blessings · challenges · Christmas · family · gratitude · happiness · In My World · new beginnings · photography · summer · unbreakable bonds

New Beginnings

Christmas Day 2018

As the year 2019 begins, my family is happy, which is all that I have wished for.

This time last year though, I had a different story to tell, although it wasn’t a situation I wished to talk about at the time. On the day of my grandson’s first birthday in July, my daughter-in-law ceremoniously decided she was leaving, moving one-thousand kilometres away, to live with her parents. My son had two choices – stay here and lose his son, or follow his wife, which was really no choice at all. Obviously, he left too.

To be married in March 2019.

For the next six months, I didn’t see my grandson. My son, however, couldn’t cope with being away from his family. He was torn between his birth family, and the one he had created. So in desperation, he tried living and working here during the week, and flying home to his other family for the weekend.

It was a massive strain on him. He was miserable. And I knew there were problems in his marriage.

Fun for the family, Christmas 2018.

As Christmas approached, I felt absolutely no enthusiasm. I felt my youngest son’s pain, and at times I felt as if my heart was bleeding for him. Consequentially, I didn’t buy any Christmas gifts, I gave my family money and asked them to spend it as they pleased.

The Christmas tree looked so bare without the usual array of gifts, but when my family arrived that situation changed as brightly packaged gifts began to mount beneath the tree.

Meeting the right person at the right time! ❤ Christmas 2018.

During the afternoon, we all went outside for a photo session. My heart wasn’t in it though, my son would be missing from the photos. It would be a permanent reminder of the unfortunate split in our family.

At one point, my eldest daughter and her husband handed each family member an envelope, instructing us to open our envelopes together. I imagined I would read my card later, once I had gone inside and had put my reading glasses on. But that all changed when I took out the card, which read –

Jingle bells, jingle bells,

jingle all the way …

Oh what fun

It is to say,

A baby is on the way!

Due to arrive

August 2018.

I was going to be a Nana again! 

Many reasons to smile again …

Fast forward to Christmas 2018 – My youngest son is home again. His ex had chosen another significant day to ceremoniously (again!!) announce the end of their marriage on their third wedding anniversary. But this year, he’s smiling again.

My auntie dunked me!

My boy is back.

My family are all friendly with one another again, just like they used to be (before the x joined the family).

Aunt Em loves me!

And most importantly, my grandson was here to help his four-month-old baby cousin, Aurora Ebony, celebrate her first Christmas. 🙂

Aurora’s Mummy and Daddy getting into the spirit of Christmas.

I think the photos speak louder than any words I could choose.

And in 2019, we have two weddings to look forward to! My eldest son is to be married in March, followed by my youngest daughter who will be married in April. ❤

Christmas 2018 photo session. 🙂

A year ago, I couldn’t write about my life, or my family. This year, we have everything to celebrate!

I’ll be Flower Girl at my Aunt Em’s wedding in April!

I wanted to share this brief version of the story of my 2018 to let anyone who is suffering know that nothing stays the same. Change is inevitable. And there is always hope for a better future.

Uncle Ben and Braxton.

For 2019, I wish everyone a year of happiness, a year of joy, good health and prosperity. A year where even if your life isn’t going completely to plan, know that there is always hope for a brighter future. xx

Watching the New Year’s Eve fireworks on TV with Nana and Poppy. NYE 2018.
Baby Aurora, New Year’s Day 2019.

 

 

 

Australia · birds · blessings · flowers · photography

Spangled Drongo

If you do not expect the unexpected you will not find it, for it is not to be reached by search or trail. ~~ Heraclitus


It’s been an age since I added any new content to my blog or visited any of my blogging friends (again!) but I am still around, still writing, and still trying to fit too many activities into the limited number of hours within each day.

Over Christmas and the new year I am taking a break from university study. I still have another month before my next semester begins, and now the chaos of Christmas is over I can collect my thoughts, attend to long overdue chores, and get my life back on track again.

This afternoon, I downloaded photos I’d taken during the past three months. As always, some photos turned out beautifully, some were blurred, and there were a couple of unexpected images.

I decided to share one surprise photo today.

We live on quite a long block of land and way down the back, in our next door neighbour’s yard, is a beautiful Jacaranda tree. Every spring, the tree treats us to a beautiful array of lilac flowers, so when it was in full bloom in October I zoomed the tree into focus when I could see what I thought was a common crow sitting on one of the tree’s branches.

I hadn’t looked at the photo until today, and to my surprise, the bird which I thought was a crow is actually a Spangled Drongo (Dicrurus bracteatus). 

A distinctive feature of the Drongo is the fish-like tail – very unusual in a bird. In all the years I have been taking photos of my backyard feathered friends this is only the second time I have seen and photographed a Spangled Drongo.

The features of the bird are not very clear in the photo, other than the deep black colouring and the fish-tail, so I have added a link for if you wish to take a closer look at this unusual bird. I’m sure you will enjoy the beautiful flower-foliage of the Jacaranda tree as well.

I don’t know when I will get back to regular blogging, but I have a tentative New Years Resolution for 2019 – to add a new post once a week.

Can I keep my resolution? Only time will tell.

 

Australia · birds · In My World · new beginnings · photography

The Year I Didn’t Blog

I knew I hadn’t added a new post for quite a while, but nearly a whole year?

With nothing prepared, I thought I’d show you some new additions to the garden – two baby kookaburras who are filled with a contrasting mixture of adventure and hesitation as they explore their new surroundings.

When you’ve been feeding and taking photos of birds as long as I have, it’s easy enough to read their expressions. A head tilted in curiosity is easy body-language for anyone to understand though.

Now he’s wondering if he should be concerned by my clicking camera!

Here are the two babies together, looking as cute as can be with their pigeon toed feet and perfect, fluffy feathers.

This photo clearly shows the detail in their darker, back feathers. I think they’re gorgeous!

As you can see from the water clinging to the glass fence – also a new addition to the garden since I last added a post here – we’ve had some summer rain, which has cooled the earth down beautifully. We’ve even felt a few cool breezes in the morning air lately – a sign of an early winter approaching? I do hope so! Our summer heat is so intense, so by February I’m always begging winter to arrive early.

Here’s one advantage to summer – we don’t see skies quite as brilliant as this during the winter. Look at those cloud colours and formations – magical!

During 2017, my main focus was on family, home and university study, leaving little, if any, time for anything else (my lack of blogging is proof of that!) I never had a moment to feel bored throughout “the year I didn’t blog” and while I will talk about some of the events that took place during my absence, there are some things too private to talk about and best left where they belong – in the past.

Wherever my blogging friends are around the world, I wish you all the very best of everything your heart desires during 2018!

~~~~~~~~~~