Musing Over Memories, While Making New Ones

Feeling a little “rusty“ from the overnight flight, my sandpaper-lined eyelids tentatively opened, and then excitement took hold!

A quick freshen up before stepping out into Sunday’s sunshine. The brisk slap-in-the-face that was a southern Autumn morning, replaced by a warm embrace from the languid northern Dry Season.

Moments later, my friend and I were musing merrily over a fresh cup of coffee on a timber balcony. It had been way too long since we’d shared some quality time just sitting… clear blue overhead, warm light illuminating the bright green that surrounded us. As a gentle breeze fluttered through the palm fronds, it was almost as though they were trembling with the same excitement we were all feeling to be reconnecting.

Numerous coffees were consumed over those few mornings. Memories made us laugh (and cry), and plans to make more were made.

The years that had passed since our younger ones had seen each other probably felt like a lifetime to them… But while we were perched up on the balcony – and as their nervous chatter drifted up through the floorboards – for us, it was as though barely a moment had gone by.

Games were played, sights were seen, expeditions were had, and meals were shared. Although time was limited, the pace was comfortable… it could have easily continued.

But with our “getaway“ more than half over, it was time to rekindle a few more friendships that time & distance had put a strain on…

Mid-flight Midnight Musing

Baggage is thrown enthusiastically into the car as nervous chatter emanates from the back seat. The electric gate rattles closed behind us and “Quambaloo” disappears into the depths of my rear view mirror.

Soon the perennial Christmas light display that is the airport fills our windscreen. We are swallowed into a sparkling maze of car parks, find our place, gather our bags and ride the jerky travelator until it spits us out into a crowded departure lounge.

“Fuel” for the flight

A flurry of food satiates ravenous appetites and a short retail expedition lightens the wallet before a final boarding call rallies the restless troops to their seats.

Giant jet engines groan into action then settle into a rhythmic whirring that lulls the somewhat “scratchy” siblings into an uncomfortable sleep.

The “midnight horror” flight carries us on invisible wings through jet-black darkness to our destination… An impromptu tropical Top End getaway.

Routine versus Random

The sun shines light and bright, while the blue sky is blurred by a misty white veil of clouds. Gone is the intense golden warmth of summer days, blown away by the stiff cool breeze that brings with it the change of season.

The fresh cool morning lingers. Musical twittering rises above the white noise of the wind that jostles through bright bamboo leaves, backlit by the sun to an almost fluorescent green.

I sip my coffee – made intentionally a little stronger this morning – and ponder the last couple of months.

The perfect coffee to ponder over

The beginning of a new school year… the final year of primary (elementary) for our youngest, a transition from junior into senior high school for our oldest, and a continuing journey of self-discovery for our middle child.

Most families thrive on routine, but it seems not this one! Two knee surgeries within a week of each other, and then a serious infection resulting in an extended hospital stay.

Routines went out the window and life was day by day. But with the help of family and friends, we are re-claiming our somewhat random routine and returning to a more even even keel.

On reflection, I have learned that maybe it is not the framework of routine we thrive on, but the foundation of love and support on which that is built. Routines make life easier, but it is the people we can rely on who enable us to manage the curveballs that life throws at us.

Is your routine a little like ours? Random at times and non-existent at others? How do you manage life’s curveballs?

The Harshest Critic

According to the weather bureau, it feels like 35°C outside right now… It is almost 30° inside! It is not yet midday, and definitely not too late for another coffee, but I think today calls for a latte “on the rocks”!

The brilliant blue dome overhead is framed on the horizon with billowing white clouds, visibly reaching up into the sky as I watch them. Tinged with a hint of charcoal, threatening storms later in the day.

Barely a breath disturbs the foliage. Not a note uttered from the birds, seeking what shade they can. Even the usual summertime buzz – that reverberates through the undergrowth from unseen cicadas – is eerily absent.

Perhaps the oppressive nature of the day and the ominous grey on the horizon is indicative of the darker voice within, that exerts its own level of oppression on our psyche. I am sure I am my own harshest critic – I second-guess every decision I make, wondering “was this the right course of action? Is this the best thing to do?”

I have been doing that a lot lately.

We all want the best for those we care about. Of course there will be bumpy patches on the road of life, but we always wish them the smoothest route. And when the way forward becomes unclear, with nowhere to turn, then we look to help clear a path.

