Wednesday, December 26, 2012


Well folks, it may have been 39.6C yesterday but we both still had a wonderful Christmas day at C  & M's home.  They were able to have their airconditioning repaired on Christmas Eve which of course made it so much more comfortable and a strong sea breeze came in about lunchtime which made it a tad better as well.

There were 11 of us that sat down to Christmas lunch (the baby was asleep) and a delicious meal it was too.  Turkey, ham, pork, prawns and of course some great salads.  An hour or so later we had tiny cheese cakes and a really super trifle.  Couldn't have asked for anything better.

You would love our 3 great-granddaughters (actually your great-great-granddaughters).  CT at 16 is just such a loving girl and always a pleasure to be with.   Immy is quite the little miss at nearly 5 and knows just what she wants and when she wants it. She loves to sing and dance and she got the most gorgeous fairy outfit for Christmas and looked so beautiful wearing it.  Little AJ is so precious and one of those happy babies that makes you feel good just watching her antics.  As C & M were living in Sydney when Immy was small we of course didn't see much of her, except on fleeting visits to Perth, and I feel we missed so much because of the distance between us, but that's life I guess.

The drive there and back to C & M's is takes over an hour but all the drivers were well behaved so no hassles at all.  It was hot in the car but the airconditioning made it bearable.  I often wonder how I managed to drive home from work each day in the 1970s/1980s right into the afternoon sun with no airconditioning in my Escort.  I guess I was much tougher then.  Can't live without it now.

So, another Christmas has come and gone.  I drank a silent toast to those no longer with us, of whom these days there are many.  I tried to remember family and friends, including yourselves of course, and there are so many precious memories that I am so fortunate to keep close to me.

Love you

Friday, December 21, 2012


Hi Mum and Dad

Only 4 more sleeps, as the children say, and it will be Christmas Day.  Phil and I have had trouble getting into the Christmas spirit this year but we have finally finished the shopping and I have sent our last Christmas card by mail.  Lesser friends receive electronic greetings these days and they seem to enjoy receiving them which is great.

We are both a wee bit exhausted but hopefully we have remembered everything we had to do.  Food shopping has been done as well and as it is only for the two of us so no big deal.  Simple meals for hot days.  Believe me we are in for a very hot week with 39C on Christmas Day forecast.

I understand we are going to C & M's for Christmas lunch although nobody has actually told us what the plans are yet.  Still the family are a wee bit like that and I am sure we will hear all about it in plenty of time.  We are really looking forward to it as the past few years have been really wonderful and now of course we have our third great-granddaughter to share the day with.

These days we are pretty well excluded from having to do much except perhaps provide serviettes, crackers and perhaps take a salad or two.  It is nice to be able to sit back and let others do the main catering after all these years. I am sure we will hear in plenty of time what our designated tasks are.  None of the family seem to enjoy Christmas pudding or cake so we have a small one for ourselves at home on Boxing Day.  Just have to have Christmas pud with custard and cream at this time of year.

I am beginning to understand why we always were away on holidays from Christmas Eve and I am thinking what a lot of work it saved you both.  No decorations to up at home or meals to plan.  Plus we all had a wonderful time with the same people year after year at Mandurah House.  Oh, life seemed so simple then.  Not like the mad rush it always seems to be for everyone these days with not a second to sit back and enjoy life as we once did.

You will be missed at Christmastime as you always are and I will drink a silent toast to you both at the same time remembering all those wonderful holiday Christmases we shared for many years.

Love to you both

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Dear Mum

I address this to you because Dad had left this mortal coil some years before your #3 great-granddaughter arrived on the scene.

You'll never guess but that g/granddaughter has gone to Alaska on a 2 year work visa which I believe can be extended if she so chooses.  It was quite a big thing when I went over to Melbourne in 1950 to work but these days the young are departing for all parts of the globe.  B has a girlfriend over there with whom she will be living and working for/with her friend's father.

She was so excited to be going after having contact with her friend for two years and I think they are really enjoying being together.  We had a farewell up at her mum and dad's house and took family photos which will long be treasured.

These days you can keep in touch through computers using what they call email where you write messages to each other any time you want (the old system of writing letters is now referred to as 'snail mail') although people do still write letters and send greeting cards to each other.

There is also a way of using the computer through a system called Skype where you can talk to each other through the computer from anywhere in the world and it doesn't cost anything.

This would all seem quite unbelievable to you and believe you me a lot of it is quite unbelievable to me as well and I often gasp in amazement at the way modern technology is advancing, much too fast for me in fact.   I now also have Skype (K set it up for me and I've actually spoken to her through our computers).  Problem is for some reason the camera on my computer is not working and although I could see K (oh yes, you can actually see each other as well) she couldn't see me which is probably no loss.

