Thursday, June 30, 2016


I know at least a little about most of the "Did you Know?" items I write about but am always anxious to learn more and, as I do so, I like to share that knowledge with anyone who may be interested.  There are many people who like to endeavour to trace their ancestry back to entries in this book.

The DOMESDAY BOOK is a manuscript record of the "Great Survey" of much of England and parts of Wales completed in 1086 by order of King William the Conqueror.  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle states:

"While spending the Christmas time of 1085 in Gloucester, William had deep speech with his counsellors and sent men all over England to each shire to find out what or how much each landholder had in land and livestock and what it was worth."

It was written in Medieval Latin, was highly abbreviated. and included some vernacular native terms without Latin equivalents.  The survey's main purpose was to determine what taxes had been owed during the reign of King Edward the Confessor.  (This interpretation is challenged by some historians, who see it as an attempt to assess where power lay after wholesale redistribution of land following the conquest).

The assessor's reckoning of a man's holdings and their values as recorded in the Domesday Book, was dispositive and without appeal.  The name Domesday Book (Middle English for Doomsday Book) came into use in the 12th century.  As Richard FitzNeal wrote circa 1179 in the Dialogus de Scaccario:

"for as the sentence of that strict and terrible account cannot be evaded by any skilful subterfuge, so when this book is appealed to ..... its sentence cannot be quashed or set aside with impunity.  That is why we have called the book "the Book of Judgement".....because its decisions, like that of the Last Judgement, are unalterable."

The manuscript is held at the National Archives in Kew London.  In 2011 the Open Domesday site made the manuscript available online.

The book is an invaluable primary source for modern historians and historical economists.  No survey approaching the scope and extent of the Domesday Book was attempted again in Britain until the 1873 Return of Owners of Land (sometimes termed the "Modern Domesday") which presented the first complete, post-Domesday picture of the distribution of landed property in the British Isles.

This is a page from the Domesday Book for Warwickshire which is the county from where Phil hails.  I wonder if any of his ancestors are included.   I doubt it as I don't think any of them at that time were wealthy enough own own land.

If you are interested in finding out more about this book there is more information on Wikipedia from where I extracted the above along with the two pictures.   It appears there is much dispute about the form the book took...was it one survey or two etc. etc.  As it was so long ago those question will never, of course, be answered.  I intend to do further research as I do find this a very interesting subject.


Wednesday, June 29, 2016


This lady always says the wisest things:

Tuesday, June 28, 2016


Well, it was a quiet week and rather quieter than we expected it to  be.  Had a message from Paul the tree man to say he couldn't make it yesterday as a wheel had come off their cherry picker.  When I spoke to him later he said it happened this morning on one of our busiest highways but fortunately didn't cause any problems.  They had to have it towed to be repaired which apparently is quite a big job.  This shows the huge branches on the ground and the one piece of the eucalypt that collapsed recently.  It takes up about a quarter of the front garden so the sooner it's gone the better.  The fine leaves showing at the top are from the weeping peppermint.

As tomorrow is forecast to he wet and possibly with thunderstorms we have rescheduled for Wednesday midday and hopefully all will then be all steam ahead.  I do so want to get the garden looking nice again, apart from the weeds and they just keep on doing their own merry dance.  Our whipper snipper died last year and Phil hasn't done anything to get it fixed.  We do have our lawn man come in every 5 weeks and we have now heard that Howard has retired and a new man will be here on Wednesday.  Only hope he will be as good as Howard and Russell before him.  One can only hope.   This is the very large weeping peppermint which is going to have its top removed as it has become very straggly.  There is a lovely climber covering most of the trunk so it should still look OK.

On the other side of the driveway there is an exceptionally large bottlebrush (King's Park Special)  and the right hand branch is to be removed as well as the large branch on the left which is heading for our neighbour's house.  Have you noticed our beautiful blue skies yesterday?  Maybe some 'after' pictures next week....who knows!!

Seems pandemonium reigns supreme after the Brexit vote in Britain on Thursday. Now Scotland and Northern Ireland want to leave England and a supposed petition of more than 2 million signatures to hold a second referendum is said to have had 80,000 forged signatures on it.  What some people will do to get their own way.   Phil and I are only sorry the result wasn't more decisive than it was but a result is a result no matter which we you look at it.   One wonders how much effect it will have on our Federal elections which will be held next Saturday.

