Serendipity Photo Prompt #6 – Childhood Dolls

This is my response to Marilyn’s Serendipity Photo Story for this week which I have also posted on my doll blog.

Dolls, Dolls, Dolls

This post is in response to Marilyn’s “Serendipity Photo Prompt” for this week.

Marilyn shared a photo of her childhood Toni doll who has a lovely face.  I still have some of my childhood dolls too although they are not in great condition.

Theresa with her Raggedy Ann doll made by my mum. Theresa with her Raggedy Ann doll made by my mum.

My mother loved dolls and I think that when she had little girls she was delighted not only to have two real life dolls to dress in matching outfits but also to have an excuse to buy dolls again. We probably disappointed her a lot by not providing her with grandchildren to buy them for too.

Amongst the many stories mum told me were the ones about the dolls that she used to own. The china headed doll given to her by her grandmother which she promptly dropped when a spider popped out of its mouth is…

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It’s That Time Of Year Again

Santa sign

It’s that time of year again. Christmas is on the way. Well actually most stores have had their Christmas merchandise out since well before Halloween but I refuse to acknowledge it until November. When I lived in Adelaide I considered John Martin’s Christmas Pageant the beginning of the Christmas season. John Martins is long gone and it’s been more than twelve years since we left Adelaide but Hobart has a Christmas parade too and it was held yesterday.

Although the parade is partly sponsored by a large department store the participants come from everywhere, businesses, schools, clubs and churches; it seems that anyone can enter a float. This years parade had a strong multicultural feel to it. The best entry in my opinion came from the local Buddhist temple who had a Lion Dance, and many marchers with twirling fans. I think it is rather nice that they participate so joyfully in the Christmas celebrations.

buddhists with fans

I loved the colourful clothing and the fans

buddhists marching in xmas parade

Amazing fan twirling

I did not have an easy time taking photos this year as my bus only arrived in Hobart ten minutes before the parade was due to start. My friends and I didn’t have as long to choose a good spot to watch and I had the problem of a couple of people standing nearby who kept moving and spoiled some of my pictures. However I did get a few that I liked and it was a nice sunny day for a Christmas parade. Some of my favourite displays this year were the RSPCA and the Sled Dogs for the obvious reason that they had dogs, very excited dogs I might add. We were near the beginning of the route and the dogs after waiting around to start were excited to be going on a big public walk.

My friend Ally’s old primary school had done a very clever display of “The 12 Days of Christmas with all the swans a swimming, maids a milking  etc. It was one that I was unable to photograph unfortunately. I also liked one from Glenview, a Hobart retirement home. They had put some of their residents in the parade with their mobility scooters and wheelchairs decorated as Christmas parcels. The Red Hat Ladies looked great although I didn’t get a good shot of them.

The Red Hat Ladies

The Red Hat Ladies

Residents of Glenview.

Residents of Glenview.

The clown doctors were there again, and some nice old vehicles, my favourite steam tractor, a vintage ute and a fire engine. Some of the churches had more traditional Christmas themes.

The Christmas Story

The Christmas Story

The Firies

The Firies


This was part of a recycling display. I love the little kid leaning out.

Two of Hobarts Clown Doctors who cheer up sick kids.

Two of Hobart’s Clown Doctors who cheer up sick kids.

My favourite. I love these things.

My favourite. I love these things.

There was lots of music too with all the usual suspects, the Police Pipe Band, the Hobart City Band, an army band. You can’t have a Christmas parade without bands.

Police Pipe Band

Police Pipe Band

Hobart City Band

Hobart City Band

Derwent Pipe Band

Derwent Pipe Band

Finally Santa Claus arrived on his float in his traditional red garb. Christmas had officially arrived in Hobart.

Santa Arrives

Santa Arrives

Merry Christmas from all of us.

Merry Christmas from all of us.

Daily Prompt: Can’t Stand Me

Can’t Stand Me

What do you find more unbearable: watching a video of yourself, or listening to a recording of your voice? Why?

