Category Archives: Uncategorized

Beach Escape…

This afternoon, I finally managed to get down to the beach for a good solid walk, making the most of the glorious Autumn sunshine before Winter sets in, sending the sun packing off to the Northern Hemisphere. Of course,  many of you are actively trying to speed that process up. However, we Aussies are a resilient bunch. Although Daylight Savings Time officially ended this morning, we’re not letting Summer go without a fight. By the way, temperatures reached a high of 27 degrees today. Happy Days! It was actually perfect weather.

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I really needed to get to the beach today. As you might’ve read, I’m fully immersed in researching and writing my collection of biographical short-fiction. These stories are based on the numerous stories I’ve collected researching our family histories, and there’s quite a cast of characters with a vast range of tales to tell. Each story feels like a book in itself as I research the person, location and historical framework and in effect pour all these ingredients into some kind of crucible and then try to pluck out the essence. That’s what I use to write these stories. I’m not simply writing their life stories. At times, this process has almost a mystical feel, like I’m pulling a rabbit out of a hat. That’s despite the stories being meticulously researched. So, my eyes and mind are literally buzzing from loads of alt-tabbing between various sources, which is like having flashing lights flickering in my face. It can’t be good. However, now that I’ve finally found my genre and have two stories down and two on the way, there’s no holding back.

Yet, while 100% immersion and a mono focus sounds great from a writing perspective, I still need to eat, sleep, shower and make sure my kids are taken care of and get where they’re meant to be on time and on the right day. These things are falling by the wayside at the moment, and they’ll soon be directed to the microwave and the freezer and told to “insert here”.

Well, it hasn’t got to that point yet. However, this is why I consciously need to pull myself away. I can’t attach a snorkel and keep writing underwater. I need to take breaks and undertake a variety of activities, while still keeping my eye fixed on the prize.

So, it was really great to finally get back to the beach this afternoon. It was bucketing down much of last week. Then, on the other days, it was either too sunny or I’d miss the boat or I’d simply forget to go. I know that doesn’t sound very motivated, but I’m only human. I can’t juggle ten balls in the air and expect to catch them all…especially when I’ve so focused on the one! Still, I keep asking myself How hard can it be to go for a simple walk, especially when it takes in such breathtakingly beautiful scenery? What kind of idiot am I? Well, my only rationale is that even when you live in Paradise, you still need to deal with the every day.

Beach Invaders

We don’t usually get so much seaweed on our beach. I think the heavy rain last week is probably to blame. 

 

Just for your enjoyment, I lugged my massive Nikon DSLR with zoom lens along the beach and thought you’d particularly like to see some Surf Lifesaving touches. The red inflatable boat is known here as a “rubber ducky” and is used for beach rescues. Not sure if you’re familiar with the red and yellow surf lifesaving flags. These flags mark safe swimming area, which is also patrolled by the lifesavers or lifeguards. The flags are also a key feature of our Summer beaches and you might arrange to meet friends “in-between the flags”. Or, if you’re terribly short-sighted like myself, you leave your glasses and towel under a flag, ensuring you get back there before they shut up shop for the day.

While we’re touching on our local surf-lifesaving culture, we have a junior program called Nippers, where young kids gradually learn the ropes. Like all these activities, there’s a huge dropout rate as the physical demands and competitive aspects take their toll. It also takes a lot of commitment, and that also has a sense of heavy competition. Our lives are full to overflowing most of the time.

Both of our kids did Nippers for a few years, before taking up Sea Scouts and shifting their focus over to still water and in our daughter’s case, onto dance. As I am finding myself, it’s hard to maintain a diverse range of interests when you’re trying to conquer the world. Or, at least a particular field.

So, I’ll leave you with a few pics of the kids doing Nippers from years ago and you can imagine yourself down at the beach bright and early on a Sunday morning with the rest of us.

Best wishes,

Rowena

 

CECIL WALKER

Had quite a surprise tonight to find out my husband’s Grandfather’s cousin was an international cycling champion. I can’t believe how many incredible stories I keep finding hidden ain the family closet or the fact that we’ve never heard anything about them.
Best wishes,
Rowena

CYCLE COLLECTION

Article taken from excerpts:

‘Australs and Legends’ by Theo van Kalleveen

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The Yanks were not the only ones to bolster Australian cycling. Cecil Walker, the all-round champion of America, played a part in a bonanza of splendid bike-racing during the mid 1920s.

