About Me

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Life on two acres of arid dirt, on the edge of the Australian outback.

Monday, July 28, 2008

My parents

My parents are calling in tomorrow on their way to a Women's Agricultural Bureau (WAB) Conference in Hawker, north of here. My mum told me that she has been involved with WAB for forty years and is still loving it. Although it is hard to keep the young ones motivated and interested as most of them are busy doing other things. For more about WAB Look here

My parents live in a small rural community and my dad is still working at the age of 72. All his life he has been a backyard mechanic apart from taking a job with the local Ford Dealership in the times of drought. This skill has come in handy for him over the years especially on his own farm equipment. He has a huge shed in his backyard where he still tinkers around with cars and old machinery. He has started a Yesteryear Machinery club that has a lot of members. The modern day cars are getting beyond him now.

My Dad is very fit which amazes the doctors everytime he gets a checkup. He has no health problems apart from a circulation problem in his feet, which doesn't slow him down. He takes no medication and walks everyday. He is a kind, shy and gentle man.

My mother on the other hand has had quite a few health problems over the last few years. As a child she had polio and a lot of problems may be caused by this. She has suffered a major stroke, and a couple of minor ones, but has recovered. Last year she had a large hernia removed that had damaged her bowel. This woman is very strong and tough and does not let on that anything is wrong. I think she is feeling a lot better now and has a lot of energy that she lacked for a while.

She was reared near the city, had a tough childhood that she keeps close to her chest, and doesn't talk about much. As a teenager my mum moved to Ceduna for employment with a local business. She met my father and the rest is history. They have been married nearly 51 years and are still the best of friends, holding hands, kissing, carressing etc. It's great to see!!

My parents had a short courtship of six months before deciding to get married. There are no photos of their wedding because it was squeezed in between Christmas and harvest time on the 28th December, 1957. The only people present were my Dad's parents and they were the witnesses.

After marrying my Mum decided not to continue working. But, by golly she has worked hard alongside my father working the land. Driving the machinery was her favourite past time, and it was a real surprise to strangers to see this petite 5 1/2 stone, 5ft nothing woman climbing down off the tractor. It was no trouble to lift wheat bags on her shoulders, little wonder she has hernias and trouble with her shoulder. She would always rise early to milk her dairy cow so we had fresh milk, and we had a constant supply of fresh eggs from her many forms of chooks, ducks, geese etc or should I just say poultry! At the end of the day there was lovely homegrown, homecooked meals and treats, always cakes and slices and to this day she is still the same, with a constant supply of goodies to eat.
Mum was also very good at knitting and sewing and would enter a lot of her homemade things into the local agricultural show, where she would win prizes. She taught me how to knit and sew although she is left handed we still managed it. I also learnt to crochet from my grandmother as my mother said she could never master the skill, perhaps because of being left handed.

My mother is very independant and dislikes relying on other people for anything. When they come through tomorrow she will have her basket of goodies including thermos, teabags, sugar, milk, cakes and any meals that they will need to eat, even their breakfast. Never do my parents buy any food while travelling. By the way she is still very slim and tiny. Her secret is; she doesn't eat her cakes!!

My mother wanted a large family but only ended up having two children, a son and a daughter. My brother is four years older than me.

My parents are good Christian people and are loved and respected immensely by many. I am extremely blessed to have these lovely people as my parents.

This photo is of my grandparents on their wedding day. My Father's parents, I was very close to them as they were the only grandparents I knew while growing up.

The mornings have been freezing the last few days with frost. We did have a couple of showers of rain on Saturday but nothing much in it. The ground is already dry. The days are also turning out to be cold, I have had to keep the fire burning day and night.

Coming up in August is the Cleve Field Days here. I am looking forward to going along this year, always fun filled days with plenty to see and learn.

Wishing you a wonderful day,


Friday, July 25, 2008


Nice and crisp here this morning. Not sure what the temperature got down to, I think it was -1 degrees. I got cold through the night and had a restless nights sleep, needless to say I have dug out another heavy blanket for the bed.

These tyres really showed how cold it was...
Ice on one of our zephyr cars.....

Ice on the few weeds we have...


Car windscreen, will need washing or scraping before using.

Today looks to be another nice one with the temperature forecast for 18 degrees Celcius. Trouble is nice days means cold nights. I am going out for a morning walk as I am putting on a bit much weight (clothes are no longer fitting). All that good home cooked food isn't too good for the waistline. I am hoping that the cold will put some spring in my step, that or I will come home with frost bite.
Have a great day where ever you are,

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Why I live where I live

I moved to from my birthplace, Ceduna, to Port Augusta in 1993 with my partner and then 3 children. Hubby had applied for a job as a Locomotive Engineer and was lucky enough to get it. This is a job that he really enjoys and the only one he knows. He, at this very moment is training to become a Driver Trainer which means he will now be training the trainees to become fully qualified Train Drivers.

Train, Port Augusta

The children were young at the time 12, 9 & 6 so this was a big change for them. I managed to get them all settled into their various schools and for many years I was running between two and three schools for drop off and pick up.

These children are now grown up 27, 24 & 21 and all have made their way doing what they want.

