Tag Archives: joy

May 2019 Be Kind To You All

Another Christmas and New Year have been and gone. I’m always amazed at how quickly time flies. The lead up to Christmas is hectic, the holiday season is fun and the wind-down enjoyable. But now we have to pick up the threads and get stuck into this brand new year.

I love this old postcard with a traditional Scottish toast wishing everyone well for the coming year. Here it is for friends and family. I wish you all well and every happiness in the year ahead.

It will be a full year of teaching, writing, book launches (others, not mine because I’m still working on my 3rd book ) and attending writing groups, giving workshops on How To Write A Memorable Memoir, and attending conferences etc. The passion is still there.


Marketing is always a problem. There are so many books now available on Amazon and Kindle that my two books, Pickle to Pie and Something Missing are now well down the ladder and I simply don’t know how to breathe new life into them. However, I am eternally grateful for all they have given me and my academic journey means I am alumni to Monash, Melbourne and Swinburne Universities. Fantastic.

However, at this brand new start to this new year my horizons are broader. I am optimistic that as the world gets smaller so our hearts will get larger and we will embrace people different to us and wish them peace

Family is very important to us. Our eldest son and wife left for a snowy Christmas in the USA and Canada and sent photos and texted often. We have the grand-dogs for company while they are away. Our youngest son, wife and two grandchildren drove down from Queensland for a great Christmas get -together. He did all the cooking and we had a lovely time. We played Uno and swam in the canal. The memories will keep me warm during our cold winter months but for now I’m simply enjoying life and taking advantage of every moment of sunshine, warmth and Summer living.

Patterson Lakes comes alive during these warm days. People have barbecues, sit on their deck drinking coffee (or something stronger) and watching the kayaks paddle past on the waterway outside our doors.  The birds are a joy to watch as they swoop and play. We see pelicans, sooty terns, swifts, ducks…even the laughing duck and the ever present seagulls squabbling for anything left over. The plover’s call at night lulls us to sleep.

May you all have a wonderful year filled with happiness and joy


Tying the Knot

We write to taste life twice. In the moment and in retrospect.

 Anais Nin. 

Who wouldn’t like to write about a special day and relive the memories? Everything was perfect the day Ainslie Sterling married Ty Johnstone. The sun shone on a couple totally in love and celebrating the best day of their lives.


Marybrooke Manor in Sherbrooke in the Dandenong Ranges Victoria Australia  is an old country manor nestling amongst tall trees. They know how to discreetly organise the perfect wedding where everything runs like clockwork; smoothly, quietly ticking along without a hitch.

mum & dad

When I saw Ainslie walk down the aisle she took my breath away. I already knew that she is a beautiful person inside and out and that if she wore a hessian bag for a wedding dress she would still look gorgeous. I was not the only one to have a lump in my throat and wipe away tears. I noticed Ty was also having trouble controlling his emotions as he saw his future wife, on the arm of her father walking towards him.

ainslie & stuart

And how could my nephew, Stuart Sterling be the father of such a grown up young woman? I remembered a young, lanky boy coming to stay for holidays and going with us on outback camping trips to Innaminka. Of days he spent playing in the back  yard with our two boys. My Dad skidding his FJ Holden around a big tree at the top of the street with them screaming, laughing, calling, ‘Do it again Gramps, pleeeeese.’ This ethical, kind man walking his daughter down the aisle and giving her hand in marriage to Ty Johnstone was definitely Stuart,  but where had the years gone?

ros & stuart

It seems like only yesterday that Ros and Stuart married and how beautiful it was to see their love for each other as they took their vows. Now the second eldest of their five children was marrying the love of her life. Life has a way of whizzing by until an occasion such as this pulls us up with a jolt and, when we now belong to the older generation, we realize how short it can be. I know for one I intend to live for the moment and enjoy every minute of the rest of this fabulous journey.


How romantic to have a garden wedding and I was delighted when we were told no photos allowed. It meant that we could all relax and enjoy the moment without thinking of videos or jumping up, leaning over, in an attempt to take the perfect photo. There were professional photographers employed to do all that . I settled down and relaxed. The love for these two young people was palpable and I made sure the love-heart good-luck trinket was ready and waiting to later slip on her arm and join the happy horseshoe trinkets from others wishing her well.

garden 2  garden drinks

The newlyweds, four beautiful bridesmaids, four handsome groomsmen all relaxed, laughed, talked and celebrated together on the croquet lawn,


Tradition. It keeps us grounded, gives us a feeling of continuity. Mother, fathers, aunties, uncles, grandparents had all come to wish the young couple joy and happiness.

joy and cousin

The reception was time for everyone to have fun. After the bridal waltz,  a fabulous wedding breakfast, Stuart’s great speech about how it takes not only parents but a village to raise a child, the cake was cut and everyone danced the macarena.

1 kiss wedding dinner happy

We stayed at Marybrooke Manor overnight after fare-welling the newlyweds who fled to their accommodation through an archway of well-wishers after first throwing the bouquet. The following morning they boarded a plane to an undisclosed location for their honeymoon.


Who knows what the future holds but everyone at that wedding wished this lovely young couple every happiness and blessings for their life together. As I waved goodbye I saw Ainslie and Ty’s parents and ‘village’ gathering around them and I knew they would be there to support them throughout their lives. Stuart and Ros’s family, Amelia, Bailey, Finley and Isabelle beamed love to their sister and her new husband and cuddled Ros and Stuart. It reminded me of one of my favourite poems. A family is like a circle, the connection never ends, and even if at times it breaks in time it always mends. A family is like a book, the endings never clear, but through the pages of the book love is always near.

We write to taste life twice. In the moment and in retrospect

This post has given me the opportunity to do just that: to relive, enjoy and share with you the love, joy and happiness such a day brings.

Thank you Ainslie and Ty Johnstone for sharing with us your special day.

!cidbear hugs