Tag Archives: Love

‘Show don’t Tell?’

Proud by Michelle W.                                                                                                                     When was the last time someone told you they were proud of you?

 This is an interesting topic because when I was young, parents kept their feelings to themselves. It wasn’t that we felt neglected. Even telling a child that they loved them reminds me of the writing rule: ‘Show don’t tell.’

So we were shown that we were cherished in practical ways. Mothers generally stayed home, and therefore were there to cook meals for the family and keep everything in order. Mum sewed dresses for me. We were read to and with no TV, families talked. My parents were not demonstrative. Hugs were restricted for the odd occasion when children might return after a holiday away, or a kiss on the cheek before going to bed was the norm.

So as far as expressing ‘I’m proud of you!’, it would have been unspoken. Very different from the way children are brought up now.

Thinking back, my parents probably didn’t even express their pride in their sons who did achieve with their scholastic achievements. Being a late bloomer, I didn’t complete my university studies until I was in my forties. My mother did shown pleasure in this, especially as I gained tenure in a permanent teaching position. This did please her.

My children are far more able to express their feelings and they may have said they were proud of me, though I can’t remember. They were all delighted when I had, ‘Lily’s Wish’, my first book published. So I do believe in ‘Show’, but I can’t help break the rule and ‘Tell’ my children that I’m proud of them, occasionally.




Love is the secret:

Am I superstitious? Perhaps I just don’t like tempting fate; therefore I shall write about someone who was the most meaningful character in my younger life.

My mother was the most energetic woman I have ever known. She was a chocoholic, and needed that boost to achieve all she did. She kept a prolific garden, chooks, household with husband and five children, clothed and fed. Not just washing and ironing said clothes, but making many of them as well. Working on committees and boards she fitted into her busy schedule, as well as keeping up with her busy social life.

When I moved back to my home- town with two small children, mother was there to support me. I stayed with my parents for three months to find my feet. My parents bought the house I moved into. We worked together painting this house. My mother made the curtains, and she helped me cover cheap furniture that we found at an auction.

Teaching me to take cuttings for the garden and how to sew, were just a couple of the many things she generously imparted. I was always grateful for any cooking and childcare hints she was able to share. My life would have been so different without this dependable person’s support and love, especially at the many tricky times in my life.

When I was isolated, living overseas, my mother would write at least one letter every week. Her love gave me the strength to have faith in myself. Living with a husband who was bi-polar wasn’t easy, but knowing I was loved made all the difference.

Do or Die by Michelle W.

You have three hundred words to justify the existence of your favourite person, place or thing. Failure to convince will result in it vanishing without a trace. Go!


And a dash of cadmium red:

Embrace the Ick, idea By Michelle W.

Think of something that truly repulses you. Hold that thought until your skin squirms. Now, write a glowing puff piece about its amazing merits.

Vomit, texture adhering to all it landed on, twinkled with jewel coloured capsicum, carrots and peas. The grey/brown background allowed the gems to glisten in the sunlight. Strands of spinach gave a seaweed effect with a deeper green hue. The enticing smell wafted breezily, attracting the canines in the area to come and consume this delight, licking lustfully, it soon disappeared.





Looking back over the holiday period makes me very grateful for what we have and the family we share.

The Sunday before Christmas we had Christopher’s boys and their families. Will and Rachael are now foster parents. They brought their son and a foster boy with them to share our special day. At present this child is only having respite time with them as his mother is waiting for a placement in a drug rehabilitation centre. Ice is a particularly nasty drug, which is far more addictive than other drugs, and is rampant in Victoria, as it is probably everywhere else. It is hard to imagine what it is like for an only child to live in this environment.

L. appeared happy to be with us and joined in the conversation. Since joining his foster parents he’s experienced many things for the first time. Going to the beach, to the cinema and many family activities that we take for granted.

Conversation at the lunch table was interesting. L is obsessed with the army and army activities. Someone at school had convinced him that ISIS has nothing to do with terrorism. He asked each of us what we thought, but our thoughts didn’t deter him, even though he couldn’t remember the reasoning behind his friend’s comment. Rachael calmly suggested that since he couldn’t remember the reason, perhaps he needed to reconsider this information.

