Australia · autumn · garden flowers · memories · Mount Warning · rain

Once Upon a Time …

Once upon a time, we had this glowing orb in the sky that we liked to call sunshine. Sadly, it is a distant memory …

Also once upon a time, I could see a magnificent mountain range from the back of my home, complete with a majetic mountain which caught the first rays of sunshine each morning on its peak.

We are assured that one day, sunshine will return. When will that be, we ask? When the rain ends, we are told …

Australia · family · gratitude · history · knowledge · memories · Mount Warning · remembering · sunrise · Tweed Valley

Hattons Bluff ~ Familial Pride

Hattons Bluff and the Hatton homestead. Photo taken c1869

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. 😉

Hattons Bluff c1930

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? 😉

 

 

Australia · blessings · cakes · Changes · clouds · farewell · garden flowers · granddaughter · gratitude · In My World · memories · Mount Warning · new beginnings · new year · pets · photography · rain · subtropical weather · summer · Tweed Valley

Goodbye, 2020.

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. ❤

Australia · books · clouds · farewell · fiction · memories · Mount Warning · spring · Tweed Valley

Sean Connery

Windy Monday

It isn’t often that I’m dreadfully moved to hear of the loss of a famous person. Sure, it’s always sad to hear of someone passing, I think of their family and friends, and how the loss will affect those who are left behind.

And then yesterday the news came through of the passing of Sean Connery.

During my last uni semester, one of the books we were asked to read was Dr No. I have never been a huge James Bond fan, but besides reading the book, I watched the movie for one reason only – it was in Dr No that Sean Connery first stared as James Bond.

But it was when I watched another movie, several years ago, that I became a huge Sean Connery fan. So today, I will add a short YouTube video of one of my favourite scenes from the 1986 movie Highlander.

R.I.P.

Sir Thomas Sean Connery

1930 ~ 2020

 

Australia · blessings · books · family · freedom · memories · Mount Warning · rain · reading · spring · sunset · Tweed Valley

Monday Musings

5:45am in the valley.

There were storms about last night – plural. Thunder with no rain during the afternoon, which subsided. A rain storm between around 6pm to 8pm, which also ended. Then overnight, another storm. Bowie cat, I discovered, is scared of storms and slept all night cuddled close to me.

I didn’t know what to expect in the valley this morning, but I woke to a very pretty misty fairyland scene, even if Mount Warning was hidden behind mist and clouds.

Each day since uni ended I catch up on a neglected chore, yesterday I pressure-cleaned the front veranda and part of the driveway; today I spent ironing.

Ironing is a pretty brainless task, and as anyone old-fashioned – like me – knows, whilst ironing and alone, your mind wanders off in all directions.

Today, I contemplated the risk I took in deciding to take photos and add a post to my blog every day, while I studied. It was a risk because I wasn’t completely sure I’d have time to post something every day, but I did. (Except for that one night when my sister called, and we stayed on the phone until after midnight. That was worth missing a day of posting.)

I decided to take that risk and make the committment, another committment – but an enjoyable one – which would distract me from the tunnel-vision I am prone to while studying and writing assignments. As much as I enjoy the study and writing, it drains me. I needed a distraction.

My conclusion at the end of the three month semester is that it paid off. Forcing myself to take time out each day to walk outside and take photos gave me something else to think about. It was a very worthwhile distraction. And even more rewarding has been my reconnection with blogging friends, most of whom I have known now for many years. The risk was worth the effort in many ways.

I’m not much of a risk taker though, which led to another thought. I feel content right now, I’m getting my home and garden back in order, and I am looking forward to Christmas. Through into next year, and when semester 1 of uni starts back, I will continue blogging. Decision made. But I also know I want to hold on to my peace of mind.

Here in Australia, there is a state election on Saturday. It’s not for my state, but the outcome will directly affect us as we live so close to the border. And next week, there’s the big election in the U.S., the outcome of which will have an impact on Australia. I’ve decided though, that this week, I will not listen to any news. Regardless of my opinions, the outcome of both elections will be whatever they will be, so I will save myself the agony of speculating on “what might be”. When the outcome of both elections are known, regardless of which party wins and which one loses, the world will keep on spinning.

Another thought I had was about the year – 2020 – which the multitudes seem to consider is the worst year ever. I understand why many people feel that way, but I don’t. Last year was more difficult when my husband and I had to organise aged care for his parents then sell the home they had lived in for twenty years. In 2015 my first grandchild, baby Samuel, was born, but never took a breath. The next year, baby Braxton, now aged four, was born, but we wouldn’t have Braxton if Samuel had survived. 2002 was an incredibly trying year when my husband had a serious accident and could have lost his life. He survived. I thought my world would end when my mother left me in 1993. The world kept spinning though, and her absence gave me the opportunity for the next five years to develop a closer relationship with my Dad.

My point is, life goes on. I thought a lot about that today, whilst ironing. I can’t control the world, my country, my state of residence, my town – I have no control over the actions of anyone other than myself, and it is my responsibility to be the best version of myself that I can be.

Making that decision feels like a weight lifted off my shoulders. I think also that if I stay away from watching television this week, I will get a lot more reading done. 🙂

Husband and I have been planning a renovation of my kitchen, so tonight he called me into the kitchen to discuss the height my new rangehood should be installed at. The discussion had to wait though. I looked out the window, and after all the rain, and storms, and mist we have had, look at the sunset sky! ❤