Can you tell me why other countries in the world have their voting days on a week day?  It has never made sense to me as the majority of people don't work on Saturdays.  Is it a religious thing perhaps?  I can't see that being the case in Britain but one never knows why these things are scheduled as they are.

Incidentally, I have put in a postal vote this year.  I find it difficult to stand in one place for very long and your often have to queue even if you feel you've chosen the best time to go to the polling booth and our senate voting paper is so LARGE it takes a while to fill in even if now we only have to tick 12 spaces below the line or 6 above.   I personally prefer to place my votes below the line as I don't want any party telling me who I am going to vote for, even if it is the party of my choice.

I am sure that is enough chat for this Tuesday.  Mustn't bore you to tears.  Back again with more chat next week all things being equal.

Monday, June 27, 2016


Another little gem to make you smile and, don't forget, keep smiling through the coming week if you can..

Sunday, June 26, 2016


I found this wee poem today with no author's name and it rather took my fancy. Hope you too will enjoy it and have a laugh with me.



I just typed a poem in your presentation


I just typed a joke in your email


I just typed something personal on your update


I just typed my political views in your tweet


I just accidentally typed in your bank password number and
Kitty's going to by herself a new scratching post.

I do hope Candy doesn't learn how to do the latter as she needs a new scratching post as the other one is gradually falling to bits as she uses it a lot for scratching and sitting on to peer out the front window.

Saturday, June 25, 2016


I am so thoroughly fed up with the modern means of communication, or should I say non-communication.

Phil and I both did office work all our working lives; I operated a busy switchboard for 7 years plus  shorthand/typing (when required) and some clerical duties. 

Back then, when we wished to find out something, we would ring a telephone number and be answered by a usually pleasant voice giving the name of the firm we were calling and asking what it was we wanted to be assisted with.  If we asked for a particular person and they were unavailable for some reason the suggestion would be made that a message could be left if we would provide our name and return telephone number.   Now I know that only employed one person but if all businesses today did that I feel it would cut down on the number of unemployed.

Today Phil had to ring a 1300 number (at 35cents a pop and those 35 cents soon add up) to register the new credit card he has received in the mail.  At the same time had wanted to change his PIN.   He continued on with the monotonous questions until he was able to speak to a representative of that particular firm.  When he requested changing his PIN he was transferred to an automated voice (or an automaton as I call them).  He twice keyed in his new PIN and on the second occasions was told it was not acceptable (it was not a 1234 number or 1111 or anything like that) and to ring back in 24hours.  He was then disconnected.
 I decided I would try and contact the firm on the internet which I had done several times over past years but not recently.  After my user name and password not being accepted I decided to put in my card number (I am the prime card holder in this instance), name and credit limit.  I did this twice and both instances was told it was incorrect.  This was nonsense as when I use the card I have no problems at all either online or in a store. 

I then telephoned a 1300 number and once again after going through lots of prompts I spoke to a (you guessed it) a representative of the firm.   Fortunately, although of foreign extract, he was easy to understand and very helpful.   He confirmed I indeed did have an account with XXXX but had not registered to contact them via the internet.  I told him that was strange as I had a user name and password and had contacted them using them in the past.  He suggested maybe it had been discontinued but could give no reason why.  I have since re-registered so can contact them via the internet it needs be.

While speaking to this gentleman I explained about the difficulty Phil had in trying to change his PIN and he found that call on the records but could not explain why the PIN had not been accepted.  He said he would transfer me to the same automated voice and I could put in the new PIN.  This he did and I put in the PIN.  Now I am wondering if it was Phil's PIN that was changed or mine??????  Next visit to the shop will determine the results so watch this space.

I know I am old and it is not always easy to move with the times but, oh dear, how I long for contact with real people who will help you immediately without time being wasted and just for the cost of a local call too.

P.S.  When I operated the switchboard my boss was complimented several times on the efficiency of the switchboard operator which thrilled me to bits.  Also if say 3 calls came in at the same time it was simple to says 'hold the line please' and then attend to each call in turn as rapidly as one could.  It was amazing how quickly I became familiar with the different voices that called regularly and I was always pleased to be able to name them without them telling me and I know that sort of made their day.  You have to have pride in your work, no matter which job you have.

