??Journey or destination??

Exploring life experiences at home and beyond – Destination Happiness



I read the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge topic yesterday. It was only this morning as I took yet another walk down memory lane via my camera photos backed up to my iPad that I saw this photo. It was taken on a walk to Florence Cathedral – Santa Maria del Fiore – or more commonly known as ‘The Duomo’. The structure dominates the area in size and beauty. When up on Piazzale Michelangelo looking over Florence it was the landmark point we used as reference. I particularly like that this photo has a small yet bright circle that breaks the angles ( size isn’t what signifies power) . This shot was taken looking up. On that holiday of a lifetime my head was always turning in every direction. I didn’t want to miss a thing. One more thing ticked off my bucket list ( many more added from that trip) . To quote from the South Pacific musical “you gotta have a dream” .



By Heart

Daily Prompt- You’re asked to recite a poem (or song lyrics) from memory — what’s the first one that comes to mind? Does it have a special meaning, or is there another reason it has stayed, intact, in your mind?

I learnt this poem in Year 2 at school. I loved poetry even at that young age. I loved the rhyme and music in the words. I remember this poem for a few reasons. It was it was in a book called A Child’s Garden of Verse. I don’t remember if I was given the book because the poem was in it or it just so happened it was.

windy nights

I was taught this poem to recital level  by a teacher who was  often very negative, however I rose to her expectations throughout the year she taught me. It’s funny how kids and even adults will often seek the approval of the very ones who put them down. This teacher placed high value on poetry recital and it was up my alley! I achieved here what others couldn’t and it felt good to succeed.

The secret was I was  more than happy to practise this poem on my own time while to the rest of the class I guess it was a chore. The words painted a picture of danger to me – danger that was there when the wind howled- the very danger my parents tried to allay when storms and  very windy nights would frighten me. It added credence to my belief that storms did in fact have an element of danger. I loved bringing the words to life with expression, often done in my head when the lights were turned off for bedtime and always when the weather  turned.

I imagined that man on his horse…  coat tails flapping with the gallop, the sudden halting of the horse on his command to turn and go back. I imagined the nostrils of the horse flaring against the cold and wet that smothered the man and his horse. I felt the sting of mud tossed by the hooves and heard the whinny against the howl of that wind.

To this day I still love this poem. I am also thankful to that teacher. She had little faith but that developed in me a desire to push a little harder to achieve just to show her I could. I still have that push when needed- a gentle competitive streak. She also fostered my developing love of poetry as it was obviously a passion to her and we spent much time learning many.

To this day I still wonder who he is.





Descent – Weekly Photo Challenge

I’m not a step/stair person. Give me the elevator or escalator any time. On my recent trip to Italy however,  avoiding  steps  meant missing out…so descend I did ( and ascend as well!! ). This particular staircase at the Vatican Museum was one of the more interesting ornate descents.


This one was at the site of Pompeii at the arena. Awe inspiring history.

brian ph 832 I have never descended ( nor imagined I would ever) so many steps as I did on this trip and each assisted me to see  amazing things.


World Teachers’ Day 2014

“Teachers are an investment for the future of countries. What today’s children will face in adult life cannot be predicted and so the teachers of today and tomorrow need the skills, knowledge and support that will enable them to meet the diverse learning needs of every girl and boy.
This year on 5 October, we celebrate the 20th anniversary of World Teachers’ Day. The day commemorates the adoption of the ILO/UNESCO Recommendation concerning the status of teachers in 1966. This recommendation is morally binding for all countries.”
UNESCO and partners working to provide every learner with professionally-trained, motivated and well-supported teachers … Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director-General  (link)
This time last year I wrote about this day. This year I’m writing again having just read this article, and had a laugh over this blog post.

hey-girl-let-me-laminate-those-dividers-for-you-                                                                     Image Source

