Choose life. Life is wonderful.

Friday, 14 November 2014


Primarily, loving is an action rather than a feeling. It is practical and enterprising in its efforts to do good. It has eyes that look for opportunities to serve others.

Harry Goodhew

I am going on another decluttering splurge. I got rid of a lot of stuff last year when I was unsure as to whether I would have to sell my house or not and where I would be living. But I still have quite a way to go. My daughter is helping me. She is being my accountability person. She has had to do a lot of decluttering herself recently.

I am working on a little bit at a time. Baby steps. One of the things I have to stop doing is dumping stuff inside my front hall when I come in the door. The hall floor often becomes my letter filing system - which actually works quite well for me but does cause me some embarrassment when people come to the door.

According to Louis Barbauta "the clutter accumulates, because I’m not constantly purging the old." I need to start purging - especially my craft supplies. 

The problem is that I have bought a lot of craft supplies over the years and haven't had time to use most of them. I have been setting up a craft room but it is only small and currently quite chaotic. I don't want to get rid of too much because now I have more time to actually do some craft and I won't be able to afford to replace stuff any more now that I am on a pension.

My latest creation was a felt name for P:-)'s grand- daughter Sophie.

I made a card for P:-)'s daughter's boyfriend.

My mango tree is  flowering. I hope some mangoes appear. Last year they were too high to pick and the Catbirds ate them anyway.

I love toadstools and my daughter R bought me this cute little solar toadstool.

It glows very brightly.

I finally put an ad up in the local fruit market for tutoring people with spelling and reading problems. My printer wasn't working so I had to do it by hand.

It's been a week and I haven't heard anything yet. Early days. I may advertise in the local news paper after Christmas. I achieve pretty good results with my tutoring so I envisage that once I had one or two clients word will get out. That is what happened when I was tutoring a number of years ago.

Ever a bird watcher I spotted this bird in Davistown when we were there a couple of weeks ago. It took me a while to get around to identifying it.

It is a Long-Billed Corella. There was a small flock of them near Cockle Channel at Davistown.

This is my favourite time of the year - the run up to Christmas. Although it is a little early I will share a vintage picture with you that combines my love of Christmas and toadstools.

Interesting sites
 Jay Shafer practically invented the Tiny House

Photo source

 This is a really interesting article about Jay Shafer, the man who practically invented what is now known as the Tiny House. Tiny houses have become a minimalist design and lifestyle ideal. Their tiny size permits no extraneous stuff. They occupy a fraction of the spatial and carbon footprint of a normal home. They are usually owned outright, sidestepping expensive mortgages and financial institutions. And by virtue of their trailer mounting, they can often avoid traditional building regulations. Click here  to read more.


 Artists travel abandoned railways.

Photo source

Mexican artists and brothers Ivan Puig (previously) and AndrĂ©s Padilla Domene decided to traverse the nearly 9,000 km of railway in Mexico and Ecuador that, in 1995, was abandoned and left to decay. But they didn’t travel in any old fashion. In a project that ran from 2010 to 2012 the artists rode in a striking silver road-rail vehicle called SEFT-1, which they designed and built themselves so as to travel both on rail and road. Click here to read more.


15 Habits of People Who Have Effectively Lost Over 20 – 30lbs and Kept it Off

Photo source

All 15 of these habits are real everyday habits that anyone can implement into their lifestyle. All without sacrificing yourself or any of the food you love. These habits don’t require a monthly fee, for you to buy special diet foods, or the need to follow a list of complicated rules.Click here to read more.


Wednesday, 22 October 2014


If you find that thing you love, it doesn’t necessarily matter whether you do it well or not—you just need to do it.

Stanley Tucci

P:-) and I took another quick trip to Davistown - a drive of around 3 hours. We camped in the backyard of an old family property of P:-)'s family. Sadly it has just been sold so this was our last time there. We took P:-)'s boat and the gazebo instead of the caravan, planning to spend some time on Brisbane Waters.

We arrived on Monday afternoon, just in time for a rather ominous storm front to appear in the sky.