Friday, June 24, 2016


There is a song that has always delighted me and it appeared in Dr Zhivago, a film which Phil look on as very special.....why? because our first outing together was to the Metro Theatre in William Street, Perth to see this film.  The Metro is long gone as are most of the theatres in Perth but the memory is still very fresh and sweet.  The song?  "Somewhere My Love".  Hope you will enjoy it as much as I always do.

Thursday, June 23, 2016


I feel I may have written something about this over the past few years but it something that has always intrigued me and although I've flown over it six times I've never had the opportunity to travel on it by road or train.

The NULLARBOR PLAIN is part of the area of flat, almost treeless, arid or semi-arid country of southern Australia, located on the Great Australian Bight coast with the Great Victoria Desert to its north.  It is the world's largest single exposure of limestone bedrock, and occupies an area of about 200,000 square kilometres (77,000 square miles).  At its widest point, it stretches about 1,100 kilometres (648 miles) from west to east across the border between Western Australia and South Australia.  (It really illustrates what a large country/island Australia is).

Historically, the Nullarbor, considered by Europeans to be almost uninhabitable, was used by the semi-nomadic Aborigines, the Spinifex and Wangai peoples.  The first Europeans known to have sighted and mapped it were an expedition led b Pieter Nuyts in 1626-27.  While the interior remained little known to Europeans over the next two centuries,the name Nutytsland was often applied to the area adjoining the Great Australian Bight.  It survives as two geographical names in Western Australia: Nuytsland Nature Reserve and Nuyts Land District.  (Note:  Our beautiful Christmas tree is named Nuytsia floribunda which would also be named for Pieter Nuyts I would imagine).

Despite the hardships created by the nature of the Nullarbor, European settlers were determined to cross the plain. Although Edward John Eyre described the Plain as "a hideous anomaly, a blot on the face of Nature, the sort of place one gets into in bad dreams" be became the first European to successfully make the crossing in 1841.  Eyre departed Fowler's Bay on 17 November, 1840 with John Baxter and a party of three Aboriginal men.  When three of his horses died of dehydration, he returned to Fowler's Bay.  He departed with a second expedition on 25 February, 1841.  By 29 April, the party had reached Caiguna.  Lack of supplies and water led to a mutiny. Two of the Aborigines killed Baxter and took the party's supplies.  Eyre and the third Aborigine, Wylie, continued on their journey, surviving through bushcraft and some fortuitous circumstances such as receiving some supplies from a French whaling vessel anchored at Rossiter Bay.  They completed their crossing in June, 1841. 

 In August, 1865, while travellinga cross the Nullarbor, E.A. Delisser in his journal named both Nullarbor and Eucla for the first time

A proposed new state of Auralis (meaning "land of gold") would have comprised the Goldfields, the western portion of the Nullarbor Plain and the port town of Esperance, Its capital would have been Kalgoorlie.  (I have never heard of this plan nor whose idea it was...More reading apparently needed).

"Crossing the Nullarbor", for many Australians is a quintessential experience of the "Australian Outback".  Stickers bought from roadhouses on the highway show "I have crossed the Nullarbor, and can be seen on vehicles of varying quality or capacity for long long distance travel.  The process  of "beating the crowds" on overbooked air services at the time of special sporting events can also see significant numbers of vehicles on the road.

Crossings in the 1950s and earlier were significant as most of the route then was a dirt track.  Round-Australia car trials (the Redex Trials) used the Nullarbor crossing for good photo shoots of cars negotiating poor track.  (I knew two young women who crossed the Nullarbor (there and back) in an Austin A40 and I remember Margaret writing in a postcard from the other side that "June knew every pothole on the road and never missed one."  Quite a trip for the two of them on an unsealed road back in 1949).

The Indian Pacific crosses the Nullarbor Plain from Perth to Sydney via Adelaide, twice weekly in both directions.  The full journey covers a distance of 4,352 kilometres and lasts three nights.  This is the most direct route across the Nullarbor Plain, running between Kalgoorlie and Port Augusta.  As stated in the "Outback Australia travel guide:  "When the scenery starts living up to its press you can always bury your nose in a book".

There is a lot more information about how the Nullarbor was formed (it was formerly a seabed) with explanations about the variations in the limestone etc.  You will find it all on Wikipedia from where I got this information and most of the pics.


