??Journey or destination??

Exploring life experiences at home and beyond – Destination Happiness


Is this the role for you?

Sunrise ( morning tv show for those reading from outside Australia) had this video on its website. You can watch it for yourself HERE. I recommend you do it before reading on

After watching it I wrote my own role description for the same job. This one had a more positive slant I think.

This is a work from home position and may or may not include a co-worker. It will see you travel long distances and short distances often with little notice. There is no uniform or dress code and you may do it in PJs if that’s your desire. It is guaranteed to make you laugh and cry , sometimes at the same time. It is also guaranteed to cause you worry but it will provide you with a much greater amount of positive events.This role has no manual so you will have to make your own rules and regulations as you go, reflecting the values you perceive to be important as you face each challenge presented to you. There will be times you feel overwhelmed as to which decision to make and even feel your decision to be unfavourable but trust in your gut feelings.
In this role others will try to give you ( often unsolicited) ideas and voice their disapproval of your decision making. However, you will answer to yourself and be able to choose what you want to do, ignoring their input totally without having to offer a reason.
No matter what you are doing for yourself your mind will be constantly on the role. This , though draining emotionally, is also the way of making things in your role work better.
Once in this position you will not only be thrilled you chose it but will be pinching yourself that something this amazing is a position for life, you will never be made redundant nor will you retire. The hours you put in during later years in the role will be minimal compared to those in the first years, yet the pay will remain at the same unfathomably high rate. The pay will allow you to live a lifestyle of sheer happiness and always be proud.
True others that have held this position will tell you it has extremely long hours but the strength to cope with this will come from the elation you experience from your role. No two days ( or hours even) will be the same but this variety is stimulating.

Who would knock back this role….of parenting ??


Can’t wait to share this!

On the 4th April I traveled aboard the Pacific Pearl on what I dubbed ‘The 3 Night Cruise to Nowhere’. Like all good journeys the destination is always the added extra. This time the destination was gaining inspiration to cook…yes, to my regular followers this is hardly what you EVER thought you’d hear me say (or write)!!! This is all thanks to the fantastic idea ’4 Ingredients’.

boat   grasshopper

The cruise was a Food and Wine Cruise. I think I broke all barriers on this trip as not being a big drinker I found myself sampling wines and champagnes over dinner and cocktails later in the evening while laughing along at karaoke or joining a sing-a-long in the piano bar in the wee hours of the morning. But, back to cooking.

While onboard I took myself to the 4 Ingredients demonstrations featuring the vivacious Kim McCosker creator of this cookbook concept. If she couldn’t inspire a non-cook no one could. Her effortless repartee as she prepared nutritious, delicious meals, made cooking look so simple and dare I say …FUN! I watched in awe as she tossed a flour and water dough ball into a pan cooking a Margherita pizza on the stove top, disguised avocados as the tastiest chocolate mousse and gave hints on how to disguise brussel sprouts into children’s (in my case I’d use it for my husband) meals, though why people baulk at them I just don’t understand.


OPOB4Ired_edited-2            Link to photo  here - Recipes from this book were demonstrated.
Still motivated and now on holidays with time to spare, I decided to do a test run of a few recipes she mentioned. I’m used to things looking easy while watching a demonstration only to find at home the reality changes them. Not deterred I chose ingredients at the supermarket for 2 ingredient cupcakes (well 3 if you include icing) and scotch finger apple crumble. Of course desserts were my first choice. Just as instructed I chose the Home Brand vanilla cake mix @ 71c!!! I had the soft drink I needed at home. I used the new Fanta – Strawberry and Kiwifruit.








hb                                                                                                  photo link

I tipped these two ingredients in a bowl and mixed them with a wooden spoon until they were smooth. I dolloped the mixture into patty papers on an oven tray ( I didn’t have a suitable pan because, as I’ve said many times, “I don’t cook”).
I timed these cakes for the said 15 minutes and when the time was up I couldn’t believe my eyes! Little cupcakes filled each case, well they looked good but I knew they still needed to pass the taste test. I had also bought some Betty Crocker Vanilla icing and a Wiltshire icing set. As you can tell, this cooking had me under its spell. I taste tested one when they cooled and you could taste the drink flavour and they were a pretty pink hue. After I piped on this was the finished product. My cupcake loving daughter arrived home from university and devoured three. This isn’t usually the case with my products, usually one is more than enough (and not cause they are filling haha).

Some of the batch


Up close – you can see the pretty pink hue of the cake.

single caki
Now I’m actually going to buy myself some of her cookbooks. I think my family will be very pleased. Don’t take my word that the 4 Ingredients recipes are good; take a look at the website. By the way, this post is all my own thoughts. I wasn’t paid to write it nor received any products. The only incentive was Kim’s enthusiasm.

Thursday night its Scotch finger apple crumble. Looking forward to creating it .


