Weekly photo challenge: Forward

IMG_0028 (Copy)The human race is moving forever forward without ceasing. This photo, taken over 40 years ago, shows four generations of my family. The young baby (my parents’ first grandchild) is now in his forties and has a son about 18 years old :-). My parents had 15 (I think) grandchildren and many great-grandchildren (I lost count on how many!)

If a picture tells a story, then what is the story behind this picture?


While sorting boxes of old photos I came across this one – perhaps it was one of my Mum’s, I don’t know. Written on the back are the words “My grateful thanks to you both”. It is not signed. What was the story behind it? He may be a relative as I didn’t know many of my mother’s brothers as they live some distance away. It is a rather serene yet serious photo.

What do you think the story could be?

Blogging and philosophy

Michel de Montaigne wrote of his condition tha...

Michel de Montaigne wrote of his condition that, “I am at grips with the worst of all maladies, the most sudden, the most painful, the most mortal and the most irremediable. I have already experienced five or six very long and painful bouts of it.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


I am rereading my favourite book at present, “The Consolations of Philosophy” by Alain De Botton. I first read it about ten years ago and found it to be really enlightening and still do, every time I pick it up. The chapters are:

Consolation for

I. Unpopularity

II. Not Having Enough Money

III. Frustration

IV. Inadequacy

V. A Broken Heart

VI. Difficulties

Each chapter has gems of wisdom but the one that struck me this week was in Chapter IV. The philosopher is Michel de Montaigne and the year is around 1500. Montaigne spends a good part of his life in his library studying philosophy, history, poetry and religion. Montaigne believed that friendship was an essential component of happiness however he only ever has one close friend who died only four years after they met. I am leading up to the point that spoke to me….

Montaigne becomes a writer, and as De Botton says “He became himself on the page as he had been himself in the company of his friend…He was aware of the paradox of expressing his deepest self to strangers in bookshops”. Montaigne wrote,

“Many things that I would not care to tell any individual man I tell to the public, and for knowledge of my most secret thoughts, I refer my most loyal friends to book sellers’ stall”. (page 148).

A very good read 🙂




Aravina Estate

We had a lovely day on Tuesday when we went out for lunch with some friends at Aravina Estate!   Check out the link to their website – the gardens are beautiful!

The food was lovely – I had a mains dish of lamb, Pavlova for dessert followed by coffee.

Sometimes I get so caught up in my office that I forget there is another world out there 🙂


Lorraine 🙂


“I heard the car door slam, and immediately looked at the clock.”


It was a very hot day in Fitzroy Crossing – unbearably hot. My husband, two sons and a group of friends went off to the river for a swim. My new baby was about four months old so I used him as an excuse to stay home. I wasn’t feeling very well (it turned out that I had mastitis, but that is another story!)

I felt a bit guilty not going because a new family had just arrived from Victoria. I wanted to welcome them but not today. We didn’t have air conditioning but the overhead fans were working hard to keep me and baby cool. I heard a car door slam, and immediately looked at the clock. It couldn’t be my husband – they only left an hour ago. There was a knock on the door.  People rarely knocked on the door so I was curious about who it could be.

I opened the door and it was Ken, the school principal. He was one of the group who went swimming in the River. He said those terrible words that we never want to hear,

“I have some bad news!” My stomach churned and I was frozen in fear. Was it my husband or one of my two sons?

He went on, in a state of shock himself, as he explained that the youngest daughter (five years old) of the new family, got into difficulty in the river and she drowned. How could something so incredibly horrible happen? My feelings were all over the place – there was relief that the tragic news had left my family intact. Then there was shock and great sadness for this new family and their terrible loss.

I will never forget that day or the loss that family experienced. Linda was buried at the Fitzroy Crossing Cemetery near the Old Crossing Inn. There was great sadness on that day thirty years ago.


Defining moments

English: The Beatles wave to fans after arrivi...

English: The Beatles wave to fans after arriving at Kennedy Airport. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For days I have tried to come up with something interesting to write about. Sometimes ideas come to me and I can’t wait to hit the keyboard. This week I have drafted a couple but I was not at all inspired. Even so, I am at it once again, hoping that once I make a start the words will come! Waiting, waiting, waiting….

