Family Traditions


What I love about family traditions is that they are unique. Every family, even families within families have their own traditions and there is no end to the options. Big or small to start a new tradition the only need to enjoy the experience and do it regularly. My husband and my latest tradition is to prepare breakfast on the weekend and eat it together on the front verandah, watching the world go by. The only thing missing is a newspaper but we haven’t added that to our traditions yet.

Some times of the year like Christmas and birthdays involve more traditions than others. Being part of a large extended family this means the tradition of celebrating is never far away. The hardest part is setting the date, time and place and from there on the organisation of  a party for a special occasion isn’t difficult. Everyone knows what to do and our family traditions that always involve FOOD – GLORIOUS FOOD continue.

COLOUR THEMED CHRISTMAS last year you guessed right – GREEN.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Fun

When I think of fun, I think of Disneyland. It is so exciting to immerse myself in the characters, places and adventures I grew up with. I love that Disneyland was designed as a place for adults as well as children and that it is constantly evolving. I first went to the original Disneyland on my honeymoon during its 35th anniversary, which was amazing. The day and night time performances are etched in my memory forever.

The following photos are from our recent fun trip to Hong Kong’s Disneyland. I can never get enough of Disneyland and I am looking forward to visiting Japan’s Disneyland next year. Mickey and friends are universal so I am sure language won’t be a barrier to fun.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Opposites

In opposition to the modern trade of your usual busy Chinese shopping mall,  Beijing Road Pedestrian Mall, Guangzhou hides a well-kept secret, layers of China’s original trade route the Old Silk Road. Only discovered in 2002,  the remnants over 3 dynasties – Song, Ming and Yuan are encased in glass and I found them fascinating to study and ponder. I remember hearing about the Old Silk Road as a child but I don’t think I realised how much action these roads had seen since the seventh century or the Old Silk Road’s true impact in opening up the world as it was then. Now I understood why I loved reading Marco Polo when I was in primary school as it really was describing a history so different from anything Australia had ever known.



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.

G – Grawin and Glengarry Opal Fields


Last year on a road trip around northern New South Wales, my husband and I  discovered the unique Grawin and Glengarry opal fields.  Located 40 kilometres SW of Lightening Ridge — Black Opal Capital of the World — these fields mine seam black opal and were where opal was first found in the area back in the early 1900’s. It is a very rustic, natural area that makes recycling an art. Every one and everything is different and it is like nothing I have ever seen before.


The Grawin Golf Course

The Club In The Scrub

The Glengarry Hilton

This warning sign at the entrance to the area reminds everyone that you are entering an old working mine field, littered with dangers so keep to the tracks and beware.


A – Australian Fun Facts

What better way to start the April 2016 A – Z challenge than with some fun facts about my amazing country, Australia.

  1. Our population hit the big time this year when we made it to 24 million people.
  • Australians love to shorten words and add an O to the end, for example ambulance driver becomes ambo.
  • The first selfie was taken in Australia.
  • The box jellyfish kills more people annually than sharks, stone fish and crocodiles combined.
  • Australia has over 10,000 beaches. you could visit one a day for 27 years.
  • The Emu and the Kangaroo are on our coat of arms because neither animal can walk backwards.
  • On Christmas Eve, 1974 Darwin one of Australia’s capital cities was destroyed by cyclone Tracy, a category 5 cyclone.
  • In 1973, the Australian government spent $1.35 million dollars to purchase Jackson Pollack’s Blue Poles. At the time, this was a very controversial decision, however it is now recogised as a great work of art, worth all the money and more.

Blue Poles


  • Melbourne has the world’s largest Greek population outside of Athens.
  • 83% of Australia’s population live within 50 kilometres of the coast.
  • Since 2012 Australia has been recognised as the world’s most obese nation with 26% of the population obese.
  • Australia was the second country in the world to allow women to vote.
  • Australia has the world’s large supply of camel’s with one hump and exports them to Saudia Arabia.
  • Tasmania has the cleanest air in the world.
  • There are over 150 big things in Australia.


Make Mine A Quirky World

Which quirky habit annoys you the most, and what quirky habit do you love — in yourself, or others.

Our quirky habits are what makes us individuals. By being individual, our quirks and habits blend together to make an interesting eclectic mix full of high and low points. Without black and white you can’t appreciate colour and sometimes to get the full impact of a situation you need to see it in black and white to feel the emotion.

My greatest quirk is probably my ability to always find the positive in anything and work with it — even if to begin with, it is only a spark. I am its oxygen and over time the fire of positivity grows g bigger brighter and stronger. My goal in life is the same as Inspiring Max’s, “to inspire you—developing a spark of hope into a fire that warms you and lights your path.”

In my opinion, the opposite to my quirky world is a Stepford world. And whilst I enjoyed the movie for its entertainment value, I would hate to live in a world where everyone is the same. I love the uniqueness our quirks— good and bad — bring to our lives. They all teach us something, even if that something is what not to do.

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




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.