Sometimes on the way to your dream,

you get lost and find a better one.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Whimsical Wednesday # 281

Welcome back to Whimsical Wednesday!

The day for your googled giggle that gets you over the hump that is Wednesday and sliding down into the weekend.





"It's a mystery son!
Every winter, they build these statues: They must have important cultural significance..."

Monday, May 29, 2017

Musical Monday # 154

I was introduced to Musical Monday by Delores who copied the meme from another site.

I think it’s a fun way to show off some of the music we like and brighten up our Mondays at the same time. 


I’ll be finding my clips on you tube, so will simply credit that site since there are often so many versions of everything and I wouldn’t want to accidentally credit the wrong artist.


Today’s clip is: The Animals


Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood 

and the lyrics:

 

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Sunday Selections # 329

Welcome back to Sunday Selections.

Begun way back in the mist of time by Kim of Frog Ponds Rock and now continued by me, with a drastic relaxation of rules.


Originally meant for showcasing old photos lost on your files, never seeing the light of day, the meme has morphed into photos of your choice, new or old, good or not-so-good, anything you please, but nothing rude please.


If you are participating, please leave me a comment so I can buzz along and have a look.
Elephant's Child always participates, and her pictures are always worth seeing.


Once again this week, we are in Stirling, one of the prettiest of the small hills towns.

one more look at the mosaic decorated stobie pole

there is a monument to fallen soldiers, placed by the local RSL

this tiny rock lined path between footpath and driveway is slightly scooped and serves as a run-off for excess rain water

Matilda's Bookshop, which I dared not go into lest I never be seen again. I love browsing bookshops.

Opposite Matilda's is the Hills Discount shop, another establishment I could happily spend hours in.

I love the variety of goods these places have.

I wanted to buy every one of those bright and cheery wind spinners.

this photo doesn't show the true colour of these geraniums, which is at least two shades deeper red.

I found a shop that sells Aussie themed metal garden stakes, this one is a sulphur crested cockatoo,

and over by the window, a koala and a kookaburra. $75 each.

Around the corner, the back entrance to the Stirling Arcade,

with huge baskets of begonias hung from the rafters,

interspersed with these lovely old fashioned lamps.

close-up of the begonias

the back entrance leads to this indoor cafe area, with beautiful old brick paving and lots of greenery.

towards the front of the Arcade is this back entrance to The Stirling Organic Fruit and Vegetable Market

here's a quick glance inside. I've bought fruit and veg here in the past; the freshness and flavour is worth every minute of the trip from Adelaide.

this bright gold canopy really caught my eye, a golden ash tree.

the shadowed branches of a spreading oak tree. I really wished I could climb up and sit on those branches for a while.

here the oak leaves are backed by the bright reddish purple of another autumn coloured canopy.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Wednesday's Words on a Saturday

The original Words for Wednesday was begun by Delores and eventually taken over by a moveable feast of participants when Delores had computer troubles.

The aim of the words is to encourage us to write, a story, a poem, whatever comes to mind.
If you are posting an entry on your own blog, please let us know so we can come along and read it.

This month the words are supplied by Elephant's Child and can be found here.

This week's words are:


1. abacus
2. bookshelf
3. cursory
4. delicate
5. eclipse
6. finery

and/or:

1. gigantic
2. healthy
3. innocuous
4. jaundiced
5. kitchen
6. linger

I know it's unusual for me to post chapters two days in a row, but yesterday's was from last week's words and today's is this week's words.  
Well, some of the words, with a few unused from past weeks thrown in as well. 

Here is the next chapter of Tom's story:

 "In the fridge? Yes please Tom, I'll use the meaty gravy to make a pie for our lunch," said Sara as she limped away supported by Ed. 
" A nice shepherd's pie with mashed potatoes on top. Gosh I've stiffened up a bit from sitting so long after that fall, bed is so appealing right now." 
Sara yawned then and Tom noticed how much more tired she looked since the fall. Ed said,  "A warm bath first love and I'll check for bruising."

