Degree of Content

For the past two years, I have been through an emotional and stressful time with realising my marriage was over, including having to deal with a partner in denial of his personal issues.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t actually the most stressful part of my life, the loss of my dearly passed father was what nearly tipped me over the edge.

Thank goodness for my immediate family and the most wonderful caring friends and my inner strength has brought me to a completely new life.

Yes, I am now contended with my lot in life and living on my own.

However living on your own comes with a degree of difficulties, like the handy person type tasks, which I have never had to endure before.

Being someone who is committed to learning new skills, what is picking up a spanner and wrecking the toilet seat, destroying the ceiling fan or screwing the wrong end of the hose fittings to the outside tap? Sooner or later you learn and become skilled in areas you never needed to venture beforehand.

Falling off the stepladder recently and ending up in the emergency room at the local Medical Centre hasn’t deterred me either, despite my sister in Sydney saying, “I know how to scare the bejesus out of her “Nursing Home”.

These comments from my sister created some very interesting conversations amongst my family and friends on Facebook. Unfortunately, it had no effect as I used that same stepladder to trim the garden hedge and this time did more damage to my poor right knee by twisting an already painful knee. Now it is waiting to see a physio to do their magic by easing the swelling and of course pain.

Despite my painful knee I have managed to master fitting out a new toilet seat and yes now have the correct connections on the hose. Will wait until my friends from Western Australia arrive on Saturday to fix the rather lopsided ceiling fan.

The degree of difficulty living alone can be remedied, especially if you have self-determination and prepared to use all your skills and of course Y-tube to learn about fixing things around the house.


Feeling Special on Mother’s Day


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Every mother deserves to feel special, especially on Mother’s Day.

I certainly felt very special, commencing with visiting my youngest daughter Roanne, who had planned an eventful day and a surprise. She had purchased the previous day, from a dog breeder a tiny Chinese Crest female 8-week-old puppy suitably named Sasha.

No, Sasha wasn’t for me, not having any children herself, only a Himalayan seven-year-old cat, she planned for some time to buy a little dog and thought Mother’s Day was a great opportunity to show off her new purchase.

On entering Roanne’s townhouse, whilst aligning the stairs there was the cutest little puppy you could imagine greeting me at the top of the stairs, she was too small to attempt a stair descend. Sasha couldn’t contain her excitement of seeing yet another human, although she kept looking back to see if her new owner was still in view.

Roanne’s plan for the day, which included sampling wines at our favorite relatively local winery, Two Tails Winery in Nana Glen, somewhere we hadn’t visited for many years, then an evening meal at our favorite Indian Restaurant.

The bonus of the day was a lovely gift of my favorite perform and of course little Sasha.

Being entertained whilst sitting and watching the antics of an 8-week old puppy trying to convince Roanne’s cat Coco to play was amusing when all the cat wanted to do was push this weird thing out of the house. Sasha would run up to Coco and bark with the sound of “come to play with me”. Unfortunately, this action just scared the life out of Coco to the point of backing off and scurrying away to higher grounds, like a chair or bed, as long as it was out of the sight of this little annoying puppy.

It will take several weeks for both cat and little puppy to get used to one another, but over time and with the love and care for both pets from Roanne, she will have her own little family.

We managed to drag ourselves away from the entertainment to enjoy our wine sampling, visit back to the townhouse, then off to enjoy our Indian evening meal.

What an amazingly wonderful Mother’s Day spent with my daughter and her pets.


Great Uncle Mayson Penn Our Anzac Hero




Between 2014 and 2018 Australia will commemorate the Anzac Centenary, marking 100 years since our nation’s involvement in the First World War.

It was fascinating to find out through my sister Deb Smith that we actually have an Anzac Hero in our family heritage.

Thanks to Deb’s searching ability on where they recently released new information about World War 1 Anzacs that she managed to find a photo of our Great Uncle Mayson Penn who died at Gallipoli in 1915.

Great Uncle Mayson immigrated to Australia from England with our Dad’s father William Mossop Penn in 1912 and two years later war broke out in Europe. Similar to a lot of young men at that time, he enlisted at Liverpool in Sydney and joined the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) 19th Battalion.

Unfortunately, he died whilst leaving the trenches to fight on Hill 60 on 25th August 1915 and is buried at Lone Pine War Memorial at Gallipoli (his photo and name are inscribed in the photos attached).

To imagine that he traveled from England all the way to Australia for a better life only to travel back to Europe and be killed fighting for Australia is a heartbreak, as it was for the families of 60,000 who were killed and 156,000 wounded, gassed or taken as prisoners’.

When we acknowledge ANZACS in years to come, we will be thinking of our Great Uncle Mayson Penn, a factual Anzac Hero.

Masquerade Party


IMG_2309From the moment we stepped out of the taxi we were greeted with let’s have a fun party mode. Fire dancers greeted our arrival at Opal Cove Resort, Coffs Harbour followed by the most amazing creations of masks to adorn the guests in the room, some you knew straight away, but others kept their secret alive by wearing rather interesting disguises.

Once inside the venue, our lips touched a cold glass full of champaign or here in Australia bubbly, followed by delicious canapés. This, of course, took away any formality as we wondered around saying hello to the people we had the opportunity of catching and of course a photo or two. How could you not partake in photo opportunities, after all this was the first masquerade party I had ever attended in Coffs Harbour, all thanks to the inventive ideas of our hosts at Joyland Carers Retreat, Korora.

With more than 7000 carers in and around Coffs Harbour and only one facility like Joyland Carers Retreat, who raises funds by holding such events to enable carers to have a few days respite themselves.

The bubbly enjoyed, now time for settling into a night full of surprises and most importantly fun!

