Last Sunday, the 14th July, we went to Berrima in the highlands. With some very cold wind it felt freezing cold up there. After all we are still in the midst of winter! But we had lunch at the warm and comfortable Bushrangers Bistro:
After Lunch we went to the WELBY GARDEN CENTRE to look there at a special tree!
Peter looks at the tree that was planted in 2012 in memory of out daughter Gabriele. We want to go back in springtime to have another look at it. They tell us, in spring it should be flowering beautifully!
Our stay in Newcastle from Friday 28th June to Sunday 30th June, 2019
Before I forget to mention it, very early on Sunday morning we had some great coffee and breakfast and a lovely walk at Newcastle Beach! That was just a perfect conclusion to our stay in Newcastle for the 21st birthday celebrations for Martin’s daughter Lauren.
We left our home in Dapto with our son Martin early on Friday morning, A taxi took us to Dapto train station. So, we went by train to Sydney Central Station where we had to change to another train going to Newcastle. I liked the train journey very much! On the train I even started reading a novel by LIANE MORIARTY. It goes by the title “Nine perfect Strangers”:
There had been an incident, that is why the light rail was out of action for a while. So we decided to travel on by bus (towards Newcastle Beach). We got off near the Old Newcastle Train Station. Opposite the Old Train Station was our apartment that we had rented for two nights. The two bedroom private ground floor apartment had a livingroom and kitchen and was exquisitely furnished. We really liked it a lot. However we joked about it, that it was like a jail because of the bars at the entrance and in front of the windows!
Our family have been coming to the Railway Carriage Shed regularly for gatherings over the last 15 years. Plenty of room for the kids, sheltered in all weather, and well-maintained BBQ facilities. A great meeting place.
Date of experience: April 2016″
I think this is actually the place where we were in Jan.1999 for Lauren’s Name’s giving ceremony.
Lauren, the birthday girl, and friend Jeremy were great dance partners!
Sunday morning we caught the light rail to the interchange. Then we went by train to Sydney Central Station where we found out that because of trackwork we had to catch the railway bus to Dapto. In Dapto we did then catch a taxi back home.
We worked out that on Sunday going home we had caught four different modes of public transport, namely:
Light Rail, Train, Railway Bus and last not least a Taxi!
Here is something I published one year ago on the 6th of June:
Hurrah! My new glasses are here!!
This is printed on one of the cleaning cloths.
The green rimmed glasses are for using at the computer, the red rimmed ones are for walking around in, and the dark glasses are anti glare and good for wearing in the car.
I also still have some reading glasses!!
Here is what you can find in Google about The Fred Hollows Foundation:
So, I added that I still have some reading glasses as well. I could not read any books if I did not have my reading glasses. These too are very important to me. With all the different glasses in their different cases I get by beautifully. I think, all the different glasses still work more or less as well as they did last year.
Anyhow, the other day I did get a reminder from Specsavers that another eye-test is due. So I thought, I better get my eyes checked again. I made an appointment for Tuesday, the 25th of June.
It turned out that the night from Monday to Tuesday was a very bad night for Peter and me. Peter happened to feel extremely dizzy. He felt so horrible that I called the ambulance. The ambulance people checked him out: Blood pressure and pulse were all right. So there was nothing wrong with his heart. They determined that it was just very bad vertigo. Since Peter had been vomiting a bit, they gave him an injection to stop the vomiting. They offered they could take him to the hospital, but there was probably nothing they could do about the vertigo. They said it was up to Peter to decide whether he wanted to go to the hospital or not. When Peter decided to stay at home, they advised, to call them back if later on for breakfast he did not feel all right.
Both Peter and I were able to go back to sleep for a few hours after the ambulance people left. And breakfast turned out to be pretty normal! So, this was good. Also, Peter was then able to drive me to the shopping centre for my appointment at Specsavers.
The eye-test result was pretty good, my eye-sight deteriorated only very little. I asked, whether it was all right, to have my cataract operation instead of in July, some five or six months later. The examining lady answered that this should be all right.
So I had been on the waiting list for the cataract operation since August last year. And I was advised recently that I could have it now in July. I found out that it was possible to delay the operation for another six months. Only if I did not have it by the end of six months I would loose my spot on the waiting list and had to go back to the end of the list!