The eldest dughter has just returned to Port Augusta after living in Adelaide for ten years. She went to University and received a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Law degree and is now working for a local real estate agency.

The middle child is living in Melbourne and attending University doing her honours. This child was and always will be highly intelligent. Growing up we had all sorts of behavioural problems with her but she has grown into a beautiful young person. I wish I had known what I know now to have handled the disruptive behavoiur differently, but I did the best I could with the knowledge I had. This daughter is very independant and likes doing things on her own and for herself only asking for help if really needed. She tries to come home regularly but sometimes funds are a bit tight.

Child number 3, another daughter is very relaxed. This child was not very academic but is doing okay in the outside world. She has a four year old son and is still with his father who is a very reponsible lad. They both work hard and love their animals, they have what I call a menagerie. This child has a keen interest in horses and has since about the age of 12. She is a very good rider and most of her conversations are all about horses.

In 1996 I had another child, a boy, he is now 12.

Bridge over the gulf, Port Augusta
I, myself have never really settled here. Being a shy person I have made few friends and have had some bad experiences with people. It seems if you are not a local you are not really accepted by the majority. Although there are a lot of good kind people as well. It is so hard when you are shy to try and mix. I have been involved with different clubs etc and have always felt uncomfortable and couldn't wait to go home. In my home town Ceduna where everyone knew me, it was different.

However, doing childcare in my home has been great because I have got to meet new people with similar interests and it has given a boost to my confidence. My scheme says that I am one of their best carers, so I must be doing something right. I also help new trainees by offering them to do their placement in my home. I show them what I do with my Family Day Care. This is part of the training.

Redbanks, Port Augusta
At the moment I am on a break from working and enjoying it. My daughter that was living here has now found somewhere else to live, so I am free to go back to work whenever I decide is the right time.

Whales in the gulf at Port Augusta

Port Augusta is very dry with little rain, which can be depressing at times. Even though it is winter and it has rained a little there is not much greenery. We had a frost last night with the temperature going down to zero.

With a population of around 12,000 we have a Big W, Woolworths, Coles, Target Country, Radio Rentals, Electrical Discounters, McDonalds, KFC, pizza haven, Wendy's and Hungry Jacks. Not that the shops interest me. We have nearby towns of Whyalla and Port Pirie that have more/different shops and are only 40 minutes to an hour away. Adelaide, the capital city is three hours away. There is a lot of station country surrounding Port Augusta and it is known as where the outback reaches the sea. The beautiful Flinders Ranges can be clearly seen from Port Augusta. We have a large Power Station that powers a lot of the state of South Austraia. Unfortunately also known as Port Agutta because it is not a very clean and tidy town which is disappointing. If travelling through to Perth or up to Darwin you have to pass through this town.

Although this is not the best place in the world to live, it is where I am for the moment and I accept that. Hopefully one day I will get to live somewhere else but for now I will keep on dreaming of greener pastures. Blogging has opened up a whole new world for me and I quite enjoy looking where and how other people live.

It's a beautiful sunny day here today, so I'm off outside to do some cleanup jobs while the weather is nice.


Sunday, July 20, 2008

Port Lincoln = Makybe Diva

Port Lincoln, I love this town and this is going to be my seachange one day and hopefully that is not too far away. Everything is so green and it rains regularly, which I could learn to live with.

The people there are also very friendly and tend to come from everywhere in South Australia to retire or enjoy the different lifestyle. Port Lincoln is the home of tuna fishing or fishing in general and the town where Australian Olympic Weight lifter Dean Lukin comes from. There is a deep sea port for when grain ships come in to get their load for overseas export. There is a large lot of grain silos for the storage as well.

Below is the newly erected statue of the famous Melbourne Cup winner Makybe Diva. This fabulous horse won this prestigious cup 3 years running. She is now retired. Her owners live in Port Lincoln. The statue is positioned on the front foreshore for all to see.

Our friends Bill and Cindy were kind enough to take us out in their boat for look around the Marina and surrounding area and to do some fishing. The weather was a bit cold but this didn't deter us.
Jack helping to cast off.

This is a view of some of the houses heading into the Marina.

Picture of a nearby island, I think it is called Boston Island.

Some boats moored in the Marina.

Some of the housing around the Marina. Some of these are really nice.

This bridge opens upwards to let yachts through.

The grain silos near the Port Lincoln jetty.

Rainbow if you look hard above the silos. We were a fraction too late getting this photo as the rainbow was really bright while we were driving along, but by the time we pulled over to get a photo it had faded.

School holidays have finshed for another term, so back to routine tomorrow.
Hope your weekend was an enjoyable one.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Penong and on to Fowlers Bay

Heading west toward the whales is the little agricultural town of Penong, known for it's windmills and nearby popular surfing place Cactus Beach. This is grain and sheep country and the people that live here are so friendly and community minded.

How's this for windmills?? There used to be a lot more when I lived in the district but a lot of them have been pulled down. This is one group of wind mills just on the outskirts of town.

If you are keen on fishing this is the place to go. Fowler's Bay and nearby Scotts Beach is very popular for fishing, you can walk over the sandhills from Fowlers Bay to Scotts Bay, or go by 4 wheel drive if you are not enthused about walking over hills carrying all your fishing gear.

