Friday, May 28, 2010


"Sometimes I sits and thinks and sometimes I just sits".....I have no idea where I first heard that sentence but it is a good one 'cos sometimes I do just sit, but at other times I sit and think, quite profoundly at times.

I think about who I am, how I came to be here, even how lucky I am to be here. You need to know my story to understand what I am mean by that statement. You see (I think I've mentioned this before) I was born to a single mother back in 1932 who was told by her father to go away, have me and forget it ever happened. My mother came from a quite strict Church of England family and her father was in the WA Police Force, a detective constable. Back in 1932 it was quite a disgrace for any family to have their daughter become pregnant and particularly when the father of that child denied responsibility and who, in fact, married another woman before I was born.

The reason I say I may be fortunate to be here to tell the tale is because, being in the police force, my grandfather would have had knowledge of people who performed abortions illegally and could easily have forced his daughter to follow that path. I think he was a God-fearing type of man and that would have been against his beliefs. Although he would not allow my mother to keep me with her at least he did nothing to cause my death. I guess I at least have to thank him for that.

I believe my mother was very much in love with the man who was my father but eventually realised he had abandoned her so she took out a court order to obtain maintenance for me. That was never honoured. I often wonder if my mother hoped, if she received some money from him, she may have been able to keep me with her.

One reason I believe this could have been the case is because, although I was given to my adoptive parents when I was quite tiny (so I have been told) my birth certificate in their name was dated early in 1933 whereas I had been born in January, 1932. Did I, in fact, remain with my birth mother until she realised there would be no maintenance payable and then she relinquished me to be put up for adoption? That is one question I will never have the answer to.

I have a Supreme Court document dated 6 July, 1932 (6 months after I was born) where my mother consents to an Order of Adoption "in favour of such person as a Judge may approve of under said act". Another document I have is an Application for Order of Adooption by my adoptive parents and this is dated 1 November, 1932 (I was then 9 months old). The official Order of Adoption itself is dated 24 November, 1932. I have never really looked at these dates before but they certainly have set me wondering...........My birth certicate showing my adoptive parents to be my parents was registered on 17 March, 1933. Put two and two together and what do you come up with?

Did my adoptive mother tell me I was 10 days old when I was given to her whereas possibly I was 10 months old. There have been so many 'stories' told to me that I realise that I just do not know what to believe but then, does any of that really matter. I had a happy childhood and much loved by two great people. Should I want more than that? Unfortunately at times I do and that sounds so selfish but...that's the way we humans often are.

Although my adoptive parents were wonderful to me during my life my mum wasn't going to tell me that I was adopted until she suddenly realised it was possible I may hear it from someone else. She told me just after I had turned 12 and I remember not being at all disturbed by the news and actually felt that it was wonderful to be someone's chosen child.

Many years later my mum also told me I should tear up my adoption papers as no-one else ever need know that I had been adopted. I don't know if she was ashamed she had not had me child herself or was protecting me but when she said that to me in the 1970s I didn't feel it was something of which to be ashamed. My mum also told me that my mother had died quite young and this I also think was some form of protection that would prevent me from ever seeking my birth mother. Thinking back on this now I realise it was all rather complicated.

I eventually got to know my birth mother over a few years but only spoke to her on the telephone up to 2 days before her death. I may go into that in another post as she told me quite a few things about having me.

This is what I mean when I said that sometimes "I sits and thinks". It is difficult to fit all the pieces of one's life together when there are so many unanswered questions. I often envy the people who had their own parents, grandparents etc., who would hear them chat about family and years gone by etc. etc. I have had none of that in my life so much of it is quite empty. My adoptive folk came from England so I didn't even get to meet any of their families. My dad had fallen out with his family prior to their coming to Australia so they were never mentioned and in mum's case there was only her father and her sister in England. We had letters but they didn't really mean anything to me at all as I'd never met them or spoken to them.

This may be of little interest to others but it came to me suddenly that I had to write it down and that is what I have done. I am told that is what blogs are mainly express one's feeling about certain topics and I have done just that.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


It's amazing how something quite insignificant to others can make you feel so happy.