It looked very nasty but thank goodness the following storm wasn't quite as terrible as we had expected. Plenty of wind and rain and we had to hold onto the walls of the gazebo to stop it blowing down but we got through it OK.

However, that was just the beginning of 2 days of rain which meant we couldn't take the boat out.

On day 2 another storm was forecast which was supposed to be bigger than the one the previous day. P:-) reinforced the gazebo with pieces of board he found around the place and old chairs that had been put out to be taken  to the tip. It all worked beautifully. 

It didn't look very pretty but supported the gazebo through the next lot of wind and pouring rain.

After a night of heavy rain we woke the next morning to light drizzle. There was water lying everywhere.

But the gazebo was still standing and everything inside was relatively dry.

Day 3 we bought our bait and finally put the boat in the water. 

But sadly, we were destined to go nowhere. The motor refused to start. It kept spluttering and dying. A good Samaritan came to our aid and found what was wrong with the motor but it was not fixable on the spot and required some new parts being bought.

A lone pelican watched as P:-) checked out the outboard motor on the boat ramp.

I'd like to share another collage of pictures taken in the back yard.

The axle in the picture in the lower right hand corner is actually from a T Model Ford.

Sadly we only had 3 days and soon it was time to pack up again.

For P:-) it was a last good-bye to a little house that had been in his immediate family and then extended family for over 100 years. P:-) had spent much of his time as a child and young man here and it was a tangible link with his parents whom he had lost when he was only young. The little old house will be pulled down by the new owners, and a new home built in its place - the end of an era.

Interesting sites

 10 strange buildings
Photo source

Some very interesting buildings from all over the world. Click here to see more.

 Oasis in heart of Sahara

Photo source
Guelta d'Archei is an oasis, or rather a guelta, in the heart of the Sahara desert. A guelta is a peculiar type of wetland, typical of desert regions, formed when underground water in lowland depressions spills to the surface and creates permanent pools and reservoirs.Everyday, hundreds of camels are herded into the knee deep water of the guelta by passing caravans for them to drink and rest. Dung from thousands of camels excreted over hundreds of years have turned the water black. Lurking in the black waters is a small group of surviving Nile crocodiles. Click here to see more.

Dogs with unique coats

Photo source
These dogs have amazing and unusual colours. Some of these are the results of rare genetic variations or conditions.

These amazing dogs have such unusual colors and markings that once you see them, you’ll never be able to forget them.
Some of these markings are a result of a rare genetic variations or conditions, but all of these dogs are undeniably beautiful.

These amazing dogs have such unusual colors and markings that once you see them, you’ll never be able to forget them.
Some of these markings are a result of a rare genetic variations or conditions, but all of these dogs are undeniably beautiful.

These amazing dogs have such unusual colors and markings that once you see them, you’ll never be able to forget them.
Some of these markings are a result of a rare genetic variations or conditions, but all of these dogs are undeniably beautiful.

Click here to see more. 

Saturday, 11 October 2014


P:-) and I spent a week at Davistown near Gosford. P:-)'s family and extended family have owned an old house there for over a hundred years and it has finally been sold. We camped in the back yard. Below is the old house.

Here are a couple of pictures of the house taken from across the water at Empire Bay. It is the house with the green roof.

Below is the view we see from our camp, across the water to Empire Bay.

We camp in the back yard with electricity provided by P:-)'s cousin next door.

I made a new awning for one of the bed ends and was quite pleased with the way it turned out.

A nest of ducklings hatched in the garden. There are wild ducks all around the place and they wander in and out of the yards.

We found the empty shells left and then spotted the mother and her ducklings.


To start with the ducklings would stay very close - bunched up against their mother.

After a day or so the little ducklings seemed to get a lot braver, still staying close to their mother but scattering out a little.

An evening walk led to a beautiful sunset.

Smoke from burning off at Kincumber enhanced the orange sky.

We took a drive to MacMaster's  Beach and stopped at this lookout on the way back.

 You can see Palm Beach in the distance.

I couldn't resist  including this collage of photos taken in the back yard,

We had a lovely, relaxing few days. But finally had to pack up for home.