I thought how easily a child can be led astray. Hopefully listening to a group of adults with different views from his own, will give him pause to reconsider his way out views.


Daughters in law with naughty Grandpa and youngest grandchild.

Daughters in law with naughty Grandpa and youngest grandchild.

The meal was a great success, always a relief for me when it all comes together. Many of the vegetables were new to L. and so it was rewarding to see him tasting and liking them. Roast pork turned out to be a favourite.

Playing cricket in the street was fun, apart from my beloved tearing a tendon when he was trying to bowl a googly. He was surprised that his body didn’t respond as it did forty years ago. He ended up fielding with Millie by his side, who delighted in catching the balls that came their way.

We were thrilled at the end of the day when L. announced he’d never had such a wonderful Christmas, it made it all so worthwhile. It also made me sad to think of how many children there must be out there who would be not celebrating, as we were able to do. Christmas isn’t always a happy time for people, so it makes me more appreciative than ever, that we’re able to share with a family we love.

Some good news announced today, 2-1-15: Collingwood, the largest Australian Rules Football Club announced that it has donated 30 homes to the Salvation Army to house those less fortunate. This means 80 people are now benefitting from this generous gift. Collingwood Football Club propose to donate another 70 homes this year. What a wonderful, generous way to start the year. Congratulations to all of those involved.



Knock, Knock, Knocking: reblog

Brenda Ann’s posts share her joy and common sense. This post is about her visit to her father when he nearly died. This reminded me of my own father’s excitement about his next stage of his journey, just before he died. It was comforting to know he was content and his attitude helped the rest of the family. I hope you enjoy Brenda Ann’s post.


pieces of me

heaven door

“This is love: to fly toward a secret sky, to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment. First to let go of life. Finally, to take a step without feet.” Rumi

Life is all about change.  In our day to day world it is easy to forget that fact.  We go about our days thinking the same thoughts, doing the same things, slight variations of a constant stream of sameness.  It brings comfort and lulls us into a false sense of security.  We nestle into our routines and create a nice, comfortable illusion for ourselves.

But then something happens and that illusion is shattered.

Which brings us to last week.  Message received from Mom:  Dad is in the hospital with multiple pulmonary embolisms (emboli?) and while she ensures that everything is fine, I decide to hop a flight anyways, to see for myself. What, me worry?


He is…

View original post 695 more words

Rosie Batty: Victorian of the Year

Such a wide prompt allows me to share a visit from a most remarkable lady. Yesterday afternoon Rosie Batty came to visit. She has generously allowed Christopher to paint her, hopefully to be accepted for the Archibald Prize for portraiture. This prize has always been designed to paint significant members of the Australian public and has a reputation for excellence.

Many Australians will have heard of Rosie, as she has received wide coverage in the press; first of all for her bravery when her son was killed by his father at cricket practice, she spoke to the press next day, calmly and non-judgmentally. Blame, she feels is not helping anyone. Secondly for her setting up the Luke Batty Foundation, in combatting domestic violence. Rosie has been deservedly awarded Victorian of the Year.

Such an intelligent, positive person, Rosie is outspoken on the necessary changes to prevent abuse in relationships. Her own negative experience has changed her life with a finality that could have broken many, but Rosie has chosen to turn her life around to work for others and has created a whole new life for herself as a consequence.

Losing her only child, Rosie willing talks of Luke and things she has discovered after his death. For instance, she didn’t know his favourite colour was yellow, until after his death.  I was able to share with her that Luke had inspired me to write a children’s story about him. I shall keep that for another day. Rosie has her four dogs, most rescue dogs, for companionship, along with her two donkeys and four chooks. We feel privileged to have met this wonderful, warm person, living nearby. The flowers in yesterday’s post were for Rosie.


A restaurant that removed your favorite item from the menu, a bad cover of a great song…. Write a post about something that should’ve been left untouched, but wasn’t. Why was the original better?

(Participating in NoBloPoMo? Head to BlogHer’s NoBloMoPoCentral for more!)