Can’t Get it Out of My Head

I must say at the present moment the thing I can’t get out of my head is the missing Malaysian plane MH370. My heart goes out to the families of all those aboard. I can only begin to fathom how they are coping and feel also for those that were on this plane. My son, his girlfriend and her sisters recently traveled to Japan in the wake of the bizarre disappearance of the Malaysian airline plane. Normally trusting of air travel, this time it was a nervous wait to hear they had arrived at their destination.
I know many other catastrophic events have happened and are happening as I write this post. Countries are at war, people are starving, people are dying from disease, suffering is happening across our globe affecting people. So, why aren’t I obsessing over these, just the missing plane? As bad as they are, and as much as I feel for those affected, in the back of my mind I guess the thought is these are things that can be controlled, solved (hopefully), made better. I can help even if some small way.  However this flight brings home to me the reality that once I board a plane I have no further control of the situation. I like to fly as does my family and it’s frightening to contemplate my loved ones… or myself…suffering the same fate as the passengers and crew that were on board this flight. Despite trusting air travel I must admit there is always a small niggle of doubt when the plane sounds a little different or maybe rocks in turbulence.

Am I obsessed then because the puzzle has no answer and I like all puzzles to have an answer, a walkthrough, a cheat sheet, to finalise the problem? As hard as everyone has tried, not even a tiny fragment has been located to show this plane and the people aboard actually existed. I have taken time to examine satellite images when the public were asked to join in. I had no idea what I was looking for but nevertheless I felt compelled to scan, hoping to find that elusive thing to tie this altogether neatly.


There are so many conspiracy theories being put forward. Pilots have been scrutinised, fake passport holders examined, kidnapping of IT specialists on board, dare I even mention terrorism. Are these theories a way to take comfort in the thought that mechanically we just can’t lose a plane in an era of surveillance enriched by technology? Do they seem far-fetched enough to help in belief that the likelihood of this happening on our own flight is negligible? Did I ever contemplate that these huge metal transporters could just flick a switch off and become totally untraceable?

So, now I’m off to see if there are any new theories, maybe a black box discovered or idealistically the plane discovered having landed safely in some remote place, with everyone OK and just waiting to be discovered.


D is for …

I am beginning to appreciate the scenic area in which I live as my husband and I start exploring a small part of it each fortnight. We have lived here near 30 years but only now are making a real effort to get to know what it has to offer. A few weekends ago we travelled to the local destination of Davistown. It is part of Gosford City situated on Cockle Channel, an arm of Brisbane Water. We took a walk along the Illoura Reserve Walk .

Davistown (according to the Gosford City Council  webpage) was named for the concentration of Davis family members living in this area. They were ship builders. The area came to be populated with the Davis’s and their families, hence the name Davistown.
The part of Davistown in the vicinity of Lintern Street wharf was once known as Bedlam. It was reputed to have been the location of the largest Aboriginal camp in the district during the days of early white settlement. The Davistown district was home to the Guringai tribe, whose country stretched from the north side of Sydney Harbour, north through Pittwater and Brisbane Water, to the southern end of Lake Macquarie. Signs of habitation in the Davistown area include a rock shelter and shellfish middens. Burramun is believed to be the aboriginal name for the Davistown area. (LINK)

Ferries still work this waterway today, having first been active prior to the opening of the opening of the Rip Bridge in 1974. The small communities around Brisbane Water relied on little ferries to get them to Woy Woy and Gosford. We didn’t take a ride on the public ferry this time but I’d like to give it a try another day.

fr_1260_size880Ferry ticket booth (unmanned now)

Today many beautiful homes face this pretty waterway. While we walked along, close to the water’s edge, we watched children frolicking in the water, people fishing from a jetty, boats bobbing on the small wash created from the slowly meandering boats, dogs being walked, balls being kicked and a café echoing laughter as people sipped their beverages.


This one pelican sure took his position seriously.Although its not easy to see in the photo the small blue and white sign down the pole says “SURVEILLANCE AREA” .

Do you take time to get out and enjoy the area in which you live? Sometimes the best is closer than you think .




“That nutty Don Charisma’s at it again, he’s posted a black box as a writing prompt, surely that imbecile has lost his mind …”

Couldn’t resist joining in :)

“Don Charisma’s Sneaky Black Box”

“I am not red
“I am not green
“I am not blue
“That can be seen!!”

“I’m not a circle,”
“I’m not a star”
“I’m not a pentagon“
“None of these, so far!!”

“I am black”
“My sides are four”
“I am a square”
“There is no more!!”



Weekly Writing Challenge: Fifty

So, can you tell a story in just fifty words? This is the Weekly Prompt on the Daily Post @ WordPress.com.  I’m big on talking so I wondered if I could create a story in just so few words. Here’s my attempt. What do you think?


The clouded midnight sky prevented the full moon glow entering her house of pain. Cloak of darkness strengthened her courage. Dragging the large knife upward preparing to bring it down as he slept, clouds parted for a moment, moon rays illuminating the cold, steel blade. She loathed who she’d become.


