Art Lessons Online -Week 6

Learning to draw eyes this week. It’s a lot of fun . I took a selfie and tried to draw my eyes and a funny nose …lol.I have ordered some really good coloured pencils….Prismacolour soft core pencils…highly recommended by my online tutor.A scary wild looking selfie to capture my eyes…. πŸ˜‚

My Irish Collection.

Even though my fairytale romance to the man originally from Ireland turned into a nightmare I have fond memories of my visits to Ireland.

I have a few souvenirs that I managed to save. I did have some cuddly leprechauns, I think my grandchildren now own them.

I thoroughly enjoyed my holidays in Ireland. My in-laws did take me sightseeing, I saw some amazing places.

My paternal grandfather was from County Armagh Northern Ireland. We did drive through that area but didn’t stop because my in-laws were from the South and still lived in fear because of the past terrorism between the Protestant and Catholic Faiths.

I found my favorite dream home

I fell in love with the country side in Ireland. I love little cottages with thatched roofs. Sorry the photo below is posted in sideways….I am using my cell phone and can’t work out how to rotate.

I did a lot of scrapbooking of my holidays. When visiting the Hill of Tara I felt a sense of peace and truly loved everything about it.

Below is a page from my travel book….The Hill of Tara.

That was just a glimpse of my travels. I actually travelled around the world in 38 days Christmas 2003.

Ally’s Castle – Why That Name ?

Many of my followers know that I have a passion for art. I also have a passion for writing, have published one novella , several short stories and are currently in the process of writing my memoir.

Today I thought I would answer the question ‘Ally’s Castle – Why That Name ? ‘ Answering this question will mean self disclosure about my personal life, thats ok with me.

At 19 years of age I gave birth to a beautiful little girl and in doing so became an unmarried mother.

At 20 years of age I then became the victim of an arranged marriage. I was not allowed home unless married (my father’s rule) to my parents and siblings and the city where I had lived for many years. Without going into too much detail (because that is in another short story) a friend arranged for his mate to marry me. When my father knew I was to be married I was allowed home for several weeks before the marriage. My father met the groom to be and his parents and advised me not to marry him but suprisingly accepted me and my daughter, he actually adored her.

I thought my husband to be loved me and my daughter so I went ahead with the marriage. I thought I knew what love was and thought he loved me.

I survived 12 years in the roller coaster marriage. I had three children to him, a daughter and two sons. You don’t have to be in love to have sex and children. There was no love. I was physically, sexually and mentally abused throughout the 12 years, I will spare you the details. I managed to leave the marriage and was finally free.

Through the court system we organised shared custody. That was a diaster, he wouldn’t work, I had to work to support him and the children. He then skipped the country with the three youngest children, left New Zealand and moved to Australia in 1986. Almost three years later I managed to locate my children, I moved over to Australia, took him to court and got custody of my children.

Living in a new country, being a solo mother, and working fulltime was not an easy task but I managed. We lived in rental accommondation, moved several times, when through hard times and survived.

20 years later I met the man of my dreams in 2003. I was renting a small unit close to the city where I was employed as a nurse. I saw this handsome man by the letter box one day, we chatted that day and then the next and so on. He also was renting a unit in the same complex as me. Several months later we went over to Ireland to meet the family and spend Christmas with them. I was the happinest I had been in years and in fact my whole life. We got married a year later. All was fine and dandy until April 2005 , thats when my husband had a heart attack and had an emergency quadruple bypass that same day.

The fairytale romance all went downhill from then on. I knew that some people that have had heart surgery suffer with depression. It developed into more than depression, he became angry, and mentally abusive to me. Two months later June 2005 I ended up in the cardiac ward for 11 days following a Spontaneous Dissection of the Right Coronary Artery.

After returning home from hospital we both continued to recuperate. When well enough I returned to my nursing career, my husband returned to his work as an upholster. Here I was again on another roller coaster, very few peaks, and many valleys. I will describe what it was like;

  • Highs – full of connection, fullfillment and intimacy (no many highs, in fact none near the end)
  • Lows – disconnection
  • All take , no give
  • Lack of trust
  • Hostile atmosphere
  • Constant judgement
  • Persistant unreliablity
  • Peaks and Valleys
  • Infidelity …big time verbal and cyber .

December 2005 we went back over to Ireland for Christmas. We again stayed with his brother and family. The family noticed how rude he was being to me and tried to pull him into line – that made matter even worse for me.

2006 my husband enrolled in a 12 months course so he qualify and worked as an enrolled nurse. I worked and totally supported him through the year. I should add at this stage we had bought a unit together and used my superannuation as a large deposit for it. I ended up paying for everything. He did not have an Australian drivers license – it has lapsed and he refused to resit it. Throughout the entire relationship I was the taxi driver at his beck and call, my driving was critcised most of the time , I did my best to ignore it.

