Celebrating Australia Day

Today is Australia day. To celebrate I would like to share my A-Z of Australian things. Although far from a complete list it is  fun way to share Australia. Included in the list are:

  • Animals
  • Birds
  • Food
  • Inventions
  • Items
  • Places
  • Treasures

A: Aboriginal Art – Paintings by indigenous Australian often using a dot design.

     Anzac biscuits – Australian biscuits eaten by our troops on the shores of Gallipoli hence the name. They are made from rolled oats, golden syrup, coconut and butter.

B: Beaches – Australia is known for its sandy beaches. The most famous being Sydney’s Bondi Beach.

Bondi Beach Photo Credit: Google Images

     Black Box Flight Recorder –  The black box voice and data recorder was invented in Australia.

     Beetroot – Your typical Aussie hamburger include beetroot, lettuce and tomato.

     Baby Safety Capsule – Developed in 1984 to make sure babies and small children could be safely locked into a seatbelt.

C: Cockatoo – There are 21 varieties of Cockatoos in the world and all can be found in Australia. In my area the Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo is common and are often seen on the ground in groups     looking for food.

     Caramello Koalas – Small Australian chocolate bar


Photo Credit: Cadbury


D: Dual Flush Toilet –  Toilet with two flush buttons—able to flush either a half or full load of water dependent on amount required.

     Dame Edna – Australian iconic entertainer known for her


     Didgeridoo – An wind instrument, invented by Aboriginals and originally found only in Northern Australia. It is  thought to be the oldest musical instrument in the world.

E: Emu – Australian flightless bird


     Esky – Portable coolers keeping food and drink cool in the Australian sun.

     Electric Drill – originally invented to drill through rock this technology was later adapted to household use.

F: Fair Dinkum – Aussie slang meaning true or fair. Used when wanting someone to believe you.

     Fridge – In 854 the first mechanical ice making machine was invented in Australia that lead to the development of the refrigerator—”fridge.”

G: Great Barrier Reef – World’s largest coral reef covering 2,300 kilometres off Queensland

Photo Credit: Google Images


      G’day Mate – Australian welcome

      Google Maps – 2003-4 Australian’s Lars and Jens Rasmussen developed the platform that developed into Google Maps.

H: Holden cars – Holden is an Australian automaker based in South Australia. With limited choice for cars in the early days many families had a Holden.

 I: Icy Pole – Famous Australian water ice block

Icy Pole

Photo Credit: Peters Icecream

J: Jackaroo/Jillaroo – Male and Female workers on a cattle or sheep station in Australia.

     Jumbuck – name for sheep in Waltzing Matilda.

K: Kangaroo – One of Australia’s most iconic marsupials


2013-12-01 14.49.38

     Koala – small bear-like herbivorous marsupial that eats gum leaves.

Photo Credit: Google Images


L:  Lamingtons – Spongy butter cake coated in chocolate sauce and rolled in coconut.

      Long wearing Contact Lens – Were developed by the CSIRO as the original ones couldn’t stay in day and night for long periods.

M: Melbourne Cup – “The race that stops the nation” is the richest two-mile handicap horse race in the world. Run the first Tuesday in November, it is a public holiday in Melbourne.

      Meat Pie – The meat pie is an Australian icon. Traditionally it is pastry filled with beef and gravy just big enough to fit into your hand, making it easy to eat on the go.

      Macadamia – A tree nut specific to Australia with a creamy texture.

N: Nullabor Plains – 1200 kilometre stretch of desert runs from South Australia in the east to Western Australia. Its name means no trees, just flat mostly straight road. In fact, the Nullabor holds the record for the worlds stretch of straight bitumen 146.6 kilkometres.

     New South Wales – My home state between Queensland and Victoria.

O: Opera House – Multi-purpose entertaining venue on Sydney Harbour. A white building during festivities it is changed dramatically using lights.IMG_6535

     Outback – The Outback is the large, remote, arid space that covers a Australia. Usually covered in red soil.

P: Platypus – Unique Australian mammal that looks like a cross between a duck and beaver

Credit: Gambassa

Credit: Gambassa

      Plastic Banknotes – Invented by the CSIRO, making bank notes tougher and reducing their ability to be counterfeited.

     Powerboard -Invented in 1972 allows multiple electrical devices to be powered from one electrical socket.


Q: Quokka – Australian macropod about the size of a cat found on Rottnest Island off Perth

Photo Credit: Google Images

Photo Credit: Google Images

      Quoll – Carnivorous Australian marsupial first seen by Captain Cook in 1770.