"That pie sounds wonderful Sara, now don't worry about a thing here, I know how to clean up a kitchen, Vanessa taught me well." As Tom washed up and searched for the right places to put things away, he listened to the muted sounds coming from Ed and Sara's room and wondered again why he felt so comfortable here. 

After just one day, he loved Ed and Sara as much as he did Robert and Vanessa.

A cursory glance around the kitchen to see things were shipshape and Tom noticed the duct-taped shoebox where Ed had placed it on the big old oak bookshelf in the corner. Such an innocuous item, yet one that held so much promise. 

Tom lifted it, feeling its weight, then placed it back on the shelf. He'd been eager to open it at first, now he wanted all four of the others around when he did so. Tom went to bed wondering if he would be able to sleep, but almost immediately felt the black velvet creeping in. "Must be the sea air," he thought as sleep claimed him. 

In the morning, Tom surprised Ed and Sara with a bacon and egg breakfast and was pleased to see Sara eat a healthy portion. He asked their plans for the day, mentioning that he could stay around if they felt they needed help with anything. 

"We'll be fine love, you go and do whatever you want, I'll be spending the morning in the kitchen making that shepherd's pie and Ed will be around if I need help with anything," said Sara. 
"I'm glad to see you're okay after that fall," said Tom, "so I'll do as I'd first planned and go down to the town. I'll phone Mum and Dad, see how close they are and I'll drop in at the library and look up old newspaper articles from sixteen years ago. Maybe I can stumble on something that will help us find out more about what happened. I'll leave the shoebox until Mum and Dad get here. I'm itching to know what's inside, but I can wait. It has been waiting for me all these years, another day or so won't make any difference now."

As Tom walked the goat track to town, he noticed the Doctor on his way up to speak to Ed about Stephanie. "I'd love to be a fly on the wall for that conversation," he thought. He had no memories of Stephanie, perhaps they'd come back with time, or if anything else triggered them. So much of his past was hidden from him, the years between four and six a gigantic sea of faces, places and confusion, until he started school. Tom remembered the early school days well enough, his jealous feelings of the other kids who had family and home they'd known all their lives. The following six years had been rough, then he'd been taken to Robert and Vanessa Moore and had his life turned around. 


Reaching town, Tom went first to the Post Office where he phoned Vanessa from the public phone box and was surprised to hear her say they were already at the hotel. 

"Rob didn't want to waste any time," she said. "In between naps, we took turns driving and arrived last night. Thanks for holding the room for us, can you come to see us right now? Where are you?" 
"I'm at the Post Office just down the street, I'll be there in five minutes!" A joyous reunion followed, with many hugs and exclamations over Tom's new tan and how well he looked. 

They all went downstairs to the hotel's cafe and Vanessa briefly mentioned the paperwork they'd brought along, then Tom filled them in on everything that had happened the previous day. 
"It's the strangest thing," he said. "After only one day with Ed and Sara, their name is Saunders, I feel as comfortable with them as I do with you two. And I think they can tell me much more than I might find out through other channels. They remember my parents and me being here all those years ago. Their names were Cherie and Frank Kendall and Cherie was a photographer. They're very eager to meet you so we can all talk together." 

"We're keen to meet them too," said Robert. "Vanessa here insisted on buying a small gift too, to thank them for their kindliness to a stranger at their door." 

"But you aren't exactly a stranger to them, are you Tom?" said Vanessa. "Do you have any memories of them like they do of you?" 
"No, I don't," said Tom. "But there's something. A familiarity with the kitchen and sitting room up there. I can't put my finger on it, but Sara said I spent many hours there and we all even slept up there for quite a while, in the same room I slept in last night." 
"How about you show us around the town a bit before we all go trooping up there?" said Robert. "Anything interesting to see here?" 

"Not a lot right now, it's the off season for tourists, and I don't really know what makes the 'on' season, why people come here for the summer. But I can show you the Post Office, which is also the general store and market with fresh produce from some of the surrounding small farms. And Curly Cuts. That's a hairdresser-beauty parlor and Sara asked me to make appointments for her and you Mum, on Thursday, she thought you'd like a bit of pampering after a long drive."

