autumn · happiness · inspiration · Mount Warning · music · old house · photography

Cee’s Share Your World, Weeks 19 and 20.

???????????????????????????????Signs of winter have crept into my part of the world this week and last night really was rather chilly indeed, with the temperature dropping down to around eleven degrees Celsius. Believe me, that’s quite cold for this area!

???????????????????????????????There are definite advantages to cool sunny days though and last night we were treated to another beautiful autumn sunset, so while I share my world by answering Cee’s questions for both weeks 19 and 20, I will also share last night’s sunset with you all. 🙂

???????????????????????????????WEEK 19 ~

On a vacation what would you require in any place that you would stay? (This was a suggested question for Cee to ask, from my blogging friend Carol.)

Usually I have an automatic response to Cee’s questions, but I had to give this one some thought. Coffee making facilities came to mind, but I could go out for coffee, I can live without a television, easily, and all places you stay in have a bed….but what I really would dislike sharing is a bathroom. So that is my answer, I would require an adjoining bathroom in any place that I would stay on vacation.

If you were or are a writer do you prefer writing short stories, poems or novels?
I don’t believe that I would have the patience to write a novel, but short stories I can do, and I enjoy writing them. When I think about it, every blog post I write is a short story really. I do enjoy reading, and writing poetry too, but short stories are top of the list.

???????????????????????????????What’s your favorite song of the moment?

Oh that’s such an easy question to answer, it’s the song that is playing on constant repeat inside my head! The Australian version of The Voice is being shown in Australia right now, and one of my favourite contestants, Luke Kennedy, sang a duet of the song from Les Miserables, “I Dreamed a Dream”. It hasn’t left my head since that night! I’ve loved this song since I first heard it sung by Michael Crawford.

If you were to buy a new house/apartment what is the top item on your wish list?

If I were to buy a new home, my number one criteria would be that it had to be old. I’ve always wanted to renovate an old home, a one hundred year old home would be ideal, and I would like to restore it to its former glory.

Now onto Cee’s questions for WEEK 20 ~

Do you like winter, or not, and why?

Winter, oh how I love winter! I’m a cold climate girl. I grew up in The Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, where it actually snows during winter in some of the higher altitude towns. There are four definite seasons in the mountains, each with its own individual beauty, and during summer it doesn’t even get dreadfully hot. I love it!

Are you a listener or talker?

Definitely a listener, especially when I first meet a new person and don’t know them very well. I think that everyone who knows me well would agree that I’m a very good listener, but I can talk once I get going too!

What is your favorite juice or fruit drink?

Is there such a thing as chocolate juice? 😉 There should be, but seeing as there isn’t, I think I would have to say pineapple juice. It’s a juice that I don’t drink often, but when I do, I love it.

What do you have to be so happy about?

My four children. Sure, there are other things that make me happy (like beautiful sunsets!) a day at a time, but ask me any day, of any year, for the last twenty-eight years (‘coz that’s how long I’ve been a mother) what makes me happy, and I would consistently say my two sons and two daughters. They are the highlights of all of my life’s happiest days, and that’s every day.


Australia · friends · happiness · new · old house · photography

As “life” interrupts my dreams, of old loves and new….

fixer upper

“Cherish your visions and your dreams, as they are the children of your soul; the blueprints of your ultimate achievements.” ~ Napoleon Hill

Really and truly, I must have rocks in my head to think I can consistently blog, on a regular basis, when I have so many unexpected interruption out in the “real world”!


At times, I do wonder which world is actually my “real world”, after I return to my blog, begin again to visit the blogs of my friends, and feel the warm and inviting sense of friendship and belonging which exists here in the Blogosphere. Do you feel it too, the friendship and caring that exists between the thousands of miles that span the world, when we visit with friends we have yet to meet? It’s the feeling of meeting up again with old friends, friends who mean the world to you, friends who you could not imagine life without, now that you have met.

old boats

For the last few weeks I have been mostly working, although I have managed to fit in some very enjoyable days, hours and moments. Photos have been taken, time has been spent with “offline” friends, I’ve even managed to fit in a weeks holiday….

About three hours drive north of here, at Noosa in Queensland, there is a resort that my family and I have visited for over fifteen years now. I call it my “home away from home” and we have managed a short break there recently. I love spending time in and around Noosa and thought I had explored every single corner of the area, until this visit.


