Tag Archives: 18th Birthday

Weekend Coffee Share – 14th March, 2022.

Welcome to Another Weekend Coffee!

How are you all, and how was your week? I hope it’s been great, and I look forward to chatting with you over a cup of tea or coffee and no doubt you’d prefer a few Tim Tams to Vegemite toast!

Mr with his t-shirt from Jeremy Clarkson’s Didly Squat Farm.

Last Tuesday marked the end of an era, and the beginning of a new one. Mister, who was six years old when I first started Beyond the Flow, turned 18 and is now an adult. Or, in other words, he’s become a man (whatever that means!!) He had a three course dinner for his friends, where yours truly acted as Caterer-in-Chief while his father did the shopping, and did his best to keep me sane. Catering to Mister’s last minute requirements could be rather challenging. Indeed, I could be excused for thinking I was working for a rock star. However, truth be told, his requests were quite reasonable if not quite what you’d expect.

Mum’s famous sponge cake reborn.

One of the great complications in the great birthday party preparations was the birthday cake. Just to complicate matters, I am famed among my friends for baking quirky and extravagant birthday cakes. I am also famed for my pavlova which sends most people into a spin. That’s not to put tickets on myself. I’ve been baking all my life, and it’s something I generally find easy. Not everything works out, and sometimes I’ve had to cover-up my mistakes, but usually I manage to save the day, and all is well. (It’s quite a different story when it comes to anything technical or finding my way around. I am notoriously always getting lost.)

Mum sitting down in the kitchen before I fall down.

Meanwhile, our son’s favourite cake is the caramel mud cake from Aldi. This is fine as an option at home, and something to dish up for himself. However, as the featured birthday cake for an 18th birthday party, it was clearly inappropriate. (Well, at least, it was to me!!)

That sent me into an incredible tailspin about what to bake. It was worse that trying to choose my wedding dress. I managed to find that at the first shop, and even managed to find the dress I loved in the bridal magazine hanging on the rack. How lucky was that?!! Anyway, after going through a gazillion recipe books, I went back to my Mum’s traditional sponge cake with jam, cream and raspberries inside and a dusting of icing sugar on top. By this point, I was wondering how I could ever have considered anything else, especially as Mum and Dad couldn’t make it. They’re still keeping a low profile due to covid.

Anyway, the party went well. I still haven’t written a designated post about him turning 18, which I’ll have to get onto. He still looks and acts the same, but he now has right of entry into pubs, can buy alcohol and has the right to vote. We all know that for an 18 year old how these rank in order of importance!

Meanwhile, I’ve been on something like a five beaches tour of the local area, with Miss at the helm of the Subaru, which has somehow been rebadged “Siberia” in a text which seemed appropriate as it’s white. All has largely gone well in Siberia, except when Rosie joined us for a drive to Terrigal. I’ve never had a dog who doesn’t like going for a drive. However, Rosie metamorphosed into a quivering mess, dribbling the whole way there. Somehow, I managed to miss the climax until we pulled up. Rosie had been sick, and it looks like she must’ve eaten Zac’s breakfast as well as her own. The joy of parenthood. When your kids grow out of such issues, you get dogs to take their place.

Iron man salvaging a coffee table from the beach, much to his wife’s disgust.

The beaches were all closed as the water’s been contaminated by recent flooding. It has been interesting to see how the flood waters affected the different beaches. The Hawkesbury River which experienced significant flooding, flows into Broken Bay where we’re located. So, our beach has copped a fair bit of debris. A poor Clydesdale washed up here last week, and they managed to trace it back to its poor owner who lived up the river at St Albans. I hope she appreciates that at least some of us thought of her loss. That her horse was honoured in a small way.

Meanwhile, Lismore up on the North Coast has been decimated by the worst floods in living record. I can’t do what’s happened justice, but this video is personal and powerful: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhIylzniCTM

I incorporated the Lismore floods into my flash fiction piece for Friday Fictioneers this week: The Last House Left Standing: https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2022/03/10/last-house-standing-friday-fictioneers-9th-march-2022/

I have been following what’s happening in Ukraine to the best of my ability. My response is very simple: “Putin, go home!” However, as we all know, that isn’t working. I listened to a podcast my Irish author and philosopher Michael Harding about our emotional and spiritual response to what’s happening in Ukraine and found it interesting and comforting. Here’s the link: https://shows.acast.com/MichaelHarding/episodes/lets-find-a-way-through-this

Well, I think that’s about covered the last week. So, I’ll thank you for joining me, and turn it over to you.

Meanwhile, you might like to join us over at the Weekend Coffee Share, which is hosted by Natalie the Explorer https://natalietheexplorer.home.blog/

Best wishes,

Rowena

Weekend Coffee Share – 7th March, 2022.

Welcome to Another Weekend Coffee Share!

How are you? I hope you’ve had a great week!