Owing to all this modern technology we won't have to wait for letters to come from Alaska but will know day to day just how B is faring as she gets set up for her new job and gets used to the cold weather.  She discovered snow for the first time last week but has also discovered its downfalls too and what it is like to be really cold.

We are all wishing her well and K and I are somewhat envious that she will be enjoying a white Christmas while we over here will probably be sweltering.

Talk to you again soon

Friday, December 7, 2012


Hi there again Mum and Dad

I am feeling just a wee bit fed up with me right now.   The arthritis is a real pain (not joking either) and recently I have been having attacks of vertigo, the last one of which lasted up to about 8 hours.  I recently saw an ENT specialist (boy do they know how to charge) and after doing some tests and asking lots of questions he feels I perhaps have Meniere's syndrome!  Funnily he didn't ask me if I suffer from tinitus and I forgot to tell him I have for about 20-25 years!

Do you remember that is what Len suffered from and how ill it used to make him?  Apparently it is rare for it to begin with someone of my age but I guess I've always had strange things happen so why not this?  I am hoping that as it has occurred late in life it will perhaps take a long time to advance as I'd hate to be as ill with it as Len used to be.

I see the specialist again in about 4 months time when he said he will give me a definite diagnosis but not sure exactly how he will do that.  Until then I just hope the vertigo attacks don't come too often  I mustn't speak too soon.  It is well over 2 weeks now since the last one so fingers crossed they will get less over time.  Hope that's not too much to wish for.  What is it they say?  "Always be careful what you wish for!"  With Christmas only 18 days away I'd like to stay reasonably fit until at least then.

Sorry to have a grizzle but sometimes it's difficult not too.  I guess with the arthritis, diabetes etc. it just sort of gets to me at times.


Saturday, November 17, 2012


Hi folks,

Well,  here it is 17th November and just over 5 weeks until Christmas Day.  Thoughts have turned to what Phil and I would like for Christmas as the family has devised a clever way of doing gifts for the festive season.  We all write a list of what we would like (up to $100's that amount surprises you eh?) and lists go in one hat and names in another and we then receive a list and have to buy gifts for just one person.  Fantastic idea and it means that nobody has to scratch their heads for days wondering what to buy each family member and everyone receives the gifts they want.

This got me thinking back to Christmas when I was a child and I realised that of course from when I was about 8 years old we spent every Christmas down at Mandurah House and it was rather like a big family gathering as the same people were there year after year.  I know Mrs Turner used to put on a great Christmas dinner for everyone and there were some decorations in the dining room.  How old was I when we stopped going to Mandurah House?  I truly can't remember but do know I was down there when I was in my very late teens, possibly until I was 19.

More thinking then made me realise that we never had decorations or a Christmas tree in our home and of course presents during the war years were hard to find and often comprised secondhand books that Dad found in the auction rooms or clothes you had made for me.  I still remember those times with a great fondness but realised as an adult I just didn't know how to 'do' Christmas at home.

That may sound weird but never having had those things in my youth or been involved in putting up decorations or decorating a tree sort of left me unprepared to do those things when I grew up.  I always tried to make Christmas great for my two children (their father unfortunately never helped make it 'merry') and I think they were always happy with what I did but I often wonder.  I do so hope their Christmases were special, or as special as I could make them.

These days I hear younger people talk about all the wonderful things that are in the shops and I see the trees ranging from $10 to $300 or more and all the fabulous decorations and the food and everything that is available.  None of those things were ever really part of my life over the years but do I have regrets?  Yes and no.  What I do remember though is having the love of two wonderful people and to me I think that is probably the best gift one can have at any time of the year as there are so many folk in the world today who never receive that gift.  I was so fortunate.

Thanks to both of you for your love and will be thinking of you at Christmas as I always do.

Love you still

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Dear Mum and Dad

As summer approaches here in W.A. we are being warned that we could have a very dangerous bushfire season.  We had a very dry winter and therefore it was apparently impossible do to all the prescribed burning required to make the bush safe.

We can only hope that there won't be the devastating fires of last season when so many properties were lost, although fortunately no loss of lives.

So many people had to try and rebuild their lives and with the loss of their homes came the sadness of all the special 'things' that were lost in the fires.

This got me thinking of the loss of your farmhouse all those years ago before I was born.  You had apparently been off camping on another part of the farm overnight only to return home the next day to find your home completely gutted by fire.  One can only imagine the shock you must have felt.

