Week 34 Challenge Childhood Jobs

I am back after, a long break. Family situations, and responsibilities sometimes get in the way of what we want to do. We are back. Thank you to those who have kept the page ticking over. Now for the next Challenge if you are game. This is a fun one taken from a prompt on another page this morning, What was your job when you were a child? Did you have jobs around the house? Some of the jobs that were mentioned were, buying kindling from the coffin maker, polishing the stair rails, mowing the yard, selling footy records, chopping firewood, cutting newspaper into squares for use in the toilet, doing the messages. Did you get pocket money for doing these jobs? Enjoy the challenge and see you next week

tiolet paper





This week’s challenge may prove a curly one for some people.   Here are some prompts that may help you get started.  This is a very personal question.  You may not wish to participate and that is fine.  This is your life story and it is up to you how much you disclose.

  • Do you have a religious belief system
  • Memories of going to church, Sunday school, church groups or outings
  • Does religion feature in the significant events in your life
  • Did you go to a church school
  • Were you taught by the Nuns or the Brothers
  • Are the celebrations of Easter and Christmas or Hanukah Passover or  Festival of Lights  or Buddha’s birthday more important because of your beliefs
  • Did you have an opportunity to make your own decisions about religion

I will post my responses later in the week, because like you I am a little hesitant in approaching this subject and need to plan this out a little before posting.

Week 32 Challenge – Secret places

Week 32 Challenge – Secret places
As a child did you have a secret place you could go to? Was it real or imagined? Did you feel safe there? Did you share it with anyone else? As an adult do you still have a secret place?
secret-place  Image camera-user deviantart.com
This weeks challenge was sparked by a post on Alzheimers Australia discussing the storyteller in all of us and how to draw that information out and use it as a form of communication. This then led me to a blog,  by Laura Grace Wheldon who used this image to speak about secret places.
For me, this image was so evocative and drew me straight back to my childhood.  The area I grew up in was an emerging suburb. It had undeveloped areas.  I remember the road being surfaced and the sewerage coming through and other houses being built on our street. I remember other areas being opened up and the railway station being built.  But I digress.
There were areas of undeveloped land that were thick with boxthorn trees.  These trees were always a fascination for the children, actually, they were more like shrubs.  They were stunted, boxy and had thorns, they were very prickly. We, the children in the area, grew up in a prickly environment as the scotch thistle was also a constant companion. The boxthorn  fascinated us as the tree grew a bright red berry as its fruit

African boxthorn is a member of the Solanaceae family, which includes other plants suchboxthron1 as silverleaf nightshade, tobacco, and tomatoes. African boxthorn is an aggressive invader and it forms an impenetrable, spiny thicket. It is toxic causing discomfort and irritation but is not life-threatening. The berries, leaves, stems and roots are all poisonous and can cause nausea, vomiting, breathing difficulties and unconsiousness. African boxthorn was introduced into Australia from South Africa in the mid-1800s and was commonly used as a hedge plant.

Dangerous as this plant was with its berries and thorns, as kids we built cubby houses deep in the heart of the shrub and spent many happy hours there shielded from prying eyes. With a blink of an eye, they were a fort to protect the cowboys from the Indians or a castle where we had to rescue a  damsel in distress or the bridge of a ship and we would fight off the pirates. It was even a place to curl up and read a book.  I don’t ever remember being scratched, but I guess I must have been.  I know I certainly was often in trouble for the stains the juice would make on my clothes.  The boxthorn was so prevalent and such a feature of the area that many decades later the local high school was called Boxthorn College.  These boxthorn cubbies were certainly our secret places and we felt safe there. I have no memory of ever being roused out by an adult.


Week 31 Challenge -Interviews

Week 31 Challenge -Interviews

Challenge Week 31 … If you were approached by a journalist who wanted to write a story about you; how would you respond and what would you want to interviewed about? We might set a word limit to this one so you don’t get too stressed. Try to write 250 words you can always write more if you want.

I have been interviewed a number of times and once even made the front page (blushing). Usually, it has been to do with a cause that I have been championing, my partners response is to roll his eyes and say “here we go again.” Do I want to be interviewed about something I am really passionate about? Hmm, shall we take a sneak peak at the list?

1/ The Tibet situation – human rights and genocide
2/ The right of a woman to control her body and no means no!
3/ Dementia awareness and advocate
4/ Any form of cruelty to animals – vivisection
5/ Fracking – ecological issues
6/ Sustainable living
7/ Legalising marijuana for medical purposes
8/ Euthanasia and the right to choose
9/ Freedom of speech, the right of access to education, medical treatment and social support
10/Boots for Bali
11/Hope 4 Himalayan Kids
12/Gender parity opportunity and equal pay
13/My family
15/Genealogy and preserving our history
16/My writing
17/Organic food no GMO’s hormones or pesticides

Now this list is in no particular order and I could go on adding to it, and no I am not a leftist, tree-hugging, greenie, vegan, social worker. I am a person who has strong views, not afraid to speak out and cares for the planet and the beings who inhabit it. I cry at sad movies and when reading a beautifully crafted story. I love Harry Potter and believe that magic does happen, but not always in the way you expect it. So my choice?