This is a story about Father Jeffery, a Catholic Priest that encouraged a group of young students (Young Christian Students) to form a youth group in those heady days of the late 1960’s. The Beatles were BIG and we were in awe of them. Father Jeffery had led a very sheltered life and had no idea of how to deal with our outlandish ideas and aspirations. He did, however, organise us to take part in a regional get together with other YSC groups in our part of the State. I have vague memories of a attending a big meeting of students and somehow coming away from the meeting having achieved the position of President of our region. How did that happen?

In some ways I thought it was pretty cool. The next event was a joint social for all the students in the Region. We had to travel 40 miles to attend and fortunately one of group had a car and a driver’s licence so we all went in his car. The events are a bit foggy (you will soon realise why) but I remember going to a Chinese Restaurant for a meal before the social. I had been separated from the group for some reason but joined them a bit later.

To my surprise they had all been getting stuck into a bottle of whiskey. I was the only sober one there. I very quickly gave in to peer pressure and finished what was left in the bottle. I was about 14 or 15 then. Before long I was feeling violently ill and was in a bad way. I haven’t eaten Chinese Sweet and Sour Pork since that evening!

We still thought we could carry off the evening without being noticed. Mmm… that was a BIG ask! The rest of the night was a blur that was to leave me with a great sense of shame for many years to come. And Father Jeffery wasn’t too impressed either ;-). In fact he didn’t want anything to do with us after that event.

English: Cuisine of China, Zhuhai, Guangdong

English: Cuisine of China, Zhuhai, Guangdong (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Just this week I was thinking about some of the defining moments in my life and revisited the memory of that night. For a long time I believed that I couldn’t be trusted to take a position of leadership as a direct result of my actions on that night. With hindsight and compassion gained over the years I can see I was only a child, thrown into a situation that I was ill prepared for. This event should have NO power over my life today. My interpretation of that event has had a negative impact on my life in the past. Today I can choose to interpret things from a different perspective.

So, it works! Start writing and the ideas will come. That is why my tagline says that “If one wants to write, then one must write today”.



The most surreal experience I have ever had…

I love surreal experiences. I can remember a few over the years:

1.  I clearly remember in Fitzroy Crossing when a man swam through flood waters to arrive, dripping wet, to shop in the supermarket. He acted like he did it all the time 🙂

2. Shortly after arriving at Numbulwar (a remote community in the Northern Territory) I saw three Indigenous men in traditional dress and armed with spears heading off past my house to go hunting in the bush. Just days before I was living in Melbourne.

3. I went hunting in the Kimberley with a group of Indigenous women. They caught a big King Brown snake and a goanna. I saw a young child with some goanna in one hand and chocolate eclair in the other.

Éclairs are most commonly served as a dessert.

Éclairs are most commonly served as a dessert. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

4. We flew to London in 2008 –  my first visit after many years of dreaming about it. We arrived about 6.00am and couldn’t check into our rooms straight away. We decided to go for breakfast somewhere. We found a Turkish Cafe with several men sitting outside enjoying their smoking implements (no idea WHAT they were smoking). For breakfast we had Turkish cakes. This was not how I expected London to be! It will always be my first impression of London :-).



Hosting an exchange student

EmuI am naive sometimes. You see, some years back I was invited to join a Rotary Club. I met the President for coffee and I agreed to become a member. It is a big commitment, meeting once a week, every week.

No sooner had I become a member and there was a big split in the Club. Not over me – there were two factions vying for leadership at Change Over. Someone came up with a solution – “Lorraine is new, and neutral, why don’t we ask her to take the leadership?”  They did and I accepted! After all, it seemed like a good solution and it would save the Club from folding due to the factional fighting.

OK – I take on being President – it is an even bigger commitment now. Not only was I going to a meeting once a week, I was now Chairing the meetings and making decisions about Club matters such as finding a new venue etc. You would think I would have woken up by now but there is more to come.

Club Members agreed to commit to hosting an exchange student; they have done it many times before so there should be no cause for alarm. That was until no-one was available to host our young (16 years old), female Japanese student over the Christmas period.