Eight and a half years back I brought home two little kittens. My daughter had taken me to the Cat Haven in Shenton Park with the idea of buying me a kitten. There was a saucy little chap that we decided had to be the one so he was chosen almost immediately. It was then I noticed this tiny grey tabby peeking out from under a blanket and engrossed in what Henry (that was the name we gave the kitten we had already chosen) was doing. She was so cute and once I had given her a cuddle I decided that I would buy her as well. I just had to take her home.

It turned out that the two cats got on well together most of the time; they would play and you'd find them curled up asleep together but they were so different in temperament. Henry loved people and would always go to the window if he heard a car pull up outside and welcome our guest(s) quite happily. Precious (I had called her that as she seemed just so precious) on the other hand was incredibly shy of everyone except me, my hubby and my daughter (she had cuddled her for a couple of hours when we bought her home and I think they sort of bonded). As soon as a car stops outside or she hears footsteps Precious will run and hide under the bed or out she will go through the cat door when it is accessible for her to use.

The different temperaments eventually became even more so as Henry would quite often attack Precious and she became just a little scared of him. He was a very large cat (probably twice the weight of Precious and very strong). Poor Henry died in his sleep last August when he and Precious were both lying asleep on the living room carpet in front of the fan heater. We all miss Henry so very much and he has a special spot in the garden where we are going to build a small rockery to mark his resting place.

Precious went quite strange after Henry's death and it took some months before she would even go into the living room again or even stay in the house more than she was made to. Eventually she did come good and now sleeps on our beds every night, although still likes to pop out and sit on the window sill in the laundry checking out the back yard to make sure it is still there and all is as it should be.

The thing that has made me so happy this past week or so is this: over the years I would pick Precious up, pop her on my lap and would be lucky for her to stay there for more than 30 seconds or so. She was fine if she got on my lap of her own volition but I could not pick her up and expect her to stay. She would struggle to get down on the floor.

I don't know if it is the cooler weather or not but she now often comes out into my workroom (she does tend to want to be where I am) and I have been picking her up and she has been curling up on my knee while I am using the computer. It is not all that comfortable for me but she will stay indefinitely until I just have to get up and then usually carry her into the living room and deposit her there.

This may all sound so mundane but to have had a cat for eight and a half years and only now being able to pick her up and nurse her .... my choice to do so and not hers ...has made me feel terrific. Silly isn't it that such a small event could make me smile so? I just had to share this as I sit here with a silly grin on my face.

Incidentally, it is only my daughter and my brother (and my hubby of course) that Precious will go to....she still shuns everyone else and is particularly frightened of children and yet no child has ever hurt her. For that matter neither has an adult done so.

If I knew how to put photographs on this blog I would do so as I have a beautiful photo that my daughter took a year or so back of Precious in all her winter finery which she sheds each year to be cool for summer. It's a little like having two cats....a summer cat with short hair and a winter cat with long fluffy hair.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


This post is not about anything in particular but I learned this poem in school and it is one I have always loved. It is "Sea Fever" by John Masefield and I am sure you all know it quite well, but just in case you have forgottene it I quote it now:


I must go down to the seas again, to the lovely sea and the sky;
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sails shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that cannot be denied
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the seagulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gulls way and the whale's way where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow rover
And a quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.

I have always loved the sea, especially in winter when one can watch the huge waves rolling into the shore with the wind whipping the tops of the waves. I can imagine
why John Masefield loved the seas so much and what an exciting and dangerous life it must have been centuries ago to have been a mariner on the oceans of the world. I don't think people then found it at all glamorous (as poetry can make it sound) but the call of adventure in far off lands would beckon them.

