Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Blogging A-Z - April Challenge - Z is for .....Zoo

I am not a fan of zoo's but tucked away at the Botanical Gardens at Wagga Wagga is a small zoo. The animals are free, (within reason) to wander around and here are a few snapshots.

Meanwhile, the gardens are an abundance of colour and are simply lovely!

Taking part in the A-Z April Challenge

Monday, 29 April 2013

Blogging A-Z - April Challenge - Y is for .....Young & Yackandandah

Young is a small town in south west NSW, with a population of around 3,000. We spent a few days in Young as I have a cousin who lives there, so I did explore a little. We spent a lovely afternoon at Chinaman's Dam which is built on the site of a old railway dam and has a delightful garden.

The dam was originally built by two Dutch brothers who built it to sluice their Victorian Hill gold claims.They sold the area in the 1870s to the Chinese who worked the area. The gardens are a lovely, reflective spot to walk around. There is a commemoration spot in honour of the Chinese workers who were attacked in the 1860s.

Young is also well known for the abundance of cherries and hosts a cherry festival each year. We were a bit early on this last visit, but in the past I have enjoyed the delightful cherries the area is known for.

Yackandandah is a very small town in Victoria that we encountered on the road back from Beechworth to Wodonga and Albury before heading back into NSW. The population of the town is less than 700 people.

We had a small stroll around the town and coffee and stumbled across a shop that had some very large pieces of furniture, including this huge table.

Two questions immediately sprung to mind. How on earth do you get this table into your home, as the table was all one piece and secondly if this is the size of the table, how big was the tree?

Taking part in the A-Z April Challenge

Friday, 26 April 2013

Blogging A-Z - April Challenge - W is for .....Wagga Wagga & Wiradjuri

The name Wagga Wagga is an Aboriginal one, meaning place of many crows. Wagga, as it is known is a central and largest city in New South Wales. It has a population of around 50,000 and plays host to the Murrumbidgee River, which runs through the centre of the City.

I first came to the City in my early 20s and with each visit I feel more at home here. Ironically, it feels more like home that the actual small down in Devon where I live, and I guess there is a concept to the expression of "home is where the heart is"

The original inhabitants of the area were the Wiradjuri People, which were the largest Aborginal group in New South Wales.

Today, Wagga is a thriving City with a Botanical Garden, a regional airport and University. It is a multi cultural city and much, much more.

Taking part in the A-Z April Challenge

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Blogging A-Z - April Challenge - V is for .....Victory

Ironically V for Victory falls on the public holiday of ANZAC DAY which is honoured in Australian and New Zealand. It is a time for remembering and honouring those who gave their lives for the great good and it is absolutely right that we honour that.

This picture shows the Austalian & New Zealand losses from just this one campaign. The War was to rage for a total of 4 years. A generation completely lost.
Australian War Memorial - Oct 2012
Taken  by Julie Goucher
In almost every town across, certainly the United Kingdom and in Australian and New Zealand there is a plaque, a memorial or statue that commemorates the War Dead. Those that gave their lives to help gain freedom. Help from Australian and New Zealanders to a Country that was a long way from home. In fact many of these men, whilst they may have had English heritage perhaps some were not aware, some saw this as an opportunity to see the world and explore. Never for one moment even contemplating the harsh reality of the war.

Would our young men (and women) of today, in a world dominated by emails, tweets, facebooks and smart phone feel that same sense of responsibility and duty. So much has changed in almost 100 years. Such contemplation.

We took many pictures of various war memorials, which will appear at Grave Encounters over the coming weeks, but here are a few that I especially like

Wagga Wagga Memorial
Wagga Wagga Memorial
Wagga Wagga Memorial
Wagga Wagga Memorial
Wagga Wagga Memorial
Bright (Victoria) War Memorial
Bright (Victoria) War Memorial

Taking part in the A-Z April Challenge

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

2013 Trans Tasman ANZAC Day Blog Challenge

Wall of Honour at The War Memorial Canberra - Oct 2012
For the 3rd year running I am participating in the ANZAC Day Blog Challenge hosted by Kintalk. You can read my previous posts for 2011 & 2012. Like last year my A-Z April Challenge relates to Australia which ties in rather nicely and you can read those posts 2012 & 2013.

Back in 1991 I visited Geelong to see the area in which my Ellis ancestors had lived when they made the journey from Surrey England to Geelong Victoria in 1854. So it did seem only right that I should return to the cemetery at Mount Duneed and revist the graves.

Overall, they were I think just as I remember, although just a little weather beaten - the wind seems to howl through the cemetery, or it did the day I revisited. My husband dutifully took the photographs for me as I wandered round with my Cousin stopping every so often to view a headstone.

In previous years I have talked about Henri Wilhelm Erickson who was the son of Carl Erickson and Wilhelmina nee Ellis and Edward Ellis the son of Frederick and Sarah Ellis nee Newton. Both Wilhelmina and Edward are descendants of John Ellis, the pioneer of this branch of the family, who made the decision to migrate his family so many miles from home.

