Tag Archives: vacation

Reminiscing….

12 Jul

Do you reminisce?

Do you look back on milestones: consider your life before and after THE EVENT?

I guess all of us, if we survive into middle age, can look back and pinpoint the decisions that have moulded our lives. It could be anything: from personal involvements, trips, or choice of career.

One of my most recent big moments came almost two years ago. I decided to write a book.

I think this idea came into being around the time of the wedding of a close relation.  Of course, I saw this a milestone in her life: a decision, a turning point, for the future. She would have this to look back on.

I suppose I then considered that I, too, wanted a milestone. Already happily married, it had to be something else. A career!

And realistically, the only career that held prospects of satisfaction for myself was as a writer. I had the background: successful completion of literary courses, followed by extensive reading and life observation.

So, egged on by my husband, and later editor, Ronald Sharp B.E.M., I started to write a book. A book of Short Stories, set in the Australia that I love. A book that spoke to others of the joys and vicissitudes of life and humanity: that could make you laugh, or maybe shed a tear or two of happiness. That book, a collection of Short Stories, became known as ’25 Stories of Life and Love in Australia’. It gave me my first taste of the pleasure of receiving a five star review; a pleasure which was not repeated for many months, since getting the work into the wider literary community is, unfortunately, a slow and difficult process.

At last, I’m making progress. Six books published, and it’s just starting to happen! Exciting times!

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http://www.amazon.com/25-Stories-Life-Love-Australia/dp/1456597736

Spring in July?

11 Jul

What a lovely day we’ve had today! Sydney reached a top temperature of just over twenty degrees C.: sunshine all round.

This morning, I spent some time by the river. Walking on the sands, turning from time to time to gaze at the water’s beautiful reflections, I suddenly saw a group of teenagers arrive. One carried a camera.

Everyone: especially those young and beautiful: loves being photographed. But I have to take my hat off to the pretty, dark-haired young lady who braved the freezing water in the name of art!

I’ve personal experience of very cold water, and I don’t intend to ever repeat it.  Most probably, the water temperature now is about twelve degrees: nevertheless, this young stalwart withstood it twice for the camera. I’m not sure whether her excited squeals were exacerbated by having an appreciative audience, but, in an odd sort of way, she appeared to be having the time of her life.

Oh, to be so young, and full of enthusiasm!

Still, at any age, one can still revel in the pleasures of a glorious, Spring-like day.

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’25 Stories of Life and Love in Australia’ now on Kindle

29 Jun

At last, we’ve caught up with technology and published with Kindle!

My first book, 25 Stories of Life and Love in Australia’: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008FP217C: is now available.

There’s a diverse range of stories and vignettes, such as ‘Family Values’ ( a tale about a family visiting their folks in the country); ‘New Digs’ (about an elderly lady changing her address); ‘Fresh Pickings’ ( a tale of young love and expectations); ‘The Virgin Dancer’ ( discovering dancing in middle age) and ‘A Question of Trust’ ( a new relationship in trouble).

Many readers have told me that they liked it very much, and some have purchased extra copies as gifts.

If you like Short Stories, particularly those written by Australian women writers, then I suggest you investigate this volume.

Here Comes Winter!

15 May

Our  garden in carpeted in brown and yellow leaves. Even the stragglers are drifting away, and, for the first time for many months, the bare bones of our imposing maple tree appear in all their nakedness. It tells me what I already know: winter is just around the corner.

What an abrupt change it is! Just last week, Sydney basked in glorious sunshine and warmth. People flocked to beaches, and swam in the sea. Was this the summer we didn’t have?

But, brutally, now it’s gone: replaced by bracing mornings and cool though sunny days. The lure of the ocean swimming wafts away, replaced by snuggling into our winter warmers, and staying out of the wind.

So, for now, let us Sydney siders focus on the joys of winter: baked dinners that warm our souls as well as our bodies; long walks in the crisp, exhilarating air; snuggling up with a loved one (or a good book).

Let’s make the most of what we’ve got!

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At the Beach : My First Encounter….

9 May

Sydney-siders like us woke up to a wonderful day, full of blue skies and the promise of unseasonal, warm weather. We weren’t in for  a disappointment, either, since by mid-morning one could be forgiven for thinking it was summer.

The lure of the sea-side overwhelmed me, so off we set, with a hastily-packed lunch, my swimming gear, and our little dog: off to the beach for a few hours of  sunshine and activity.

In case you’re wondering, the water temperature wasn’t too bad, and more than just me ventured in for a dip. I loved to see the shells in all their shapes and sizes as I walked into the baths, and more: their underwater beauty shone through, if you took the time to notice.

We’d just finished lunch, and my eyes were trained on the ocean. Suddenly, I spotted it: a black flash, a fin!

“Look at that! A shark? A whale? A dolphin?”

