Coffee Catch-up # 8

If we were having coffee I would tell you it seems like forever since our last coffee catch-up, although the reality is that it has only been 3 weeks. During this time, most of my time has been taken up completing the Blogging from A – Z challenge. It was fun, although some days the pressure to come up with inspiring posts took over my world. But in the end I was happy with all of them even X, which for me was the difficult one. I certainly enjoyed putting the “I survived blogging A – Z banner” on my blog as I feel like I earned it. Next year, I think I will do a lot of pre-planning in the hope that makes this challenge easier.

If we were having coffee I would ask you where you thought all the smoke haze around Sydney today was coming from. My hope would be that unlike me, you may have listened to the news and have known that it was coming from more than 40 hazard reduction back burns happening all around Sydney especially in the Blue Mountain areas. The smoke was so bad it was playing havoc with the fire alarms in many businesses including the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre, where for more than 30 minutes of our aqua aerobics class this morning, the instructor had to yell or mime the instructions. Oh and ironically the alarm stopped at the same time as our aqua class. Who knew!

If we were having coffee I would tell you that this week has been a shocker. If something could go wrong it did. For me, the most frustrating thing was that instead of enjoying myself on Wednesday night, I got to sit and wait for NRMA roadside assist after I quickly discovered that in a moment of mindless thinking from my stressful week, I locked my car keys in the boot. I think it has been over 20 years since I last did this. I also had nothing with me to do, not even a small bit of paper to write a blog post on but fortunately for me it only took them 45 minutes to come instead of the 90 minutes they promised service in. Thank you NRMA.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I enjoyed District 90 First Annual Toastmaster Conference last weekend. It was held at Rooty Hill RSL — the largest RSL club in Australia. I had never been before and the venue, the food as well as the conference’s educational sessions were fantastic. I am sure the other parts of the conference were also excellent, however due to time constraints I was limited in what I went to.

If we were having coffee I would tell you about my work’s cultural lunch this week. This is a regular event where you take a dish from your culture for everyone to share. For me this has always been difficult because being a hospital we are a very multicultural workplace, however I could never really come up with a dish from my life to share that was interesting and easy to share. This time I got it right. My trifle was a great hit and will now be my signature dish. I hadn’t made a trifle in years and I only remembered about them at Easter when I took desert to a family friends house. It was weird not making it with sherry but the sacrifice still tasted yummy.

If we were having coffee I would ask you what you have been up to this last week, let me know in the comments.

Coffee Catch-up #7


Raison D’être

On Mother’s Day 2014, I started Inspiring Max. I had researched and considered my options for 5 years before I finally plucked up the courage to put myself out there. Up to this point, I had lived me life in secret but knew to achieve my dreams something had to change. You see after completing several writing courses I knew that to improve my very remote chance of my book being published by a publishing house, I needed to start a blog. Although my blog was never going to be related to my book’s subject—eating disorder recovery—it has helped me develop my voice.

Over the past 2 years, today is Mother’s Day 2016, Inspiring Max and I have developed in ways I never thought possible.  I am so pleased that finishing my book and needing to think about publication pushed me out of my comfort zone and into the blogosphere. Because of blogging I have grown not only as a writer but also as an editor. Another great blessing I have received through Inspiring Max’s blogging community is great feedback, which ensures that I write in a way my audience understands my meaning. This gives me confidence in my writing style and helps me to minimise confusion, which hopefully I have transferred to my book – I’M SO OVER THIS!….. A Skill-Based Guide To Eating Disorder Recovery.  At present, I think I am still on track to self-publish it in the second half of 2016.

Whatever your reason for blogging, if you are still in the contemplative stage give it a try, you’ll be pleased you did. There literally is an audience out there for everyone.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Earth

I love getting back to nature and the earth with a walk in the Australian bush. This walk in the Blue Mountains, New South Wales was in winter — the air was crisp but the sun was shining and it was a glorious day.The walk itself took us about 6 hours as we stopped along the way as we marveled at the different aspects of nature including a rare bird sighting. I hope you enjoy some of our photos of the diverse bush we found on our walk.

X – XXXX Origins Beer

I was 10 years old and we first traveled to Queensland and I first saw the XXXX beer label. Now over 40 years later the brand has grown into an Australian icon and I love that for its latest venture XXXX has gone back to its roots and named its beers after the working country areas of Queensland. I’m not a Queenslander but it still makes me proud.