What has struck me is the sense of responsibility the family felt to help a cause and fight a war, so many miles from home. In a land that was in some cases completely removed from their way of life.

It was as I stood at this headstone, that I pondered on the lives they led once they returned from the War and I realised that I had never explored the contribution Allan Ellis made. Shame on me!

Allan Ellis (known as Jack) was the son of Thomas and Ellen Ellis. He was born in Mount Duneed in 1892 and was the youngest of his family and the only one born in the presence of a doctor.

He enlisted in 1915 in the 1st AIF. He then transfered to 22nd Battalion 9th Reinforcments and returned to Australia in 1919.

ANZAC Day and Rememberance Day which we commemorate in the UK in November is about not only thinking of the ultimate sacrifice these men (and women) made, but of the successes that the survivors of the war had.

It gives us an opportunity to give thanks and reflect upon not only what we know of our ancestors but what we ought to know.

Library Loot - 24th April

As I mentioned in my post for Library Loot 17th - 23rd April I have been to the library no less than 4 times in the last week. Anymore and they will be charging me rent! You can see my loot from those visits HERE.

As it is early here, the library has only been opened about 30 minutes and there is no way I can leave in that short space of time, so I have not been today....unless a reserved book turns up then I might nip out and get it!

Yesterday was World Book Night. The library decided to host a quiz competition between the various different book groups. It was fun and I sat on the team the book group I attend.

There was laughter, tea, coffee, wine, biscuits, nibbles and of course books!

It was a great event and the library are hoping to make it an annual event and I hope they do.

This year's books can be seen HERE and the book, which I choose and then got to give away was.....

The Island

Which is a great books and I recommend it.

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Marg from The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time 

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Library Loot - 17th - 23rd April

I have a bit of a week this last week. I have visited the library 4 times! - Firstly I visited early last week to collect two books that I had reserved

Without Reservations by Alice SteinbachThe Pen and the People: English Letter…

Then I noticed that another book that I had reserved had arrived on Friday, so I nipped in to pick it up

Wade Whimsical Collectables (7th Edition) :…

I also came home with this one too....

These Foolish Things by Deborah Moggach

Then on Monday it was the regular book group meeting. We discussed - review up in a week or so.

Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman

..... And collected the next book group read

The Sister by Poppy Adams

...and bought back another book that I spotted and was on my wish list

Little Exiles by Robert Dinsdale

The fourth visit is tonight for the quiz night to celebrate World Book Night, but more of that on next week's library loot!

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Marg from The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries!

Blogging A-Z - April Challenge - T is for .....Trim

Located on a stone windowsill at the Mitchell Wing of the NSW State Libary is a memorial to Trim.

The pictures below are firstly going to set the scene for the location of the memorial to Trim. In stone, he is in good, historical company.

Hello Trim!

Taking part in the A-Z April Challenge

Monday, 22 April 2013

Blogging A-Z - April Challenge - S is for .....Sydney

Like many travellers to Australia both our arrival and departure was from Sydney International airport. By the time we arrived in Sydney we had been in transit for 46 hours and had planned to fly from Sydney to the regional airport at Wagga in mid New South Wales. Our journey home, allowed us to have some time in Sydney and today I am going to present a whistlestop tour.

Circular Quay
We booked our hotel in central Sydney, about 10 minutes from the main attractions. Our room, a deluxe double (there had been no regular double rooms left) was comfortable, clean and well presented. The hotel is located on Pitt Street and quite simply walk out of the hotel and turn left, keep walking and you will eventually arrive at Circular Quay - the gateway to The Opera House and Harbour Bridge, and Hyde Park. Along the way there are shops, resturants, coffee venues, China Town just to name a few.

View along Pitt Street
We essentially did the walk I have just described, stopping often along the way.

View along Pitt Street
Down to Circular Quay, then to the Opera House and then through Hyde Park.

It was a beautiful sunny day, the temperature was a smidge too hot for me at 32 centigrade, but it has to be one of the nicest days of our wonderful trip.

The view at Circular Quay
Sydney Harbour Bridge
Sydney Harbour Bridge
View of Hyde Park from the steps of Opera House
View of the Skyline from the Opera House

St Mary's Cathedral
St Mary's Cathedral
Archibald Fountain
Archibald Fountain
Archibald Fountain with St Mary's Cathedral

By the time we had navigated back to the hotel we were exhausted. It early evening and after a shower and change of clothes we headed out for dinner. We had opted to try a recommended resturant, but nothing on the menu looked appealing and we decided they traded on the back of the view rather than a combination of the food and view.

We then walked back down to a resturant located along from the Opera House and grabbed a table outside. It was lovely. The view stunning, the food and company wonderful and we struggled to believe it was October and we were sitting outside eating and not wearing layers! It was a different story when we arrived in London a day or two later to zero degrees!

This is very much a whistlestop tour and I could share many more Sydney photos with you, but we need to process to T tomorrow! better still you could explore the City yourself - be prepared to spend at least 4 or 5 days there. It is a fabulous City, welcoming to visitors with so much to offer. I love it!

Taking part in the A-Z April Challenge


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