The loneliness of dementia. In six days time, it is the anniversary of my father’s death. The following day is my parents wedding anniversary. This year the would have celebrated 70 years of married life. Dad died at the age of 90, not from old age and peacefully, but from complications caused by Lewy Body Dementia or Diffuse Lewy Bodies and in pain. This is the same disease that caused Robin Williams to take his own life. The reason I would choose to be interviewed on this subject is because there is an appalling lack of knowledge and understanding about dementia in both the medical profession and the public at large. You mention dementia and people automatically think Alzheimers. There is so much more to dementia than Alzheimers. There are over 280 varying forms of dementia. Babies may be affected, young children and teenagers can be affected. In these cases, there is usually a genetic cause and it is a part of another illness. Dementia itself is not a disease. It is an umbrella term for a series of identifiable behaviors or symptoms that define a particular disease. Young Onset Dementia is a term applied to someone in their 30s,40s, 50s or early 60s with an illness defined by a set of dementia symptoms.my-dad

When my father became ill the disease was not identified by his medical practitioner who had treated him for over 25 years. We were told it was part of the normal aging process and was to be expected and to stop fussing. This GP would not even provide a referral to a specialist Gerontologist. Not accepting the doctor’s diagnosis of old age. I started to research and realised there was something very wrong with my Dad. We eventually were given a referral and saw the specialist and were presented with a diagnosis of Lewy Body dementia. I had never heard of it and as the years passed I was made painfully aware that neither had most of the medical fraternity or the general public. The disease has a number of unique markers or core symptoms which include fluctuating cognition, REM sleep disorder, rigidity, spasms, hallucinations affecting all the senses, extreme sensitivity to many drugs commonly used with the elderly or psychotic patients.These drugs can cause worsening of the condition and or death. The autonomic nervous system is compromised and in the later stages swallowing and talking cease. The patient is locked in a terrifying world and unable to communicate effectively. Friends and sometimes family fall by the wayside. It is too confronting, and they don’t want to remember the person like that! Nursing staff, caregivers, and medical professionals on all levels require greater education about the treatment and handling of patients with Lewy Body dementias. Dementia is terminal this was identified by WHO in 2006. There is no vaccine, no prevention, no cure, there are no dementia survivors. The symptoms cause the body to shut down and the organs to fail as the brain atrophies as it’s communication pathways shut down. I never miss a chance to talk about dementia and its effect on the individual and their loved ones.

The collage of my father was prepared by his granddaughter as a tribute – Thank you, Amanda, for capturing so well the man we both loved so dearly.



Challenge Week 25 Dinner Sets. I am back. Here we go again. What can you write about a dinner set or a favourite piece of crockery?

I looked at my cupboards and looked at the melamine and expensive junk I had accumulated. Then like a hidden treasure, a flash of gold caught my eye. My grandmother’s dinner set. Royal Doulton missing a few pieces but perfect to use. The memories flooded over me. Family card nights at Nana’s on a Friday. Nana serving the grandchildren dinner on her good dishes. I remember my mother saying to her that we would break them. My Nana replied, if we learned early to appreciate good things and treat them with respect we will always enjoy having good things around us. If a piece is broken so be it. It is only a possession at the end of the day.

Now my Nan was Primitive Methodist but that was a truly zen statement. So Nan thankyou. I have taken them out and washed them and they are sitting waiting for the next meal. Every time I eat, I will be reminded of the good times and that there is no point in saving things for good. Make now the good times.

I feel  like a grown up again. Kitchen cupboards liberated all plastic and multiple items banished. We will breakfast and lunch from our 1970s retro set and the evening repast will be served on our 1930s Royal Doulton dinnerware. What was I saving it for ..oh and don’t forget the cake forks and 1960s Rodd cutlery set…


Week 24 Challenge – Travel

Week 24 Challenge – Travel

Week 24 Challenge Travel . Do you have a favourite travel story that you would like to share? Or do you have a family story around travel? In my family there is a family legend that my great great grandmother travelled from Sydney to Kerang on the Murray in a group with other families and that all the children travelled in the rear of the caravan of wagons out of earshot of the adults. Family History research shows this to be untrue but it is strange how these stories come into being and we are left wondering how they started and if there is any truth in them at all.



What kind of food memories do you have? Was your Mum a meat and 4 Veggies cook? Was it a roast on Sunday and baking on Saturday household? Did you know what day of the week it was by what was for tea? What is your favourite meal?

Well, here we are at week 19 … I hope you are enjoying the challenges and along the way learning something about yourself and your view of the world. There are no right or wrong responses and no right or wrong way of presenting your work. Enjoy and don’t forget to share on FB on our blog.

My mum was a good cook as were her mother and father.   My Nana was a great cook  and her lemon meringue pies and cornish pasties were to die for.

cornish-pastiesMy  paternal great grandmother came from Shropshire,  she married a Cousin Jack and I like to think that’s how my Nan’s cornish pasties became to be the very best thing because they were original.

Do you have a traditional family recipe you would like to share ?