Wednesday, June 22, 2016


Nothing extra needs to be added to these words:

Tuesday, June 21, 2016


It was a busy week and, once again, had a medical flavour.....surprise! surprise!    On Tuesday I paid a visit to our GP for my B12 shot and Phil too as he needed to have his eyes etc., tested for this year's driver's licence renewal.  It seems the powers that be have stopped having 85+ years old do driving tests.  Had probably become too costly.  I often wonder as we age, really age, if perhaps we should have a driving instructor put us through our paces once a year to make sure we are still conversant with all the traffic rules etc.  Although my driver's licence is current I've not driven for some time as I fear my arthritic bits and pieces could cause me not to be able to react quickly enough in a crisis.  I could still drive in an emergency as I keep very alert when in the car with Phil and, no, I am not a back seat driver altho' there have been been one or two occasion when I've noticed something outside his range of vision which may have helped prevent an incident.  I still feel perfectly safe with him driving and always hopes he drives that well when I am not with him.

On Wednesday we paid a visit to our dermatologist (I mentioned him on Saturday) and Phil got an all clear and I had a couple of spots zapped, just in case.   Nothing serious though, thank goodness.

On Thursday we had our lovely cleaning lady Jenny whiz through the house and do another wonderful job in an hour.  She arrived early so we were able to have a cuppa with her before she began work.  She is from Bristol in the UK and I know she misses her family.  She has divorced her husband since they came to Oz and even if she wanted to return to the UK (her two children want to stay here) she couldn't as her ex has access to the children on a regular basis.

It must be dreadful to be torn between two places as so many migrants are.  Jenny and her two children go home to the UK every couple of years for a lengthy holiday but she was saying on Thursday she is concerned as her parents are both about 80 and should they need her she would like to at least return to care for them at the end of their lives.  Not a situation I would like to be in as it must be heartbreaking at times.

Had some good rain, especially over the weekend. but managed to get some washing done on the dry days.  I prefer to line dry everything so don't have a drier so watch the weather forecasts very closely to choose the right time to do the washing.  Phil generates much more washing than me but then he does more things than I do outside the house.  He is good 'cos he hangs out the washing as well as bringing it in so I mustn't complain.  I just can't stand long enough to hang things on the line any more and at times I feel so useless.

The Aussie Rules football team we follow had a dreadful start to the season (they were top of the premiership list last season) but have won their last 3 games and have some new players that are doing really well.  Unfortunately this year 3 of their top players are out for the season with injuries with quite a number of others 'out' for a week or more with more minor injuries.  The other W.A. team also won on the weekend and it's nice to see both teams get home although there are some would disagree.  I can't be that one-eyed about the game.

Le Tour de France begins on 2nd July and I will watch as much as I can.  Karen introduced me to it last year and we really enjoyed watching it.  Phil did a tour of much of France as a young man with a friend (on a motor cycle with lots of camping) and he enjoys seeing places he had seen back then.  I even watched some of the tour in Italy a few weeks back and last week some of the cycling tour in southern France and the scenery is spectacular.  Actually to be really honest I do watch it as much for the scenery as anything although the cycling can be quite exciting too.

I hope everyone has had a satisfactory week and the coming week will be just as good, if not better.

Monday, June 20, 2016


Hope this makes you smile and do keep smiling.

Sunday, June 19, 2016


I know this is a poem for children but, being a lover of cats, I had to share it with you.  I can even imagine this and it could also relate to little children.

Two Little Kittens.....Anonymous (circa 1880)

Two little kittens, one stormy night,
Began to quarrel, and then to fight;
One had a mouse, the other had none.
And that's the way the quarrel begun.

"I'll have that mouse," said the biggest cat;
"You'll have that mouse?  We'll see about that!"
"I will have that mouse," said the eldest son;
"You shan't have the mouse," said the little one.

I told you before 'twas a stormy night
When these two little kittens began to fight;
The old woman seized her sweeping broom,
And swept the two kittens right out of the room.

The ground was covered with frost and snow,
And the two little kittens had nowhere to go;
So they laid them down on the mat at the door.
While the old woman finished sweeping the floor.