All your precious things you had brought with you from England had gone, although strangely enough one item did survive...Dad's MBE medal minus the ribbon of course.  We often wondered what that medal was made of as gold and silver had melted in the fire with all other metals.  I often think we should have tried to find out what the metal was but, like so many things, one never gets around to finding out.  I know Len had the medal when you went Dad and I am not sure who has it now.  Perhaps I should as Wendy or Penny if they know what happened to it.

I know all Dad's football medals and newspaper cuttings from when he played for Tottenham Hotspurs in London in the early 1900s were lost and how I would have loved to see them and read the articles about him.  Mum you always said he was a champion soccer player and loved to talk about him playing.

It also means that nothing of your past was there for me to see or touch and although they were only material things they were part of both of you and I would have cherished them so much.

You were amazing Mum how you rebuilt a temporary house out of saplings etc and beds made with wheat bags and all that.  You both survived and made good and were able to eventually adopt me a few years later and I am so glad you did.  The main thing I guess was I had both of you for a number of years, so perhaps nothing else really mattered.

Love you both so much still
Your own daughter  xxxx

Monday, October 29, 2012


Dear Mum and Dad

I wonder what you will think of the latest idea to celebrate 'something' which perhaps has been done with the hope people will also spend money on gifts or the like or just to truly bring families closer together in this age of rip, tear, rush.

I know it is celebrated in New South Wales but not sure about our other states and yesterday was the inaugural day in Western Australia with events held in different areas of the state to celebrate the day.

Now I know you are wondering what on earth I am talking about so I will explain.  There is now to be an annual Grandparents Day!!  I wonder what you both would think of that idea. I somehow don't think it will take off but I guess only time will tell.

Perhaps it is a ploy to help the economy...who knows?  I think it is quite a delightful idea as in this day and age people are so busy that sometimes grandparents do get overlooked.

Just thought I'd run the idea by you as I am still toying with the idea myself.

An American friend told me they celebrate Mother-in-Law's Day.  Now there IS a thought.  I hope that helps bring families closer who perhaps have m-in-law problems.

Bye for now

Monday, October 22, 2012


Hi Mum

I am just addressing this to you as I doubt Dad would remember friends I had years ago.  I am sure you would remember Hilary Moore that was with me at Perth College.

She did stay at our place in Coronation Street and I stayed at their place on the other side of the railway line in Mount Lawley just under the Lord Street subway.

Hilary, Pam and Betty and I formed a little group at PC and had lots of fun together including creeping down and eating our lunch under the fruit trees near the Intermediate school.  We knew we shouldn't be there which made it much more fun but we were doing no harm and fortunately never got caught.  I lost touch with the 3 girls after I left PC at the end of 1945.

The reason I mention Hilary is that my physiotherapist mentioned her mother's maiden name and I said I'd gone to school with a girl of that name and when I explained who she was and where she lived Jenny realised Hilary was actually her mum's cousin.  Talk about a small world!

I was given Hilary's current address so I wrote to her.  She is now a widow and lives in a retirement village in Cooloongup (near Rockingham) and she eventually telephoned me. We had quite a long chat and it turns out that neither she nor I enjoyed being at Perth College one little bit.  I know it cost you and dad quite a lot to send me there but you also know I couldn't wait to leave and after just 2 years I did and went to commercial college.  I have always appreciated the fact that the two of you must have gone without a lot to give me a good education.

Whether I will ever get to see Hilary or not I don't know and it hasn't been discussed.  She rang me recently when she had a really bad cold and I've written back to her but perhaps we are both too old now to really renew a very distant friendship.

Hilary has 5 children and from what she tells me they are a very close family and look after her when she needs it so perhaps she doesn't need more than an occasional letter from me or she may ring me again.  I hope she does as it is difficult to telephone her as she said she is seldom in her room.

Whatever the outcome it was just so great to talk to someone I'd not seen for about 67 years and we both remembered each other so well.

Thursday, October 18, 2012


Hi Mum and Dad

Didn't get back to you as soon as I intended but I need peace and quiet to set down the words I want to say and it has been a few quite busy days for we two oldies this week.

Monday Phil had to his visit his sleep doctor who is very pleased with him and will see him for a final visit in six months so that was good news.  His sleep machine is working really well.

I had an appointment with my physiotherapist Monday afternoon and she worked on my neck and the muscles around my ribs which were really giving me a problem and she certainly has smoothed out those aches and pains quite a bit.  Tomorrow I go back for some work on my lower back which has been badly neglected of late because of my knee and other bits and pieces that all got shook up when I did that sudden sitdown on the steps at the Rockingham Hotel a few weeks back.