As President I welcomed her into our home however I had a four bedroom home and my three teenage sons each had their own rooms. I felt quite inadequate to the task. I always envisioned Rotary Members to be the more affluent people in the community and I didn’t fit into that group at all. We all survived the experience and hopefully our exchange student learned something new about how the average person lives in Australia.

In early January I moved to a job in the country for twelve months so I put in my resignation to the Rotary Club. Our Exchange Student moved into more appropriate accommodation with another member. The decision wasn’t only based on the Rotary Club experience though.

Funnily enough, I still have recurring nightmares where I come home to find that I have 5 or 6 exchange students waiting to be fed and accommodated.



Weekly photo challenge: Home

This week’s photo challenge has taken me on quite a journey! Just recently I asked my son what does he say when someone asks him “Where did you grow up?” In reality we moved about quite a bit. It has always been an adventure and I hope the positives have out weighed the negatives for my lads. Here is a sample of some of the places I have called HOME over the years!

The first house I remember in my home town is looking very sad these days, however I believe it is currently being renovated! I lived here until I was about 12 years old.

15 Channel St Cohuna

We all spent hours and hours playing on that front “lawn”.

Channel St (2)

Around the time I started High School we moved to a different house at the other end of town. I lived here until I left home at 17.

King George St

My son is enjoying himself at Nan’s house. That home was really the central focus for all the family when Mum and Dad were alive.

At Nan's

The Weir is a focal point in Cohuna – so many memories there. It was always fun to be on the bridge and watching the water rushing through.

Weir at Cohuna

This is an aerial view of Cohuna. You can see the football oval/show grounds in the centre.


The Murray River is the border between Victoria and New South Wales. I have a strong affinity with the River as it played a big part in my growing up.

Murray River

When I left Cohuna I went to live in Melbourne. Here is a shopping Mall in Melbourne. The old “shot tower” was kept as a feature in the new building.

Melbourne shopping mall

Flinders Street Railway Station in central Melbourne. I worked quite close to the Station however I used to catch a tram to and from work.

Flinders St Melbourne

A few years later we lived in Belgrave in the Dandenong Ranges. Puffing Billy is a tourist train – very popular with the kids 🙂

Puffing Billy Belgrave

We lived in Numbulwar in the Northern Territory from 1980 – 81.IMG_0004

My view over the back fence at Fitzroy Crossing – “wild” horses in around 1983

Fitzroy Crossing (2)

Our house at Fitzroy Crossing

Fitzroy Crossing

Pilbara – Viewing Mt Whaleback Mine in 1988

Mt Whaleback Mine

Tourist Centre in Newman we helped to build (sort of…)

Newman Tourist Centre

We lived in this house in Geraldton house in 1993


After my marriage broke up in 1993 I moved to this house in a Perth suburb with my three lads.


Bedford Kitchen – my most attractive house! We enjoyed a good six years there. It had an amazing kitchen!

Bedford 3

We had lots of barbeques with friends and family on the patio outside the Bedford house.


Busselton is where I live now. Here is a view over the back fence 🙂


Irreplaceable history is destroyed

Plinky Prompt: A place from your past or childhood, one that you’re fond of, is destroyed. How do you feel? Plinky prompt

In 2010 I was shocked to hear that a fire destroyed the Claremont Council Chambers and Library. I am linked to the building through a family connection. One of my Mum’s family  traced her father’s and my Grandfather’s (Arthur King) ancestry. I learned that Arthur’s father, James King, was the first Mayor of the City of Claremont in 1900. It turns out that I have lots of relatives in Western Australia that I didn’t know existed. My family is mostly in Victoria in the Eastern States.

My sisters and I visited the Chambers in 2006. I don’t believe they had changed much since 1900. We were able to find our Great Grandfather is some of the historical photos. The staff was very welcoming and accommodating. From there we went to see where they used to live on Stirling Highway. The original house still stands but is now used for business purposes.

So you can imagine my shock in hearing of the Chambers being destroyed. I haven’t been back to have a look at the damage. Hopefully they were able to salvage some of the history contained within its walls. See the story below…

Fire at Claremont Council Chambers