Word bumps:

Daily Post: Mouths Wide Shut: Bumps:                                                                                                              Are you a picky eater? No.

Yesterday I noticed some annoying bumps on the back of my hand.                                           My first instinct was to worry, incase it was warts.

This morning at breakfast, I looked, and the rash appeared less inflamed, it is healing. It’s probably just a result of something I’ve touched in the garden.

I said to my beloved,

‘Feel this, what do you think it is?’

‘Brail, “I Love You”, but it’s missing the comma.’

‘But I Love You, doesn’t have a comma.’

‘Then it says, “immensely and deeply”!’

How can one worry about a few bumps when they are interpreted like this?                              Words are more flavoursome than food!



Enduring Threads: part 20

Seductive Sydney 1966

I flew up to Sydney in the summer holidays and stayed with the Aureli family. Bert had finished treatment, including shock treatment, at a Mosman medical centre. I believed he was better. The weather was warm, and my relationship with Bert blossomed. We’d take Tino’s little motorboat for picnics to all sorts of hidden nooks around the harbour. One day we were swimming in the warm waters of a deserted cove when a fisherman called out,

‘I saw a shark swimming there this morning! It is their playground.’                                              We shot out of the water so fast and after that were much more careful.

Elfie was working in a smart Italian shoe shop. Bert and I arrived – with garlic breath, each with many love bites.

‘Off you go, before you frightened the customers away!’

The sub-tropical warmth of Sydney, our youth and the giddiness of undiluted lust and love intoxicated us both.

The house at 39 Killarney Street, Mosman was filled with paintings and Italian treasures. Elfie’s special gift to make everything look sophisticated and yet homely where- ever she lived, made their home unique and appealing. Her knitting and embroidery abilities were top class. She had knitted me a jumper and crocheted me a magnificent cape in dark green wool with black trimmings whilst living in Hobart. She also crocheted a black and rusty red carry-bag that I loved and carried for years. Elfie’s handiwork had an Austrian influence, as she was brought up in Tarvisio, which was in Austria before the First World War. Tarvisio then became part of Italy after the war, and so, German remained her native tongue and Italian her second language.

During the Second World War when Umberto was a baby, (born in Turino, 1939), Elfie told a story of going to get milk. When a German soldier intercepted her pointing his rifle at her, she shouted at him in German. This saved her life.

Tino, Umberto’s father, was born and brought up in Rimini, Italy.  I only found out about his story after Bert and I separated, when Bert’s parents came to stay with us at Easter time in Devonport in 1976. There were many surprises ahead, but when Umberto and I became engaged officially in February 1967, I was blithely unaware of any of these family secrets.

Enduring Threads: part 10

Paternal Relations

Grandfather Roberts would come to stay with us once or twice a year. He, too, was a short man, like Grandpa Harry, but Grandfather K was very strong. He would cut the hedge, right up until just before he died, in his eighties.

Uncle Hong and Auntie Alex came to stay when she taught me ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’, so I must have been very young. As she bathed Clive and me, she’d say, ‘Let’s take those potatoes out of your ears.’ I thought of Alex as exotic as she spoke English and  French. They lived on a cocoa plantation in New Guinea, and later adopted two children, Anne and Timothy.

Staying at the Sadler’s farmhouse with five cousins was fun. We played in their beautiful

Cousins: Ruth, Duncan, John, Margie and Helen  Sadler

Cousins: Ruth, Duncan, John, Margie and Helen

garden and the extensive orchard. At that time ‘Alandale’ was a dairy farm. When their son, John, took over, he diversified into vegetables and flowers.


Helen and I were the same age, and so we linked up again in later years when we were at boarding school together. Bringing the cows in, we’d chatter as we avoided the fresh cowpats. I found the rhythm of life on the farm even slower than our life in town.

Helen and Barbara in BHS school uniform

Helen and Barbara in BHS school uniform

Uncle Loch and Auntie Judy Fran lived at ‘Currajong’, with a creek meandering through the property. They had five boys and one girl. Penny was one year older than me, and she also went to Broadland House School as a boarder. I sat beside her at table in my first year. She and Helen both went on to do nursing at the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne, after finishing school.