I may never have been on an ocean liner (or on a large sailing ship) but I did quite a bit of yachting in my teen years and even owned my own little yacht for a couple of years. Most of my sailing was on the Swan River athough we did venture out into the Indian Ocean one day which nearly ended in disaster. It blew up quite rough and we were taking in water (there were 4 of us in a sharpie - a racing yacht about 19'6" in length and quite narrow) and the pumps weren't dealing adequately with it. We headed back for Fremantle Harbour while bailing madly and because we were so young I guess we didn't realise the danger we were in. We made it back OK and then had to sail all the way back to the ANA Yacht Club in Perth. Four very tired people were glad to call it a day.

As said at the beginning, this is not about anything in particular but just sharing some random thoughts about my love of the sea. The strangest thing though is this....I have never enjoyed 'going to the beach' or swimming in the ocean. I don't like the salt, sand, surf or sun.....I just enjoy watching the sheer majesty of the ocean. I have a lot of respect for it and for the creatures that live in it.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


My dear hubby and I have now been married close to 43 years and the other day I found a poem written by Dianna Nelly which goes a long way toward describing how our own marriage has been. It has had its up and downs (most good marriages do) but on the whole the second time around for us both has been more than just satisfactory. I have adjusted a few words to make the poem fit us but on the whole it is word for word as Dianna wrote it. I apologise to her for taking the liberty of making minor alterations.


A good marriage is made of equal respect
And the ability to communicate.
You have to be able to talk to each other
You need to be able to relate.

You have to show each other every day
How much in love you are.
It takes two people to make it work
Together and not from afar.

Some say you don't have to work on a marriage
Marriages work out on their own.
Those are the people who live in denial
And usually end up alone.

And don't forget we all have our faults;
Stay strong and feed off each other.
Think about being happy in marriage
And less about its length.

All I can tell is what works for us;
It's been working for over 40 years.
We've shared love, respect and friendship
And we've even shared a few tears.

I wouldn't trade this marriage for money;
I'd never trade this man that I love.
An example of really great soulmates;
Our marriage is blessed with true love.

If I showed this to my other half he would probably say I'd gone a bit soppy but even taking into account ups and down we've had I would not exchange him and I don't think he would exchange me. We have both told each other we can not imagine what like would be like without the other and I think that says it all. He may annoy me at times (and I him of course) but we sort of make a good team and try to look after each other as much as we can. Each night I pop an eye drop in his bad eye that has glaucoma and let him do the 'good' eye so he still can practise getting it right!! He is wonderful in doing so many things I can no longer do and I remind him about his insulin injections (he often does forget) and little things like that. As said above...I feel we do make a pretty good team.

I hope others will enjoy this little poem and that they too will have good and lasting marriages.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


Last night and today it has been raining very heavily here in Perth and tonight it is quite windy as well. It is many months since we had any rain to speak of and we really do need it badly and hopefully it will continue right through to the spring months and even beyond.

Folk I know are already complaining about the cold, the rain etc. but for some reason I have always enjoyed winter.

I know little about genetics but I do know that my great-grandparents came from Denmark and northern Scotland respectively as did their childen and so on. Have I perhaps inherited from them the abiity to withstand cold weather (not that Perth is ever THAT cold....min temp seldom below 2C and that is quite rare with daytime temps probably averaging about 19C) although they themselves may have been very glad to leave it behind when they ventured to Australia.

My dear other half came from the middle of England and tells me I don't know what it is like to be really cold and I am sure he perfectly correct in saying that and I notice that if a cool breeze blows he is the first to don a jacket. It is inborn in him that if it is breezy then it must be cold even though he has lived in Oz for 50 years now. In summer when I have the house cool he often has to put on a jacket and in winter when he warms the house I have to take my jacket off. What a contradictory pair we are to be sure. A bit like Jack Spratt and his wife!!

Whatever the reason for my liking of winter, all I know is that I enjoy it tremendously and always look back to my youth when I could wear an overcoat and warm clothing when I went out and enjoy doing so. Now I can't because everywhere one goes there is airconditioning set at quite a high temperature. It is for that reason that I still wear short sleeved clothing in winter or I would feel I was cooking when going to shopping centres etc. People laugh at me and say they never see me with long sleeves and can't understand it but that is just the way I am.

