Modern Families

If one of your late ancestors were to come back from the dead and join you for dinner, what things about your family would this person find the most shocking?

They wouldn’t be shocked but maybe amazed, excited, interested, thrilled. Not about the family but about the world and some of the things that have happened.

I’m thinking of my grandfather, Papa, world traveller and photographer (among many other things). When he left the house he always had his camera and a bag full of film with him and when he got home he’d go up to his darkroom above the garage and develop his film or he’d post them off to Kodak and have them developed into the thousands of little slides now sitting in my mothers garage.

He died in 1989 so he didn’t see the arrival of digital cameras, phone cameras, Photoshop or the internet and I know he’d get such a blast out of it. Last week I sent photos of his to France, Canada and Germany and I can just picture the look on his face and the little – well I’ll be damned – laugh he’d have if he knew.

I think he’d even get a laugh out of everyone thinking they’re a photographer these days, throwing a filter or some HDR on a shot and getting hundreds of people liking whats basically a crap photo on Instagram. I’m sure he’d have fun using some of the filters and software out there but his photos don’t need it because he had a good eye and patience and Kodachrome colour which has stood the test of time. They usually just need a bit of a clean up, scratches removed etc.

These are two of my new favourites (although that changes every week). They were taken in Aden, South Yemen (which is now The Republic of Yemen) which now seems like a strange place to go for a holiday, especially a family jaunt. I love, love the red parasol in the first one – she looks as if she just dropped in from another time and love everything about the second one, especially granny in her pink frock and the signage. These were taken in 1964.




Anyone from Germany???

I give up; I can’t find any information about this picture.

Mind you it says Cologne Germany on it so I guess I can presume that’s where it was taken. Usually I can track down something from a picture and I expected to be able to with this one considering that building has so much sign writing on it but if it exists today I don’t think it looks much like that anymore.

All those stores and brand names didn’t help me at all – and it has infuriated me how that building in the background that looks as if it could be a church or cathedral doesn’t have enough showing to identify it. Actually that needs more investigating.

I can tell you that für jeden geschmack translates to for every taste in regards to Nescafe and I must say it is my preferred brand of instant coffee.


I love the picture so if anyone has been wandering about Cologne lately and this looks familiar can you tell me a bit about it please.

I believe this was taken in 1957 and it always amazes me how soon really that was after the war ended and how quickly everything was back up and running and rebuilt. Because Cologne had a terrible time during the war, the bombing that went on there was phenomenal. I remember when I was listening to the recordings my father made about his life as a child in England during the war – he said that they lived under the flight path of the bombers that used to fly out at night to Germany to drop bombs and I just remember his voice when he said – they had a terrible time over there.

Burrendong Dam

I’ve been trying to do the daily prompt daily but sometimes they’re just too crap or too serious or too personal or too American.

So seeing as how it’s Australia Day here tomorrow I’ll share with you this photo of my mother (on the left) and her sister that was taken at Burrendong Dam which is near Wellington in NSW – sort of central NSW. This was taken in the early fifties and it was just a normal sort of dam but in the sixties they turned it into a massive hydro water storage setup and it holds three times as much water as Sydney Harbour. They use it for irrigation and general water supply to the surrounding areas.

Mum tells me that they were travelling to South Australia for the tennis, I think it was the Davis Cup and I think we went there as a family once. Plus I just discovered that the word Burrendong is an aboriginal word (Wiradjuri people) for Koala.

Anyway it’s a beautiful shot, them in their frocks and all the blue and the gum trees and the dry earth with the mountain ranges in the background. It just screams Australia to me and I can just about hear the cicadas when I look at it (or maybe they’re just the ones in my head).


for the girl who wants nothing

My kids hate having to buy me presents because I never want anything. I tell them I don’t want any things or any more stuff and they groan and walk away and have to actually think about what to get me instead of just lumping me with some useless stuff I don’t want.

So when my oldest daughter came home with pink and blue cardboard and told me to stay in your room because she was making my christmas present I couldn’t imagine what it could be that wasn’t going to be useless stuff.

