Mallard Cottage

It is 12 months ago today that my husband and I accidentally discovered Mallard Cottage, Quidi Vidi, Newfoundland, Canada. We were walking in the snow enjoying the picturesque scenery as the city turned from green to white, when we arrived at our destination—Quidi Vidi Village—a small fishing hamlet just outside St John’s. We arrived mid afternoon and hungry from all the walking decided to stop at Mallard Cottage for some coffee and cake, before continuing on our journey. Boy were we surprised. Coffee and cake were $10 from memory for—all you can eat homemade old-fashioned cakes. There were about 10-12 to choose from. They were amazing. We sat and relaxed for over an hour between us tasting at least a small amount of every cake—okay I admit it some thing more than once—because we could. Unfortunately we were too busy eating to take any photos, sorry.

While we were eating our cakes the friendly wait staff began telling us of the properties history. Mallard Cottage is one of the oldest wooden buildings in North America. Originally built-in the early 1700’s it is older than our country—Australia. This felt weird to think about given the beauty of the restoration and how perfectly it blended old and new. It also turns out that our accidental find has developed a reputation as one of the best restaurants in St John’s area. No wonder we want to go back. If your ever in the area, it is well worth the visit.

Share Your World – 2015 Week 47

In your native language which letter or character describes you best?  Why?

I have always associated with the middle letter of the alphabet — M. It is the first letter of my name as well as many other things I relate to.

  • Mother
  • Mummy
  • Marsupials
  • Mentor
  • Manager
  • Mickey Mouse
  • Marmite
  • Moet
  • Motivation
  • Meat
  • Mountains
  • Motoring
  • Memory
  • Madonna
  • Moment
  • Marmalade
  • Macaroons
  • Mindfulness
  • Mental Health

What is your greatest extravagance?

These days I would spend the most money on books. I love bookshops especially secondhand ones and regularly several spend hours in them and buy many books in one hit.

Do you prefer exercising your mind or your body? How frequently do you do either?

I exercise my mind daily at work so I enjoy stopping it from working with some quiet time. One way I enjoy doing this is through getting physical. Time limits the amount of exercise I do and I do miss spending time at the beach. Bring on retirement so I have more time to exercise.

List at least 5 things that makes you laugh.

  • Spending time with family and friends.
  • The Golden Girls
  • Dancing
  • Television shows I watched as a child e.g. The Brady Bunch
  • Watch young children and animals play

What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Our speech night went well at Toastmasters and this week I am looking forward to several laughs catching up with family.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Transition

For this week’s challenge, share an image that depicts transition. Let life itself be your muse.

When he designed the Sydney Opera House I am sure that JØRN UTZON  could not have envisaged the amazing displays this centerpiece of VIVID SYDNEY creates each year. I spend hours fascinated by the transitions that unfortunately because of their speed are difficult to photograph. The following photos are from 2014 and I loved the bright colours. If you are in Sydney during late May or early June it is well worth the visit.

Supporting Others

We all know how to do something well — write a post that teaches readers how to do something you know and/or love to do.

One of the main things I have a reputation for is support others. All my life—from the age of 9—I have been the person others come to when they needed a welcome ear to tell their problems to especially when they were fighting with their best friend.  With all the practice I had at school I think I was always destined to work in mental health.  Supporting others has developed into a passion for me and I find ways to do it regularly in my professional and person life. Below are some of the values I use when I support others.














Food Tips #1

Don’t wash your chicken it only spreads the bacteria over you and the surrounding benches — it doesn’t remove the bacteria from the chicken. Thinking about it this makes a lot of sense. After all, the only way to remove bacteria from chicken is to cook chicken properly. If you want to remove anything from your chicken before cooking it, use a piece of paper towel and throw it away. These ensures you don’t spread the bacteria around. Personally I don’t wash my chicken but not for the reasons outlined in the video. I just haven’t  ever developed the habit. Being aware of chicken’s bacteria however I do use a separate boards to chop my chicken, red meat and vegetables.

Not having heard it before, the simplicity of this food tip inspired me to develop a new regular category — Food Tips. Knowledge is powerful, so join me as I find some interesting facts that relate to food especially in the areas of  health, hygiene and history. It will be a work in progress so let me know if you have any suggestions.

Writer’s Well



I came across this powerful quote from Ernest Hemmingway recently and realised how true it is for all types of writing. Have you ever noticed that it is much easier to start writing if you have an idea—a starting point—something in your writing well. By following Ernest Hemmingway’s advice you will always have an idea in your writing well that after you have slept on it helps to clarify your thoughts and produce more ideas.