Then they crept in, as quiet as mice
All wet with the snow, and cold as ice,
For they found it far better, that stormy night,
To lie down and sleep, than quarrel and fight.

Saturday, June 18, 2016


Phil and I often sit and discuss politics, world affairs and the like and shake our heads about where the world in general is heading.   I am fearful of what the future holds for my children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.   I found this quote from Carl Sagan (a man both Phil and I admired and who was taken from this earth far too soon) and I think it covers all bases.   Wonder what you think about what Carl said.  It could relate to any of today's Western World countries.

From: The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

"I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time - - when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nerviously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculities in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.....

The dumbing down of America is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media. the 30 second sound bites (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance."

I find Carl Sagan's comments about the media and and especially "common denominator programming" confirms what I've been saying for some time now.  As Phil said to our dermatologist on Wednesday "It is difficult to find many intellectual minds these days" to which *Jonathon agreed.   He said "my sons does very well at school and find very few of his classmates read the classics any more.  Authors like Hemingway are ignored.  Jonathon then said he had gone to the same school as his son and when in the library recently checked out a book he had enjoyed as a youth only to find his was about the last name that had taken that particular book out.  I think that speaks volumes.

*Jonathon is not only in private practice but also head of a department in one of our large teaching hospitals.   He was born here but is of Asian descent and a more delightful man it would be difficult to meet.  After a visit to Jonathon Phil and I both come away feeling lighthearted and in a good frame of mind.

Thursday, June 16, 2016


BLACKPOOL TOWER is a tourist attraction in Blackpool. Lancashire, England, which was opened to the public on 14 May 1894.  Inspired by the Eiffel Town in Paris, it is 518 feet (158 metres) tall and is the 103rd tallest freestanding tower in the world.  The tower is a Grade 1 listed building.

The Blackpool Tower Company was founded by London-based Standard Contract and Debenture Corporation in 1890, when it bought an Aquarium on Central Promenade with the intention of building a replica Eiffel Tower on the site.  John Bickerstaffe, a former Mayor of Blackpool, was asked to become Chairman of the new company and its shares went on sale in July, 1981.  The Standard Corporation kept 30,000 £1 shares for itself and offered £150,000 worth of shares to the public, although initially only two-thirds of the shares were taken up.  This lack of interest foreced the Towe Company to ask for further cash contributions from its existing shareholders. but the poor financial situation of the Standard Corporation, worsened by the falling share price, rendered it unable to pay.  Bickerstaffe's remedy for the potential collapse of the venture was to buy any shares available, until his original holding of £500 amounted to £20,000.  He also released the Standard Corporation from their share commitments.  When the Tower opened in 1894 its success justified the overall investment of nearly £300,000 and the Company made a £30,000 profit in 1896.

Two Lancashire architects, James Maxwell and Charles Tuke, designed the Tower and oversaw the laying of its foundation stone on 29 September, 1891l  By the time the Tower finally opened on 14 May, 1984, both men had died.  Heenan and  Froude of Worcester were appointed structural engineers. supplying and constructing both the main tower, the electric lighting and the steel front pieces for the aquariums.  A new system of hydraulic riveting was used, based on the knowledge of fielding and Platt of Gloucester.

The total cost for the design and construction of the tower and building was about £290,000.  Five million Accrington bricks, 2,500 tonnes of iron and 93 tonnes of cast steel were used to construct the tower.  Unlike the Eiffel Tower, Blackpool Tower is not free-standing.  Its base is hidden by the building which houses Black Tower Circus.  The building occupies a total of 5,050 square metres (54,500 square feet).  At the summit of the tower there is a flagpole.  A time capsule is buried beneath the foundation.

The design of the tower was ahead of its time.  As a writer for the BBC noted: "In heavy winds the building will gently sway, what a magnificent Victorian engineering masterpiece."

When the Tower opened. 3,000 customers took the first rides to the top.  Tourists paid sixpence for admission, sixpence for a ride in the lifts to the top, and a further sixpence for the circus,  the first members of the public to ascend the tower had been local journalists in September, 1893 using constructors' ladders.  In 1897 the top of the tower caught fire, and the platform was seen on fire from up to fifty miles away.

Programme of the first circus:

The Tower was not painted properly during the first thirty years and became corroded, leading to discussions about demolishing it.  However, it was decided to rebuild it instead and between 1921 and 1924 all the steelwork in the structure was replaced and renewed.

