Weekly Photo Challenge: Express yourself

It is Australia Day (some say Straya) on 26 January so I am expressing aspects of being Australian, including my love of Outback Australia and some of our native species. Sorry I didn’t have any kangaroos handy.

I have also included photos depicting my Irish and Scottish ancestry.


Christmas Pudding

My mother-in-law taught me how to make Christmas Pudding in the way she prepared and cooked it every year for her husband and two sons. The responsibility was passed to me when she passed away in 2010. Each year I say I am not going to make it but I usually give in to howls of protests.

Puddings 001 (Copy)

The tradition of putting the coins in the puddings comes from my childhood. I have 15 x three-penny coins dating from 1921 to 1955. I also have seven six-penny coins dating from 1910 to 1963. I always clean them in boiling water and bicarb soda before mixing them in the pudding! I usually ask the coins be swapped for some chocolate money so as I can continue the tradition the next Christmas.

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Puddings 005 (Copy) Puddings 006 (Copy)

Next the mixture goes in two pudding bowls and sealed with kitchen paper and foil before inserting into two pots of boiling water.

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Then they steam for four hours. I need to keep topping up the water so it does all disappear 🙂

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Saving for a rainy day…

I went on a “retreat” a few years ago. It was about accepting “mid-life” – whatever that means! We covered a lot of ground talking about letting go of the past and looking positively to the future. I was on a pretty tight budget at the time. We talked about how we compensate for not being able to afford to do the things we would really like to do. For example we may be sad that we can’t afford an overseas holiday so we go and buy some new shoes to make ourselves feel better. The leader of the group suggested stopping that sort of habit and really saving to meet our goals.

I was given a bright yellow money-box with a smiley face on it. Over the years I put my loose change in it until recently when I couldn’t put another coin into it no matter how hard I tried. I decided to empty it out and see how much I had accumulated. I took my bundles of coins to the bank and changed it over to notes. I was tempted to spend it on a range of things – even buying something for someone else. In the spirit of the retreat, I decided I would buy myself something that was really precious to me.

Today I went to the shops to do some research. Once again, I didn’t want to waste it on an “everyday”  ordinary sort of purchase. I looked in a jewellery store and saw some fine china that I really liked. This is one luxury item that I allow in my life. I went into the shop and the lady got them out of the window. There were seven items in all and they were 50% off their normal price. The total price was just $2.00 more than what I had saved so I decided to buy them. I felt very happy with my purchase.

Isn’t it true that we sometimes try to compensate with “retail therapy” to make up for something that is missing in our lives. I think there is a good principle there and I took a couple of photos of my new china to show you.

Welcome to my coin collection!

coins from overseasobsolete Australian coins

I have been passively collecting coins since I was quite young. I say passively because the coins have come my way (in my change or from other people) and not me seeking them out.

I sorted them today for the first time. I know I should have studied but this seemed more urgent!

I have coins and some notes from the following countries:

  • Australia (of course), old currency plus the decimal coins
  • New Zealand
  • Singapore
  • England
  • Fiji
  • Hong Kong
  • Holland
  • Canada
  • USA
  • Malaysia
  • New Guinea (my Dad was there in WWII)
  • France
  • Brunei
  • Indonesia
  • Polynesia
  • Philipines
  • United Arab Emerites
  • South Africa
  • some Euros from a trip to Ireland

With old Australia currency that existed until 1966, I have some pennies, half-pennies, sixpences, threepences. Some are still in last year’s Christmas pudding too! They are dated between 1912 and 1962.

current Australian coins

coins from overseasassorted medallions

It is great to have them all sorted out now.

cheers for now


English coins