Turns out it was the perfect gift although I think she’s already regretting the – no questions asked – part of the deal. I’ve got about 50 tickets which should last me about a year I reckon. I was going to try and slip a few back into the box but she makes me hand them over then rips them in half.


Daily Prompt: A Source of Anxiety

Write about a noise — or even a silence — that won’t go away.

Thats an easy one – my tinnitus! Although I wouldn’t say it causes me anxiety because that just makes it worse. It just is what it is although at the start it caused me anxiety for sure.

It’s going crazy today – because I’m really tired I think but it’s always bad when I first get up – before the noisy day sounds begin and block it out or I start thinking about other things. It’s always bad when I go to bed as well because it’s quiet so that’s all I hear and then I start to think about it and then I go INSANE, which is why I usually sleep with the ceiling fan on; because it makes a constant noise. I know someone who has tinnitus who sleeps with a fish tank in the bedroom so the pump noise masks the crazy ear noise but I’m such a light sleeper I think that’d be too noisy for me.

When I was first diagnosed with it (about six years ago) I really did think it would eventually drive me insane, I didn’t see how anyone could live with it forever but after a while I became used to it and the trick is to not think about it and to keep other noise around you. If I can’t block it from my mind I just think of it as being a motor – like a fridge motor you can hear – I think of it as my brain motor just humming along. Another trick I read was to project the noise out of your head and imagine it as being somewhere else. I do that sometimes at night – I project it out of my head and into the laneway outside the window; as if it’s something happening out there. But that takes a bit of concentration and tends to make you fixate on the noise so I usually just go with – ignore it or accept it.

I’m currently doing an experiment to see if running makes it worse or not. I’m not sure yet but sometimes I think that constant pounding could exacerbate it but I haven’t read anything confirming or denying it.

Tinnitus comes in many different variations of sound and the only way I can describe mine is that its like cicada noise or summer night insect noises if that makes any sense. One time I found a page where you could listen to examples of some of the noises and ringings that different people hear and some of them are just awful, I don’t know how they live with it so I’m thankful that I just have a head full of crazy insects on a hot summer day.

Once my daughter told me that a girl in her class had spelled cicadas as sakatas which made me laugh because sakatas are biscuits and since then I’ve always imagined I have a head full of crazy screaming little biscuits trying to escape.


Daily Prompt: Tattoo….You?

Do you have a tattoo? If so, what’s the story behind your ink? If you don’t have a tattoo, what might you consider getting emblazoned on you skin?

This is always an annoying sort of question because a lot of the time tattoos don’t have a story behind them. Sometimes you’re like me – you just like tattoos so you get them, nothing deep and meaningful to them.

Here I am yesterday looking all summery, ready for our family christmas get together at Mums.


You can only see a couple here but I have tattoos on my back, wrists and forearms and only one has any sort of meaning to it. I have a love heart with three flowers on a vine wrapped around it on my arm which I got after I decided I was only having three kids but it caused nothing but trouble really. For years when they were all small my kids fought over which one of them was the flower at the top of the heart and my 21-year-old still occasionally points to it and says – that’s me isn’t it.

Besides two swallows that I had done on my wrists a couple of years ago all mine were done about twenty years ago. I went in and had a fairy done on my back then got home and thought – that was stupid, I’m only ever going to see it when I’m looking over my shoulder in a mirror. So I went back and said I wanted a butterfly on my arm and was told that they didn’t tattoo girls arms – so that’s how old I am! Anyway there was a bit of a discussion and they decided that they would so that was that.

I’ve never been sorry about getting them and I don’t care about them being old and wrinkly when I am like people seem to think I will be. I don’t think I’ll be getting anymore though because damn it does hurt and I’m all soft and pathetic now and when I had the swallows done I wondered how the hell I’d sat through all those hours years before.

Edinburgh Castle 1964

This is pretty cool – all the old cars. I’m going to say it was 1964 because Nan and Papa were in England in 1964 and I’m assuming they went to Scotland at the same time.

The statue is the Royal Scots Greys (a cavalry regiment) Monument – commemorates the ones killed (or fallen as they say) during the Boer War.

Edinburgh Castle 1964