Painting the tower structures takes seven years to complete, and the workers who maintain the structure are known as "Stick Men".  There are 562 steps from the roof of the tower building to the top of the tower which the maintenance teams use for the structure's upkeep.  If the wind speed exceeds 72 km/h (45 m/ph) the top of the tower is closed as a safety precaution.  There are 8 kilometres (5 miles) of cables to feed the 10,000 light bulbs which are used to illuminate the tower. 

Illuminations and the Tower:

Phil was telling me the other day about how he used to go on holiday to Blackpool with his parents and he remembers going to the top of the tower.  This prompted me to use it in my "Did you know?" series.

There is more information on Wikipedia about the Tower and also more photographs.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016


I guess the end result is always up to us and the direction we decide to take:

Monday, June 13, 2016


I feel this could be included under mirth but also wisdom....whichever way you take it I hope it will bring a smile to your face to take through the week with you.

Sunday, June 12, 2016


I thought this poem by Robert Louis Stevenson rather cute.  Hope you do too.

The Land of Counterpane

When I was sick and lay a-bed
I had two pillows at my head,
And all my toys beside me lay
To keep me happy all the day,

And sometimes for an hour or so
I watched my leaden soldiers go,
With different uniforms and drills,
Among the bedclothes, through the hills;

And sometimes sent my ships in fleets
All up and down among the sheets;
Or brought my trees and houses out.
And planted cities all about.

I was the giant, great and still
That sits upon the pillow-hill.
And sees before him, dale and plain,
The pleasant land of counterpane.

Thursday, June 9, 2016


The COLOSSEUM, also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre is an oval amphitheatre in the centre of the city of Rome, Italy.  Built of concrete and sand, it is the largest amphitheatre ever built.  It is situated just east of the Roman Forum.  Construction began under the emperor Vespasian in AD 72, and was completed in AD 80 under his successor and heir Titus.  Further modifications were made during the reign of Domitian (81-96).  These three emperors are known as the Flavian dynasty, and the amphitheatre was named in Latin for its association with their family name (Flavius).

The Colosseum could hold, it is estimated. between 50,000 and 80,000 spectators, having an average audience of some 65,000.  It was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles such as mock sea battles (for only a short time as the hypogeum was soon filled in with mechanisms to support the other activities), animal hunts. executions re-encactments of famous battles, and dramas based on Classical mythology.  The building ceased to be used for entertainment in the early medieval era.  It was later re-used for such purposes as housing, workshops, quarters for a religious order, a fortress. a quarry and a Christian shrine.

Although partially ruined because of damage cause by earthquakes and stone robbers, the Colosseum is still an iconic symbol of Imperial Rome.  It is one of Rome's most popular tourist attractions and has also links to the Roman Catholic Church, as each Good Friday the Pope leads a torchlit "Way of the Cross" procession that starts in the area around the Colosseum.

The Colosseum is also depicted on the Italian version of the five-cent euro coin.

The Colosseum underwent several radical changes of use during the medieval period.  By the late 6th century a small chapel had been built into the structure of the amphitheatre, though this apparently did not confer any particular religious significance on the building as a whole.  The arena was converted into a cemetery.  The numerous vaulted spaces in the arcades under the seating were converted into housing and workshops, and are recorded as still being rented out as late as the 12th century.  Around 1200 the Frangipani family took over the Colosseum and fortified it, apparently using it as a castle.

Severe damage was inflicted on the Colosseum by the great earthquake of 1348, causing the outer south side, lying on a less stable alluvial terrain, to collapse.  Much of the tumbled stone was re-used to build palaces, churches, hospitals and other buildings elsewhere in Rome.  A religious order moved into the northern third of the Colosseum in the mid-14th century and continued to inhabit it untiil as late as the early 19th century.  The interior or the amphitheatre was extensively stripped of stone, which was re-used elsewhere, or 9in the case of the marble facade) was burned to make quicklime.  The bronze clamps which held the stonework together were pried or hacked out of the walls, leaving numerous pockmarks which still scar the building today.

If you are interested, there is quite a lot more to be learned about the Colosseum on Wikipedia.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016


This is so true and I don't think further words are needed:

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

TUESDAY CHAT (running very late)

Was too tired last night to even think about writing and slept in this morning so here it is mid-afternoon!!