Much of my writing follows this principle as I leave it overnight and review it in the morning. The time overnight helps the writing develop like yeast to a much fuller story.

What writing tips do you use to help your flow and story develop?

Share Your World – 2015 Week 46

What type of popular candy you do not like to get?

I am not a big candy fan however if I am in the mood I can eat most types. The candy I have consistently refused to eat all my life is candy bananas. I like fresh bananas however anything else banana flavoured including candy or lollies as we call them in Australia is a no go zone.

Photo Credit: Google Images

Photo Credit: Google Images

What do you feel is the most enjoyable way to spend $500? 

A mini-break to the Blue Mountains would be a great way to spend $500.00. It has been years since I have visited the Three Sisters, Echo Point or Leura . The Blue Mountains are 100 kilometres west of Sydney so they are ideal for a quick and relaxing get away. Spring is a great time to visit before it gets too hot and bush fire season settles in with many walking trails closed due to risks.

Where do you eat breakfast?

I eat breakfast most days at the computer working on Inspiring Max or visiting other blogs I follow. Everyone else in the house is usually asleep so my connecting with my digital world doesn’t mean my family is rejected.

Would you rather ride one of the world’s longest zip lines or bungee jump one of the highest in the world? This will come with a 5-day all expense vacation.

I would never bungee jump as I am concerned about the effect of the bounce back on my body. A zip line however I would love to try. To me they are a flying fox on a much bigger scale and I have always loved playing on a flying fox even as a adult. Once on a family camping trip my father made a flying fox and we had hours of fun on it.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for this week and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

During the past week I am grateful that I have been able to return to blogging and was able to blog on average every second day, a doubly of my recent posting rate.

This week at Toastmasters we are having our first ever speech-a-thon. A night with no other assignments just 10 speech instead of the usual 4. It will be an inspiring night from which I know I will learn new things.

A Tale of Two Cities

If you could split your time evenly between two places, and two places only, which would these be?

For a period I would love to be able to spend 6 moths in Australia and 6 months in Canada. There is so much natural beauty, flora and fauna and history in both places, devoting time to exploring it would be amazing. The question I would struggle to answer is where to begin? Maybe I could use the following acrostic poems as a guide.





The Great Barrier Reef

Rottnest Island




Albury – Wodonga





Newfoundland & Labrador

Algonquin Park


Arctic Bay

Weekly Photo Challenge: Trio


In the grounds of the historic Bendemeer Hotel this old statue of “Speak No Evil, See No Evil, Hear No Evil” caught my eye. The concrete frogs dressed in the Australian colours of green and gold gave the tradition monkey image an Australian twist. How fitting for a pub that has served and entertained the public since 1864.

One More Time

If you were able to relive one day from the last 12 months, which day would it be — and why?

Given the chance I would relive 25th November 2014. The was the day my husband and I embarked on our 6 week Canadian adventure. We were so excited. However on arrival at Sydney Airport I became suspicious that our tickets were incorrect, so I asked at the check-in counter.

“Are these tickets correct, we are going to St John’s Newfoundland?”

“Yes they are correct they just used the abbreviation” replied the counter attendant.

So I settled and didn’t think about it again.

Then we arrived in Vancouver for some reason I became suspicious again. I checked with the baggage handler only to be given the same response,  so again I settled and we continued on our journey across Canada.

By the time our flight arrived in Toronto, we had been up for more than 24 hours and were exhausted. Being smart travelers we decided to check which gate our connecting flight went from before getting food or drinks. We wandered to the departures board where I discovered our flight number and destination didn’t match. Then I realised my gut instincts had been right.  The travel agent had booked us flights from Sydney to St John, New Brunswick and not our destination—St John’s, Newfoundland. We were devastated. The only good point was that we solved the problem before either our bags or we bordered the flight.

The gentleman at Air Canada’s service desk was excellent.  After about an hour he had made a plan to get us to St John’s as quickly as possible via Halifax arriving 24 hours later than we originally planned. To add humour to this difficult situation he told us this destination was a regular mix up for overseas visitors. The other common problem is people flying into Sydney, Nova Scotia when their destination was Sydney, Australia—a much bigger problem.

The moral of this story is mistakes are easily made and part of the journey.  Trust your gut instincts, triple check your airline tickets early and always pack your sense of humour when traveling.

Photo Credit: Google

Photo Credit: Google