Australia · grand-baby one · son

X Marks the Spot.

Australia map


Occasionally, I’m asked by my overseas blogging friends whereabouts I live in Australia. If you are anything like me, you have to Google a map to see where exactly the place is, and even then you are not completely sure you have it right.

So, when I came across this lovely old map of Australia recently, from the early 1900’s, I decided to leave an “X” on the spot of the map to show where I live, so that you can see my location, right on the coast of New South Wales, and bordering the state of Queensland.

The lovely blog where I found this map, “Knick of Time” has a huge number of gorgeous free printable downloads, and so much more including DIY projects! I haven’t had the time yet to wander through the whole site, that will have to wait until after the wedding we are having here in the garden in September, but I’m really looking forward to whiling away some time at “Knick of Time”, when I have the time!


Just a brief update before I go, I spent the day with Adam and Mary yesterday, and they are doing much better now. There were still a few tears of course, but I think that they have reached a small turning point. We shopped for the wedding and they were even able to joke around a bit, and there were also some smiles. And thank you, thank you, thank you for all of the kind messages you have been leaving for me. You will never know how much your loving words, virtual hugs and support have meant to me during this sad time. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to every one of you for the kindness you have shown. xxx


A Sense of Spirit · grand-baby one · gratitude · unbreakable bonds

Love Hurts.

Adam & MaryMany years ago I knew a wonderful old lady. She was our next door neighbour in Sydney and she had so many interesting stories to tell about her life, and the times she had lived through. If ever I went missing, my husband knew where to find me, as Mrs. Murchison and I would sit for hours, simply chatting.

During this time my dear old friend lost a son. I think he would have only have been in his sixties, and he passed away suddenly. Naturally, his mother felt devastated. She had already lost a daughter, and now a son.

Amid her grief, Mrs Murchison said to me one day, “This just isn’t right, it’s not the way it’s meant to be. Parents are not supposed to bury their children; it’s supposed to be the other way around”. As a young, recently married girl in my early twenties, her words had a profound effect on me. Up to that point in my life, I had never been touched by deep sadness or loss, and those words taught me so much. For the first time in my life, I caught a glimmer of the meaning of the word “grief”. My lovely neighbour lived to be one-hundred-and-two years of age.

I’ve remembered the sentiments of this kindly old lady many times since last Friday, when a roller-coaster ride of emotions began. Mary and I were to have lunch together, and go shopping for hers and Adam’s upcoming wedding in September. While I was in the shower, Mary sent me a text message, her mum was taking her for a quick check up with the midwife, and we would meet up shortly for lunch.

My mobile phone rang. Mary’s name came up on the screen, but it wasn’t Mary who I spoke to, it was her mum. Those words, “Mary has lost the baby”, along with the sound of Mary sobbing, are still ringing in my ears. I had to contact my son at work. My eldest son took him to the hospital. They both cried. My daughter and husband cried. And that was just the beginning; we have collectively cried a river of tears since Friday.

The labour, long and painful for Mary, emotionally traumatic for the rest of us, lasted all day Saturday. I stayed at the hospital all day, my son needed me.  A tiny little baby boy came into the world at 9:03pm, perfect in every way, except he never took a breath.

Early tests have shown fluid around his brain. It seems to have been just “one of those things”, not able to be predicted or prevented. Samuel had just stopped living.

We were fortunate enough to spend some time with baby Samuel, but nothing could have prepared me for the well of emotion I felt in seeing him, for I had seen a face almost identical to his once before, when my son was born. I hugged my son and we cried together. Between my sobs I told him that I didn’t want to be one of those grandparents who only saw their own child in the newborn, that Mary was Samuel’s mother, and I apologised to Mary. Adam told me not to be upset, that Mary had already said the same thing, so I told Mary that she had had a glimpse of what her future children would look like, to which she jokingly replied, yes, Adam’s twins.

This just isn’t right though, not the way it’s meant to be. Like Mrs Murchison, my son, and his fiance, who I have grown to love so much during the last year, have to say goodbye to their own son, a goodbye that is happening much too soon.  Seeing my son hurting is as painful as losing Samuel.

Yet today, life goes on, and I feel as if I am dragging my aching heart along with me, as I take care of the chores around home. Nothing has been done for three days. My eyes are welling with tears constantly, I am at home alone, and I’m finding it difficult to speak to anyone, other than my immediate family. Adam and Mary are staying with Mary’s mum for a few days, and trying to have a “normal” day themselves.

So in my state of mute grief, at home alone, washing machine spinning, dishwasher gurgling, what do I do to try and get through my emotions? I write. Typing words onto a computer screen, then sending them flying off into cyber-space is the only way I know how to deal with today. Kind messages are flooding through to us all, meaning the whole world to me as I read them through my tears, yet I don’t know what to say, other than an emotional and heartfelt “thank you”. Thank you for caring, thank you for your prayers, thank you for understanding.

