my life in the land down under


Looking Back / Looking Ahead

Its that time again, when we tend to look back at what’s happened over the past year, and look forward to what the new year has in store for us.

I’ve appreciated reading other’s summaries of the high & low points of their year, so I thought I’d write a list of my own. Rather than letting the year fade into obscurity it would be good to remember and appreciate what 2012 held for me (or alternatively, be glad its over! though thankfully not too much of that). Some of these I’ve already written about in more detail, others may become blog posts in the future. Here follows a mix of good & bad:

Shared meals during the year with family, celebrating birthdays, Christmas and ‘just because’.

Missing other family members who live overseas, and appreciating the technology that enabled us to make a Skype call to some of them last week. It was a nice surprise for my parents, who didn’t know why we had invited them around!

The sad loss of my brother and sister-in-law’s baby at two days old (Elijah had Trisomy 18).

Extended family (and non-family) dramas and confrontations that I could have done without. Hoping 2013 is a year relatively free of stress in this area, though realistically we expect some of it will continue well into the New Year. I just need to learn how to deal with it more calmly!

The occasional coffee outings with a supportive friend; very necessary at times to keep my sanity. 🙂 Looking forward to more of these in 2013.

Injuries of various kinds, which made us appreciate parts of our body we would normally take for granted (e.g. shoulders, toes!).

The privilege of holding my nephew’s hand as he went under anaesthetic for surgery on a fractured toe this week. Even though I’ve worked in paediatrics for a long time and in operating theatre for a year (way back), it’s quite a different feeling when your own family is involved. All went well and he’s back home now.

The children’s ward where I work moved to a new environment mid-year; hopefully the last move for some time.

I joined a beginners’ quilting class back in May and started to make my first quilt, then attended a couple of quilt shows and had my eyes opened to the amazing creativity, variety of patterns and colour combinations out there. Later in the year I learned what a Postage Stamp Quilt was and participated in my first swap as a newbie – see Treasures in the Post and Treasures from Around the World. Progress on the Made with Love quilt has come to a standstill recently, but I plan to have a more positive report soon.

In May I also started this blog and have since ‘met’ other bloggers from around the world with shared interests. I have enjoyed their humour and been inspired and encouraged. Thanks to all who have read my posts over the year, liked, commented and followed. You are much appreciated!

We celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary in September.

Around the same time I joined a Christian women’s book group and read ‘One Thousand Gifts’ by Anne Voskamp; although I missed a few of the meetings I did finish the book and highly recommend it. I look forward to seeing what’s on the agenda for the group this year.

Early in the year I changed from a PC to a Mac computer, and felt as though I was learning a new language for a few months!

I learned how to use the movie capability on my Nikon D7000, and the Mac programme ‘Fotomagico’ for the first time to put together a fusion audiovisual (digital photo slideshow with music and video incorporated). Christmas in July has some of the images I used in the AV and gives the background story.

Over the year we have photographed hair models and family portraits, and learned more about drawing out shy children in front of the camera.

In early November, I attended a photographic convention out-of-town with friends from camera club, which meant being away from home for four days without my ‘other half’. The convention was great, but I missed him!

A Garden & Art Festival was held here in mid-November. Thanks to friends I received a free ticket for one of the days; we visited some beautiful gardens to which I did not do justice with my camera.

I resigned from the position of webmaster for our camera club website, after 11 years; the End of an Era.

I also decided not to renew my subscription to a B&W photography magazine after almost as many years. This doesn’t mean I’ve lost interest in B&W photography, just that I have quite a number of unread magazines and it seemed silly to keep buying them when I wasn’t keeping up!

My darling (he suggested I call him this rather than the impersonal ‘other half’) recently introduced me to the brain training website ‘Lumosity’ as an attempt to keep us young and sharp. Challenging but great fun. 🙂

With some help from a friend, we survived a swarm of bees which made their home in the wall of our house; see Bees in my Bonnet and Fake Rain.