I would imagine that most people that read this post would think me a little crazy and are already longing for those crazy, lazy days of summer. This though is one chicken that is as happy as larry with the current weather pattern.


These words from William Shakespeare's "As You Like It" have always haunted me over the years:

"All the world's a stage
And all the men and women merely players.
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man (woman) in his (her) time plays many parts."

To keep up with modern times I of course added the 'woman' and 'her' to the last line. Many peope are very particular these days about the use of the word 'man' as pertaining to men and women, i.e. mankind etc. I really think one can go too far trying to constantly be politically correct but I do try to make allowances for modern attitudes when I think it pertinent to do so.

The quoted words have always reminded me that we are indeed only players upon a very, very large stage; we arrive and we go and whilst here we do indeed play many, many parts. I in my time have been a daughter, bridesmaid, wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother not to forget the time when I was also a secretary, stenographer etc., during my working years.

I have also been a confidante to friends in trouble and hope I have been able to help them in some small way. I've always been a good listener so perhaps that is why people I've known have often come to be with their woes.

In the home I have been a cook, nurse, dressmaker, babysitter, cleaner, washerwoman, gardener etc. etc. etc.

I have done nothing outstanding during my 78 years compared with so many wonderful people in the world, including my adoptive mother who in her later life did so many great things in order to help people. She played many more parts than I have ever played. She made her entrance and eventually her exit but she filled those years wonderfuly well right through to her 80s and I feel tiny compared with her achievements.

Whatever it is I have done I have always tried to do as well as I can although my best is not perhaps always as good as it could or should be but I am who I am and nothing can change that.

I wonder if this quote from Shakespeare has the same affect on others as it has always had on me. Do let me know what you think of it. I would be most interested to know your thoughts.

Friday, May 21, 2010


Had a scan this week to see why I am having these new aches and pains in my lower back etc., and it shows the usual problem at L5/S1 which we've known about for some time. It seems most of my back is in pretty bad condition from top to bottom and now everything has been tried to help, it is a case of grin and bear it.

I will not take strong pain killers as they can play havoc with your mind and at least my brain is working well (at least at present) and I find so much enjoyment using my computer. Also can't take anti-inflammatories 'cos they can interfers with other medications I am on and they are a risky idea anyway.

Can't knit or crochet much anymore and any fine needlework (cross stitch etc) is out as I can no longer hold a small sewing needle. Can use the sewing machine but not able to cut out fabric so have to stick to small jobs such as mending etc.

I have tried to do small jobs in the garden and it's a case of 5 minutes on my feet and 5 minutes sitting down so I dont get a lot done but am giving it a go but when I look around our garden and see what I did over the years I do feel sad that I can no longer enjoy doing much.

Don't get me wrong, I am not really feeling sorry for myself but at times I get so frustrated...remembering....and knowing my limitations that I now have to accept.

One consolation.....I apparently have very strong bones so good chance I will never suffer from osteoporosis....there's always an up side to everything and for that I do have to be thankful.

I also don't know of any mental problems among my ancestors so hopefully this old brain will keep functioning for some time to come.

I still have two legs and I CAN walk (although not much) so what have I really got to complain about?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Is it because Mother's Day is celebrated this month? Perhaps that is why my adoptive mum has been on my mind more than usual and she is never far away from my thoughts even though she died 25 years ago.

I guess she was larger than life in many ways and quite often a force to be reckoned with and I know she always did what she thought was right for me. I found another poem that made me think of her again. She and dad both loved to read and though we lived on a fairly isolated farm near Narrikup siding (to those of you that don't know Narrikup is a few miles north of Albany in WA's south) mum made sure I did correspondence lessons so that I learned not only to colour in very well but also to learn simple poems and to read and write.

Mum herself was well educated and spoke with what they call an "Oxford accent". I often think she was not all that keen on my Aussie accent!! I have changed the tense in this poem to past tense though it was written in the present tense. It is obvious why I did this.

Once again this poem is by Anna Hempstead Branch and is called


My mother had the prettiest tricks
Of words and words and words.
Her talk came out as smooth and sleek
As breasts of singing birds.