At ‘Robin Hill’, Uncle Barney and Auntie Jean’s children were a little younger than me. They had three boys and one girl, Jill. Theirs was a dairy farm, plus pigs. The white wisteria over the front veranda was thick and lush. The baby grand piano in the lounge room gave it elegance. The warmth of their hospitality was captured by the smell of Auntie Jean’s bread wafting through the house. Barney wrote poetry and stories and in later years he let Bruce and Max take over the farm, so that he could write full-time. Bruce is also a poet. The eldest, Rod, became an economist and joined my brother, Clive, as one of his partners in buying Waterhouse Island, the only privately owned island off Tasmania.

In their retirement, Barney and Jean built a rustic cottage with timber from the property, where Barney and Jean both wrote in their book-lined cosiness, dispersed with paintings. I loved going there to visit them in their idyllic setting on the hillside with platypuses in the nearby creek. Instead of saying, ‘Come and see my etchings.’ Barney would say,

‘Come and see if we can see a platypus.’

Barney had the same initials as me, B.K.Roberts, and once I knitted a tie that was ridiculously short. I sent it packaged with my name, on the back and Jean thought Barney must have another wife somewhere.

Barney and Jean both died on the farm and were buried on the property in a place that they chose to be together. They were an inspiration to me in their contentment. Throwing daffodils onto the grave has etched a lovely memory.


Enduring Threads: part 9

‘Currajong’,’ Robin Hill’ and ‘Alandale’

Dad’s family lived on dairy farms at Flowerdale, near Wynyard. New Year’s Day picnics were spent there with lots of cousins, (the full quota, twenty two cousins, but two lived in New Guinea). Early on the picnics would be by the creek at ‘Currajong’ at Loch and Judy Fran’s. That was when we were all small, but not small enough not to be included in a game of cricket.

Middle years tasting the homemade plum wine at ‘Alandale’ produced a rather loud cheery gathering. That was at Dad’s sister, Judy, and Bob Sadler’s. The orchard beyond the house and garden was abundant. In later years gatherings were held at ‘Robin Hill’, Barney and Jean’s farm where we’d sit out on the grass tennis court. Our numbers, including the next generation, were quickly increasing.

When we first had a car, Dad fixed the brakes before departing, knowing that he could use the brakes only once. We made the whole journey without him using the brakes till we arrived home. This was an incredible feat as the road was hilly and windy around the coast. It was all done with gear changes and slowing down.

Dad was the eldest of a family of four sons and one daughter: Frank, Judy, Lachlan (Lock), Bernard (Barney) and Henry (Hong, or as some called him Hank, after the war). His parents Amelia (Amy) and K (short for Knyvet) Roberts lived on the farm ‘Currajong’ at Flowerdale, which passed on to Lock and his wife, Judy Fran. We were all given Knyvet as a second name. The name lives on at Cradle Mountain too, where K did a lot of exploring and the Knyvet Falls were named after him.


Grandfather K Barbara and Clive at the Devonport Show 1950/51

Grandfather K
Barbara and Clive at the Devonport Show 1950/51

Dad’s grandfather had come out from Norfolk as a Church of England minister and had thirteen children. They lived on a farm called ‘Woodrising’ which is now the Devonport Golf Club. He was instrumental in having the Devon Hospital built.

The story of his father finding a snake in his bed, grabbing it and tossing it to the other side of the room, made me nervous about getting into bed when in the country.

Amy, Frank’s mother, was from an Irish Protestant family that had settled in the Sale area in Victoria. She had been a teacher before marrying K. Her cousin Mary Fullerton had written several books, and I have a copy of one called Bark House Days, about the pioneering days in the Sale area. It has very dated language but is interesting in an historical sense. Amy had instilled a love of language and books in her children; subsequently that love passed on through my Dad, who encouraged us, by making up stories, reading to us, and later, talking about the books he was reading. My mother read to us too, sitting by the study fire as the clothes dried nearby. ‘Winnie the Pooh’, ‘Snugglepot and Cuddlepie’ and ‘The Magic Pudding’ are instant reminders of that time.


(Apologies for my absence. Family commitments have taken me away from blogging… )