The last week here has been somewhat obliterated by the news that legendary Australian cricketer, Shane Warne AKA “Warnie” died suddenly of a suspected heart attack on Saturday while he was on holidays in Thailand. It came as a super shock, that someone relatively young with so much life and vitality got snuffed out like that. Warnie was also a couple of months younger than me, and seemingly in much better health. So, it just goes to show, you can never know.

Meanwhile, Miss has passed her Learner’s Permit Test and has been out driving for a couple of hours most days. Ironically, almost all this driving has been done at night under wet conditions which you would see as ideal for a new driver. However, the roads have been virtually empty and it’s give her a chance to build her confidence. She also had an opportunity to go over the curb, but all things considered, she’s doing very well. She’s so proud of herself to and chuffed when she drives to qa new place and extends her range further. She was really happy to take on the Drive Thru at McDonalds where she works, and that one of her friends was on at the time and saw her. She needs to get up 120 hours of driving time and has to wait 12 months before she can sit for her Provisional Licence, but she’s made a solid start.

Tomorrow the infamous “Mister” turns 18. I can’t believe it, and I know many of you who have been hanging round here for quite some time, can’t believe it either. He will be old enough to vote, buy alcohol and if it hadn’t been for all the covid disruptions of the last couple of years, I’d also say be independent, but that will come. He’s having a small party tomorrow night and apparently our family dinner has been deferred to next week.

Meanwhile, Jonathon is running a fundraiser for Muscular Dystrophy Association, who support research into Muscular Dystrophy and neuro-muscular conditions. In case you feel like supporting his efforts, here’s the link to donate: https://www.facebook.com/donate/941861509874336/941861523207668/

I probably shouldn’t put this so far down the pecking order. However, yesterday I attended a writing workshop with bestselling author Graeme Simsion who wrote the Rosie Project, which has evolved into the Rosie Series. He recently released The Novel Project, and this formed the basis of the workshop. A copy of the book came with the workshop, which was great but I hadn’t had a chance to look at it yet. However, in a nutshell, Graeme had done a scriptwriting course and the Rosie Project had started out as a script, but he dramatically reworked it and produced it as a novel but hd used the classic three act scriptwriting structure, and it’s really worked for him and a number of successful authors. I first got onto this at a writing workshop at the Sydney Writer’s Festival conducted by Director and author, Mark Lamprell, who was seemingly part of the furniture at my grandparents home many moons ago. All this structure, is good for me in a way because I unashamedly write from the heart, the soul but am coming a cropper when it comes to larger works. All this structure could well be good for me. Yet, at the same time, it seems rather mechanical and like a factory processing line what with writing on all these cards. However, it’s probably a process I’m currently doing in my head as I edit and reedit my work, and it might actually be rather helpful to extricate that process out of my head and put it down on paper where I might also be able to come back to it later. Trying to stop writing without losing the thread and being able to pick up where I left off, has been a big problem, especially with my more detail WW1 history bios. I am often writing late into the night bleary-eyed not wanting to let go. So, I will try to dig out the cards I bought after attending Mark Lamprell’s talk, and really give them a go this time.

By the way, I’d be interested to hear what you feel about a tightly structured approach to writing a larger work like a novel. Does it take away all the fun? Or, is it the secret ingredient for converting good writing into a finished book?

Meanwhile, last Wednesday night, I found myself wandering along the streets of Pisa, Italy looking for inspiration for a flash fiction prompt for Friday Fictioneers. This week’s photo was the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and no immediate inspiration came to mind. So, I fired up my rocket and zoomed over to Pisa via Google Earth and touched down outside a chicken shop. I wandered round the streets for an hour expecting to see the tower any minute. After all, how could I miss it? When you see it in photos, it seems to be on a patch of grass and standing alone and isn’t crowded in my more recent newcomers like so many modern cities. Anyway, I gave up trying and went back to the search and this time when I opened my eyes I was right there about a nose length away from the tower itself. Wow! It was a mind-blowing experience. There it was. I also came across the Cattedrale di Pisa which was basically next door, and Trent let me know that the Leaning Tower of Pisa was actually constructed as the bell tower for the Church. Makes sense, and it too has a slight lean btw. Anyway, I came across a Youtube video about climbing up the tower and that helped inspire my story: https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2022/03/03/stairway-to-hell-friday-fictioneers-3rd-march-2022/

Seaweed has overtaken Terrigal’s ocean pool during the heavy rain.

If you feel like a wander around Pisa, then you can check it out here: https://wordpress.com/post/beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/66442

Meanwhile, the rain’s still going here and wreaking havoc.

More grey skies at Pearl Beach looking towards home.

Well, I’d better keep going. I’m needing to cull back the photos for tomorrow night’s slide show.

Meanwhile, you might like to join us over at the Weekend Coffee Share, which is hosted by Natalie the Explorer https://natalietheexplorer.home.blog/

Best wishes,

Rowena