It was long before our host got the party started by welcoming everyone, especially the sponsors who donated the most fantastic prizes for the raffles and of course a table of eight carers who were special guests for the evening.

As the surrounding area is Aboriginal Country, Aboriginal Elder Aunty Bea Ballangarry, read out a perfect ‘Welcome to Country Story’ welcoming everyone, especially the carers of the country.

It wasn’t long after this that an incredible icebreaker called ‘pass the parcel’ was actioned. This entertaining event certainly got the competitive spirit pumping, as at the end of several wrappings of paper, someone got the prize, unfortunately, it wasn’t me!

A beautiful two-course meal followed with a special birthday cake for our host Ellen who was celebrating her birthday and all the Arians in the room one of those Arians included me. This was such a wonderful surprise and perfect gesture for all the Arians in the room.

Dinner over lets the dancing begin and wow it certainly began. The musicians were without a doubt the best three-piece band, including the guitarist performing the wonderful array of songs, which we could dance and dance the night away, regardless of how tired we were, there was no way that this terrific music wasn’t going to have our full-on dancing skills tested thoroughly.

My colleague, who was one of the carers, just couldn’t stop her motor running. Such a delight to see her dancing to anything and everything that the musicians pumped out, their repertoire was far-ranging, from nice and slow to the country and of course rock. Some of us nicely dress ladies, including my carer friend, adjourned with their fine shoes and went barefoot dancing, why not when you are having so much fun!





Humbling Experience

I recently had an overwhelming experience through the social inclusive efforts of a company that I represent as a board member by participating in a philanthropic grant funds allocated to a Neighbour Hood Centre in the Mid North Coast, enabling them to purchase equipment suitable for accommodating reclaimed foods for community members who are mainly unemployed people finding it difficult to survive and have food on their tables.

To be part of assisting the community in such a worthy cause is humbling, yet disturbing to see the volume of people, adults, and children that are in a situation where they are needing food relief assistance.

The real heroes are the community volunteer members that need to be celebrated for their tireless work. They give their time and efforts to ensure that every opportunity is ceased to help people in their community. Without these volunteers sourcing opportunities like grants and companies willing to participate by donating grocery items, disadvantaged people in our community would suffer even more.



Excitement Abound


One of the most exciting events occurred recently when I planned and ventured on my road trip to finally meet up with my sister Caroline and her children, the children whom I have never met, to help celebrate her 53rd birthday.

It had been over forty years since I last saw my sister, the last time she would have been about eight years of age.

The excitement felt took over me, what if I got too emotional and fell apart by just seeing her?

Caroline sighted us before we saw her, she yelled out “their here”. What wonderful music to my ears just to hear her voice after all the years.

The forty years seemed to just fade away, she looked the same, of course, older, as we both were, but the same little girl stood there in front of me. We hugged, cried, talked continually and just stared at one another.

Throughout her birthday lunch celebration, I couldn’t stop glancing at Caroline, she was so much like our Dad, she has the same glare when concentrating on the conversation, raised eyebrows expression just like our dearly passed Dad.

Looking across and down the table at my nieces and nephew, which I have never met appeared to be strange, but wonderful. Added to the wonder is a sweet little two-year-old grand niece, her big brown eyes just melted you away. She too has that similar expression to Caroline, so sweet!

How do you really catch up on all those lost forty years? Obvious you can’t you just live for the moment, talk about anything and everything, giving particular attention to how she is feeling. Her excitement was contagious and this, of course, positioned the mood for everyone.

Glen Innes, NSW Road Trip

Up until recently, I have not been able to plan a road trip just for me, somewhere that I wanted to go and see in our beautiful country. My chosen location was Glen Innes, north/west about 256Ks from where I live in Coffs Harbour.

Thankfully one of my friends also wanted to see Glen Innes and she suggested that it was a good idea to travel there when something of interest was happening.

The weekend we decided to drive there was at the time of their annual gem festival, where exhibitors from all over the country set-up their stalls, some selling precious and non-precious gems, while others selling their finished jewelry wares. And a wine, cheese and chili sauce exhibitor somehow managed to set-up a stall. This exhibitor became my dancing partner on a Saturday night.

After our three and a half hour drive, booking our two nights accommodation at a motel with WIFI, we set off to explore the gem festival. It wasn’t long before we were entrenched in discovering all about rocks, fools gold, and of course gems. Trying not to spend too much by way of seeing and wanting, what I really didn’t need was a challenge.

Many hours of discovery passed and it was time for us to go back to our motel, which actually lacked the WIFI connection, have a shower and frock up to see what the nightlife was all about. The place that stood out what the local Club, where to our delight they had a live two-piece band, called ‘Spanish Fly’. Neither of us had heard of them, but when you are in the country you do what the locals do and enjoy!

It wasn’t long before we got into the groove of the wonderful entertainment, except there was something missing, people. We seemed to be the only two people sitting right in front of the band and enjoying the grooving along, we even asked for our chosen songs, which they happily played. Their repertoire was amazing.

Neither of us could believe that this wonderful music was being played by just two people, us.

It was about an hour or so sitting there by ourselves when all of a sudden three men who just wanted to dance and obviously have some company surrounded us. One of the men was the wine, cheese and chili sauce exhibitor.

Three hours later, tired feet and exhausted by all the laughing that occurred we said our goodbyes and parted for our motel beds.

On arriving at our motel we both agreed that having a sleep in was a good idea before we headed off the next day to explore the surrounding areas, including the heritage buildings, which dated back to 1886, all in pristine condition and such character, something that is missing in Coffs Harbour.

The last few hours of the following day were spent sampling the wine, cheeses and chili sauce and laughing about what a great night we had the previous evening.

Our road trip to Glen Innes was certainly a town of discovery and without a doubt one to remember.