On Tuesday we had the car booked in for its 6 month service at the RAC.  Poor Phil got held up in traffic so arrived 3 minutes late to catch the bus shuttle home so he had to walk to the bus, wait for about 20 minutes and then walk from the bus stop to home.  He was quite worn out when he arrived home 'cos he's not been doing as much walking as perhaps he should have been doing of late.

He was scheduled to be picked up by the shuttle bus that afternoon but it got to 4pm and no word from RAC.  We telephoned 3 times to try and get through to the Myaree workshop but just didn't make it.  They have these stupid 1300 or 13 numbers these days and it takes a while to get through to talk to a human being and when you do they then have to try to put you through to those you wish to speak to.  The young lass was very helpful on the last call and said she would get the folk at Myaree to ring back but they never did.  I think we should find out if they have a direct line to the Myaree workshop.  It got to 4.30pm so we thought it best for Phil to get a taxi over there.  Fortunately the taxi arrived within minutes and when he reached the workshop was told the car was not quite ready but he would have been picked up by the bus eventually.  It would have been great if someone had bothered to ring him with that information.   So....$20 out of pocket for taxi fare and the special offer of $35 off the account was not forthcoming as the man behind the counter said he knew nothing about the offer we had received by email even though Phil showed him a print out of the confirmation.

I was going to ring the RAC and complain but yesterday I had another silly vertigo attack and, even though I took a stemitel, it takes about 4 hours to fully recover from the attack.  I am definitely going to ring RAC tomorrow as I felt we were badly let down by them.  It is a shame as the car, which is now just over 8 years old, has been running better and doing a better mileage than when it was being serviced by Hyundai themselves.

Today we drove down to Rockingham.....gee, it is so beautiful down there by the front.... and had lunch at the old Rockingham Hotel.  We met Richard again (he is Judy and Barry's youngest and we have become great friends since both his mum and dad died as his siblings all turned against him and he needs someone who cares.  Richard had been making copies of some old photos I had which I had promised to send to Verna in Canberra and he has done a wonderful job with them.  I am sure she will be delighted to have them as they are of her parents and grandparents and other family members.  Verna will be 90 next month and we often have lengthy chats on the phone and get on so well together.  I still look on her as my sister-in-law even though I am not still married to her brother.

Gee, I really have gone on a little long but just wanted to cover what has been happening this week.  I am not sure the two of you would enjoy this modern, hectic world.  Phil and I are old enough now that we often sit and talk about what it was like 50 years ago and yearn for the peace and quiet of those times.  He has been in Australia 52 years now so like you Mum he is no longer an Adventurous Pom but definitely a Dinkum Aussie.

Love to you both

Sunday, October 14, 2012


Hi there

Today has been a sleepy sort of day for both of us although we did achieve one small thing that I'd been wanting to get done for some time.  Out here in my workroom (or should I say store room) I have too many things so today we cleaned out one small corner and cleaned it up and have put a nice comfy armchair there so Phil can sit there to have a coffee or read if he cares to.  At this time of year it catches the afternoon sun which will suit him fine.  For some time I have often been out here using my computer and he is in the living room either reading or listening to music, or both.  We both felt we should perhaps spend a little more time in each other's presence so now we can.

Our dear little cat is 11 day.  Mum you would have loved her.  She has always been very shy of strangers but I am sure she would have been OK with you as she would have felt your love of animals.  No really special treat for her today but she did have TWO dinners and enjoyed them both.

We had a little more rain but now I think there are a few fine days ahead of us so some more washing to be done to catch up a bit.  It is at this time of year you think of getting out summer clothing when you have a sudden hot day and then it's cold again so you wonder if the winter togs were washed and packed away too soon.  It's like going on holiday and not knowing what clothes to pack so you have to take a bit of each. 

I am not sure what you would make of politics in Australia at the present time.  Our Premier, Colin Barnett, said the other day that he considered our Federal Parliament to be somewhat of an embarrassment both here and overseas and I feel he was right.  The goings on over in Canberra of late leave a lot to be desired and are very different to how you would remember it.  There is so much vindictiveness flying back and forth across the chamber that it truly is embarrassing to watch.  Phil and I used to quite enjoy watching Question Time as we felt we were learning what was happening in the governing of our country but not any more.  It is all somewhat of a shambles now.

We have a couple of medical appointments tomorrow so I best be off and get ready for bed so we can be up at a reasonable time in the morning.  We both tend to be night owls and sleep in most mornings.  Not like you Dad, up each morning at 6a.m.  I imagine that was caused not only by you working long hours in the office in London but more likely from you farming for 17 years down south here.   Cows don't like to be kept waiting to be milked so the farmer has to be up early no matter how tired he is. 