So, I am happy now, that I can wait for this operation for a little bit longer. I mean, so far my eye-sight is not too bad. I do not fear the operation as such, I only fear that if my good eye gets operated on and something goes wrong, I might end up being totally blind, for my other eye is totally blind because of macular hole. . . .
Fifteen Months ago? Was it only fifteen months ago when I published the following? Indeed, I found that I published the following on the 18th of March 2018.
I did write, that we left Benalla on Monday on the night train from Melbourne, arriving Tuesday morning back home (that would probably have been around 7am.) At 9 am on that day we left again for my doctor’s appointment in Wollongong, going to Wollongong by bus. We both felt rather tired after having spent a night sitting up on the train!
I remember very well how awfully tired we both felt on that morning after having been sitting up on the night train . The Melbourne night train would have arrived in Benalla some time after 11pm. At around 5am we would have had to get off the train to go on the railway bus that goes down MacQuarie Pass towards Albion Park, Dapto, Wollongong. So this bus is a good connection to Dapto where we live. Only on that morning we had to leave again soon after we had arrived home. This was really terrible. We said then, we would not go on the night train again: The next time we would be catching the day train! Very conveniently there is also a day train from Melbourne that stops in Benalla at a convenient time, and then the railway bus takes us, not too late in the evening, from Moss Vale to Dapto!
“The XPT service runs two return trips each day between Melbourne and Sydney, making scheduledstops at Broadmeadows, Seymour, Benalla, Wangaratta, Albury, Wagga Wagga, Junee, Cootamundra, Yass Junction, Goulburn, Moss Vale, Campbelltown and Strathfield with optional stops at Culcairn, Henty, The Rock, Harden and …”
So here now is the copy of my post from the 18th March, 2018:
“How to keep Track of Time? Yes, how do you do this? Eighty + years of impressions, incidents and experiences, having seen so many different places, having met so many different people. Does it all become a blur in the end?
For young people time often seems to drag on slowly, slowly. But ask any elderly person, the answer is, that time passes awfully quickly. What is a week? A week, well, a week just flies away. I try to recall what we did last week, two weeks ago, three weeks ago, four weeks ago. Four weeks ago? Is it four weeks ago that we stayed in Sydney for a few days for our daughter’s wedding? Is it two weeks ago that we travelled to Benalla to stay there for a week with our son? What about doctor’s appointments? Did we have three different doctor’s appointments during the past week? Quite so. That is, I met another specialist for the first time last week, and Peter also met another specialist for the first time last week. Peter also saw his GP, the one that he has been seeing for many years. He was the first one who explained to Peter that according to some test results a ‘tumor’ ought to be investigated. Some 18 months later he looked at some other test results and concluded that there were some problems with his heart. And so it goes.
We left Benalla on Monday on the night train from Melbourne, arriving Tuesday morning back home. At 9 am on that day we left again for my doctor’s appointment in Wollongong, going to Wollongong by bus. We both felt rather tired after having spent a night sitting up on the train!
Anyway, the following day, Wednesday, Peter saw his GP who is now in Corrimal (not in Dapto anymore). I went along with Peter. The visit at the Corrimal Medical Centre was over quickly. So well before lunchtime Peter drove us to the Leisure Coast fruit shop in Fairy Meadow where we did some serious shopping.
Thursday would have been the day for my slow movement exercises here in Dapto. But I felt awfully tired and gave it a miss. I felt that it was really good for me not to have to do anything on that day! Peter however felt on that day well enough to locally do a bit of shopping to get the ingredients for a quark cheesecake. And in the afternoon he actually did bake this cake while I was resting in the bedroom. – This cake baking seems to have been a kind of relaxation for him.
Friday morning Peter found the time to go through the whole house with the vacuum cleaner. Then he went off to Wollongong to see the surgeon who may do a heart bypass operation on him. It turned out, before he is about to do this, Peter should go for some more scan tests!
I stayed home on Friday. After having done some wiping of the floors, I did get some lunch ready and I also made preparations for my afternoon visitors. It was my turn to have the four ladies over for our Friday afternoon games of Scrabble and Rummy. Also on Friday, our daughter Monika dropped in at 5,30 after work. Talking to our daughter about a lot of things was a good finish of the day.