I fell totally and absolutely in love with a secluded little corner of land, just a few minutes drive from Noosa, which I had never visited before. I didn’t even know this place existed! It is a remote little corner, tucked out-of-the-way of the main roads, with a huge lake and just a few streets lined with cosy little homes. That’s it. No shops. No clubs. No schools. Nothing. Just the lake, with an atmosphere of joy and love and happiness. And promises of  time spent strolling along the water, feeling the gentle breeze dancing across your skin and listening to the water calmly rippling over your feet as you stand beside the shore….

….or sitting beside the shore of the lake in a tiny, fold-up chair, just passing the time of day reading, or drifting along in the water in a little boat, which you find hidden away in among the trees.


Such a beautiful dream, which may one day become a reality.

As I dream of my new-found love, Christmas is approaching, there are puddings to prepare, mince pies to bake and Christmas cakes to ice. Yes, the “real world” is calling me again and I must answer her call….

Australia · autumn · Mount Warning · old house · Tweed Valley

Towns of the Tweed ~ Fingal Head (Part 1) The Tiny Lighthouse Watching Over the Huge Ocean.

When my children were little people who loved having a bedtime story read to them each night, one of their favourite books was called “The Most Scary Ghost”. There was nothing particularly significant about  this story, other than said star of our story, the ghost, resided in an old lighthouse and would run up and down the one-hundred stairs each night shrieking, “I’m the most scary ghost, whippety-woo!

A view over the Pacific Ocean.

The big attraction to this book was definitely the lighthouse. There’s something rather romantic to the image of a lighthouse, even to a child; of being a lighthouse keeper, living in the lighthouse, and being responsible for the safety of countless ships and the lives of the crew, as they pass the rocky points of land the flashing lights are a warning of.

The lighthouse sits so peacefully, overlooking the ocean. I wanted to take photos from every angle possible.

One such lighthouse exists at Fingal Head, a lovely little seaside village just south of the New South Wales and Queensland borders.

The beacon flashes every five seconds and has a range out to sea of between 14 and 17 nautical miles.

This tiny lighthouse, situated twenty-four metres above sea-level, stands only seven metres in height, making it one of the smallest lighthouses in Australia. But height wasn’t an important factor when designing and building the lighthouse in 1878, due to the natural elevation of the site.

Once upon a time this lighthouse did have a keeper, in fact the first keeper, William Arnold, happily resided in the keeper’s residence with his wife and eleven children for twenty-seven years. What a view they enjoyed, with Cook Island just half a kilometre out to sea, and the endless blue waters of the Pacific Ocean, as far as the eye can see!

Cook Island, just half a kilometre from the headland.

These days, Fingal lighthouse has the honour of being the oldest public building in the Tweed Shire. It was converted to automatic operation in 1920 and with the keeper’s cottage having no further use, it was demolished.

Yesterday, when I visited Fingal Heads, the sky was the most brilliant of blues and a pod of dolphins frolicked playfully not far from the shore. I wonder if Captain James Cook was met by such a delightful day, back in 1770, when he sailed north along the eastern coast of New South Wales, sighting Fingal Head and Cook Island, and naming the local landmarks of Point Danger and Mount Warning?

Looking down the rocks just beyond the lighthouse we saw a group of fishermen.

If there were any ghosts present at Fingal lighthouse yesterday, they were no doubt basking in the glory of the day, watching the dolphins play in the ocean below and sighing with contentment at the sight of the multitudes of happy people, enjoying a day in the sun in the surrounds of the old lighthouse.

Look carefully in the centre of the photo, you will see some dolphins in the water.

And what became of the scary ghost in my children’s beloved childhood story? The child in the story yelled “BOO!” to the ghost, and it fled down the one-hundred stairs, never to be seen again. 🙂

One contented Fingal resident. 🙂


Australia · gratitude · music · nostalgia · old house · son · spiritual

Capturing the Moment

Home for this eight legged fellow.

“Know the true value of time; snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness, no delay, no procrastination; never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.”~Lord Chesterfield.

The above quote sums up an important lesson I have learned during 2011.

Web of diamonds and pearls.

With my camera at the ready, as I see a magical moment unfolding, I photograph it. It’s no use in thinking we can go back to the moment later. If we fail to seize the moment, it will be lost to us, forever.

During the year I have captured many moments in time with my camera. We are fortunate enough to live in a generation when we can click away to our hearts content, transfer the photos to our computer and edit later. No more messy and expensive film processing for us!