I think the infidelity started in 2006 but I had no proof. 2007 he qualified and began working at the same hospital as me….big mistake on the hospitals part. We often worked different shifts and I still was required to be the taxi driver.

My mother had dementia and was living in a nursing home in Christchurch. My husband would say ‘you’re got 4 days off , go and see your Mother ‘. Sometimes he came with me but during the last 2-3 visits he did not. INFIDELITY WAS HAPPENING…..thats what I now know.

2007 December we had Christmas with the family again in Ireland. We sold the unit and bought a 3 bedroom house, another big mistake.

My husband had control of the computer, he was totally addicted to it. He was meant to be following a Liverpool Soccer team…..well thats what I thought.

Early 2008 he had to return to Ireland for 3 weeks , his father was ill and passed away while he was there. During the 3 weeks my husband was in Ireland he contacted me only once. His brother and sister-in-law kept me informed about what was happening.

On his return to Australia following the death of his father apart from wanting and demanding sex he was like a stranger to me, the mental abuse continued. He then decided to bring his youngest brother over from Ireland to detox him of Alcohol. Prior to his arrival my husband stocked up on alcohol. The detox never happened.

The next few weeks were a nightmare for me. I was playing taxi driver, cook, cleaner etc. Those two would sit at the computer towards until daylight drinking and eating chips.

September 1st 2008 on my birthday, he hopped into bed a 5am , started coughing as per usual. I offered him water , I was told to f**K up and sleep. I couldnt sleep so I got up, when to the bathroom… looked like a toilet in a stinky old pub or unkempt park, urine and faeces everywhere. My brother-in-law was asleep on my lounge chair and looked dead.

I decided to grab a few things and go to my daughters place for the day. I told my husband to call me when he was awake. By 5pm I hadnt heard from him so I called and he said ‘where the f**k are you ?’. When I got home he said he would have a shower and then we will go out for dinner. While he was in the shower his phone beeped, I checked it like I had always be told to in the past as it could be family a emergency. There were four messages from ‘Shas’. I noticed his reply messages had been deleted, in fact all messages deleted except those four…….that was a first and a red flag to me.

  • Hi darling whats up
  • Hi darling sorry that you are not feeling well
  • Hi darling what a shame you have got such a bitch of a wife
  • Hi darling call me.

I waited until my husband had gone through to the bedroom to get dressed. I asked him who is ‘Shas ?’. He denied knowing anyone called Shas. I told him that Shas was sending him messages and I had seen them. He went into a rage at me for checking his phone. he then told me it was nothing to worry about because it was just fun.

I took off my engagement and wedding ring and said ‘this is over’. He got dressed and aked me to drop him and his brother down the road to Mac’s …..I refused, so off they went walking. I packed up a large suitcase and took off round to my daughter’s place.

Two weeks when by , text messages asking me to come home, apparently catching buses and paid taxis was killing him. I made sure I got put on a different shift at work. Staff disclosed to me that he was having affairs with patients. My granddaughters showed me that he had 147 women friends on facebook. Its strange that noone bothered to alert me of this and until then.

After being away for two weeks I decided I would go home with the one condition I would sleep in the spare room and we would go 50/50 for mortgage, utilites, food etc. He promised that he would stay off the computer and get our marriage back on track. Unfortunately we both had to work night shift. When returning home on the second morning he was straight back onto the computer while I was expected to run after him with toast and coffee. Sure enough he was chatting with women again. I spoke up….he yelled at me and called me a neurotic, psychotic bitch and then came running towards me with his fist out ready to punch me. I escaped and locked myself in a room. I waited until he was asleep and then left. Later in the day I returned with the police to collect the rest of my gear. The police were really looking forward to this because I had told them what he had always said “If the police ever come here their f**ken heads will be rolling down the driveway”. The police woke him up and said that Ally is collecting her gear, he said to the police ‘be my guest’ , he was still dressed in his uniform while lying on the bed. The police also told him that Ally will never again be driving him to work or anywhere for that matter. By the way the police thought their was a dead man asleep on the recliner, he did look dead.

The marriage was over, the house got sold. His brother died two weeks after returning to Ireland. My husband hooked up with a lady that was a third of his age.

I have never got into another relationship. I continued to work until late 2012 , had to stop work due to health issues. I have lived in several unsuitable rental places.

May 2019 I was given a Seniors Studio Unit – Government Housing Commission. I pay a small rental fee from my pension. For the first time in years I am settled. I am happy and contented. I decided to call my home ALLY’S CASTLE because now there is noone to abuse me. I may have been through a rough time, lost my savings and have some ongoing health issues but I have everything I need.