She shaped her speech all silver fine
Because she loved it so.
And her own eyes began to shine
To hear her stories grow.

And if she went to make a call
Or out to take a walk
We left our work when she returned
And ran to hear her talk.

We had not dreamed these things were so
Of sorrow and of mirth.
Her speech was as a thousand eyes
Through which we could see the earth.

God wove a web of loveliness
Of clouds and stars and birds,
But made not any thing at all
So beautiful as words.

They shine around our simple earth
With golden shadowings,
And every common thing they touch
Is exquisite with wings.

There's nothing poor and nothing small
But is made fair with them.
They are the hands of iving faith
That touch the garment's hem.

They are as fai
r as bloom or air,
They shine like any star,
And I am rich who learned from her
How beautiful they are.

Thanks Mum for giving me the love of books and of words. I may not be as eloquent as you were but I try my best and I still love to read.

I to do hope that anyone who may read this will appreciate this lovely poem. If you do then please tell me what you think of it. I do love to share the love of words.

Monday, May 17, 2010


My adoptive mother was very wonderful and to be chosen by such a special couple meant I was a very lucky baby. I came across this poem by Anna Hempstead Branch called "Her Hands" and it made me realise once again how fortunate that this was my mum.

My mother's hands were cool and fair
They could do anything.
Delicate mercies hid them there
Like flowers in the spring.

When I was small and could not sleep,
She used to come to me -
And with my cheek upon her hand
How sure my rest would be.

For everything she ever touched
Of beautiful or fine,
Their memories living in her hands
Would warm that sleep of mine.

Her hands remembered how they played
One time in meadow streams -
And all the flickering song and shade
Of water took my dreams.

Swift through her haunted fingers pass
Memories of garden things -
I dipped my face in flowers and grass
And sounds of hidden wings.

One time she reached the cloud that kissed
Brown pastures bleak and far -
I leaned my cheek into a mist
And thought I was a star.

All this was very long ago
And I am grown, but yet
The hand that lured my slumber so
I never can forget.

For still when drowsiness comes on
It seems so soft and cool.
Shaped happily beneath my cheek,
Hollow and beautiful.

If anyone read this I hope they enjoy this poem. There is another that I also enjoy and will put that one on here soon. It is about mother again, and words.

Saturday, May 15, 2010


My dear other half belongs to a small group called "Dead Poet's Society" and they meet once a month at the Senior Cit's Centre near us. I have been using the internret to find poetry that may be suitable for each monthly theme they choose and it has had me thinking more about poetry than ever before in my life.

There is a poem "Daffodils" by William Wordsworth that I have always particularly liked. Is it because yellow is my favourite colour, that I love flowers or just that I am lonely at times and often daydream? I am not sure of the reason but I am going to share the poem with you; it is possibly one that you first read at school, I know I did.

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle in the Milky Way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay;
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced, but they
Out-did the sparkling leaves in glee;
A poet could not be but gay
In such a jocund company!
I gazed - and gazed- but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills
And dances with the daffodils.

I wonder if this poem appeals to others as much as it does to me? Do you perhaps have a favourite poem.

If I knew how to add pics to this blog I would show a beautiful picture of a field of daffodils in full bloom but, alas, I an not adept enough with computers to do so.

Jocund = cheerful, merry

Friday, May 14, 2010


It will be one month tomorrow since my last post and for some reason I feel no inclination to write about anything.

Perhaps some people do read my blog but it is obviously not vibrant enough to warrant even one comment, even one that perhaps disagrees with what I have written. I obviously just do not have the knack of putting things that inspire others to comment.

I am not sure I can put into writing all the things that trouble me so not much point in pursuing this endeavour further.

I guess I could go on about this and that but not sure there is much point in doing so.

Feeling a pretty dull and uninteresting person and only the future will tell whether I shall bother further.

This is not a criticism of anyone who may have read my blog but rather a severe criticism of myself as a writer and thinker.

Not being computer literate I do not know how to publish pictures with my blog which I guess would make it (perhaps) more interesting, or not.