It seems whenever the subject of teachers arises so many are so consumed by the hours (or lack thereof), huge pay and easy workload.
Just for once I’d love to read …
“Teachers have it great! They get to interact daily with our children. They are a positive part of our children’s lives. Sure the resources mightn’t be always great but they are resourceful and will ensure children’s needs are met (to the best of their ability). Each day they get to witness milestones in the lives of our precious children.”
Or even …
“Teachers have it easy! The pay is higher than mine and their hours are much less. Their tasks are less time consuming than my current job description. They get excessive holidays. I AM GOING TO TRAIN TO BE A TEACHER!”
Job perks are often perceived differently from the outside. Many jobs come with perks but for every perk there are trade-offs. Movie stars get to travel in luxury and have large wealth but the trade-off is on a bad hair day they are public property. Teaching has perks not available to everyone such reduced childcare needs during the school holidays but the trade-off is you rarely get to see your children participate in school activities.

All jobs have their difficult moments but if you enjoy what you do you will find the silver lining. Like all jobs though, if you are there just for the money or the hours you won’t find happiness. You spend too long at work to be unhappy. To anyone considering joining the profession I’d say don’t be put off by the stories of ‘Woe is me’. The rewards will significantly outweigh the problems.
Would you trade your job to be a teacher? How different would your life be? Thoughts?

PS  Dare I tell you, due to school holidays, World Teachers Day is celebrated in Australia on the last Friday in October?


The storm front rolls in

A large storm front rolled over Sydney in the late afternoon today. Thunderstorms aren’t out of the norm but the visual of this storm as it raced towards and over my home was impressive.


Here you can see the edge of the front looking  west.



This was the edge to the north.

567 This storm front raced. The view here is looking south.  572  573 The wind accompanying was strong and loud as it pushed these clouds on their path. I headed indoors after taking these photos as  lightning started. A heavy deluge followed and the temperature plummeted.

Any other NSW people have stories or photos of this event to share?


Sometimes it just isn’t meant to be

A total lunar eclipse happens when the moon is completely in the Earth’s shadow.
Even though the moon is in the Earth’s shadow, some light does manage to hit the lunar surface during the eclipse, and this is what gives the moon it’s red – orange glow and hence it’s name BLOOD MOON


Lunar  Eclipse


I have been reading up about the blood moon that would appear tonight at 9:25pm EDST. As if on queue at 9:27pm the clouds began to part and a thin red hue glow began to appear on the edge of the moon. I raced inside to grab a camera to take some photos of this natural phenomena. Here are three taken about 10 minutes apart.
Did you take a look at the blood moon…what did you see ?

image                                                                                         9:35pm EDST

image                                                                                           9:45 pm EDST

image                                                                                                  9:55 pm EDST

Yes , the clouds regrouped :)


Yes, “100 per cent”…

Well what an ending!! I’d followed The Bachelor Australia this season as I did last season-not to mention reading after each episode the hilarious Rosie Reviews. I had it recorded on ‘Series Record’…just in case the electricity wasn’t kind one night.

As the finale day loomed we were promised a twist. Rumours on social media told us this, well before the glint of the diamond and a #dirtytrouserknee from a proposal graced our screens.


The ring my ‘once bachelor’ gave me

But what would it be? I wondered if maybe after the proposal the winner’s family would appear from behind a bush.

Would a celebrant appear and they would magically marry?

Would Laurina and Jess appear in bridesmaid taffeta?


Would Amber stand up and yell “But I haven’t had a one-on-one date yet!”

Would Louise appear  with  a 4 tier wedding cake complete with African animals as the motif and #dirtystreetpies as canapés?


Would Chantele do a reading?

My mind worked overtime.

When Lisa appeared in the first car, my knowledge from last year told me this wasn’t good. Oh, yes I was Team Lisa. How ever did I get so obsessed that I actually was choosing the ‘right girl’? It wasn’t like they would be at my Christmas dinner (though to be fair they had played out their courtships in my family room, sometimes even as I ate dinner). I heard myself telling him what to as if I were his mum or Aunty Dee. I heard myself begin the “What if …he changes his mind and calls Lisa back as she walks to the car (but then she drove away)…tells Sam it’s not her then calls Lisa back and this time begs her telling her how he loves her. No! The ring went on Sam’s finger as she accepted 100% Yes…NO!!!!!! ”.
There was no sunset, just a lion. That should have told me something!