"That's very sweet of her," said Vanessa. "I'd love a salon treatment, it's been a long while since anyone washed my hair for me and a professional manicure is long overdue too. Let's go off and find Curly Cuts before we see anything else." 

They left the cafe and asked the receptionist for directions, then walked in the opposite direction from the Post Office and turned left at Cove Street to find Curly Cuts almost immediately. "Well that was easy enough," said Robert. "Did you want to go in and have a proper look or leave that until you go with Sara Saunders?" 

"I think I'll wait," said Vanessa. "Let's have a look at the Post Office Market place and anywhere else Tom wants to show us." 
Tom said, "I haven't seen much of Shark Cove myself yet. My first stop was the jetty on the night I arrived, the one I told you was in the photo I found behind the Mona Lisa. Right there was when I remembered being four and running along the beach with my father and making sandcastles that got washed away when the tide came in. We ate ice creams because it was my birthday."

Tom turned to see Vanessa looking apprehensive, her delicate features a mix of joy and worry. Immediately understanding why, he reached to hug her close while saying "nothing can change the fact you're my Mum and Dad now, and always will be as far as I'm concerned. I love you both so much. I'm just so excited to finally be finding out things I thought I'd never want to know. I spent so many years pretending I didn't care about them or myself, or what happened to me before I came to you. I was just getting through day by day, then you two turned me around and made us a family." 


Robert joined the hug, saying "We've been proud to have you son. You've done us proud too, since that first day, when you looked so beaten down by life. After you'd gone to sleep, we talked all night, Van and me, decided to treat you like a son, like you'd always been with us. We'd ignore all the bad reports so we wouldn't be biased and just get on with it." 
"It seems to have worked," said Tom with a grin. Let's go to the Post Office and I'll introduce you to Bill Money who runs the whole place on his own until tourists come in."

Friday, May 26, 2017

Wednesday's Words on a Friday

The original Words for Wednesday was begun by Delores and eventually taken over by a moveable feast of participants when Delores had computer troubles.

The aim of the words is to encourage us to write, a story, a poem, whatever comes to mind.
If you are posting an entry on your own blog, please let us know so we can come along and read it.

This month the words are supplied by Elephant's Child and can be found here.

This week's words are actually last week's words, in a further chapter of Tom's story

The new this week's words will appear here on Saturday with their story. Hope I haven't confused you all.

Here are last weeks words again:

1. agile
2. blast
3. cacophany
4. desire
5. eager
6. flirt

and/or:

1. ground
2. hidden
3. injury
4. jealous
5. kindliness
6. lament 

and here is my story: 

 Tom's Memories Chapter Nine (and possibly Chapter Ten)

Ed watched as Tom took photos and wondered just how much Tom remembered. "There must be an awful lot buried in his mind," he thought. "Not just from his time here either. His awakening might be as traumatic as Stephanie's."

They turned towards the house and heard a cacophany of crashing metal that made them both start running. Tom reached the kitchen first and saw Sara sitting on the floor surrounded by pots and lids, with baking trays strewn across the floor. 

"Sara! Are you alright? What happened?" 
Ed stepped in to help her up as she answered. "I was carrying the cookie sheets to put away and bumped the saucepan stand with the toe of my shoe. The whole thing just came down around me." 



"Are you hurt?" asked Tom and Ed together. 

"I don't think so, everything seems to be working, but I think I'll sit in my chair for a while, it was a bit of a shock to find myself suddenly on the floor like that." 
Ed helped Sara to her chair while Tom picked up trays and pots, then put the kettle on for a cup of tea. "I'll get you into a nice warm bath a bit later and I'll rub some Arnica on any bruises that show up." said Ed. "Can't have you looking like you went five rounds with Mike Tyson, can we?"                       
           
"Oh I hope I don't bruise," said Sara. "Not with Tom's parents arriving soon. I'm so eager to meet them." "They're just as eager to meet you too," said Tom, handing Sara a cup of tea. "Do you need anything else?" "Just pass me that notebook over by the sink please Tom, I'm checking the shopping list. I think I need more ground cinnamon after that last batch of snickerdoodles. Ed likes them with cinnamon sugar sprinkled on top."


