Winter is coming


Not. It was about 100 degrees yesterday, she’s just being a drama queen. She’s one of those people who look out the window and see rain and clouds and assume they need stockings and a jacket to leave the house.

Not that I’ve ever tried putting stockings on Chicken Little.


no more dads

We said farewell to my father-in-law today.

He died unexpectedly during the week and he will be missed and remembered fondly by many.

Some of you will remember that Daz’s birth father died a couple of years ago leaving the House of Horrors Hoarding debacle to be sorted out but the man we buried today was his real father in every sense of the word and the man whose surname we carry.

Terry had three children of his own when he married Daz’s mother and became father to her four young children as well. Later they adopted another three kids and over the years fostered 170 more.

He reminded me a lot of my father. They were the same age and they both lived in London as 9 year olds during the war and the bombings and they both moved to Australia as young men to start new lives. They both had the same toughness and attitude that comes from surviving something like that. They would say things; throw out little phrases that only someone else who had been through the same thing would know about. I remember one day I overheard Terry say – got any gum chum – and it was something I’d heard my father say. When the American troops arrived in England the kids used to run along behind the trucks yelling it out and the Yanks would throw them chewing gum. Just stuff like that.

So I’m all out of Dads now.

Terry did love a party and a joke and a drink – I first met him almost thirty years ago and I don’t think I’ve ever spent time with him without there being wine involved, (usually lots of it) so tonight I’m raising a glass or few in his honour.

R.I.P Terry – it was a pleasure knowing you.

You’d be pleased to know that Autumn turned on a spectacular day to see you off.


Morning walk to the Fort

I always seem to be blabbing on about the glorious weather we’re having and showing off photos of the clear blue skies and seas I walk by all the time.

So I may as well continue.

I do a 5km walk and this is where I start counting.


Still warm enough for swimming (for some) and the lifeguards were setting up the flags for the day.


Always plenty of surfers further along the path at the next beach – lol – well three anyway but there were lots more out of shot.


When I’ve walked up that hill and all those stairs I showed you last week I end up at a lookout called Sheperd’s Hill Fort; it was built in the late 1800’s when it was thought Russia might come over and attack us but it’s really run down and kind of scary now.


It’s a shame really because it was used by the army, navy and airforce at times and there’s a gun at the front and underground tunnels and whatnot that should be preserved.


Behind that fence is where the naughty people go I suppose. You must have to get to those cells from underground through the fort because there’s no way out of the pit.


You can imagine how cold, dark and damp it must have been down there, right in the cliffs near the sea – beautiful above ground though.


The white fence above leads to a drop onto steep jagged rocks into the ocean and if you walk along you can see where people have written words and poems for loved lost souls who have jumped from there.



Then I trek back down and today I sat and watched the water and absorbed my vitamin D while I admired my new Nike runners which I tested out today for the first time. They passed.



The last 500 metres of my walk is killer, if Daz comes with me he has to bring his ventolin.

Once you get to the top of the steps you go around to the right and end up near that old building right up in the top right corner.


The steps are at a really awkward distance apart as well; I have to take two steps on one then one on the next and when I’m coming down I feel like a little pony daintily trotting down because it’s the same thing – 2 steps then one and you can’t go too fast as it’s really steep. I can never quite work out if I want to step down with my left foot or my right either.

Back down a hill past the end of the beach where not many people go. The water has been crystal clear and it’s still pretty warm in. All those little dots on the horizon are coal ships waiting to come into the harbour – 24/7 they come in and out, depending on the tides.


Finally back on flat ground up near one of the main beaches and the canoe pool there on the left. I have no idea why it’s called the canoe pool and I’m yet to see one in there; what you do see are kids and lots of them. The pool is really shallow and built-in and massive and it’s perfect for little kids. There’s supposed to be a map of the world on the bottom but I think it’s all covered now.


I can’t believe this autumn – we’re going to be in for a shock when winter finally turns up.

Weekly photo challenge: Up

I always have plenty of things to look at when I take a walk along the beach be it up, down, over or out to sea. I could never classify it as a power walk or any kind of calorie burning workout because I usually just dawdle along checking things out and stopping all the time to take photos and look around.

It’s a good place for hang gliders with plenty of high cliffs to jump off and parks and beaches to land on not to mention the view they have from up there.  It’s nice watching them loop about and float around – this guy was coming in to land.