And that’s precisely what it was: a dolphin, surfacing  and diving! My first dolphin!

But I was wrong. It wasn’t A dolphin: it was two!

So, we watched transfixed as the pair of them swam away, seemingly immersed in their game of follow the leader.

A perfect end to a wonderful day!

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The Baths are Back: But…

5 May

I’ve lost count of how many weeks our local baths was out of action. Ten, maybe more.  So long that swimming there becomes a joy of the past.

So today, when I first see the ‘Baths Closed Due To Health Hazard’  signage finally removed, I look at it with mixed emotions. Sure, I’m tempted to give it a go, but at the same time, the alarm bells still ring in my head. What is so disgusting for such a long time may well have left its taint somewhere; some undiscovered, perhaps well-hidden source.

In other words, I don’t fancy it;  not yet, anyway.

But come next Spring, when the cycle begins again, and deep water and sunshine beckon anew, I’ll bet the call of the tide will once again be strong in my mind, and I’ll venture in again!

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A Great, Grey Day at the Beach!

22 Apr

Why is it that everyone, well, almost everyone, thinks that you need blue skies to have a great day at the beach?

Rubbish. With barely a streak of blue amongst the stunning shades of grey in the sky, I spent a few delightful hours at one of Sydney’s beaches today.

The day was warm and almost windless, and the sea was calm. For a while, I was swimming solo in the baths: until someone else, perhaps spurred on by my presence, or perhaps aware that all was well anyway: swam out into the depths.

The wonderful thing about being alone in the water is that you need never fear collisions with others, and can concentrate fully on the underwater scenery. The shells, the rocks, the sea-plants were all in better focus! In short, I had a very relaxing time!

And, back on dry land, what was their to complain about? The cloudy sky brought with it lovely patterns of muted colours, and soft, misty light in the distance. No glare, no squinting, no harshness: just tranquility!

I’m the first to admit that I, too, like a day in the sun, but realistically, what’s wrong with this subtle, soothing contrast that a cloudy day provides?

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My 150th Post!

20 Apr

What a milestone! My 150th post!

Doesn’t seem long ago that my 100th saw the light of day, and from that, my first follower, Jennifer Avventura, came into my life. Since then, other bloggers have joined her ranks, some leaving lovely comments.

Between then and now, life has had its ups and downs.

The chief apex is, in terms of satisfaction, the publication of our sixth book, ‘Long and Short Australian Stories’, which was released last week, on the 11th April. Even the cover has special significance since my husband, Ronald Sharp B.E.M. took the beach photo that forms its basis on the eve of our wedding anniversary. A day to remember!

Another happy event came from an unexpected source: my blog found its way onto Jennifer Avventura’s list of nominees for ‘The Versatile Blogger Award’. I must admit, I’m more than a little unclear if this is an honour or not! Why is Jennifer passing it on so readily?!

The downside to our life has probably been the closure of our local river baths due to pollution, initially caused by torrential rain. Our Swimming Club cancelled all meeting from the end of February, and, with more heavy rain over the past few days, the problem seems no closer to resolution. I guess if and when it’s all fixed and clean, we’ll really appreciate it.

So, here we are on a Friday night, and I’m signing off.

150 posts down, who knows how many to go?

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What’s Happened to Our Baths?

19 Apr

Just this morning, I took a stroll to my local swimming baths: the place I’ve chalked up about six thousand kilometres of freestyle in the past thirty years.

I can’t claim surprise at what I found; after all, yesterday’s rain pelted down hard on our rooftop, and we’re less than two kilometres away.

It was, in a word, disgusting. Sad to say, I’ve seen it even worse, but….

Instead of that strangely indescribable colour of clean river water, I saw dense, brownish stuff, splattered with debris.

The ‘Baths Closed Due to Health Risk’ sign was still in force, and to my knowledge, this is for a record period. Our Club last raced here in late February: every subsequent meeting had to be cancelled. What a disaster for our morale!

When will it ever return to normal? Will we swimmers ever think of it in the same way as B. F.: Before Flood?

Yes, it all went awry following the torrential rains that saw dams overflow! To think, it’s just a few years back that water restrictions were in force, and a desalination plant was constructed!

Clearly, things haven’t changed too much  from the days of poet Dorothea Mackellar, who wrote of ‘droughts and flooding rains’ in our country, Australia.

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Summer: At Last!

4 Apr

It may be April, but at last Sydney, Australia, is getting some beaut summer weather.

What a great day it’s been: warm and sunny. Sure, there’s some clouds around, but who cares? It feels like Summer…

And so it has, for the last week or so….Beach weather, picnic time: enjoy life!

The shops gearing up for the cold to come seem to mock what we have today! And, has it been a long time coming….

The summer we didn’t have is fading in our memories. The weekends spoiled by rain and cold are drifting into the far away.

We have TODAY! We have SUMMER!

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