx