A pleasant Sunday Morning

July 23, 2018 at 1:13 pm | Posted in Australia, Gratitude, Leisure activities, Mental Health, Nature, Share Your World | 16 Comments
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We had a lovely morning on Sunday, a beautiful & pleasant winter’s day. We went for a drive, going anti-clockwise from the west side of Lake Macquarie where we live around to Swansea on the east (coastal) side.

We bought coffee at Macdonald’s there & a couple of hash browns each. It’s ages since we had either, as we have avoided Macca’s since the coffee changed to a bitter blend. However, we’d heard that their coffee is back to being good, so we decided to give it a try. It sure is good again, so we can hopefully get a decent coffee whenever we go to any Macca’s.

01 channel

After that, we had intended going to nearby Caves Beach but not knowing the way to the caves, we ended up at Swansea Heads instead. It is lovely there where the rock-walled channel links the lake and the sea. We decided to go for a walk on the south side, where we were parked.

03 rock fishermen

There’s a sheltered little sandy beach that would be great for little kids. Walking past the beach we came to where quite a few rock fishermen had rods out and their lines in the sea, hoping to catch dinner. There were also lots of anglers in small boats just outside the channel mouth. Farther out to sea, several colliers waited their turn to get access to Newcastle harbour to load up.

07 Breaking waves

It was picture postcard stuff. And so were the cliffs & the scattered rocks below them, which are so varied as to be amazing – sandstone, conglomerates, coal and others I don’t know. I took lots of photos of everything & used up all my phone battery.

The couple of hours we spent wandering the rocks & the beach were relaxing and yet also invigorating. The cold but gentle breeze was refreshing in the warm winter sunshine. Blue sky, waves breaking against the rocks, & multitudes of seagulls that had gathered on both sides of the channel, made us feel like we were on holidays.

06 Dirk

We set off home happy and content, and by the time we arrived there, we had circumnavigated the whole lake. The circumference of the lake is 147 kilometres. Here is more information on our beautiful lake and the city of Lake Macquarie.

 

I love being near the sea. The crashing waves are a tonic for me. Do love the sea shore?

 

 

 

 

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Comments on Thursday’s Child

February 24, 2018 at 8:05 pm | Posted in Australia, Gratitude, Publishing, Writing | 2 Comments
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It is wonderful to receive feedback after somebody has read your book. I know that most readers will not write a comment or, even less likely, a full review. However, after the first three weeks since my book went live on Kindle and also as a hard copy, a few people have told me what they think of it and, I am pleased to say, they are all positive.

The first comment on Thursday’s Child was only two or three days after the Kindle version became available.  Janet Lang, the wife of a retired Presbyterian minister, sent me two words: “Brilliantly written!”

The next was from Jan Mitchell, a member of the writing group I belong to; our local Fellowship of Australian Writers group. “I loved it!” she said. “Well done.”

Then came a comment on my Facebook author page from Sirpa Agyik in Queensland: “Two days ago I received my book “Thursday’s Child” from Amazon. Well Linda, once I started to read it, I could not put it down. EXCELLENT , BRILLIANT. Loved every page. Linda you are very talented author. Thank you. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.”

The latest is a Customer Review on Amazon:

5.0 out of 5 stars Unflinching

By Alfergus on 21 February 2018

Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

“This young adult novel tackles the tough issues faced by a typical teenager in the early 1960s following rape and unwanted pregnancy. The story plays out against a backdrop of a society at the cusp of social change. The events are portrayed unflinchingly yet in a way that is suitable for the target readership. I enjoyed the way that Tori, an impetuous hot-headed teen, learns to trust the kindness of strangers and, eventually, herself.”

Many thanks for these comments. As they are for any writer who puts their creations out in the world, they are validation of all the time and effort and creative endeavour that I put into Thursday’s Child. I hope there are others who will let me know what they think of it.

 

Linda Visman

 

 

 

 

 

My 2015 blogging review and 2016 New Year wishes

January 1, 2016 at 1:00 am | Posted in Australia, blogging, Gratitude, Special Occasions | 4 Comments
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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

It has been gratifying to see the rise in the number of visitors and also of followers to my blog. Thank you to all who come to my page and especially to those who comment on the posts.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 10,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

I’d like to wish every one of you a Happy New Year for 2016. I hope it is a year filled with positives in every part of your lives; challenges that help you grow; joys that make you happy; friends with whom you can share; and a world that becomes less troubled by hate, intolerance and violence.

May peace and love be the mainstays of your life and spread from you to all with whom you come in contact.

 

Happy-New-Year-2016

Accentuate the Positive

September 2, 2015 at 9:02 pm | Posted in Family, Gratitude, Memoir, role model | 7 Comments
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Recently I read a post about inspiration on a writing blog that included the words to the song, Ac-cent-tchu-ate the Positive. (Music written by Harold Arlen; lyrics by Johnny Mercer; published 1944).

The blog writer said it was Frank Sinatra who sang it, but Bing Crosby actually first sang it in blackface in “Here Come the Waves”, and I distinctly remember Bing singing it with the Andrews Sisters. (Here it is, 1940s). Our whole family loved Bing Crosby, and I think it was because he sang it that I remember it so well from my childhood.

You’ve got to accentuate the positive

Eliminate the negative

And latch on to the affirmative

Don’t mess with Mister In-Between

You’ve got to spread joy up to the maximum

Bring gloom down to the minimum

Have faith or pandemonium’s

Liable to walk upon the scene

I have spoken before about my father and his positive attitude to life. Seeing the words brought back many so memories of Dad. In later life, when he was legally blind, deaf, physically ailing and often lonely (Mum had died many years before), instead of bemoaning his fate, he would sing this song and whoever was there would join in singing with him.

My dad, Ernest Thompson August 2007, aged 86

My dad, Ernest Thompson August 2007, aged 86

Whenever he was asked how he was, he’d say, “Top of the world!”, even if he wasn’t feeling that way. He said that always talking positive would make you feel better and that saying negative things only made you feel bad. So, he would always accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative and cultivate an ‘attitude of gratitude’ for the things he did have..

He was a great role model for us all, not just family and friends, but everyone he came into contact with. He has been physically gone for over two years now, but he will always be there for me.

Linda Visman

I Remember When …

June 22, 2015 at 12:30 am | Posted in Family, Gratitude, Growing up in the 1950s and 60s, Memoir | 10 Comments
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monday-memoir-badge

 

I remember when…

 

The lake shore, the farms and the local streets

were all places where children could safely roam;

and we played pirates, and cowboys and Indians

and wandered ‘til dark in the bush near our home.

 

I remember…

 

The milk and bread being delivered to our door

on a cart with a horse that knew when to stop;

when it was exciting to travel on a steam train

and a penny bought four lollies at the local shop.

 

And I remember…

 

Walking three miles to church on a Sunday

with my family and wearing my best frock;

and the joy of reading a library book

or of being allowed to stay up until eight o’clock.

 

Aah, the memory of…

 

Our excitement when Christmas morning arrived

and we couldn’t wait to see what Santa had brought;

when the family came together to share a meal

and we sang the old songs that we’d all been taught.

 

Do I want to remember…

 

Going outside down the path, in sunshine or rain,

to the backyard dunny with its newspaper and pan,

in daylight or dark, with the smell all around,

hoping they’d not come while you’re sitting to pick up the can?

 

I also remember…

 

The long hard hours Dad worked to get enough

for the basics of life and a deposit on some land;

And Mum, never knowing if ends would meet

or if there’d be enough money to go around.

 

And the polio that changed our whole way of life

when it struck down my brother and sister – and Dad;

How Mum coped with all the worry and stress;

Her fears we’d never keep even the little we had.

 

But the things I remember best are these…

 

the love that our family had for each other

and the strength this gave us in bad times and good;

the joy we took in life’s simple things;

the hard work that was something we all understood;

the respect that we knew was earned and not bought;

and the strong moral lessons that our parents had taught.

 

Maybe rose-coloured glasses have changed my perspective,

but I believe that our past is always subjective.

What we do with our memories shows who we’ve become –

so let’s use them to help us in times that will come.

 

 

(c) Linda Visman

This poem was first published in “I Remember When” an anthology compiled and edited by Julie Athanasiou, Legacy Books, November 2006.

Share Your World – 2015 Week #19

May 14, 2015 at 3:00 am | Posted in Gratitude, Share Your World | 9 Comments
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This week’s questions are all about our home, whether it be a house, a mansion, a trailer, an apartment, or treehouse; a mini theme version of Share Your World.

Would you prefer a one floor house or multiple levels?

I’ve never lived in a multi-level house. I wouldn’t have minded it when I was young – mainly so that there would be plenty of room to have my own quiet place to read and write. However, we do live on a sloping lot, and now that we are closer to 70 than 60, we notice that it can sometimes be an effort to climb the outside steps to the main door. I wouldn’t want to have to go up and down stairs to get from one room to another, and I am glad the back door is at ground level.

If you have a TV, would you prefer the TV in the living room or another room?

We do have a TV – only one! It is in the living room, and that’s because both of us want it that way. I wouldn’t want one in the bedroom- bed is for sleeping and cuddling; not for watching TV as far as I’m concerned.

When you leave a room, do you turn the lights off behind you or keep the lights on throughout your house most of the time? Explain your answer.

We both turn lights off when we move from a room – unless we are going straight back to it. It makes sense not to waste power – and money – by leaving them on. If a light isn’t needed, then it goes off.

What’s your favorite room in your home?

I like several of our rooms and don’t know that I have a particular favourite. It certainly would not be the kitchen, even though we’ve just done it up and it looks great – I do not enjoy cooking. I like the living room because that’s where my reading chair is. However the TV is also there, which is a drawback; Hubby watches TV, but I rarely do. My study, where I am at the moment, is the place where I go to write to get emails and browse the internet, and to do my scrapbooking. If I had room for a comfy chair, I would also read here. I suppose, because I do so much here, and I can also shut the door if I want/need to, that my study would be my favourite room

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Last week we got most of my new kitchen finished. Now it is the right height and the horrible pink bench tops have been replaced.

Next week, I will be catching up with four of my sons and their families – and hopefully welcoming our 12th grandchild into the world. Happy days.

Linda Visman

A toZ Challenge – E is for Embrace the Good

April 6, 2015 at 12:05 am | Posted in Destroying nature, Gratitude, History, Poetry | 13 Comments
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A2Z-BADGE [2015] - Life is Good

 

 

I don’t know about you, but there are many times when I wonder what the world is coming to. I am concerned about wars and what is happening to our environment, the horrible things people do to each other …….

One day, I wrote a poem about it.

 

 

Embrace the Good

 

I’m sitting in my lounge room chair

Thinking about the world’s indirectness;

Reading the paper, trying to understand

All about political correctness;

I’m wondering why they just can’t call

Everything by its proper name –

But every now and then I hear

My children out enjoying their game.

I’m making the beds and listening

To ABC radio’s latest news

When I find that I’m breaking down in tears

At the things that some people choose

To do unto their fellow man;

Why does this always have to be?

But now and then a magpie’s clear song

Breaks into my misery.

I’m walking along a street in town

To the shops and to mail a letter

When I hear someone at the corner proclaim

To all his religion is better.

I despair at the terrible wars that result,

And the suffering that comes from Man’s greed –

But I look at the colourful flowers that grow

And the beauty that comes from their seed.

Sometimes the misery and grief of the world

Seem to fill up the depths of my soul,

And it’s hard to carry on every day;

When the pain is a smouldering coal.

Then someone does a kindly thing

Or I see the smile on a baby’s face,

And I realise there is much good in the world –

It’s this good that I must embrace.

(c)  Linda Visman

Share Your World – 2015 Week #12

March 27, 2015 at 3:43 pm | Posted in Australia, Experiences, Gratitude | 6 Comments
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Again it is time for sharing my world, answering Cee’s questions for week 12.

 

When was the last time you sat on a park or garden bench for more than ten minutes? Describe the occasion.

I often sit at them. The latest was this morning, when I met with a friend. We sat on a bench looking across the lake and caught up with what’s been happening. People walked by exercising themselves and their dogs, and a man I’d spoken with before stopped to chat. It was a pleasant hour.

Would you ever be interested in observing a surgery or do you turn away when the nurse brings out the needle? 

No way! The thought of cutting live flesh gives me the horrors! The needles are fine if I am having them; I don’t worry about them at all.

Where’s your favorite place to take out-of-town guests?

We usually take them for a walk along the lake. Otherwise, it depends on whether there are children and how old they are. The Hunter Valley wine area is a popular place for adults, as are the forests of the nearby Watagan Mountains.

If you had an unlimited shopping spree at only one store, which one would you choose? Why?

A place that sells motor vehicles. I have never owned a new vehicle, and hubby only once. It would be great to get a decent car for towing the boat trailer, and a new version of our camper van.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Last weekend, instead of going sailing, we drove to the Watagans and found a lovely bush camping spot. We had a lovely quiet time with no phone or internet reception, and just relaxed, chatted, walked and read. We weren’t too happy with the gang of trail-bike riders who kept us awake until after 4am though!

Tonight we are going to a party to celebrate our friend’s daughter’s 21st birthday. Nikky is a lovely girl who we have watch grow from a delightful child to a mature, beautiful and hard-working young woman. We are looking forward to it.

(c) Linda Visman

Share Your World – 2015 Week #11

March 19, 2015 at 5:30 pm | Posted in Australia, Family History, Gratitude, Share Your World | 8 Comments
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Here are my responses to Cee’s Share Your World questions for Week 11. Thanks again Cee.

List 2 things you have to be happy about?

  1. The hot weather has been tapering off and the humidity isn’t so high now that we are into autumn. That is such a relief!
  2. I am getting a new (albeit basic) kitchen this week. The sink and counters I have had to work on for the past 10+ years were above height, and I am not very tall. It has been difficult at times to prepare food and wash up at the high sink. In a couple of days, I will have counters that will be comfortable for me to work at, and not so painful!

Do you prefer ketchup or mustard or mayonnaise?  

I don’t often use condiments, pastes or sauces. When I do, it is Australian tomato sauce on sausages. Otherwise I don’t use any really.

If you were to paint a picture of your childhood, what colors would you use?

There would be red for the blood of Catholic martyrs and for my short temper; blue for the Virgin Mary and the beautiful Australian skies; green for the trees and the Australian bush; yellow for the heat of the Australian sun and sand; and black for my depression and feelings of isolation and lack of friends.

Do you prefer a bath or shower?

Definitely a shower. When we came to Australia from England in 1954, we lived in a caravan for 2 years and didn’t have access to either shower or bath – or even a decent toilet. Once we had our tiny cottage, Dad eventually set up a shower in a lean-to attached to the back of it that later became the laundry. That was my first experience of a shower.

We never did have a bath in the house at all, so I grew up with showers. We have a bath now that I have never used in the ten years I’ve been in this house. I get cold in a bath and anyway, I always feel much cleaner after a nice fresh shower.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I am very grateful that the huge branches that came down in our back yard in the short sharp and violent storm we had on the weekend didn’t do any more damage than destroying half our rotary clothesline.

This weekend coming up, we are going camping in the bush, away from the world and its problems. I so want to just relax, away from people, and just BE! This is my chance to do that.

Linda Visman

Share Your World – 2015 Week #10

March 13, 2015 at 11:47 am | Posted in Australia, Gratitude, Health | 6 Comments
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Here are Cee’s questions and my answers for Share Your World Week 10.

 

When you lose electricity in a storm, do you light the candles or turn on the flashlight? How many of each do you own?

I always light candles. I love having the power off. I love the quiet and the darkness of the night outside. With candles I may not be able to read, but I can write, and I do. One year, we were without power for a few days after a particularly violent period of stormy winter weather. I wrote a lot on those nights.

Hubby loves torches, and he has lots of them in different sizes. But he also loves to have candles burning, especialy when we lose power.

You are given $5,000 and the chance to exchange it for one of two envelopes. One envelope contains $50,000 and one contains $500. Do you make the trade? Why or why not?

When I am out and people aske me to buy raffle tickets for a fund-raiser, I may do so. However when I do, I always regard it as a donation. I never expect to win anything. So far, I have been right. Going on those odds, I would hang on to the $5,000 and enjoy having it, rather than get an empty envelope in return.

What’s your first memory?

My first memory is being in a cot in a hospital where my parents weren’t allowed to come and touch me. I was in a room in an isolation ward at Blackburn Hospital, recovering from glandular fever. I was about 3 or 4 years old.

What do you do if you can’t sleep at night? Do you count sheep, toss and turn, or get up and try to do something?

This happens to me almost every night. I may be tired when I go to bed, but as soon as my head hits the pillow, I wake up. At first I try to relax, but this doesn’t usually work. After a while, I get restless legs or my sciatica plays up and I find myself tossing and turning, trying to get comfortable. I used to get up and read until I was sleepy again, but when I’d return to bed, it would still take me ages to drop off to sleep. Now I just wait it out.

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I was really happy to catch up with all of my siblings over the last five days. It used to be years between the five of us all getting together because two of us live at some distance from the other three. Now as we are moving through our sixties and almost into our seventies, we make a big effort to see each other more often. We usually manage to all come together at least a couple of times a year.

Although we have several activities and appointments over the next week, I am looking forward to also having some quiet time by myself.

(c) Linda Visman

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