An inquisitive  stick insect came along and landed on my craft supplies waiting to be packed, to check out what was going on. Maybe he wanted to come but I flicked him away before he was swallowed up in the van.

While we were away I spent time making a felt name for P:-)'s grand-daughter Isabel for her birthday. (It is more readable when it is vertical.)

Isabel loves butterflies.

We are in the process of planning another quick trip to Davistown before the business is finished. So next post should have some more from Davistown.

Interesting sites

 Could you live in a Tiny House?

Photo source

 Motivated by soaring house prices, you’ll-be-paying-it-off-until-you-die mortgages and environmental concerns – plus the realisation that the bigger your house is, the longer it takes to clean – there’s a new generation of home-owners who are doing something radically different. Building tiny houses, that are small enough to be towed along by a car. They have wheels, which means you can take your tiny house anywhere with you (while also complying with zoning regulations). Click here to read more. 


 Footbinding in China

Photo source
The practice of foot binding, which was banned in China in 1911 but carried on until women had the bandages forcibly removed, results in feet that are disfigured for life as the toes are broken beneath the soles of the feet. Photographer Jo Farrell is on a mission to photograph a dying fragment of Chinese culture: foot binding. Click here to read more. 

 Budapest Christmas Tram
Photo source

 In 2009 the Budapest Transport Company started a beautiful festive tradition of covering some of its trams in LEDs. But the beautiful appearance of these glittering vehicles is not the only thing that delights the locals. During the Christmas season, anyone with a regular ticket or public transport travel pass can ride the Christmas trams, which makes them a fun and budget-friendly way of getting around Budapest.Click here  to read more.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014


At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.
Albert Schweitzer

The last couple of weeks I have been slowed down by a knee injury. After a week I visited the GP and started on some anti-inflammatory medication which has made all the difference.

I just came across this quote by Leo Babauta.

Once you’re back on track, you’ll feel great. Movement begets movement, and happiness as well.

It is certainly true that I feel a lot happier now I am can move again.

The powers that be have put new types of globes in the street lights. I have one at the front of my house. It is so light now that I could read a book by it I have my herbs planted nearby and it is really easy to go out at night and harvest the herbs.

My front footpath at night.
After undergoing the driest August for years we have had quite a damp September - the first month of Spring. This has meant the occasional rainbow. I couldn't resist a few photos of this one.

Rainbow from the front of my house
The ornamental plums on the footpath next door are in blossom.

P:-) has 2 rabbits living in his front yard. They are very cute - a brown one and a white one. They disappear for a couple of days and then they reappear. I hope they stay safe.

P:-)'s youngest son M had his birthday recently and his wife K made a beautiful cake. M loves Mustang cars ( and had one until his first baby was born) so K made him a Mustang cake with edible silver mustangs.

The cake was a delicious caramel mud cake.

And finally, I came across this bug on a tree in my front yard. I don't know what it is and it was quite small but quite impressive.

Maybe if you know it or can identify it you could leave the information in a comment. Thanks.

 Interesting sites

 Island residence

Photo source

 Nestled in the richly wooded grounds of a narrow strip of land on the island of Chappaquiddick near Edgartown, Massachusetts, this single-family residence is part of a collection of environment- and landscape-centric interventions that blur the boundaries between structures and landscape, and between inside and outside. Comprised of four structures – a 6,300 SF main residence, a 630 SF garage, a 270 SF storage shed, and a 130 SF boat house – the site is bounded by the ocean to the west and by a well-protected, shallow bay to the east.
Click here to see more.


Privacy during a flight
Photo source

The ‘b-tourist’ is made of an elastic fabric that fits many seats sizes. After assembling the piece, it offers one their own private space to quietly eat, read a book, watch a movie and to sleep without being disturbed. the side of the material has a pocket inserted into it where one can place small items they may wish to keep close by during the flight. Plastic rings are also applied along the edge, which enable the width to be easily adjusted.
I like the look of this. Click here to see more.

 Migraines - what are they?

Photo source
No one knows for sure the exact mechanisms that cause migraines, but we do know it’s a neurobiological disorder. If you suffer from migraines or know somebody who does, you should find this article very interesting.Click here  to read more