Weekly photo challenge: Let there be light

I have chosen a selection of photos to show light in different forms.

Enjoy πŸ™‚



Pros and Cons of Lifestyle Villages

We decided to move into our current home in a Lifestyle Village (a retirement village for people 55 and over) about three and a half years ago. We didn’t look at other Villages and didn’t do much research on the options available.

If you are considering moving into a Lifestyle Village there are a lot of things to think about. Acquiring a Lifetime Lease for our property cost about the same as purchasing a similar house in the wider community. There was a saving in that Retirement Villages are not required to pay Stamp Duty. Retirement Villages are covered in legislation through the Retirement Village Act (currently being amended).

However, there are ongoing costs on a monthly basis, similar to Strata Fees. These fees cover the operational cost of the Village. Currently there are approximately 180 homes in our gated community. Only the occupied homes contribute to the fees that pay for the overall operation of the Village.

The owners of the Village have a Board and a Chief Executive Officer. They employ a Manager to run the place on a day-to-day basis. There is also a Residents Association, elected annually by the residents, to represent the interests of the residents. The Village also employs a contract gardener and a part-time maintenance person.

Facilities include a gymnasium, bowling green, swimming pool, spa and sauna. There is a Social Club who organise a variety of activities plus there are exercise classes, table-tennis, a Bridge club, singing, arts and crafts and so forth.

As with any small community, there can be differences of opinion and sometimes conflict. From my point of view, it is difficult to reconcile the needs of the owners (to make money), the management (keeping things in order) and the residents association (seeking to address the diverse interests of the residents) and the residents themselves. In a perfect world they would all work together for the greater good – but this isn’t always the case, unfortunately!

The benefits include knowing your neighbours (very unlikely to get a bikie club setting up next door, is there Ted & Rae?) and the sense of keeping an eye out for each other – an informal Neighbourhood Watch. It gives one a sense of security. We are fortunate to have great neighbours πŸ™‚ who I consider to be good friends.

If you are thinking of moving into a Village like ours, do as much research as you can, especially about ongoing fees and the likely financial impact if you decide it is not for you. It is hard to buy and sell in the broader real estate market but one needs to be even more prudent with retirement villages. I am sure the houses will increase in value over many years (great location) but they are not a good option for a short to mid-term investment.

The other thing to consider is the impact of living within a narrow demographic of the broader community, especially if one is younger and/or still in the workforce. Obviously we all get older so this can be a temporary issue :-). In a few years I may be complaining about those ‘youngsters’!






We don’t have a Thanksgiving Day in Australia but I thought it a good topic to reflect on for today. I am thankful for many things (that I mostly take for granted). Here are some things that come to mind:

  • Good health and pain-free
  • A happy relationship with my amazing husband
  • Three adult sons and their wives and partners
  • Two gorgeous grandsons
  • Friends and family near and far
  • Bloggers all over the world that touch my life
  • I can see, hear, touch, smell, walk, use my hands for a multitude of actions
  • I am able to live in a peaceful environment
  • The Indian Ocean (Geographe Bay) is only 5-10 minutes walk from home
  • I have ample means to meet all my needs
  • I am free to vote for whom I want at Local, State and Federal elections and live in a democratic country
  • Access to all the technology I want
  • Freedom to choose about my spiritual beliefs and practices
  • More books than I will ever have time to read
  • Access to further education
  • Freedom to travel in Australia and most places overseas
  • Leisure time at my disposal allowing me to write blogs, take photos and enjoy my new vegetable garden
  • Access to all the facilities at the Lifestyle Village where I live
  • My home has access to heating and cooling air conditioners

Well, that is not bad for starters! Wishing folks in the USA a happy Thanksgiving and the rest of us, a day to be thankful for all our blessings.



A memory from the past …

This morning I was transported back in time to 1969 …

I was getting a few items from the supermarket and a song came over the PA system. I was taken back to a time with some friends inΒ  Swan Hill (Victoria) and remembered listening to a good-looking guy playing his guitar and singing Don’t Forget to Remember Me. He seemed to be mesmerised by my friend Rina – as all the boys seemed to be back then. I was an onlooker to the experience but it remains a powerful memory evoked back into consciousness by the Bee Gees music and lyrics this morning.

Enjoy πŸ™‚


Weekly photo challenge: Unexpected

IMG_0023Claremont Council Fire click here

An unexpected fire changes the course of history … A fire destroyed much of the Claremont Municipal Chambers on 19 November in 2010. It was in this building in 1899 that my great-grandfather, James King was elected the first Mayor of the City of Claremont. The photo below was taken in 2006 of me with my two sisters near the foundation stone laid by our great-grandmother.