I believe that everything happens for a reason, and while I suspect I know why little Samuel  came to us, I still don’t know why he only stayed with us for such a short period of time. I’ll be keeping my eyes and heart open. Maybe, one day, The Universe will let me know.

friends · inspiration · sewing

Cee’s Share Your World ~ Week 2, 2014.

The old stone bridge at Alport in Derbyshire. One day I will walk on the ground that my ancestors walked on.  Photo credit ~ My dear friend, Keith Talbot.
The old stone bridge at Alport in Derbyshire. One day I will walk on the ground that my ancestors walked on.
Photo credit ~ My dear friend, Keith Talbot.

Cee’s Share Your World questions spoke to me this week. About to begin my sewing, with plans to continue for the day, I quickly peeked through my WordPress reader (just a moment wouldn’t hurt, I told myself).

So here I am, an hour later, writing a new post of my own as my heart advised me to, and in doing so I know that I will focus on the events of my day ahead with clarity, which I would not have done without writing first….

If you had to move to a country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why?

England. It’s always been England…always has, always will be. My parents left the country, with my three elder sisters, years before my birth and I have never visited the country. So how do I know the country so well in my heart, I wonder.

Music or silence while working?

Ah ha, another easy question for me. A few days before Christmas I bought a tiny “music machine” on which I could play old CD’s of my favourite Christmas carols (which I did) and today, as I work, I will be dragging out more old CD’s to listen to throughout the day. I had already planned this morning on listening to music as I worked today, then Cee asks the question.

I agree with Carol, she is showing her pink personality. :)
I agree with Carol, she is showing her pink personality. 🙂

What is your favorite color?

Well, seeing as you ask Cee, I took a photo yesterday of a red flower, which showed up as a pink flower on the screen, to which Carol commented, “It’s her pink personality she’s showing – not quite as forceful as her red personality”. In the Psychology of Colour, red, my old favourite colour for many, many moons is a rather forceful colour. These last few month I have become more drawn to lighter colours, mostly pinks. Perhaps, like the flower, I am showing my pink personality more these days.

Do you have a bucket list? What are your three items? A bucket list are things you want to do before you die.

No Cee, I don’t actually have a bucket list. There would be way too many “to do” items on my list and if I had a list, as I ticked off each item, I would feel that it was a day closer to my demise. Yes, I hear you all saying, “but that’s exactly what every day is anyway, regardless of a bucket list!”, which I realise. I just prefer it this way. But I do plan on travelling overseas someday to even more countries than just England, visiting some of the areas I have yet to see around Australia, buy a house in the Blue Mountains where I grew up, see my grandchildren and great-grandchildren, work some more on my family tree website, do more work on my garden, take a flight in a helicopter (over water though, ground below seems scary!)…..Cee said three things, , I know, but remember, this isn’t a bucket list!

Thank you Cee! As always, the questions were fun to answer. 🙂

A Sense of Spirit · freedom · friends · gratitude · new beginnings

Lessons to Learn.

Winter wattle in bloom at Leura, on the Blue Mountains, July 3rd.
Winter wattle in bloom at Leura, on the Blue Mountains, July 3rd.

“Sometimes change in our lives is slow and steady, sometimes it happens really fast. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes not so good. Having to adjust to new circumstances, people, or places is never easy and we have to be kind to ourselves and trust that, with time, we will settle in – if we’re in the place we’re meant to be…

I just felt these words were meant for someone – no idea who! But whoever it is, hope it helps…” Sue.

When I read the comment above this morning, written by Sue, a Blipfoto friend, her words spoke volumes to me. I really enjoy adding a photo each day to the blip website, well, most days. I’ve been lacking in motivation of late, for blip, blogging, gardening, everything that I usually love really. My mine has been all a-muddle.

I’ve heard it said so many times before that “life is a journey”; it has become a cliché really. My life’s journey began to steer itself into a different direction, with me controlling the steering of course, about six years ago. That’s when I began to write again, which led me to blogging. That’s how long I’ve been searching for “me”, for the last six years. Many of the posts I have added to my various blogs have started out with me trying to work something out in my mind, to get some clarity on what is happening at that time, to try to learn something new. By the time I have finished writing and have re-read what I have written, I also realise that what I have just said may actually strike a chord with another person too, and that maybe, just maybe, my battle through my confusion might actually help someone else’s muddled brain also. It would be a massive bonus if that did happen.

Once upon a time I wrote a monthly post on another website and my section was called “Freedom Space”.  Whilst I enjoyed the website and the community feel of it, I also felt like a fraud and lost the will to write about freedom, when freedom was exactly the thing I was in search of myself. How could I pose as an authority on gaining freedom, when I hadn’t a clue how to get it for myself?

