Brothers …

I am the youngest of five children with two sisters and two brothers. This story goes back to when we were kids.Somehow my brothers had me twisted around their little fingers.

For example they would con me into polishing their shoes. I would spend ages doing it and waiting for their approval which was very hard to get.

I remember we had an old cupboard in our yard (no longer useful in the house) and I used to love playing “house” (as a good 1950’s girl would do) and the cupboard was the central prop. My brothers got some ferrets (which I didn’t like at all) and they convinced me that they needed the cupboard to keep the ferrets in. I think they may have given me one shilling (ten cents) in exchange. I think they got the better deal!

My brothers had a lot of friends that used to hang out at our place. As long as I remained inconspicuous they didn’t mind me tagging along. That was fun and had a sense of danger!

Another time they had some friends around – I was a bit older, about 12 I think – and they dared me to smoke a cigarette. They were all smoking and promised to give me 10 shillings if I could smoke a cigarette and do the draw-back. I was a willing student and to their surprise they had to hand over 10 shillings. It went a long way in the 1960’s. That was my first ever cigarette (it was a roll your own one at that), and unfortunately I later took up the habit. I have been off them from a long time now.

The other memory I have is of my stubbornness when it came to swearing. I absolutely refused. They tried many times to bribe me without success. The first time I was known to swear effectively was when I was in my late 30’s in an argument with a politician!

Both brothers joined the armed forces around the time of the Vietnam War – one in the Royal Australian Army and one in the Royal Australian Navy. I didn’t see a lot of them at that time.

I think I am lucky to have had two brothers and two sisters. I believe it has helped me in being able to relate to men and women plus lots of interesting memories from growing up.

The five of us – taken about 15 years ago.

What is blogging about for me?

I started this blog about ten years ago with the idea it would be an avenue for me to write regularly. At times I DO write regularly however it often has quiet spells where I have nothing to much to say. Do you ever get asked “What is blogging anyway?” I try to answer it but I can’t find adequate words to describe the experience.

Photo by Dom J on Pexels.com

Last year I was leading a philosophy discussion group so I often felt inclined to share snippets on my blog. This year I am leading a group looking into creativity so that’s why a lot of my recent posts are on that topic.

There I so many people I have “met” through blogging that have become a valued part of my everyday life. I look forward to reading their posts and admiring their photos and stories.

When I first started posting I was very open and shared a lot of personal ideas, feelings and experiences. Today I am a little less adventurous. I have been “found” online by various people who know me personally so it is not anonymous. The world is a small place and I need to be considerate and not write stuff that may hurt or malign anyone (unless of course they are politicians!)

So where does that leave me if I want to share my innermost thoughts and feelings? Perhaps I could disguise them as fiction or go back to an old fashioned journal. I do have an online journal that is confidential and a good space to debrief. However I do like the feedback a blog provides when someone reads and likes a post and understands what I am on about.

What do you say when someone asks you what a blog is? I would love to be able to provide a quick and easy response to that question!

Creativity can involve hard work!

Some time ago I found some letters my mother wrote to me in the early 1980’s. We didn’t have phone access as we were living in a remote community in North West Australia so we tended to write to each other regularly instead.

Over time I have collated the letters, numbered the pages of the 38 letters and then scanned them last week with a photo scanning app. It took me ages but now I have captured them electronically it feels great.

My plan is to include these letters on another blog I have started (Stories from Letters) but it is not public yet and may not be for quite a while. The purpose is to capture some family memories in a space other family members can visit. It will help with my overall idea of some sort of memoir. I am open to however it may develop.

Below is a sample – just the first page, of one of the letters. My Mum passed away in 2005 but as I read the letters I can see her so clearly!

to be continued …

A little family history …

I got a pleasant surprise today when a distant cousin sent me some old photos and scans. One family member who is well known to me from stories but I didn’t ever meet her – my Great Auntie Mary. She was born in 1892 and died in 1994.

Auntie Mary Moran
Auntie Mary wrote this poem on her 92nd birthday. She was quite a woman!

She had quite a strong interest in politics too!

Puffing Billy Steam Train

Here is a (very) short video I put together of our ride on Puffing Billy while on holidays recently. Around 1979 my husband at that time, was employed by Puffing Billy to maintain the track and supervise volunteers. It is mainly run and operated by volunteers today. I enjoyed the ride but I mostly wanted to experience some of the lovely rain forests in the hills that I remember so well. That is why I took the video 🙂

This is only my second attempt at making videos and I acknowledge there is a lot for me to learn,

Where do Australians come from?

I am Australian however my ancestors are relatively new to this country compared to Indigenous Australians.

My father’s father was a first generation Australian and his father was born in Ennis, Ireland.

My paternal grandmother and her father were both born in Australia but the previous generation of their family called Denmark home.

My mother’s father was born in Australia as was his father, however the previous generation called Barrhead, Scotland home.

My mother’s mother was also born here but her father came from Alderbury, Wiltshire in England. He also spent some time in California during the gold rush.

It was interesting to get the results of a recent DNA ethnicity test and find that my profile was as follows:

Irish 34%

Great Britain 30%

Scandinavia 18%

The balance is made up of 9% Western Europe and 6% Italy/Greece and a mixture for the remaining 3%.

Having done the DNA test I find it interesting to reflect how multicultural Australia really is and has been since the First Fleet arrived in 1788.