Goodnight to you both

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Another Very Ordinary Day

Hi folks

Well today has been rather uneventful although we did have some really good rain for which we must be thankful.  This has been a very dry year in Perth, in fact our 4th driest winter since records began to be kept.

I have done very little today although dishes done and beds made.  I remember Mum you always saying that as long as the beds are made and the dishes washed the house will look tidy, or words to that effect.  I know you were not a lover of housework but our home was always neat and tidy which is more than I can say for ours sometimes.  I think we have far too much clutter everywhere.  I am constantly loading up the car and sending bits and pieces to the op shop but so far it doesn't seem to have made much difference.

We had a couple of really very warm days earlier in the week so thought perhaps it time for salads again but now it has turned cold and in fact Phil has just told me he's turned the airconditioner on to warm the living area.  I must admit I have just popped a jacket on and if I am feeling cold then cold it must be.  Anyway I have the salads in the 'fridge so tonight it will be grilled pork cutlet and salads.  Perhaps back to vegies again next week if the weather stays cool.

I have spent quite a bit of today on and off the computer.  Mum you would love using a computer.  Just imagine how much easier it would have been for you when you were typing the draft of your book on that old typewriter you had.  I still have the draft here and feel loathe to ever destroy it.  I realise just how much time it must have taken you to do it all.

We were very cross today after Phil had been to the chemist.  Not only did the young chemist put the wrong doctor's name on my medicine but actually gave Phil the right medicine but the wrong dose.  With this particular medicine the dose is 100mg a day and this chemist gave him tablets that were only 25mg.  Now he is taking these tablets because of a growth he has on his adrenal gland that causes his blood pressure to rise and his potassium levels to drop dramatically.  If we hadn't noticed the wrong dosage Phil could have had real problems.  There are 100 tablets that last 3 months so his blood pressure could have sky rocketed and his potassium gone down without him knowing about it. He of course took the tablets back but this was a dreadfully bad error and I feel he has to report it to the boss next week.  We are never ones to 'dob' anyone in but when it comes to medicines it is a different thing altogether.  Thank goodness Phil noticed the tablets were smaller than the previous ones.

There's not a lot more to tell today but I will try and get back tomorrow and see if I can find anything else that may be of interest to you.

Love to you both

Friday, October 12, 2012

Dear Mum and Dad

I just had a sudden brilliant idea.  I now lead a rather mundane life but often feel I'd like to sit down and tell somebody about it.  I know you've both been gone from this mortal coil for a number of years.  Dad is it really 50 years since you left us and Mum nearly 28 years since your departure?  I find it so hard to believe as you are both with me every day of my life, sometimes closer than others.

I'm hoping you won't mind me putting my thoughts and 'adventures' on paper and addressing them to you.   I give you no choice do I?  Is that rather mean of me?  No I don't think so, so here goes.

Guess what?  Our first Christmas card arrived today.  Yes, from Joan and Ben in Liverpool, England.  It is even earlier than usual but always lovely to hear from them.  Mum, I think you would remember them.  They rented the little flat in the front of your house in Fitzgerald Street for a time before moving to the eastern states.  They had three children while in Australia but I always felt so sorry for them as Joan's mother kept writing saying she thought Joan's dad wouldn't last long and he'd never get to see his grandchildren.  They eventually felt they had to return to the UK and I believe Joan's dad lived on for a number of years after their return.  I know from Joan's letters they were never entirely happy back in their home country.  It's a shame when adults interfere in the life of the young but I guess Joan and Ben thought they were doing the right thing in returning home.

Our lovely cleaning lady, Jenny, came today.  I have no idea how she gets through so much work in an hour. I am sure I was never that good even when I was able bodied.  She always like to spend 15 minutes or so after she's finished having a cuppa before she moves on to her next job. We are lucky that it is inexpensive as it is through a scheme for oldies through our local council and government subsidised.

Yesterday was so hot we decided salads for dinner instead of hot food so we had salmon and salad and today is still pretty warm so tonight it was pork sausages and salad.  Both meals were delicious and it was nice to have salads again.

I watched an episode of "New Tricks" tonight but decided against watching "Waking the Dead" as I find it a little too gory.  I think you'd both enjoy "New Tricks" as it has some well known older actors in it although they could have been after you watched TV.  A new series has begun so at least they are not more repeats.

Well I've probably waffled on enough for my first letter to you.  I have a habit of doing that once I get going so you'll both have to forgive me for that.  I am sure you remember how I loved to talk but these days there aren't many people to talk to and that is why I have decided to write these letters.