Photo Credit: Wikipeadia

      Queensland– Australian state north of New south Wales.

R: Rotary Clothes Hoist – Clothes line that raises and lowers as well as swings around in the wind.

      Rottnest Island – 18 kilometres off Perth, it is home to Quokkas, pristine beaches and world-class surf.

S: Sydney Harbour Bridge – The world’s largest steel arch bridge and connects Sydney to the north shore. I travel across it everyday on my way to work and never tire of the sight.

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      Surf Life Savers – Australians classics that keep our beaches safe by rescuing swimmers in difficulty

Photo Credit: Google Images

Photo Credit: Google Images

       Surf Ski – Australian invention to assist in saving lives see above photo

       Speedos – Australian men’s swimmers—sometimes colloquially referred to as “budgie smugglers.”

      Splayd – Australian invention that combines the spoon fork and knife

T: Tim Tams – Iconic Arnott’s biscuits that involves two layers of chocolate biscuits joined together with chocolate cream and covered in chocolate.

U: Ugg Boots  Unisex sheep skin boot with fleece on the inside.

      Uluru  Also known as Ayers Rock is a large sandstone rock in the Northern Territory.

Photo Credit: Google Images

Photo Credit: Google Images

      Ultrasounds – Invented in Australia through work with the Department of Health.

V: Vegemite – Sandwich spread most Australians won’t travel without and most of the rest of the world try but find it very bitter. Below is the original ad that explains alot.



       Victoria – Southern State of Australia on the East Coast—Capital is Melbourne.

W: Wiggles – The original Wiggles —children’s entertainers—are Australian.

Photo Credit: Wiggles

Photo Credit: Wiggles

      Wine casks – Wine casks are an Australian invention to carry large amounts of wine in a plastic bladder with a simple pouring spout

      Wi-Fi Hotspots – Wi Fi technology was invented in Australia through research at the CSIRO.

X: XXXX Beer – Famous brand of Queensland beer

Y: Yackandandah – Small tourist town near the New South Wales and Victorian border

Z: Zeehan – Former silver and gold mining town in Tasmania




Weekly Photo Challenge: Weightless



Diving is a beautiful weightless sport. In my opinion it looks more weightless when you dive outdoors in the sunshine. Here is my daughter practising what we nick named her flying dive. She makes it look so effortless as she blends with the sky.


Chris The Sheep

Back in September 2015 I was surprised to hear the story of Chris The Sheep, as it had never occurred to me that his could happen. Chris was found wandering in the bush on the border between New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory, his fleece so massive he could barely walk or see.  The size of his fleece makes professionals estimate that Chris had wandered around in the bush not shewn for about 6 years possibly after wandering off from previous owners.

When Chris was spotted the RSPCA ( Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) was called in to get him help. They organised a rescue team and for Australian Champion Shearer Ian Elkins to shear him. After two shearing passes,  a new world record was set for the heaviest fleece — 40.45 kilograms or 88 pounds. The previous record holder was New Zealand with a  28.9 kilogram fleece. Due to the damage that carrying this amount of wool around can have on a sheep’s tiny body let’s hope this record is not broken again.


Share Your World 2016 – Week 1

As a child, who was your favorite relative?

I would have to choose Nanny, my father’s mother. She lived with us in a separate granny flat until my early teenage years and was always good for a treat. She even let Santa know one year that we wanted a swing set, which he delivered on Christmas morning.

If you could be a tree or plant, what would you be?

As an Australia I love Wattle. It booms in early Spring and it looks glorious when in full bloom. Wattle is our national floral emblem as well as the colours of Australia—green and gold. For more information on see my previous post attached.




What would be your preference, awake before dawn or awake before noon?

Many years ago it would have been sleep to noon, however these days I get up early and a sleep in for me is 8 o’clock.

Would you like to sleep in a human size nest in a tree or be snuggled in a burrowed spot underground?

Being a bit claustrophobic I would choose the human size nest as long as there no wind to destabilize it.

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

Last week I got to catch up with a girlfriend of over 20 years in our annual date although this year we are working on making it more frequent. This week I am looking forward having a day off on Friday—my first for 2016.

Share Your World – 2016 Week 1


If one of your late ancestors were to come back from the dead and join you for dinner, what things about your family would this person find the most shocking?

Back in the day, there was a saying that children should be seen and not heard. In our family all members are heard particularly around the dinner table. Our guests, particularly our children’s friends, frequently state that they can’t wait to see where the conversation at dinner goes to this time. There are many things that surprise them:

  1. That we eat together regularly
  2. The topics of our conversations—anything is possible
  3. How animated our conversations get and that everyone joins in
  4. The laughter created is very welcoming

Once they go over the shock of not having a nice quiet meal with the family, I think my ancestors would get involved with some horror stories form their own time to add to the eclectic mix of conversions on the day. It is common for us to continue our crazy conversations all night by staying around the table chatting or while we play cards together to finish the evening. The following acrostic poem describes our conversations well.