During the late Twenties, Cecil Walker, the boy from Marrickville, reigned as the undisputed King of Cycling in all-round

competitions in America.

He returned to Australia on a number of occasions for relatively brief visits. He spent more time racing in his hometown of Sydney, rather than Melbourne, as his contract required him to ride there.

Like his contemporaries, he spent his best years in the States collecting Titles.

Young Cecil, being the son of a grocer, helped with deliveries on his bike. He has lost interest in his pony after he had been thrown in front of his mates. He joined the Marrickville Cycling Club instead. At…

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Master & Apprentice…Friday Fictioneers.

“If there’s one thing I’ve learned since becoming the local Coroner, Jack, it’s how to die with dignity. Funny how we all die, yet nobody talks about it.  We keep both eyes fixed on the here and now, and completely deny the hereafter. That’s including the religious folk. When the bell tolled, many of them were also caught out in their holy underwear with the dodgy elastic. What’s the world coming to? Didn’t their mothers ever warn them to wear their good underwear just in case? Apparently not. Never fear. I always come prepared with a range of spares.”

….

99 words

I was struggling to think of something for this scene. However, it did look like somebody ha been called away suddenly. Being Friday Fictioneers, this thought led to the subject of death. How could it not?

This has been another contribution to Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wishoff-Fields, where we write up to 100 words to a provided photo prompt. Photo Copyright –Douglas M. MacIlroy

Best wishes,

Rowena

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Thought you might appreciate a walk up the mountain today and these wonderful evocative photographs. I felt it captured a real sense of what it means to be human xx Rowena

The Ministry of Shrawley Walks

fullsizeoutput_1770October 7th 2018; N, M and D set off to the wilds of Snowdonia in Welsh Wales at 2:30pm. Armed with bags of sweets, toffees, pork pies, nuts and more nuts we set to conquer the mountain (over 610m so it is definitely one fact doubters, see earlier post, no index, etc read the whole thing).

We stayed at Pen-Y-Pass at the head of the Llanberris Valley at 359m above sea level so a climb of 726m was required to reach the summit, a feat not many people would be doing on a diabolical Monday as far as the weather was concerned. N and D woefully underestimated the shiftiness of the weather, the sheer soaking wetness of the rain; that persistent sweeping rain, glasses clouded initially at first while my head was still producing heat from the eyes, and then just remained covered in water droplets, like compound eyes; the…

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Longing

So many of us can relate to that desperate, all-consuming sense of longing. It’s the force which pull us along towards our goals and dreams and the very same force which grips us in a vice. We fail, we suffer. But what if we succeed? Can we ever be satisfied? I thought you would appreciate Rachel’s great post into our longings xx Rowena

rachelmankowitz

I live in a constant state of longing, for safety and comfort, for love, for excitement, for satisfaction, for a lot of things. Longing is both the engine that keeps me going, and the pain that keeps me stuck. There are some things that help for a little while, like: chocolate frosting, puppy kisses, therapy. I keep thinking that a publishing contract would help a lot, because I want to know for sure that my books will be published, not to make a million dollars, just to be sure that people will get the chance to read my work. Because one of my biggest longings is to be heard, and understood.

003.JPG “What is Mommy doing here? Why isn’t she scratching me?”

002.JPG “You’ll get used to it.”

I think that I use the word longing, rather than anticipation, though, because I don’t really believe these needs will ever be filled. I…

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Thursday Doors – August 9, 2018

I had to share this inspirational story of this incredible artist, Maud Lewis. It would be so much fun not just to paint your house, but really paint it.
Best wishes, Rowena

Norm 2.0

Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in on the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing it, between Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American eastern time), by using the blue link-up button below. 

Maudie’s Door  

Born Maud Dowley in March 1903 is South Ohio, Nova Scotia, Maud Lewis was one of Canada’s best-known folk artists.

Lewis who was severely hampered by advanced arthritis from birth, spent most of her adult life living in poverty with her husband Everett. For over three decades the couple lived together in his one-room shack in rural Nova Scotia without electricity or running water.

To make money Maud sold her paintings from their roadside home to tourists and passersby for about $5.00 each, and never more than…

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