That’s a good question. I don’t particularly care for either but why? I suppose that I don’t like to see myself the way others see me but then everyone sees things differently don’t they? What I perceive about myself and what other people perceive may be quite different.

When I was a small child we had family spread around the world, one  aunt and her family in South Africa and another aunt and her family in Australia while the rest of us were still in England.  I think it was mum’s brother who started the idea of sending audio  tapes to them.  When the family was gathered together he would bring out his great big reel to reel tape recorder and microphone and all the adults would record a message for them. Then it would be the turn of the children; my cousins, my sister and me. My cousins had no problem with this and my sister who was very young could usually be coaxed to say a few words. Not much was expected of her because she was little but I just freaked out at the idea of doing it. As I’ve often mentioned I never liked drawing attention to myself and family situations were no different. I didn’t see mum’s family very often as we lived in different towns. I hardly ever saw my uncle and never really knew what to say to him. I had never even met the relations who were overseas. Having to speak out loud in front of everyone was my idea of torture. I felt very pressured with all the adults trying to convince me that it was easy and that my aunties would be disappointed if they did not hear my voice.

It took me years to get over that phobia about tape recorders. As a teenager I bought a cassette tape recorder and made myself speak into it and that helped.When mum and I made audio tapes to send people we always did it as if we were just having a conversation with each other. It felt more comfortable that way and I had no problem with making them. Do I hate the sound of my own voice?  Not really but I do think it’s probably too loud and I know that I speak too fast sometimes.

I haven’t, thank God, had to watch a video of myself  recently. Watching our wedding video is embarrassing enough and the family home movies from my childhood are even worse!  I don’t really enjoy seeing photos of myself either. I like the ones taken when I was a little girl, well most of them, but pictures of me from about 9 years old onwards  remind me of how awkward and uncomfortable I felt during those years. I do have a few that I like that were taken when I was in my twenties, thirties and forties. Pictures of me now remind me that I’m grey haired and over weight. However I do like to have one taken now and again when I know I look nice or at least when I am smiling. I suppose I want my existence to be acknowledged after I am gone.

Daily Prompt: Freudian Flips


Freudian Flips

Do you remember a recent dream you had? Or an older one that stayed vivid in your mind? Today, you’re your own Freud: Tell us the dream, then interpret it for us! Feel free to be as serious or humorous as you see fit, or to invent a dream if you can’t remember a real one.

I have some really bizarre dreams at times, I know they are weird even while I’m having them but like many people by the time I am properly awake the dream is gone and I don’t remember what it was about. I suspect most of them are more about what I read or saw on TV that day than anything to do with me.

However, when I was younger I used to have a recurring dream that I was at school. I don’t remember specifically what each dream was about but they used to upset me a lot. I sometimes used to wake up in tears.

I didn’t always enjoy school.  I didn’t enjoy doing subjects I was bad at, like sewing, cooking and any kind of sports. I didn’t like teachers who shouted or were rude and sarcastic. As I’ve mentioned in the past I was a shy child and hated to draw attention to myself so I hated doing anything that involved speaking up in class, I was nervous around teachers and didn’t really want to play with the other kids even when well-meaning teachers tried to insert me into a group.

It wasn’t all bad though, I liked some teachers who introduced me to ideas that I would never have picked up at home. I wasn’t bullied; I got on well with my classmates  but I was glad when school was finally over.

After I left school I had the school dream through my late teens and early twenties and the theme was always that I was back in school again and I’d be trying to tell them I didn’t belong there. Later, as I moved into my thirties, I had the dreams less often and they changed. Now I was saying. “I don’t have to be here.” and I would leave. In the dream that felt good.  The dreams became less frequent over the years until they almost disappeared completely.  These days I rarely dream about school, or if I do I don’t remember so it must be less upsetting. I think I have dreamed myself in school occasionally but I’ve not been upset about it and haven’t tried to escape.

