Weekend Coffee Share – October 28, 2019.

Welcome to Another Weekend Coffee Share!

How are you? How has your week been? It’s now Monday morning here for me, which is my usual time for checking in with you after the weekend is done and dusted. I don’t really have much to offer you this morning unless you like a fresh roll with butter and Vegemite on top. Otherwise, you might have to come back later. I’m currently sipping on my cup of English Breakfast Tea, which I re-heated in the microwave after dropping the kids at school and running through the chemist and supermarket. Turns out yet another prescription’s expired. Humph! This is all too much for a Monday morning, especially after things on the home front blew up last night. Like all families, stuff brews for a bit them blows, but it’s not good when more than one person blows at the same time. It’s hard to know how to divide my attention, and not ignore somebody.

Newton Family.JPG

Last week, we drove up to Queensland for my sister-in-law’s wedding on the Gold Coast. It was a beautiful wedding, especially because they’ve both been through a lot and against the odds, they’ve found love again. We had the wedding ceremony on Saturday at 6.00pm and on the Sunday we had what could be described as a post-wedding wake where we met up for lunch at this historic mill site with a large sprawling cafe and an animal farm. It was not only an occasion of catching up with family. I also had some rather deep and probing conversations with a few people, and experienced that sense of delight and disappointment when you meet someone you connect with but doubt you’ll see again. Meanwhile, we were staying with Geoff’s other sister just South of the border at Nureybar, in the hinterland behind stunning Byron Bay. What with going up for the wedding, we didn’t get to go anywhere else, although it was novel to be in the country listening to fruit bats fighting in the fruit trees at night, which to the city person to me sounded rather sinister and macabre.

Lady at Ocean Beach

Lady at Ocean Beach, NSW.

Talking about not getting out and about, that reminds me that our so-called “holiday” was cut short a day after two of the dogs got out and Lady was missing overnight. Geoff had been working on the car to get it ready for the trip and didn’t quite latch the back gate properly. When our daughter went to feed them, she found the gate wide open and Rosie and Lady were gone. Just to compound the difficulties, Lady’s tag had fallen off a few weeks ago and I’ve had a chest infection and hadn’t quite managed to get a new tag. So, while she is microchipped, she didn’t have a tag. Rosie had a tag, but as we later found out, she refused to be caught. So, when they were found on the road, they managed to catch Lady and they dropped her at the vet in the morning and we picked her up. Meanwhile, Rosie arrived back at home about 11.00pm looking absolutely exhausted. She’s a border collie x kelpie and she looked like she’d been running all that time and had well and truly overdone it. While the two dogs were at large, my daughter and I were driving around the streets and stopping off at the beach trying to think like a dog so we could find them. Geoff hit the streets with our other dog, Zac, hoping he’d draw them out. They walked about 10 kilometres without finding any trace of them at all.  It was so eerie being out there. The whole place was just silent. There were very few cars or people out and about although we saw quite a few cats roaming about, their eyes glowing in the headlights. It was like we’d escaped from planet Earth and landed on “Planet of the Cats”. Well, that’s an exaggeration, but it certainly wasn’t “Planet of the Dogs”. Ours were nowhere to be found.

That was enough excitement.

Bridget O'Donnell and children

Meanwhile, I’ve been digging deeper into my family history research along with pursuing that burning question…how did they survive the horrors of the Irish Famine? This branch of my family, the Quealy’s, came from Lisheenfroor, Moyarta, Kilrush, County Clare. I don’t blame you if that all means nothing. Lisheenfroor sounded like somewhere out of an Irish fairytale when I first heard about it too. To put it simply, we’re talking about West Clare and if you’re familiar with the famous etchings of the Famine which appeared in The Illustrated London News, 1849-50 that’s the area I’m talking about. It’s been pretty confronting knowing my ancestors went through all of that and I dread to think of what they saw and experienced themselves, and yet this is what I need to know. I can’t turn my back on what happened. It is a part of me.


However, none of that pays the bills. It doesn’t help organize the family and keep the household running smoothly either. Indeed, it has quite the opposite effect. It sends me into my research tunnel and the world around me could disappear. Moreover, to be able to write this all up in any meaningful fashion, I need to go into this tunnel and nut things out. Distraction is clearly distracting, unproductive and to put so much energy into the research without grabbling with all and writing it up is somehow self-destructive. I don’t know if you agree with that. Yet, the cost of getting to the end and getting it all finished, if that is even possible, is very high.

If you’re a writer yourself, perhaps that rings true to you too.

That constant tension between survival in the real world versus knowing what you’re made of and striving towards that elusive creative or storytelling goal.

Anyway, perhaps I should’ve stuck to offering you tea, coffee and a Vegemite roll. Perhaps, you’re chilled, relaxed and don’t grapple with these tensions. Indeed, I could easy walk down to the beach and post a very pretty photo of the golden sand and rolling ocean glistening in the sun. Some times, it’s not a good idea to think. Worse to dream. Just stay in your rat-run and not take the blinkers off.

Rowena Pearl Beach 2018

Here’s a relaxed outdoor shot I prepared earlier. It’s me on the rocks at Pearl Beach, NSW and that beach in the distance is home. 

Meanwhile, Lady our fluffy Border Collie x Cavalier who is losing black clouds of fur as we head into Summer has plonked herself under my desk and on my feet. She tells me not to grapple with anything and sleeping through life in your bed is okay, as long as a cat doesn’t move into your territory. She tells me that it’s okay to plunder food off the table or the bench and that being in a little bit of trouble is worth a tasty morsel in your belly. She also tells me that life is too short to wait until you get it right to tell a story. Start telling and the story will tell itself if it wants to be told.