"Why don't I go and get that shoebox again, we haven't had a look through that yet, now seems like a good time." said Ed. 

 "Could we wait on that until mum and dad get here? There's something else I'd like to clear up," said Tom. "Well alright, let's all sit here in the kitchen and talk. What is it you want to know?" 

"It's the time difference." said Tom. "You said Frank's been gone almost twenty years and that's about right, it's been sixteen years, close to twenty,  but then you said Stephanie must be forty-two soon, in July, and was twenty-two when she was my babysitter, that's twenty years, but since it has only been sixteen, Stephanie should be thirty-eight next July. Where has the time difference come from? why the confusion?" 

"That's all our fault," said Sara. "Stephanie has suffered a lot of confusion and the passing of visible time seemed to make things hard for her, so we removed clocks and calendars and just sort of avoided telling her what the date was and the seasons all sort of ran together for her." 

Ed said, "You see, what happened the night you disappeared wasn't her first head injury." "She was injured?" said Tom. "Knocked out cold," said Ed, "had a huge bump on her head, and we don't know how long she was out before she woke up and found your mother." 

"Her first head injury was a few years before that," said Sara. "She lived here with her parents, they'd bought the place to run as a bed and breakfast, Jim and Melissa Hammer they were. The Scenic Retreat used to belong to us,  but we were getting on a bit, so we sold it to them and they kept us on to help out." 

"That was part of the deal," said Ed. "We have no desire to live anywhere else, we love this clifftop, it's been our home almost since our honeymoon. We wouldn't have sold it to anyone who would ask us to leave." 

"Anyway," said Sara, "Melissa heard about a tour of a ceramics factory over in the next town and thought maybe they could buy some pieces to put around here, on side tables and in the dining room. They all went together and there was an accident, the kiln exploded." 

Tears came to Sara's eyes and Ed continued the story. "A lot of people were hurt, Jim and Melissa were killed by the blast and Stephanie got a few cuts and bruises as well as a large cut above her ear. She was unconscious when they took her to hospital and went into shock when she woke to find her parents had died at the scene."

"Dr Jones wasn't here then, he didn't treat Stephanie that time, but he got all the records from old Dr Wurtzel, so he knows the whole history. Stephanie's trouble with accepting time began back then." said Ed. 

"But she recovered?" asked Tom. "You said she'd been to an audition the night my mother was killed?" 
"So she did," said Sara, "and it's getting late now, why don't I serve dinner and we can talk while we eat. There's been a lot happening since you showed up and it's only your first day." "I am getting hungry," said Tom. "Let me help you. Is dinner that wonderful stew I smell on the stove there?"

"That is our dinner for sure," said Ed with a big grin. "Sara makes the best beef stew for miles. We'll get out a loaf of her homemade bread too, and eat right here in the kitchen where the light is brightest." 

They all settled at the table with bowls of stew and chunks of bread torn right off the loaf. No one spoke for a few minutes as the first mouthfuls of stew were savoured. At Ed's direction, Tom got up and poured glasses of apple cider for all of them. 

"The audition was for a part in a Christmas play," said Sara. "The program is over there on that wall by the window. Stephanie co-wrote the play and wanted to be in it too. It was to be "The Lament of the Elves" and all about Santa's Elves being grumpy because Christmas was always all about Santa and the reindeer, while the elves got hardly any recognition." "Sounds like a great play," said Tom. "Did it still go on?" 
"It had to," said Ed, "all the tickets were pre-sold, it was a school production and the kids had sold tickets to their families." "We don't know who took Stephanie's part or if she even had a part," said Sara. 

"How about we leave the rest of the story until tomorrow. When your parents get here, we'll have to go over it all again too." said Ed. "We're all a bit tired I think and I'd like to get Sara bathed and in bed after that fall." 

"I think that's a good idea," said Tom. "Why don't you go ahead with that and I'll clean up the kitchen. Do you want the stew leftovers put in the fridge?"

**now I have a request for all you readers: Tom's Memories needs a better title and I'd like you all to suggest something that doesn't sound quite so dull. Feel free to change your suggestions as the story evolves and when/if it gets finished I'll select one of them if I can't think of one myself. Thank you.





Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Whimsical Wednesday #280

Welcome back to Whimsical Wednesday!

The day for your googled giggle that gets you over the hump that is Wednesday and sliding down into the weekend.

How many of us feel like this when we first crawl out of bed?
 

Monday, May 22, 2017

Musical Monday # 153

I was introduced to Musical Monday by Delores who copied the meme from another site.

I think it’s a fun way to show off some of the music we like and brighten up our Mondays at the same time. 


I’ll be finding my clips on you tube, so will simply credit that site since there are often so many versions of everything and I wouldn’t want to accidentally credit the wrong artist.


Today’s clip is: Phil Collins


You'll Be In My Heart
from the Tarzan soundtrack

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Sunday Selections # 328

Welcome back to Sunday Selections.

Begun way back in the mist of time by Kim of Frog Ponds Rock and now continued by me, with a drastic relaxation of rules.


Originally meant for showcasing old photos lost on your files, never seeing the light of day, the meme has morphed into photos of your choice, new or old, good or not-so-good, anything you please, but nothing rude please.


If you are participating, please leave me a comment so I can buzz along and have a look.
Elephant's Child always participates, and her pictures are always worth seeing.


today we are back in Stirling:

where I noticed this sweet little hand written sign outside a Sleepwear shop. I hope the owner doesn't mind that I borrowed it. 
"Buy her some sleepwear and say something nice. 
And remember, it's your fault that she wees a little everytime she sneezes. 
Love and Sacrifice!"

fiery roses! one of many bunches for sale for Mother's Day.

aren't they gorgeous?

these bunches are all in the front of the Stirling Organic Market, which is quite famous for its fresh fruits and vegetables.

bright little bunches of sunshine

and some in bright white

this is just a small selection of the bouquets on offer

there was even a free  wrapping service.

many of the trees were wearing their autumn colours, which is why I came to Stirling

some less colourful than others

many sections were multi-hued

as was this tree with many shades of yellow and orange

I saw a fat camellia bush covered in fat buds, Stirling is well known for its many camellias, some of which are a couple of hundred years old. The soil and climate are perfect for them.

here's a lovely outlook, grey bark, bright leaves, nicely set off by dark pencil pines.

the street trees have all been pruned short to keep branches away from overhead wires, at least they still look like trees. I've seen some closer to home that are quite badly butchered each year.

this is the far end of town where I walked to, then turned back and started taking photos, it's a small town along the main road, but larger in its sideways spreads.

I loved this huge old gum tree (eucalyptus) with rough grey bark below and white branches above

green, orange, yellow, and a blue sky; almost a rainbow

there is still plenty of green around, with cypress and pines everywhere and of course the gum trees

this liquidambar (?) is a mass of green and yellow stars

with just one branch of deep red stars off to one side.
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Friday, May 19, 2017

Wednesday's Words on a Friday

 The original Words for Wednesday was begun by Delores and eventually taken over by a moveable feast of participants when Delores had computer troubles.

The aim of the words is to encourage us to write, a story, a poem, whatever comes to mind.
If you are posting an entry on your own blog, please let us know so we can come along and read it.

This month the words are supplied by Elephant's Child and can be found here.

This week's words are:


1. agile
2. blast
3. cacophany
4. desire
5. eager
6. flirt

and/or: 

1. ground
2. hidden
3. injury
4. jealous
5. kindliness
6. lament

Here is my story:



When she first arrived on campus, Julia had been so eager for friendship; her innocence and pretty face made her a target for Will Lawson, the campus flirt well known for his "love 'em and dump 'em" ways. Her desire to fit in made Julia blind to the whispers and hidden laughter of the girls who knew Will well. 
Within three months, a heartbroken Julia had learned her lesson.

She turned away from the crowd, seeking the company of minority groups, the underground sect who admired her agile mind, accepted her just as she was. Their kindliness helped her overcome the heartbreak, helped her become less jealous of the rich and popular elite.


Little did they know the lament that grew barbs in Julia's heart and mind. She learned, she planned and she waited, for just the right moment.


Tonight, that moment had arrived.


