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