Coffee Catch-up #3

It has been over two months since our last coffee catch-up and life has been pretty busy.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I’m feeling a little confused. I began preparing this post as I usually do, by adding links to earlier posts. However, this time, with my new WordPress version the result is a little different. I don’t know if it’s the same for everyone or only WordPress.org blogs.  My next question is can anyone re-blog my posts now as this has been a problem in the past and it would be great to have it changed.

If we were having coffee I would tell you about Berry Christmas. My sister and her family do an excellent job of hosting the event—decorating their home in theme colours, preparing gift bags for everyone and organising and preparing food. We had a great day reconnecting as a family—sharing the joys and dealing with the dramas of the past year. Christmas is definitely my favourite holiday, although because I live in a different city south of my family on Christmas day it takes 3 hours to get there. I don’t enjoy the travel but Berry Christmas was worth it.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that over the Christmas period I was initially frustrated that my blog wasn’t working because of problems with my Jetpack. I tried to fix the problem, however when I couldn’t and Jetpack staff  where on vacation I decided to surrender to the moment and use my time more efficiently doing other things.

If we were having coffee I would tell you how much I enjoyed my husbands and my date to the city over the Christmas New Year period. We decided to catch the ferry into Sydney. The trip along the Parramatta River takes about an hour and it was a glorious day. As it had been several years since we had caught the ferry we enjoyed every moment. We then had lunch at a little pizza restaurant at the Rocks before spending the afternoon wandering around Sydney’s Botanical Gardens. We saw many places I had never been before. It was a great way to round off 2015.


If we were having coffee I would tell you how excited I was that my first sugar cookie Christmas tree worked out so well. I iced it a blue-purple to match our berry theme and at the end of the day most of it was eaten.



If we were having coffee I would tell you about the champagne fountain trial on Christmas Day. The science of what was the best way to do it kept many people entertained and in the end they were proud of their working efforts.



If we were having coffee I would tell you about the huge moon on New Years Eve that was as mesmerizing as the Sydney Fireworks. Unfortunately, I choose not to take my camera as I am not good at photographing fireworks—a rookie error I won’t make again. The fireworks were fantastic and our viewing place, a hill,  is only a 10 minute walk from my house. While we couldn’t see the fireworks coming off the bottom of the Sydney Harbour Bridge we could see the top of it through the trees. We could also see the fireworks going off up and down the Parramatta River and from the other side of Sydney. At times it was like 360 degrees of fireworks. Once the live fireworks have ended we went home to watch the taped version on television and catch the ones we missed.

If we were having coffee I would tell you how much I enjoyed the second week of my holidays being a full-time writer. I spend many hours everyday working on the last stages of editing of my book. With the amount of work I did I was hoping to finish it but no I still have work to do. It is getting exciting however, as it nears completion and the next part of its journey begins. Just when I thought I had the chapters in the right order, I decided to rearrange the early chapters again and to my surprise the order I have changed it to is my second order. I think my lesson is trust your gut.

If we were having coffee I would tell you how excited I was on Christmas Eve to win the hamper at the local bottle shop. I had gone in the draw after buying two bottles of champagne for an early family Christmas party a few days earlier. It was fun investigating my laundry basket full of goodies and deciding who to give each item to.


If we were having coffee I would ask you what you have done and how you have been since we last met. Let me know in the comments what you have been up to.

Coffee Catch-up

Coffee Catch-up #2

Sink Or Swim

Tell us about a time when you were left on your own, to fend for yourself in an overwhelming situation — on the job, at home, at school. What was the outcome?

I believe learning by doing is the only way to grow—it teaches skills that are never forgotten. Initially the situation may appear overwhelming particularly if it is based on dealing with a sudden crisis, however by using St Francis of Assisi’s quote I have found a way through many tough times.

St Francis of Assisi quote

The whole idea of sink or swim to me bring to mind pictures of young children being forced into the water by their parents as an act of love. The parents need to make sure they learn to get back to the side of the pool and save their life, if they fall into a swimming pool without an adult watching to rescue them. Initially, there is a lot of screaming and protesting. Then as the young child listens to the instructions, they are rewarded by the freedom of moving unaided in the water. They can swim and they are so proud. Nobody remembers the fear—they remember the success.