What does it all mean? Well my interpretation is that as I’ve  grown older and more confident I haven’t felt that I had to prove myself to others or conform if I didn’t want to. I’m happy with who I am and I’m more accepting of things I can’t change. I’ve read a bit about the meanings of dreams and what it says about dreaming about school seems to tie in with my feelings.

I don’t know what Freud would have said but I bet he’d have had a field day with my “soap opera” dreams if I could ever remember them!

Sweet Dreams!

Sweet Dreams!


Stories My Mother Told Me – Part One

Mum C1922 with one of her grandmothers.

Mum C1922 with one of her grandmothers.

My grandfather was in the British army for many years and in the 1920s early 1930s he was posted overseas. My grandmother and their five children travelled with him, first to Malta, then Egypt and finally to India returning to England around 1934. My mother often used to tell me about those years which she obviously thoroughly enjoyed. How I wish that I could remember more of it now that she’s gone. Here are a few stories that I do remember.

My grandfather, from a painting probably done in the 1930s

My grandfather, from a painting probably done in the 1930s

A Christmas Carol

Mum was born on Christmas Day 1921 in Hounslow where my grandparents lived in the barracks Married Quarters. She used to enjoy telling the story of how her mother was in the middle of preparing the goose for Christmas dinner when she went into labour. I never found out if the family sat down to the meal without her or who finished cooking it. Naturally the baby was named Carol.  Mum was the youngest of the five; her eldest sister Marjorie was born in 1914 and brother Dennis in 1915. Grandfather went off to War and after he came back from France twins Daphne and Gladys were born in December 1919. The story goes that when the babies were born Gladys, the smaller of the two babies was abandoned by the midwife who did not expect her to live. My grandfather took over her care and fed her using a fountain pen as a bottle. She survived and thrived  but was always much shorter than her sister which gained her the nickname of Tiny.

Hello King!

King George V. Wikimedia, Public Domain.

King George V. Wikimedia, Public Domain.

Mum was only four  years old when my grandfather was posted to Malta.  I have a hazy memory that she told me that before that they were in Jersey for a while. She was only a baby and didn’t remember it herself but she did tell me an amusing story about when the King visited the barracks where they lived. Supposedly aunty Tiny and aunty Daphne stepped out from the crowd as he passed by and said “Hello King”. I don’t know if that is actually true.  The story may be based on the fact that King George V and Queen Mary did make a Royal Visit to Jersey in July 1921. This was before mum was born but her sisters would have been about eighteen months old. If they were talking then they must have been pretty precocious children. There is no mention in the attached wiki of whether the King was accosted by two small girls.



 Female_Macaque_with_young_suckling © Gibmetal77 / Wikimedia Commons

Female_Macaque_with_young_suckling © Gibmetal77 / Wikimedia Commons



Monkey Business

Mum shared another memory of her early years. A visit to Gibraltar when the family was en route to Malta where she saw the famous apes that live there. They are called Barbary Macaques (Macaca Sylvanus) and at that time there was a saying that if the Apes left Gibraltar so would the British. As a four year old all my mum knew was that she wanted a monkey of her own and monkeys remained her favourite animal for her entire life. I still have a collection of china monkeys that belonged to her as she was often given them as gifts.

You can read more about Gibraltar and its famous inhabitants here.

Photo description below. Here is a link to the photographer’s Wikimedia page.


English: Female barbary macaque with young suckling at Mediterranean Steps, en:Gibraltar.
Date 2007-10-14 (original upload date)
Source Transfered from en.wikipedia
Author Original uploader was Gibmetal77 at en.wikipedia
(Reusing this file)
CC-BY-SA-3.0,2.5,2.0,1.0; Released under the GNU Free Documentation License.

My First Year As A Blogger

I Made It!