And yesterday, Saturday, was a very good day too: Our daughter Caroline and son-in-law Matthew came to visit!
Is it only two more weeks to Easter Sunday? So it is, and I am looking forward to some family visits at Easter time!”
The above pictures I took early on Saturday morning on the 1st of June 2019.
On that weekend at Sussex Inlet, Peter and I as well as our daughter Monika remembered our arrival in Australia 60 years ago, that is we arrived at Port Melbourne on the 31st of May 1959 when Monika was barely 6 months old!
Monika’s partner, her two sons and three daughters (one daughter pregnant with her second child!) and also their partners and Monika’s 3 grandchildren and our 59 year old son Martin (Monika’s brother) were all cebrating with us. Still, there were a few other family members that could not come to Sussex Inlet on that weekend. But some we had been seeing earlier on in May. On the last weekend of June, that is this month, we are going to be in Newcastle to celebrate the 21st birthday of Martin’s younger daughter Lauren.
This is what I wrote in May after we had had quite a few visitors on Mothers Day:
“We had quite a few visitors yesterday for Mothers Day. Come to think of it, all the mothers that were visiting, were already grandmothers. And I am even a great-grandmother! I was so happy, that great-grandons Lucas and Alexander were visiting too yesterday! And Peter actually did hand out roses yesterday to all the visiting mothers. I think they liked this very much.
So, for about three hours in the afternoon we had a large crowd in our house. Daughters Monika and Caroline did most of the catering. This was very relaxing for me.
Monika had come with her daughter Natasha and her son Troy had come with his fiancee Antonina. Troy’s twin-brother Ryan and wife Ebony spent the afternoon with Ebony’s family, but Troy and Nina had brought their nephews Lucas and Alexander along to our plae. Caroline’s husband Matthew and Monika’s partner Mark had come too, and Mark had brought his mother Merl along.”
As far as the 1st of June is concerned, I reflected that on the 1st of June 1959 we had already settled into our accommodation at Bonegilla, Victoria. I wrote about it here:
The Strathaird had come from England with a lot of British migrants and stopped at Cuxhaven to pick up more migrants from Germany. So, Peter, myself and our two baby daghters were among all of those German migrants. We had stayed at Bremen-Lesum overnight. From Bremen-Lesum goes a direct train-line to Cuxhaven. All the migrants, that had stayed together with us at Bremen-Lesum, were taken by train to our destination at Cuxhaven where the Strathaird was already waiting for us.
The Strathaird took five weeks to reach Port Melbourne. It was the most terrific cruise we had on that ocean liner! We were treated like first class passengers. We could not believe how lucky we were. So, this was 60 years ago in 1959!!!
This year we drove to Sussex Inlet on Friday, 31st of May, to celebrate this 60 year Anniversary with our extended Australian family. Most of them also arrived on Friday; some more people actually did arrive on Saturday, the 1st of June. Saturday night we had a great barbecue that was enjoyed by all.
All of us left our beautiful holiday place early on Sunday. Some of us stopped at the Lone Pine on our way home. I did like this very much!
The train was a special train for us migrants who had come on the S.S. STRAITHAIRD to Port Melbourne.
Around lunch-time we stopped in what seemed to be the middle of nowhere. There were two long huts. Some Australian volunteer ladies were about to serve us a warm meal in these huts. One hut was designated for women and children, the other for men. Each hut was equipped with long tables and benches.
It was lunch-time. The meal for us consisted of meat with three vegies: Potatoes, carrots and peas. The peas were straight away called ‘Kuller-Erbsen’ by some German migrants for they thought the peas weren’t soft enough. They kept joking they were just good enough to be ‘kullert’ (rolled around)!
Peter was most upset that he wasn’t allowed to sit with me and the children. ‘I could’ve helped you with the feeding of the babies,’ he said. ‘Why on earth wouldn’t they let me sit with you?’ Yes, I would have loved Peter to be with us for the meal. Nonetheless, I felt that the feeding of the newcomers was well organised. I thought we ought to be thankful that they went to a lot of trouble to provide a warm meal for all of us. Strangely enough, I even liked the ‘Kuller-Erbsen’. The meat-rissoles were tasty and suitable to be fed to the babies. Besides, they had allowed us enough time for our lunch; we did not feel rushed at all. — And there were special chairs for all the babies! That gave me the feeling that Australians liked children. In Germany we had never seen a baby-chair in any public place!
