The Money Box

A money-box was given to my parents for me when I was born.

It is in the shape of a round coin, coloured brown and made of plastic.

On one side it reads ‘Penny Bank of New Zealand’, and on the other side ‘1950’ ‘Save the Pennies the Pounds Will Take Care of Themselves’.  There is also a bird resting on fern branches, to me it doesn’t look anything like a Kiwi which is a New Zealand native bird.

I never did find out who gave me this gift.

My only childhood memory of the money-box was when I was fourteen years of age. I had a crush ona young man who played in the Salvation Army Band every Sunday morning. Bob did not wear the traditional uniform worn bu other Salvationist; he wore a Military Army uniform because  he was always on Padre Duty every Sunday. Bob looked spick and span . I would sit, gaze and smile at him, and he would reciprocate.  Bob’s parents were Salvation Army Officer’s . They invited me to their place for Sunday dinner. After dinner Bob offered to drive me home which consequently lead to a kiss and cuddle. Bob gave me a ten shilling note.

On returning home I never told my parents (they were not Salvationist’s) about Bob or the money because my father would have wanted to kill Bob and would have made me give the money to my mother for food.

In the privacy of the room that I shared with my sister Heather I showed her the ten shilling note and she watched me fold the note and push it through the slot on the money box.

A few weeks later I wanted to buy something. On opening the box I was disappointed that the then shilling note was gone. Heather denied all knowledge of where it might have gone.

For 68 years that money box has been with me.  It does have a few New Zealand coins inside it.  I never played with it as a child.  I have now found another use for it. I am happy that I can now use my money box as a percussion instrument, it brings music to my ears and I can sing along to Abba’s song:




Autumn In Australia

These photos were taken from Gardening Australia post on Facebook. The Currency Creek Arboretum was also shown on the ABC Gardening Australia TV program this weekend.

Autumn in Australia is a time of wonderful colours and textures, found not only in leaves but in the trunks and branches of eucalypts !

Pic credit: Dr Dean Nicolle, pics taken at the ‘Currency Creek Arboretum.

All Aboard

Over the past few years I have written a few short stories, fiction and non fiction. Today while browsing through my stories I came across ‘All Aboard’, a non fiction story that I wrote. The story is about a return train trip than I did in November 2014.   Brisbane – Townsville – Brisbane.

The Sunlander long distance train was used to travel between Brisbane and Cairns.


ALL ABOARD    You will need to click on the link All Aboard to read the story. It should open in a microsoft word document, Please let me know if the link doesn’t work.  Enjoy the journey.

The new Spirit of Queensland that commenced in November 2014.



You can’t erase the past:

I have been having a lazy day at home. The mind hasn’t been lazy it’s been thinking non stop. I am now 68 and often wonder where have all the years gone.  Numerous things have happened both good and bad.  I can choose to occupy myself thinking about the bad things and thinking ‘what if’  or I can accept what has happened. I will always have the memories but can’t erase the past.  If I get disturbing memories,  in my imagination I pick a left from a tree, place it in the stream and watch it float away.



We can learn from the past if we want to.  The past hasn’t all be been bad, I have had some wonderful memorable times which i will treasure for ever.

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I am blessed and contented with my life.

My Art Challenge In Progress – Update 26/03/19

My art challenge was to copy a photograph of a tulip and background foliage and use soft pastels.  I started art classes in February so am a real novice.

Below is the photograph to be copied. IMG_20190321_123521 (2)

To start with I did a sketch.  I did several sketches and trial drawings

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Last Friday I drew the small tulips as a mark of respect for New Zealand, I was happy with them.  I drew at tulip for practise – I think that was ok.

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Yesterday I had another go at the challenge and couldn’t seem to get the shapes and blending right for the leaves etc.

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This morning I had another go. The tutor did say that the colours don’t have to exactly match and also not to worry about several white blotches.  I really like today’s effort but still can’t get it right.

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I am open to constructive criticism  and any hints from the artist who read my blogs.  I am a Virgo and always aim for perfection. Am I being too hard on myself ?.  I value your comments please  and will not be offended.

Have a great day

Cheers Ally xx 🙂

PS: Thanks to everyone for your compliments, encouragement and helpful hints on  improving my challenge…..I am grateful. I have made some changes to the last drawing and now  have decided to leave it at that.   I will take it to the class next week.   Cheers everyone xo

Update:  I attending art class today.  The tutor gave me a pleasing critique of my work, it could do with a couple of minor improvements.  I am so happy  🙂  🙂  🙂

The class stops now until April 23rd for Easter and School Holidays. After the holiday’s we start on Watercolours.

Homework for during the next 4 weeks is to create a picture with any type of medium on A3 , it needs to take up the whole page.

I might decide to paint Autumn in Australia   or  the rainbow lorikeet that visited my backyard.






Paying Respect to the people of Christchurch.

Christchurch New Zealand is where I lived for many years 1954  – 1980.  I am deeply saddened about the recent unnecessary massacre, the deaths and injuries to so many people. My prayers, love and support go out all those affected.   My family home is only 5 minutes walk from the Linwood Ave Mosque. The other Mosque by Hagley Park is also close by.  I have walked past both places many times and never ever would have imagined that such tragedy would happen.  My two brothers live right there, I am so thankful they are alright.

I drew these tulips today in memory of the people who have passed away. May they Rest In Peace . IMG_20190316_152102 (3)

The Art Class

Even though I am having problems with cataracts in both eyes I will not let it get the better of me.

I did pull out of the choir because I couldn’t  focus well on the words and music.

As for the art the tutor was happy with my homework. There’s always room for improvement.

There are no rules.

It’s my style and my impression regardless of how it turns out.

At the end of the day I don’t have to impress anyone except myself – I am satisfied with my work.

I will share my homework with you plus a birthday card I made today for daughter.



Tea tray



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Homework for the next two weeks is body parts.

Cheers to everyone.