My first post to “My Other Blog” was on 30 May 2013. It was about a month after I wrote my first post for Dolls, Dolls, Dolls. I’d decided that I wanted my doll blog to be exclusively about dolls but I was feeling the urge to write about other stuff so “My Other Blog” was born.

200 Likes April 2014

1 Year of My Other Blog May 2014

100 Posts,March 2014

It’s undergone a few changes in twelve months as I’ve experimented with different themes and I recently decided that although I will write about whatever I feel like writing about I will focus more on featuring photos and articles about Tasmania. I love living here, I think it is a beautiful state and I enjoy sharing photos of places I’ve been. It’s not quite a travel blog but when I visit a gallery, museum or event I try to give the practical details of what there is to do as well as my personal opinion.

This blog is still a place where I can sound off about the things that annoy me and as I get older there seem to be more of them so I guess I’m becoming a grumpy old lady! It’s also become a place where I can sometimes reminisce about things I’ve done and talk about my daily life, my home, family and pets.

Sometimes I have lots of ideas for posts, some of them don’t make it past draft stage because I get hung up with checking the facts or because I just can’t get the words to flow the way I want them to.  Other times I go a week without really writing anything at all. That’s something that I have to work on.

I’m not always sure if anyone has read what I have written but I know some people do so to those people thank you for taking the time. I hope I’ve entertained you for a few minutes. Here is a sample of some of the things I’ve posted about in the past year.

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Why Breakfast Was The Most Important Meal Of The Day

English Breakfast nic

By André Zahn (André Zahn (User:Nic/de:Benutzer:Nic)) [CC-BY-SA-2.0-de], via Wikimedia Commons

 One of the nicest memories I have of growing up is the long talks that we would have at mealtimes, especially weekend breakfasts.

I’ve never liked to go out on an empty stomach and mum always made sure that my sister and I ate breakfast before we went to school but there wasn’t a lot of time to chat. We’d eat our cereal, toast, boiled eggs or porridge drink a cup of tea and off we went. Weekends were different though, we weren’t as rushed. We could dawdle over breakfast and dawdle we did.

Mum didn’t approve of staying in bed too late, she liked breakfast on the table by nine on weekends.  We usually had eggs for breakfast, it was not considered a crime to eat fried bacon and eggs then and on Sundays that’s what we usually had. But it wasn’t just about the food, it was about having time to talk. Those were often the times when mum would tell us about her life, there would be stories about what it was like to be part of an army family living overseas, the things she and her sisters got up to and the pets they had. I was always fascinated by these stories as it was all so foreign. Mum remembered the names of the servants who helped my grandmother run their household, the children that she played with and the dolls she had. She’d tell us about the bazaars in Cairo and the jungle they lived near in India.

After a while we’d put the kettle back on the stove and brew another pot of tea while she told us more.

Mum was a great animal lover and she needed little prompting to tell us about the dogs and cats the family had owned. She remembered the names of every one of them, the things they did and what happened to them in the end. On other days she might talk about what it was like to come back to England, the different places the family lived, the jobs she had and the war. Mum was not quite eighteen when the war started so her stories were as much about the funny things that happened as the serious side of life.

Many times we said that she should talk into a tape recorder and tell all these stories but sadly we never got around to doing it. I wish we had because my memory is not as good as hers and as I get older I forget some of the details. I’m going to try to write a few of the things I do remember in this blog so at least they will be there for me to read again in the future and maybe other people will enjoy them as much as I did.

Of course we didn’t only talk about the past. Sometimes we talked about the future, how “When our ship came in” we would do this or that. The places we wanted to go, the home we would have and so on. It was building castles in the air I suppose but we didn’t care. It was nearly as pleasant to imagine it as to have it.

Eventually, sometimes after a third pot of tea had been made and consumed, mum would look at the clock and discover we’d been sitting at the table for two hours and that she had to put the Sunday roast in the oven and do other jobs or she would be “thrown back” so we’d break up the party. Of course we talked at other times too but those breakfast talks are the ones that I remember with the most pleasure.