Rumours began fast on social media after this ending. We’d seen no twist. In my infinite wisdom I decided the reason for no media contact and ‘the twist’ was because they had actually already been married (well they had been on a few dates over 3 month period – not out of the realm of expected (is it??). Channel 10 did have that free 9:30 pm time slot for today (Friday) which added fuel to my fire (It’s now Madam Secretary if you are interested). Twitter scrolled faster than my quick reading eyes could skim. First it was break ups, then marriage, then break ups, then pregnancy, then break ups. Of course I had my own theories – the marriage one was mine just as I had written here at the start. I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning following this rush. Thankfully I’m on holidays so could sleep in.

So, then, in the harsh light of day, we learned Cinderella didn’t get her man in this fairy tale. Lisa denounced the rumours of pregnancy and now we have to wait to hear the “He said, She said’ version of events. In the meantime if you think this style of finding love suits you Channel 10 has opened applications for next year…and I’m already looking to see if I can put it in “Series Record’…just in case.


Cinderella 2014

You stumble upon a random letter on the path. You read it. It affects you deeply, and you wish it could be returned to the person to which it’s addressed. Write a story about this encounter.
Today’s twist: Approach this post in as few words as possible.
Here’s my attempt at using only 50 words to (hopefully) tell a story. This is a huge challenge for me as I always seem to be excessive in my word usage. Oh and it’s not a message on a path but a scene played out in a café.

He: “Should’ve known rushing off without leaving her number meant a no show.”
She: “Hello, I know it’s odd but I’m meeting a man, Ted, at your café and I’ve no way to contact him. I’m late but am almost there.”

I wrote her message …but his table was empty.


No stronger bond

Writing 101: A Room with a View (or Just a View)
Today, choose a place to which you’d like to be transported if you could — and tell us the backstory. How does this specific location affect you? Is it somewhere you’ve been, luring you with the power of nostalgia, or a place you’re aching to explore for the first time?

Today’s twist: organize your post around the description of a setting.

If I could be transported to any place right now, I’d take that journey to the white house with the gables and the picket fence. This is how my mum used to describe our family home to taxi drivers that would bring my mum, nanna and 2 sisters home from many a shopping trip. There was always much pride about her home. This house was built of wood that my mum told me was log cabin design. My parents built this house before I was born. When the days of aluminium cladding of homes in Sydney began to trend my mother would get very angry at salesman that wanted to cover up that beautiful timber. I know eventually my dad won out and those magnificent gables were clad in aluminium. My dad didn’t like getting up on a very tall ladder to paint the wood. I never said anything to my mum but I didn’t actually see a Iot of difference in the aluminium to the wood. We grew from kids to adults. It was a place for carefree times- a cubby house (big enough to rent out to tenants we laughed about as we got older). Cats came and left families of kittens under the cubby – always a source of fun – until they would be taken away to ‘a party for cats’ never to return. I remember well the afternoon my dad installed a mini Putt Putt style golf course for us using empty plastic flower pots as the holes…and remember Mum’s face displaying much less happiness than ours when she saw her flower beds somewhat disturbed. Then came the swimming pool!! We also had a small hill – like dome in the centre of our block which was fun to ride scooters over. Buried beneath this was my dad’s first car that he refused to part with. Metal occasionally made its way to the surface of the dome. We also had his second car parked in the yard, rusted and draped at times with choko vines. Colour tv came to this house long before it came to others. This brought with it a lot of new ‘friends’ and visits from family as we shared this gem. Dad always loved up to the minute electronic devices. Food was a source of nourishment used for celebration, commiseration and of course family meals around the table. So many happy memories – my strong family bond was cemented at in that home.

And so it was …my family home…now the home of another family. Time moves us, shapes us, gives us depth of character and in our case seeded a family bond that lasts beyond time.


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