Last but not least, we successfully raised and released a grand total of 128 monarch butterflies from caterpillar stage in November / December. I celebrated the 100th with this post. Our swan plant is slowly recovering and the next batch of caterpillars are growing up, but we’ve shut down the ‘nursery’ for now. I love seeing butterflies flying around the garden. 🙂


So goodbye 2012, welcome 2013.

Happy New Year everyone!

What’s on your list? I’d love to know! 🙂




Want to Hear Something Funny?

This week I came across a blog post titled ‘The Hilarity of Real Spam’ by Marsha of Streaming Thoughts: a great critique of the English language skills of spammers. I responded by saying I received very little spam and posted the one example I’d received recently and not yet deleted. “You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be really something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complex and very broad for me. I’m looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it.” Haha – this was on my post about swarming bees (Fake Rain).

I also (stupidly?) commented that I was looking forward to receiving more funny spam. Well apparently ‘they’ were listening, because today there were no less than 40 waiting for me when I checked in to WordPress!

The majority of them were complimentary but had absolutely no relevance to the post or photo they were commenting on. Such as ‘Rattling fantastic info can be found on this web site’, ‘I love your rich post. brilliant contribution. I hope you produce others. I will continue watching’‘Good Morning, I just stopped by to visit your blog and thought I’d say thanks for having me’, and on my post Bees in my Bonnet ‘A fascinating discussion is worth comment. I do believe that you ought to publish more on this issue, it might not be a taboo subject but usually people do not talk about these issues. To the next! Cheers!!’

However this one, on my Friday Focus: Agfa Isoly post, really got me: ‘Next time I read a blog, Hopefully it won’t disappoint me just as much as this one. After all, Yes, it was my choice to read, however I actually thought you would probably have something interesting to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of moaning about something that you can fix if you weren’t too busy seeking attention.’ !!! I’m surprised my husband didn’t hear me laughing from the other room!

To the next! Cheers!! 😀



About You

There would be no point writing a blog if no-one read it; it would be like writing a journal and locking it away so no-one could ever see it. (ok, maybe sometimes that’s a good thing!)

I came across a great idea recently (if I find the blog concerned I’ll give credit). The author had a page titled ‘About Me’ and another titled ‘About You’, or ‘my story’ and ‘your story’. I would love to get to know followers of my blog a bit better, so I’ve decided to set up an ‘About You’ page.

Please visit and let me know a bit about yourself? Thanks!


Talking When I Should Be Working

Over the last couple of days I’ve discovered how exciting it is to become part of the blogging (in particular, quilting) online community.

I’ve started taking more time to like, comment and follow other people’s blogs that interest me. There are some great blogs out there – creative, inspirational, funny…

People have been embarrassingly complimentary about my quilting and writing efforts (me – talented? are you serious?). One of them even invited me to join a circle of appreciation for the rest of the month (thanks Marsha Lee!). A great idea, but unfortunately not something I can do justice to at the moment.

I put my name into the draw for a quilting book giveaway, and signed up for a ‘newbie’ fabric swap for postage stamp quilts on the Curious Quilter here. I had never heard of those (PSQ’s) before, so the learning curve continues!

Now I’m getting myself into trouble as I take time to comment and respond to comments on my own and other’s blogs. I’m ‘talking’ instead of working. There are other things I should be doing. And my husband is feeling left out! Oops!

Back to work… 🙂



Things have been especially busy here this week with work commitments and preparing for a big out-of-town photo project this coming weekend, so as much as I have wanted to blog and quilt, there hasn’t been much time.

Thanks to those who have followed my blog; your encouragement is appreciated. 🙂 It’s quite amazing to think there are people from other parts of the world, whom I’ve never met, who are interested in what I have to share. I’m enjoying checking out your writings & photographs too,  as time allows. There are some very talented, creative, interesting & funny bloggers here on WordPress – even down to the blog titles and bylines – how do you manage to think up such unique ones?! I’m inspired.