Category Archives: OFF THE BENCH




Play with us in 5 easy steps

1. Choose 7 of your own photos, one for each of the following categories:

  • A photo that…takes my breath away
  • A photo that…makes me laugh or smile
  • A photo that…makes me dream
  • A photo that…makes me think
  • A photo that…makes my mouth water
  • A photo that…tells a story
  • A photo that…I am most proud of (aka my worthy of National Geographic shot)

2. Write a short description for each image.
3. Write somewhere in your blog post: I am taking part in HostelBookers 7 Super Shots.
4. Tell us you have participated and tweet the hashtag #7SuperShots
5. Nominate 5 other bloggers by including a link to their blog in your post.

I’ll tackle the photos first. Then I shall attend to the details such as INVITES and LINKS.  I don’t travel far and I don’t travel a lot so it will be the East Coast of New South Wales in Australia.

A photo that…takes my breath away



This combo of my sister in the last week of her life and of me as I look at life with her gone still takes my breath away and clunks into my heart.

We lost my sister, Susan, to lung cancer on February 17 2011 in Port Macquarie.

You think that their dying is the worst thing that could happen. Then they stay dead ― Donald Hall


A photo that…makes me laugh or smile


I live with a man who loves socks. Coloured socks. They hang in their dozens on our pegless clothesline. I don’t wash them and nor do I hang them. He does. He does all of his travelling with his socks on.


A photo that…makes me dream

Raleigh N.S.W.


I dream with the Kookaburra that spends its days on my front fence. I dream ancient dreams with the Guburra. Wise dreams. And the Guburra brings me this poem from Ali Cobby Eckermann;

My nana opens windows. Weaving songs. And gently tells. Real myths.


A photo that…makes me think



My son on Thunderbolt”s Rocks. I couldn’t climb to where he was. I think about the Bushranger who hid here and my son who may well have been between a rock and a hard place, himself.  His daughter said to me; “ Maybe they had to shoot Thunderbolt – but they shouldn’t have shot his horse. “


A photo that…makes my mouth water


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Eating at the BLACK BEAR CAFÉ. Future dreams. Present realities.


A photo that…tells a story


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It tells a story but I don’t know what the story is.


A photo that…I am most proud of (aka my worthy of National Geographic shot)



From our rockwall where the rivers meet the sea.


And at this point in the Post, I actually read and checked the details and realised that it’s a TRAVEL site hosting the Super Blogs. I will, therefore, do a 2nd post and pay attention to the TRAVEL element of it. 




THE YAAN: Back to the life that makes me well. Me and Jack both.  Jack almost took his eye out on a wire fence a couple of months back but has come good and is pushy and flighty again. He almost took the Cheery Redhead’s hand when she offered him some food. My girl did her first day at a school.Towards her Education degree. And we minded the little girl.  Then I did my Meeting in town.  In a moment, bean and vegie soup. The retrieval of sanity.




THE YAAN: Sunsetting at 5.06 p.m. Blue at the edge of the sky and pink above it. Well, I did it. Drove to Coffs. Kept appointments. Drove home. I didn’t have one dizzy turn despite the blurred vision at times. I went to radiology for my hand and the young lady doing the ultrasound was a girl I had taught when she was an infant. That was a pleasure.

I was so afraid to take myself out especially to medical places but I actually enjoyed it. Not the Haemotology Department so much. I am doing better a few hours later. I needed to come home and take some quiet time. When I am in the medical rooms, Fear takes over and my thinking becomes overwhelmed by the volume and nature of information they present to me.

I thought that grief and illness and such things would follow predictable patterns but I have learned in the last decade that there is very little predictability in any of them. The supposedly closest people can rip one another apart or fail to comfort or support.  The simplest matters can become the most difficult or traumatic and, for me, completely unexpected side effects strike like a rogue wave on a rock fisherman.

That’s when I find myself unable to drive. Unable to choose the food I want for dinner. My skin is welted and wild from being dragged over psychological barnacles. My mind churns and bubbles trying to find a way to help my kids but I malfunction. Can’t think clearly. I am a Mess. But I did drive to Coffs and back. Bravo to Me.


THE YAAN : And tonight, I have a heater on. Plenty of doonahs and a warm bed. A  safe and quiet house. I have internet and lights and TV. Not bad at all. I have had an email from my granddaughter and tomorrow I am to mind the 2 year old while her Mum does a student teacher gig at the local school where I once taught. I have history and I have the present. Plus, I got myself out and about.



THE YAAN: Today I had medical doings in Coffs Harbour. I am struggling with some mental confusion at the moment and sure enough, I didn’t compute correctly and completely missed a  Catscan. I did, however, get blood tests done at what is now called the COFFS HARBOUR HEALTH CAMPUS, otherwise known as Coffs Hospital. I am striking  a batch of really professional and pleasant medicos and also being bulk billed. It makes a difference to an activity which I don’t handle well at all. So in I went and found pathology. Down beyond some renovations. It was over and done quick smart and I took a look at the Pink Ladies Kiosk which sells bits and piece – dirt cheap. Handknitted cardigans and floral arrangements for $10 or so. I grabbed a brekkie from their café section and took myself outside to sit on the bus bench and wait for Izzy. The reason I am mentioning all of this is the sign in the Photo above. Who the hell wrote that sign? What is it supposed to mean?  I was sitting on the bench, being blasted by bus and car fumes and reading the sign. Strange world out there.

Nonetheless, I enjoyed today. After yesterday’s rain, today was cloudless and warm. Kati B and the Cheery Redhead brought us lunch from Hearthfire in Bellingen and I re-scheduled the catscan. The rest of the day was spent painting and playing and talking. Another ordinary and precious day. Time for vegie soup and chocolate and fig slice for dessert.



Late night now.I’ve been out for dinner with friends and Izzy’s been playing at a café in Bellingen.

We live a rather sweet life in the Country.

Now, I‘ll finish the photographic train journey back from Sydney.