The cacophany coming from the dining room meant the popular crowd were partying, the victorious football season was over for another year and not only had there been no lost games, there had also been no players lost to injury that year. 


Julia knew her entrance would not be heard and if anyone did register her appearance, that would soon be forgotten. Julia had become one of the invisible people.  She walked into the middle of the room, and unseen, planted the plastic explosive and timer under the edge of the table. Julia set the timer and walked away, still unnoticed. 

An hour later, sitting in a cafe, sipping coffee with her friends, Julia appeared as shocked as everyone else when the blast rocked the building and was heard all over campus.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Whimsical Wednesday # 279

Welcome back to Whimsical Wednesday!

The day for your googled giggle that gets you over the hump that is Wednesday and sliding down into the weekend.


 

Monday, May 15, 2017

Musical Monday # 152

I was introduced to Musical Monday by Delores who copied the meme from another site.

I think it’s a fun way to show off some of the music we like and brighten up our Mondays at the same time. 


I’ll be finding my clips on you tube, so will simply credit that site since there are often so many versions of everything and I wouldn’t want to accidentally credit the wrong artist.


Today’s clip is: Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons


Walk Like A Man

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Sunday Selections # 327

Welcome back to Sunday Selections.

Begun way back in the mist of time by Kim of Frog Ponds Rock and now continued by me, with a drastic relaxation of rules.


Originally meant for showcasing old photos lost on your files, never seeing the light of day, the meme has morphed into photos of your choice, new or old, good or not-so-good, anything you please, but nothing rude please.


If you are participating, please leave me a comment so I can buzz along and have a look.
Elephant's Child always participates, and her pictures are always worth seeing.


Yesterday I took myself into the hills, by bus of course, it's too far to walk, to a favourite town of mine, Stirling. It's gorgeous up there at this time of year and I took a few hundred photos of trees wearing their autumn colours, but I'll show some of those another day. 
Today we'll see a few of the sights in Stirling, but to begin, I have two photos of interesting clouds sent to me via phone by 'no-one'. You all remember who she is? 

Last Wednesday's clouds. Can you all see people dancing in these clouds? I'm not sure the picture will enlarge.

this was the sunset last Thursday. No-one takes better phone photos than I do.

here's my shadow, leaning against the post while waiting for the bus to Stirling.

Once in Stirling I walked right through to the other end, then walked my way back taking photos. 

hand painted sign just leaning against a bush.

and the chestnut man himself. Notice the wire basket right beside the $6 sign? it sits over an open fire and he turns the basket by hand while the chestnuts within get roasted. I spoke to him a while and learned he has been doing this here for thirty years. I didn't think to ask his name :(

a couple of dead trees down a side road leading to somewhere else.

a little further down that side road, this cypress looks pretty close to dead also.

a pretty decorated stobie pole

which turns out to be mosaic not painted.

this pretty gazebo is in the small park adjacent to the "new" library building

much closer to the library building is this sculpture. I have no idea what it represents, or even if it does represent anything.

closer to the other end of town is this sculpture, by a New Zealand artist, the particulars are on the post there, but I didn't photograph all the sides of that. This is just one of many sculptures along the 'Hills Sculpture Trail'.

the other park at the bus stop end of town with another pretty gazebo. in the background is a playground where my grandchildren used to play, it is much bigger now and fully fenced so kids can't run onto the road. I took a closer shot, but it has recognisable faces of dads and kids so I won't show it.

across the road from the playground is "The Old Manse"

here is a side/back view

and the front. it is used as the physiotherapy centre now.

the carpark area for the Manse is right next to this old footpath which leads onto a walking trail along the hilltop; the trail connects Stirling with the foot bridge over the freeway to a smaller town, Crafers. I've walked this trail before, many years ago with the grandchildren, coming from Crafers into Stirling. I thought about walking it again, this time from Stirling to Crafers, but decided against it. I'll do it one day when I have a friend with me, in case I fall or trip or something. Sections of it are steep, there are leaves and rocks, 90% of the trail isn't paved.

So I walked back into the town and found my favourite bakery:

where I bought a couple of pastries, apple danish and apricot danish, to bring home.