We seek advice and form a plan. We weigh up the pros and cons, then attempt to move forward… But, there it is again, that niggling silent critic from within. When one of those “cons“ becomes apparent, I begin to question myself. “Have I done the right thing?“ “Is this really the best course of action?“ “Will the ramifications, the difficulties, or the outcome cause more damage than we began with”? “Will I be responsible for the complete breakdown of the situation?“

All I want to do is help someone I love live a better life. All I want to do is fix fracturing relationships. Anxiety can be crippling – not just for the sufferer.

No one can answer my questions. No one can silence the voice. I will just have to trust the advice and appreciate the support of others. The murky depths of the mind offer zero visibility and harbour many invisible obstacles… we will all find a way forward, and a smooth path… Together.

As the temperature cools, and those late storms roll through, perhaps the fresh breath of air they bring will help to clear the mind and find the way.

What Price Progress?

Charcoal clouds backlit with bright white, mirroring the white sea foam as they roll towards the tawny sand strewn with shredded seaweed. The breeze – nursed into the coast by the rolling waves and pushed along by the stormy front – carries with it a burst of freshness tinged with a hint of sea salt.

A long slow sip on my warm creamy coffee, a deep breath of fresh sea air, and I feel my senses begin to awaken. Finally, a reward for the unexpected early start to the day, after navigating the morning traffic for the past hour. The dull roar of the ocean is a calming natural white noise. My mind begins to wander… my head in the ominous black clouds, and my toes in the fine wet sand.

As we sit on the park bench, my son searches the area for “virtual” Pokémon characters, while my imagination leads me into the dark depths beneath the crashing waves, exploring the watery wilderness and wondering what I might encounter.

A bone-rattling, jangling, hammering noise forces its way into my daydream with a jarring reality. My son is yanked out of his Pokémon world with equal brutality. Just to the left of our line of sight (thankfully) is the partial demolition of a dated red brick building. The renovation work stripping away the character of past decades to be “modernised“ with the slick neutrality – some might say mediocrity – that is sold to the self-professed “discerning” market of today, hungry for nothing more than “Location. Location. Location”!

Location. Location. Location!

As each salt-encrusted, rusty coloured brick disappears, so too does the warmth of decades’ past summers. The echoes of 80s disco music released from the walls to wander with the ocean winds. The daydreams of countless surf obsessed souls set adrift on the dust trailing into the air.

The workmen break for morning tea and that strangely calming roar of the ocean returns, we look at each other with a sigh of relief… My young son (with an old soul and a love of architecture), and myself with a sentimental death-grip on fond memories… sitting side-by-side and both – in our own way – wondering “what price progress?”

And That’s a Wrap!

Cicadas buzz. The sun is already high and warm, but the breeze feels cool and dry against my skin. Birds throw the occasional “tweet“ back and forth through the swaying branches, but most wildlife seems to be enjoying a quiet siesta. Perhaps resting as they prepare to celebrate a new dawn, as we are preparing to celebrate a New Year.

I sip from one of my final gifts of 2022 – an exquisite floral tea cup – and wonder where the year has disappeared to. I try to recall the significant events, hoping to extract some profound wisdom to carry forward with me into the next year… But instead, I am finding my mind wandering with the breeze, and the butterflies, amongst the most incredibly vivid blue-purple pom-poms that appear to be suspended above the singular, lush green leaves of a monstrous agapanthus plant.

A flash of bright green and fiery red, as a pair of lorikeets skim past the blooms at lightning speed, snaps my mind back to the here and now. I remember why the year was such a blur…

Much of it was spent simply trying to put one foot in front of the other, getting from one day to the next. With my partner doing long lonely stints of work away from home. Our middle child struggling with the transition into high school. With our youngest and oldest navigating the ever evolving challenges of social etiquette and protocols.

The year may have been a blur, but we have all come through it stronger, more confident, hopefully a little wiser, and despite the usual family bickering and sibling rivalry… A little more appreciative of each other, and our roles within the family unit.

It seems that my final musing for this year has been one of general reflection, and recognition of what is important… While I look forward to the next with optimism, and a handful of my own personal resolutions.

I began this blog a few years ago with the catchphrase “ my thoughts, your thoughts“… I’d love to hear them as we close out 2022.

Drabble – Into The Dawn

Wisps of eerie mist rise from dampened earth. Hooves thud upon it with rhythmic urgency. Droplets moisten my face as it cuts through the heavy air of pre-dawn.

I move as one with the equine being. Hair streaming behind, a shining blonde mane. Adrenaline surging, I lurch toward the glimmering gold horizon.

A glance behind, darkness pursues like a sinister beast.

What am I fleeing from? What am I drawn to?

Raucous birdsong jolts my being.

With eyes open wide, heart pounding and beads of sweat upon my forehead, I glance furtively to the right… The alarm shatters my slumber!