The 36 towns featured are:

  • Atherton
  • Bellbowrie
  • Birdsville
  • Bluff
  • Cairns
  • Calen
  • Chinchilla
  • Cloncurry
  • Coolangatta
  • Curra
  • Deeragun,
  • Drillham
  • Emerald
  • Foxdale
  • Gatton
  • Gin Gin
  • Giru
  • Gladstone
  • Goondiwindi
  • Herberton
  • Inkerman
  • Jimboomba
  • Karara
  • Laura
  • Mackay
  • Maryborough
  • Mirani
  • Mount Isa
  • Nobby
  • Rockhampton
  • Roma
  • Stonehenge
  • Toowoomba
  • Townsville
  • Warwick
  • Windorah

If I ever see these beers in New South Wales I may even taste my first XXXX beer.

Z – Zhengzhou

Zhengzhou is a busy city in east-central China. It is the capital of Henan province and has a very long history dating back to the 3,500 years to the Shang dynasty. We loved exploring this city and interesting mix of old and new China.

The Zhengzhou Memorial Tower was opened in 1971 and remembers the Erqi Strike  of 7th Febrauary, 1923.

Erqi Memorial Tower

People’s Park Zhengzhou

Opened in 1952 the People’s Park was the first park in Zhengzhou. It covers a large area in the city consisting of gardens, statues, water ways, fountains, temples, open spaces as well as a theme park. We had a lovely afternoon exploring this surprise package.


Y – Yabbies

The yabby is an Australian freshwater crustacean found in swamps, dams, streams, creeks, rivers and reservoirs. Growing up in Australia many children get to go yabbying, however this yabby, which we found at Protest Falls was the first that my husband and I have ever seen in nature. He was alone and we loved watching his antics in the little creek. Our yabby was a blue-green colour which is common for turbulent waters.

yabbie on the falls walk

W – Waterfall Way


The Waterfall Way is a beautiful scenic drive from Coffs Harbour on the coast up the mountains for 191 kilometres and on to Armidale. It takes it name from the number of very beautiful and yet very different waterfalls in the area. Unfortunately being a winter’s day it was raining and their was no sunshine to reflect off the water but I am sure you can imagine. There are also many treasured National Parks in the area so if you get the chance it is definitely worth a visit.




NEWELL’S WATERFALL — Crossing under the Waterfall Way

V – Vincentia

Vincentia is a seaside town on the shores of Jervis Bay, 200 kilometres South of Sydney.Arriving at our B & B, we decided to take an afternoon stroll and found ourselves taking in the natural beauty of the White sands Walk along Blenheim Beach and Jervis Bay National Park. It was a glorious winter day and a great way to relax.

U – Uralla

Uralla is a small town on the Northern Tablelands of New South Wales, which was established in 1855. The town’s name is Aboriginal and means meeting place. As it happens Uralla is also mid way between Sydney and Brisbane via the inland route.

On our recent road trip we hadn’t planned on stopping long in Uralla, however as we got so distracted along the way looking at the waterfalls, we needed to stop here overnight. This turned into a blessing as we then ended up investigating this interesting area the next morning. And what amazing Australian history we found — the secret gem, McCrossin’s Mill Musuem is situated across the road from Thunderbolt’s Statue. The building is a recently restored 3 storey flour mill built-in 1870 by Samuel McCrossin, one of the first settlers to the area.

Some of the treasures we found in the musuem included:

  • A series of nine paintings by Phillip Pomroy called “The Death of Thunderbolt”, based on the account of Constable Alexander Walker — the detail in these paintings was fascinating
  • A display of farming and household equipment from the early pioneering days
  • A relocated Chinese Joss House form the local Rocky River Gold Fields
  • A display to Australia’s first world champion — rower Edward Trickett
  • Letters home to mother from World War 1 by a local war hero
  • Local goldfield information

These beautiful decorative gates were created by concrete man Antonio Perez Martinez in 1960.

Thunderbolt’s Life and Death Exhibition

Edward Trickett, son of a convict and Australia’s first world champion, a sculler died in Uralla.


T – Thunderbolt

Captain Thunderbolt also know as Frederick Ward was the last of New South Wales bushrangers. In 1863, he escaped from Sydney’s Cockatoo Island prison and began terrorising the high ways and byways of the New England region. Thunderbolt protected himself by living in the massive granite boulder outside of Uralla where he could see for miles. Known as the gentleman bushranger because he never shot anyone and at times shouted his victims drinks, Ward was shot and killed by Constable Alexander Walker on the 25th May 1870 at Kentucky Creek.

Thunderbolt’s Statue in the centre of Uralla

Thunderbolt’s Rocks

Thunderbolt’s Body and the Table he was laid out on

Thunderbolt’s Grave