Some Scottish places worth a visit for when you can, sometime in the future.

On catching up on the blogs I follow, I came across a post that sparked my enthusiasm for travel again.  Unfortunately I think it will be a while before it will be a sensible option to travel overseas.  Maybe another trip to New Zealand might be the first on our list that we are able to visit.

Take a look at the Scottish places that were used in series 4 of The Crown. It is from the blog ELE eat, live, escape.



Well worth reading.

This is a book I read way back in August but it left an impression on me so I thought I would share my thoughts.

A very short summary:

“Mornings in Jenin is an amazing read and an insight to the lives of the Abulheja family who are an ordinary Palestinian family living just before, during and since the creation of the state of Israel.”

Now a more lengthy summary:

“Forcibly removed from the ancient village of Ein Hod by the newly formed state of Israel in 1948, the Abulhejas are moved into the Jenin refugee camp. There, exiled from his beloved olive groves, the family patriarch languishes of a broken heart, his eldest son fathers a family and falls victim to an Israeli bullet, and his grandchildren struggle against tragedy toward freedom, peace, and home. This is the Palestinian story, told as never before, through four generations of a single family.”

 This book affected me on many emotional levels. The book was intense yet I could still say it was enjoyable, which seems strange.  I knew a little about the ongoing troubles in Palestine but I found that while reading the book I would refer to the internet to find out more about the background to a particular part of the story.  I learned about Palestine, its people and their hardships, the wars and the intense hatred.  I was sad, confused and upset after this read and yet there was a glimmer of hope for reconciliation and peace. What an incredible read.

Isn’t it wonderful when a book inspires readers to think about or research further for information in order to better understand the conflicts of the world?


Tuesday Travels…Queen Charlotte Sound, New Zealand

While in Picton we took the cruise of Queen Charlotte Sound.

The cruise was called The Queen Charlotte Mail Boat Cruise  as it was the boat that delivered the mail for many difficult to access places.

Here you can see the mail being posted at the end of the wharf.

And here he is accepting his delivery.

There were a few places around the sound where the boat called in to do the deliveries.

We also stopped at Ship Cove where Captain Cook in 1770 called in to make repairs to his ship.  He stopped at this cove several times in his three voyages to New Zealand, in fact it was this place where he spent most of his time in New Zealand spending a total of 168 days.

There was signage to explain the history of the bay and it was indeed a beautiful spot.

We could see the fresh water creek where they had access to fresh water.

Our boat also cruised past a salmon farm, that was not something that would have been seen in Cook’s time. 🙂

The trip around the sound had beautiful scenery and well worth the cost of a ticket.


A follow up to an old post.

Way back in 2013 I wrote a post about children’s books that had a link to grannies.  Here is the post.

I was contacted by a woman who had been trying to find a book she fondly remembered and in her search she came across my post which included mention of the book she was looking for.  She contacted me to find out if I knew the title of the book and if it would be possible to let her know.

I asked both of our daughters and the elder daughter still had the book at her home.  I had kept many of our books from when the children were little and passed them on to each of our children.  My granddaughter had the book while she was a toddler and now the book has been stored away with other books that she wants to keep.

The book was called Wrinkles.The story was of a cartwheeling grandmother.

My daughter selected a couple of pages to include when she sent me a photo of the front cover.

Happy memories of reading this book to our children.  I am glad I was able to answer the request for the name of the book.  The internet is a wonderful tool.


Garden birdlife

We are lucky to have a variety of birdlife that frequents or garden.  This year we have been fortunate to see the rearing of three red throated wattle birds.

We first noticed the nestlings in one of the trees in the front garden. 

It was difficult to get up close enough to get a photo but as they have grown the chicks have moved location and I was able to get a reasonable photo of two of the chicks, the other chick was on a different branch.

The parent birds have moved the chicks closer to the source of food.  The bottlebrush has just recently exploded into bloom so basically the chicks are now in the larder.

Things happening around the village school.

Metung School

One of the walking routes I have is through the Metung bushland which is behind the village school. There has been a bit of activity there even though the school has been closed during the restrictions.

The first thing I noticed was the nature strip had been stripped of much of the overgrown and straggly bushes on the Park Road side of the school. Then the vegetable gardens had been fenced off near the steps.

The next time I walked in this area I notice that some clearing had been done in the wooded part of the school grounds. It certainly looks much better. There has also been repair work done to the boundary fence and it looks as though access is going to be allowed from this corner of the bushland.

In the background you may be able to see a partly constructed shed.  More new work happening. 

Out the front of the school there is the new village of Spoonville  which appeared during the pandemic.  The children have been adding people to the village during shutdown.

Great to see progress at the school despite the fact that the children have been at home.  The children are now back at school.