Weekly Photo Challenge: Forces of Nature

When I hear the expression, forces of nature, I am reminded how powerful tropical storms are and the damage they cause to the landscape – especially man-made infrastructure.

I took these photos in the mid-1980’s in Fitzroy Crossing, during the wet season, after floods had isolated the town from surrounding communities.

Weekly photo challenge: Extra

Too much rain can have devastating consequences. These photos were taken during a wet season in Fitzroy Crossing in the early 1980’s while I was living there. People were cut off from food supplies, the bore pumps were flooded and ironically there was a shortage of water for household use. One of my neighbours was bitten by a venomous snake and had to be driven through the flood water to get medical help. I wouldn’t go outside to the clothes line as I heard something splashing in the flood water and was worried it could be a crocodile. After some time, the floods subsided and the big job of fixing the infrastructure began – until the next big rains!

Learning by doing

Today I searched for quotes to motivate me to continue my work on a current writing assignment. I need to have a 2,500 word draft piece of fiction ready for editing by Monday at the latest. I have written about 3,000 words so far but it lacks energy. I need to do a lot more work on it. I am basing my short story on some of my experiences living in outback Australia.

about study


Weekly photo challenge: Horizon

I have selected a diverse range of ‘horizons’ that I have witnessed over many years. Enjoy 🙂



Reading and writing

This weekend I am attending a two-day course in Bunbury to become a tutor in the Read, Write Now program in my community. I am really looking forward to it. It is four days training in total, presented over two weekends. I have been a literacy tutor in the past and enjoyed the experience greatly.

People who cannot read or write (in their first or second language) are at a real disadvantage. I became aware of this in the 1980’s when I was living in Fitzroy Crossing in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. It was election time and information was only available in a written format in English. Many of the adult Indigenous people had limited English language skills and tended to make their decisions based on the friendliness and rapport of whatever politician was visiting at the time. It struck me as being very unfair.

This experience prompted me to work with the local people to help improve their reading and writing. It was the first time I became aware of how much I enjoy reading and writing and determined to use these skills in my life and in my career. That insight has impacted on many decisions over the years and I am excited to be going back to where I started with the Adult Literacy program.



“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.


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 :-).



Fitzroy Crossing

I took these photos on my old Instamatic camera in 1983-1985 in and around Fitzroy Crossing in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. There was a really severe flood during that time and it caused a lot of damage to the town-site and infrastructure such as the roads and bridges.

I am enjoying  experimenting with the gallery settings 🙂 provided by WordPress.


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Cars and sentimentality

I enjoy scanning my old photos and giving them new life on my computer. I find they help me with ideas to write about. Today I came across an old newspaper cutting from the car ads in the daily paper. I remember I kept it for sentimental reasons. I had to sell my car, for lots of reasons, but mainly that it had a Yellow Sticker and that meant I had to get some major repairs in a short space of time or it would be taken off the road. The paper is dated 12 October 1988.

It was an HR Holden and it was released in around 1965-66 so it was getting pretty old. We bought it for $200 while living at Fitzroy Crossing. The motor was as good as gold and the interior was in pretty good shape. It covered many thousands of kilometres across Australia in the time we had it. It was a great family car – Mum, Dad and the three kids fitted in perfectly.

Because of its age, we weren’t concerned about driving on dirt tracks and through creek beds. It was pretty safe too as it was big and heavy. I once took it out bush with some Aboriginal ladies from my Literacy Class. They wanted to go hunting. That is a big story all on its own and I won’t go there today, but I am including a photo of one of the ladies in front of the car, showing off her catches! We later cooked and ate them.

When I moved to the City after my marriage break-up I managed to keep the car. I really needed one with the three children. The police were a bit more vigilant in Perth than in the Kimberley and I was often worried they may put my car off the road – which they did eventually. It happened while I was interstate visiting my parents. My neighbour and friend agreed to look after my cat and the car while I was away.

The poor woman must have regretted her generosity. My cat unfortunately got run over – not her fault at all. As she drove to the airport to pick me and the lads up she was stopped by the police and they did an inspection of the car. It had lots of rust amongst a lot of other minor problems. They issued the dreaded Yellow Card. Poor Heather was really upset but I didn’t blame her at all. There was nothing she could have done. Looking back now, I can even understand why the police wanted the car off the road. It probably wasn’t the safest car on the road.

Anyway, I put an ad in the paper to see if I could get something back. I sold it to the best offer of $200! With that $200 I bought myself a bicycle and also learned about catching buses and trains.

Cheers for today


Kimberley region of Western Australia

In the 1980’s I lived in the Kimberley in North Western Australia. I lived in Fitzroy Crossing and later in Derby, before moving to the city (Perth). It is an amazing part of our country. So harsh and yet so beautiful. In the wet season (anytime between November and April) the roads can flood and even be washed away. It can be very dangerous on the roads.

The sky was so dramatic – the lightening and thunderstorms were so loud and frightening (at first). With the heat and the rain come the snakes and all manner of wild life! I can’t believe I let my three lads play in the same place where the snakes maneuvered from place to place. I was younger then and trusted that they would be ok. Thankfully they were ok!

 I will go back for a visit one day!

 Cheers for now