Most of my captured moments didn’t make it to my blog page, for no other reason than there were so many of them! What better time to share some of my year as it draws to a close.

Memories of my childhood home.


During my visit to the Blue Mountains in April this year with my youngest son, I captured days which will live in my heart forever. There are those who say you can’t return to your past. Well, I didn’t do that; I re-discovered my past surroundings, through the eyes of an adult. The home where I grew up is obviously loved by its present owner, with both the building and garden being well maintained.

A Generation Later

Watching my son ride his skate-board along the same street where I had played as a child was one of those special moments, in need of capturing in the instant of the time.

School Days

My old school, the one where I began kindergarten at the age of four, seemed to me to be captured in a time-warp. A well maintained time-warp I might add!

Echo Point, Katoomba.

The award for the most surreal moment of the year, when time literally stood still for me, happened when my boy and I visited the Three Sisters in the Blue Mountains. As we headed towards the lookout, the sounds of a didgeridoo echoed throughout the expanse of the valley. If you are not familiar with the sound, I have found a sample on You Tube, which you can listen to here…

The man responsible for the Magical Sounds kindly allowed me to photograph him, then complimented my son on his choice of cap he was wearing, a glossy, purple, checkered number he had found a few days earlier!

Making memories with loved ones is really something special; seizing the moment and recognising it for what it is embeds the moment in your heart.

Treasuring the moment, and moving right along in the direction of the next memory is absolutely priceless.

Australia · daughter · old house · Tweed Valley

“Lisnagar’s” Famous Bamboo

Leafy Bamboo

Continuing today with the third part of my “Lisnagar” story. Part one included close up photos in and around the old homestead. Part two showed various old tractors and farming implements lying unused around the grounds of “Lisnagar”.

As you drive through the double gateway out the front of “Lisnagar”, if you look to the right you will see a massive wall of bamboo plants growing. You can’t miss it…it’s huge!

Apparently the bamboo is one hundred and fifty years old and has been a major topic of conversation between family and friends throughout the years. Legend has it that a giant snake resides in the vicinity of the bamboo. Whether he is there or not I really don’t know. I didn’t see him the day I took my photos, nor did I expect to bump into him!

Bamboo Passage

In the midst of the bamboo wall is an entry into a large bamboo cavern. Although the day I spent at “Lisnagar” was not a particularly hot day, you could feel a substantial drop in the temperature within the bamboo “room”. Apparently it is a cool area all year ‘round. I thought it would be an ideal place to set up a dining table at Christmastime, out of the sun and in an area so refreshing and cool!

Looking outside from the bamboo cavern

When my husband’s grandmother Esther (the eldest child of Edward and Ellen Twohill who built “Lisnagar”) was alive, someone had told her that the bamboo had been removed. Gran lived in Sydney at the time and was most distraught at the idea that the bamboo had gone. On our next visit north, we checked the bamboo situation out for her. It was still there.

Gran had married her husband Percival in 1912 at the Catholic Church in Murwillumbah. After the ceremony the wedding party had returned to “Lisnagar” where photos were taken in front of the bamboo.

The Wedding, 1912

This photo shows the young newly married couple on their big day in January of 1912, with Gran posing beautifully as the typical blushing bride in her gorgeous wedding dress. The distinguished grey hair gentleman standing behind the newly weds is Edward Twohill.

Not surprisingly, the bamboo cavern was the highlight of the day for my two modern daughters. They are far more interested in the here-and-now than concerning themselves about what-has-been!

For me, the whole package of the “Lisnagar” experience is a highlight in itself. The history of the home, the antique furniture, the architecture, the artwork, the grounds, the bamboo, but mostly the people, the ancestors of my husband and children, without whom I would not have the people I love the most today. 🙂

This quote, for me, pretty much sums up how I feel about the place I call home and I can well imaging it to be true for a number of people, even back in the days when Edward and Ellen shared their beautiful home with their children. These words fit perfectly….

“Home is the one place in all this world where hearts are sure of each other.  It is the place of confidence.  It is the place where we tear off that mask of guarded and suspicious coldness which the world forces us to wear in self-defence, and where we pour out the unreserved communications of full and confiding hearts.  It is the spot where expressions of tenderness gush out without any sensation of awkwardness and without any dread of ridicule”. ~ Frederick W. Robertson

This photo gives an idea of the height of the bamboo next to the parked cars!