Power of Names

This week my name has featured largely in my life. Regular readers will be familiar my holiday plans as I tick off another on my bucket list. If not you might want to have a read here.

I do not have a current passport but need one for my travels. With flights already bought and much of my land content organised and paid for, it was time (maybe this should have been an earlier event) to organise a passport.

“How difficult could it be?” I thought…until I open our document folder. Of course just one item was missing – you guessed it- my birth certificate. I haven’t needed to use it since the kids got their passports so it’s a mystery where it is. Birth certificate copies are easy enough to get. With a few typed facts, some photocopied documents and a credit card payment for a fast processing fee of $75 I was on the way.



It arrived on my doorstep on the third working day after I had ordered it so all was progressing well.

On opening the certificate I saw my name no longer had the hyphen in it that I knew I had on the original one. I also noticed my sister’s name had been misspelled (though luckily her birth certificate has the correct spelling on it). Faced with a Saturday interview appointment for my passport I was concerned what the outcome would be. My old passport has the hyphen as does my Medicare card, drivers license and wedding certificate (all used my original birth certificate to be obtained) the three ID pieces I needed for my new passport.

The post office processed it fine so I guess I now have to wait to see if the Passport Office does too…and to see what name I have on my new passport. Fingers crossed.

Fingers crossed emoticon


Luckily my air carrier doesn’t accept non-alpha characters in their ticketing process so all should be good either way, according to their representative.


A point to ponder.

You have but to know an object by its proper name for it to lose its dangerous magic. — Elias Canetti


Have names caused you issues? Leave your story in a  comment.


È molto eccitata

I have been absent from my blog this last week. My head (and every spare second of my time) has been filled with planning my family’s trip to Italy, a hop into Germany and a wander around Austria.

italyI am following Trip Advisor closely.  I read the reports, interpreting the comments to the best I can, to make (hopefully) good judgments about places that will suit my trip. Reading so many of the comments made me a little sad about the mindset of some travelers. Too often they comment on hotel features based on their own country’s style.  Traveling should widen the experiences not be mirror images of what you have at home. If that were the case surely it would be easier to stay home and save all that saved cash for something else.

So far I have booked the accommodation in Italy. Today I’ve started researching ‘Must Do’ activities and the ‘rip your hair out’ job of finding the most suitable transport to get around.



Having said all that I must admit I actually enjoy the preparation of a trip. I’ve been impressed with prompt replies to emails from businesses. I have spent literally days sifting through information but I think I have selected places that will suit us well. I did drag out the process in Venice to find a reasonable price rate and a canal view. Can’t wait to open those shutter and call out Ciao to those walking past along the canal pathway.


But with all this planning and 92 days until we leave I realised one most important thing I hadn’t organised… a passport!  A kind of MAJOR thing!!!! Lodging that this week then it will be all systems go.

Tell me about your experiences of Italy, Germany and Austria please. I need all the advice I can get. Perhaps you know some of the more unique ‘off the main track’ attractions to see.


What’s your Hobby?

How do you fill your spare time? Do you have a hobby , or should that read ‘hobbies’?

Yesterday I found my daughter busy on her laptop. This was hardly unusual as she is in her final year at university and is always working on an assignment of some kind (or on social media – perhaps even more frequently than on assignments). I asked her what she was up to and she replied she was researching hobbies.  Of course, intrigued, I asked for what course was that an assignment. Turns out it was for a course where she has to tell the group about herself in a tutorial. She decided it would be interesting to have a hobby to share with the group. I personally would describe her hobby as being social and offered that as an idea along with tanning, walking, running, volunteering  and of course her cat. I’m not sure when she combines these with her studies and part time work she could actually fit in anything else. But, as she doesn’t feel the social or exercise are hobbies, she continued exploring the options. I too headed off on my own looking for ideas to sate my curiosity about hobbies as nominated by my good friend Google.

I even did a quiz at hubpages.com to see which hobbies most suited to me. My result was

You are Artist

You are creative to the max!  You enjoy expressing yourself through your creative outlets and artistic talents.  Look for a hobby in sculpting, drawing, painting, theater, or music.

Perhaps you might like to test it out too!



Looking  forward to hearing what you learn from it  :)



Weekly Photo Challenge: Abandoned

Weekly Photo Challenge – WordPress

For this week’s photo challenge, show us abandoned. You can go literal, as I have, and share a photo of ruins, a desolate place, or your idea of a wasteland. Or you can interpret it in other ways, from images of overlooked things to forgotten people.

Last weekend my husband and I travelled to Catherine Hill Bay( on the northern perimeter of Central Coast NSW). It is a village built on coal mining but today the old jetty has been abandoned to coal trains . Instead its a haven of pylons for diving beneath and swimming in a shady place.Today graffiti covers the gates that once were the entry of life to this jetty.




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