A “drabble” (also known as a “100 word story”), is a short work of fiction, exactly one hundred words in length.

This is my first ever attempt, and I had so much fun!

I would love your feedback… Did I take you there? Were you in the moment? When your morning alarm has gone off, have you been there too? 😊

A Sip of Springtime.

The alarm jangled its way into my dreams this morning, but it didn’t seem quite so difficult to drag myself out of bed. The rising sun peeks over the horizon and creeps across my windowsill a little earlier these days.

Kookaburras share an early morning joke as I brew a coffee. I wonder if they are laughing at me fumbling about the kitchen.

As I sink into my comfy old chair, my face tilted upwards toward an almost Ceylon Sapphire blue sky, I find myself daydreaming of seagrass rippling in the current, as the breeze ripples through the gum leaves in shimmering waves. It trickles across my skin, cooling the warm blush from the sunshine as it climbs higher into the morning.

What is it about the change of season? The cooler tones of winter imperceptibly – but almost suddenly – transform into the more vivid, fresh, bright colours of spring. As beautiful and stark as winter can be, there is something uplifting about that touch of warmth as it encourages the birds to sing a little louder and longer, as it draws us out from under the blankets into the fresh air a little earlier.

I take a long, slow, deliberate breath inwards. The aroma of fresh coffee is tinged with the floral notes of spring time. I feel energised and relaxed, all at once. A change of pace, a change of routine and a change of season.

Pick Up The Phone, Dial That Number.

Sombre grey skies and fine misty rain silenced the birdsong this morning, until a fresh cool breeze quickly whipped away the clouds and dried off the droplets.

Bright sunshine has broken through and warms my face. A fresh cup of coffee warms my body, as thoughts of friends warm the heart.

We are never alone. Old friends and new, absent friends, beloved family members, or a special someone who cannot always be near. That person may not be there when you reach out to touch them, but the connection is real and enduring, regardless of physical distance.

When it comes to refreshing and maintaining connection, technology – which we sometimes regard as a curse – is a real blessing. Past generations had to wait patiently for the post, for that handwritten letter to arrive. Now, all we need to do is reach for the phone to feel the comfort of their voice, or even see warmth of their smile.

A simple message can let someone know you’re thinking of them, but as a special friend often reminds me, there is nothing like taking a moment, dialling a number and hearing their voice.

Too many of us – myself included – take the easy option when we are busy, by sending a text. We know what we mean, but went sent in a rush will the recipient always read the same? The written word maybe concise and to the point, but the intended kindness might not always be conveyed.

Pick up the phone, dial the number and spend the five minutes you would have composing a text, to reconnect with a friend. It will be well worth the effort!

Streaming Services – A Blessing or a Curse?

On demand TV is in most households in the developed world, but technology has provided us with a double edged sword.

From the moment we rise in the morning until well after our head hits the pillow at night – and if we choose so, every moment in between – the availability of any and all genre of visual media is literally at our fingertips.

TV is no longer limited to that one screen in a living room where the family gathered, if not to discuss world events reported in the news, then to enjoy nothing more than the comforting presence of one another in the combined enjoyment of a prime time show.

TV-time is no longer an opportunity to learn the skills of diplomacy and the benefits of democracy, as streaming has eliminated a need for these, when almost every member of the household has individual access to at least one screen.

TV has also become a minefield of censorship with guardians needing the skills and opportunity to enforce parental controls in a world where often their children are more tech-savvy than they are themselves. Navigating the tricky territory of viewing that was once restricted to certain hours, now being available 24 hours, is all but impossible.

At one time a parent could survive with just the extra set of “eyes in the back of their head“, but now with individual small screen devices in separate bedrooms across multiple family members, those eyes are simply no longer enough! The reality is that you’d be spending all your (usually very little) free time checking from one child to another to enforce, or ensure, that innocent minds are not being assaulted by any of the gratuitous violence (and worse) that is freely accessible.

On the flip-side, one can binge on whatever they desire without the frustration of other family members and their variety of interests. Children can laugh along with their favourite cartoon characters as much as they like, teens can dine on a 24 hour diet of music clips, while adults pick and choose as they please… Even if the kids haven’t gone to sleep yet!

Our positive flip-side is that we have created our own family viewing time around an oldie, but a goodie, in “Friends” – I guess you could call it “designer primetime“.

There were moments when I saw ‘on demand TV’ as the death of family time, but with a little gentle persuasion (and perhaps coercion), I am beginning to see the way to a new era of family viewing.

How has the availability of streaming services affected your household dynamic?