In the evening our train stopped at a siding close to the Bonegilla Migrant Hostel. It was still early evening, but already pitch dark. And we could immediately feel that it was going to be a very cold night.
At the Hostel we were assigned two rooms in one of the huts. One room contained two single beds with two sheets and four Army blankets on each bed. In the other room were two baby cots, also with sheets and warm baby blankets. Both rooms were freezing cold. An electric radiator was in each room. We decided we would use only one room to sleep in, and use the other room as a store-room for our luggage and for one of the cots. One of the cots fitted into our bedroom. So we let our twenty-one months old baby sleep in it. Our six months old baby was to sleep in her pram, of course also in the same room with us. We pushed the two single beds together to make one big bed. One of the Army blankets we hung over the window as an extra buffer against the cold. Using both radiators for the one room it was soon pleasantly warm.
Before bedtime we were given another hot meal in the huge dining hall. We were told every day we would get breakfast, lunch and dinner in the dining hall. The meals were served from a counter. And again there was no shortage of baby-chairs for all the little ones!
For breakfast there was always semolina available, which was cooked in creamy milk. Our babies liked to eat it and so did I. Most German grown-ups didn’t like it at all and would complain that this sort of food was served every morning.
Nonetheless, this was not the only breakfast food. There was always toast and butter and jams as well as other hot cooked food; for instance baked beans, scrambled or boiled eggs or fried eggs with bacon. I think there was also fruit-juice on offer and of course hot tea as well as coffee. The coffee would not have been made the way Germans liked it, but I’m sure I thought by myself, we had really nothing to complain about!
We had severely cold nights during the month of June and wonderful sunshine during the day. We could use an outside laundry free of charge. There were a number of huge kettles and laundry tubs. Most mornings we boiled nappies in one of the kettles. After having rinsed those nappies in one of the laundry tubs, they were hung outside on one of the long clothes-lines. The sun quickly dried them. Taking the dry nappies of the line, they smelled wonderfully fresh! Some of the women made some rather sly remarks about how Peter was always around to help me with the babies as well as all the daily washing. They were probably envious that their husbands didn’t help them as much!
We soon made friends with another German couple who had two babies of about the same age as our babies. During the day we often went for walks with them. The fresh air was good for all of us, especially for the babies, two of them being pushed around in their prams, while the other two could already walk a bit and when they got tired they could sit on a little seat which was fastened to the front of the pram.
This other German family had been neighbours of ours on the S.S. Straithaird. The voyage on that P & O ocean-liner had been absolutely first class: Families with very small children had been accommodated on C-Deck with private cabins for each family! The cabins were large enough for double bunks for the parents as well as room for two cots. Right next to our cabin we had our own private bathroom, where the steward would fill the bathtub for us with hot seawater. He did this twice daily. Next to the bathtub was a dish which was filled with hot softwater for soaping ourselves.
Every morning our steward collected our baby nappies to take them to the laundry-service, for which we had to pay some money. We were not allowed to wash nappies in the communal laundry, which people could use for free. Our voyage lasted for five weeks. For a five weeks nappy-service we had sufficient money, only just. Naturally we could not buy anything in the shops on board the ship. This did not in the least matter to us. All the meals on board for the passengers were absolutely first class! We regarded this sea-voyage as the best holiday we ever had.
In Bonegilla we were immediatly given ‘dole’-money, since nobody had started work yet. The migrant workers were given a choice to look around themselves for a job or to start working in the Port Kembla Steelworks in Wollongong. Peter chose to go to Wollongong, a pleasant town at the Pacific Ocean. (We still live in the area!) Most migrants chose to start in the Steelworks. For a number of years Peter worked in the Steelworks with a gang of brush-handpainter climbing onto very high chimneys in order to paint these chimneys.
Over the years Peter has had lots of different jobs. He was never out of work. It was like that in the sixties: There were always jobs available for everyone. People did not have to be afraid of losing their job. In the seventies Peter joined the railways and eventually was an ASM (Assistant Station Master). He worked then for the railways until his retirement.
We raised four children in Australia. We are debtfree and own our own home. We never regretted that we left Germany to live in Australia. However we like to go back to Germany for visits. We’ve done so a number of times.