Deary me. I would never have thought that Lady could be such a fountain of wisdom. Trust me. She keeps it a closely guarded secret stashed behind her gorgeous floppy ears and fluffy coat.

I think that just about covers things here. How about you? What have you been up to lately? I look forward to hearing from you.

This has been another contribution to the Weekend Coffee Share hosted by  Eclectic Ali. We’d love you to pop round and join us.

Best wishes,


Rosie and ball

PS Rosie insisted I included photo of her. 






12 thoughts on “Weekend Coffee Share – October 28, 2019.

  1. IreneDesign2011

    You have had some huge experiences this week, Rowena. That the dogs disappear at adventures was one thing, that I wouldn’t like either.
    Good to read, that you are so positive 😀

  2. Sagittarius Viking

    I’m so happy you got your dogs back! I know the terrible feeling when something like this happens. I once had a dog, an American Bulldog, that I loved very much. I brought him everywhere. Once my ex husband talked me into leaving him (along with my ex’s dog) with a friend of ours for a weekend getaway. My dog disappeared! I was heart broken. I had that dog since he was 10 weeks old, and he was my best friend. I never stopped looking for him. I got him back a year later! So happy your dogs was found much earlier 🙂

  3. tidalscribe

    I can just imagine what an adventure the dogs thought they were having. We were once at our local beauty spot and a couple were searching frantically and calling for their dog. Then we spotted a border collie crouching, creeping and circling – rounding them up – but they couldn’t see him!

  4. Gary A Wilson

    Yikes! Rowena, at first I thought I was going to be reading about how you were still looking for and hoping that someone would find the dogs. Talk about trauma!
    We had our own version of excitement here with yet another huge fire just north of us. My cousin, who lost his family’s home just 2 years ago in a similar fire has just moved his family and animal collection into their replacement new home, were once again evacuated because this new fire was scary close to them. Further south, we only lost power from Sat – Wed. We were cold and dark, but we did fine and hosted 3 friends who were evacuated. Great times, drinking lots of tea and coffee. One of our guests even brought her dog, which we don’t have due to allergies, so we managed it and everyone had a great time. Apologies for being so late to visit your coffee share, but I’ll bet you have one last cracker, Vegemite and hot cup of tea for a friend. So glad your dog-lettes are home safe and sound.

  5. New Journey

    Not sure what happened, I hit a wrong key and it posted the above. LOL I have been absent from WP, s, seems living here in Tucson keeps me busy! I think that’s a good thing. Our niece just visited last weekend and we spent the entire weekend seeing the sites. And the week before she came I spent the week spring cleaning, it that really is such a thing. LOL It is fall after all. LOL Nothing like company to make you muck out the deep corners. LOL Fall weather has arrived here, had a wonderful thunder storm yesterday morning around 5a!! I laid in bed listening to it roll over and went back to sleep to the sound of rain. Life is good here. I imagine its warming up on your side of the world. I heard about a bad fire there. Hope it was no where near you!! Really glad the dogs made it all back in one piece. Its such a bad feeling knowing the dogs are out there somewhere!! Looked like a beautiful wedding. Can’t believe how tall your kids are. They grow up so fast. Well I have squash in the oven I need to check on, Sending you love and hugs my friend. XXXKat

  6. Rowena Post author

    Hi Kat!
    So good to hear from you and I was wondering about you, although I see your posts on FB and have been keeping up with you there. I’ve just posted my Coffee Share post and that updates on the bushfire front. Tomorrow, a catastrophic fire warning is in force for the entire Greater Sydney region and hundreds of schools are closed and it feels like they’re predicting Armageddon. I’m a bit sceptical. Not because these things don’t happen. They have. However, it seems that when they call out a potential catastrophe, it doesn’t come about. Hopefully, that’s true tomorrow.
    We don’t live near the bush ourselves but our town is surrounded by National Park. It can burn and burn so that could be really devastating.
    I am naturally very concerned about the smoke and my lungs. Wouldn’t surprise me if I end up in hospital even as a precaution tomorrow. I had a bad asthma attack on friday night which was partially due to the smoke and I also vacuumed the loungeroom and it was proabbly a bit much after making the Caramel Nut Tart which was almost a Masterchef type creation.
    Yes. The kids are really growing up. Our son is around our height. Not sure how much more Miss will grow. I think she’s about done. She’ll need to get some platform heels.
    How is your husband going? Chika?
    Sending you lots of love,

  7. Rowena Post author

    Hi Gary,
    Sorry it’s taken so long to reply to your reply. I’ve been sucked down a research tunnel for some time now and pop my head up occasionally for air and try to catch up again. Sorry to hear about your cousin losing their home a couple of years ago and the ongoing fire concerns. You might’ve heard that all of Greater Sydney has been placed on Catastrophic fire warning for tomorrow and hundreds of schools are closed. People have been warned to leave and not to expect help. That there might not be enough resources to go round. It’s pretty terrifying in a way, but so many castrophies don’t seem to take place when they’re predicted eg the Y2K bug.
    So we’ll be hunkered down inside tomorrow. We’re pretty safe here in terms of fires but not so with the smoke and my lungs are very susceptible.
    Hope you have a great week.
    Best wishes,

  8. Rowena Post author

    Wow. That was awful you lost your dog for so long and amazing that you got him back after a year. How did you find him? Sounds like Lassie coming home. Hope things with you are ging well.
    Best wishes,

  9. gaiainaction

    Just reading through your post Rowena, I took note of what your wrote about the Irish famine and yes it is still very much in the peoples minds. It must have been absolutely terrible. I also love the photo of the rocks at Pearl beach, lovely altogether, and you are looking great!

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