Public holiday in Western Australia yesterday.  It was W.A. Day (or Western Australia Day as some people prefer to call it) or Foundation Day as it was previously known as.  It is held to celebrate the founding of the Swan River Colony back in 1829.

Quietish week most of the time for us.   We were delighted to learn that our 8-year-old #2 great-granddaughter had won four gold medals in the four dancing (ballet) competitions she was in over the long weekend.  One of her dances was a solo performance so really special as she had never danced solo before.  Here she is proudly displaying her four medals.  I have a lovely photo of her proudly displaying her four medals.   We didn't get to see her dance as the competition was held way down in Mandurah and quite early in the morning.  I did get to see her dance last year and it was quite a thrill to see her on the stage with her troup.

#2 granddaughter celebrated her 39th birthday yesterday so we all gathered at daughter and son-in-law's home for afternoon tea.   Another great family get-together.  It is a pity that our grandson always works on weekends so we don't get to see him as often as we'd like to.

We've had some wonderful rain over the past week and fortunately nothing like our eastern states cousins had with dreadful flooding and loss of life.   The far north of our state also had some flooding but that is normal for up that way.  There is a weather warning current for the south-west of W.A. so hopefully all will be well down there and no damage will be done.

Monday, June 6, 2016


Hope this will bring a smile to your face that will last the week long:

Sunday, June 5, 2016


I found this little poem and thought I'd share it.  Hope the little plant wasn't too disappointed with the big outside world.

Saturday, June 4, 2016


I was sitting thinking the other day about how fortunate Phil and I are at having been given so many years to enjoy this wonderful earth of ours.  We may not have done a lot with our lives but they have been our lives and we are content.

Then I got to thinking about the things that have occurred in recent years.  Have they come to try our patience I wonder?  Maybe I just don't hold my mouth right!!  Minor things compared with the woes of many but they were our woes and we had to deal with them.

Firstly, I flooded part of the house because of the faulty valve on the solar HWS (I guess it was great to have new cupboards and floor coverings but oh! the upheaval) and then our ducted airconditoner decided to call it a day.   Insurance company paid for the fusion but to fit a better aircon meant we were out of pocket by quite an amount of money.  We got the HWS going well again, at fortunately much less cost than the aircon, which is very cheering and we are enjoying great hot showers once more.

Why our lotto numbers never come up is something else that tries my patience but then when you look at the odds in the millions there's really no surprise there, even though I've been using one row of six numbers for over 32 years!!  Law of averages?  No such thing in reality.

Now to top it all off a eucalyptus tree that has been quietly growing in our front garden since I planted it back in about 1975 has decided to uproot itself and fall; it's rather large too.  No storm or high wind so have no idea what caused it to fall.  It wasn't looking all that happy for a while so perhaps it had just had it's day.   You can just see the trunk of the tree on the extreme left of this photo which I took a couple of years ago.  It would have been about 20+ feet tall.

I've been considering have someone come in and do some tree pruning and I guess this has made up my mind to do so.  I think I will get two quotes from two reliable firms (one is offering a 10% discount if I quote I found them in a little directory that is delivered to us a few times a year) and then consider how much we can afford to get done.  There is a very tall self-sown weeping peppermint which I think needs the top taken right out before perhaps it too decides to join the eucalypt.

I love ponytails (palms) and my very first one had been growing quite close to the tree that fell and Phil tells me it has been broken off at the base.  I can't get close enough to see but what upsets me is this particular ponytail had new growths right up its trunk.  We can't get to it at present but hopefully may be able to start new plants from those shoots.  I am not sure what else has suffered under this big tree but time of course will show all.  I have two other quite large ponytails in the front garden and three still in pots one of which is due to go in the garden.

This is not one of my ponytails (which by the way are not a palm at all) but it would have been about this size only with new shoots up the stem and was actually more handsome than this one.  (Wish my garden looked this neat).

Friday, June 3, 2016


Andy Williams has always been one of my very favourite vocalists and here he is singing "Moon River" on his own show in 1970.   I always thought he was a real heart throb with that great voice and those gorgeous blue eyes.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016


I hope I come into this category....we at least I do try my best to be a good woman (most of the time):