I was shocked to hear about the fire and saddened by so much history being destroyed. I haven’t been back to the scene of the fire since it happened but I do hope they managed to retain at least the facade of the building.



Daily prompt: Safety first

Share the story of a time you felt unsafe …

In 1980 my former husband and I took up an opportunity to work in a remote Indigenous community in Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory of Australia. I was twenty-six at the time with two sons – one was four years old and the other was only six-months old. It was a big adventure for us all.

At first I was even scared of the local Indigenous people but I later learned that I was experiencing culture shock. Everything was unfamiliar to me and communication was difficult. In time, my children helped me overcome that barrier as children tend to do.

There were deadly snakes to be afraid of too – Death (Deaf?) Adders and other venomous species. It wasn’t unusual to find snakes in our yard. Once I found one in my pantry cupboard!

Probably the scariest experience was a trip out bush to a billabong. It was a sandy track only suitable for four-wheel drive vehicles. We were in an open cabin Land Rover. Some way into the journey we found ourselves confronted by a wild, male buffalo.

It was snorting and stamping its feet while it considered what to do with us. We sat still (apart from the shaking!) for several minutes. It was very angry and showing it! Each of us said lots of prayers that we would get out of this alive and the buffalo would get bored with us. I am pleased to say it eventually found something more interesting to frighten and left us alone. Phew!

We were only a minute’s walk from the beach too but the fear of crocodiles meant we didn’t go there often πŸ™‚

Great memories!



Gardening adventure

The last few weeks I haven’t spent much time in front of the computer. It has been great to get outside and do some gardening for a change. It all started with my youngest son’s discovery of an above ground garden bed. He bought it on my behalf and then delivered it to our home. It is BIG and it will take me some time to get the soil level up higher but I figure there is no big rush.

Apart from the vegetables we decided to smarten the back garden up a bit with some colour. It is a much nicer place to relax in now and to listen to the sound of the new water feature.

I planted herbs (mint, basil, rosemary and oregano), silver-beet, tomatoes and rock-melon. I am enjoying this new interest πŸ™‚



Daily prompt: FAQs

In considering this topic I thought about someone interviewing ME and what questions I would like them to ask. I came up with some interesting questions but I will need to take some more personal time-out to think about my responses. In the meantime I thought I would share these searching questions with you πŸ™‚ and the frog!

frog1. Do you have any long-term goals/dreams for the future?

Β 2. What do you believe to be your strengths?

Β 3. Do your current strengths support your long-term goals?

Β 4. Do you need to gain more skills and knowledge to achieve your goals?

Β 5. Does your personality – who you are as a person – fit nicely with your goals?

Β 6. Do your goals conflict in any way with your friends or family members? If so, how?

Β 7. Does your current health status support you in achieving your goals?

Β 8. What will you do if you do not achieve your goals? Describe your life, as it would be, without any specific aspirations for the future. Can you live comfortably with that?

You can download the questions below and reflect on them at your leisure πŸ™‚

FAQs in Word

Please note that I am NOT a career counselor and I am just sharing my thoughts with you πŸ™‚



Weekly photo challenge: Layers

Layers brought to mind the way we dress when we are not sure what weather the day will bring. I found this advertisement in the Melbourne Herald dated 5 December 1956! I have a small collection of old newspapers and they have some real gems about life in the 1940s and 1950s.

Considering that the ad, posted in December 1956 (summer time) it would have been suitable for the unseasonable weather that Melbourne is famous for and that LAYERS come in handy!

layers 001Cheers

Lorraine πŸ™‚


Daily Prompt: Ten Questions

  1. What is your favorite word? Catalyst (as in catalyst for change)
  2. What is your least favorite word? No
  3. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally? Nature (ocean, forest … )
  4. What turns you off? Unreasonable rules!
  5. What is your favorite curse word? S..t (I only use it when I have a close call in the traffic – it just seems to come out of my mouth without thinking)
  6. What sound or noise do you love? Most music but my favourite is the Cello
  7. What sound or noise do you hate? TV advertisements or someone whistling indoors.
  8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Teaching adults
  9. What profession would you not like to do? Anything that deals with lots of detail.
  10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?Β You really didn’t need to worry so much, you know, everything is fine πŸ™‚ You did OK

Ferguson Valley 009 (Copy)

So what would your answers be? I would love to hear them.