Below is the view of the bay from surrounding sandhills. There were a couple of whales frollicking around here a few days before we got there.
Jack loved running all over the sandhills. He made friends as soon as we arrived with a young boy his age and they found a toboggan type thing that someone had made and left in the sandhills, so they had a bit of fun trying that out. It didn't work very good, no wonder it was left behind.

Soccer ball chasing was another fun thing to do, but not so easy was trying to stop running while going down hill, always did a tumble before reaching the bottom.

This picture is of the small settlement mainly for tourists now. Very busy at school holiday time especially January when they hold a New Years Day sports day.

We tried to catch some fish from the jetty but with no success, I think this area has been fished out by all the holiday makers.

As soon as we arrived in Fowler's Bay and were putting our camper trailer up, we had people from all walks of life and all areas of Australia come and chat with us. One man named Lou brought us a feed of fish. He had caught so many that day while out fishing in his boat that he was giving it away to everyone in the caravan park.
That night after having some dinner we were invited to a gathering around a bonfire, where plenty of yarns were told and plenty of wine was consumed to keep warm. Lou also treated us to some performances of the poetry that he writes and told us he has a book of his poems published.
We will certainly visit here again, next time staying longer. I miss all the friendly people from the West Coast.
We are off to Port Lincoln tomorrow for the rest of the week, still school holidays here. Will be back on the weekend to blog.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Remote Australia - Cook

Hello again. The computer is back up and running.

Cook is located on the Nullabor Plain along the railway line. If you ride the Indian Pacific train you will pass through this place. Total population 5 at the moment although many years ago it was a thriving little town of 80 to 100 people in it's hay day. There was a hospital, school with swimming pool, billiard hall, railway station, ice works, post office and general store. Now there is little remaining with only a few houses left. While we were there we stayed in one of the houses and had a much needed shower.

The people that live at Cook at the moment, clean the resthouse, sump water for the town and sump deisel for the locomotives as well as the generators that power the town. The water and deisel supply is brought in by train from Kalgoorlie, Western Australia.

EH on this sign stands for Eyre Highway.

This is the place where my husband travels once or twice a week on the trains. Port Augusta to Cook is 822kms by rail, and takes between 12 and 15 hours to get there. He stays in a resthouse that contains a kitchen, showering and toilets area, snake pit with pool table (recreation room) and sleeping quarters.

Not much to do or see at Cook....Below is the very wide main street, watch out for cars, lol

Looking north, south, east and west this is what you see!..... the neverending treeless plain called the Nullarbor.

Just outside of Cook on the rough dirt road is a couple of blowholes....On really windy days you can feel the wind in the blowholes all the way from the ocean about 12okms away. On this particular day there was no wind.

Having a barbeque on the Cook road, no need to pull off the road as there is no traffic. We had a few crows hopping around eager for some scraps.
Found some wombat holes that were lived in. There are thousands of these out west.
You can see that bushfires went through here last year. These were started by lightening strikes.

If you look closely at this picture below (just click on picture to enlarge) there is a dingo... I just managed to capture him as he was running away. They are pretty quiet though. A lot of dingoes out here also.

The corner of the old dog fence....heading east and south. A new fence has been built to replace this old one. A dog fence is built to keep dingoes outside of the pastoral/agricultural areas of Australia, so they don't kill the livestock.

Back on the highway are these signs. We didn't see any camels, (Hubby sees quite a few camels when travelling in the train) we did see a few roadkill wombats but no kangaroos this time around.

See you soon,


Tuesday, July 8, 2008


Due to computer problems I am unable to blog for the time being. I think it has caught a virus and hubby is away this week (he is the one that can fix these things), so it will have to wait until he gets home. I am however getting plenty of housework, decluttering, sorting and cleaning done. Goes to show how much time I waste on the computer, when I should be doing other things!

See you soon,


Monday, July 7, 2008

Whales and the Great Australian Bight

After travelling nearly 2000km in four days we have arrived home safely. Luckily the weather was beautiful while we were away because it is now freezing. Today's temperature is 14 degrees Celcuis. We had a bit of rain overnight, 13.5mm (54points). Included in this was some hail.

I wish I had a decent camera to take photos of the whales. They looked brilliant in the binoculars, but my camera couldn't zoom in good enough to capture perfect photos. I have put my order in for a new camera for Christmas.

On the day we were at Nullarbor there were over a dozen whales on display, including a couple of calves with their mothers. We didn't see many tails and they were so hard to capture as it happened in a split second.
Below is a spout of water from one of the whales.

The whales were a distance away. To get the best pictures you would have to watch them all day.

Surrounding sandhills at Twin Rocks where some of the whales were. Twin rocks is the rock in the water pictured, although I think one of the two rocks has fallen down now.

The head of the Great Australian Bight...

Absolutely fantastic views.....

Phil and Jack taking in the view.....

Following the whales we drove to Cook on the railway line in the middle of the Nullabor somewhere. Will post some photos of this tomorrow.
Wishing you all a blessed, peaceful day.