It’s my own doing though, this lack of freedom that I feel. If I had been a more dominant person, if I practised standing up to people who tell me what to do more often than I have done, if I didn’t dislike confrontation so much…..if, if, if….. But I can’t change the past. I shouldn’t have to spend my entire life moulding myself into the person that I’m “expected” to be either, none of us should.

My mother dominated, I rebelled, I felt bad, I apologised, we’d argue, I felt bad again, I apologised again, she’d tell me that she knew what was best for me, she knew what I should have in life. Being such an authoritative figure in my life, I moulded myself to suit her ways, yet it never did quite gel for me, when I realised that I wasn’t my mother, I was me, a whole different person to her.

When I finally left home, (against my mother’s better judgement of course), it was with another dominant person, this time a male. My beliefs being as they are, I would often tell him that he must have been my father in a previous lifetime, as he sure did seem to enjoy telling me what to do. It was like I had jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire. He dominated, I rebelled, I felt bad, I apologised, we’d argue, I felt bad again, I apologised again, he’d tell me that he knew what was best for me, he knew what I should have in life – him. Yet he constantly hurt me. I would feel crushed to the core. When he realised that he had gone too far he would comfort me, try to make amends, say the words I wanted to hear. I’d believe him. He’d say things would change. They never did. And so it would all happen again, the arguments, the hurt, the comforting…….

So many times during my adult life I have found myself telling him, “I’m not a female version of you”. Isn’t that silly? Why would anyone want a person to be that much like themselves? Yet it (still) seems to me that that is exactly what he wants from me.

I went away recently for eleven days, eleven glorious days, just my youngest son (he was on school holidays) and me. We drove about one thousand kilometres south of our home, down to Penrith and the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, the area where I grew up, the area I still call “home”. My parents took me away from this area when I was thirteen. I didn’t want to leave. I moved back there when I left home, still a teenager. Twenty-one years ago I moved north again, feeling I had to as my mother was seriously ill. When she was gone, I wanted to go back, he didn’t want to, so we stayed up north, while my heart longed to be down south.

Now that I’m home though, back up north, the muddled mind has set in. Driving north again, as the coolness of the winter air we had enjoyed left us, and the heat of the north set in, I resented the sun and I resented the heat. This is winter, it should be cold now!

I just didn’t want to come back here, but I had to. My son is still at school, he needs his mother still, he hasn’t reached that almost-an-adult stage of his life yet, when he will have his independence and can make choices for his own life.

Please, oh please, my boy, make your own choices! Choose your own life! Don’t spend half a lifetime trying to make another person happy whilst compromising your own happiness; ultimately you will grow to resent them! Don’t make my mistakes! Learn from me, my beautiful son, learn! Feel the freedom! Enjoy your choices!

It has occurred to me recently, no, I’m down-playing this, it actually dropped on me like a bolt of lightning from the sky recently that we are all put on this earth with lessons we must learn. If the lessons are not learned, the problem will carry with you into the next lifetime, again with the same people. You will be given the same lessons, again and again, until you finally get it right. My lesson is that I must learn to walk away from the control-freaks, those who want to run my life. No matter how hard it is for me, I have to learn to walk away, to not fall into the same trap, time and time again, of being dominated, of being told by another that they know better than I do what is best for me.

So, as my blip friend Sue pointed out this morning, the changes may be slow, it may be scary adjusting to new people and new places, but I have to follow my heart over the next eighteen months and find the place where I am meant to be.

Right now, my heart is so torn. As much as I love being at my beloved Blue Mountains, my children would all be one thousand kilometres away. I don’t know how I would deal with not seeing them all regularly. We all have to live our own lives, but it is very comforting, knowing my dearest souls are not too far away.

I have so many photos which I want to share with you all! Yet since I have been home, when I look at the photos, my heart aches for the place I want to be. Is it the place I am meant to be? Time will tell. And I will give myself a talking to and add my holiday photos here for you all to see. How odd that sounds, “holiday photos”, yet they are the photos of the place that I regard as my home. Here, where I live now, I am ten minutes drive away from a world-famous holiday destination, the Gold Coast.  It’s all rather back-to-front, really.

This is such a “down” post! Please, don’t let my words drag your spirits down. I’ve written this today to get it off my chest, to “come clean”. My posts are so erratic, I can go for weeks without writing anything, and I don’t ever want any of my blogging friends to think I don’t appreciate them; I appreciate each one of you. Reading your stories helps lift my day more than any of you could ever imagine. But some days I just don’t have the time to write, and if I go to the computer at night, I have been told that I’m spending too much time at the computer. So please, I hope you will bear with me. I’m still here, I appreciate your friendships. You all inspire me so much and for that, I thank you all from the bottom of my heart. 🙂