PS: I can’t find the spell check so I hope the grammer is not too bad πŸ™‚

I no longer consider myself to be a victim.

I am a SURVIVOR. πŸ‘πŸ™‚

Art Lessons Online weeks 4 & 5.

I get lazy and need a push to motivate myself. Most days I turn on the TV by 8.30am and that’s it, lots of interesting things to watch and learn.

Last night I made up my mind there would be NO TV until I had completed weeks 4 and 5 of my online art lessons.

Week 4 was to focus on shapes and measurement. I drew a coffee mug and then decided to put a coaster under it, proportions are not quite right but at least there is no sign of coffee spilling out of it πŸ˜‚

Week 5 is about alignment, putting the puzzle pieces together. The lesson gave the picture of a dog to outline Below is my attempt. I believe it does resemble a dog and that makes me happy. Matt the dog is looking up at something, I wonder what ?

The subject of ‘shading’ comes in another lesson.

There is plenty of room for improvement.

Treats at Ally’s Castle

April 25th is ANZAC DAY here in Australia and New Zealand (Australia and New Zealand Army Corps)

I am a member of a local RSL (Returned and Services League).

I saw an advertisement by the Brownies selling packs of Anzac and Brownie Biscuits. With each pack the Brownies would donate $10 to the RSL.

I am not really a sweet fan but do like Anzac and Brownie Biscuits. I purchased a pack , it arrived yesterday and was beautifully packed.

Wow the display inside was lovely. I though it was just going to be biscuits but to my surprise each one was sitting on a slice of heaven, some topped with meringue and some with macaroons.

I tucked in straight away, yes they are sweet but truly delicious.

Because of the Coronavirus, self isolating and borders closed I cannot share these treats with my family and friends. I froze eight treats in an airtight container. This morning I gave one treat to a neighbour, she loved it.

One Pot Cooking at Ally’s Castle

Hi everyone I hope you are staying safe and keeping well.I often spend time watching cooking shows on TV and also the shopping channel (dangerous habit). I recently purchased yet another kitchen gadget, it’s a power saver and one pot cooking.Today I created Mac Cheese with onion and bacon.In this pot below I added onion, bacon, pasta, cheese, milk and water. Closed it up and turned on the power. I was too lazy to grate the cheese and probably added too much.25 minutes later the meal for one was cooked to perfection and so yummy.It’s not exactly a healthy every day meal but everything is alright in moderation.

Art Lessons Online

Months ago I mentioned that I had gone to a Seniors Art Class several times and that unfortunately came to an end due to relocating and health issues. I have continued to draw and paint at home here but feel I needed more. I did find an art class nearby that I was going to join , it is now closed due to the coronavirus.

There are numerous classes online. I recently did a free introduction which focused on direction, lines and curves. I decided to join , pay a reasonable fee so I could continue to learn. It also gives me a purpose and some structure.

The first 3 weeks of the paid lessons have been about the following:

Breaking down the drawing barriers, learning to see shapes, drawing without seeing, flipping our perception.

For the first lesson I needed to screw up a sheet of A4 paper, push a pencil through another sheet and on an other sheet draw the shapes that I could see on the screwed up sheet without seeing my actual drawing. It’s not as complicated as I have tried to explain it.

The second lesson was to pick a subject and draw that without seeing my actual drawing again. I chose a frog , the picture below was my third attempt. Sorry the photo is a but faint.

The third lesson was about ‘flipping our perception ‘. Pick a subject and draw it upside down , seeing this time. I chose two elephants.

I understand the purpose of the exercises in the lessons so far. I am enjoying it and look forward to the next lesson in 4 days.

Midriff Flab….Update

Today I did a quick prune of my potted plants and gave them a good drenching and some nutrients.

On my way to the garden waste bins at the front of the complex I passed an 89 year old neighbour who is often sitting by her door smoking and doing crosswords. She is in the early stages of dementia. I always make time to chat with this lovely lady.

I was wearing shorts and a tee shirt.

The dear lady said to me “I didn’t know you had so much fat around your middle and back”.

Oh dear perhaps I need to prune my midriff, maybe some liposuction…..just joking πŸ˜‚.

Seriously I might need to increase my speed and time on my treadmill.

Happy Days. Keep SmilingπŸ™‚


I do have a treadmill in my compact living area. Because of some health issues I need to be careful. The physiotherapist recommended 10 minutes at a crawl speed, increase if I feel ok. I usually aim at 10 Minutes and walk about 500 meters.

Today I managed 15 minutes and walked 740 metres. πŸ‘πŸ˜ƒ